What is Direct Marketing?

If you’ve visited our Credico UK website then you will have seen the term direct marketing. But what is direct marketing and why do we use it? Well you are about to enter a ‘direct marketing for dummies’ crash course.

Direct marketing is about making direct contact with existing and potential customers to promote a product or service. When you think of advertising we know your first thoughts are probably TV and Radio adverts but unlike these types of marketing, direct marketing allows us to contact particular people with a
personalised message about a product that is right for them.

So who uses it and why? Well because direct marketing is extremely cost effective and extremely powerful at generating sales, it is ideal for all kinds of businesses. Direct marketing allows businesses to focus their marketing resources on a specific group of ideal customers where they are most likely to get results.

There are several types of direct marketing including: Events, Direct mail, leafleting, telephoning B2B, and residential campaigns. Here at Credico UK we use face-to-face marketing. This allows us to have a much deeper and personal connection with both our clients and consumers. Would you rather share your product desires with a real person or a computer screen? We think people can offer a much better customer service and help solve your needs quickly.

Primarily, direct marketing has been designed to offer consumers a better experience with their favourite brands. Direct Marketing companies want people to feel like the valued customers there are and not just another sale.

So, we hope you have enjoyed our lesson, that we’ve cleared up the term ‘Direct Marketing’ and that you know why it is important.

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The Value of Face-to-Face Marketing

The rise of the digital age is upon us but at Credico UK we don’t think that means we should lose the art of face-to-face conversation. In fact, we think there is more reason than ever to adopt this form of marketing because consumers simply don’t expect it anymore and they are grateful for the personalised service. When you can actually see a face behind the brand and connect on a personal level you are more likely to remember that brand than one that sent you a tweet once.

So why should YOU use face-to-face marketing? Well we’ve broken it down into four simple benefits:

  1. It can save you time and money. Print and broadcast ads are costly, and internet marketing requires time to reach a decent-sized audience. Face-to-face, whether by sales reps or an event, gives you the opportunity to deliver your sales message and interact with a large group of people.
  2. It builds confidence and trust between you and your customers. Meeting people in person is crucial for building and maintaining strong relationships.
  3. It creates instant visibility. This is a big difference between face-to-face marketing and other promotional channels. While the consumer may not buy straight away, they are much more likely to do business with you in the future having seen what you have to offer.
  4. It breaks down barriers. The value of being face-to-face with your prospects and customers is that you have the benefit of verbal and non-verbal communications, allowing you to clarify the tone of your sales message.

The simple fact is that face-to-face marketing makes your prospects and your existing customers feel valued and that can be the difference between making a sale or being avoided as a brand. We believe that face-to-face marketing still deserves a place in the digital uprising!

The benefits of outsourcing to an agency

Maybe you’ve never come across outsourcing, or you’ve heard of it and are not sure what the advantages are. Well, here at Credico UK, we’ve put together a list of benefits that firms, small or large, can see from outsourcing their marketing.

Lower cost total
Hiring an outsourced marketing firm is less expensive than hiring a full time in-house marketing person. Many firms work on a ‘no win = no fee’ basis, meaning that you won’t pay until your goals are met and results are delivered.

Broader skill set
A team of marketing professionals typically has a more diverse skill set than a single marketing employee.

Scalability
Having a team of outsourced marketing professionals at your disposal enables organisations to handle an increase in marketing workload.

Eliminate turnover
Entry level marketing personnel typically stay with a company for 1-3 years before looking for another position. By outsourcing you can use that company for as long as you choose to outsource to them and therefore eliminate turnover.

Fresh insight
Often employees are reluctant to share their opinions. An outsourced marketing firm can provide an uncensored and objective view of your current sales and marketing strategy.

Focus
Too often business owners and management wear too many hats. Hire a marketing department so the rest of your team can focus on their primary jobs.

For more information on outsourcing visit our website http://www.credico.uk.com/ or contact us at enquiries@credico.uk.com .

 

Are you a leader or a follower?

Do you see yourself as a leader or a follower? You could argue that one is far better than the other but in actual fact; successful leaders need to be just as capable of following if needs be. In order to become a leader it helps to have the respect of others and being a team player and working in a cooperative environment can help you gain that respect. If you’re confident in yourself and your own capabilities, those around you will naturally view you as the right person to take charge. In order to understand your full leadership potential it is important to be able to take a honest look at your own personal attributes to discover what you can do improve your leadership capabilities, by being brave and taking a moment to analyse yourself means that even those among us who aren’t natural born leaders can learn the skills required to influence others to follow their lead.

