Marketing

Hello, GoPinLeads Amphi

Hello, GoPinLeads Amphi

We have released a handy web-app which is available on any modern device including mobiles, tablets, and desktop PCs. With the new version of our tool, no installations are required. Users can instantly generate leads with almost zero effort from their side.

Value is King

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

It’s often easy for startups to lose sight of the basics. The many challenges startups face every day really blur the lines between priorities. It’s really easy to lose sight of what is most important.

You’ve heard of startups failing because they grew too fast, ran out of money, or failed to capture public interest. There are hundreds of articles out there that discuss these three common issues. The fact is that each of them can be traced back to poor sales strategies.

Startups often reach out for help with repairing their sales strategy. The best way to go about fixing the problem is to look closely at the way you’re talking to your clients. If you don’t talk to them in a way that grabs their attention, you’ll never get them to buy anything.

I have four methods that you can work through to turn your business around:
 

1. Hit the Ground Selling.

The best and brightest startup entrepreneurs often panic when they’re confronted with anything to do with sales. There are so many who lack confidence in their ability to sell, and it shows up in their work. The fact of the matter is that every single person is involved in selling every day. It doesn’t matter what your job title is, or what you spend the majority of your time on.

Every conversation you have involves selling in some form, whether it’s ideas, products, or services. Actual sales is no different. It’s a conversation that you hope will end in a sale. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that the best tactic to make people engage is to be truthful and authentic.


2. Create Actual Value.

When you realize that you’re always selling anyway, you need to give some serious thought to what it actually is that you’re selling. You need to realise the value that you and your product represent is far more important than the actual product itself.

Your clients aren’t going to buy from you unless your product offers the best value. That doesn’t just mean a low price point. You have to be better than your competitors in every way. They want to know what is in it for them. Are you saving them money, time, or simplifying their lives in another way? The most important part of this step is to make sure that the value your client sees in your product has to be greater than the price they paid for it.


3. Sell Really Well.

Innovation is fantastic. It’s an incredibly important part of every startup’s growth. The trouble is, it doesn’t always work. Most of the time it’s because the innovation you’re chasing doesn’t do anything to add value to your client’s experience. The trick is to listen to your customers, learn about their preferences, and give them what they want.

If you lose touch with your clients, you’ll be using all of your money and energy to supply them with things they don’t want or need. Innovate in line with your clients’ actual needs. They’ll know you’re paying attention and you’ll make money as a result. Think about your relationship with your customers like a friendship. Try every day to make a positive impact in their lives and they’ll thank you for it. It's a fantastic way to build loyalty.


4. Be Truly Useful.

Your startup’s success all depends on your sales performance. It’s a simple fact that carries a lot of importance. You’ll find it a lot easier to reach your goals if you break them down into a solid game plan. You need to track your sales and understand what your minimum sales need to be, what your optimal level would be, and how you intend to achieve these figures.

Ask yourself six basic questions, and you’ll find it a lot easier to figure your process out:

  1. Who are your clients?
  2. How are you finding them?
  3. How are you talking to them?
  4. Is your sales cycle too long?
  5. How many sales do you successfully close?
  6. How much does it cost you to reach each client?


You need to do yourself a favor and find the answers to each of these questions. Take some time to really work through these steps and you will see results. Bear in mind that it’s by no means a quick fix. You’ll need to regularly reevaluate your answers to these questions. It's easy to find time to make sure your goals are aligned with your strategy. It all begins with realizing that doing this will save you money and time in the long run.

Give it a try, and I know you’ll see the value of this process. Happy selling!

Growth Marketing is exciting and never stops changing

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Growth marketing is exciting and never stops changing. Despite all the change, there are some basic ways to boost your Growth Marketing efforts. Growing your businesses means you’ll have more challenges and changes as you evolve. The real secret is to make solid habits from the beginning and build on them. If you take care to get your priorities in line, you’ll build a business with a strong, productive foundation.


Growth marketing is all about using great tools in a clever way. It also depends on the skill of the human using them. You and your team are the connecting pieces in the machine. Here’s what you need to know to break out of regular marketing and start your journey to being a great growth hacker.


1. Cross-channel excellence

Traditional marketers tend to stick to the channels they’re used to. From a growth perspective, this limits your potential. Growth marketers are always playing with new ideas and incorporating more platforms. Different channels deliver results at different times. 

Break out of your comfort zone and start trying out the channels you use less often. Find out how they can link together to boost your productivity. Remember that it’s not only about casting a large net to get your product out there. It’s also about arming yourself with the data you need to succeed.

2. Dynamic work ethic

You’ve got to stay mentally limber! Switching between tasks and the ability to see the big picture it essential. Your channels and tools need to work together as one organism that feeds your growth. You’ve got to have an experimental mindset, and be comfortable with change. 

You’ll have to experiment as much as possible to find out where your brand works best. You can try to form a guess from observing your competitors and base your initial strategy on this. The important part is being aware of the results you’re getting, and to keep trying new things all the time. Innovate, and you’ll be okay!

3. Big picture thinking

You need to realize that every channel has its drawbacks and process. The smart response to this is to develop a solid sales funnel. If you do it right you can limit drawbacks as much as possible. It’s a fantastic way to figure out which clients are at certain points in the sales process. The top of the funnel contains the people who are aware of the issue they’re having. They don’t know about your solution yet. They don’t know your brand, and they need your help to grow their business. The bottom contains the customers you’ve qualified and are ready to buy.

You have to pay attention to both of these and each step between the two to be an effective growth marketer. Usually, marketers begin by trying to convert those at the top of the funnel. It’s far more productive to target those further down the process. Doing it this way gets you more paying customers faster, and builds your repeat customer base. When you get this right, you can begin looking further up the funnel. Use your experience to pull those people deeper into the sales process. 

Have you heard people speaking badly about growth hacking?

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Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

Have you heard people speaking badly about growth hacking? It happens more than some people realise. It’s a great approach to building a loyal following for your brand. Unfortunately, it can go horribly wrong if you forget the one most important part of the puzzle!

The actual reason your brand exists in the first place?

The core of your entire existence as a business?

It’s often overlooked because people get their priorities all wrong over time.

The most important thing in your business: Your clients!

