How to increase your return on marketing

I have had three similar conversations lately with leaders from, an owner/managed business, an SME and a corporate all looking at how to improve the marketing their services.  For each, the message has been the same.  So here are the three scenarios.

1.  Small enterprise.  In talking to my first client, he told me about his networking activities.  I asked him what criteria he used in selecting the networking meeting and what he said when he attended.  He attended as many as he could that “looked interesting” and had a similar message about his service offerings.  It was clear that he adopted a broad scatter-gun approach to whoever was there in the hope that they were, might be, or knew someone who might be, interested.  I asked him, “Who is your ideal client”, “What market segments/industries might they be in?” and “What networks might they be going to?”.  He quickly got the message that networking with a target audience of potential ideal clients would be more worthwhile than his current activity.  Some research was needed.

2.  At my next networking meeting I was talking to a Partner from a multi-location accountancy firm who also had the challenge of marketing.  Again I asked him “Who is your ideal client?”.  Then “Where would they be based?”  Then, “Out of your current geographies which one has the fastest growing base of potential clients for you?”.  He didn’t know but said that he was going to do some research.  Another example from the “you find me” school of marketing.

3.  Finally the corporate leader.  She had the task of developing their three-year strategy.  She had defined her ideal market sectors.  I asked her “Which one has grown the fastest in the last year and looks to have the most growth?”.  Then, “Which one currently provides the most business to you and why?”.  Without knowing the answers to these questions, any strategy could be successful but not necessarily offer the same potential as one that is focused and based on market research.

So the message?  It doesn’t matter what size of business you have or are in, marketing needs to be targeted and focused on the areas that offer growth to you.  It is often more tempting to spend your time and resources on developing your own proposition and then “trust” that your message will get to the right audience by sheer effort and volume.  Put some of that effort in researching your market and the returns are guaranteed to be more fruitful.

And click for those who prefer audio

Reading: As we enter April, it is time for another book and this month I am featuring “Leading the Board: The Six Disciplines of World Class Chairmen”: Prof Andrew Kakabadse and Dr Nada Kakabadse (2007).   This was recommended to me by my co-leader from our Chairing Masterclass programme which we have been delivering to Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Future Events:

Highflyingdivas, Colchester 15th May

Highflyingdivas, London, 29th May – How to manage your emotions in tricky situations

The Leadership Forum, Colchester, 19th June

Lighter Reflections: It is a well-known fact that one of the expected enjoyments of living with your neighbours must be the timely art of boundary disputes.  Have they sneaked an extra inch when they put up that new fence?  Who owns the fence?  What and when are they going to do something about their Leylandi? Do they truly believe we need no sunlight?  etc etc.  Now, we don’t have neighbours (must be some message there).  We are surrounded on all three sides by, hitherto, open farmland.  So, to ensure that we keep up this great British institution, we are arguing amongst ourselves.  James is playing the role of our “neighbour” who informs me that our fence should go up and down our wiggly bank rather akin to the local roads in our village.  I maintain that the fence should remain on the side of the ditch (furthest from us) as per our deeds.  James argues that although we may own the ditch, we do not by default own the further bank.  I retort that if we didn’t then we would own a “slope” not a “ditch” as the latter by its nature has to have two banks.  The dog doesn’t care, he just wants a fence, any fence so that he no longer has to be put on  a long rope whenever he goes outside.  We do hear about neighbours taking drastic action, so if you don’t receive another blog from me, come visit, as I will probably be buried in the “ditch” at the boundary of our garden!

Future Events:

Highflyingdivas, Colchester 15th May

Highflyingdivas, London, 29th May – How to manage your emotions in tricky situations

The Leadership Forum, Colchester, 19th June

More at:


About RosemaryCC

Leadership Coach and Management Consultant helping you to clarify your goals and achieve success in your career or business. Also founder of Highflyingdivas and the Leadership Forum
This entry was posted in business management, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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