David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  
10 tips on how you and your customers can easily market their business


so one of the often asked questions is "How do I take my business to market without spending a huge amount".  While I don't have all the answers, this question is often asked and I have seen answers on both www.bCentral.co.uk - THE UK destination for Small Businesses, but I also saw this article on the US MS site - http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/marketing/customer_service_acquisition/10_low_cost_ways_to_market_your_business.mspx?xid=c0007 - it has the top ten tips that we recommendations and by simply going through the guide and asking your customer "Would you consider doing this", you can start to get the grey matter going.  In fact though, don't ask the question above, ask this one - it becomes easier to clear the fog around the benefit of technology "What would be the impact on your business if you did X?" - and try to get that impact down to a financial statement - this is your budget :-)

Of note, the Marketing pages on bCentral are not all about product and can be found at http://www.bcentral.co.uk/marketing/marketing.mspx - it includes basic questions and answers on marketing, plus the absolutely fab "How to guides" (http://www.bcentral.co.uk/downloadcentre/default.aspx).  You might also want to look at the direct marketing guide produced with Experian - http://www.bcentral.co.uk/downloads/guides/directmarketing_guide.pdf



Posted Sun, Mar 12 2006 8:51 PM by David Overton


andrewbettany wrote re: 10 tips on how you and your customers can easily market their business
on Tue, Mar 14 2006 5:52 PM
Hi David, great to have all these links in one place.  

I recently attended a marketing course, and it is nice to see the similarities - I guess marketing is marketing, but thanks for Microsoft for putting it all there for everyone to benefit.

Just a few thoughts of mine on the marketing game...

The main problem we currently have, is finding new clients, as inexpensively as possible - it is a continual thing, but the major frustration I have is that most SME's don't know about the SBSC (yet at least…) and if they need a consultant they tend to approach a major player in the marketplace and this can leave them with a solution which is OTT complicated, costly, both in terms of TOC and effort to implement/maintain.  This then leaves them slightly miffed with the IT industry....

I appreciate that this whole SBSC push is really going to change the above and open up the opportunities in the short term.  Although I guess that many of the Gold Partners will very quickly push to also gain the SBSC.  Possibly then we will be all part of the mixture again – yes in theory the client should benefit, but will the MCSE qualified Gold Partner company ever install SBS? I am to be convinced – my experience is that they really shun the “network in a box” product because they don’t understand the product (or the SME market)

The stats say that in the 3 months to March approx 20k used the postcode based “find a consultant”, but what happens to these "hot" clickers - can we have the breakdown of the stats - maybe they could be on a SBSC members only site, to see the click through rate - or lets enhance the site, so that there is an entry/exit survey/questionnaire for them to complete - which qualifies their interest....

Also.... on many of the MS registration pages where you sign up for newsletters etc, there is a tick box where they may agree for MS partners to send info to the SME.  Who gets access to this pool of info - it would be really nice for the local SBSC groups to be fed live info (on SME companies) to distribute and make contact to them of say the bCentral members?  

At the end of the day, we all need each other – we want to consult and help small businesses with their IT issues, SME’s have the pain, and Microsoft, well Microsoft just wants to be the SME’s friend for life!

Please keep helping us to make friends....


David Overton wrote re: 10 tips on how you and your customers can easily market their business
on Wed, Mar 15 2006 6:17 AM

thanks for the really positive feedback.  I will pass the comments onto the bCentral team to see if they have any further feedback too.



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