 - More Than Actions
Sure, growth hackers measure everything. We know that the more you try, the more you learn. The way you interpret the numbers matters. Each data point is relevant. The problem is, that you’re actually learning from people. Data points can’t interact with you. Numbers won’t buy your product or care about your message. Don’t lose the individuals in a spreadsheet. They’ll notice and lose interest in you.

 - How To Ruin It
Being impersonal is a real turn-off. If the messages you send out to people aren’t in some way personal and relevant, you’ll lose your audience. They will stop caring if you obviously don’t care about them. Never spam anyone, and never bore your audience. 

 - Test The Water
Jumping right into the deep end isn’t the best approach. You don’t know what could be under there! Make sure you try every idea and approach on a small scale. If it fails in the worst way, you won’t lose your entire customer base with one poor decision. You should really be able to test ideas on a small scale without losing any clients. It’s all about how you do it.

 - When Hacks Attack
Great ideas can go wrong fast when you alienate your audience. If you have an annoying sign-up process, they won’t sign up. If you make canceling a free trial overly complicated, they’ll never try anything of yours again. You want people to like you, right? Never mislead your clients!

 - Don’t Be Dull
You always want to be remembered by your clients. You need them to think of you at the right time. Constant live notifications, posting too frequently, and irrelevant topics will hurt you. A fly trapped in your office while you are working is also memorable, but for the wrong reasons! If you overdo your communication, people begin to switch off.

 - A Time & A Place
You have to know when to hack, and when to chill. You can figure out how to judge this by doing small-scale tests. You’ll notice that copying someone else’s tactics will only work if it translates into your business. Play with some ideas and engage your audience. They’ll love you for it.

 - Care Or Lose
It’s easy to use a ton of hacks to get a list of subscribers, followers, or fans. If you want to keep them and get even more? Keep your heart engaged, and show them you care. Your care directly translates to your client numbers and sales. Keep them close, and always deliver value!

A whole lot of business fail and crash because of the same mistakes

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

A whole lot of business fail and crash because of the same mistakes. These are so common, it’s hard to believe that errors like this still happen. Growth hacking, when done right, grows the number of repeat clients. 

When people buy from you more than five times, it shows that you’re attracting and keeping clients. Every business has to examine if they are committing these three deadly sins:

- Nobody Cares

You are the only one who loves your idea. You alone see it’s full value and potential. If you can’t communicate that vision and create demand for your product, you will fail. Nobody else cares yet. 

Startups have failed because they spent time and money on a product that nobody wants or needs. It’s impossible to sell something nobody wants. The wisest way to approach your product development is to test everything. If you find an aspect doesn’t work or isn’t wanted, fix the issue. In short, start by actually being valuable to your clients.

- Try New Things

Growth Hacking is all about attaining stability in your business through growth tactics. Some businesses think they have to put their entire budget into growth hacking. Many of these go out of business. You have to budget for your growth in a strategic way. Put capital aside to cover the cost of changes and supportive strategies. 

It’s better to prepare your business for success from many angles. Stay true to the Growth Hacker ethos of cross-platform excellence. You can have more than one solution if they work well together. You’ll discover which avenues fail, and have others to fall back on that work better. Test everything.

- Go Big or Go Home

Every businessperson wants to reach the levels of the big corporations of the world. It’s normal to crave the top prize, but must be done right. If you expect viral status right out of the box, you will be disappointed. 

You have to set steady, reliable goals for your growth. Realistic, attainable steps allow you to track your growth and maintain forward momentum. Reach smaller milestones more regularly. Continually experimenting with the best approach will keep your business alive.

Do you really understand growth hacking?

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Do you really understand growth hacking? Could you explain it to a total newbie? Some people avoid growth hacking because they’ve been misinformed.

There’s a whole lot of nonsense going about that distorts what Growth Hacking is. Here are five of the most common ones:

 - Growth Hacking = Marketing
Growth Hacking and Marketing both focus on growing businesses. Marketers use marketing tactics and strategy to promote products and brands. Growth Hackers involve themselves in every facet of their business. They focus on the relationships between products and clients. Growth Hackers are on a mission to improve and perfect every part of the business. They want clients to love every part of their experience with their brand.

 - Growth Hacking Is All About Coding
It isn’t. It definitely helps to have an understanding of coding, but Growth Hacking does much deeper. Repeated experimentation, changing tactics, and constant refinement is what it’s all about. If it doesn’t work, do something else. 

 - Bigger Businesses Can’t Growth Hack
Every business has to constantly grow and evolve. When companies stagnate, they disappear as their competitors leap at the opportunity to disrupt their status. Obviously then, every company will benefit from Growth Hacking. It’s all about making clients and their friends love your business. 

 - Growth Hacking Always Works
There are a lot of people out there promising seemingly magical results by using Growth Hacking techniques. Growth Hacking is not magic, and requires a lot of work and strategizing. Growth Hackers work hard to figure out what works, and even harder to keep trying new approaches. 

 - One Growth Hacker Is Enough
Some companies hire a handful of Growth Hacking experts and expect amazing results. That’s not how it works. A company culture of constant experimentation and change, steered by experienced leaders is key. You need to create a company culture of growth hacking and refinement.

Video Fruit's Awesome Sales Funnel

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Video Fruit have nailed their sales funnel. It's a simple, effective way to drive sales that has delivered awesome results. Their email list had 13,528 subscribers when the course went live, and used no ads or affiliates in the launch. The course took 90 days to create.

 

Video Fruit used 4 Steps to make their project a success:

Phase 1: Find a Topic

Video Fruit used four steps to figure out what their course should be about:

1: Think about what has gotten the best engagement. Which of your blog posts, videos, or podcasts have gotten the best responses?

2: Which content upgrades have gotten the most attention? If your subscribers gravitate towards certain topics, focus on those.

3: What themes have grabbed the most attention? Check out your most popular posts and figure out why they work so well. Find the common thread.

4: When you know what people want the most, you can begin to craft an awesome product hypothesis.

Phase 2: Collect Payment First

Now you know what people are eager for, write a description of the course based on your hypothesis. The next phase is to see if they bite! You need to be productive with your time. Make sure people will pay you for the course before you build it.

It's easier than you think:

Step 1: Select a small group of your email subscribers based on the most interest in your topic.

