What can we learn from HMV’s and Jessop’s high street failure?

January 15, 2013

HMV’s antecedents go back to the 1890’s and Jessop’s 1935, but like Woolworth in the past, they have joined a list of Public names that have failed, putting many out of work and yet another nail in the high street coffin. But what went wrong?

Man with tablet PCI don’t think that’s too much of a secret. Change of market needs, change of customer purchase methods combined with the burden of high overheads. More interesting is why? Why do two successful, well-established and popular brands get in this position?

I think three reasons stand clear, head and shoulders above the rest. The deadly combination is Leadership that lacks vision, poor marketing and business development inertia.

And once the tipping point is reached and marketing advantage lost, as these two giants show, there is no return and no amount of public nostalgia about support helps. The only things that do, are sales and cash in the bank from customer’s buying.

In the UK, most of these death cries go unnoticed because of our 4.8M businesses, 4.6M or 96% of them are micro businesses employing 0-9 people.

So when it hits the fan, there’s hardly a blip on the news radar.

But make no mistake, business failures are regular, painful and common, which is why owners should wake up to the need to keep in touch and make marketing and business development a priority.

Know your customer’s needs and know what they want to buy would be my mantra. And it shouldn’t be an annual research activity but a continuous process embedded into business DNA.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Receive a FREE copy of my book, Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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FREE 40 minute Marketing session

January 7, 2013

Many small businesses and organisations, often as a consequence of day-to-day pressures on their time, have a stop/start approach to marketing.

This FREE 40 Minute marketing session will enable you to prioritise the key areas to work on and where to effectively dedicate your time.

Imagine how much more confident you would feel knowing that you had a marketing plan in place where you can measure the effectiveness of everything you are doing?

Delivered by a either a 40-minute video Skype, or meeting at my office, I will take you through the marketing essentials, to help you get right to the heart of what’s important when it comes to promoting your organisation.

Here is a short video to tell you more

Together we will explore and create a 5-point Action Plan that will help you:

Understand Customers’ Psyche – gaining powerful knowledge to build loyalty

Identify your ideal customer – so that you focus on the best opportunity

Make your business stand out – identify what makes it unique and special

Use the power of Social Media – to create manageable two-way dialogue with prospects, customers and advocates

Measure Marketing value – to find out what works best for you

At the end of the session you will have a personalised 5-point Action Plan to take forward and develop your business.

And if you need further support to achieve this, here are details of my Marketing support programme.

Does this sound interesting?

To book your session, call 07971 006 446 or email me.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.


Get a FREE copy of my book to review

October 29, 2012

My book, has just been published by Amazon; here is a very short video to tell you more.

For a limited period, I’m offering a complimentary copy, which you can download HERE.

What I am looking for are opinions and suggestions to develop the sequel; ‘Make your business HOT! 2’.

It’s less than an hour to read and you can easily dip in and dip out of it, so I do hope that you find it interesting and informative.

If you feel inclined, a review HERE, would be much appreciated and a real bonus for me.


Do you know where your Social Media Opportunity lies?

June 8, 2012

Social Media is a big new world of opportunity to explore, but where’s the best place to start the journey?

The statistics surrounding Social Media are mind boggling. However I consider this one to be the most telling, as recommendation has always been the most effective way to achieve sales….

“56% of consumers say that they are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a (facebook) fan”.  (Source Digital buzz).

This really highlights the power of Social Media and the crucial importance of getting behind it and embracing this new media.

Because it is new, it is often misunderstood and dismissed as a fad, which it isn’t.

Personally, I believe the three key aspects of Social Media to consider are that…

  1. It isn’t primarily about selling; it’s about creating a new type of dialogue, centred around freedom of expression that can then lead to customers buying from you
  2. It isn’t free. It requires time, effort and skill to navigate the journey and to develop and nurture an audience to effectively develop a relationship with them
  3. Despite the bad press in some quarters, it has an integral role to play with every business and organisation; from smallest to largest. Like the telephone, email, letter and meeting, it is a basic business tool!

These are also the three basic principles that FCG Consultancy’s SMO process is built around.

This is why it provides a quick, simple and cost effective way to identify how Social Media can be of benefit to you and how you can take advantage of what it has to offer, without creating a time or money soak.

So how does FCG’s SMO process work?

The goal is to quantify the impact, cost and return that Social Media could bring to your organisation.

This is achieved through a combination of questionnaires, interviews, workshop and desk research to create a ‘Snapshot’ of your business, from the perspective of owners, staff and selected customers.

We ask what it is they like about you, what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd and what you could do better.

We assess the resources open to you.

Then we combine this information with our marketing, communications, business development and social media knowledge, to identify for you a top level Social Media strategy that is both manageable and focussed on achieving the objectives identified through our consultations.

The result is a valuable 10 page white paper, specific to your business. This will help you to gain insights into how you can start and develop a Social Media dialogue to build customer loyalty that, in turn, will lead to increased sales.

Does that sound like a good plan?

For SME’s and charities, for orders placed before 1st July, the cost of this service starts at just ‘£295.

It comes with a 7 day money back guarantee. So you can be 100% confident that you will be getting the information you need to act upon or it won’t cost you a penny.

