Category : Marketing

M3 Publishing > Marketing
5Oct
Marketing challenges at the Marketing Challenge eventMarketing Challenges: Should You Think Differently About Pitching?

Marketing Challenges: Should You Think Differently About Pitching?

M3 Media Publishing’s recent Marketing Challenge event, held at The St James’s Club in Manchester City Centre, focused on storytelling as a prospecting tool.

Pitching to prospects, or even starting a conversation, can be an important part of your marketing strategy, and it should involve content.

 

The Marketing Challenges of Storytelling

What sort of introduction should you make when meeting potential prospects?

You might provide an answer that may just be a job title or role.  You may describe the nuts and bolts of what you do.  Instead, you should capture concisely how you help others.

 

The legacy of what you do is what counts. If you have substantially made a difference to a business, or saved or made them lots of money, that will immediately get your potential prospect’s attention

 

How does this translate into a narrative?

It’s like constructing a plot. How many films or books have you seen where they begin with something riveting and explosive? They might even begin with a climactic event, then work back to show you how this event has come to be.

In our recent Marketing Challenge event, we encouraged our guests to look again at how they communicate on a personal level, and how to leverage storytelling to help them become pitch perfect.

 

What Content Marketing Means

One of the marketing challenges is that people don’t always realise that certain aspects of their communication and interaction are marketing activities.

 

Content marketing is not restricted to words or images, or things posted online or put into print, as it can also be about the verbal delivery of content

 

This is one of the ways our Marketing Challenge events set out to challenge thinking: it’s about how marketing is integral to your business objectives.

It’s not simply to do with whether you choose to spend your budget on campaigns, or enlist specialist help.

 

You are marketing yourself whether you intend to or not, by the very act of communicating to others about your business

 

That means that it makes sense to make this marketing activity count.

What marketing challenges do you face?  Contact us to find out how we can help you think differently about addressing them.

Alternatively, to discover more about our Marketing Challenge events, or to book onto a future event, please click here.

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24Sep
business prospectingWhat is Challenging Your Business Prospecting Success?

What is Challenging Your Business Prospecting Success?

Business prospecting has certain things in common with a much older form of prospecting.

The California Gold Rush began in 1848, drawing approximately 300,000 people to what became a frantic scramble for gold.  For many of these prospectors, they relied on basic, labour-intensive techniques to extract gold from streams and riverbeds, such as panning.

Later, more advanced mining technology allowed people to recover the modern-day equivalent of billions of dollars of gold.  However, by the end of the Gold Rush, relatively few prospectors had significant riches to show for their efforts.

 

In business prospecting, competing for the attention of potential prospects, it can also feel a touch primitive, involving lots of energy for little return

 

What if there a was a way of striking a richer seam of reward, using more sophisticated methods to attract prospects?

This is what dynamic content marketing offers.

 

Is There an Alternative Route to Prospecting Success?

There’s a potentially valuable online business audience looking for answers, for guidance and for things that will make their lives easier.

How would you get their attention? How do you attract, engage and connect with these valuable business leads?

 

Like the original Gold Rush prospectors, do you run with the crowd? Are you attending the same networking events as everyone else, or looking for the same kind of contacts, the managers and decision-makers?

 

What if there was an alternative route to success, a different map to lead you to the richest seams for prospecting?  And what if you could use it to partially pre-qualify your prospects?

This is where using powerful content can make a difference.

Content marketing is the map to your gold seam. But there’s a twist.  You supply the map to your prospects, so that instead of you spending all your time looking for them, it brings them to YOU.

 

Will You Take the Marketing Challenge?

What’s the best way of discovering alternative routes for business prospecting, how to use content to attract your target audience, and how to help you build useful and potentially profitable relationships?

M3 Media Publishing’s regular, dynamic Marketing Challenge events, held at The St James’s Club in Central Manchester, answer these questions and more.

The Marketing Challenge event, on 3 October 2018, focuses on how you can avoid the competition when prospecting.  To attend this event, or to discover more about future events, please click below:

 

 

For an accompanying read about our previous events, please visit:

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3May
marketing connectionsM3 Media Publishing Event Addresses Your Marketing Challenges

M3 Media Publishing Event Addresses Your Marketing Challenges

While it’s true that marketing isn’t rocket science, it does require clarity and following a strategy to maximise results.

Most businesses engage in some form of marketing, but many don’t have a defined strategic approach, or understand properly why they should be marketing themselves in certain ways.

The concept behind our Marketing Challenge workshops is to get people thinking about broader aspects of marketing for the success of their businesses.  Our latest Marketing Challenge event was held at The St James’s Club in central Manchester.

