Monthly Archives: October 2011

Business Jargon 101

Starting out in small business, we all find ourselves in conversations; whether they are about marketing strategies, sales strategies or just a ‘getting to know you’ networking chat, before you know it someone drops a 3 letter acronym and off your mind wanders trying to work out what on earth it means.

Welcome to Business Jargon!

This post will get you up to speed on the most common abbreviations and buzz words so you can drop your own J-bombs and feel nice and smug.

10 Useful Business and Acronyms

We marketers are by nature a talkative bunch, so it seems somewhat surprising that we want to shorten anything. However the temptation to create a three letter abbreviation gets the better of us. I remember starting at Revlon and being handed a glossary of terms for the business where they recognised they used so many acronyms that they had created a beginners guide!

  1. SEO Search Engine Optimisation – making improvements to your website so that it indexes high in search results
  2. SOH Stock on Hand – how much of your product or product components you currently have in stock
  3. WAHM / WAHP Work At Home Mum / Work At Home Parent – the extremely talented and overstretched business owners who run their business whilst wrangling toddlers, calming babies and making school lunches
  4. PPC Pay Per Click – online advertising where you are only charged when a user clicks on your advert. The ad will appear in the advertising network for free.
  5. CRM Customer Relationship (or Retention) Management – your marketing strategies concerned around getting repeat business. Think of FlyBuys as a classic CRM program.
  6. CMS Content Management System – a tool that lets us non-technical people create & update web pages without knowing HTML
  7. B2C / B2B Business To Consumer / Business To Business – used to classify your business type by who your end user is
  8. ATL / BTLAbove the Line Below the Line Marketing Above The Line / Below The Line – seen most often in job advertisements for marketers! The theoretical line separates the communication types. Traditionally ATL is mass media promotion such as TV and Print, BTL is more targeted promotions such as direct mail and in store promotions.
  9. eDM Electronic Direct Mail – preceding this we always talked about DM (Direct Mail), so cleverly a lower case e was placed in front, to play on eMail. eDM is when we email out promotional offers to our customers and potential customers
  10. UGC User Generated Content (which I would also class as a Buzz Word) – is all about interacting with your target market and letting them take (some) control of your brand and its activities. UGC can take the form of customer’s blogging on your behalf or customers uploading photos and videos to your social media spaces

10 Business and Marketing Buzz Word Definitions

Once you manage to navigate the acronym mine field, the next biggest jargon challenge you face are buzz words. These words change from year to year, but once a buzz word is deployed it seems to reach celebrity status with everyone finding an excuse to cram as many as possible into one sentence.

business marketing jargonWorking on a Brand Strategy document with a group of co workers last year we did our best to come up with the most powerful sentence possible. It went something like “We need to think outside of the square to leverage any white space opportunities, whilst fully capitalising on any low hanging fruit”. Understandably this was after days of workshopping and being fairly over it. I just came across this game from Malcom Auld which could have helped us get through. Click here to play along.

  1. Low Hanging Fruit – I believe I was exposed to this phrase in 2009. Unfortunately the person who used it paired it with a squeezing two imaginary pieces of fruit hand gesture, making it hard to keep a straight face
    when later repeating it. Low hanging fruit are the easy wins – the opportunities that will take minimal effort for you to action.
  2. White Space – Arriving in 2010 to replace low hanging fruit as the ‘must drop in a sentence’ buzz word in the office. White space (which I liked to whisper for dramatic intent) is the gap in the market; it’s something that no one else is doing and gives you chance to grow the market in both size and your share.
  3. Think outside the Square – We all know what this one means but it doesn’t stop it from being used, almost redundantly to suggest we need to be creative to solve our current problem. We need to come up with a solution that everyone else isn’t doing.
  4. Mind Shift  – Whether it is our organisation or our consumers, we often talk about needing a mind shift. A mind shift needs a different approach to thinking inside our business or it’s about our consumers being educated about a new way to meet their needs which will become their new norm.
  5. Blogosphere – Is the realm where all blogs exist on the internet. It sounds more impressive than straight out saying that.
  6. Reputation Management – Tracking what people are saying about you online and proactively responding to feedback, to ensure your online reputation is positive and reflective of your brand.
  7. Exit Strategy – This is the plan of what to do with product in the retail environment if it doesn’t sell. A new retailer may want to know if there is an exit strategy as part of their trading terms. The economic downturn really brought out exit strategy as a buzz word in sales meetings.
  8. Customer-Centric. We talk about creating a Customer-Centric business, meaning we want to focus on our customer, be the solution to their problems and put their needs as the objectives we need to meet.
  9. Webinar – Ok so this is a little less buzz word and a little more of a buzz strategy. A webinar is a seminar or presentation held on the web. Think of it as a mass video conference. People can watch from anywhere and it is usually available for viewing after the live event.
  10. Viral Marketing – Creating and executing a promotional element that is so exciting that it is sent out by consumers through their networks (In
    other words spreading like a virus!)