Step 2: Offer them a sneak peak into your course outline and ask them for their opinion.

Step 3: When they get back to you with interest in the course, send them the pre-registration link right away.

Step 4: When 10% of this test group pre-register for the course, begin building the course. If fewer responses come back, adjust the hypothesis based on your subscriber's feedback.

Remember that you can use every response to perfect your product hypothesis. This way, each of your hypotheses will be more polished and attractive to your customers. Your hypothesis will be the base for your sales letter, so this process is very important.

Phase 3: Create the Course

When you've reached your target 10% pre-registrations, you can start building your course:

Step 1: Choosing between the two types of courses:

-  Reference Courses - Students can move through the course, using only the info they need. This is the most popular model.

- Specific Path Courses - The opposite of reference courses. You follow the course from beginning to end with no free navigation. These courses promise to deliver a specific result and show you the steps to succeeding. This type of course helps students stay focused, use their new insights, and be successful.

Step 2: Choosing a Name

Choosing a name can be tricky! Here are some steps Video Fruit use to choose names for their courses:

- What type of course have you chosen? Specific Path courses need to have a very specific name.

- What courses have you bought or almost bought? What were the names of the courses?

- There are four questions you have to ask yourself about each name:

- Do you like the name?

- Is it brief and to the point?

- Can you adapt the name to fit your course?

- Will people immediately know what it's about?

Step 3: Naming Your Course

Now you can name your course, using all the insights gained through this process.

Step 4: Create a Storyboard.

Now is the time to develop your content. You must decide on which strategies to teach. You'll also need the course structure, and how many modules you'll include. You want to give each student a minor moment of success to help them get motivated for the course. Ask yourself:

- What will the course achieve?

- Which milestones will each student go though?

- What is the best way for your students to reach these milestones?

Step 5: Create the Content.

It's now time to start creating the content for the course.

- Your Milestones become your Modules. Renaming milestones is the quickest way to name your modules.

- Your Action Items become your Lessons. This is the best way to ensure you're covering everything you set out to. Be sure to keep your lessons to a manageable size.

Step 6: Set Up Systems

Once you have completed the first four steps, it's time to set the course up. You want it to look great and work well.

Step 7: PAS Boosts Sales.

Don't jump in and start talking about your product. Instead, you want to make sure that your clients understand three key points:

- Problem: You have to explain the problem you wish to solve.

- Agitate: Expand on the problem and show how deep the issue goes.

- Solve: Offer a solution to the problem you've identified.

Step 8: Keep Hyping

You want to keep your subscribers interested. Staying top-of-mind is essential. A great way to do this throughout the registration period is to keep offering more. You can offer discounts, added freebies, or useful links and tools. Include a deadline to motivate your subscribers to grab them while they're available.

 

Automating Sales Prospecting Emails

Raj Anand

Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

Does writing sales emails take a lot of time out of your day? Each prospecting email can take around ten minutes to write. Wouldn’t it be better to make the process a lot faster?

Analyze Your Mails

Carefully reading through your sales prospecting emails is the best place to start. Find the personalized aspects of your email, and try to automate them!

- Avoid being too personalized - it’s a waste of time.

- Find the personalized sections and analyse them.

- Search for data that could replace the section entirely.

Using the Data

It’s important to ask the right questions to make sure you’re making the best decisions:

- Question 1: Can the personalised section be replaced?

- Question 2: If not, can company or personal data be used instead?

- Question 3: Ifdata not, can a range of data points be combined?

- Question 4: Is it possible to find the data quickly?

Once you have worked through the process it’s time to edit your emails and add in the personalized aspects of your mail. You’ll save time, send more emails, and get more responses as a result!

Google Analytics Tips - How to Stop Screwing Up

Kiley Doll

Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Google Analytics is far more complex than it first appears. You will likely discover lots of limitations of the system. The good news is that you can avoid the biggest mistakes by following these beginner tips.

 

1. Business Questions

Google Analytics is best used to answer complex and important business questions. The best analysts aren't experts at using the tool. They are the ones capable of using it to answer business questions and find valuable answers.

2. Go for Goals

Google Analytics isn't helpful without setting goals. The tool offers the option to create these for yourself. By doing this, you'll be able to track your numbers better. Once logged into the tool, click Admin, choose your view, and click Goals. Select +New Goal or import one.

3. Strategic Event Tracking

Google Analytics Events improve understanding of traffic and goal analysis. You'll be able to understand what visitors to your site are doing. You need to know what the important interactions are, and how they relate to your business goals. What do you want people to do on your website? What can you improve?

4. Redefine Bounce Rates

It is not always accurate to assume that high bounce rates are negative and low bounce rates are ideal. Bounce Rates are single interactions with your site. Not someone landing on your page and leaving. You can set up interaction, and non-interaction events - each has it's own benefits.

5. Using Funnels

Goals and funnels go hand in hand. You can organised funnels to follow the steps your users take. You can discover the spots where people "fall off" the path. Using these insights helps you to fix the faults in your conversion funnel.

6. Horizontal Funnels

These form part of Google Analytics Enhanced E commerce set, and allow you to learn even more. With access to these funnels, you can customize your outputs. Classic funnels have limited abilities. Horizontal type funnels offer far greater insights. You can even filter then to deliver the desired results. The Enhanced E commerce offering has useful features that will improve your analytics.

7. Boost Testing Tools with Google Analytics

A/B Testing is vital, yet testing tools don't always give the full story. Your tools may not be untrustworthy, but may not offer every possible insight. Integrating tests with Google Analytics lets you see what users are doing in more detail.

8. Custom Segmentation

You need a deeper look into your Google Analytics. Averages are unreliable and never show the full picture. You need to dig deeper to find the answers to the more complex business questions. Creating custom segments is helpful for gaining a deeper understanding of your data.

9. RegEx Rocks

RegEx is shorthand for Regular Expression. It's a way of expressing search strings and patterns with symbols and characters. It helps you create filters, create unified goals for different pages, and hone your funnel steps.

10. Custom Reports

Using custom reports is a great way to boost your use of Google Analytics. They allow you to build reports & dashboards into the interface. Custom reports are easy to make, and boost the usability of the tool.

