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  • Off the Edge
    recent experience perhaps I might I am not au fait with all the systems on the market I m a marketer who has experience of implementing and using CRM systems so I have an understanding of how they can help small businesses Ok lets start at the beginning What is CRM I did a web search on this term and found literally thousands of articles The problem with them is that they either talk in detail about IT systems or they talk at the 30 000 feet airy fairy motherhood and apple pie level Here s my take Customer Relationship Management CRM is about trying to maintain and grow professional effective and insightful relationships with prospects and clients as a business develops Many of the learned articles about CRM give the example of the corner shop where the proprietor knows all the customers their buying habits credit worthiness propensity to buy more etc etc The proprietor can have a personal relationship with most if not all his customers He knows the good ones from the bad ones and he can treat them personally As the business expands and he opens more and bigger stores this kind of intimacy with his customer becomes harder and harder to maintain CRM is about helping the business maintain that intimate relationship with the increasing customer base as the business expands so that the business continues to know who its best customers are which customers might be interested in new products which might be attracted by which promotions etc A CRM sytstem is a software tool that helps the business maintain good and effective customer relationships as it grows This description is OK as far as it goes but it fails to highlight some of the important functions of a CRM system that I have observed create significant benefit in practice The functions are more around the internal operation of the business Most smaller businesses that I have come across have grown from one or two man bands These businesses have lacked formal systems in the broadest sense and as they grow they continue in the same vein They hold customer and prospect details as Outlook contacts or in spreadsheets They buy solutions to specific problems e g accounting that aren t easy to interrogate and derive useful information from Spreadsheets proliferate like viruses each holding different types of data analysed for different purposes Yellow sticky notes litter the offices like confetti There is no real clarity about where leads prospects and customers come from Inbound calls are not handled uniformly data such as names phone numbers email addresses etc aren t checked or captured There is not a clear understanding across the team about the status of individual pieces of work so if the person dealing with it isn t around no one else can help Production of quotes proposals etc is a highly manual process Things fall down the cracks because everyone has too much to do and everything takes longer to do than it should Does any of this sound familiar Forget the touchy feely stuff about maintaining and building customer relationships for a minute just think about the operational benefits of having a single organised way of Storing customer and prospect data Recording and maintaining customer actions so that everyone could see the latest status Recording details of all important contacts with customers and prospects Seeing who has and who hasn t followed up on that call or that meeting Seeing how many proposals quotes you have out how much they re worth and what stage in the sales cycle they are Seeing which marketing activity generated new leads and which didn t The list goes on To finish this first blog on CRM here are a couple of examples from real life discussions we ve had recently that show the kind of issue businesses have everyday that a CRM could help address Company A has a head office and a number of sales people out on the road They target a very specific sector in which there are a large but finite number of prospects They have no standard way of recording prospects and no information available to the sales team about whether a particular prospect has been contacted before by whom and what the outcome was If a salesman is thinking of targeting a new prospect he first must phone email round all the other sales people to check whether there has been any contact before Company B offers a one year warranty on some of its products 11 months after a sale it wants to mail out an offer on extended warranties to a subset of its customers Production of a mailing list requires reconciliation of data in two different systems and the intelligence of one of the operational managers and about two weeks of elapsed time Company C receives an order from an existing customer which is processed and goods dispatched A conversation between two members of staff reveal that the customer has still not paid for a previous order and was supposed to be on the STOP list Company D spends 5000 year on advertising in magazines but doesn t know how much business it generates as a result If any of these scenarios sound familiar or you can think of others in the same vein look out for the next installment of The Purple Edge Guide to CRM Jim Hunt is a professional marketer with many years experience in building businesses large and small As a speaker trainer and practitioner he aims to explain marketing theory clearly and show how it can be applied in practice to deliver better results from your marketing investment You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter and Google read comment add comment Give em a