 

The Effort Behind Marketing Success

In front of an invited audience of entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers and professionals, M3 Media Publishing’s CEO, David Lomas, gave a compelling talk about marketing strategy, content and the power of storytelling.

David talked about the importance of developing a marketing plan and why focusing first on the effort, before any expected results, was crucial.  He explained the value of content, when to use it, and how to use stories to attract, engage and connect with a target audience.

 

david lomas addressing audience

David Lomas addresses the audience

 

Going through M3 Media Publishing’s six-step strategy for content marketing, known as FACETS, David demonstrated how stories, told in the right way, and shaped for a specific target audience, can help pre-qualify prospects and, ultimately, attract new customers.

Taking on board lively feedback from the audience throughout, David illustrated the potency of storytelling as a marketing tool, and how to strip this down to its bare essence for maximum impact.

 

How Did You Do That?

David’s formula for storytelling success is a simple one: it is not about the detail, but rather the leagcy. It should encourage the listener to want to know more about you, and whether you can do for them what you did for others.

A key part of the workshop was to encourage attendees to develop stories of their own, share them, and improve them.

As David explained, people don’t buy from you without trust, and that stories and engaging content are an effective means of building that trust.

To discover more about the Marketing Challenge events, or to book onto the next event, please click here.

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30Nov
digital breadcrumbs and your customer corridorWhere Does Your Trail of Digital Breadcrumbs Lead?

Where Does Your Trail of Digital Breadcrumbs Lead?

We all leave digital breadcrumbs behind from our online activity. Some will resonate more than others.  But what if you could determine what was in the trail that you’re leaving, for your target audience to follow?

 

Digital Breadcrumbs and Your Customer Corridor

At our recent Business Connections event held in Manchester, we talked about customer corridors and how, by bringing your prospects towards you, using digital breadcrumbs, you can help them to build a picture of:

  • Who you are, and your behaviour
  • What you did, to successfully benefit a business
  • How you can help them, based on that success

 

This process also pre-qualifies the prospects that arrive at your door.

We think it’s different than a sale funnel because it’s a subtler process, while still routed in a strategy that is designed to generate business.

 

Imagine your customer corridor as an actual corridor. You’re at the end of it and your target audience is drawn along it, prompted by signs and other information about you – your digital breadcrumbs – that encourages them to move further along and deeper into your world

 

In the digital realm, the consumer is king, and people searching the internet like to feel that they are in control of the choices they make.

The process of attracting them subtly and gently, compared with other, more direct marketing activity, will enable them to achieve this.

Most of all, your activities must focus on your target audience, and on their pain points, interests and needs.

 

The Power of Publishing

If you’re going to publish content online – your digital breadcrumbs – that will bring your audience down your customer corridor, how best to do it?

Clearly, you can publish your own blog, and share it through social media channels, to help point people in the direction of your website.  But is this enough? It’s highly competitive out there and somehow you need your content to differentiate you.

What about the platform you choose? What if you could be featured as an expert in a well-respected online publication with a strong digital following?

This works in several powerful ways:

  • it provides you with a solid, third-party recommendation
  • it enhances your credibility, highlighting your expertise in your chosen field; and
  • it addresses your audience’s concerns first and foremost, while connecting your name with the issues they are interested in

 

The prospects you seek are looking for something. M3 Media Publishing’s sector-specific portfolio of digital magazines and distribution channels can help them find it, by you leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs and bringing them along your customer corridor, towards you.

Discover how, by contacting us.

 

For an accompanying read, please visit Have you Set out your Customer Corridor?

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23Oct
customer corridorHave you Set out your Customer Corridor?

Have you Set out your Customer Corridor?

Imagine a prospective customer walking down your ‘customer corridor’ to reach your office for your first meeting.

Your office is carefully positioned right at the far end of this potentially valuable customer corridor.

This is to ensure that you have some influence over them when they arrive. (Not dis-similar to how the supermarkets work – getting you to follow a carefully-planned route around their stores).

On the way along this customer corridor, your prospects are enticed to follow your route where they will pass by a selection of subtle images and messages about YOU.

 

Written and visual messages can highlight the advice you have been giving to your customers, in turn, letting your prospects know about the things that you understand about their business issues and their sector

 

Maybe along the way, your prospect pictures the ways that other businesses, just like his (or hers) have benefited from your help and guidance in the past.

By the time he gets to your office, how do you think he now may be feeling about meeting you?

This is pure ‘influencing‘ not selling.  And it works very effectively.  Even moreso, if these messages come from a third party – which is a subtle form of endorsement – creating a very powerful content strategy for your business.

We refer to this concept of attracting customers via content, the internet and social media as laying a trail of ‘digital breadcrumbs‘.

