According to a 2017 study conducted by the University of Bonn, “the same wine tastes better to participants when it is labeled with a higher price tag.” Participants of the study were shown the price of the wine they were about to taste, and the results were remarkable. The participants preferred the taste of the more expensive wines, despite the fact that all the wine samples provided were exactly the same wine. They call this the “marketing placebo effect” and it has a real effect on the brain. MRI scans were used for this test and the effect of an increased price was measurable.

So, how does any of this information help you with your business? I don’t necessarily recommend pushing your prices up from the get-go and would rather maintain that, in practise, people can still tell when a product is not of the same quality for which they are paying. And this is why there are companies that have built a world-class brand and do charge more for their products. So, at Mavaric, we promote that people charge what they are worth and not what the market is suggesting.

Website

This is the home of your business in the online space and you have seconds to grab a prospect due to the overwhelming competition. If you think the look of your store influences shoppers, then just wait until you find out how people behave on your website. By the way, you have analytics and can actively use the traffic data to sharpen your website. Click here and fill in the form if you want us to show you how to effectively use analytics.

It is important to ensure that your website looks… recently created, and states exactly what you do, on the front page. Some call this an elevator pitch. Are your CTAs clear and where they need to be? Are the images crisp and fast to load? Does your logo present well on all browsers, and on all operating systems? Stand back from your website and look at it as though you are someone with zero knowledge of the business that it being represented. Would you want to contact the business based on what you see? And most importantly, does it talk to your target market? Who is that? Click here to understand who your target market is.

Social

While the website is the virtual storefront of your business, social media can be seen as the online equivalent of your brochures, automobiles and even community. It’s important that your social media’s look and feel mirrors your website… the cover art, the logo, and anything else that is customisable. Social is not always a place for sales, but it is a place to connect. So it takes way longer to get engagement but just keep posting and keep sharing authentically about what you do and who you are. People love to follow interesting people. It’s a great place for charity, so whatever you are doing to give back, share in social.

Graphic Design

You can create your own graphics in PowerPoint, but if you are not aware of the visual pitfalls that graphic designers have an eye for, and don’t design with your target market as the one to please, your hard work will be wasted. This is why I would strongly recommend hiring an experienced graphic designer to design the graphics for social media posts and blog posts, brochures, presentation documents, as well as the refreshing of your website.

If you need work on your digital approach, get in touch with Lara on WhatsApp: +31645559258

Do you send out the same mass email to everyone in your database? Or do you make statements such as:  “Our service is the best!” Really…and who does the measuring?

Can you see how vague that is and, therefore, not believable?

Try using words that are real and believable and, preferably, unique. Before a prospect engages, they are asking themselves these questions:

  • Why should I pay this price for this product or service?
  • If the price seems ‘high’, why should I pay more for it?
  • What is so special about what these people are offering?
  • Why should I choose this company over other businesses that provide the exact same type of product or service?
  • What makes this company different from the last company I saw?

Consider what might happen if you don’t answer all these relevant concerns. The prospect will turn to someone else. It goes without saying that in order for you to acquire LARGE increases in sales, you have to give some reasons about why you should be chosen over others.

This means fluffy is out and is authentic is in! You need to explain why you charge higher prices; how and why your company is good at what it does; what makes it special and unique. Keep it short. Say it in as few lines as possible, especially if you are using an electronic medium. Tell people who and what you are and why you are passionate about what you do ― people buy from people they like. It’s always been my number 1 rule in sales.

And please…don’t send mass emails. The days of shotgun marketing are over. We want personal, real relationships. Can you believe I still get “Dear, valued customer” messages from clothing stores? Yeah, I feel very valued.

​Have you ever rolled your eyes at a very obvious mass-email? Do you need help with finding the right words to describe your business? Give us a shout by using the form on the Connect page.

Mavaric’s founder, Lara, preaches this to EVERYONE if she has the chance, so you might very well have heard all of this before today! But regardless, these ten truths need to be repeated again and again.