nudge Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 27 Mar 2013 Have you heard of nudge theory It s based on the idea the we are mostly lazy are easily embarrassed and like to fit in Sound fair The Government has been using these techniques to change our behaviours for the better in such areas as paying our taxes turning up for appointments and making healthier choices Have you felt the nudge And can you take any lessons from this approach into your own business Apparently the 2008 book Nudge Improving Decisions About Health Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein is now required reading for the coalition front bench Perhaps we should all follow suit If you start with the assumption that your customers are lazy what can you do to make it easier for them to buy from you One example you can follow is the Ronseal it does what it says on the tin technique I ve spoken to a number of companies recently that make it very hard for anyone to understand what they actually do They hide behind a clever Latin name or a smart slogan that just leaves people baffled Why should we work that hard to find out what you do or to follow your message So how does it work When the DVLA started sending out letters with the clear statement Pay your tax or lose your car the number of people paying up doubled and tripled when a photo of their car was added making it more personal Take up of incentives for loft insulation increased when policymakers realised that what was stopping people was they were too lazy to clear their lofts The answer Provide a charged for loft clearing service Uptake increased three times A police force persuaded car owners to put their cars in their garages and reduce car thefts by providing skips for people to dump the rubbish out of their garages into free of charge It s not just that we like our lives made easier we also like to fit in with social norms Hence it is more effective to tell people how many others have already kept their appointments or are choosing a healthier option than it is to take a negative approach and focus on how many appointments have been missed or bad choices made All that does is tell us it s OK to do bad because you re not alone What s stopping your customers doing more business with you We are all too close to our own businesses to really answer this question honestly ourselves But you could ask your customers directly or get an independent objective view Starting with the premise that you are offering a great product or service that really solves a problem for your target customers then what else could you do to make yourself easier to do business with Can you be more clear and direct about what you do remove a barrier by doing a bit more of the job that the customer doesn t want to do give some extra service or take something away rather than leave them to do it themselves provide evidence that customers are making the right choice going for you 8 out of 10 cat owners Improve your conversion When you ve worked hard to generate interest in your offering it makes sense to ensure you work just as hard at converting that interest into a sale and repeat sales too The lesson from nudge theory is that it might only take a little prompt a change of wording a text message to tip the balance in your favour MAKE IT EASY is it really that simple Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter read comment add comment Know your customer Yeah right Filed under Marketing by Jim Hunt on 22 Mar 2013 As often happens to me things in my life came together this week causing me to think even more deeply about how we market and how we use the tools and information available to us to try to market more effectively I was on LinkedIn today I wasn t cyberloafing right this was background research when I came across an interesting article that described a conversation between three marketers Two were advocates of Big Data The other was a John Hegarty a founder of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty Big Data marketing is a term used to describe the use of large amounts of data captured about individual consumers based on their buying behaviour to microsegment in order to target very specific messages to individuals Hegarty amusingly derided the Big Data approach One of the data heads had been talking about the power of being able to know who a person is and so send them very personalised content Hegarty reposted To those brands that say I understand you I say F off you don t understand me Mind your own business I don t want to be understood by you I don t understand myself sometimes and it can be fun Later I got an email from Eddie Bauer an American clothing chain which I used regularly when I was in the States and still do occasionally these days even though I rarely leave Kent The interesting thing about the email was that it was promoting their new range of women s jeans This is not the first email they ve sent me promoting women s clothes In fact I get them regularly I also get emails promoting their regular sales which I d describe as unisex I never get emails specifically about men s clothes I have never bought women s clothes from Eddie Bauer I buy all my dresses from Evans so there s no reason for them to target me based on my buying behaviour So something has gone screwy somewhere in the database I suggest They clearly don t know me as well as they think they do Thirdly I had an exciting email exchange with a Spanish estate agent from Wales it s probably a long story but I ve been disinclined to ask We have a client who is another Spanish estate agent from Sheffield