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Want Better Sales & Marketing Results?

It’s the New Year, and often a time to consider new cost-effective ways to improve your sales and marketing.  Do you ever think:

  • ‘my website should be getting me better results’; or
  • ‘my website is looking a bit out of date’; or
  • ‘is there some cost-effective marketing out there that could work better for me?’

Then give me a call. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Kathryn Schimanski, and I have my own marketing services business, Aztera Marketing, based here in Tawa, Wellington.  For 12 years I have been supporting a wide range of local businesses through providing smart, practical and cost-effective marketing solutions… without big agency fees. 

I specialise in supporting small to medium sized businesses, including new start ups.

I believe that doing business on a one-to-one basis works best – I work locally and have some great marketing services that you may be interested in.  I’m not a big agency – I offer a personal service and work closely with my clients, to help them increase their sales.  I work with a virtual team of specialists including graphic designers and website designers, keeping your costs down and quality up.

I’m focused on delivering smart and targeted solutions.  I provide the full range of marketing services, with a specialty in digital and online, including websites and search engine optimisation.  And don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the many Testimonials on my website.

Want to know more? Simply visit my website, and also check out my free one hour consultation.

Marketing for the Trades

If you are a Tradie or have your own trades business, one of your main challenges may be the marketing of your services.  Whether you are a builder, electrician, plumber or any other trade business, having regular and ongoing work is key to your long-term success.

Over my 12 years in business as a marketing consultant, I have worked with a number of trades businesses.  From my experience I have identified some key marketing activities, necessary for promoting any newly established or growing trades business.  These include:

  • Having a strong performing website that includes search engine optimisation, so that your business will rank well on Google.
  • Getting your business correctly set up on Google My Business.  The key benefit is that you are then listed on Google Maps, and customers can easily see where you are located, and if you are ‘local’ to their home or business.  This is particularly important for customers wanting a tradie near their location.
  • Developing your marketing messages to clearly and effectively promote the full range of services that you offer.  Simply put, if you don’t tell people what you do, people won’t know to engage you for that particular service.
  • If appropriate, and if possible, to include photos of your work on your website.  These may include before and after photos (e.g. for a painter), so people can get a more visual understanding of the type of work you do.

As a marketing specialist, I have provided marketing support and developed a number of websites for various trades businesses.  This includes development of promotional flyers, implementation of Google AdWords campaigns, and the design and build of websites from small 6-page starter websites, through to more premium level websites.

At Aztera Marketing we understand the demands faced by many small and medium-sized businesses, including tradies.  Our services can be tailored to meet your requirements and budget; our focus is on providing cost-effective and smart marketing solutions.

The Design of Your Website Is like a Store’s Shop Window

When you are deciding on your website design, keep in mind that it really is like a store’s shop window.  Within 10 seconds (or less) from landing on your website, customers will make the decision to continue to browse, or to exit and look at another website.  Sadly, it is that harsh and that quick.

So think about your design.  For your target market does the design ‘fit’.  It is somewhat emotively engaging, enticing prospective customers to continue to stay and browse some more?

On the home page, are your key messages at the top of the page so they see these early on.  Are the messages ‘on topic’ and reflect the information your prospective customer would be searching for.

7 Key Elements for Good Website Design

  • Your brand and colour scheme.  Does it fit your target market?  Is it clear and distinctive?  Does your logo assist in conveying what your business is offering?  If your brand name clearly conveys what your business is about, that’s a great first step as customers immediately know what your businesses, e.g. Dave’s Plumbing.
  • Easy readability of your font.  I have visited a number of websites where they have decided to use a fashionable light grey colour for the font.  Sadly it makes it impossible to read, and as a visitor to the site, I noticed that I quickly clicked on the ‘back’ button and continued to browse to the next appropriate site.
  • Your navigation buttons – are these easy to find on your website?
  • Have you got your phone number in a clear and visible place?  And for the smartphone experience, is there a simple way they can just tap on your phone number and it will immediately begin to ring.
  • Is there a clear ‘information hierarchy’ so you can easily and quickly read the page headings and find key areas of text that are relevant to you.
  • Is there sufficient amount of white space, so the headings are clear and distinctive.  This aspect of design can significantly enhance the performance of your website.