  1. Do you understand the concept of referrals? Referral marketing is about leveraging trust from one person to another. It is inherently the purest form of business honesty you can have. Referral marketing is NOT just some scam to bring in business for free.
  2. Some people might think that referral marketing occurs organically. But less than 10% of referral business ‘just happens.’ It’s a fact: People don’t want to talk about you or your product at parties and they don’t want to run around telling all their friends how great you are.
  3. Some businesses don’t formally measure results. If you don’t have a formal process to track referral leads, my advice is to implement it right now.
  4. Some businesses don’t report on the results of the referrals. You need to show the person who referred somebody to you what the result was (especially if there is commission owing). You also need to know at a glance who referred who and where each person is in the sale process.
  5. Some businesses don’t ask for referrals. It’s unbelievable, but nearly all businesses are too scared to ask the simple question, “Could you please give me a referral?” Ask nothing, get nothing.
  6. Maybe the timing of your request for referrals is not spot-on. If you ask for a referral before the relationship is strong enough, then you don’t have much chance of success. However, ask at the right time and you will see that this really works.
  7. Some businesses run campaigns that rely solely on referrals. Referral initiatives are there to SUPPLEMENT other marketing initiatives, not REPLACE them. Referrals should be part of the campaign, not the campaign itself.
  8. Some businesses don’t make a referral process part of their day-to-day business process. Referrals should be a part of your life, not an occasional flurry when your business is having a bad month.
  9. Some businesses let the referee down. Someone puts their name on the line for you and you don’t have the courtesy to follow up on it. Or worse, you provide shocking service to the lead. This is not good for business and you’ll lose both the referee and the lead.
  10. You don’t offer commission or are unwilling to pay for leads. For goodness sake, this is BUSINESS! Business is about money. Referral commissions are the most critical of all of them. Amazon.com is built on referrals ― that’s what makes them number one in the world!

Welcome to the new age of World Micro Business Domination. Ask for referrals and you might get none. Ask for five referrals… you will get three. Being vague gets you nowhere. I find being clear makes a huge difference.

Do you have a success-story with referrals that you’d like to share with us? Or do you have any questions about this matter? Let us know on the Connect page.

Do you follow up on every lead? If so, how soon do you do it? Have you ever wondered about the impact of waiting around once a ‘hot’ lead arrives in your inbox? I am assuming here that you have a website that generates leads and you have a form where people can “Book Now,” “Order Now,” or something similar. Many people wait too long. Do yourself a big favour and call right away; be the first to call. Be confident about who you are and what you have to offer.

Jim Fitzgerald from Taradel served up the answer – a study from Live360

Lead conversion by fast phone response, compared to NO phone follow up. Here’s the impact on conversion rate:

Calling the prospect after…

  • 1 minute        +391%
  • 2 minutes      +160%
  • 3 minutes      +98%
  • 30 minutes   +62%
  • 1 hour            +36%
  • 5 hours         +24%
  • 24 hours       +17%

Think “plumber.” When you need a plumber, you need one RIGHT NOW. Many businesses are like this, even when, in theory, booking the service a couple of weeks from now would be just fine. It might be fine for the prospect, but it’s just not  fine for you. If you don’t “get ‘em’” now, you’re probably never going to “get ‘em’.”

Autoresponders are a nice “safety net” and they really will save you a great deal of ‘lost business,’ but two weeks of autoresponders are no match for a quick phone call two minutes later to close the deal.

Don’t leave money on the table: Call your leads.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which road you take.”

It is the same in a business as it was for Alice when she went to Wonderland. It is imperative that you know where you’re going.

In the eighties and maybe even in the nineties, our approach was all about “as many as we can.” As many products as we can sell; as many people as we can reach; as many brochures as we can print; as big a target as we can reach… Sell to anyone and everyone and we will make money!

We feel things have shifted, shifted to knowing exactly what you are selling and knowing exactly to whom you want to sell it. The market has become clever. You can no longer force anyone into buying things that they do not want. And if you do, good luck trying to sleep at night while your conscience gnaws at you…

It’s all about finding the right person, who wants exactly what you have to offer, at the exact time they want it, and for the price at which you want to sell it. So know your target market. Know where they are, and know how to find them. If you don’t know, call us so we can offer suggestions. Also, know exactly how many of your products/services you want to sell and set a time limit. Create a target for yourself in your sales cycle, a target within your reach. This will be determined by your own rhythm, which you control – not your prospects.

