Digital Headway – Driving exceptional Sales & Marketing activity for Businesses and Consumers

Expertise in Technology-led Content Marketing, Website Optimisation & User Conversion, Brand Marketing and High-Quality Print Media


Leave a comment

Good Karma Breeds Good Karma

I’ve been ambushed, for want of a better word, by an upsurge of telemarketing companies selling their wares this week – maybe they chose the letter “L” off their database hence being the lucky recipient. In any event it triggered a thought about Karma.

It’s true that up to my late 30’s Karma only existed, in my mind, within a tenuous link to a curry dish until the penny dropped it was Korma! Anyway, I digress. Then I began to meet people who had a certain way about them, a positive aura, which would have an extraordinary effect on people who they didn’t necessarily know.

This well-being then began to influence the way I chose to apply to myself when talking and meeting people. Being myself and having a positive attitude. The Karma approach then began to influence in a more robust way to such an extent by just applying one thought – what value can I offer someone to make even the slightest positive difference? This value can come in all manner of guises. A simple thank you for a share, a download, a compliment on a piece of work, a photograph of someone – literally anything as long as it was relevant and, more often than not, a mix of business related and personal.

What has this done for me? Quite literally, over the last few years, made an impact far beyond any techniques you could learn in terms of selling yourself or your product or service.

It has generated long-term relationships, a network that engages in conversations with a trust and openness that is worth its weight in gold, with the add-on ability to engage without fear of rejection. Because representing yourself, and indeed others, can be a lonely journey at times. But if you apply the right attitude you can make such a difference to others and some, not all, remember and they eventually become clients as well as friends.

This, to me, is the true journey to success. This heady mix of trusted relationships and opportunities that make for a true definition of success. I might never lead Apple or Microsoft or whoever but I’ve led, after many a mistake, by an example that I believe makes a difference however slight.

So when you are networking and trying to raise your profile think away from the norm and look to make even the slightest of differences in a positive manner. Like the stone thrown into the middle of the lake – you’ll be surprised at the effect.

Have a good weekend ahead and thank you, as always, for reading.

Mike

stay-positive


Leave a comment

Hey, Buy my book! Hey, Buy my service!

It never ceases to amaze me the apparent never-ending battery of “Buy” messages you get on LinkedIn when you connect with someone. No initial exchange of the basic pleasantries just a straight this is what we do, can we arrange a call, here’s a book you can buy for $20 that will change your thinking ta da ta da ta da.

Now does this in any way make me sit up and respond in the affirmative? Your wild guess probably came up with NO.

Here’s another slightly left of field approach that also grates and is clearly on many a mind at the moment – Charity phone calls. These are the ones that call you “on behalf of ” a said charity, stress they are not looking for additional monthly donations, and then at the end of the call (yep, you guessed it) go for the “can we ask for a small increase….”.

Is it me or have so many individuals and companies completely sold their soul for a quick buck, yen, pound….

I’ve begun to make a list of every time I receive a call, email, message along these lines. After 3 days it runs to 28! Now, even in the days of cold-calling being the norm, getting 28 cold calls over a 3 day period was going some. So, where is this leading us?

Are we going to become restrictive as to who we are going to engage with based on a concern that we are going to be bombarded with a “BUY” battering ram? Or are we going to have to accept that this activity is so common place we need to apply the old adage “like water off a ducks back”.

What it’s done for me is offered  clarity as to who I want to be connect with, who I want to work with, what services I will use and even down to what charities I’ll donate to.

Some would argue that the odd book, where there are 130,000 views via the post in question, obviously holds some value – for me though it removes the pedigree of that person. Maybe I’m a cynic or naive and that maybe I should flash my company name across my posts, put links to the website etc. But really, with a post, I want you to get, even a gist, as to who I am and what drives me. Me as a person. Not as a book, a solution or a product.

Selling has always been a delicate balancing act. But the balance, for me, lies in selling yourself first above everything else. Because your client wants to feel comfortable with you first and foremost before signing on any dotted line.

