At SmallFish Marketing we offer a range of services that could make a real difference to your business:
Advertising & Promotion
|Websites, SEO & Social Media
|Customer Relationship Management
PR & Communications
Think of a marketing audit as a business health check, a chance to gather and analyse key information. Only by understanding your current position, can you match your company’s capabilities to the opportunities that exist in your market sector.
- Does your product/service offering completely satisfy your customers’ needs?
- What are your true business strengths and what makes you unique?
- Is your positioning and message relevant to your target audience?
- What marketing have you done to date and did it really work?
- What are your rivals doing and how do you compare?
- How is the market changing and where do you fit in?
We take a long, hard look at you, the pond and the other fish in it. Immersed in the day-to-day of your business, it is sometimes hard to see clearly. We offer you objectivity, insight and expertise. We then develop a strategy based on our findings to market your business more effectively.
For example, if your overall business objective is to increase sales, your marketing objective might be to reach new customers, promote repeat buying by existing customers or launch new products.
We develop a strategy to determine where your profits will come from. We can identify which elements of the marketing mix such as pricing or promotion are critical to your success. We can help you understand the benefits of different marketing activities for both your company and your customers. With a strategy in place, we can then draw up a detailed plan of action with costs and timings.
Branding is all about creating a personality and identity for your product, service or company. It is what sets you apart from your competitors. A strong brand adds value, enabling you to charge more. It provides your sales force with an easier sell and instills confidence in your customers.
We can help you discover and communicate the essence of your business through branding. Design, advertising, marketing and service culture are all powerful branding tools that help generate associations in customers’ minds. We can develop a brand strategy that will distinguish you in the marketplace and benefit your business.
Promotion is about more than just advertising. It is about using a range of techniques to stimulate customers to take a certain course of action.
Advertising attracts attention, creates desire and persuades customers to buy. It helps ignite and maintain their interest in your business. Advertising media popular with small businesses include local press, magazines, billboards, radio, trade journals and directories.
We can help you identify your target audience and clarify the message you want to send them. We can also help you decide which media will be most effective in reaching them.
Sales promotion is characterized by a special offer available for a limited time only. It is a tactic used to introduce new products, clear old stock, level out peaks and troughs, develop customer loyalty, motivate staff/intermediaries and counter competitive activity. Promotional techniques include temporary price reductions, vouchers, competitions, BOGOF offers, free samples, free gifts and POS material.
Sales promotion is a powerful weapon in winning business from competitors and providing a short term boost to sales. We can help you achieve a specific sales or marketing objective with a short, sharp plan of action. We can generate a burst of hype and activity and accurately measure its success.
Do you often wonder if your business needs a website? Nowadays customers expect even small businesses to have an online presence. Since most people begin their search for a product or service online, a website can be a powerful and effective marketing tool.
- enables you to provide up-to-date information on your products and services.
- offers your customers 24/7 availability from anywhere in the world.
- helps you reach very specialised market segments.
- is more cost-effective than traditional advertising – direct mail, magazines, radio etc.
- improves customer service via downloadable maps, forms, product literature etc.
- helps you gather information and keep in touch with your customers.
- provides answers to FAQ and a channel for customer feedback.
However, setting up a website can be daunting for a non-technical business owner. We work with a specialist web developer to build a site tailored to your needs. Whether a vital selling tool or a simple directory listing, we make your website an invaluable part of your business, putting you one step ahead of your competitors.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Unless you have a well-known brand, you will rely heavily on SEO to bring customers to your site. SEO improves the visibility of your website via un-paid search results. Greater visibility means more targeted traffic, leading to higher sales.
It works like this… search engines, like Google, process the words typed into a search box and respond by displaying a list of web pages. The ranking of the list is determined automatically by the search engine and is based on each site’s content and structure. By optimising your site for search engines, customers looking for your products and services can find you in seconds. Unlike traditional advertising, customers are actively seeking this information.
We can make your website attractive to both your target audience and to search engines, ensuring that it ranks highly. We identify influential keywords and advise you on other SEO techniques to bring traffic to your site. We then convert that traffic into sales with carefully structured content.
Social media is a way of sharing thoughts, content and relationships online. It comes in many forms – text, audio, video and communities. Unlike mainstream media, anyone can create it or comment on it.
Have you ever considered a Facebook fan page? Your customers are unlikely to visit your website every day but more than half of them will log onto Facebook. You could be reaching them with regular news updates.