Buzz Words are always evolving and today’s hot ticket quickly becomes passé, so if you want to talk the talk be sure to keep up to date on the latest buzz words.

Now that you are up to speed on what’s what, we would love to help grow your business with our Wise Up and Grow report, where you fill out a BAT (that’s our Business Analysis Tool) and we give you some great advice on your SEO, help you identify your Low Hanging Fruit and think outside the square to ensure your CRM is on track.

Let me know if you have any great buzz words or need a 3 letter acronym demystified.

Until next week J is for Jargon (thanks Melanie) and also for the Jigsaw puzzle (thanks Katrina) we are all putting together as we Journey through the A-Z of Marketing

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

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Ideas and Innovation: Brainstorming for Small Business

Coming upon “I” in the A-Z of Marketing, I have to say, I was lacking inspiration (oh hang on there’s an “I” word); I didn’t need just any “I” word, I needed an “I” word that had something to do with Marketing and Small Business. Then I had an idea! Actually, the idea came to me during a swim, which is where I find a lot of my ideas start, so I decided to dedicate this post to Ideas.

The ways in which ideas can be generated and the techniques of pushing ideas past the barriers of what we know until we reach innovation are both paramount in keeping your small business at the top of its game.

Where do Ideas Come From?

“An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.”  James Webb Young

It always seems that there are some people who are just “full of great ideas” and others who are not. Ideas are our subconscious processing inputs and coming up with solutions, so it’s no surprise the more we sit and try to think of a great idea, the further and further it gets from our reach.

We all had an idea when we started our business, an idea of what we could offer a group of people that would be different in some way to the other options available. Had we sat down and thought, “I want to start a business, I just need a good idea” it is more than likely that we would have come up with nothing. But perhaps days later, when out on a walk, or having a shower, the idea would pop into our mind, as if out of nowhere.

So there lies the power of the subconscious. I read an article years ago and the crux of it was, to come up with a great idea, pose a question to yourself, then go and do something completely unrelated and with any luck your subconscious will do the rest.

But what do we do when the ideas won’t flow?

How to Brainstorm

Brainstorming is a creativity process where a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. It is a technique for finding alternatives to a problem. It is usually undertaken in a group setting, as the dynamic allows each new idea to generate other ideas, summed up best by the phrase “bouncing ideas off each other”.

To allow ideas to flow, some say it is best to follow the “rules” of brainstorming:

  • All ideas should be initially accepted without judgment or criticism. Negativity is a road block for idea generation.
  • Ideas can be imaginative and impossible. Take a “no holds barred” approach, it is easier to later refine ideas than to make them more unique.
  • Don’t limit the number of ideas generated; keep the flow until there are no ideas left. The more ideas that are generated the more likely the right idea will have been unearthed.
  • Allow each idea to be combined, improved and expanded.

I found brainstorming works best in a group environment when you use a large writing area. Draw a big circle in the middle of the space and write your problem, each idea then branches off, ideas can be joined together and new
ideas can branch off existing ideas. This is also known as a mind map (especially useful if you only have yourself to brainstorm with)

What is Innovation?

Like milk and baby’s nappies, new ideas don’t stay fresh for long. In our post on Getting Competitive with your Competitors we talked about the need to adjust your strategy annually to stay ahead of the competition.

