What’s The Difference Between Telemarketing And Telesales?

Both Telemarketing and Telesales are challenging roles and to succeed in them you have to be resilient and personable. I’ve already written about how we all hates ‘Sales calls’ (the collective term for both activities) – but in my opinion they play an important part in the marketing and sales cycle. But what’s the difference? As suggested in their name, both use the telephone as their main communication tool and this is backed up with emails and social media activity e.g. research on LinkedIn. There are similar types of calls made during both roles – from contacting ‘cold’ prospects through to managing existing clients with an already strong relationship. To a prospect there isn’t much difference between Telemarketing and Telesales, especially during the initial stages of a cold call i.e. simply trying to speak with the decision maker. But it’s the second part of the name where things change and the key difference is the overall objective of the two roles. Telemarketing The objective of a Telemarketer is to generate brand and product awareness, building a ‘leads’ momentum through the marketing cycle into the sales pipeline – their end goal is often to book a meeting, webinar or promote an …

Re-enforce Your Marketing Messages Using Email Signatures

If you’ve read my article on email marketing you’ll know how highly I rate emails as part of an integrated communication strategy. Well it’s not just a monthly e-shot that can add value – think how many emails you send a day at work…both to internal and external contacts. What an opportunity to re-enforce your event, new product or even your company weekend away – and that’s where your email signatures can come in. Here’s an example Alex Ashley-Roberts / Owner d: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx t: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx f: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx e: [email protected] w: www.simplydigitalmarketing.com You need a scalable solution With the support of your IT department it’s relatively straight forward to add a banner to everyone’s default email signature – but one isn’t enough as a single message clearly doesn’t fit all, so you need to be able to create multiple signatures and make it easy for people to use them. There is software available to reduce the admin – an example being eMailSignature. This gives the Marketing team some control and makes it easy for everyone to select the signature they want when sending an email, tailoring each message to the audience. This …

‘Idiot’ Employees Will Damage Your Brand

I’ll let you define what an ‘idiot employee’ is to you – but I’m talking about rude, obnoxious or lazy employees. This weekend I experienced both sides of the equation – on one side some outstanding service at Wagamamas and on the other, some unethical behavior at a well-known super market. Unfortunately it was the poor brand experience which stole the headline at the post weekend catch up at work…and that’s why I felt it was important to share. All employees represent your brand We’ve all experienced poor customer service and it annoys most of us – sometimes we complain directly, but even if we don’t, we always tell our friends! I can’t go into detail about the ‘well known supermarket’ as it involves someone close to me – but it was an ‘internal issue’ between an employee who was representing the organisation and my friend, so therefore (to me) was an indirect brand experience and that’s why I think it’s important to say… It’s not only customer facing employees who represent your brand. ALL employee’s actions have the potential to reach your customers or prospects – be it directly or in-directly. If an employee feels aggrieved by their organisation …

What Is Marketing Collateral?

Marketing collateral is simply an industry umbrella term used to cover all of your marketing materials & e-media assets e.g. brochures, whitepapers, videos, datasheets, case studies, testimonials etc. There are many types of collateral and each one adds its own value – this is fully discussed in our integrated marketing collateral article – but there are pieces of collateral which is used as the initial ‘bait’ to attract your audience and then material which is used to help progress prospects along the sales cycle. The types of collateral you use depends on your market – some subjects, products and audiences react better to videos, some respond positively to written material such as a whitepaper. Over time you should build up your collateral base so that you can use them to shape future campaigns. Having this collateral ‘treasure chest’ will allow you to be flexible and respond quickly to movements in the market.

Integrated Marketing Collateral

This article is written from the view point of generating sales; however the principle is the same for all communication which is designed to prompt an action. What is integrated marketing collateral? Most worthwhile sale cycles I know are quite lengthy, so prospects need to be ‘nurtured’ and a consistent and timely flow of marketing messages is the best way to do that. This not only means that you must have integrated communication lines e.g. TV ads, emails, online advertising, Social Media etc. but also integrated marketing collateral. The term integrated marketing collateral simply means that each piece of material complements the next and helps progress your prospects through to a sale. Working example If you were selling an ‘online software solution’, you may need to take someone from little to no awareness of your solution through understanding its value, to making a purchase. So this is specifically from a collateral point of view and not a look at communication lines i.e. how you distribute the collateral to reach your audience – that’s a different matter. 1. It may all start with the download of a whitepaper which helps someone understand the subject matter. At this point you may have …

