RFM Marketing Reasearch and Sales Training Blog

RFM Blog

Don’t get price bashed

If you think you have a great product or service that has real added benefit in the marketplace, just watch you don’t get price bashed.  Every buyer in the land will tell you are too expensive or that they can get your product cheaper elsewhere.  That is a tactic and indeed, all of us are told to ask for a discount at all times.

Just think of your business and what else you may offer rather than give away your margin.

If you have a specialist product, work out your total costs of ownership – the product may last longer, your customer may save money in the long run.

Don’t allow yourself to be compared with other products if you have a unique element to your business.

Take a helicopter view of your business and see what the customer sees.

Examine how you and your team present price with value at all times.

Look at how your internal teams cope with price objections.  They are the ones who are price bashed every day and they begin to believe the message.

These views are based on direct experience in client companies who think that everyone buys on price when in fact in many cases, customers want value for money.   Tips like these should help to increase and maintain your margins.  It requires some thought but gradually, you can move up your margins.

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The real cost of new customer acquisition

If you knew the real cost of acquiring a new customer, you would never let an existing customer go!

Adhering to this old adage makes a lot of sense. It is likely that every business has the opportunity to do more in the area of keeping existing customers happy which will add value to the business over time. The concept of the lifetime customer is something we need to keep at the top of mind.

In many businesses, the team involved have to understand how to keep in contacts at the appropriate time, find something new and different to talk about, spot opportunities and know how to act on them. Many people in a business see the sales department as a separate department but the whole team can bring massive value to customer retention via a range of techniques in customer service, offering more.

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Take the Customer Journey Your Customer Wants to Make!

This phrase came straight off the headline in a magazine advertisement but it made me think.

We now have to think of business development in a digital age and embrace the new ways in which the buyers of tomorrow engage and wish to consume information. This applies to both trade and consumer sectors.

How many of the large corporations really think about the customer journey when they put us through endless button selections and recorded messages, putting the customer through their process with little or no thought for what the customer may ultimately feel like with their brand. This leaves customers confused and angry.

For the smaller operation who can be more adaptive, designing a good customer journey based on customer wants and need and purchasing habits provides a real opportunity to create competitive edge, lifetime and returning customers.

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1980’s man/woman meet your contemporaries in 2016

Consumed information through press, Tv, direct mail, posters etc.

Bought from known  local and regional suppliers and may have dealt with for some time.

Visited retail on a 9 – 5 basis and maybe on a Sunday  - if the shops are open!

Read articles and gathered information from friends – often in the pub.

Liked to meet friends for a catch up – often in the pub.

Liked a deal.

2016 man/woman

Consumes information through Google, on a mobile phone or web.

Buys online from anyone in the world, –  24/7 with delivery to the door.

Scans,  reads,  swipes, – likes easy to understand, quick sound bytes.

Reads and gathers information from friends – on a social networking site.

Doesn’t meet in the pub – you cannot even have one drink now and then drive home!

Likes a deal.

Markets change all the time and buyers purchasing habits have changed.   In consumer markets, you have to be able to market effectively to all age groups. The same applies in business to business markets in our new digital world.  Targeting the right markets with the right message at the right time is the easiest way to obtain the most bang for your buck.

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Profit is Sanity, Sales is Vanity

Recently, we came across an interesting article in the paper related to Tesco chasing sales and volume as against margin and profit. This happens in many companies when they grow bigger and the market becomes competitive. For the smaller organisation who cannot hope to compete on price, it is important to understand the true value of the product and services and not to be price bashed.

Price bashing in the form of ‘what’s the discount’ is practised by many organisations,  driving the price down and often dumbing down the quality at the same time. For the smaller operator, think of the value of your product and what customers would expect to rightly pay for it.

Position your products against the real value it will have for the customer whether that is less downtime, faster production, longevity, fewer returns etc.

Sometimes being told you can buy cheaper elsewhere does not mean that customers are comparing like for like.  There is a growing feeling that we are all brainwashed into asking for discount when in actual fact we are looking for value for money!

For more information and how to create relevant market price point strategies, contact RFM.

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That Purple Cow moment

Throughout the year, most organisations are looking for 3 or 4 head turning moments when their business in the in the spotlight. This provides reasons to talk and interface with customers, both existing and potential.

