Why your organization should enter Business Award Competitions – 6 steps to consider

Why your organization should enter Business Award Competitions – 6 steps to consider

Business Award Competitions should become a serious part of your organizations overall marketing mix. As well as providing invaluable publicity, business awards can help lend credibility to your prospects, clients and give a sense of pride and motivation to your staff.

According to Ed Reeves, co-founder of Moneypenney, business award competitions “go a long way to promoting a business. An award win, or even a nomination, can act as a third-party endorsement for the business and a confirmed seal of quality which can reassure clients that they are, in fact, working with the best of the best.”

Your marketing and business development departments should treat business award competitions with the respect and resources they deserve:

1. Which Business Award Competitions should your organization enter?

Only enter award competitions that are appropriate to your organization and/or solution. Stick to genuine awards and don’t be lured by the multitude of new ‘fake’ awards which can be purchased, other organizations and peers can see through these instantly. A Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, Industry Body and or Channel Partner award is usually a good place to start.

2. Is your product/solution ready?

Decide internally if your solution is ready to enter the awards, should you sit out this year and enter the following year when your solution is more refined, developed and has a great customer success story to back it up?

3. Resources

Devote the resources and skilled staff to fill out the awards application form with as much detail as possible on why your solution should not alone be nominated but could also be a worthy winner. Where possible list customer success examples.

4. Publicity and PR

Make sure your marketing team fully exploits the PR opportunities presented. Remember that these business award competitions will help your organization gain additional publicity from the marketing efforts of the award show organizers, fellow competitors and industry peers. Even if you do not win, the fact your organization was nominated and promoted will stand to the organization for years to come. Make sure to develop an awards page on your website to list all the awards you have won or been nominated for.

5. Benchmarking

According to Small Business BC awards are often built upon best practice and industry standards. By measuring your business against the awards criteria and comparing against your competitors’ solutions, you will be able to assess where your product/solution stands in the marketplace.

6. Awards Ceremony

Awards ceremonies usually take place around evening dinners and social events, make sure to attend where possible as they present wonderful networking opportunities to mingle with industry peers. You could also use the opportunity to bring staff as a reward for their hard work and commitment.

If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization enter and win business awards that are appropriate to your industry contact us today.

4 Tips on How to turn Social Media Likes into Sales

4 Tips on How to turn Social Media Likes into Sales

We often hear organizations say something along these lines, “we are getting so many social media likes, shares and comments but we are not seeing an increase in qualified leads or sales”. The problem here is that organizations are only doing half the job, i.e. they have the first part completed by setting up social media accounts and providing great content. The problem is that when many organizations reach this stage they just sit back and wait for the sales to roll in.
Unfortunately, this is not how it works in real life, social media accounts need to be constantly worked and require a lot of time and effort to reap the rewards. Here are 4 quick tips that will help turn your social media likes into sales:

1. Engage with your social media likes audience

Thank people for liking your posts, ask them what aspects they liked and is there anything else they would like to see. Offer to setup a call or start an email conversation off the social media platform to further discuss the prospects needs and wants and how you can provide a solution for same.

2. Capture prospects details now for later conversion

According to Socialmediaexaminer.com the social media ‘liker’ may not be ready to purchase just yet, however, your organization now has an opportunity to capture their details and encourage them to sign up for your company newsletter, future promotions, case studies, etc.. As some social media leads enter the sales funnel at a very early stage you will need to develop targeted campaigns with further content that will help drive the decision making process.

3. Make buying easy

It’s most important to make buying super easy for your social media audience. Make sure that website links on your social media accounts bring the prospect directly to the purchasing page and not just your generic home page where they will have to further search for themselves. Some social media platforms will allow you to create a purchasing tab from within the platform.

4. Customer service

It is critical that you are highly responsive in a timely manner to questions and comments posted to your social media accounts. Ask satisfied customers to provide a 5 star review and be courteous and polite at all times as one bad interaction may have lasting effects.

If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization turn social media likes into sales contact us today.

Customer Prospecting, ugh, do I have to?…………..

Customer Prospecting, ugh, do I have to?…………..

The simple and easy answer is no you don’t need to do new customer prospecting. However, for those of us who would still like to have a business this time next year, the irrevocable answer is yes!
Customer prospecting is key to sustaining, growing and making a success of your business, whether you are a start up or more mature organization. According to Continuity Programs, customer prospecting delivers the following benefits:

• Higher Sales

This one is a bit of a no brainer and most likely the number one reason that any organization creates and executes a customer prospecting program. Gaining more sales will increase revenue and ultimately should lead to greater profitability if managed correctly.

