Here are some articles from industry publications that we found interesting. You'll also find interesting articles written by the RCR team, where you can find useful information on building your Revenue, Capability and Reputation.

If you like what you’ve read feel free to add your comments at the end of the article.

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Sep 5 17

Tinker, tailor, soldier or spy? Which one are you?

Sooner or later most of the businesses we work with find they need to think about the best way to get marketing done on a day-to-day basis.  There are a number of common pitfalls, which can be classed as the tinker, tailor, soldier, spy syndrome.  Here are some tips on avoiding the traps:

TINKER: In many SMEs, without the resource for an in-house marketing team, it is likely that the managing director takes on responsibility without necessarily having the required skills or time. By tinkering around the edges in this way, marketing and business development are likely to lack direction and consistency. 

TAILOR: To avoid the ‘tinker’ scenario, businesses often outsource to agencies.   The key question to ask is whether they are able to create a tailored strategy for your business to achieve its goals. The tailored plan should help grow revenue and enhance the brand equity, in a way that works with your culture and risk profile.

SOLDIER: Soldiers are the inexperienced members of the team who are given responsibly to handle a job they haven’t done before. If you have available soldiers in your business, this can be cost-effective but only for the short-term. A soldier is an asset to the team, as they fit culturally and know how the organisation works. The risk is that, without the right direction, their inexperience can lead to mistakes.

SPY: While it’s important to keep a close watch on your competitors, the spy risks being distracted by their every move. Experience teaches you when to stay grounded in your own strategy and resist the temptations of imitation and hasty reactions. 

You can read the full article in more detail, about the tinker, tailor, soldier, spy syndrome, and how to avoid it, here.

by Victoria Ash

Aug 25 17

Are you marketing to a minimum viable audience?

If you’re a regular RCR blog reader, you’ll have noticed our occasional reference to Seth Godin blogs. Here is yet again another short post by the marketing guru, “In search of the minimum viable audience”, where he explains why marketing to ‘everyone’ is less effective than marketing to a smaller, more targeted and niche audience to drive revenue in the business.

The marketing plan for your business should reflect the strategy to:

  • Identify what matters to your business
  • Be clear on where your most important weak spots are
  • Pick no more than three to focus on – be realistic about what you can achieve and don’t spread your resources too thinly

If you’ve read our article on a Scout, Blitz, Siege campaign, you will already be familiar with the process or methodology which helps your marketing plan be more effective. Looking at a range of the marketing mix, and aligning them with the objectives of your business, can you be sure your reaching the minimum viable audience with the best marketing plan and campaign strategy?

In this article you can learn more about what marketing you should be doing, it includes:

  • Finding clients
  • Converting new business
  • Delivering to clients

For more marketing intelligence, subscribe to RCR’s blog here.

by Tina Chohan

Aug 18 17

What role does marketing play in your business?

In every business marketing fills different gaps; you may want to use marketing to get new business, to retain customers, to raise brand awareness (or perhaps, all of the aforementioned).

Your turnover and profitability is reflected in the marketing that you do and the way that you do it. There are many factors that need to be considered, to create a clear long-term vision for the success of a business with the support of marketing functions. What are the factors that will help your business increase revenue, and become more attractive to buyers?

Here is an extract from a useful article that will go into detail about what marketing means and what it involves:

“We look at the critical role that marketing plays in enhancing the value of your firm.  Not just by increasing your turnover and profitability, but in a range of ways that make it more attractive to anyone looking to buy into the business.  They will pay more for an organisation that has: a clear position, valuable skills, the ability to develop new markets, and unique Intellectual Property (IP).  Good marketing makes sure you have them.”

Click here to read the full article.

by Tina Chohan

Jul 19 17

Why you’re NOT fired…

In my last article, I wrote a review on Richard Branson’s autobiography – ‘Losing my Virginity’. In case you’ve missed it, you can read it here. Last month I was given Alan Sugar’s autobiography and, motivated by my last read, I was more than eager to learn about another mogul’s entrepreneurial life and business experience.

Most of us know Alan Sugar from the British TV series, ‘The Apprentice’, and are well acquainted with his famous line, “You’re fired!”. But, did you know, he is also known as ‘mop head’?:  a family nickname because of his profuse, curly hair – always a good fact to know should you ever meet him!

The-Apprentice-Sir-Alan-Sugar-1

 

 

 

 

 

 


‘What You See Is What You Get’
is the name of the autobiography, and it couldn’t be more true of how Sugar represents himself to business partners and colleagues throughout the book.

It is an inspirational book targeted at budding youngsters, business professionals who can benefit from a few tips, and football fans who want to learn what the industry is like, off the pitch.