In the marketing business, these are what we call Purple Cow moments, times when the customer’s head will turn to look at your business. The analogy is of course that if you put a purple cow in a field, everyone will turn round and look at it. You can have a flock of sheep, all very fine with great wool on their backs but the one you notice is the purple one because it will stand out from the crowd.

How this applies to a business? It can be as simple as awards won, attendance at a key exhibition, a slot on a tv programme, new packaging for products, celebrity endorsement, – scheduled into the annual promotional activity calendar along with the other complementary communication and promotional formats.

It is still the case that many smaller organisations trading in both consumer and business markets do not consider and allocate the appropriate amount of time and resource to the all important promotional activity in their markets and creating the visibility of their product that will bring in more customers.

For more information on how a business can stand out from the crowd, get in touch today.

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Hyperlocal grocery delivery – Learning from the big boys!

Read an interesting article this week that talked of a new service which Amazon are rolling out in India. Amazon Now enables customers to shop for daily essentials across a range of categories and have them delivered locally within 2 hours. The company will work together with local grocery retailers to fulfil the orders. This has been taken up by two of the shop chains who have a number of localised locations.

In our own company, we recently ordered an office product from Viking Direct at 3.30 in the afternoon. It arrived at our office from the Midlands of England by 9 am the next morning. That is a faster service than many local office supply companies are willing to provide. The ordering process took about 5 minutes

‘Speed to market’ and ‘ease of purchase’ certainly create huge areas of competitive edge in a world where we can buy anything from anywhere at the touch of a button.

The lessons to learn from this are huge. For the smaller, owner managed organisations wishing to reflect and think about how they can compete more effectively, a quick trawl and questioning round the marketing cycle can often provide ideas for quick wins and medium term strategies. Sometimes, it also helps to have someone who sees the business from the viewpoint of the customer.

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Finding the add on sale

A quick fire way to increase bottom line profit

Always being aware of the add on sale, the upselling, the link sale opportunity is a surefire way to increase an order value while you have the customer in front of you. Whether you are in one off type sales such as the purchase of a motor car, or a longer term a partnership/relationship type sale, there is always an opportunity of offering more that is of value to the customer. The chance is often sitting there, just waiting to be taken.

This is very clearly seen in e commerce where every big site always tells us that people who bought such and such an item also bought, if you spend over £xxx, you will get free delivery etc. It is all a matter of understanding the customer process and then working out the best way to approach the additional sales.

For more information on this topic, please contact russ@rfm.co.uk. For some clients we have increased bottom line profit by 30% by exploring these issues.

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Google Testing Mobile Unfriendly Icons

Google have been testing mobile unfriendly icons next to those websites that haven’t made
the transition to responsive design.

This shift towards mobile user optimisation for mobile consumers is now part of Google’s
long list of ranking factors. This covers fast loading websites, responsive design that adapts
to screen size and device and good web architecture e.g every category on the site should
earn its place and be visible with relevant content. The implication is that a bad mobile
experience will affect your rankings.

Google have indicated that approximately 5 – 10% of browsing on desktop involves search
engines and the rest is spent consuming content on websites. Mobile search habits are different as users tend to access websites directly, rather than spending time scrolling through search results – you have to tailor your site to accommodate this shifting user behaviour.

This means that your copy has to be attention grabbing, compelling, easy to understand,
engaging and have an immediate call to action backed up with a solid social media sharing
campaign to build consumer interest and invite them to click through to the website for more.

You have worked hard for their attention. Make sure their mobile experience provides the
relevant information, satisfies their requirement and of course sells!

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It’s official – we are a nation of shoppers

With the festive season fast approaching, it’s now clear the UK are amongst the fastest growing world regions to have embraced eCommerce.

A recent report produced by Lloyd’s Banking Group confirms this trend:

  • The UK is one of the world’s strongest internet economies. The digital economy accounts or over 8% of GDP – greater than education or construction – and is forecast to rise to over 12% by 2016.
  • We are world leaders in e-commerce. British internet users made 129m visits to retail websites on Boxing Day 2013, up by 15% in one year – the biggest online shopping day to date. And over half of these visits were made on mobile devices.

Src. Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2014

For some, digital is at the early adopted stage, but it’s imperative that all staff skill up to tap into the culture of mobile shopping. For better or worse, there’s no substitute for bricks and mortar stores.

RFM are delivering a High Street Marketing package, containing all the necessary tools to
arm you for this new wave of shopping habits. For more information on creating a digital strategy to appeal to the modern shopper, contact us today.

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