Letter from Marketing No 1.

Posted by Chris on June 22nd, 2011

Dear Managing Director/C.E.O./Owner/Proprietor/Boss,

The way that people seek information and buy is changing rapidly, dramatically and forever.

You have probably changed the way that you buy some things – using Google to search for things, holiday booking sites for great deals and price comparison sites to compare prices. If you have young people in your family or know them you will see them using Google for the answer to nearly everything !

This change puts the power in the hands of the searcher and buyer. They will seek information on your products and services when they want to. They will to some extent ignore your ” Interrupt driven ” efforts to make them think about you, your products and services ( Mailshots, emailshots, telemarketing, advertising etc. etc. ) in the same way that you may ignore people trying to sell you things in this way. Although you still may catch them at the right time or with the right offer.

Of course the fact is that we are part way through this process and so some of the older ways are still valid now and will be for some time.

This change in the way information is gathered and products and services are purchased has been facilitated by the appearance and development of the Internet.

Of course, at present, some people use  the Internet a lot and some people not so much. You might use the Internet for email but may not be on Facebook or Twitter.

If we look at the graph above we can see a number of things:

1. That business to business marketers ( B2B ) have a range of options to get the attention of their target customers. 4 of them are Internet related ( social media, virtual events/webinars, search engine optimisation ( SEO ) of websites, paid search advertising ( PPC ). 1 can be Internet and/or traditional media related –  Public Relations. The rest are ” physical ” – phone calling, mail shotting ( N.B. email shotting is Internet related ) , attending a tradeshow or advertising in physical media e.g. a paper or magazine.

2. That 6 of them are outbound or ” PUSH ” marketing and 3 of them are inbound or ” PULL ” marketing. ( Although I think that paid search and Internet PR can also be regarded as ” PULL ” marketing in some ways. )

3.  That marketers themselves expect to put more time and money into the first three to five than the last four.

You probably know quite a lot about the last four ( although each of these needs to be done well to be effective at all ).

You probably need to know more about the first 5 ( plus email shotting ?? ).

Subsequent ” Letters from Marketing ” will help you to work out where you are in terms of your preparedness and ability with these 5/6 and also how you can develop these areas.






S.M.B. Products and Solutions at UC Expo 2011

Posted by Chris on February 25th, 2011

If you are going to UC Expo 2011 and looking for SMB products and solutions then I recommend that you visit the Cisco Stand ( Stand 504 ) and also visit the Small Business Communications Theatre


to hear presentations from Andy Brocklehurst


of Cisco and also Clare Jenkins of FutureLine


FutureLine is a Hosted Voice system being provided in conjunction with Cisco. Andy says:

“We are seeing an increasing demand for managed and hosted solutions in the voice space and this is especially the case for smaller businesses with less than 20 employees. FutureLine have a refreshingly new approach by addressing the key fundamentals of quality, security and ease of use and deployment. This is all underpinned by partnering with Cisco who fully understand how to manage different media provided by the various consumption models.”

Andy Brocklehurst
RSM Cisco Small Business

Cisco’s theme for the SMB products and solutions aspect of the UC Expo stand will be that Cisco SMB products can be purchased for less than the price of a cup of coffee and that Cisco’s 0% financing goes a long way toward achieving this.

There will be some exciting new Cisco product launches and appearances at UC Expo 2011 including the new UC 320 SMB telephony system.

Visitors to the Cisco stand will be offered the chance to win a fabulous coffee making machine.

The New Media Marketing Whirlpool

Posted by Chris on December 9th, 2009

I am always searching for ways to describe how new media marketing works to the business people that I talk to.

My latest thought was that you could describe it’s implementation as a sort of whirlpool effect where your potential customers are out on the calm sea and you want to catch thier attention at  the outer influence of the whirlpool and then draw them gently in and then steadily down towards you – the supplier of products, services or information.

One of the main features of this type of marketing is that it is about ” Pull Marketing ” and not ” Push Marketing “. You are drawing potential clients very gently into the whirlpool and not pushing them in !!

We live in an increasingly self service world: We like to be in charge of who we buy from and deal with and we don’t much like things being pushed at us or people being pushy.

The numbers of people using the Internet to find what they want are increasing all the time. The types of things that they search for are growing all the time.

The old ways of marketing are not necessarily dead but they are suffering from a terminal disease.

Traditional ( Push ) marketing is still happening – advertising, PR, mailshots, telemarketing – it’s all still going on and it’s all still effective to some extent but more and more and every day Internet and Word of Mouth Marketing ( accelerated by the Internet ) are rising to the ascendancy.

I also think that in catching peoples attention at the periphery of the new media whirlpool you think more about people’s problems, needs, desires, objectives and questions and you lead them gently to solutions, fulfillment, destinations and answers. There is tremendous subtlety, patience, intelligence, kindness and humour in this new media whirlpool approach. Generally speaking the ladies are good at it because they often have these traits in spades. It is natural for them to deal with people in that way.

Thinking about the old Features, Advantages, Benefits sales approach you are again thinking about the potential benefits and advantages to people rather than hitting them with almost meaningless features.

You certainly need to have thought through what your core offerings are and who your target markets are. However then, you need to think laterally about what people might be thinking about or searching the Internet for and what might strike a chord with your target market. Definately you need to put yourself in the mind of the person who might be your client.

So, the way that you might attract people at the very edges of your whirlpool might be by posting a video on YouTube. Maybe something funny or shocking or maybe something informative. You might also post thoughts and useful information in  your blog. You might post a Press Release on an Internet Press Release site. ( By the way all the time that you are doing these things you have at the back of your mind the key words and phrases that your target market will be using to find someone like you ). You post things on Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter and again some are funny, some light hearted, some are informative and some are serious. Of course you still try to get into various publications and press ( many of these have online variants now ).  You list on relevant directories. You publish white papers ( as you did before ). You make your products and services clear ( as you did before ). You maintain a clear and consistent brand ( as you did before ).

Floating out at the edges of the whirlpool each of things are having thier own effect in terms of attracting peoples attention and drawing them closer to you. The YouTube video gets it’s own YouTube audience but also signposts the way back to you or your company. The blogs, PR’s, Social Networks etc all do the same.

Each of these things link back to your main website and to your email, phone number, fax number and ultimately to you.

Literally as people come within the sphere of your whirlpool the current gets steadier and stronger. Not in an unpleasant or imposing way but in a friendly and helpful way.

By the time they meet you they know quite a bit about you. They know what you believe, what you stand for and what you believe. They have, to some extent, a relationship with you.  They may even have exchanged Facebook messages with you briefly before they have spoken to you.

Then we consider that when there was only Traditional Sales and Marketing we always did our best to empathise with our potential clients – to make our advertising relevant; to make our telemarketing about creating a relationship; to tailor our mailshots and letters to our target audience; to have our salespeople ask questions and listen.

It always was and is about walking in thier shoes and understanding how they they think and feel and what they are likely to want and need. It is just that now we have this amazing thing called the Internet to communicate with our potential customers in words, pictures and videos.

Copyright © 2007 M & A Rainmaker. All rights reserved.