9 high ROI case studies from an online freelance marketing consultant

Fraser McCulloch - Saturday, December 10, 2016

I am a freelance internet marketing consultant, great at SEO and work with e-Commerce and professional service companies.

Classically trained FMCG marketer 26 years ago.

I do strategy and tactics and have a team of web designers and web developers to implement when required.

Marketing Consultancy Links

What is marketing?

People buy products that solve their problem; from brands they’re made aware of and trust.

Marketing helps to sell the right Product that solves the right Problem to the right People in the right Places at the right time with the right Promotion at the right Price; Profitably.

As a marketing consultant I have 6 tools in my ‘bag’ I can use to profitably solve business problems and meet a particular business goal.

  • Product
  • Problem
  • People
  • Places
  • Promotion
  • Price

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What does a marketing consultant do?

We all sort of know what a lawyer does; he solves legal problems.

He will start as a general lawyer then specialise.

Same as a marketer; I solve marketing problems and I specialise in online marketing and my aim is that you generate more than you pay me.

I started with a 2:1 honours degree in marketing from university 26 years ago.

I worked for FMCG brands in marketing, sales, account management, brand management and sponsorship roles.

Then I moved to specialise in online marketing.

I solve online marketing problems using the product, problem, people, places, promotion and place tools I have trained for and applied in the real business world.

I am freelance; I jump from project to project.

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What does a marketing consultant deliver?

Sometimes in a project I create a roadmap for you and your team and you go ahead and implement.

Sometimes I create the roadmap and then I pull in my team to manage and deliver the solution; a website or a marketing campaign.

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Online user and research tools used

I was fascinated during my marketing university course why people buy; the evaluation of alternative and all that.

My first role in marketing was managing a marketing research function.

I analysed purchasing trends, market shares and consumer buying behaviour that shaped future marketing strategies.

I am a believer of studying users and buyers in the real world not from a survey.

You gain more honest insights about users, their problems, the products they use to solve a problem and opportunities that exist.

Online, I use analytical solutions including Google Analytics, visitor recording systems, heat maps and click maps.

I use keyword research tools to study search, search volume, advertising spend and advertising messages.

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Do you need an online marketing consultant?

Right now I don’t know your business and marketing challenges.

The best way for you decide if you have a need for a marketing consultant is to review previous work I’ve done to see if these problems and solutions resonate with you.

Then we can talk.

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Digital Marketing Consultancy Case Studies

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People buy from brands they are aware of and trust.

If you’re old enough, you’ve heard the saying 'no one ever got fired for buying IBM'.

It means that company buyers of IT equipment trusted this brand and they would not purchase elsewhere.

I worked for a brand who competed against BT and Sky; trusted consumer brands.

Most people would not switch phone, internet and TV services to an unknown brand.

Every time a sales guy phoned a business customer, most could not get beyond the receptionist.

When telesales called potential customers, they replied was “who?”

NTL decided to invest in sponsoring the 2 largest football clubs in Scotland.

In 6 months they went from “who are you” to 90% unprompted awareness.

The return on the £3million sponsorship fee took 6 months from new recurring revenue from business customers who now took the sales meetings with the sales team.

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Marketing’s job is communicate the benefits of a product to the right people.

When high speed broadband was introduced in 2001, the problem most consumers had was understanding what you could do with high speed internet.

Consumers still used a wire from their PC to plug into their phone line.

They perceived that a cable permanently connected to the socket would result in huge bills or not being able to make a phone call.

To up-sell dial up internet users to broadband users every advertising medium was used; newspaper advertising, direct mail, editorials, outbound sales calls, email marketing.

Sales were very poor and slow.

But monthly targets had to be met.

Then on top of this problem was another obstacle.

There was no more marketing budget left.

So, I took the key problem, “we don’t know what high speed internet is” and created try before you buy demonstration centres.

We needed to purchase 20 desks and computers with money we did not have.

Thankfully desks and computers are not marketing expenses but capital expenditure so I persuaded the accounting department to do some creative book keeping.

I set up 2 demonstration centres for a month and invited dial up customers by email from our customer database to try out high speed internet along with a tour of the football stadium the centres were located at.

One month of demonstrating internet in person resulting in £500k revenue.

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Advertise in a new place, 400 sales leads, costing 9 times less

A utility company were paying £106 for every sales lead their sales team.

The company owners decided to try local press advertising and only got 90 telephone enquiries.

So, I ran a Facebook advertising campaign that generated 400 leads in 28 days.

I reduced the cost per lead from £106 to £15.

I reached twice as many people on Facebook than local newspapers 4 times more frequently as well.

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238% Increase in Organic SEO Traffic

In 3 months we increased our own organic traffic by 238% and website enquiries.

Here’s how I did it.

  • I audited the website.
  • I did keyword research to identify missed opportunities.
  • I removed low quality pages.
  • I upgraded some page content to provide more user and Google value.
  • I created new page content to leverage new opportunities I found.
  • I reached out to industry peers who linked to some of my content.

I followed the same process during the re-development or improvement of existing client websites.

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You need an online marketer not a web designer

When I do marketing consultancy, I view myself as a jockey in a horse race.

I guide the horse round the course from A to B.