this time and about a week ago I was doing some research I searched for property for sale in an area I know quite well it s where my two sisters live in Andalucia I found a villa just up the road from big sis which looked like a steal so out of curiosity and to support my research you understand I filled out a web form to request details of the property Within the hour Welsh woman was on the phone I gave her my cover story of being interested in property in Spain to rent out to holiday makers and she promised to send me some information Sure enough she did Lot s of it It only occurred to me yesterday that she hadn t sent the information on the villa that I d requested via the web form so I dropped her a quick note as a reminder Her response shocked me She said that the villa needed work on it and it wasn t as good a rental prospect as others she had so she decided not to send the details I have to say Sharon didn t think this was as big an issue as I did but I couldn t believe that she presumed to know better than I whether I wanted to see the details I might have had completely different reasons for wanting them as in fact I did She couldn t see that on the basis of a 5 minute conversation she did not know me she didn t know all my interests and she was no judge of what I d want OK in retrospect maybe I over reacted and I should have cut her some slack but I did enjoy writing the snotty email back Anyway what these three things tell me is that although as marketers we stress the importance of understanding our customers and our target markets we really need to exercise great care with how we use our understanding People are complex multi dimensional creatures They are contextual contrary and they confound us It s great to collect data and use it to drive marketing decisions but use it with care If you know from their behaviour that they may be interested in X then I would encourage you to talk to them about X but don t assume that this means that they can t be interested in Y Never make assumptions about people never discount them never presume to know them and always check your data it might result in a lost opportunity or worse a really snotty email Jim Hunt is a professional marketer with many years experience in building businesses large and small As a speaker trainer and practitioner he aims to explain marketing theory clearly and show how it can be applied in practice to deliver better results from your marketing investment You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter and Google read comment add comment Ten tips for selecting a Trademark Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 5 Mar 2013 Guest blog this week by Patricia Barclay of Bonaccord Ecosse Limited a law firm offering general corporate and commercial support to businesses of all sizes from sole traders to multinationals Patricia regularly gives talks on marketing related issues including intellectual property and trademarks and is happy to take your enquiries if you re interested in finding out more about protecting your business Choosing a trademark for your product or service is an exciting time rather like naming your baby so you want to get it right as the name will be an important part of defining the way that product or service is seen in the years to come Here then are some tips to get you started Think of your ideal customer the mark you choose must appeal to your customer base as it is their attention and loyalty you are looking to attract What does the mark say about you It should be something that reflects the image you are trying to promote and must be credible and constant in relation to that image Sustainability how long do you envisage the product or service being used If it is something that will satisfy a passing fad this may not be important but if this is something that is intended to remain in use over many years or form the basis for follow on goods and services it must be something that will not quickly appear dated Distinctive it is a legal requirement that a mark be distinctive in order to be protected as a trademark but it is also good business sense as you do not want a potential customer to mistakenly go to a competitor because they got the names muddled You can check whether similar marks have been registered by consulting the UK trademark register at http www ipo gov uk tmtext or for Community trademarks at http oami europa eu ows rw pages QPLUS databases searchCTM eu do but it is also sensible to check the name you are thinking about on various search engines to see if there are unregistered marks or other unexpected uses of the preferred name already out there A quick way of checking availability is to check on the availability of domain names and then see if any of those that are already in use are for similar businesses None of these checks is foolproof but together should give you some confidence If you are planning to sell internationally do check whether your preferred name has an unfortunate meaning in the language of any of your key markets NOVA sounded a fun name in Northern Europe with a suggestion of being

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/index.rhtm?cat=marketing&first=40 (2016-02-14)
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  • Off the Edge
