Monday, 21 June 2010

The one that got away...

Occasionally you get a chance to quote for a project that you would really love to work on. You meet the client - who seems impressed with your knowledge and insight, and you know you have the right credentials and experience. So you put together a quote and send it to the client (who turn down your offer to meet to go through it).. and you hear nothing. You follow the quote up with a phone call and leave a message on voicemail - you send a follow up e-mail - still nothing - then you call again and leave another message - this time with a real person. Eventually three weeks after sending the quote, you phone again and get to speak to your contact and they say 'oh I've not really had a chance to look at the quote.'. You then ask a few further questions and it turns out that they have looked at your quote but seemed to have dismissed it out of hand because it was too expensive.

I know that we offer really good value to our clients and I always ask if they have a budget in mind. Having an idea of how much money a client is hoping to spend really helps - not because we will 'fit the costs to the budget' but that we will put together the best possible solution within the budget. Sometimes, just sometimes we can't deliver what the client needs within the budget we have - and if this the case we are upfront enough to tell them this and often make alternative recommendations to make the most of the budget that is available.

I would love to have worked with this client, I know we could have done a fantastic job.

If you are a client - do be clear about how you are going to judge the quotes you request - is it all about price? Account management? Flexibility? Turnaround times?. Perhaps even provide a written brief (just a few lines) - so all of us can put forward our thoughts with a clear understanding of your priorities.

I am not going to give up on this particular client.. not yet. I'll update you all if anything changes.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

How would you decide?

At a networking event recently I asked a group of small business owners 'How do you make a decision about getting marketing support and how do you find the right person/company?'.
The answers are below and are in the order that responses were given.
1) If we had a new product or service
2) I would only work with someone I like and trust
3) I would want figures on the anticipated ROI from the outset
4) I'd need a set of deliverables to make me commit
5) I'd need evidence of the effectiveness
6) I'd like to work with someone I know and with experience of my sector
7) I would like to know what percentage my sales would increase by
8) I would like to be offered an initial consultation before committing
9) I would only recruit help if I felt we couldn't do it in house
10) I would need to have a specific problem that needed solving
11) I would outside help if I'd built it into the initial budget - the agreement would have to include some form of commission rather than just a fee
12) Marketing doesn't feel like an exact science which makes me wary of it
13) I'd want to look for a results orientated campaign
14) Personality is key
15) I'd need to see that there were some shared objectives - so success is important to both
16) I'd like to see a 'step by step process' laid out so I know what I am going to get
17) I'd want to work with someone who puts more value on us than they do on themselves
18) I only work with people who are persistent
19) It works best for me if they ask to be given a chance initially on a small project.

So there you have it!

if you want to talk about your marketing - do get in touch

Putting your money where your mouth is

As a small marketing agency (Frank! Communication Solutions) we do occasionally get asked whether we will get involved in projects that do not have a budget . Some people are up front about it - they say 'We are a start up, we have a fantastic product but we need your insight and experience to help sell that product'. Others say 'Well if you are as good as you say you are will you work on a commission basis...'.
Of the two attitudes I may well spend a bit of time with the former - but am very unlikely to spend time with the latter. Not because I don't have every confidence that we can help both organisation 'shift more stuff'. More because the former believe that we have a value and an expertise and the latter believe that we don't.
There are of course a number of organisations that I am more than happy to help, in any way I can (apologies to David Beckham) and this is why Frank! is a member of the Business Community Partnership who "match voluntary and community groups with companies that want to support their work by sharing expertise, ideas and resources." The organisations you help understand the need for your expertise and value your input accordingly.
If you want advice and suggestions about your marketing then please do contact us, we'd be happy to talk about how well executed and targeted marketing could help your business - and after that you can decide whether our services are something you are prepared to pay for.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Brian Shields

I am really chuffed that we have been selected by Brian Shields to work with him on developing his website. Brian is an artist who produces simply amazing work. He lives locally and is the type of guy you'd happily start to chat to in a pub or on a bus. Very unassuming but incredibly talented. He knows he is a good artists, I think he may even be a great artists but he isn't the sort of guy who goes around telling everyone how fab he is.. I guess that's why he wants to work with us - we are very happy to tell everyone how fab he is.
Brian's latest work will be on show as part of the BP Portrait Awards.. you can check out his painting 'Inside outside Clare with Claire' here,in-pictures,news-in-pictures,in-pictures-the-bp-portrait-award,2
His website will show a range of his work and give details of how to get in touch with him, it will be simply and unassuming - his paintings talk for themselves.
I will let you know when the site is up.