The ideas we have for our products and services when we start out may not be the best combination for ongoing success 12 months later. This can be due to competition, the consumer evolving or saturation in the market. In marketing we know nothing sells like new! Having worked as a Brand Manager for two international cosmetic brands, the power of “new” always amazed me. Mascara sales would peak at +50% when we introduced a new variant; perfume sales would peak at +25% when we added a limited edition to a current product. “New” gets people excited and it gives them a reason to buy again.

Innovation is the process of becoming better or more effective; it is striving to stay ahead, to be first amongst competitors, to deliver solutions to needs consumers may not have even realised. Innovative products create demand and instead of fighting to take a bigger slice of the existing pie, they expand the pie in size and then claim a bigger slice than was originally available.

Brainstorming for new ideas often leads to innovation; it is open minded, unrestricted problem solving approaches like this that allow innovative ideas to come through. To innovate we ask:

  • Is there a better way of doing this?
  • Could this product do more than what it does now?
  • What are other industries doing, is there learning’s we can use from these?
  • What is the ultimate version of our product or service?

In the Jack Collins book Innovate or Die, he says simply to ask:

  • What can be added?
  • What can be taken away?
  • What can be adapted?

And renowned management writer Peter Drucker gave us three conditions that must be met for an innovation to be successful:

  • Innovation is work. It requires knowledge, ingenuity, creativity, etc. Plus, innovators rarely work in more than one area, be it finance, healthcare, retail or whatever. This work requires diligence, perseverance and commitment.
  • To succeed, innovators must build on their own strengths. They must look at opportunities over a wide range, then ask which of the opportunities fits me, fits this company. There must be a temperamental fit with the practitioner and a link to business strategy.
  • Innovation is an effect in economy and society, a change in the behaviour of customers, of teachers, of farmers, of doctors, of people in general. Or, it is a change in a process, in how people work and produce something. Innovation must always be close to the market, focused on the market, and market driven.

The benefit of bringing innovation into your business is that it gives you an edge. You will not have to compete on price and you will not be concerned when new businesses emerge mimicking your offer.

We understand how hard it can be as a small business owner to brainstorm and even more so when your business is just you, but the opportunity to bounce ideas off others is invaluable. Make sure you take advantage of networking both online and offline to help you draw inspiration, develop new ideas and innovate to keep your business moving.

We also offer an email support program we call the Business Bounceboard, which allows for unlimited email support and advice. It’s a great way to get input on new ideas and be pointed in the right direction when you get stuck.

Until next week I is for Ideas and Innovation and hopefully for adding a little inspiration.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


How to Market a Small Business with a Small Budget

Starting a Small Business is an investment of time and money. As a small business owner, you invest large quantities of both and naturally you feel frustrated when the results don’t reflect what you’ve put in.

This post is a “How To”, giving you some ideas on making the most of your financial budget and time invested into your small business.

 

How to Advertise a Small Business

When you run a small business, you will find yourself inundated with advertising proposals. Every proposal that comes in promises you the earth and assures your investment will pay off in valuable sales or sales leads.

It can be hard to differentiate between the advertising requests you get. When it comes to weighing up a proposal, make sure you ask enough questions to assess if it’s right for you. At a minimum make sure you ask:

  1. How many people read the publication / browse the website?
  2. How are these figures compiled, are they externally audited? (i.e. are they real and trustworthy?)
  3. What is the age / gender / location breakdown? or
  4. Who is the age / gender / location target?

Compare the information you receive to your target market profile. Does the advertising fit your business? Does it closely target the consumers your product or service is aimed? Or does it cast a very wide net in which some of your consumers are present?

Estimating how many of your target market will view the advertisement helps you analyse the true value for money. You can work out the cost per view by dividing the cost by the estimated number of target consumers who will view the ad. For example; an investment of $1,000 to target 10,000 consumers costs us 10 cents per view, where as an investment of $100 that reaches 200 consumers costs us 50 cents per view.  Although the advertisement may reach a greater number of people, we are only interested in the cost per target consumer, as the rest is wastage for us.

How to drive PR for a Small Business

When you successfully drive PR for your small business, the benefits can far outweigh the time investment needed. With an increase of review websites, product and news blogs and traditional media branching into online spaces, there is more opportunity than ever before to get your product or service talked about.