    give a bit back and do a bit of good with requests from all angles Do you feel a little bit guilty every time you turn down a request to donate Is it better to give 500 to one charity or 10 to 50 charities I haven t found the answer to all these issues but I was very pleased to come across an idea that we can implement in our business while doing something positive for charity at the same time I can t claim any credit really I have Spacemaker Architects for showing me the way and they admitted they borrowed it from somewhere else too I bet many of you could do likewise Like a lot of companies Spacemaker Architects included we offer a free initial consultation to allow a potential customer to find out if we could work together The consultation may lead to us presenting a formal proposal but in the course of that discussion we give huge amounts of value in the shape of feedback and ideas on a client s business To raise money you simply ask for a donation to charity in return for the time and valuable advice and everyone gets to feel good about the process We ve advertised this on our website but have not had chance to try it out yet although Spacemaker Architects tell us it s received very positively So that solves one issue how to raise money for a cause but how do you choose the cause you wish to support Charities are in a fiercely competitive market there are many of them chasing our limited funds personal and business And there are lots of good causes the first problem for me was how on earth do you choose who to support and who to spurn For charities the key is usually to find an emotional link that they can tap into either supporting someone you care about the kids or presenting a cause that you have an affinity with For me that means the charity that is flavour of the month has changed over time When my children were young I supported kids baby charities When my dad died in the Pilgrim s Hospice of cancer my allegiance shifted Concerned about the beggars in the subway I supported Porchlight charity for the homeless As the surviving grandparents and me get older Age UK seems attractive I will continue to make random personal donations to various charities no doubt but for the business we wanted something we could really get behind and believe in and ultimately it was the words of Mary Daly of the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre that swung it She talked movingly about her own experience as a sufferer with MS about how important the centre is to many people but also about how by supporting their Butterfly Appeal to raise funds for a new building we can be part of a long lasting legacy for the local community The last point swung it for me Several times a week Caspar and I run past their current ramshackle building and by supporting their cause I ll be able to witness and feel part of the development of their new centre It will feel more real and more personal than giving to a huge national charity At the same time we ve also agreed to support the JM Recruitment and Pinnochio s team doing the Martha Trust Rome or Bust rally this September it s another very good cause but also an inspired fundraising project that offers a lot of fun So another key factor for charities is how innovative and inspiring they can be Companies have long identified that supporting charity can be good for business it reflects well on them in positive public attitude and can be good for staff motivation too Good for business and good for the charities thankfully What ideas have you had in your business to work with charities And how do you make your decisions on who to support how and how much I d love to know Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter read comment add comment How persuasive are you being Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 27 June 2013 Hearing an estate agent friend of mine talking about the importance of social proof in selling houses prompted me to revisit a brilliant book I first read a couple of years ago It s one of those books that it pays to re read from time to time because you can t possibly use all the information and ideas all at once Did you know for example that the signs you see at the doctors telling you how many people missed appointments last month are probably making the situation worse not better It s social proof in action read on to find out how According to the book Yes 50 secrets from the science of persuasion we don t take enough notice of what the science of psychology has to tell us The authors suggest this is because we believe we intuitively know stuff about human behaviour unfortunately we re mostly wrong and a little bit of knowledge can often lead us the wrong way If you think being more persuasive could be useful in both your business and personal lives then read on According to one of the authors Robert Cialdini there are six universal principles of social influence Reciprocation we feel obliged to return favours Authority we look to experts to show us the way Commitment consistency we want to act consistently with our values Scarcity the less available the resource the more we want it Liking the more we like people the more we want to say yes to them Social proof we look to what others do to guide our behaviour Just reading this list I m sure you can begin to see how these concepts might be used in marketing to get people to work with you or buy what you are offering I m sorry if it sounds manipulative it needn t be if your underlying values are sound Does your business offer a great value product or service Then you owe it to people to let them know If nothing else after reading this book I m more aware of how others might be trying to use psychology to persuade me not that that actually stops you falling for it as the authors themselves confess The issue of social proof is fascinating You know those signs in hotel rooms asking if you would