From a business perspective, a web designer is no different from a horse.

You’ve seen what happens to a horse when a jockey falls off.

The horse runs aimlessly.

A sports company were using a web designer for all their online marketing activity.

They were spending too much money on routine updates when they should have had a content management system.

Online sales were low; order abandonment was high.

Their pages were not ranking high in Google, there was no CRM or email marketing system to market effectively to prospects and customers.

They trialled Salesforce as a lead and CRM system but it provided too expensive with the customisation required.

We completely revamped their online sales funnel, reduced abandoned orders, increased online sales, reduced their web designer fees, introduced an enquiry and follow up system to convert leads into customer.

They got a content management website, CRM, email marketing system, online shop for less than the cost of Salesforce.

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E-commerce consulting and online store to expand a business nationally

A company only sold their products locally, had a very poor website and absolutely no presence on the search engines.

  • I analysed their competitors.
  • I analysed the size of the market.
  • I proposed they sell online.
  • My team designed and built a transactional website.
  • My team did photography, create videos, creation search and user friendly content.

Now they get orders and enquiries from businesses around the UK.

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Re-package the product and speed up the sales process

A company sold advertising space to media buyers; who placed businesses adverts on their ad spaces.

Every month the client (and most competitors) went to London to present what was new to media buyers.

Generally the client could only get a few meetings in a 3 day trip.

Face to face pitching was unprofitable.

The solution was:

  • I identified the details of his 400 advertising spaces.
  • I put all advertising locations on a map on a website to let media buyers search and find ad space to suited to their campaign needs.
  • A list of all buyers was created.
  • Every week 300 buyers (as opposed to 3 per month) were exposed to all the client's ad spaces.

The client’s sales trebled after 3 months.

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Marketing consulting and brand strategy for a start up business

A client previously operated as a solo practitioner but was missing business opportunities because his clients perceived one person could not handle their large corporate events.

  • I defined the problem he solved.
  • I defined people he should target.
  • I re-packaged his product.
  • I defined the benefit of his product.
  • I found a brand and domain name.
  • I devised a brand strategy.
  • My team did the corporate design and brand guidelines.

The strategy we devised was as follows:

Unlike a solo photographer, our nationwide teams manage the before, during and after of photography events of any size to make it a success for attendees and organisers.

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Marketing Consulting for a new business

This type of questioning will give you an insight into what I do when consulting.

Phil, like a typical business starting out need to be profitable as soon as possible.

First

I asked Phil what it costs to run this shop each month.

That’s rent, wages, lighting etc.

It’s £4,000 a month.

Second

Then I asked him what people typically spend in his shop each month.

He has 2 other shops and the average person spent about £60 a month.

This is a new shop so we made a pessimistic forecast of £40 average spend.

Third

Then I asked Phil what was the cost of making the thing he sells.

His production cost is around £8.

Fourth

Then I told Phil he needed to factor in a selling cost on top of his production cost.

Phil agreed to factor in a 10% contribution, £4.

Fifth

Phil has £40 average revenue per customer less £8 production cost less £4 sales cost.

Leaving £28 contribution towards the monthly overhead.

Sixth
So to cover his monthly costs, Phil needs to sell to 143 customers.

Seventh
Phil has set his sights on being profitable and sets down 250 customers per month.

Eighth
Because Phil has factored in a selling cost per customer (£4) and his goal is 250 customers, he has £1,000 budgeted to help him sell.

Ninth
Phil now needs to figure out how to get 250 customers into his shop.

Tenth
Are people aware that Phil’s shop exists ?

  • 8,000 cars a day (240,000 per month) drive past his shop; I got a hold of Road Traffic stats.
  • 30,000 people a day (120k a month) visit the Tesco shop across the street from his shop and they don’t sell what Phil sells.
  • People park in the Tesco car park and, on average, spend 20 minutes in Tesco; Google My Business local listing told me this.
  • There are 10,000 people that live within 1.5 miles of his new shop; I found these numbers on Google.
  • There are 38,000 people, over 18, who live within 5 miles of your shop; Facebook Ads told me this.
  • So Phil has 32k + 120K + 10K + 38K audiences who are not aware of his new shop and we have to generate 250 buyers in 30 days into his shop.

What Expensive Problem Does Phil Solve ?

Phil does dry cleaning, laundry and ironing and in December, the expensive problem is people don’t have time.

  • No time for clean bed sheets and duvets for festive guests.
  • No time to iron.
  • No time to washing loads of clothes.
  • What Does Phil sell ?
  • He sells a £40 plus service to solve immediate problems.

There is no long decision making process.

The message Phil communicates is

  • No time for Washing, Iron, Dry Cleaning.
  • Visit Phil’s shop
  • Show this coupon at shop counter, get 10% off first order.
  • Where can Phil place this message to get people to come into his shop ?

Places we promoted

1. Phil got flyers printed and handed out in and around Tesco shop across the road.

2. I set up a local Facebook advertising campaign to target people within 2 miles of his shop; so we did not cannibalise sales of the other shops.

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Conclusion

The important part of marketing consulting is doing the business maths and factoring a selling/marketing cost into the pricing then identifying who and where his customers are.


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