To place your order please contact Jonathan Wainwright by phone on 07971 006 446, or by email to jonathan@fcgconsultancy.co.uk

‘Terms and conditions apply, you can download a full proposal HERE.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

 


How can you reduce your Cost of Sales in these times of spiralling fuel prices?

April 23, 2012

It’s about using technology to help with better qualification of prospects and increasing ‘Added Value’ without appearing to be any less enthusiastic for the business.

Web Conferencing saves money and is more efficientGenerally speaking in a flat economy, Sales require more effort. You have to get past the traditional way of an initial meeting – coffee and taking notes, to understand the client’s requirement. You have to speed up the Sales process.

Why?

Because Sales have a longer purchasing cycle as many client organisations add extra layers to the purchasing process, involving more people in the decision. Added to this, many prefer to work with existing providers, but negotiate tougher deals.  So they combine a better deal with the knowledge that their provider has the track record to deliver.

All this adds up to a tougher and more demanding job for Sales people. They need to be resilient, more resourceful and appear more professional to win through in this environment.

So when margins are slim and the buying cycle more demanding and longer, just how can you reduce costs whilst adding value during the Sales process?

One way is to use the power of modern technology through Web conferencing. At a stroke this reduces travelling costs and the time associated with getting from A to B.

It also enable presentations to multiple buyers and influencers within the Sales chain in a manner that puts across the message in a professional way; creating a positive first impression because it can be specifically tailored to each prospect, qualifying them as part of the initial process.

The main Sales benefits of using web conferencing are:

–          Creates a live demo, targeted to meet the prospect’s needs

–          Has no associated travelling costs

–          Increases the efficiency of the qualification process

–          Engaging as it is very visual

–          Ideal approach to meet ‘Upselling’ and ‘Cross selling’ requirements

–          Flexible and more adaptable than a face to face presentation

Today’s web conferencing morphs a Sales call into a presentation into an engaging and professional communication. When you want to expand productivity, sell into new geographical territories and minimise Sales’ staff travelling time and expense, it can become one of the most powerful Sales tools available.

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Mentoring means different things to different people; what does it mean to you?

February 13, 2012

There’s no right way or wrong way to approach Mentoring, Coaching or Critical Friends – other than helping clients identify and achieve goals more efficiently. Or is there? How does this work for us all in the real world…….

To find out, please complete my brief survey.

Click Photo to take survey

I can think of many examples where Mentoring has been of great benefit to clients, particularly in the field of talent management.

Here are two. Entrepreneur magazine found that strong Mentor programmes helped small-business owners attract and retain employees and a Fortune 500 company was able to reduce the turnover rate of its employees, with fewer than three years experience, from 50 to 20 percent through investment in a Mentor programme.

So how does Mentoring impact on smaller organisations? That’s what I want to explore. For example, would you find it useful to have a Mentor to:

  • Bounce ideas off?
  • Help you identify the right direction for your organisation?
  • Keep you focussed on the key issues?
  • Provide a confidential sounding board?
  • Work ‘on’, rather than ‘in’ your business?
  • Encourage and motivate you in these stressful and challenging times?
  • Help you identify and achieve your business goals?

So, what’s important to you – what works and what doesn’t?

To find out, click HERE to complete my brief survey.

When you do, I will share the results with you through my report, ‘Mentoring in the East Anglia Business Community’ which will be published in the Spring.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Digital marketing adds an exciting new dimension to communications

January 10, 2012

Traditional marketing was all about the product, the 4 P’s; product, price, place and promotion. Digital marketing has radically changed this, as the marketing focus has now become far more customer centric.

The emphasis has moved towards creating ongoing two way dialogue. It’s about creating new ways to purchase too. A good example being the option to buy online and then collect at the store, the customer chooses what’s most convenient for them. And most powerful of all, a brand new dimension enabling customers to communicate directly with each other, which was impossible before social media.

For most Companies, this means re-thinking their marketing and customer communication strategy and those that don’t are unlikely to survive. The impact Digital has is becoming clear. Statistics are available to demonstrate that it isn’t a fad or fashion, it’s now main stream. Last month according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, internet, mail order and telephone sales lifted by 18.5%, when compared with December 2010.

That’s the strongest gain reported by the BRC monitor since December 2010 when non-food, non-store sales rose by 18%. And this has happened during a time of financial uncertainty, squeezed transport costs, job cuts, pay freezes and general high street trauma.

And as Smartphone sales grow, it will continue to gain importance as the digital age places more power in the consumer’s hands than ever before; via both landline and mobile. They have the ability to check prices, assess quality, check availability and understand what other users think, before any contact at all with the seller.

However, it isn’t all one-sided. There are considerable benefits for sellers too. They have the ability to forge stronger customer relationships than before – the Apple syndrome. They can gain new customers through pier group comment, gain valuable feedback for product development and achieve a lower cost per sale by combining high street and mail order distribution.

Inevitably Digital will impact upon every business or organisation. If you are assessing how to respond, then let me explain the relevant pressure points and how digital marketing can have the same positive impact on your business that high retailers enjoyed in December 2011.

Jonathan Wainwright

enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.