A Marketing Manager’s Job is Never Done

This has a fair amount to do with personality, but also the progressive nature of the subject. In my experience even the best planners and calmest marketers are always busy – and I might add the best ones too! We don’t have time to relax because we’ll get over-taken! That said – and I’ve said this before – sometimes it’s important to make time to look around but that’s part of the job, so our work is constant. Personally I thrive in this environment, I enjoy positive change and love smashing through my ‘to do’ list. In my role multi-tasking is a must – I don’t buy the fact that ‘men can’t multitask’ but I do understand that some people are better at it than others! This is where priorities come in – they could be dictated to you by your boss, clients and team or it may be down to what makes the biggest impact and brings the greatest return. My tasks are driven by a mixture of all these, so I need to be flexible. My main fear is a drop in quality, over the years I have become good at striking a balance between speed and quality …

Marketing In Layman’s Terms‏

A statement that won’t be new to some of you, but I saw it posted on LinkedIn and it reminded me of when I started learning my Marketing trade, so I thought it was worth sharing. Here is a description of Marketing in layman’s terms: If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, “Circus is coming to Fairgrounds Sunday,” that’s Advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him through town, that’s a Promotion. If the elephant walks through the Mayor’s flower bed, that’s Publicity. If you can get the Mayor to laugh about it, that’s Public Relations. And, if you planned the whole thing, that’s Marketing! It’s as simple as that 🙂 Image used with permission from Microsoft.

Stats, Stats and More Stats!

I’m a stats man and I think marketers can get a bad name for being obsessed with impression rates, click through rates, open rates, cost per click etc. etc. – but we need these stats to build on and improve our marketing strategies. The key is staying focused on the overall objective and the stats which truly represent tangible results. One thing which was always drummed into me (and rightly so) was ROI, ROI, ROI!! Marketing spend can be high, campaigns cost money and we need to justify those costs with a return and what better way to do that than through statistics. That’s one of the reasons I love digital marketing – it’s so much easier to measure than say a direct mail piece. There are loads of statistics available and ‘the stats don’t lie’, but they can be ‘noisy’ making us lose focus on what’s really important and that’s profit and sustainable value. Email marketing is full of great stats so it’s a good example of where things can get heavy. Your objective in this case is engagement, you want the reader to take action! I think there are two levels of stats here, the first are the …

“Marketing b****cks” gives us a bad name

I can understand why some internal people look at marketing as a load of fluff. On the face of it we all talk about PPC, SEO, SEM, CTR’s, OR’s and ‘Nurturing’….so to someone who isn’t as passionate about marketing or has a different focus, it can seem like a load of rubbish. To a marketer though, it all makes perfect sense! As a marketer we need to be good at internal communication and relationship building – not always easy when we’re all trying to get things done – but none the less, it’s our responsibility to develop the marketing department’s internal brand. With this in mind it’s important to consider your audience when in a meeting or who’s within ear shot of casual office chat…as you know, brand perception can make or break people, departments, projects and businesses. Creating the wrong image can doom things to failure and although it’s as much others responsibility to be positive, you know how important it is to send the right message. I think it’s fair to say that too many acronyms get on people’s nerves, not everyone knows what they mean and it can alienate people and make us sound pompous. I’ve heard …

Even Sales People Hate Sales Calls! But…

Telemarketing/sales is an important part of most communication strategies – it can significantly progress the sales cycle if done well. The problem is, people are difficult to get hold of and can be reluctant to give you much of their time – no doubt something you understand, as most of us behave in the same way when we receive a sales call, closed and a bit abrupt! I’ve heard some funny stories about how people deal with them – some just go silent and see how long the sales person hangs on for…others put on a fake foreign accent, whilst others do the classic yo..u…’re b.r..eak…ing uuu.p – quite amusing really. So I think it’s fair to say you can waste your time as a sales person, just as much as we can all waste our own time taking an unwanted call. I probably get at least one sales call a day, some more interesting than others – I don’t always answer them…but I’ve found that by ignoring them they don’t actually go away…more on persistence later – I should have known better because I’ve always say that tenacity pays off! The more I work in Marketing and Sales the …