like to save the environment by not putting your towels to be washed everyday In an experiment it proved possible to improve the number of people participating just by changing the message from one of doing good for the environment to one that gave the statistics that showed most people reused their towels It worked because it seems that if other people are doing it we want to do it too So thinking back to those notices at the doctors what are they really saying They are telling you that if lots of people miss their appointment it is OK if you do too The better way to encourage people to turn up and they have tested this too is to tell people how many people DO keep their appointments In that way you are persuaded to go along with everyone else and are more likely to keep yours too Another useful insight is that we are notoriously bad at predicting our own behaviour and explaining our motivations So it s no good asking what messages will make you act a certain way it is only when put to the test that the real truth comes out So if you need to write a message to persuade your customers to act a certain way bear in mind this lesson and give them the social proof Here s an example to show you how it might work call rates and purchases were increased in a campaign simply by changing the call to action from Call now operators are waiting to If operators are busy please call again Far from putting people off it made them think the product was more worth having if so many people would be calling How can you use this information to change the things you are doing in marketing for your business Yes 50 secrets from the science of persuasion Noah J Goldstein PhD Steve J Martin Robert B Cialdini PhD Profile Books Ltd 2007 Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter add comment The value is in implementation Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 14 June 2013 Information is cheap these days usually FREE in fact Whatever you want to do you can find someone who has written a blog created a video launched a website devised a programme all about it No doubt your inbox like mine is full of free guides white papers giving me the inside track on how to you fill in the blank Why is everyone giving away such valuable information Surely once they ve told you how it s done you don t need them anymore Well no They clearly do want you to need them So what is going on I attended a business conference last week and the most lasting message I took from it was this in the internet age information is free so the value is in implementation So it doesn t matter if you can download Jamie Oliver s recipes for free he can still charge a premium price for that same dish to be cooked and brought to your table By sharing his creativity knowledge and expertise he builds visibility and credibility and creates demand for a seemingly endless range of products branded Jamie Oliver Is anyone else getting a bit tired of him He s even in the garden centre these days there s no escape The fact is that knowing what how to do something isn t the only reason we don t do it we may lack the time the inclination or the confidence to have a go Knowing what to do is not the same as being able to do it Maybe you could learn how but what else would suffer while you were doing that Maybe you could find the time but are you better off financially by concentrating on serving your customers All the information in the world is useless unless it s acted on It s only through implementation that you can truly make a difference What can you give for free I often meet people concerned that they are giving away too much particular in service industries They worry that if they tell their potential clients how something should be done then they won t be needed any more Of course not every discussion will necessarily convert into serious business but those clients may not have had the budget to buy anyway Think about how you can use this approach in marketing your business What can you offer that helps demonstrate how knowledgeable you are and positions you as the go to person in your area of expertise It doesn t matter whether you are a gardener lawyer water treatment specialist or retailer you have information and expertise to share Don t be afraid to be helpful and don t begrudge helping people because you never know which of those frogs you kiss are going to turn out to be princes Consistent and persistent And then put this strategy to work in all the channels of communication you use face to face on your website on social media Be consistent and keep those communications going persist in sending out the message that you know your stuff When the time is right and your target audience realises they are never getting round to implementing it themselves they need to know it s you they need and where they can find you Make FREE part of your strategy and plan how you are going to guide your contacts towards using you for implementation There is no putting the genie back in the bottle the internet has brought easy access to information to all of us and you are unlikely to actually have any secret insider knowledge that you can hold onto So if you can t beat them join them Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter read comment add comment LinkedIn Endorsements A nice idea gone bad Filed under General by Jim Hunt on 9 June 2013 I like LinkedIn Of all the social media platforms out there I think it s the most effective for most B2B SMEs It s easy to use it s got great functionality reasonable analytics and pretty good targeting capability We use it successfully