Inbound Marketing Age

Keith Errington

Keith Errington
Keith has a unique mix of talents and experience in marketing and communications. He writes regularly for the Equinet blog on marketing, social media, and strategy.

Recent Posts

Why one growth strategy is no longer enough

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the classic business strategy models is Porter's Generic Competitive Strategies, a set of generic strategies that could be applied to all products or services in B2C or B2B businesses to gain competitive advantage and grow a business. It's a logical extension of his earlier model – Porter's Competitive Forces Model (otherwise known as the Five Forces Model) that analyses a business in terms of five competitive forces. These five forces shape every industry and every market, determining their profitability and attractiveness. The five forces are:

  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Bargaining Power of Customers
  • Threat of New Entrants
  • Threat of Substitutes
  • Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players
Read more...

How to use the Boston Matrix to inform your content marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  31, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone who is involved in any way with marketing is likely to have heard of the Boston Matrix, and even Joe Public has probably come across the term 'cash cows'.

Possibly one of the most well-known marketing models, The Boston Matrix was created by Bruce D. Henderson for the Boston Consulting Group in 1970 to help corporations analyse their product lines.

Also known as the Growth-Share Matrix, it categorises a portfolio of products in a way that helps strategic decision making. Typically it is used to make hard decisions about investment – which products/services to drop and which to invest in to achieve maximum growth.

Read more...

How to get great B2B growth by spreading the word

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Growing a business can be hard, but it’s the only way to survive in today’s competitive market.

Even if rapid growth is not your goal, you will still lose customers over time – so you will have to maintain your marketing momentum month by month.

So what’s the best way to grow your business?

Let’s start with a reversal exercise – what would you need to do to ensure you didn’t grow – or worse, lost business?

Think for a moment.

What steps would you take, or not take, to ensure your business shrank?

Read more...

5 obstacles to business growth and how to overcome them

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Despite the huge variation in companies, their people, products and services, almost all go through five phases of growth, facing four crises along the way, as depicted in a classic model – the Greiner Model of Growth.

It was back in 1972 that Larry Greiner of the Harvard Business School published a paper;‘Evolution and Revolution as Organisations Grow’. The original model proposed five phases of growth with a crisis at the end of each phase triggering the jump into the next.

Read more...

Three resources you need for high business growth

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Traditionally there are three resources that are generally considered essential to fast growth: access to finance, access to human resources and access to the market. Or in simpler terms:

  • Money
  • People
  • Customers

As this is primarily a blog about marketing and not finance, I’m going to talk mostly about the last two of these, but be in no doubt that the first – access to finance – is fundamental to growth.

Without the money in place, you cannot invest in people or pay for marketing to gain customers. In fact, all three are intrinsically linked; the right people can help you get the finance, and deliver the marketing you need to reach customers. Attracting customers helps you with the money.

All three resources have to be present at the same time for a high growth strategy.

Read more...

How to use social media to grow a B2B business

Written by Keith Errington  |  15, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For the vast majority of people in the world, social media is an everyday part of their lives.

Here in the UK, 66% of the population are active on social media; in January 2018 that was 44 million people.

And, that figure is still rising, and is up 5% on the previous year.

We all know what a major part the big social apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn play in many people’s personal and private lives – the average time spent on social in January 2018 was nearly two hours a day.

Read more...

Classic strategies for growing your business

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When it comes to developing a strategy for growing a business, we still refer to a model that is over sixty years old. It’s a testament to its worth that the basics have stood the test of time.

Developed in 1957 by Igor Ansoff (known as the father of strategic management), the Ansoff Matrix looks at two possible directions for growth strategy – products and markets.

Although the model traditionally speaks of products, you can substitute services for products and it works equally well. It’s also a model that is relevant to both B2C and B2B.

As well as the four possible strategies, the matrix also suggests a risk factor, with the top left being the least risky strategy and bottom right – diversification – being the riskiest.

Read more...

How B2B can use Google rich results to rise to the top of SEO

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing success today, rightly or wrongly, is often determined by your visibility in search engines, and the biggest by far is Google.

Your business could live or die depending on your search results. So getting your SEO right, and ensuring that your buyers find you when they are looking is crucial to success.

But while your competitors are also employing their SEO techniques to lead to their content, what can you do to get ahead in the SEO arms race?

One way is through Google’s rich results, previously known under various names – rich snippets, rich cards or enriched results, Google has now tied them down and called them rich results. But what are they? And how can they help a B2B business?

Read more...

3 Professional Services Marketing Issues, and how to solve them

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing of professional services differs from most marketing in a few fundamental ways. What they are, and how you can overcome them in a digital world is the focus of this article.

You don’t have a physical product you can package and sell

The biggest difference between professional services marketing and other marketing is the lack of a physical product. This is a key stumbling block for most professional services companies. After all, in order to sell something, you have to have something to sell.

Read more...

How to master social monitoring, and the tools you need

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most businesses now appreciate the importance of social media to promote content and to create engagement.

However, many take a reactive stance, just publishing content and then responding to any engagement that occurs.

But what if you want to go further than this?
What if you want to find out what people are saying?
Where they are saying it, and respond in a proactive approach?

Then you need to consider the many benefits of social monitoring and social listening.

Read more...

How to analyse a competitor's website, and what you can learn

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Before the digital age, it was tough to get an idea of what your competitors were up to. You might be able to glean some facts from their brochures, press releases, seminars, shareholder briefings, or by posing as a customer and get a handle on their pricing structure.

But if a company played its cards close to its chest, then their marketing strategy, strengths and weaknesses and business intentions would have been hard to fathom. This often meant that you could find yourself rapidly outmanoeuvred by their product launches and better pricing.

Planning your marketing strategy when you don’t have all the facts is, at best risky, and at worst disastrous.

Read more...