• Customer Prospecting can lead to Decreased Costs

Very often organizations can become so focused on advertising as the key means to generate new business that they forget or overlook other lead generation opportunities. Having targeted customer prospecting campaigns can often be delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and deliver a better yield.

• Customization

Highly targeted prospecting campaigns allow you to customize your message to your intended audience, focusing on a need or solution that is highly relevant to them. Use customer success stories to back up your product or solution.

So now that you are hopefully convinced to start a customer prospecting campaign, here are some steps that Geoffrey James, contributing editor with Inc.com recommends you take:

1. Get a Decent List of Prospects

You can make up a great prospecting list from referrals, web site enquiries and networking (both online e.g. LinkedIn User Groups and offline e.g. Business Associations and Trade Fairs). You could also purchase a prospecting list that is focused on your target customers or industry niche.

2. Create a Qualifying Script

Define a conversational way to ask during the initial conversation if (a) the prospect has a need for your solution (b) the budget to purchase same and (c) the authority within their organization to do so.

3. Set Reasonable Goals for a successful Customer Prospecting outcome.

Set a target for how many prospects in your pipeline that you will need. For example, if you would like to achieve 5 new sales every week and you know from experience that you generate 1 sale from every 50 or so calls, you will need to make approximately 250 new calls every week.

4. Get into a Positive Mental state.

I cannot over emphasize the importance of this one. You will need a positive balanced approach. No one like to do business with a ‘Debbie Downer’, likewise this is hopefully going to be a business transaction, you do not have to try and be the prospects new BFF within the first 5 minutes of the call. Throughout the call be positive, optimistic and stay focused on what the prospects needs are.

5. Make The Call!

Work from a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Always listen to what the prospect is saying and be aware of signs or indications where the prospect is letting you know they are ready to purchase right now “we’ve been looking to buy something like this”, “I was going to contact your firm about this”, “yes, we definitely need to talk”. These are key indicators that can help you move straight to the close of sale.

If you would like to know more about how RML Marketing and Business Development Solutions can help your organization develop successful customer prospecting campaigns contact us today.

5 Steps to help Measure your Digital Marketing Performance

5 Steps to help Measure your Digital Marketing Performance

Digital marketing performance is a measure of how your digital marketing campaigns and efforts are performing and what ROI (return on investment) your organization is achieving.
Digital marketing is defined as the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, electronic display advertising, and any other digital medium.
Digital marketing can be seen as a combination of electronic and web based techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, social media marketing, direct e-mail marketing and display advertising.
Your marketing department is increasingly being asked what the return on investment (ROI) is from their digital marketing campaigns. How do you report that the digital marketing campaign is working and what the ROI is?

Your marketing department is increasingly being asked what the return on investment (ROI) is from their digital marketing campaigns. How do you report that the digital marketing campaign is working and what the ROI is?
To understand what the ROI is, you will need to understand what the goals or aims of your organization are, what you wish to achieve from a digital marketing campaign and how to measure these goals. For this we need to look at the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the goals for each one.

According to Digital Doughnut here are 5 types of KPI’s to help measure your Digital Marketing performance:

1. General Digital Marketing Performance

Track website traffic, incoming leads, social media reach, etc. Have they increased? Has sales revenue increased? What is the ROI ratio? Have you achieved the much sought after 5:1 to 10:1 ratios, i.e. for every $1 spent on marketing have you achieved a sales income of between $5 and $10?

2. Channel Based Performance

Measure all channels you use including website, blog, social networks, search engines. Is your channel community growing and engaging with your content (like, sharing, commenting, etc.)?

3. Source Based Performance

Where does your audience and enquiries come from? Direct traffic, organic search, referrals, email, pay per click (PPC), other SEM….

4. Campaign Based Performance

How have your targeted campaigns worked? Has there been an increase in lead generation, measure of click through rates, conversion rates and ultimately new sales.

5. Setting Realistic and Measurable Goals

Make sure that your goals are realistic and can be tracked. Realistic measurements include incoming enquiry/lead increase, cost per lead, social visits and shares, lead conversion rate and increase in sales.

If you would like help with measuring your organizations Digital Marketing Performance contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today.

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