Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician
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Client Wins RHS Silver Medal

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June 18th 2010

Stefan Drew Associates client, Warwickshire College, have won a RHS Silver medal at the BBC Gardeners World event at the annual event held at the National Exhibition Centre.

Warwickshire College have been a SDA client several times and we have advised them on their marketing, trained members of their marketing team and mentored their senior staff.  Our most pleasuarable work however has been to work alongside their horticultural department, both at their Moreton Morrel and Pershore centres, where one of our roles has been to manage marketing and PR at major horticultural and gardening events.

We supported them when they won a Silver at Gardeners World as far back as 2000 when they prizewinning garden was featured on the BBC Gardeners World TV programme.  We were also there when they first went to Chelsea … our role included marketing, PR , lorry driving and tea making.  The result was prime time TV exposure for five days  as well as a RHS Gold Medal.

 

Last week we visited the Gardeners World Live event at the NEC and were delighted to see they had wonm yet another RHS Medal.

Garden Design Lecturer, Mike Roberts, desribes the garden as “a cross between a fitness garden and a relaxation garden, it has a section of climbing wall, gym equipment and soft flooring; a shady green relaxation area with a table and water feature and some healthy-eating salad crops.”

The students involved in building the garden are Barbara Astbury, Joanne Leigh, Shirley Myatt and Jenny Hanscomb who are all on a foundation degree garden design course at Warwickshire College.

 


Website Sin 8 ….. Not Collecting Your Website Visitors Email Addresses

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the eighth of these is………..

 

Not Collecting Your website Visitors Email Addresses

 

Your website can be your best marketing tool and grow your business ….or it can damage your business irreparably.  This article, number eight in a series of eight, examines one of the key website sins that you must avoid if your website is to be successful.

 

This is the most important rule of all.  You have worked hard to get someone to visit your site and they were interested enough to do so.  Isn’t it totally ludicrous that when they leave your site you probably don’t know who they were and how to contact them again. 

 

It needn’t be like that.  Offer them something in return for their email address and many will respond.  It might be as easy as signing up to your newsletter.  Whatever it is a proportion of visitors will provide their email address  …… and their permission to send them more information later.

 

This enables you to build a relationship with website visitors that can last for years. 

 

So what else might they sign up for? Well the favourite is a newsletter, White Paper or Information Product. For example many people sign up to my newsletter because I offer an information product or white paper on my Top Five Marketing Strategies. This is available in several versions depending on the market niche I am targeting. For example I offer my Top Five School Marketing Strategies which is similar to the standard Top Five Marketing Strategies but has been contextualised for people marketing private and public sector schools. There are also versions for other sectors and industries with specific advice relating to that particular niche.

 

Why choose these niches? Simple. Because I know that people in these niches are searching specifically for the information I'm providing ….. and I have some specific useful information on the sector and can help them.

 

We all have specific information to impart along these principles. For example a retailer of watches might provide tips on selecting different types of watches – it might be Selecting a watch for water sports enthusiasts or Selecting a watch as a fashion accessory. Likewise you will have expertise of your own that you can use to produce a product.

 

The main thing is that you offer something that people will value, and are prepared to exchange their email details for, as your objective is to harvest email addresses of people you can build a relationship with.

 

This simple technique is very low cost – you need a piece of simple software but the weekly software costs are about the same as a one cup of coffee a week in your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. The return you can get is enormous.

 

One of my current customers has signed six separate contracts with me over the last two years. They have been worth over £100,000 in income to my business; but came to me after having read my newsletter for 14 months. Need I say more ……..?

 

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with practical marketing tips that really work. 


Website Sin 7 ….. Not Integrating On-line and Off-line Marketing

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the seventh of these is

 

Not Integrating On-line and Off-line Marketing

 

Your website can be your best marketing tool and grow your business ….or it can damage your business irreparably.  This article, number seven in a series of eight, examines one of the key website sins that you must avoid if your website is to be successful.


Having an online marketing strategy is not enough on its own.  It needs to be integrated with the offline strategy.  If you are running a campaign offline, say an advertising campaign to promote your newsletter, then it should also appear online in a similar form.  Certainly the same images and copy should appear in both campaigns and they should work to reinforce one another.  What you don’t want are two separate campaigns with conflicting images and copy.  This will lead to confusion and confused people take the easy way out – in this case they do nothing and don’t subscribe.

Think of it this way. We know that message repetition is good at reinforcing the ideas we are trying to get people to remember and recall. Think of the nursery rhymes and songs you learnt as a child. you heard them over and over again and they are now part of your memory and almost impossible to erase. you may have learnt them years ago, and may not have thought of them since, but hear a few words or a few notes and you can recall the whole thing.

Well our messages need to work in a similar way. We need our prospects to see or hear our message several times if they are to remember them. If they see them in several formats it will help to reinforce the message and they will retain it longer. Remember those early songs and nursery rhymes; several people probably recited or sung them to you and this helped reinforce the message. So if a prospect sees the same message on-line and off-line it will help them recall your message.

 

So how do you do this? The easiest way is to ensure that you use the same straplines, logos, catch phrases, images and sounds in all campaigns. It isn't difficult, is likely to cost you less in design and production of artwork and will significantly improve your return on investment.

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with practical marketing tips that really work. 


Website Sin 6 ….. Not Having an Emarketing Strategy

 

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the sixth of these is

 

Not Having An Emarketing Strategy

 

Having a well-optimised site with lots of visitors should make it quite easy for a website to "sell" an offer, services or products. This is not the case.

Many sites have poor navigation and make the "purchase" process far to cumbersome to sell anything. By purchase I mean anything from signing up to a newsletter to actually buying a product online. In all cases the process and rules are the same.

 

If you "hide" the link to the action or sales page it will be hard to find and will not sell much. One site I looked at recently had a menu bar that used orange text on a red background. It was hard to see by those with good eyesight and impossible if the visitor were colour blind.

 

The message here is to ensure your site is easy to read and navigate with clear links and buttons.

Other strategies include ensuring that "calls to actions" like an email function, newsletter subscription or shopping carts are easy to use. There is an inevitable loss of "sales" every time another page is displayed during the sales process. Therefore keep the number of pages to a minimum and make the process as easy as possible.

 

You can check to see where you have "leakage" in the process by using Google Analytics, or similar, to check bounce rates and more importantly where the visitor goes next. It is then possible to devise a tactic to "plug" the gap.

 

Having got your website working you also need to ask how visitors will find your site. Being on Page One of Google will help. If you can't do this via the natural or organic listings consider using Google Adwords, advertising on other sites or ensuring you have links from other sites as a first step.

 

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with pratical marketing tips that really work. 

 

 


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