Then there are blogs, which not only improve your rankings in search results but also position your company with greater authority. People visit social media sites to discuss issues that are important to them. Having a presence on blogs and forums can influence your customers’ purchasing decisions.
In short, people like to do business with people they like. Through social media, we can influence how people perceive your business, making you more approachable. We can help you engage with customers, test the market and spread the word.
Marketing collateral encompasses a range of materials used to generate enquiries, promote sales and communicate information about your company, products or services:
When customers view your marketing material, they make immediate assumptions about your business. Everything you produce needs to be in tune with your overall marketing message and reflect your desired company image.
We work with a local graphic designer to create eye-catching, quality material. We write copy with your target audience in mind – copy that communicates the benefits of doing business with your company, copy that is accurate, persuasive and easy to understand. We manage the whole process for you, from the initial design through to proof–reading and print.
How often do your customers ask, “What’s new?” Developing new products or services involves risk and investment but is often essential for business survival.
Demand for your existing products may be falling. You may need to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals. You may want to take advantage of a new market opportunity or new technology. A simple update could be all that is needed – tweaking a service or repackaging a product. Or the answer to achieving real growth could lie in creating a completely new product or service.
We appreciate that small businesses have limited time and resources. We ensure that you develop and innovate for the right reasons, in response to a genuine market need. In the development process, we gather customer feedback and competitor information. We then help you bring your new product or service to market, guiding you through test marketing to launch.
Price affects how much of your product or service is sold and to whom it is sold. We consider a number of factors to help you decide on a pricing strategy:
- Does your pricing cover your costs and return a reasonable profit?
- Are your customers sensitive to price?
- What do your competitors charge?
- Can you differentiate yourself in some way to demand higher prices?
- Do you want to achieve high volume and quick acceptance with lower prices?
- Does your pricing affect your image?
- Do you have different pricing policies for different market segments?
We take into account your short-term goals and long term commitments to help you determine the best price for your goods and services.
Attitudes to customers have changed. The focus has shifted from simply closing a sale to keeping customers long term. The aim of CRM is to understand customer behaviour and develop relationships to maximise each customer’s potential lifetime value. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs. Their needs are complex and extend beyond mere products and services to the whole buying-selling process.
A more personal approach leads to enhanced customer satisfaction. As complaints and churn rates reduce, referrals grow. You can increase sales by identifying new opportunities for cross-selling. You can instantly access market research by opening new lines of communication. You can reward your most valuable customers, whilst dealing with unprofitable customers in a cost-effective way.
CRM is more than a technical solution; it is a business philosophy. It involves a new way of thinking, not just to meet customer expectations but to exceed them. Let us manage the interaction with your customer base and allow you to capitalise on improved relations.
PR involves using the media to develop your reputation as a business. Your company image is the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. It requires a sustained effort to give your business an edge, making it stand out from the crowd.
PR can play a critical role in achieving a competitive advantage. It can create value for your products and services, open new markets, attract high-calibre employees and protect your business in times of crisis. Effective communication is key. Press releases are just one way to generate publicity. Others include special events, sponsorship, articles and testimonials.
We can help you enhance your reputation by managing the communications between your organisation and your publics (customers, employees, investors, local community etc). We can divide your publics into distinct groups and then deliver a clear and relevant message to influence each group. Competition for consumer attention is intense. With our help, you can keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Market research is often misunderstood, being seen as a tool used only by larger organisations. Yet it is fundamental to small businesses too, providing direction and improving the effectiveness of communications. Market research can be carried out on a small budget and should be viewed as an investment rather than a cost.
There are two types – primary and secondary. Primary research offers first hand customer information. It is more expensive and time consuming than secondary research but the information it yields is more specific and therefore more valuable. Secondary research produces more general information, which has been gathered by someone else.
Through market research we can offer you vital insights into customer behaviour, current market conditions and future trends and developments. Gathering the right data will enable you to make informed commercial decisions and adapt quickly to market changes.
Specific marketing projects require expertise that small businesses do not typically have in-house. Outsourcing special events, product launches, websites or even marketing collateral often makes good business sense.
Effective project management calls for meticulous planning and careful organisation. A successful outcome relies on delegation, motivation and constant communication. Ensuring a positive return on investment means regularly monitoring progress and analyzing results on completion.
We can take the stress out of projects that at first glance appear too daunting. Our approach is professional and flexible, producing the desired result with the minimum of fuss. We focus on the detail and the execution to meet your objectives on time and within budget.