11. Automatic Reports

Automating tasks that repeat often is the most productive way to run your analytics. You'll need to use a different tool, such as Google Sheets or Data Studio. Combining Google Analytics API with Sheets offers better mathematical capabilities. Data Studio offers ease of use.

12. Improve Your Site Speed

You'll convert more an optimized site. Make sure it works across all platforms including phones, tablets, and browsers. Users will leave your site if they don't have a smooth experience.

Running Browser & OS reports shows your conversions, bounces, and more for every browser. Page Timing reports show you the speed of your site, allowing you to find slow areas.

13. Use Views

Companies often set up their Google Analytics views in different ways. Use these three views right off the bat:

Raw Data View: This should remain untouched as a benchmark for your other views.

Sandbox View: Test out settings before converting them into  permanent Master View.

Master View: The completed and finalized versions of your Sandbox View.

14. Accurate Implementation

Companies need reliable data that can be completely trusted. To ensure you can trust the results you're getting, it's best to do an audit of the tool. Being critical and asking key questions will result in accurate readings.

15. Sub- and Cross-Domain Tracking

You need to stay on top of your cross-domain and subdomain tracking. It will help you get the an accurate idea of how customers use your site. Tracking in this way is an important step in ensuring your analytics are accurate. If the customer journey becomes segmented, your insights suffer.

16. Audit your Campaign Tracking.

Campaign tracking is vital for marketers. You need to know where your results are coming from.

Google Analytics uses five different UTM tags to do this. Medium, Source, Campaign, Content, and Term. The Medium & Source tags are default. The Campaign tag tracks marketing campaigns. The Content tag distinguishes between the various campaign versions. The Term tag shows the paid search keywords that resulted in clicks.

17. Custom Dimensions.

Dimensions describe your data, and there are many built into the tool. Using Google Analytics at a higher level requires custom dimensions. This is vital for measurement strategies. Custom dimensions help to combine data from Google Analytics with external data. It's necessary to use phone call data, firmographic data, and other specific info.

18. Calculated Metrics

This is a great way to improve your experience of using Google Analytics. It allows customization of analysis and measurement functions. Calculated metrics can be set up if the data is valid and accessible.

19. Filters are Your Friends

Focused data wins over broad data every time. The more you analyse the numbers, the fewer distractions you will encounter. Filters are useful for removing the noise that can get in the way of the data you need to analyse.

20. Use Custom Alerts

Alerts can be set up to track almost any variable. The most common uses are detecting dips in traffic, revenue, and conversions. It's useful to detect broken pages, and even more complex variables.

21: Avoid Sampling Limits

Google Analytics uses a random selection of your data instead of the full set. The accuracy of these samples appear in the right-hand corner of the report screen. Taking your risk profile into account, sampling may not be an issue for you. If it's causing challenges, there are some workarounds you can use:

Online Metrics suggests these 8 solutions:

- Adjust Your Data Range

- Use Standard Reports

- Create New Views with Filters

- Reduce the Amount of Traffic per Property

- Sample Your Data by Modifying Tracking Code

- Use Google Analytics API

- Use Google Analytics Premium or Adobe Analytics

- Use BigQuery

22. Analyze Data in R

Learning a language like R is super helpful. You'll move past data sampling and learn to produce awesome visualizations. You can also create automated reports, run complex models, and interactive Shiny Applications.

23. Content Ideas with Site Search

If you have a search function on your website, you can use it to find out what your readers want to read about. Using this info, you can create content that meets the demands of your site users.

24. Integrating Pre- and Post-Purchase Data

Combining your pre-purchase and post-purchase data is vital. You'll gain a full understanding of your client's interactions. Run your CRM data through the tool and export all the data to an external database. Then, you can get the whole picture of what your clients are doing.

25: Attribution Models

Attribution helps to answer the question of how well a company's resources are being used. Models reduce the complexity of this task. Time-to-purchase and touch-points to conversion help you figure out if you need attribution. The tool offers attribution models to assist in the process. Each also offers different insights.

 

PR that actually works: FOUNDER-LED PR

As business people, we find ourselves navigating a somewhat unfamiliar landscape of disruption. The rise of digital media and social networks has us all clamouring for new (and better) ways to turn ideas into successes. In this new age, PR is crucial not only to your start-up but to your professional image as well.

In my information scouting ventures I found a great video published by Stanford Online, in which Sharon Pope, Head of Programs and Marketing at YC Continuity, gives a great walkthrough on how to think about PR and work with the press. (You’ll find the video on Youtube)

We all know how important PR is. We also know that PR and product innovation go hand in hand. While it’s entirely possible to drum up media hype and score some interviews in prominent magazines and on popular websites, this content isn’t going to guarantee your eventual success if your product isn’t “amazing” enough to warrant that kind of hype. Having faith in your product is the first step in a powerful PR program.

Start-up founders are quick to search for outside services, and PR is no different. Founder-led PR, however, is a better way for start-ups to create a PR program that packs the right amount of punch. While it’s true that PR firms know their way around what’s relevant in the news, as a founder, you have something the media wants: the real inside scoop. Reporters want to hear from founders; this is the end-spokesperson for them. Establish a direct line with reporters and you’ll find them coming to you further down the line when they need a subject matter expert in your domain. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. They can be your voice in the media and you can be their fountain of niche information when they need it.

Hiring an outside PR firm can deprive you of the process of defining your own business and simplifying your message. This is the foundation of your brand identity, and tackling the process internally will be invaluable in every aspect of running your business. Building up an internal PR team that knows your message is a more effective and affordable way to connect with the media. You could pay tens of thousands of dollars in monthly retainers to outside PR firms before getting a single story out there; which isn’t necessarily the best use of start-up funds.

 

Here are 5 simple steps you can focus on to make your founder-led PR program a success:
 

1. Develop Your Company Identity

- What do you do?

- Who is your ideal customer?

- What primary problem are you solving for your customer?

- What is your KPI? How is it growing?

- Do you know who your competitors are?

- What makes your product better than that of your competitor(s)?

- What are your plans for the next year?

- What made you uniquely qualified to start your company?
 

2. Define Your Business Goals and Discover Your Audience

-  Do you want to finance growth?

- Do you want to recruit the best talent?

- Do you want to land strategic partnerships to foster growth?

- Do you want to drive product trials?