On that note thank you, as always, for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Mike

For more information on Mike’s book…………..only joking.


Leave a comment

WARNING – “Must-Have” Digital Solution Approaching

“Management are often so concerned about digital that they latch on to any idea, no matter how inappropriate. They want quick-fix solutions that will somehow solve digital. That makes them vulnerable to any charlatan with a digital product to sell.”
Anonymous

We all find ourselves reading on a daily basis the current “must-have” within the digital arena that promises to revolutionise the way we engage with customers.

Marketing agencies are adept at selling these premium solutions. They portray these bolt-on advances as a must-have. But so many forget the old adage – one size does not necessarily fit all.

On my travels over the years I’ve come across a sad indictment of agencies who have deployed supposed solutions for clients with little or no return. By the time the client realises they have lost significant budget the horse has bolted – as has the agency in some cases.

Fortunately there is an increase in caution. Companies are realising that it is not beyond the spirit of engagement to ask for a period of testing to ensure that valuable budget is not wasted.

Whilst we hear that so many organisations are still climbing the educational hill when it comes to digital engagement what is essential is that this cautious note is applied on this journey.

There are some remarkable advances in technology that will surely change the way we all work and engage with each other. What we must not lose though is the ability to apply some sanity to the process of integration.

Baby steps will deliver far greater a return than taking great strides in the dark. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a current trend is a must-have. It may be a must-have from a marketing agency’s perspective, as a revenue generator, but it may not be from your perspective. If the agency is worth its salt they’ll be able to offer a period of testing, whatever the solution, to ensure you’re happy with the results.

We no longer need to work in the world of hit and hope – that’s the benefit of most new supposed golden bullets – they all come with a protective vest. You just need to remember to put it on before making those first steps.

Thank you, as always, for reading. Have a great day and forthcoming weekend.

Mike


Leave a comment

Where’s My Toolbox!

For me the one essential element when engaging with new and existing customers has been what I class as “The Toolbox”.

This, to me, is the most important part of any engagement program. It contains all the elements necessary to ensure you have the best shot at gaining new clients.

So what is in the toolbox? This is by no means a definitive list but here’s a starter for 10, in no particular order:

  • An agreed prospect list encompassing full contact details for each and every prospect – who?
  • A breakdown as to the reasoning behind targeting these prospects – why?
  • An abbreviated credentials piece highlighting the key elements to the product / service – what?
  • A reflected online micro-site highlighting the same elements for ease of reference and sharing
  • Agreed timeline for activity
  • Ongoing engagement / keep in touch program – breakdown of activity
  • Target ROI for each stage of the campaign
  • Access to ongoing good news stories to share with relevant prospects within ongoing dialogue

That’s 8 elements. There’s probably 30 if you really wanted to delve deeper but the point here is this – if I had a £1 when confronted with organisations that have only a few of these basic 8 I’d be writing this post in Barbados!

I’m always asking myself how difficult is it to put just these few together. It beggars belief then that companies still turn round to Business Development personnel asking why targets have not been met. You can only be as good as the information you have to hand.

One of the most successful campaigns I’ve ever run was within the house building sector. The company had some exceptional expertise so we put together a sector specific direct mail piece in the form of a showreel and distributed it to the top 100 companies within the sector. Now if you had done this without any prior knowledge of this expertise you would typically expect a conversion of 5%. This campaign generated an 80% conversion. All because we had gone to the trouble of putting together the most engaging of reasons to talk to us – our exceptional sector pedigree. This is how powerful focused campaigns can become.

It’s time for Business Development personnel, at all levels, to stand up and shout for this much-needed support. Because once you have the support required you’ll set the world alight and break any targets.

And when you wrap all the above up with all the intelligence you have at your disposal online there really is no excuse not to be engaging with exceptional ROI – to the benefit of all parties.

Thanks, as always, for reading and have a great day.

Mike