PR 101

As a (relatively) seasoned PR veteran, SDM invited me to share some of my thoughts on the PR industry. Given the audience, I thought the best place to start was with my thoughts on what Public Relations (PR) actually is. It was also a good opportunity for me to attempt to define what it is we do all day… While some people may disagree with me on this, I have always considered PR to be an extension of the marketing function. In the private sector at least, our aims are largely aligned – to ultimately support the sales of our company’s product or service. While public sector PR is a bit different, private sector PR is ultimately about selling. The only difference is the tactics we employ. In PR, our main weapon is advocacy. It is our aim to educate anyone who may influence our company’s success, be it a shareholder, a customer, potential customer, employee, analyst or a journalist. We therefore aim to deliver our influence via proxy, since, after all, endorsement of a product or service by a respected third-party is more credible than when a company says it themselves. Traditionally, the PR function spends the majority of …

Jack of all trades and master of none? You’re lacking focus…

Growing your business and acquiring new clients is difficult, so when an opportunity comes your way you don’t turn it down – do you? Hopefully you spend appropriate time and budget on marketing which generates interest for your business. The question is – is it the right interest? Are you generating leads which take you away from what you’re trying to achieve? Are you trying to satisfy everyone without mastering your market? Are the battles you’re choosing with your competitors the right ones? It’s easy to grasp every opportunity then take stock a year down the line and realise that you’re caught in no man’s land with out direction. OK – so who’s going to turn down an opportunity these days? And, what if that opportunity takes you somewhere that you didn’t realise you wanted to go? The answer is – no one really knows, all we do know is that saying Yes to everything will catch up with you eventually and is unlikely to result in purpose and satisfaction. Who’s got time to stop and consider every move? I don’t. In business you need to think on your feet and make quick decisions about an opening…but choosing the wrong …

What Is A Typical Email Unsubscribe Rate?

The industry norm is around 2% – I’ve always experienced between 0.5% and 2% depending on the age of the data and where I acquired it from. You will often find that the unsubscribe rate is higher for the first couple of emails you send to a new lists, but the percentage depends on how you acquired that list i.e. did you buy it or build it up yourself? Bought data often yields poor open, click, bounce and unsubscribe rates (even though people apparently opt in), so keep that in mind.  How do you reduce your unsubscribe rate? Most experts agree that you should make the unsubscribe link clear. Receiving lots of unwanted emails without a clear unsubscribe option frustrates people and can damage your brand and reputation. At the end of the day there’s little point in having people on your list who don’t want to be on there. That said, there are guidelines to follow to minimise your unsubscribe rate – here’s what I recommend you do: • Manage your data – Adding any old email address to your system will not only reduce your open rate, but will increase your unsubscribe rate! So keep your records up-to-date …

The Importance Of Timing

So you’ve segmented and targeted your markets and you’ve come up with the messages and communication strategy which will grab your audience’s attention and blow their socks off – but have you got your timing right? Is all of your hard work about to be missed? I think there are two main reasons for the poor timing of marketing communication: 1. How busy we all are Marketing is busy and when your campaign is set, it’s all too tempting to press the go button and move onto the next task before everything starts piling up. This especially rings true when you’re in a small marketing team and you wear a number of hats – the pressure is on to get things done! It’s important however to avoid the temptation to rush its release and take some time to consider your environments and what your audience might be up to – it can be the difference between a good campaign and a great campaign. That said, Marketing can be reactive – even the most experienced marketers and best planners can’t predict the future. Sometimes events happen which we must respond to and may result in a campaign needing to be planned, …

STOP! What Have You Missed?

The fact that you’re reading this, in my mind, already makes you a good marketer/business person – not because it’s my article, but because you’re taking the time to see what’s going on in the world. Market share is precious and you need to work hard to gain and hold your ground – the competition won’t think twice about taking customers away from you and vice versa, so you can’t afford to stop! Can you? The problem is, by putting your head down and ‘getting the job done’, opportunities can pass you by and things can be missed…I’m not saying don’t get stuck in – far from it – but working at full pelt, 100% of the time actually limits your potential – I’ve been there and a few hours at the appropriate point to check in with your objectives will make all the difference in the long term. Using your time wisely is the key – it’s the one element which is the same for us all. Are you spending it on the most valuable tasks? Do you REALLY know where you’re going? – even if you do, it’s worth checking in to make sure that it’s still the …

Clever Marketing Or An Irrelevant Shock Tactic?

