More informal than a strategy session, a “pick my brains” session provides you with an opportunity to jump on a call with me and ask my advice about something. A strategy session, conversely, requires greater work and commitment from both of us. Prior to a strategy session call, I will send you a list of questions to work through that will frame our discussion, and help identify any particular challenges and obstacles you are currently facing. We will then work through these during our consultation, and look at what needs to be done to drive forward your business and accomplish your marketing goals. After the call, I’ll follow up via email, and provide you with actionable takeaways that you can begin to implement immediately and with confidence.
SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I AM COMMONLY ASKED
Telephone and Skype consultations
Although not compulsory, it would be beneficial to both of us if you could set aside an hour or so before the consultation to work through a pre-consultation questionnaire that I will send to the email address provided at the time of booking. If chatting via Skype, it would also be helpful if you could ensure that your speakers, microphone and camera (if applicable) are working properly so that we don’t waste precious time resolving technical issues!
If you are local to Tunbridge Wells (or happy to travel to Tunbridge Wells), then absolutely. Keep in mind though that it may cost you extra in the form of tea and cake!
You can reschedule your consultation up to 24 hours before your appointment time by clicking on the link inside the email confirmation that you received. Alternatively, you can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss alternative time slots via email.
A good strategic marketing plan can help you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and ultimately, increase your bottom line. It will help you position your products and services in a way that resonates with your target market, and help customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, the competition. Without a strategic plan in place, you are making decisions on the fly, which typically results in disjointed marketing efforts, a lack of focus, and wasted resources.
Strategy may not always be as fun as creating Facebook and Instagram posts, but marketing without it more often than not results in spending far too much time and money on activities that have no direct impact on the scaleability of your business. Rushing into tactics without adequate planning is the equivalent of a doctor starting surgery before knowing a patient’s history, studying their results, or making a diagnosis. Or in other words, firing shots before setting your sights on the target.
The cost of a marketing plan will vary depending on the nature of your business. Creating a simple launch plan for a startup is very different from planning a rebrand for a large corporation, for example. Depending on the variables such as the size and complexity of your company and the deliverables required, a startup firm can expect to invest around £1500 to £3000 for a customised strategic launch plan. For an established business requiring a more in-depth plan including competitor analysis, market sizing and product gap analysis, you will be looking at more. It should be noted, however, that these prices are just a guide, and the exact price will depend on the amount of detail you require, the amount of primary research involved, the complexity of your industry, and the mode of delivery. If you’re just looking for a written marketing plan that covers fundamentals such as message, market segments, ideal clients and a full year of tactics to support your overall objective, then this is going to be at the lower end of the range.
To get the ball rolling, why not book a strategy session with me? If you decide to proceed, the initial consultation fee will be deducted from the final fee.
Although I won’t do your marketing for you, I can – together with a team of collaborators – help with certain aspects of the implementation, including:
- Social media marketing
- Public relations
- Influencer marketing
- Website development
- Search engine optimization
- Paid advertising
I offer reduced rates on both marketing plans and market research to small brands that need help getting off the ground. With launch plans starting at just £1500, and surveys from just £1 per response, I offer some of the most competitive rates in the industry, with all the work I do fully tailored to your brand. For the right product, I’ll even consider a payment + equity or profit share scheme. Please contact me if you would like further details.
Market Research & Insight
Conducting market research is important for any business wanting to keep up with changing market trends and ensure that their business maintains its competitive edge. Whether you are starting up a new business or expanding an existing one, market research will help you understand your target market and how to position your offering in the most effective way, leading to happier customers and increased sales.
As I often tell my clients, jumping into targeting without first conducting an objective critique of the market is a bit like trying to launch a kite without first assessing the wind conditions. You might manage a successful launch the first time around, but more often than not, it will end in a flop.
Where do you find a sample that is truly representative of the sorts of parents I am trying to reach?
Over the past couple of years, I have worked hard to build up a large social media presence that my clients and I can tap into and leverage for research purposes. I don’t typically incentivise our respondents (it’s rarely necessary, unless the survey is particularly long or on an unengaging topic!) and instead, use a combination of psychographic segmentation techniques and purposive targeting to gain access to parents who would not normally take part in market research.
I find this approach works well. When a client comes to me looking for a survey of 1,000 pregnant women, I am not constrained by the number of women who have previously opted in to my panel, who happen to be pregnant. Instead, I treat each survey as an opportunity to source new respondents, making use of my 100,000+ strong Facebook fan base to help source fresh respondents who exactly meet my clients’ brief. (Thanks to the advent of so-called Facebook dark posts, we’re not restricted to our own fan base either).
This approach has lots of benefits over traditional survey panels, and I believe, leads to more representative results. A simple example, but how likely is it that a GP with kids who spends half her day filling out forms will sign up to answer surveys for the promise of £1 a pop? On the other hand, if a survey happens to pop up on her newsfeed while she is browsing Facebook in the evening, then might she be tempted to answer a short survey that is directly relevant to her? Quite possibly!
To determine the optimal sample size for a survey, one must strike a balance between cost and reliability or the level of sampling error that is tolerable. A larger sample provides greater reliability, but at a higher cost. A smaller sample will be less costly, but will yield a higher margin of sampling error. In most cases a sample of 800-1000 parents will suffice. However, keep in mind that many media outlets have a policy of not reporting findings of surveys with fewer than 1000 respondents, so if you are looking to use the survey to generate PR (which I always encourage clients to do, as it leads to a greater return on investment), you might want to factor this into your thinking.
Administration or “fielding” of online market research survey typically requires 2-10 business days. The variables that affect fielding time include:
- The sample size
- The incidence of the target sample (i.e., the percentage of people in the population who meet your requirements)
- The length of the survey in minutes
Once these variables are determined, I can provide a projected timeline for your project.
In terms of cost, my prices start at just £1 per response for a straightforward survey of mums, but may be more depending on how many filter questions we need to apply. (For example, a survey of parents who have bought a car seat in the past 12 months will cost closer to £3/response).
I offer a full range of both qualitative and quantitative market research services, including:
- Focus groups
- Interviews and intercepts
- Mystery shopping
- Ethnography and direct observation
Although I am based in the UK, many of my clients are not! Over the past couple of years, I have worked with clients in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, North America and Singapore, to name but a few.
I have a particularly good understanding of the Asian market, gained from having spent a decade in Tokyo covering Asian family trends for an equity research firm—part of which involved surveying over 35,000 middle-class families across 11 Asian countries.
READ MY BOOK
"This is a marketing bible for any new or existing business selling to mums. I only wish it had been around when our business started, as it would have saved us time, money and wasted energy."