to build networks demonstrate capability and drive website traffic All great I also have always liked the capability to give recommendations for people you ve worked with It is great to be able to get some colleagues customers or suppliers to write a few words about what a joy you are to work with how extensive is your expertise and how professional you are I admit that sometimes I struggled with getting LinkedIn to actually show my recommendations but hey ho it was a good idea Then they brought out that groovy new functionality Endorsements On the face of it this was a great idea You list your skills and people in your network can endorse you for some or all of these skills with the click of a button Cool and groovy No longer do you have to sit and think up the right words to sum up the totality of wonderfulness that is your colleague You just click a box LinkedIn even made it easy for you by flashing members of your network up on your home page and asking if they are experts in some skill or other Is Joe Blogs an expert in Monkey Juggling LinkedIn would ask Yes I could confirm with a click of the mouse One of the best monkey jugglers I know Quite often it would ask me about the skills of someone in my network that I ve never actually worked with Does Sally Slapdash know about proof reading LinkedIn would ask I haven t the faintest idea I would reply and do you know what I would do I would NOT click the little box I wouldn t endorse someone for something that I had no idea that they could do That seemed to me the obvious thing to do That s the point isn t it You endorse people for skills that you know that they possess Saying someone is good at something when you have no idea that they are would be daft wouldn t it What s more my recommendation could reflect back on me If one of my contacts had some monkeys he needed juggling and he saw that I d endorsed Joe for this very skill he may hire him based on the fact that I ve said he can do it When monkeys start crashing to the floor and the RSPCA are breaking down the door what s my contact going to think of me Strangely it seems that not everyone thinks the same way I don t know about you but I ve had loads of endorsements from people who not only have I never worked with but many of whom I ve never even met Now clearly I am skilled in all the things I list on LinkedIn so they re not wrong but how do they know Maybe some of them have read my blogs Maybe some of them have seen me present Perhaps the photo on my profile shows I have an honest face Maybe but I don t think so Call me cynical but I believe that often they think if they endorse me i ll endorse them back But do you know what I won t What s more I ll think less of them as a result If they are able to be deceitful about this why should I trust them about anything else I think this kind of behavior brings the whole thing into disrepute I pay no attention to people s endorsements any more and I ve stopped endorsing people It s sad but I just think it s a waste of time What do you think Am I being too harsh Jim Hunt is a professional marketer with many years experience in building businesses large and small As a speaker trainer and practitioner he aims to explain marketing theory clearly and show how it can be applied in practice to deliver better results from your marketing investment You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter and Google read comment add comment Create a NOT to do list Filed under Opinion by Sharon Wilding on 30 May 2013 A shortage of ideas is rarely the problem when it comes to marketing A bigger problem I observe from many many discussions with business owners is how to decide what to do And how to say NO to some

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/index.rhtm?first=50 (2016-02-14)
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  • Do you have a newsletter or a snooze letter?
    if there s anything worth reading In large numbers they just don t bother Good mailing systems will also give you some valuable analytics information on delivery rates open rates though these are not a great measure clicked links etc which can help you improve your newsletter over time PDFs do have a place for some highly technical information or very long documents or where they are intended to be printed out And they ll help you manage your mailing lists at the same time Use great headlines in the copy grab the reader and suck him in The headlines don t have to be incredibly clever and creative but they have to make the reader want to read the story Again think like the reader Why would I want to read the piece what s in it for me Think benefits Include pictures I m not going to say a picture paints a thousand word because that would be too hackneyed Doh Images do though lift a piece of writing They break it up make it more accessible and can support the point being made All good things But don t rely on them because there are always those readers who turn the images off Direct the eye use highlights sub headings bullet points to draw the readers attention to important things help the reader skim to the things that he s really interested in Include back links get the reader back to your website by linking from the newsletter to more detailed or related content or offers on your website Make it just right not too long not too short No one has time to read a ten page newsletter but if it s short enough to be a simple email then best to just send a simple email Make it relevant segment your market and send relevant information to different groups Make sure you put people in