Have a go at writing your own press release if you have the time or get it done professionally if you have the money. Send out your press release to every contact you can and don’t forget to hound your local paper – they need to be supporting small business in their area and that includes yours!

How to get the most out of your Website

We all pay attention to the colour scheme, the layout, the pages and the pictures, but often critical data such as the Title Tag and Meta Data which aren’t seen by browsers, but are read by search engines, are neglected.

Maximise the money you invest in your website by knowing how your target consumer searches, then ensure your content, title tag and meta data are all maximising these search strings, so your website screams at search engines “PICK ME! PICK ME!”

We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for $49.95 and this often diagnoses the key reasons why your website isn’t ranking in searches and bringing in the traffic you wanted it to. When your website is search optimised, it runs effectively and delivers you more profit against your initial investment.

How to get the most out of your Social Media

The biggest investment you will put into your Social Media is your time and when you start out that seems like something you have in volumes, but as your business grows, your time budget shrinks.

Limit the amount of time you spend on Social Media each day, as it can easily be a distraction from what your true business is. We recently read this great article on “Why Social Media is a Waste of  Time” and thought the tips for time maximisation here were fantastic.

Budget your Social Media time investment so it is split between:

  • Networking / Attracting New Consumers
  • Following Up on Enquiries
  • Sharing Valuable Content

There are great tools to help you manage content across multiple Social Media outlets at the one time, I personally love Hoot Suite to manage Facebook and my new Twitter  account simultaneously.

How to Ask for Help

Lastly, sometimes we need to admit we can’t do it all, whether it is because we are not qualified or we simply do not have enough time.

Paying an expert for a few hours of advice saves you time and money in the long run, rather than muddling through trying to learn and execute simultaneously. The more technical the problem, the more valuable the help will be.

Reach out to small businesses that can help your small business. There are a multitude of virtual assistant businesses that give you the support systems of working in a big business without the actual staff and spacing costs. Could someone else manage your Inbox? Could your Social Media content be executed on your behalf? Would you finally get that PR Campaign out if it could be printed and stuffed into envelopes for you?

Sometimes the best H word in Marketing is HELP!

Until next week H is for “How To” and for not being afraid to ask for help.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


Google+ for beginners (that’s us)

I am going to start by being completely honest; I don’t have a Google+ account.

Want another confession? I just looked at Google 101 for the first time to have some sort of visual in my head of what it all is. So how could I credibly dedicate my A-Z of Marketing post for G to Google+?

This post will bring to you a range of resources, which I have been collecting on Google+. So let’s work on this together and hopefully in a few weeks we can all start to add each other, or is that like or maybe follow? We’ll work that one out as we go along.

So let me hand over to some experts to get us all up to speed.

How to set up our Google+ Profile

For a step by step set up guide see this Social Media Examiner post www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-get-started-with-google-plus-your-complete-guide/

A cheat sheet for the new lingo from All Google Plus http://allgoogleplus.co.uk/2011/07/05/google-plus-cheat-sheet/

Some video presentations from Hubspots Blog, in case you get tired of reading http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/22741/10-Awesome-Google-Presentations-to-View-Today.aspx

Making Google+ part of your Social Media Strategy

Here are some tools to connect Google+ with your other Social Media and online platforms:

And a tip for businesses from Google themselves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4oafKRykUg&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

Why we should embrace Google+

Google+ promises better search, customisation and analytics than Facebook. This link in particular got me interested http://googlepluses.blogspot.com/2011/08/4-reasons-google-brand-pages-will-be.html

The ability to talk differently to different groups (circles) allows for targeted marketing (and also not promoting your business to your friends and family every day). Learn more about that here http://tek-bull.com/2011/07/five-reasons-why-you-should-join-google-plus.html

Mike Spinak from Naturography gives great insight into his experience with Google+ http://naturography.com/join-me-on-g-plus/

Well all this reading has got my interest peaked! I’ve just signed up! Why don’t you join me on Google+, Mary-Anne Amies https://plus.google.com/# and let’s talk about how we are going to make the most of this new social media platform!

Until next week G used to be just for Google, now it’s for Google+!

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing


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