Many of us know Alan Sugar grew up on a council estate in Clapton, Hackney. Coming from a poor family background, with uncertainty of money being brought home by his father, Sugar is fuelled with a drive to succeed. In comparison to his father, who even as a skilled tailor decided to work for someone else, as opposed to setting up his own business, Sugar surprises everyone with his entrepreneurial spirit.

Like Richard Branson, Alan Sugar starts at a young age, he sets up his own company Amstrad (later to be called Amshold Group Ltd), selling hi-fi and computers, as well as satellite dishes to Rupert Murdoch at BSKyB (now Sky), and separately fights his way in the boardroom as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC.

As a marketer, I was pleased to read about Alan Sugar’s interest in marketing: “I am a marketing man, I give people what they want.”

Sugar writes about how the importance of marketing: how the strategy, branding, messaging, positioning etc. has an impact on the success of the business. Sugar himself displays many examples of how he positioned his brand to big retailers like Dixons and became competitive with corporations like IBM. He knows his audience well enough to be able to market his products to reflect needs.

One good example is how he set Amstrad up to compete with IBM. IBM PCs had a fan in the base unit to keep the sensitive microprocessor circuits cool, because this is where they kept their power supply. Alan Sugar’s computer had been built with the power supply in the monitor, therefore did not need a fan. But the BBC put out a statement to say they wouldn’t buy from Amstrad because they had no fan, and led people to believe that without a fan the computer would overheat and conk out.

As Alan Sugar comments, ‘It was a complete load of cobblers’. Alan Sugar realised that people were not buying and he knew the next step was, to give them what they wanted.

“If they want a fan, I’ll give them a bloody fan. If they want a computer with pink spots on, I’ll give them a computer with pink spots on. I’m not here to argue.”

The way he marketed his products contributed to Sugar’s success. He understood the market, he kept up to date with his competitors and he continued to build his brand and establish Amstrad’s USP.

I would recommend Alan Sugar’s autobiography. He is a witty opportunist who writes realistically about his failures and successes in business. If you believe that anything is possible, if you believe in yourself and will work hard to reach success, then ‘you’re NOT fired’.

by Tina Chohan

Jun 19 17

Losing My Virginity – the business view

rb1Reuters

 

I recently finished reading the autobiography of Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity. Needless to say, it is exactly what you would expect from an entrepreneur of his calibre. He is motivational throughout, shows continuous initiative, drive and (even at times when perhaps he could have thought twice) displays admirable self-belief.

From his hot air balloon adventures across the skies of Morocco, China and Hawaii to the well-known rivalry between Virgin Atlantic and BA, the book is packed with lots of adventure, challenges and most importantly, success. 

“Since we’re complete virgins at business, let’s call it just that: Virgin.” When we are young, we are faced with the many challenges of work life, trying to figure out what it is we truly want to achieve. Some know exactly what they want to do and strive to do exactly that. Whereas there as some, such as myself, that take nature’s hand and quite simply, go with the flow.

 

Having read Richard Branson’s life story so far, there are some things that stood out to me, that I wanted to share with you.

1) Sometimes being lost is just what you need

I am sure we have all been in situations in life, and in business, where we have felt lost, confused and helpless. There is a key point in Branson’s life, at a very early stage of his childhood when his mother, Eve, sought out to teach him one of his biggest lessons in life. At the age of six, Eve pushed Richard out the car and told him to find his own way home.

Of course, these days Eve would probably have social services turn up at the door. But back then, Richard learnt how to ‘find his own way,’ to find a solution to the challenges that lay ahead. From early on, he was pushed into the mouth of danger but learnt to adapt, overcome and achieve his goals, then and later on in life.

Sometimes when you are lost it teaches you to grow, think differently and plan your next steps accordingly to get you where you want to be. It may not always be easy, but if you think and work hard enough – you’ve got more of a chance to ‘find your own way’.

2) A problem halved is a problem solved

Your team, the people in it are your assets. You can’t be everywhere, and you can’t know everything.

Richard Branson writes of many stories about his ‘Virgin crew’, how his attitude towards the many people he worked with displayed equality. He did not make business decisions alone, but valued opinion of the company as a team, and by recognising the strength and weaknesses of everyone, he could get the right advice, from the right people, at the right time.

Building relationships and the ability to trust people in business is very important, especially when the core part of most businesses claim to put people first. It is a skill that you learn and mistakes help us to develop.

3) Don’t forget to have fun

Isn’t that the holy grail of business, surely? You should be doing something you love. That’s what I learnt from Richard. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.

Richard Branson loves adventure and challenges, he looked for these things not just in business but in life (with his many ballooning expeditions).

If it doesn’t make you happy, make a change. Develop your skills, network, get out there and be respected for what you do best. Keep moving forwards, because if you settle, you’ll be settling for less.

We all start from nowhere, to get somewhere. It’s up to you to decide how far you’re willing to go and write your own story about life and business survival.

by Tina Chohan

(Photo credit: Reuters)