You are running a moderately successful small or medium business but know that you could do better, however you are unsure what to do to develop your business. There are many things you can do, probably the best is to review your marketing and sales strategy with a view to develop new business.
As soon as you start to look at marketing your organisation, you will be bombarded with various things you can do and organisations who will do them for you. From developing a marketing strategy, building a strong brand, developing a powerful on-line presence and generating leads to support new business.
The simplest and most effective thing you can do is to use a full service agency to provide you with a seamless marketing, sales and on-line presence.
What is a full service marketing agency?
As the name suggests, a full service agency can provide every element of your marketing, sales and on-line functions within a single organisation. You can see from the flowchart below, the entire marketing cycle is provided by one provider.
The most obvious benefit is that, by using a single marketing and on-line agency you have a single point of contact for your marketing and sales operation and that each element works seamlessly together. You can save yourself the hassle of trying to communicate and share ideas and concepts between agencies, instead you can have a single team providing a holistic approach to all your marketing and sales activities.
You can be confident that you will have full control over all aspects of your marketing operation and don’t have to spend your time project managing multiple suppliers.
What to look for in a great full service marketing agency
There are many providers who will tell you that they can provide the level of service you require, before you select any agency you need to answer the following questions:
If you live with someone with an addiction, you may feel like you’re not living at all. You love your partner, but dealing with the lies you so desperately want to believe and the deep denial that feeds their dependence have put the relationship under enormous strain. Life with an addicted partner can feel like a three-way struggle: you, your loved one, and an uninvited partner called substance abuse.
And all too often, the substance wins.
Even when your significant other has sought help for their addiction, and through hard work and dedication has seemingly broken free from the overwhelming urge to use, the war is often not over. In fact, it rarely ends with the first battle. Relapse is common, and to watch the dependence resurface and the behaviours return is devastating. It’s like your world is imploding all over again.
What Does Addiction Feel Like?
When you can appreciate what your partner is going through, you’ll better understand the painful struggle they face when breaking an addiction. If you speak with those who have conquered their dependency on alcohol or other drugs, or have quit obsessive behaviours like gambling or overeating, they will tell you that their compulsion felt like an “insatiable hunger” or an “itch that couldn’t be scratched,” and that they would do anything for another fix. Changes in an addict’s brain chemistry can make it so that nothing feels manageable unless they are high. And along with the relentless cravings can come feelings of guilt, depression and self-loathing.
The Journey Is Long, but Rewarding
Research shows the percentage of people who will relapse in their first year of sobriety can be as high as 90%. These may seem like pretty poor odds, but it shows the journey from addiction is a long one and there will almost surely be stumbles along the way. Do not take a relapse as a failure. It’s part of the recovery process and can actually give a loved one the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their triggers, strengthening their recovery in the long term.
When you discover your partner has relapsed, you will likely feel let down, cheated and hurt, but you must focus on taking steps to address the issue. Your significant other needs your love and support. Resist any temptation to judge; instead, stand firmly beside them as they restart their recovery. Remember, however, to take care of yourself. Consider individual therapy or join a support group such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Staying healthy is one of the most important things you can do to provide the support your partner needs.
It Is Not Your Battle, but You Are a Key Player
You cannot control or “fix” an addict. You can’t force someone to get sober. However, you are a vital part of their support network and there are things you can do to help them:
You and your partner do not have to fight this battle on your own. There are highly qualified doctors and therapists who have dedicated their lives to helping people recover from addiction. And if relapse happens, get help again. Many people need more than one stay in alcohol or drug rehab to overcome the power of addiction.
Relapse Is Nobody’s Fault
Finally, do not blame yourself or your partner for a relapse. Addiction is a formidable foe and the journey to sustained sobriety can take years. You may feel as though you have let down your partner or they may say it’s your fault that they relapsed. Do not fall into the trap of blame and anger. If a confrontation begins to brew, walk away. Beneath the hostility and addiction is the person you love and they need you more than ever. Do not give up hope. People have recovered from the most entrenched addictions. Your loved one can recover, too.
More Advice and Information
To learn more about supporting a loved one in recovery, check out these helpful articles from The Right Step.
What could the wrong data list cost you?
You are building your marketing strategy and consider that direct email is an important element to generate new business, but before you select an email list provider you should be aware of the potential pitfalls if you select the wrong one.
If you search for list providers you will be bombarded with options, many of them will seem attractive as the cost of the list is low. However, a poor list can be a waste of money with minimal returns and at worst could cause you issues for your organisations from expensive legal action to poor public relations if you are thought of as a ‘spammer’.
The following are some simple tips to prevent the most common pitfalls when building an email campaign and looking for a data provider.
Rule out ‘too good to be true’ lists
Beware of offers that seem to be far too good to be true. ‘Over 1 million records for just £100’ - you need to ask yourself how relevant and up to date the data you will receive is and the fact that you have no idea how many times the data has been resold.
Ask yourself, if you are buying this list, how far down the line are you and how effective do you think an unstructured list will be. You don’t want to be just one of a number of ‘spam’ messages received by an individual
It doesn’t have the data or fields you require
Does the list have the fields you require? At the very least full names and email addresses in order that you can effectively address your potential customers. The more personal a message you can send the more likely you are to get a response to your email. We have all received generic emails which we delete or mark as spam. A relevant, personally addressed email is more likely to be opened, read, and acted upon.
The list does not directly address your target audienceIf you are building a campaign to promote your product or service it is important to ensure that the list you use encompasses the target audience. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to data. The average email user will spend only 15 seconds skimming an email so if it is not directly relevant to them they will delete it without spending any time considering the content.
You need to ensure that the email immediately catches their eye within this short viewing window, partly by creating engaging and eye catching content (15 seconds will allow the average reader to skim up to fifty words), but even the best content will not work if the subject is of no interest to them.
You need to ask your data supplier what data they can provide and to what level they can segment this for your campaign. If a provider cannot provide the highest level of data segmentation or do not offer a bespoke list building service you should reconsider.
The data is not up to date
So, you have the best data set, segmented directly for the campaign you require with named decision makers but your campaign still fails to hit the targets you require. This can be the case if the dataset is out of date. There is no point contacting decision makers just to find that they have either moved on or that they made a sales decision months before.
The value in data is in its relevance, ensure that you ask your provider how old the data is and how often it is refreshed. Be aware that out of date data will prove to be ineffective so you should look to use the most up to data.
You cannot be sure that the data provided has been legally obtained
In the UK the Data Protection Act is a set of legislation which covers the use of personal data such as names, addresses, and contact details. A breach of the law can be punished with a fine of up to £500,000. In the United Kingdom the act is administered by the Information Commissioner's Office. When considered the purchase of data it is vitally important to ensure that you are complying with the law.
Following these simple principles will ensure that you do not fall foul of the law.
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