I like to receive interesting marketing mail, good or bad – it’s great for my marketing wall and acts as a source of inspiration or a reminder of what to avoid. One of my colleagues brought me this latest piece with a look of queasiness on her face…”what do you think of this?!”, she said. As you can see from the photo, it’s a guy pulling teeth with a pair of pliers and attached is the extra shocker of a fake tooth in a bag! I’m immediately interested. The headline reads “One less source of pain!” – I like how the “source of pain” is in red, it adds to the gore. The ad itself is for disaster recovery software by STORAGECRAFT. I know from experience how hard it is to create that all-important emotional connection between a customer and a software solution – so although I have no experience in disaster recovery, I can only assume from this mail that it’s a painful task and that their software makes it easier?! Some people in our office liked it, some felt it was a step too far and would put the squeamish off reading it – personally I like it, …

Does Twitter Really Add Value? Or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?

WARNING: This may sound like a bit of a rant in places but there’s a point. I’ve been using Twitter full on for a couple of years now and I manage a handful of corporate and personal accounts. They’re not difficult to manage, but they can be time consuming and with so much to do, is that time well spent? I think Twitter adds the most value to people in the public eye – it helps bring them closer to their fans. But what about you or I – is it worth our time? I can use Facebook for my mates, or even send a quick text – so why would people I don’t know, or indeed know nothing about me be interested in what I have to say? Well apparently over 2000 people are… When I first started using Twitter, I have to admit I wanted 10’s of thousands of followers, that was important to me – it was a numbers game, but I quickly learnt that was pretty pointless. A heavy following is good for perception and in theory exposure, but only if people are following you because they are interested in what you have to say. Early …

Google’s Knowledge Graph – The Next Frontier In Search?

[video_frame] [iframe url=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/mmQl6VGvX-c” width=”572″ height=”312″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ marginheight=”0″] [/video_frame] So the Penguin update seems to have annoyed quite a few webmasters, but it’s the strides forward shown in this video which keep Google’s users happy and let’s face it, as long as Google is the web user’s number one choice, who cares about what the webmasters think (and I’m one of them!) – we just need to make sure we supply the great content… The knowledge graph looks like it’s going to add even more value to search results, connecting objects, people and places together. So we thought Social Media was a big network! It looks like the ‘web’ is going to get ‘spun’ a whole lot tighter and I for one am looking forward to seeing the results.

Email Isn’t Dead, Long Live Email!

I was asked the other day about the future of email and if I thought it has had its time…this was my summarised response. Email has been around for years and doesn’t look to be going away any time soon. Technology moves so fast and today’s idea is often tomorrow’s fad, but in my opinion email has a lot of legs left in it! Social Media has changed the way we communicate online, no doubt about that – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Skype mean that I don’t send emails to my friends anymore, so email may have lost some ‘social’ ground, but emails still dominate my work life. I get emails from colleagues, work partners and organisations promoting their services – and I do exactly the same. I would say that email marketing is the most prolific communication line I use at work. Does that make me old fashioned? I don’t think so – emails are quick, a great way to stay organised and can buy you thinking time. But more importantly from a marketers point of view, they have a big reach and you can measure their success! And in an age where return on investment is so …

Interview: Digital Marketing For Independent Retailers

When we were asked by Hayley Lingard – a final year student studying Fashion and Textiles Management at The Nottingham Trent University – for an interview to support her disitation on digital marketing for independant retailers, we were only to happy to help. This is how the interview went: 1. Can you give me a brief summary of your company, and the services that you offer? Simply Digital Marketing is an online resource which offers insights and free templates designed to simplify digital marketing. Our aim is to help students and professionals build their knowledge and do their jobs. At the moment our main focus is to pass on our insights and simplify digital marketing for everyone. 2. Why do you think digital marketing is so important for brands, companies and retailers? For me digital marketing is the current, modern digital communication and delivery arm of marketing. Digital Marketing gives a brand ‘dynamic reach’ i.e. an online ad or video can be sent down a range of integrated communication channels and if the message needs to be different per audience, that’s fine, it can be dynamically changed. All of the modern communication channels such as Social Media can enable the right campaigns to go ‘viral’. In the …