If you instantly know how to solve a problem and approach tricky situations with ease, chances are you have natural leader qualities. Whereas, if you prefer to take direction or like to validate an idea before implementing it, you probably display more ‘follower’ traits. Both are equally important as in business one simply can’t exist without the other. However if you feel you have the hidden potential to become a successful leader there are a few specific traits that are essential. A good leader has the ability to see everything that’s happening around them and respond quickly, from noticing patterns to potential threats, a good leader will foresee possible issues and already have a strategy in place if the issue does eventually arise.

So how do you express your budding leadership potential to your fellow colleagues? Well, there are few simple changes you can make to your everyday working practices in order to encourage people to start following you.

It may seem obvious but improving communication between yourself and colleagues is a great way to improve your leadership skills. By letting others have their say even if you don’t agree, and asking relevant questions will help to make others believe in you and feel that their opinions are valued. However communication shouldn’t just be limited to ‘work talk’. It may seem like a contradiction when talking about becoming a leader, but having an informal connection and sharing with colleagues on subjects besides work matters makes for a happier and more content work relationship.

Remembering everyone likes to be appreciated is also an important aspect in showing your leadership potential. if you’ve ever been praised for something you worked really hard on you probably know how rewarding this can feel. By praising someone you’re not asserting any authority; however you are letting that person know that you’ve noticed their effort, which is an important trait in a leader.

Whilst it’s important to notice how others are working, it’s just as important to recognise your own faults, an apology is not a weakness, and by acknowledging and taking responsibility for your own mistakes means that colleagues are far more likely to respect you than if you try to ignore it.

Lastly, understanding the goals of your fellow colleagues is paramount in gaining the respect needed to be a great leader. If you know what others goals are, you can figure out ways to help them achieve them. This in turn will make others keener to help you out when you need them.

By incorporating these simple ideas into your day to day working practice could be the first step towards unlocking your leadership capabilities. However the important thing to remember is to be a leader you really have to want it, if your hearts only half in it chances are you will fall at the first challenge you find yourself facing. Remember to honestly asses your strengths and weaknesses and only move forward if you feel you have the attributes to do so.

3-STEP GUIDE TO IMPROVING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

We’re all victims of slacking off a little at work. There’s always going to be those tiresome jobs you really don’t want to do, but it’s important to stay productive. What isn’t productive is spending 20 minutes complaining about a job you really don’t want to do. You just need to do it. It’s important not to lose sight of your business goals as having a clear direction contributes to being productive and helps sustain business growth.

PerDM ProductivityUtilising the most of your time might sound obvious, but it is surprising how much time we waste at work. Whether it’s in meetings, chatting to colleagues or that all important third coffee break, these are all minutes off the clock. Of course breaks are important too, so by all means have your regular morning coffee break. But what we really need to focus on is utilising your working hours to make sure you get the most out of your day.

Here are 3 tips to help you organise your time and help you on your way to being more productive:

  1. Set small, measureable goals

Having a huge to do-list is over-whelming for even the most organised worker. It’s important to set yourself small achievable goals that help you organise your day. Be sure to tick off each task once it’s done as this contributes to your sense of achievement! This is especially important for those of you who struggle to keep focused! The key to being productive is to stick to your schedule and the order you have arranged tasks. Be sure to include some time for any last minute emergencies that come up into your schedule!

  1. Eliminate all distractions

Living in a digital age, there are always going to be distractions. Replying to emails could be a full-time job in itself, so it’s important to reduce the time you spend on this task. Not everyone needs a reply straight away. Unsubscribe to all the websites that are not relevant to your business. We all love seeing the latest offers on Groupon.com, but it’s not important. It’s just another distraction stopping you from finishing that report by noon. By eliminating the amount of emails coming into your inbox, it frees up more time for you to get work done. Groupon.com will still be there when you get home.

  1. Get plenty of sleep

Research has proven that a good night’s sleep increases your productivity. This means no more late nights working until 3am. You might think you are being productive, but do you really think the quality of your work is going to be your best at 3am? You’re much better off heading to bed early and coming back to work with a fresh outlook.

4 LEADERSHIP MYTHS

As an entrepreneur, leadership skills are essential. When we think of the traits of a leader, I’m sure we all think the same. Leaders need to be able to lead a team, use their initiative and make quick decisions. We all have our idea of what makes a good leader, however, new research online suggests that you can’t believe everything you read. Check out these 4 lies about leadership:

  1. “All managers are leaders”

Just because you’ve earned a management position, it doesn’t mean you are automatically a leader. Management is a subset of leadership, not its equivalent. Some people reach management because they are good at setting up, hiring people and maintaining the company’s systems and processes. It is only when they can help drive the business forward and bring out the best in people, they become a leader.

