I often get emails from prospective clients who have decided that they want to put in place a couple of marketing activities as they feel either they are missing a trick or that someone they know is doing them and want to do them to. I received one such email last week and I thought it would be beneficial to readers of this blog if I let you see the answer I gave them (the name of the original enquirer has been amended).
The original email asked:
Do you have a price list for these services please:
- creating email marketing templates where we can show the customers in our database our new products, and can maybe edit the templates ourselves (but a quote for a managed service would be useful – we don’t expect we’d be able to stretch to that so plan A would be to manage it ourselves once a marketing firm has set us up)
- copywriting to improve our website
- social media: a bit of help to establish whether we need to use social media to help increase our reach. We aren’t sure that this is necessary really but would like a view. If it was needed, does your company maintain the twitter etc for us?
My reply said:
I do not have a prescriptive price list as the need of each client is unique but I will give you the best estimate of cost as I can from the information you have provided.
- Email marketing – I recommend a few off-the-shelf systems to clients, rather than creating bespoke templates from scratch. These systems have multiple templates and the ability to measure the effectiveness of each newsletter that is sent out. The cost for these start at around the $15 mark (they are all American, hence the dollar cost) with the cost increasing depending on the number of emails issued or people sent to, depending on the system chosen.
- Web copywriting – as a rule of thumb, I amend and optimise 2 pages per hour, if the copy needs to be written from scratch the time to do this depends on how much research is required to obtain the information to use. If you employ me on a project-basis then my fee is £70 per hour + VAT, but in order to have a more accurate cost for this a discussion needs to be had between us to determine how your website is optimised, whether you have keywords that you are already using on the site, etc. It is not as clear cut as giving a cost and that being that at this stage.
- Social media – a discussion needs to be had to determine which social media platforms best suit your needs, if any. I can, and have, managed clients’ social media accounts for them but my advice is for the client to do this for themselves. After all, the name is ‘social’ for a reason and there is no-one better placed to portray what is going on with your company and respond quickly, than someone who works, lives and breathes the business and this is not usually the person you outsource your marketing to. Without knowing more about what you need from a social media perspective it is not possible to give you a cost on this as it is likely to be way off beam at this stage.
It is important at this early stage of our connection to say that I do not work with clients without having a marketing strategy in place. The reason for this is simple – in order to maximise the results from any marketing activity, every activity must work in conjunction with each other as no marketing activity will be effective in isolation. For example, if you have a Twitter account, you need to have a website to direct the traffic to that Twitter generates. The website needs to have the ability to feature your tweets and for web visitors to post your web content back on to Twitter so their followers can see it. If you have a website it needs to be optimised so that the search engines can find it and index the different information you have on it. If you send an e-newsletter out you need copy on your web site that can be linked to from the e-newsletter so your website needs to have the ability to easily have new copy and pages added to accommodate these links. Every marketing activity needs to be connected to others to maximise the results achieved. Most importantly … your marketing activity needs to be aligned with your business objectives to make sure it is generating the results and that the business needs.
Having a marketing strategy tailored to ABC Enquiry Ltd is the equivalent of firing shots from a rifle aimed directly at your target audience as opposed to no marketing strategy with activities happening in isolation being akin to firing shots in the dark at random audiences. By having a marketing strategy (and the resultant monthly activity plan) you will ultimately maximise the investment you make in your marketing.
I suggest that there are two options open to you:
- My fee for a bespoke strategy and activity plan is £750 which includes a half day workshop where I work with you to discuss what you want your business to achieve and the marketing activities that will help achieve your business objectives. This workshop includes a basic competitor analysis to see how Oasis Products is different, creation of a sales funnel, determining your key messages and profiles for your target audience – all are elements that help make your business stronger in the longer term. A marketing strategy and monthly activity plan are then developed for either you to implement or for me to put into action on your behalf.
- I understand why you want to concentrate on a few marketing activities, your email hinted at money constraints (don’t we all have these?), and I appreciate that you will likely want to do the marketing legwork in-house. However, I strongly advise that at the very least you book a half-day workshop with me (£250) to determine what you need to do to get ABC Enquiry Ltd to where you want it to be. I will then give you a blank marketing strategy and monthly activity plan for you to fill in and implement yourself. I guarantee that following this path will bring greater results than just a few marketing activities happening in isolation.
My final point was to ask that this lady got in touch if she wanted to discuss anything further. She has not yet been in contact and my guess is that she won’t be as she is quite happy with just doing the 3 marketing activities that she asked about and does not see that there is a benefit of investing in a marketing strategy. I may be completely wrong and the phone may ring as soon as I have published this post, but as a general rule, small businesses (especially the very small or sole traders) just want to do a few activities, don’t think they need to coordinate their actions or need to think about where the activities are taking their business and are happy with no strategic input. What do you think?
A lot of business people I come into contact with see marketing purely as an expense that they want to spend the least amount of money on as possible – this applies to people who work in large companies as well as those at the micro end. I can totally relate to this, as no-one likes spending more than they think they ought to, but I know from my 20+ years of marketing experience that doing a few marketing activities in isolation to each other with no clear awareness of whether they will get you nearer or further away from where you want the business to be will cost more in the long-term.