- Do you want to secure a research grant?

- Is your audience investors, potential customers, or potential partners?

- How does your priority audience get their news?
 

3. Discover Where You Want Your News to Be Read

- Which top 5 reporters write articles that gel well with your image?

- What stories do your top 5 reporters write?

- What angle pushed these reporters to write?

- What angle are you looking for?

- Can you find a connection to them? Is there a way for you to get an introduction through someone?
 

4. Know What to Say and Where to Say It

- Do you want to share news about your product launches, fundraising, metrics, big hiring announcements, or stunts?

- Do you want to share insights on non-company related news such as politics, new market innovations, contextualizing other company announcements, or general entertainment?

- Do you have a way to contact reporters to pitch your ideas?

- Do you have a blog for reporters to click through for reference (don’t add email attachments)

- Do you want to give a particular reporter an exclusive scoop for their eyes only?

- Are you taking an embargo approach and contacting several reporters with a pre-brief?
 

5. Be a Valuable Source of Information

- Are you keeping an eye on Google Alerts and RSS Feeds for news?

- Are you watching HARO (Help a Reporter Out) for potential news stories?

- Are you searching Twitter for #journorequests and #PRrequests?

- Are you participating by sharing your opinion on articles that interest you?

- Are you giving your real thoughts instead of shameless self-promotion?

- Are you participating in Q&A sessions on Quora and Reddit?

- Are you creating your own content on platforms like Medium or your own blog?

 

Developing your own PR strategy is an important part of establishing your brand. When you break them down, these 5 steps are completely achievable. It’s all about taking the right steps and being thorough in your approach.

8 Scarcity Techniques to Gain Users and Grow Signups by 450%

When doing a cold outreach and getting people to sign up to your application, we know a simple outreach doesn't work. Here are some tips on using scarcity to gain users and grow signups by 450%: 

1. The “Waiting in Line” Approach
While walking down the street, have you ever seen a line of people waiting outside a store, concert hall, etc? Your immediate response is to crane your neck to see why there's such a long queue. Generally, what’s going on in the back of your mind is, “That’s a lot of people, whatever is going on must be cool. What am I missing out on?”

By announcing that your app has a waiting list, you create a sense of popularity. When there is only standing room left, people feel almost desperate to get in now.


2. The “Limited Supply” Approach
Reward attendees that sign up first. After all, they're going to be spreading some positive vibes about any  special treatment they receive. A particularly smart move is to allow people to pre-register for items or services that will only be available in limited supply.

For example, when planning its launch strategy, Connect.me allowed users who signed up early to pre-register usernames instead of merely giving an email address.
 

3. The “Make Money from Scarcity” Approach
Why not validate your idea and make some extra cash at the same time? You may find success in selling beta versions of your product at a discount. If you have a product that's ready to go, that is. Allowing a select few people into your beta - in exchange for immediate payment - you gain a significant amount of monetary validation for your idea. 

4. The “Countdown” Approach
When the clock is ticking, a sense of urgency leads people to make decisions faster. Use this approach when you have cemented a specific launch time. Be sure that your timer counts down to the very second of your launch. By putting a countdown on your landing page, you promote the idea that people need to sign up soon or forever lose out.

5. The “$1*Buyers Per Sale” Approach
This approach to creating a sense of urgency is highly effective. In this approach, buyer #1 pays $1 for the product, buyer #2  would then pay $2, and so on. Simply add on $1 for every 1 buyer and you've created a ripple effect that keeps new buyers coming in for more. The first buyer walks away on top of the world with the best possible deal. The last buyer feels comforted by the belief that the product is worth every penny, if only because so many people have made a purchase before them. 

As the price goes up, people are compelled to 'buy now' to avoid paying more and more as each new buyer causes the price to increase.

6.  The “Refer for Earlier Access” Approach
This approach is an offshoot of the “Waiting in Line” approach. If you want to project the idea that your app has more traction than it does, try an approach where you don't need to inform people of where they are in the queue or how many others are in line with them. Essentially, when someone pre-registers, they are motivated to share a referral link with their contacts. The more referrals they have under their belt, the closer they'll move to the front of the line.

Forkly.com made this particular method quite popular during one of their own launches. 

7. The “Social Contest” Approach
This is another approach that rewards people for referrals. There are several different ways to do this. You may be successful in combining it with the approach above, and making each pre-signup worth a specific number of entries into your contest. Be sure to give away something related to your product - the end goal is promotion of your brand, after all. Give away something like a lifetime membership, as this will guarantee the use of your product and a spin-off of referrals as well.

8. The “Your Friends Like Us and So Should You” Approach
Think of this as the "birds of a feather" approach. It's generally much easier to convince a person to sign up if their friends have signed up too. Using Twitter or Facebook logins to accept pre-signups makes this approach even easier.

10 tools to make you look bigger and a global brand

Being a small company has its upsides, you're agile and fast, and you don't have endless red tape and bureaucracy. Although, being big has one advantage: increased credibility in the eyes of many consumers. So how can a small company appear bigger than it is, here are 10 great tools which will make you appear much bigger. Part of fake it till you make it: 

  1. Answeramerica.com : Phone answering service based in the US but you can forward calls from all across the world. Only costs $1/call and no monthly fee
  2. Skype.com Number: Get local numbers for most countries. Forward the number to AnswerAmerica.com if you can't answer them. 
  3. Freeconferencecall.com: Free conference call facility with dial in numbers for most destinations. Why pay $15/month on conference call facility if you can get it for free? 
  4. Webpagetest.org: Big companies have faster websites. Website Speed tester allows you to check how quickly your site loads up. 
  5. Cloudflare.com: We expect big companies to have their website online at all times. Now you can do this by using Cloudflare, which keeps (a cached copy of) your website online even it's down. 
  6. Google Pagespeed : Allows you to find ways to optimise your website and loading speed
  7. Canva.com: Design is the first thing your customers see when they visit your website. Canva makes the process of designing web and print effortless.               
  8. Squarespace.com: Developing quality websites, which look fantastic, mobile ready and completely hosted. 
  9. GoPinLeads: To get more sales you need to connect with people in your industry. Effortlessly creates local leads of physical businesses. Full disclosure: We developed this tool. 
  10. Commissioncrowd.com: A global commission only sales force           

15 free online tools for marketing and sales professionals

Our 15 top recommendations for anyone within sales and marketing to improve their productivity and improve customer acquisition. 