the right groups though I suspect that a clothing company who send me an email regularly think I m a woman I get lots of emails about women s clothes and only the occasional one about men s And before anyone asks no I don t have anything to reveal I don t want you to call me Judy and I don t wear my wife s clothes They don t fit Send it frequently and regularly think of any newspaper or magazine They have a set schedule They don t just decide not to produce a Cosmopolitan this month Remember it s about engagement and building a relationship When your newsletter arrives in their inbox you want the reader to think Ah ha Fred s newsletter nice title Not Who the is Fred What do you think Which are your favorite newsletters and why Tweet track back URL add comment Comments I agree with your comments Having just sent out our monthly newsletter I wonder if our clients await with bated breath when it appears in their mail I

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/679748/do_you_have_a_newsletter_or_a_snooze_let.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • The Purple Edge Introduction to CRM - Part 1
    still not paid for a previous order and was supposed to be on the STOP list Company D spends 5000 year on advertising in magazines but doesn t know how much business it generates as a result If any of these scenarios sound familiar or you can think of others in the same vein look out for the next installment of The Purple Edge Guide to CRM Jim Hunt is a professional marketer with many years experience in building businesses large and small As a speaker trainer and practitioner he aims to explain marketing theory clearly and show how it can be applied in practice to deliver better results from your marketing investment You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter and Google Tweet track back URL add comment Comments Thanks for the comments guys There is clearly a group of the converted I hope other readers have their interest piqued enough to take a look at what s available out there I really believe that many businesses would by shocked at the difference it could make to their business and CRM solutions do not have to be expensive Comment by Jim 12 Apr 2013 08 26 I look forward to more ACT has helped me with my CRM My weakness is distraction Having an open customer or client file which monitors the development of the prospect from cradle to grave is a key activity This year I am joining with a colleague so that we can chase each others activities on the CRM to improve our self discipline and results As you know I PREFER TO THROW MYSELF OUT OF AEROPLANES RATHER THAN SIT IN THE OFFICE ESPECIALLY FOR A GOOD CAUSE LIKE PILGRIM BANDITS OR HELP FOR HEROES Comment by Robert Murray Willis 10 Apr 2013 17 57 Hi Jim Good article as always As you may know my former HR software business also developed a CRM system so this is dear to my heart My interest originally started as a salesman working for another software company in the early 90s when I built myself a database to help me track my sales the company didn t have a CRM system When I started Select Software this morphed over time into what we imaginatively called The Company Database I know what you re thinking mickey mouse system which didn t really do anything The system covered our telesales and sales team requirements and importantly the rest of the business as well All customer service help desk calls were handled and escalated through it and we monitored software updates and releases for clients and bug fixes In other words the SAME SYSTEM handled all our dealings with our customers The key point here is that it wasn t just a sales system yes we got our forecasts analysed lead sources etc but equally important was the ability for sales staff to have visibility of customer service data and vice versa Reports from former colleagues suggest that the system

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/688485/the_purple_edge_introduction_to_crm_-_pa.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Viral Videos that work
    Ryan Lee s practice Finally here s one that I think gets it about right Humour and irreverence but with a clear value proposition and a message that survives the treatment This video cost 4 500 and was posted in March last year In the first 48 hours after posting the video 12 000 people had signed up In November the company which I understand consisted of one man the star of the ad announced that it had attracted a 9 8m venture capital investment What do you think Could your product or service go viral Tweet track back URL add comment Comments I ve seen that Allan and speaking as a guitarist they deserved everything they got Comment by Jim 17 May 2013 11 36 It also possible to use this as a complaints forum against poor service When a certain airline was careless with a musician s instrumetn in transit and didn t fix the problem they earned massive negative publicity and the complainant earned massive positive publicity the entertainment value is immense look up United Breaks Guitars sit back and enjoy the show Comment by Allan Reid 17 May 2013 10 58 Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 0058 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21 27 I m just home from a day s training in the latest in digital marketing strategy and I m racked Mar 2015 One to One Personalised Marketing should be the norm for all businesses So why aren t more companies stepping up 20 Mar 2015 19 06 Personalised marketing campaigns driven

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  • Prepare for hard work!