  1. “People are born leaders”

Leadership does require a certain type of person, but these leadership skills can still be learnt. Becoming a good leader requires a strong focus on developing your behaviour and characteristics. There is no time for studying their biological background.

  1. ‘Leaders always have the right answers’

Leadership is about asking the right questions and knowing where to go for the best answers. It’s about being able to use your initiative and think on your feet. These are skills that contribute to becoming an excellent leader.

  1. ‘Leadership is about ambition’

There is nothing wrong with having ambition in business. It’s having the ability to bring those ambitions into reality that’s important for a leader. Leadership is all about the greater good. You know you’re an effective leader when your clients, customers and colleagues are also better off!

 

How many of these lies did you originally believe? Are you surprised by the outcome?

It’s a fact that anyone can be a leader if they set their mind to it. Leadership is all about having the ability to implement the strategies you think are best and to make decisions quickly and efficiently. The only way you’re going to get better is to put your leadership skills into action!

 

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FIVE MISCONCEPTIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

You’re an overnight success!

People tend to study the success story and forget its origin. What comes prior to a success is most probably a massive struggle. Truth is, it can take years to become an overnight success. Take Steve Jobs as an example. Can you believe Apple was born 30 years ago? Yes, indeed, Apple was not an overnight success. And the fuzz around the brand didn’t start at that time.

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You have to be a businessperson to be an entrepreneur

Wrong! You can be anyone and become an entrepreneur and that’s if you’re a visionary. What it takes is a great idea, a vision and a plan behind it. Ideally, you could hire a businessperson to develop your plan, there’s no necessity in you being the businessperson; nowadays, outsourcing is taking over as it permits to concentrate more on the idea and therefore develop it more thoroughly. In today’s world, organizations are forced to look for new ways to generate value due to the increasing competition. The world has embraced the phenomenon of outsourcing most of the supporting activities of a value chain to be able to expand and develop the core activities.

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You have to do it on your own

The truth is you can’t make it on your own. It’s very pretentious to think that you know everything and that the help of others wouldn’t get you at least one step closer to success. It’s true that you should rely on your own strengths and ideas and be able to fight on your own but trying to do everything yourself will prevent you from focusing on the work where your personal touch is necessary and where your concentration is vital. You need to have a team to outsource (on the personal level) some work.

 

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You Can Slack Off Once You’ve Reached The Top

Success works in a way that every time a human being achieves something he wants to accomplish something that’s bigger. Human nature always wants more. Apart from that, the dynamic competition won’t allow your survival in the market if you slack off; customers are becoming more demanding and are being offered many substitutes, therefore a business should keep up with innovation and slacking off is therefore not an option.

After you’ve worked hard to accomplish something, your mind and body simply will not know how to adjust to the relaxation; a successful person would be unhappy if she wasn’t aiming to achieve a higher success.

 

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You have to be a genius! You have to be born with it!

 

Entrepreneurs cannot be categorized; they come in all shapes and sizes, just like their businesses do. Thinking that you have to be a genius to be an entrepreneur is too mainstream; however what you surely need to have is passion! Passion is what pushes you to do the impossible to accomplish your goals and therefore your company’s success. Persistence and willingness are necessities too. To be an entrepreneur you have to be a visionary, a person who uses its creativity to fulfill unsatisfied needs or to create new ones.

 

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6 STEPS TO WRITING A GOOD BUSINESS PLAN

1. Your Company’s Core Values

Create a business mission statement and company overview.

Choose the core values of your company in order to express them in your products or services.

2. Describe your Products or Services

Describe what your products or services are and who your target market is. Also research into your competitors.

Answer when, where, why and how should these target customers buy your products or services? Also identify your several potential target markets.

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3. SWOT Analysis and Competitor Analysis

Write down your strengths, weaknesses, the threats to your business and the opportunities you can capitalize on.

Competitor analysis and bench marking – study the strategy, objectives, and assumptions your competitor has and know their resources and capabilities.

4. Marketing plan

Decide upon your business strategy – which of the cost leadership or differentiation strategies do you want to adopt? Know your customer profile and price your product or service accordingly. Choose the advertising channels and marketing techniques subsequently.

5. Operations

What are the roles and responsibilities needed to form your internal business team? Who are your suppliers, which areas will you need to outsource and who will make the final decisions?

6. Financials

Break-Even Analysis
- Estimate your capital requirements in order to break-even and estimate when your break-even period will be.

Opportunity to scale – Forecasting how your company will evolve is very important for your investors, partners or other stakeholders.