 

1. aytm.com   Conduct Primary Surveys with a panel of 25m people
 2. profound.com  Purchase research by chapters from 200 research publishers
 3. companycheck.co.uk   Check who is the director and address of a UK company
 4. spyfu.com     Find competitor's SEO / PPC strategy
 5. semrush.com   Keyword analysis of competitors website using Google Adwords
 6. www.domaintools.com  See who owns the website
 7. BuiltWith.com     What technical tools the website is built using
 8. rapportive.com    Verify emails right into your gmail
 9. voilanorbert.com    Find anyone’s email addresses
 10. freeconferencecall.com   Free global conference call facility
 11. answeramerica.com   Inexpensive phone answering service
 12. ninjaoutreach.com    Find influencers in your industry
 13. onalytica.com     Find influencers for the article you have written
 14. numbeo.com     Compare eco-social conditions between 2 cities
 15. copyscape.com    Review where is the content copied from

PACER, Inbound meets Outbound. How to rapidly grow your business l

Step-by-step guidance on how to go from Zero to first 50 customers in any business, existing or brand new. Whether you're looking to start a new arm of your business or start it from scratch, we'll shed some light on how you can set yourself up for success. All of our techniques are based on what we have used to grow Goodman Lantern from $0, with no investment raised, to where we are today. We bootstrapped it all the way, and so can you!

 

The name of the game is being tactful. It's not about inbound or outbound marketing; it's about standing out and building trust. You can't build trust with customers if you haven't made contact with them yet. If you're merely relying on blogging, Facebook, or Twitter to pull in the punters, we have some bad news for you: outbound tools, like email, see an average click-through rate of 3.57%, compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter. 

If you've previously heard that inbound was the only way forward, it's worth looking at this: 

  1. In an interview with Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, he mentions that he "was sold Hubspot on an (outbound) cold call " (scroll to 42.30). The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot, yet even they engage in outbound marketing. 
  2. Tony J. Hughes, in his blog post, talks about a company which went "full bottle" social selling. They removed phones from the sales floor and tanked their top and mid-funnel.

Why Isn't Inbound Marketing Good Enough? 

Before we identify why inbound marketing isn't sufficient on it's own, it's worth exploring why people don't have success with it as an alone-standing approach. It's worth noting that inbound works very closely with content marketing. The top reason why companies are likely to give up on content marketing, says Roman Kniahynyckyj, is due to the length of time it takes for the benefits to kick in, driven by these factors:

  1. Google indexing: The bottom line is that you need Google to index your website fully. Unless you are an internet phenomenon, based one experience, you are looking at a minimum of  3-6 months. 
  2. Time to learn: Writing content takes time and you probably won't get it right the first time, so you need to maintain a trial-and-error approach. 
  3. Building content: Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you need to build enough volume so it starts to snowball and you begin to receive leads. 

Inbound is good but it's slow, outbound is quick but it's pushy. What we are proposing is to take the best of both inbound and outbound, making the latter a dialogue. The key is to make outbound part of the 6-8 touches required to convert prospects into customers. 

Our focus with this campaign is to rely majorly on email. Why email? 

  1. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined, according to a survey of US marketing execs.
  2. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  3. Marketers generate 174% more conversions with email than social media.

 

The Inspiration

Where did the idea come from? 

I will be the first to admit that the idea is inspired; it came from an email which I received in 2016 from Laura Hannan. It was probably the most well-crafted email I have ever read and I had no option but to respond asking for more information. 

Subject: Goodman Lantern's Role in the Future Smart Home
Hi Raj,
I'd be interested to understand if you have a view on where Goodman Lantern might sit in the future smart home.
The smart home future marketplace is not properly defined yet, so JM of EC (Wiki page) has created an ecosystem of organisations who want to lead or participate in this exciting field.
Members include utilities, telcos, insurance, property, manufacturers, digital enablers and start ups.
They share insight, ideas, and by utilising each others strengths, technology and consumer bases, they co-create and test applications for the future smart home.
Can we please set up a call to discuss?
Laura

This email was doing the following: 

  1. Selling me an opportunity to be part of an elite group in exchange for a phone call, without spelling this out. 
  2. Qualifying me to see if I'm in the space of smart homes.
  3. Testing if I'd be interested in transacting with other members.
  4. Finally, it's up to me if I'd be interested in a phone call.

This is a push form of marketing where I have to request or 'pull' information. Now, here is the backdrop to this information: the person referred to as JH is someone who I know, as she has been on various business websites / social media sites, really getting her inbound marketing right.  As a result, this combination of inbound and outbound marketing worked. Had there been no email, I would have never signed up. I would have never reacted to this via a Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook ad etc, as I wasn't searching for it. 

 

So how did Laura find me and get in touch? What is the process? 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how this can be achieved over a 3-month period: 

1. Develop tool or content

2. Develop list of emails

3. Send out emails

4. Monitor results / compare with the industry

5. Repeat

PACER

We call this technique the PACER (Promote > Collect > Email > Analyse > Repeat)

PACER.png

 

Promote

According to Eric Worre, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, you need to give away something in order to invite people to your network. To start your promotion, you need to give knowledge, webinars, software tools, and other freebies to get your target market interested in what you're offering. Some call it Inbound marketing, others Karma, but the fact of the matter is that genuine promotion is about giving, not taking.  


Collect

Once you have done your promoting, you need to find a way to collect the email addresses of your target market and proactively email them. This is very much an outbound tactic, and yes, you will approach them cold. If you have done your promotion right, they would already have heard of you. 

There are various tools in the market that enable you to collect email addresses. Alternatively, you can use data marketing agencies to buy lists. In a bid for shameless promotion, we also offer a free tool to help you generate a B2B list of leads including phone numbers and email addresses. 

 

Email

Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to carefully draft an email and send it out using a mail merge tool. Be warned: please don't send out newsletter or HTML emails, the default option on Mailchimp. 
 

This section has three parts: 

1. Drafting emails which generate high conversions

 

2. Sending out the emails

 

3. Developing effective landing pages

Analyse

This is probably the most import aspect of the campaign. You need to make sure your campaign actually reaches the goals you've set and that you get responses. The best outcome of the campaign is that you receive several positive responses, mostly in the form of signups or a direct response to the email.

