In Monday’s article, I explored how the hugely successfully British lifestyle brand, Neptune Home, went from selling hammocks to becoming a global interiors retailer. In this second article in the series, I’d like to explore Neptune’s marketing strategy, seen through the lens of the 4 P’s of marketing.
If you’re not familiar with the 4 Ps of marketing, they were developed by the marketer and academic E. Jerome McCarthy, to provide a framework for marketing decision-making. The 4 Ps is one of the most enduring and widely accepted frameworks in marketing, and refers to Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Last month I started a consultancy project for the female founder of a medium sized business with a workforce of 80 employees. She started her company 10 years ago from the kitchen table, and has built it from the ground up. This year she’s aiming to double turnover.
As a CEO, I doubled the turnover of that business within 12 months so I know how blisteringly hard it is to scale your business. What I hadn’t appreciated, until I did the market research for my business consultancy, was just how few businesses actually scale. Here in the UK, there are 5.5 million businesses, yet in 2015 the number of scale up businesses was 31,440. That’s just 0.6% of UK businesses!
This got me wondering, why do so few businesses scale?
However naturally positive we are, we will probably all agree that 2018 is going to be at least as challenging as 2017, possibly more so. Difficult economic times, volatile world events, a lack of talent and fast-changing technology make it a high priority to future proof our business.
I know this only too well from experience. The financial crash of 2007-8 may seem like eons ago now. But I still remember how difficult it was getting financial investment for the company I was CEO of. The straitened financial circumstances that resulted by the crash meant I had to rapidly re-appraise our 5-year strategic plan and re-think our plans for expansion.
Last weekend I spent the day in Chichester, ostensibly to start my Christmas shopping; but truth be told looking for cosy but indulgent lounge wear. I spent a happy half an hour checking out one of my favourite brands, Mint Velvet, whose winter marketing campaign I love.
As I rifled through the cashmere jumpers and lace backed camis, this got me wondering why I was prepared to pay premium prices for items I could easily get in other shops for less. The answer was brand. Mint Velvet has created a brand that speaks to me and my aspirations. Here’s why.
Last week I was asked if it’s too late to plan a Christmas marketing campaign. I replied that November is certainly late to start planning. But it’s not too late. This is why.
According to Google Trends, shoppers started searching for ‘Christmas gift ideas’ back in August! Ideally by the beginning of November, you should be well-advanced with your holiday promotion plans – whether or not you’re excited about hearing Christmas music in the department stores or seeing the latest John Lewis advert.
A couple of years ago Will, the owner of a trades business asked me to help him put together a marketing strategy that was right for his business. Despite being fully booked for the next 4 months, he didn’t have a lot of spare cash and his promotional budget was small. Nor did he have the time to spend on marketing.
His challenge was to increase the visibility of his company and win more business as cost effectively as possible – whilst working at full pelt to deliver orders on time.