Know what you’re doing in every month, for example:

  • I am calling 100 new people.
  • I am making 20 new appointments.
  • I will have 15 new quotes.
  • I will have 10 new clients by month end.

This is the start of a sales process. So easy! And really, we are serious about helping you find your target market. Give Lara a call. Her number is on the Connect page.

Your website is online, the homepage points to all the right pages and your Contact Us page is ready for business. With all that hard work done, why go any further? Surely your website will be enough to lure in the leads. Well, no. Content is not only important to your website and overall marketing strategy. It is critical. The world-wide-web is huge and so the hope that people will magically stumble upon your website is a false one. There are simply too many voices—you have to make sure that your voice is heard. So, how does content help?

Search Engine Optimisation Will Speak to Your Target Market

By this point, you should know exactly who your target market is. (If you do not, click here to read our article on this); and you know exactly what problems your target market is experiencing. You have the solution to that pain. And you should be using Google to help people find you and your solution by having content on your website, which speaks the exact same words for which they are searching.

Give Value

Greed is not appealing to anyone. If you come across an online marketer who only ever says, “Click here to buy all my stuff,” then you will most likely ask that all-important question: “Why?” Or even better, “Who are you exactly?”

And so you should. Why should you trust that person with your money? Back in the old days, when there was only one shop in town, you had no choice but to buy from the owner of that one shop. But right now, there are so many voices calling for your attention, and anyone who wants to sell their products or services would have to stand out from the crowd. How do you do this? You do it by adding value to the lives of your would-be customers. Make a name for yourself as the person who is willing to give away some insider tips into what you do, because it shows your potential customers that you care about them. Ultimately, most people will still ask for your help anyway, because even if they know exactly how to do it, they will trust you with their money if you care about them.

Do you have any questions or comments? Use the form on the Connect page.

“How long will it take to get a return on my investment?” I am often asked this question and I believe that it deserves an answer. After all, it’s a perfectly reasonable question for a business owner to ask of their marketing company. Unfortunately, the problem is that the answer is a thorny one. Return on investment is not a “one-size- fits-all” and it varies from company to company. Let us take a look at the two very different businesses:

Business 1 is a gambling website already making money. The owner decides that he wants to advertise on Google Adwords to extend his company’s reach, and become widely known. He has heard that Google changed the rules recently, allowing gambling websites to advertise with Google Adwords, and he is excited at the idea of adding a well-established marketing avenue to his existing marketing plan.

Business 2 is in the idea phase. The owner wants to develop an app to enable an iPhone to function as a computer mouse. Since everyone and their aunt advises them to start marketing from day 1, the owner approaches us to help their business succeed as soon as it launches.

Now we look at three of the key factors that influence ROI

The first factor is product-solution- fit. Does your product solve a problem? With the gambling
business, the answer is yes. The business is making money, which is the proof. With the web-app business, the answer is yet to be discovered and, ultimately, will be answered after extensive market research.

The second factor is product-market- fit. Will people pay money for the solution? Again, with the gambling business, the answer is yes. People are already paying money; the owner just wants more customers. With the second business, the owner has not established this. A quick look at the app store shows that there are already people giving away a free iPhone mouse app. This creates a challenge for the business.

The third factor? The two business owners need to establish scale. Can they gain a sufficient number of customers in order to keep the business afloat? Business 1, already done. He has calculated his lifetime customer-value and knows his target cost-per-acquisition. Bonus? Google clicks for gambling are reasonably cheap, around R10 a click. The gambling business owner calculated that a customer is worth R3000 – R4000 per year, so the math is pretty easy from there. He could probably spend R1000 per customer and see a return. With the app business, the price of an app is R3 – R4. The margin on that is tiny and he still has to give a percentage of what the app makes right back to the app store. Obtaining the scale portion of this is a challenge. In short, the second business owner has no validation whatsoever that anyone will buy his product, or whether he can gain them in sufficient scale.