This email campaign will generate a much higher response rate than the industry email marketing statistics. Our previous campaigns on average have the following responses: 

Open rates should be 45-60% 
Average open rate is 9.2-20%

Click through rate of 4-11% and
Average CTR is between 1.25-5.13%

Conversion rate of 2-5% 
 

 

Repeat

Now repeat the process with new data and keep doing this recursively till you find a target market.

Let us know in the comments if this worked for you. We are always keen to hear success stories 

 

Generate 100s business sales leads in 35 seconds for Free

We are very excited to launch the latest version of our Growth Hacking tool GL Chrome Extension which allows you to generate leads of your target audience including Company name, email addresses, social media profiles and more in just 35 seconds. 

The tool is available for a limited time for free. Please download it here

Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern's CEO, giving an introduction to the tool

 

 

The Piggy Back Hack📱: 4 Guaranteed User Acquisition Techniques for Apps

How did Snapchat, YouTube, Airbnb, Instagram and WhatsApp ‘piggy-backed’ acquisition of new customers?


These days, it seems like some tech companies go from zero to a million users overnight. The growth of these firms like Snapchat and YouTube can seem magical… but it’s not. 
Did you know a small tweak within the platform can make all the difference between being a million or a billion $ company? 

This the ‘piggy-back’ growth hack to gain users, We call this the ‘piggy-back’ hack, as these platforms rode on someone's shoulders to grow their user base.


4. YouTube’s Embed Code Hack
Back in 2005 - 2006 YouTube chose to focus on MySpace as a means of reaching its target audience. At the time, in 2005, with nearly 25 million unique users, MySpace was the top social network, particularly for bands and their fans, but sharing videos on the site was next to impossible.

Other video sites like YouTube had avoided allowing blogs and other sites to embed videos on their sites. To avoid paying substantial hosting costs associated with supporting traffic to other people’s sites. Instead, YouTube shouldered the cost in exchange for a huge boost in brand recognition and grew average users to nearly 20 million visitors per month. That initial traction helped it grow into the powerhouse it is today, with over a billion users. 


3.  Instagram’s Cross-Posting to multi-platform
Launched in October 2010 it quickly became a fast, beautiful and fun way to share life with friends and family through a series of pictures, beautified using filters. Instagram took the platform hack to another level. They made it quick and easy for users to cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more by push of a button. 

This was undeniably good for users, who struggled to post mobile photos to Facebook in those early days, but it was also good for Instagram, whose distinct-looking photos started popping up across various social platforms, serving as a free advertisement for the app.

2. Airbnb’s Craigslist Cross-Posting
Yet another example of a platform hack is a simple yet brilliant tool within Airbnb, which allowed users listing their properties on the app to cross-post them to Craigslist in one click. They asked the user to post their home that they wanted to rent out by filling a pre-filled form. It made it simple for the user to cross post their listing to Craigslist. (Image: https://www.quora.com/How-did-Airbnb-avoid-liability-when-they-implemented-their-growth-hack-with-craigslist-1)

Taking advantage of Craigslist’s well-established user base not only allowed Airbnb to get its name in front of as many new users as possible, but it also helped to ensure that the properties they listed for rent were booked more often—making listing with them more lucrative for users.


1. Snapchat’s Snapcode
Snapchat launched Snapcodes in early 2015 after they purchased a QR code company called Scan.me. While brands and marketers attempted to make QR codes hip for years, it was Snapchat who ultimately turned them into influencer currency. Snapchatters could then easily add friends by taking a snap of their profile picture. 

Also, By changing a Twitter profile picture to a Snaptag, users were able to encourage their Twitter following to add them on the new instant messaging platform.

10 Tips for using Content Marketing in Recruitment

Until very recently, content marketing was thought of as a tool used solely for boosting sales and growth. However, the versatility of content marketing is rapidly making its mark. Every industry has its own pool of potential employees, all of whom are interested in useful content that could assist them in their job hunt. Recruitment agencies are beginning to use this tool to their advantage, creating pertinent, poignant content that will assist them in finding model employees for the companies who make use of their services.

Who are Strategic Planning Consultants

In the realm of management consultancy, strategic planning consultants focus (as is indicated by their title) on the strategic issues faced by businesses. Their focus is firmly tethered to issues relating to anything from supply chains and logistics to Internet presence. While many of these consultants operate under the umbrella of outside consulting companies, more often they are a part of a larger organization offering their consulting services to different units within the company.


Strategic planning is driven at the highest levels of an organization, usually formulated by a board of directors with input from expert third parties. The resulting “plans” are officially implemented by the company’s executives.

The Role of the Strategic Planning Consultant

Strategic planning consultants help business owners and their executive teams to develop an integrated strategic plan that builds clarity and consensus on a critical game-plan for future success.

A strategy consultant’s role is to provide companies with advice on their goals and future direction. These consultants use expertise, industry experience and analysis to help their clients identify strategies that increase revenue and market share by improving their competitive advantage. Strategy consultants help companies grow faster and increase the value of their business.

A strategic planning consultant will endeavor to clarify an organization's objectives and the outcomes required for all key stakeholders including customers, shareholders, staff and community. The resulting strategic plan is formulated within a given framework of corporate policies and procedures, and against economic and regulatory backdrops.

A key role for strategy consultants is to help companies define what they do and to identify their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Consultants examine the company’s product range, the skills of its employees, its customer base and its marketing communications to build a picture of its current capabilities.

Strategy consultants help management teams compare their current capabilities with market opportunities. They analyse a range of opportunities, compare market requirements with the company’s capabilities and set out a range of viable options. The options might include developing or sourcing new products, expanding into wider geographical territories or entering new market sectors. For each option, consultants highlight the associated risk and identify the changes required for success.

Independent strategy consultants are equipped with the expertise and experience of solving strategy problems for small and large businesses across different industry sectors. This perspective and experience can help a management team focus on what the company should do to differentiate itself from the competition. As part of their role, strategic consultants help management teams identify priorities and focus the team on the requirements for making the strategy a reality.