 

How Can a Corridor Improve my Sales Conversion?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How, after travelling along your carefully-designed corridor, may the picture of what you do, have improved in the mind of your prospect?
  2. As your prospect should now know much more about you, would he (or she) feel that he did this all by himself and did not feel coerced?
  3. How much better are your chances of now getting that sale?

 

The more we know about someone’s business and behaviour, the more confident we are – and more likely – to make a sales decision.

67% of the information prospects gain about you, is found by them, BEFORE they even make contact with you.

Discover how you can create, and stay in control of, what they find, by contacting us.

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26Dec
don't be afraid to shout about yourself using contentContent – Who is writing about you?

Content – Who is writing about you?

At this point in time, we should all know that content writing can either make us or break us, no matter what line of business we are in. We now live in a world of communication where content is what catches the attention of our audience and brings customers towards us.

I have found that the most effective content is that which not only engages the reader but tells them a little bit more about who we are and, in particular, how we behave.

It doesn’t always mean shouting out to the world how great we are but rather telling prospective customers what it is that we are passionate about and what we can offer them.

Yes, it has become a bit of a cliché to hear “Content Is King,” but the fact of the matter is, content really is the supreme being on your website or social media page. Content tells your prospective customers what it is you do, how you think, what your products are and most importantly, what you can do to benefit their personal lives or their businesses.

Having worked in content marketing for over 15 years now, numerous business owners have told me that they find it uncomfortable to write about themselves in a really positive way – I think that is a particularly British thing – that we don’t easily brag about our own achievements. Other business owners just don’t find the time to sit down to write and consequently, have been unable to use content very effectively.

The first thing I do is to tell them they are not alone. No one likes to go about bragging about their victories and of course, most business owners are so wrapped up in the day to day issues of their company that they don’t have their eye on the ball when it comes to content.

Content Marketing – Use an expert to engage your audience

I believe that most, if not all businesses could benefit by hiring professional writers to handle this task for them. In the first place, writers have no qualms about ‘bigging up’ your image because they are not ‘bragging’ about anything they have personally accomplished.

Secondly, some writers are expert at creating content that can ‘engage’ your audience.

Using engaging content to attract and bring your customer to your door is a path that I refer to as your ‘Customer Corridor’. It is the route that a reader takes through your content all the way to sales conversion.

A very good writer will understand how to guide a reader through written content by using a practice known as ‘thought sequencing’ – This is where the reader’s thoughts are influenced as they read your content and they are subsequently prompted to respond via a ‘call to action’.

These are all tools of the Internet marketing sector and something you shouldn’t feel bad about lacking. Connecting with customer is a job that requires a special brand of expertise, so I suggest you let someone else do it for you.

It’s so much more effective when someone else is talking about you and your business and that’s what good writers can do.

David Lomas

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25Nov
how do you build loyalty - create trustHow are you building Trust with your customers?

How are you building Trust with your customers?

Building and establishing trust with your customers is key to developing a good reputation and driving company success. There are a number of ways in which you can build trust with your customers, however in my opinion, simply being honest and open with them is the best and simplest policy.

Customers appreciate honesty – they want to know that they can rely on a company to deliver on their promises, especially when they are spending a lot of money on a product. Customers need to be assured that everything the company has told them about a product that they plan to buy, is accurate, without any misleading information.

Simply making sure that your customers are not misled in any way, such as through confusing advertising or misinformed staff members, can do wonders for your reputation.

When it comes to trust this will encourage your customers to keep coming back.

Not only that, but customers like to be able to rely on a company that will give them the help that they need, as and when they need it.  As a customer, I like to know that the organisations I do business with are willing to listen to my concerns and strive to ensure that I am satisfied.

Good standards of customer service are essential to building trust – customers are rarely likely to trust a company which is reluctant to provide them with good service. There is a good reason why successful companies make customer satisfaction a top priority – satisfied customers tend to be trusting customers, and a customer who trusts your company is much more likely to return more often and spend larger amounts of money than one who does not.

Building trust with your customers is also crucial for good word-of-mouth advertising – customers who trust you are more prone to having positive things to say to others about both you and your business.

David Lomas

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16Nov
International Trade on Metal Gears.M3 Media launch Export Experts Magazine

M3 Media launch Export Experts Magazine

M3 Media Publishing are delighted to have been asked to provide a digital export magazine as support for an exciting new Export Initiative being launched in the North West.

The Core Privilege Partnership will provide SME exporters and would-be exporters with a wide-range of support services from a group of experienced business partners in the region.

Digital Publishing experts M3 Media Publishing have been asked to create Export Experts Magazine through which The Core Privilege Partnership can communicate with businesses in the NW region that want to focus on exporting.

The initiative is the brainchild of export marketing expert John Holmes of Core Business Solutions.