And even if he could, the odds are stacked against him because he will have to acquire these customers for a few cents in order to see a return – a most unlikely scenario. A good marketing company should be able to tell the difference between business 1 and business 2 and everything in between. If iteration and testing needs to happen, there will be optimisation. The key thing that you can control in addition to restraining the variables is the speed that you can go through the optimisation process. It is best in the long run to work with a marketing company that builds and tests quickly so that you can optimise your ROI in a shorter amount of time. Give me a shout in the comments section or fill in the form on the
Connect page if you need any marketing assistance.

How much should I allocate to my marketing budget? This question comes to me in many forms. It could be, “How much should I spend on marketing,” or, “How much should I spend on advertising?” The answer I always give is, “Do you have a working customer factory?”

A Working Customer Factory?

Yes, a working customer factory. If you have never heard that phrase before, you should read Ash Maurya’s book, “Scaling Lean.” ‘Customer factory’ describes the effects of having a working marketing funnel. If you have a factory where traffic coming in on the one side equals money going out on the other side, then you should scale up your marketing budget as fast, and by as much, as you can with respect to your cash flow. For example, if you have a thirty-day window from the time you have to spend on advertising to the time that you get your money back from real customers then, allowing for that delay, you should spend as much as you can on marketing because you are guaranteed a return on investment.

Unfortunately, most people do not have a working customer factory, which is often why they come to us for help. Advertising on Facebook or Adwords does not guarantee ROI. The only guarantee is that you can reach the people on those platforms with a given message.

Building A Customer Factory Is A Whole Different Challenge

You need to understand who your customer is, what their problem is, how you are going to solve that problem to generate income, and how you are going to position your offer so that your customers take action and purchase the product or solution from you at a sufficient margin to justify the cost of the acquisition. While you are building a customer factory, ROI is not guaranteed. You should go for ROI on a very small marketing budget because the real cost at this point is time and waste. Keep in mind that spending more money while you are building your customer factory does not speed up the building process. In fact, increasing the budget often means that you are more active and, if you are not clear on your customer-solution-fit, you can slow down the process instead of speeding it up, creating chaos when you should be creating order. When trying to build a complex machine in a factory, adding more people to the project will not necessarily speed up the process because the whole system needs to work as a seamless unit. If the people working on the one part are not in perfect synchronisation with the people working on the other sections, your result will be a machine that will not even start. We often see customers who have engaged a marketing agency, and when they cannot gain ROI month after month, they increase their budget. However, this still won’t work and so they say, “Adwords don’t work,” or “Facebook doesn’t work.” In reality, deep within the mixture of keywords, ads, landing pages, calls to action, and conversion tracking, nobody on that project could actually say with conviction what it takes to buy a customer. The actual problem was more than likely to have been that nobody clearly understood the problem faced by the customer or how to position the product or service so that the customer responded.

The beauty of digital marketing is that you can have those answers, and all the necessary tools that will allow you to receive the data, and create structured experiments faster and more cost effectively than ever before. However, the discipline to be able to do that is difficult to find.

In conclusion, if you haven’t successfully been able to create a working customer factory, you should not increase your ads budget. If you find someone who knows how to do this, are if you are willing to spend the smallest amount of money possible, and until you have worked out how to deliberately buy a customer at a profit, only then do you increase your marketing budget.

If you would like us to help you with this, click here to book a brainstorming session or a lean canvas session with us via our Connect Page, and we will unpack the leverage points within your business and look into building you your own customer factory.

Do you sell razors to someone with a “five-o’clock shadow” or to someone with a beard?

Really think about this question, especially if you are about to start a new business. Once you think you have a great idea for a venture, you must understand that the act of choosing a target market is one of the most important aspects to address. Without this first crucial step, you are stepping out blindly and wasting energy, time, and even money by talking to the wrong people.

Let us take as an example the two brothers, Mike and Joe. One sunny day, these two started a window cleaning operation. They invested in buckets and squeegees and went out into the neighbourhood to look for dirty windows. The first neighbour they reached had dirty windows. They believed that they had hit the jackpot because she desperately needed their services. When she opened the door, they gave her their well-rehearsed pitch: “Can we clean your windows? We charge R500 for no more than twenty windows.”

She nearly fell over upon hearing the price. “No, that is way too expensive. My husband will wash the windows himself.”

