Roger helps people keep their marketing simple in a world where business bullshit and complexity threatens to stifle success.

An experienced marketing professional helping businesses with their marketing strategy, content, and social media, Roger clocked up many years in the ‘big corporate’ world as marketing director of several UK financial services brands before getting out of all that and starting his own consultancy.

He now uses his expertise to guide his clients in designing engaging campaigns and is known as a prolific content creator and podcaster, and as a speaker. He’s the host of the popular Marketing and Finance Podcast.

As a qualified yoga and exercise teacher, Roger has also been known to ask his clients to take off their ties and put on their trainers, taking their fitness, as well as their marketing, to the next level.

We share, in his own words, Roger’s top tips for getting real results from your marketing.

Q1: How does having a marketing plan benefit your business?

We want results – whether that’s higher sales, names on email lists, subscribers to our membership. A marketing plan gives us the best chance of success.

Having no plan is like trying to drive from A to B without Sat Nav, or even blind folded. We need to know the route to our results, the road to success. The marketing plan is our Sat Nav.

Marketing is not just about communications (adverts, social, email, content). It’s about understanding our customers and building a product or service that meets their needs. Then we can communicate this to them..

A good marketing plan includes all of this.

Q2: What are the three steps to a marketing plan that get results?

Marketing plans and strategy can get complex. I use a simple 3 step approach:

  • Goal
  • Offer
  • Activity

Goal

It’s important to set a target – preferably around sales or profit. I’m not a fan of SMART goals but even so, define the goal, make it exciting, and get someone to hold you accountable.

Offer

To get to your offer, answer these three questions:

  • Who is my customer?
  • What is their problem?
  • How do I solve their problem better than anyone else?

Activity

This is all the communications – social, email, adverts and price promotions, etc.

Because we know our customer, we’ll know where we can talk to them.

Q3: How can you get the deeper understanding of your audience you need to succeed?

Twitter itself is a great way of researching your customers. Add a question mark after a search term and you’ll get a load of questions back that people are asking about it.

Other methods of research include:

  • Surveying your email list
  • Inviting people to a discussion group over coffee or lunch
  • Subscribing to omnibus surveys

This is so important… Ask open ended questions. Let people inject emotion into their answers. It give us more insights and more chance of spotting a breakthrough idea.

Q4: How do you come up with ideas for marketing activity – including content and promotions?

Look at your offer. List 25-50 questions customers might ask about your offer. Each answer could be a piece of content such as a video, blog, podcast or ebook.

Don’t be afraid to advertise if you have the budget but rather than being too “salesy”, make the call to action point to your great content.

Other things to think about are competitions, challenges and Twitter chats.

Q5: What do you need to do to keep your marketing communications simple?

Customers don’t like complex language, bloat and gobbledegook. Here are 3 rules for keeping things dead simple.

  • Assume the customer knows nothing. No question is too simple and no answer is too easy.
  • Talk in your customers’ language, just like you would in a pub or coffee shop. For example, we don’t use passive language in the pub do we?  “2 Pints of liquified fermented hops will be acquired from the bar for both of us by me!”
  • No management speak, jargon or gobbledegook. Please don’t run things up flag poles, take things off line, or subject them to idea showers!

Q6: What are your favourite marketing techniques for small business owners right now?

So much marketing is annoying. Or, it simply enrages people.

Think hourly emails for webinars, people following you on Twitter and then DMing you trying to sell stuff.

Don’t enrage. Engage.

I still think helpful content is the best way to engage. Using ads or social to point to the content is fine as long as it doesn’t annoy.

My definition of content marketing is creating stuff that inspires, entertains and teaches your customers so they get to know like and trust you enough to do business with you!

So many lessons in there from Roger about knowing your customer, working on your marketing plan and, most importantly, keeping it simple!

What’s next?

To hear more of Roger’s marketing tips and advice, listen to his Marketing and Finance podcast, visit his website or connect with him on Twitter.  

For more content on business challenges like this and discussions about marketing in general, come join us in our free Facebook group.