Jeff Nelson is president of Anduro Marketing and president of Mx3 Metrics.
Calgary’s Business: What is the Own Your Market workshop about?
Nelson: This is the second time that Brad Ball and I have offered this course. Our observation is that small businesses often don’t differentiate the uniqueness of their company and the products they offer. As a result, they often compete on price, which means that they have to discount in order to get work. Obviously, this lowers revenues and because the volume of work is the same, profits drop as well.
The end result is that the small business owner is left in a situation where they’re starving.
CB: What are the top things people will learn from this workshop?
Nelson: a) The place we start is by having participants focus on a specific target market. This is hard for most business owners because they typically assume that everyone should buy what they’re offering. However, this isn’t the case and often there’s a slew of competitors in the marketplace who are offering similar products or services.
b) The next step is to work on helping participants develop a unique selling proposition (USP). The USP needs to catch people’s attention and encourages the response, “How do you do that?” For example, one of the participants has this as her USP: “I help men with pot bellies transform from Homer Simpson to Brad Pitt.” As you can guess, the response is automatically, “How do you do that?” The answer could be a fitness coach or a dietitian. In this case, the business owner is a nurse who specializes in weight loss and improved health. This gives the business owner an opening for a more detailed discussion (an elevator pitch) on what she does and how she does it.
c) From the USP, we have the participants develop an elevator pitch. This is a conversational statement that catches the listener’s attention and leads to the listener asking, “How do you do that?” As you can imagine, this opens up the opportunity for a conversation about the products and value that the business owner is offering. Of course, this doesn’t always result in a sales lead but the chances are improved. This is how Brad and I met. We were attending a business networking function. I introduced myself and so did Brad. He started with his elevator pitch which is, “I help companies find $10,000 in new revenue in the first 90 days that I work with them.” That caught my attention. We met later and developed the idea of offering our training sessions to help other business owners.
d) Of course, just having a USP and a pitch doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in revenue. Companies need a hook to convert people who are interested into a solid sales leads. We call this hook a compelling offer. A high-risk offer is a form to be complete with a promised call back from a pushy salesperson as a consequence. Most people are reluctant to fill out this type of ‘offer’ and yet this type of call to action is ubiquitous on websites. As an alternative, our compelling offer is low risk from the point of view of the person responding. We try to set up a situation where the person gives up something simple, like an email address, in exchange for something of value like a free trial, a test drive, a presentation or an ebook. The person responding has to feel like they’re getting something that they’re interested in receiving but with minimal risk. This is what is compelling.
e) Next is what we call marketing strategy. The fundamentals of marketing strategy are taught and developed in phase 1, which is 14 weeks. In phase 2, which is also 14 weeks, we work on the marketing tactics with each business owner. Marketing tactics include any mechanism to deliver the compelling offer to the target market and get a response, which is a sales lead. Specific tactics – which vary from company to company and campaign to campaign – include engaging posts on Instagram, sharing information on LinkedIn, creating a video, posting an ad on a billboard, publishing an article online – the examples are endless. The trick is selecting the tactics that generate the best sales leads at a reasonable cost.
CB: Who is this workshop best suited for?
Nelson: We’re targeting small to medium business owners in the Calgary area. Although, this is our main target, we’re open to others joining us. For example, a couple of participants in the upcoming session are looking for jobs. In this case, they want to fine tune the companies they target and their compelling offer.
CB: Why do businesses need to be there?
Nelson: All of the participants in our workshop are attending for the same reasons: a) tighten up their marketing message; b) generate qualified sales leads; and c) increase revenue.
CB: Can you provide details of dates for the workshop, how people can attend and where they can get information?
Nelson: We’re starting our next series of sessions for Own Your Marketing on Friday, Sept. 14, at 9 a.m. People who want to attend in person can come to our office, which is a part of Innovate Calgary in the Alastair Ross Technology Centre. For those who want to attend remotely, we’ll send them the login details before the session starts. See: https://www.mx3metrics.com/own-your-market-sessions-sept14-2018
– Mario Toneguzzi