Now, a great entrepreneur does not stop at the first sign of trouble, so onwards they moved to the next house, delivering the same pitch to the elderly gentleman who answered the door. “Can we clean your windows? We charge R500 for no more than twenty windows.”

He seemed annoyed. “No, no, no, my son does that.”

So, what does an entrepreneur do at the second sign of trouble? Entrepreneurs laugh at such trivialities. However, after they had repeated this scenario a few more times, it didn’t seem funny anymore. Being at your wit’s end will do that to you. Mike scratched his head as he looked at the mansion at the end of the lane. They avoided it on purpose because the windows were sparkling clean. Mike told Joe that he just had to try one more time, despite the fact that the mansion owner would probably not need their services. Joe couldn’t see why they should talk to the owner of the mansion, but Mike was a stubborn man and knocked on the door. Imagine their surprise when the lady of the mansion loved their pitch.

“Only R500 for no more than twenty-five windows? Marvellous! The current window cleaning company charges me R750!”

Another great example is Kabelo with his roof cleaning business. He went through the same struggles as Mike and Joe did, but he soon realised that the people most interested in his business were those with clean roofs, those only just starting to show signs of dirt. They were also interested in his extra service where he not only removed the dirt but also applied his own uniquely formulated product to ensure that the dirt stayed away for longer.

There is a pattern here.

The good news is that you can create a target market profile by asking the right questions. Here are 8 questions you can ask to help you to know your target market:

  1. In what area do they live?
  2. What car do they drive?
  3. How many children do they have?
  4. Are they single or married?
  5. Are they male or female?
  6. Into what age bracket do they fall? (25 – 35; 35 – 45; 45 – 55; etc.)
  7. Are they South African or international?
  8. What do they do in their spare time? (watch rugby, read books, hiking, etc.)

With your newfound insight, you will be able to answer the question at the start of this article: Do you sell razors to someone with a 5 o’clock shadow or to someone with a beard?

Your target market is not someone who only has a problem that you can solve. Yes, the man has a beard. But despite that fact that he has the ability to grow facial hair, he is clearly not in the market to be rid of his fashion statement anytime soon.

Your target market is, in fact, the people who value the business solution that you provide. These are your lifelong fans. They are prepared to pay you and, what’s more, they will even tell their friends about you. They are the guys who shave every day.

If you want to find your ideal target market, then get in touch with me right away by using the form on the Connect page.

There is a great joke I heard a while back: “How can you tell if someone read the book a movie was based on? It’s easy. They will instantly tell you.”

It’s the classic tale of book versus movie. On the one hand, reading a book is an accomplishment. It takes far longer to get through a novel than it does to get through a movie. On the other hand, a movie is the condensed version of your favourite story and it is a testament to the quick-fix society in which we are living today. It sums up almost everything you can expect in a book with none of the time needed to invest in the book, and since time is money, people will watch movies instead of reading books. Love it or hate it, these are the facts of our current age. It also happens to be the digital age and the same “reading versus watching” shift is happening on the Internet. After all, who wants to read an article when they can multitask during a self-help or educational video?

Videos End Up In Search Results

Have you ever researched a topic using Google and found some videos popping up in the search results? Where once videos were not considered for SEO, due to the fact that Google couldn’t know what was in the video, YouTube now allows for videos to be SEO-friendly and your videos can easily find their way into the search results. Since we have established that more and more people will gravitate towards the quick-fix of a video playing while they multitask, your video will be likely to be the one people click on which leads me to…

Jump In Before Your Competitors

According to this Think With Google article, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. A video can help you explain your offerings, even better, it is as though you have rolled a few touch points into one with your customers “binge watching” all your videos─and you end up with a very hot lead indeed. This will undoubtedly give you the edge.

Be Seen As The Confident Industry Leader That You Are

Gone are the days when the CEO of a company was not a public figure. People want to trust in your company before they commit to a sale and since you are the face of your company, what better way to build said trust than to show your face, exude confidence, and give value to your potential customers by sharing your insights?

If you want to find out more about video marketing, how it will grow your business, and how Mavaric can help you with this crucial way of marketing, get in touch with me, Lara, via our Contact Us Page