John Holmes has over twenty years experience in project management, systems and business analysis and sales and marketing across a variety of business sectors, on a national and international basis.

Being highly skilled at budget planning & control, policy & procedure development and implementation, John has developed sales & marketing strategies for several global manufacturers and set up and managed distribution networks in over 70 countries.

John commented: “The move into overseas markets can represent an exciting phase in any company’s overall growth strategy and this new initiative can provide support for these businesses in key areas critical to their export success”.

How Core Privilege Partnership can help exporters

John explained: “The Core Privilege Partnership will supplement the great work already done by UKTI and will work closely with businesses that may benefit from our help”.

He added: “We have put together a great group of key export experts who individually can provide access to resources normally not available to many SME businesses. They will be well-positioned to hold the hand of the SME at the most crucial times during their export journey”.

One of the strategic members of the Core Privilege Partnership is Chris Houghton MD at Freedom Logistics, who explained his involvement. Chris said: “I have personally been involved in Export for some 35 years and I am committed to delivering customer satisfaction. At my company, Freedom Logistics we put the customer at the heart of everything we do”.

“As a part of Core Partnership, I will have the ability to offer an enhanced range of logistics solutions to businesses that are looking to develop their overseas sales”.

Chris concluded: “Freedom Logistics provides integrated, flexible international freight & logistical support solutions by sea, air and road to commercial customers in a range of industries from food & drink to digital networks. We have considerable experience in the export sector and look forward to providing our expertise to other businesses.

The launch of the initiative will start with the publication of their online Export Experts Magazine, presently being created by digital experts M3 Media Publishing.

For more information about Core Privilege Partnership, please contact Martin Byrne via: Martin@corebs.co.uk

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27Jan
content - who will see it?Writing Your Content – Who will see it?

Writing Your Content – Who will see it?

At M3 Media Publishing, we take care in writing content for our clients that will actually resonate with their customers, readers and web visitors.

Our journalists work closely with our clients to understand what issues and challenges they face, in order to attract their attention and engage with them.

However, after getting  the content right, if nobody gets to see your articles, all this work may have been done for nothing.

So who can we get to see your content?

Well, YOU can choose who sees your content, up to a point.

Where to publish your content is sometimes down to you.

Most businesses have blogs on their websites and this is the obvious first choice for publishing your own articles.

However, if we can get your content published in other places, then we open up many wider opportunities for others to see what we have said about you.

Linkedin can help you publish content.

LinkedIn gives us all a very valuable social platform to have our articles published – via Linkedin Pulse and via your own and other groups.

Having said that, getting group managers to publish your content is not always easy. We do spend time working with group managers trying to understand what content they want to publish.

The well-managed groups will usually only publish your content if it is industry specific and informative and I applaud them for that.

This is the sort of content that we should all want to write and, more importantly, it is the sort of content that others want to share out!

If you can find the right audience and create valuable content, others will help you share it with all their Linkedin connections.

Social Media is the key to reaching a bigger audience

Once we have created some engaging content about you and your business, we set up a programme of distribution using twitter.

With our established reputation within three main business sectors, HR & Recruitment, Property & Construction and the Business Expertise sectors, we already have a network of content distributors in each sector.

Check out our 3 magazines within our portfolio HR AspectsProperty AspectsBusiness Aspects

This gives us a massive advantage when working with our clients in each of these sectors, as we can use this extensive support network to help them reach a specifically targeted audience.

This is crucial to successful content marketing.

So distributing content can be quite daunting, but I hope this has helped.

For help with getting your message in front of your chosen target audience, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

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27Jan
article marketing can help drive visits to your websiteHow can articles generate business for you?

How can articles generate business for you?

Articles on their own, may not be enough to generate business for you.

The articles need to sit as part of the route that your prospective customer can choose to follow, that will eventually lead to your front door.

I refer to this route as the ‘customer corridor’ and your articles will work better when they form part of this route.

Very simply, you need to create a number of simple steps for your prospects to take to reach you.
If at each point, your prospect is given some idea that you can still be helpful to him, then the next step is for you to offer them another piece of valuable information.

Thus drawing the customer closer to you.

Think of this as if you were laying a trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow.

The final document should contain a little more ‘in-depth’ information for the reader, which follows the theme of your initial article. Thus retaining the focus of your prospective customer on whatever caught his attention in the first place.

This ‘teaser’ document, as I sometimes call it, should contain information that your reader really wants to see and it should ideally be placed within your website – and hidden from view.

This, critically, will then allow you to offer this information to your reader, in exchange for his email address.

Thereby completing the customers’ ‘route’ to your door and more importantly, providing you with a method of measuring and converting your reader into a partly-qualified prospect.

For help with writing articles that generate business, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

David Lomas

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