It’s all change…studying the funnel.

For the nearly 3 years I have been working full-time for a global TV broadcaster. It was a fantastic role, in a great organisation and had the honour of working with some amazing people. Whilst being excited for the future, I know I will miss the people I worked with.

So it is time for something new! In my new role, I’ll be working with companies who want to grow their business, bringing the latest marketing and media tools to bear to generate leads, enquiries and importantly sales!

For the last ten years I have worked in a variety of projects which have been about generating sales, orders or engagement. This new role is right up my street. With a number of projects and clients lined up, it’s going to be exciting to be working in a variety of different sectors, including education, legal and leisure.

One thing I find common across all sectors is the sales and marketing funnel. Every organisation needs a funnel, starting with brand awareness filtering down to a physical sale. In some sectors ‘sale’ is probably a crude term, but in all honesty everyone needs to make sales. The process of where a client agrees to pay a sum of money for a product or service is what makes the world go around.

What is surprising is that many organisations don’t understand their funnel. Perhaps they have been fortunate to have the right connections or a great salesperson. For the rest of us, if we don’t know the buying process and rely heavily on methods which are familiar, we could be waste a lot of time and money.

Sales and marketing funnels generally look something like this…

All our marketing efforts should be spent building and working a funnel. How do we find people who have interest and take them on a journey to becoming a customer. This is the core element of sales and marketing.

In times past this process has included networking, direct marketing, advertising and prospecting. All of these are still valid tools and if you have a really good marketing and sales strategy you’ll know which ones work and which ones don’t. Every business wants to find more people who have a need and interest in their product or service. Nowadays we can also work more intelligently to ‘target’ our prospective customers which can help lower the acquisition cost of a new customer.

These ‘new’ tools are reliant on a good understanding of the prospect. Mapping out buying behaviours and profiling your prospective customers can help you use resources more efficiently.  In the cut throat world we live, mapping out the funnel is key to knowing how to use your marketing budget to get the maximum return for the lowest cost.

So my job starting this month is to show clients how to get the maximum return for their marketing budget. If you are looking to develop your sales and want some help, drop me a line.

Move with change or get run over by it.

At the weekend I was discussing with our neighbors about the way we consume media and how the growth of on demand has created a whole ‘binge viewing’ culture and the change of viewing habits, such as  catch-up TV. I don’t know about you, but the majority of my TV viewing is now on-demand or through catch-up. There is no doubt the big screen in our living room’s is here to stay but the big question is, who will provide what we watch on it?

I am sure on a professional network such as Linkedin, very few will have succumbed to ‘binge’ viewing.  I’ve found a ‘binge’ viewing session can be quite therapeutic. I am sure I am not alone and there will be many who have had 3 hour marathon watching House of Cards, 24, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad.

The question all media producers are trying to answer is how will we receive media for consumption in the future. Just look at the recent news of Amazon relaunching the famous BBC series, Top Gear. 10 years ago Amazon delivering media content would have been a bit of a joke given our habits were very different back then. Diversity of viewing now presents a real problem. How do you know which one is future proof?  I don’t believe anybody honestly knows how we will consume media in the future.

Just like all those big media companies, going through the process of change can be quite a painful experience. Being creatures of comfort we like things to stay the same, we like certainty. Change brings uncertainty and forces us to improve ourselves and adapt to a world which is constantly changing. Change brings pain.

What’s happening in TV is happening everyday. Today there will be numerous inventors and entrepreneurs working and thinking of ways to bring innovation to the way we live our lives. Think about it, 30 years ago, mobile phones where available to a select group, the internet was non-existent and in the UK you could watch 4 TV channels. For all those who were the wrong side of innovation, change was lethal.

Change is never easy, for the instigators or the recipients. Instigators have to battle against the status-quo and the recipients of change are forced to adapt which is not always convenient. It can be brutally uncomfortable, but what is certain, is that if you try to resist change, you tend to get run over by it. Those that do well, embrace change and adapt to the new world it creates.

Some of the casualties of change such as MySpace, Nokia, HD-DVD and Woolworth’s all had great USP’s but as times changed their offering didn’t seem to matter anymore. The same thing that killed those famous brands is a massive threat on the horizon for Apple, Google and Amazon.

The warning to us all is that, just like MySpace, if we are not keep up in our fields, we can quickly fall behind the changing environment in which we live and work.