Let’s Talk Website Navigation

You may think website navigation is a standard and simple thing to do for all businesses.  If you have a standard 10 page website with just the standard page topics, then it really is straightforward, e.g. Home, About Us, Our Services, Contact Us etc.

However, if you are selling a range of products and/or services, and have a number of category headings, a lot more thought should go into your website navigation.

The common rule for websites is the ‘3 click’ rule.  That means, within 3 mouse clicks (or less) that your prospective customer should have landed on their desired web page.

What’s more, have you thought of the hierarchy of categories.  Top selling products being higher up on your navigation structure, and lower selling products being further down.  Think of your navigation like a supermarket.  Keeping the most purchased items in easy and accessible reach, and in easy viewing profile.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is also affected by your navigation approach.  As this enables core selected SEO keywords to be able to be used in category headings and also in URL addresses.  Grouping of products to key categories can also improve SEO performance, along with improving your online shoppers experience.

With a bit of thought to your website navigation, and thinking about it from your customers shopping experience, it’s amazing how a few changes in tab positioning can influence a product’s profile.

Marketing Planning | Often the Overlooked Child of the Family

For many small businesses the one thing that is commonly overlooked is planning, and from my perspective, ‘marketing planning’.  I often see that small business owners quickly gravitate to building their main online profile, their website, without doing a little bit of strategic thinking..

Without a bit of forward thinking or planning, some key critical points are overlooked.  And as a result, businesses are compromising their opportunity for generating greater sales.

To give you an analogy, it’s like jumping in your car and starting to drive down the road, without having a clear idea of your final destination.  We don’t do it in our daily life, and so it’s even more important not to do it with our businesses.

With a little bit of forward planning, a little bit of strategic thinking, it’s surprising how it can influence your website approach, content, navigation approach, and design.  Just to name a few.

Marketing Plans for Smaller Businesses

So what are some of the key areas we should put some thought to?

Your Target Markets: Ask yourself, who are you predominately wanting to connect/sell to?

Your Point/s of Difference: Have you been able to identify what makes you different from your competitors?  Why should they buy from you?  It could be your expertise, your product /service range, your customer service ethos, your location, your price positioning.  Or any other possible differentiating factor.

Your Key Marketing Messages: This really should tie in to the above two points.  Once you know you key target markets, and your point/s of difference, it’s important to carefully craft your key selling messages to be on target and to entice potential customers to purchase.

Your Strengths and Weaknesses: I always believe/promote to your strengths, and minimise the impact or attention to your weaknesses.  Look at what your competitors are doing, and how do you compare with them on the key things that matter to your customers?

What market opportunities are there?  Within your local/global market what are the key changes that are happening that provide you with new opportunities?  With the changes that technologies provide, previous geographical boundaries can easily be extended beyond your specific local location.

It’s surprising, that if you answer these questions in a different way, how much it alters and fine tunes your marketing approach.  By simply re-defining your target market/s, it has an impact on the language you use, how you communicate regarding tone and style, your website layout and design.  Just to name a few.

So, if you feel you have been working hard at pulling together all your marketing activities, and you’re not getting the results you want, possibly it’s time to put in some strategic thinking.  Through simply stepping back from the noise of it all, and getting a bit more of a market overview, it may provide you with the insight and understanding of where to go to from here.

It’s not about writing a 20 page bound booklet that never gets looked at again.  It really is about putting in the thinking, to be smart and ‘on’ with your marketing.  It may even end up being a 1-page summary document; but most importantly it gives you a bit of a framework and space to consider the right strategic direction for your business.

As I said at the start of this, we don’t get in our car without clearly knowing the destination, so we should put in the same degree of forward thinking and planning for the success of our business.

Aztera Marketing in Wellington | How We Can Help

At Aztera Marketing in Wellington we help you with all aspects of your marketing plans. From strategic plans through to 6 or 12 month tactical marketing plans.