    you refer to it often 3 Test measure adapt No matter how many years experience you have in marketing there are few dead certs when it comes to delivering success What works today may not work tomorrow what works for one company doesn t deliver for another It is impossible to control all of the factors that influence that elusive purchase decision so you must gather information look at what it is telling you and act promptly to stop what isn t working and do more of what is Marketing is not something you can do once every few weeks you need to be on top of it all the time building your reputation generating awareness interest and ultimately sales Sorry to have to break it to you there is no magic wand in marketing but getting the fundamentals right through hard work and perspiration means that you create the right environment for your inspiration and creativity to flourish Adapted from a blog first published in 2009 Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter Tweet track back URL add comment Comments No comments so far why not be the first Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 4606 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21 27 I m just home from a day s training in the latest in digital marketing

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/683378/prepare_for_hard_work_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • The Purple Edge Introduction to CRM - Part 2
    happen and who should respond when someone enquires and the system makes sure it happens Sometimes processes can be automated completely For example let s assume that whenever a new client signs a deal he receives a welcome letter the system can be automated to make this happen once an opportunity has been closed 11 months after a deal has been closed the client could be sent an automated email to invite him to buy an extended warranty Workflows can apply to any process from marketing to customer service Collaboration CRM systems allow teams to collaborate effectively to ensure that things happen when the should A lead captured by Sally can be assigned through the system to Julie because she has specialist knowledge about the prospect s industry for example No sticky notes involved Julie will receive notification to call or email the prospect to progress the lead and when she does she ll have all the details of the initial inquiry available to ensure that she does a professional job Your CRM systems might also offer mobile access to ensure that road warriors as well as desk jockeys can use the most up to date information Additionally most systems will integrate with common email and calendar applications such as Outlook so that emails can be captured meetings synchronised etc Reporting The in built reporting engines of CRM systems give simple up to the minute reporting on all the activities being managed The business owner can see how much has been sold this month what s in the pipeline and at what stage in the process He can see which marketing campaigns have worked best which sales people have sold most how many complaints there have been and how many have been cleared All with the click of a mouse I realise that much of the above sounds like a sales pitch for CRM systems and speaking as a marketer I guess it is There s really no substitute for having a good handle on how your business works when it comes to interfacing with customers Where would you be without them I know some of you are using CRM systems already so if you think I ve missed anything please leave a comment and share Jim Hunt is a professional marketer with many years experience in building businesses large and small As a speaker trainer and practitioner he aims to explain marketing theory clearly and show how it can be applied in practice to deliver better results from your marketing investment You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter and Google Tweet track back URL add comment Comments I d also add accounting into the mix and how well they deal with online cloud access and security The giants dinosaurs such as Sage and Quickbooks are being kicked by the likes of Xero and Freeagent the last 2 being cloud only not desktop The cloud offerings are also partnering with a number of aps and add on providers

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/689532/the_purple_edge_introduction_to_crm_-_pa.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Do you get the customers you deserve?
    not interested Some customers will opt out others will grin and bear it and some will fight them all the way Excellent customer service may not be essential to success if you are Three or Ryanair but building a successful business competing on price alone is nigh on impossible for a small business To compete on price you need to be the lowest cost provider and as a small business you just don t have the economies of scale That means you need to offer a level of service that will attract the calibre of customer who appreciates what you are offering and is prepared to pay a fair price for the value you deliver Offer a lower grade of service and you will get the customers you deserve Sharon Wilding is a Chartered Marketer with many years experience in marketing for businesses large and small As a lecturer and a practioner she aims to help small businesses use theory in practical ways to improve performance You can connect with Sharon on Google LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter Tweet track back URL add comment Comments No comments so far why not be the first Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 4953 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21 27 I m just home from a day s training in the latest in digital marketing strategy and I m racked Mar 2015 One to One Personalised Marketing should be the norm for all businesses So why aren t more companies stepping up 20 Mar 2015 19 06 Personalised marketing campaigns driven by online

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/688604/do_you_get_the_customers_you_deserve_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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