Strategic planning consultants will typically call on a range of individuals to bring supplementary expertise with depth of experience in particular areas for example: economic, financial, risk management, marketing, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, information technology, and human resources.

The strategic planning consultant first analyzes an organization's current business practices, both internally and with its customers and suppliers. From the assessments made, the business strategy consultant formulates the objectives, both tactically and strategically. Once the plan has been stabilized and baselined, the consultant works with the executive team on an ongoing basis to implement the strategic plan and manage amendments, usually at specified intervals for example quarterly or annually.

Strategic Planning Consultant Skills

The skill requirements of a strategic consultant are extremely high. The complexity involved in formulating an effective long-term plan is immense. Consultants need to find the right avenue that will enable an organization to achieve its stated goals and objectives.

In order to be able to operate credibly with the leadership teams of large organizations, whether in the public or private sector, a strategic planning consultant will be expected to possess some or all of the following experience depending on the client brief:
 

  • Several years of direct business experience, preferably across several functional areas

  • Significant tenure in a leadership role including executive accountability for business planning across a number of organizations and probably in different industries

  • Experience as an external adviser or consultant to organizations

  • Continuous training and an advanced degree, possibly an MBA, to keep up with strategic advances and technological innovations

  • A solid background as a senior business professional involved in technical activities within a given niche or profession, perhaps including consultancies, academic research, thought leadership and presenting white papers at conferences

Rewards for Strategic Planning Consultants

Technically, there is no ceiling to the rewards available to the business strategy consultant. They are only limited by their experience, knowledge and contacts. A strategic planning consultant's compensation can quite easily range up in the millions of dollars over the life of an assignment. These fees can be supplemented quite substantially if you hire other experienced, niche consultants to contribute specialist insights.

An experience independent strategic planning consultant can make $250K or more in a year without too much difficulty. It is all within their reach given the right experience, knowledge, and drive. The total compensation will be determined by their background and skills.

There are also the non-monetary rewards: the kudos of being known as the expert in their chosen discipline and being in high demand among the world's top corporations. The potential in this field is great and very exciting.

  Image Source:  http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Strategic_Planning_Consultant/Salary

Image Source:  http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Strategic_Planning_Consultant/Salary

The demand for skilled consultants is likely to remain high. Competition will be fierce, although the absolute number of credible competitors will be relatively low. Since the formulation of business strategy planning is an ongoing and evolving process, consulting services will be required for a long time to keep the plan current and the organization on track. The extract from Linkedin shows that the range of industries that are interested of services of strategic planning consultants is wide enough.

 

Overseas Market Introduction Service

OMIS Report

What Does OMIS Entail?

The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) provides support for businesses pursuing export activities overseas. The information provided often includes competitor analysis, market reviews, bespoke events, and assistance with adjusting to local business etiquette and culture. Essentially, OMIS gives businesses an instant link to invaluable insights and set them on the right track. This service is tailored to each individual businessperson and assistance depending on the needs of the client. 

OMIS activities and support can include market information, advice and practical support, such as:

  • Understanding how to do business in the market

  • Having the confidence to explore or expand in a new market

  • Market analysis and feasibility studies

  • Identifying business opportunities and prospects

  • Understanding the competition

  • Identification, assessment and contacting of potential distributors, partners and contacts

  • Promoting business and products through events such as receptions and product launches

  • Meeting arrangements with business contacts

  • Deciding on the best market entry strategy

  • Understanding local regulations and standards

  • Overcoming barriers to entry or expansion

  • Raising profile and credibility in the market

Why is an OMIS Report Helpful?

Any business aiming to expand in the overseas market may face barriers in accessing the right international contacts or partners. Additionally, it can be equally challenging to find the best ways to operate in a specific overseas market and to successful market entry strategy in an entirely new sphere (both economically and culturally). Businesses seeking to increase profits by employing an effective overseas promotion may find OMIS to be particularly helpful.

There is no doubt about it: internationalisation is a difficult task. Differences in time zones, languages, and cultures are inescapable obstacles that must be faced. OMIS provides a wealth of practical support, advice and key market information, supporting business owners through each stage of their international expansion.

Each expansion starts with the process of market research. However, international research can be particularly challenging without contacts ‘on the ground’. The socio-economic environment is often quite specific, something not many business owners are used to or even aware of. Even when the necessary research information is in another language, OMIS teams can prove invaluable in finding the information needed. Unsurprisingly, these reports can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

When it comes to actually visiting an international market in person, OMIS can be handy too. Booking meetings for a market visit and sending marketing material abroad can be time-consuming and frustrating. Using OMIS’ market specialists removes considerable stress and hassle both during the organisation of your visit and once you’ve actually landed in the country.

Thus, OMIS puts you in touch directly with overseas markets. It is beneficial for business, as it helps with the following:

  • Access the right international contacts or partners

  • Provide insight of the overseas market

  • Find the best way to do business in a market

  • Achieve a successful market entry strategy

  • Increase profits by using effective overseas promotion

What are the Characteristics of a Good OMIS Report?

It’s likely that the closer a business is to entering a chosen market, the more practical the services will need to be. Key tips here are the followings:

  • Mix and match OMIS services to select those that best meet your needs and requirements

  • Use OMIS for ‘value added’ services (i.e. activities that you are unable to easily do yourself)

For market research, one needs to choose between depth and breadth depending the current level of understanding. It is necessary to dive deeper into the market if there is  already an understanding of the broad brush strokes.

To obtain a comprehensive OMIS report businesses need to:

  • Provide a fully comprehensive brief of their request

  • Specify their objectives

  • Maintain personal involvement throughout the OMIS process

  • Set up milestones and due dates

  • Ensure that they obtain sight of draft/initial research so that they can be involved in final revisions/tweaks

  • Once the research has been completed, business owners need to make sure that they sign off on the brief and they you’re happy it has been met

  • Prior to sign off, businesses should ensure that they obtain any final amendments that they feel are needed.

A typical content of OMIS market report includes:

  • Identification of market size, market potential and key trends within a marketplace

  • Provision of localised industry and sector advice

  • Analysis of possible routes to market

  • In-country competitor analysis

  • Assessment of the potential level of demand for your products or services

  • Identification of opportunities and prospects.

 

If you are looking for an Overseas Marketing Report get started today with a Free Trial