Marketing Consultants

Marketing Consultants

There are a number of different ways to find a marketing consultant. Finding the right one can be harder. Ensuring that they are successful can be very difficult. While there are countless capable marketing advisers available to organizations, often times these marketing consultants are not set up to be successful for the organization.

Hiring a Marketing Consultant

Most organizations who are looking to increase their marketing efforts find consultants through their own networks or the freelancer networks. Invariably, there is often some sticker shock at the costs that these consultants charge. This leads to some reluctant negotiation, and then an expensive contract signed. They are often focused on a specific marketing task, like brand discovery or email marketing.

The Awkward “Discovery Phase”

After the ink dries on the contract, the consultant often asks the business owner “so–what do you guys do?” In the “discovery” phase, marketer are learning how to craft and deliver an effective message. The first marketing deliverable usually doesn’t go out for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, marketing is an inexact science and it the first deliverable is often horribly wrong. But, the good marketers will adjust their techniques and improve their message.

Fixing the “Bad Marketing”

Once the marketer has learned what messages won’t work, the contract is almost up. The organization has spent a lot and has not received any new customers. In short, the marketer is often just now learning how to effectively market–and they are taking everything that they learned with them as they leave.

A Different Approach

The “discovery phase” should be just that–discovery. It should not be expensive to the client. The “discovery phase” should also include the first few items sent on behalf of the client, to learn more about what will work. A good marketer will find what works for the business and should be driving a lot of new customers and new revenue.  When the marketer has proven that they can deliver is when the full cost of the marketing should be incorporated. Paying somebody to learn about your business only to go away does not help the organization in any meaningful way.

Marketing Consultant

If your organization is frustrated by your marketing options in the marketplace and want to expand your reach, let’s talk about the most-effective techniques for organization growth.

Small Business Advertising Ideas Seattle

Small Business Advertising Ideas Seattle

As I think back on the early days of my company, my marketing options were not appealing. I was “running” digital marketing on my own, I put “running” in quotes, because my phone wasn’t ringing. In short, all of the small business advertising ideas I tried were simply not working. That had to change, and I had to make sure nobody else felt as lost and bewildered as I felt at that moment.  When I finally figured it out, I was going to make sure others knew what worked for me. I tried to do it myself: Pay per Click, I tried Facebook Ads, I tried Organic Content, I tried SEO—nothing.

Run my own Digital Marketing

The role of an entrepreneur is multifaceted. Within a 5-minute window, you move from Chief Strategist to Chief Operating Officer and then on to Chief Janitorial Engineer. In short—it’s all on you—and so is marketing…and so is digital marketing. Digital marketing is a nebulous and disconnected practice. The practice requires a delicate understanding of creative messaging, hyper-focused targeting, and technical knowhow. Most importantly, the practice requires concentration, devotion, and consistency—as any small business owner will attest—hours to sit and concentrate—are non-existent.

Hire a Marketing Agency

Marketing professionals do exist—and at the time I could have used some guidance. Since my company was not growing much at all, I didn’t have a ton of resources to dedicate to the rather outlandish fees charged by marketing agencies. I could almost cover the first month’s fees—I knew that was not going to drive substantive change.

Hire a Marketing Intern

I did hire an intern—and while my social media was now full of highly visual and inspiring pictures, my phone still didn’t really ring. The brutal truth about social media marketing is that very seldom does it actually lead to the phone ringing.
Even with fresh content and a growing audience—my phone still was not ringing.

Perpetual Digital Marketing

The reality is that social media is an important puzzle piece in digital marketing—but it is not a cohesive strategy. More importantly, using all of the different channels effectively is not entirely obvious. It was not until I learned how to use each individual digital media asset to its most-effective and as part of a larger ecosystem working all together that my phone started to ring on a regular basis. Once it started to ring, we had the data and the process needed to make it run again. Further, we had the foundation in place to get it to ring more often! In short, our digital marketing started sustaining and growing our business. We landed more clients—and we landed them more quickly. This became our business—we started showing companies how to use all of these disparate digital entities together and powerfully.

Will it work for me?

I’m very proud that you are reading this piece—it shows that we have found a repeatable way to find entrepreneurs who are frustrated with the options highlighted above and are ready to try something else. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, send us an email and we’ll discuss how we can get your business new clients.

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.

Unlocking Organic Digital Marketing

Unlocking Organic Digital Marketing

Saffron Key was founded to answer one question that all small business owners face: 

How should I market my business?

This large question begets many other smaller questions.

  • What channels should I use?
  • What should I say on these channels?
  • Which channel works best for adoption?
  • Which channel works best for conversion?
  • Do I have to be present on all of them? How often?
  • How do I do it all?
  • How do I find the time to create all of this content?
  • How expensive is that going to get for me?

Organic Digital Marketing

Organic Digital Marketing is the term we use to describe the free channels available to small businesses.

These channels include:

  • Search Marketing: Posting blogs to your website that use keywords and drive your brand
  • E-mail Marketing: Sending emails to your customers to further your message
  • Social Media Marketing: Posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, others about the value of your brand

On the other hand, “Inorganic Digital Marketing”  is when you pay for Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, or an e-mail list. Inorganic Digital Marketing can get expensive without any guarantees for success. Additionally, Inorganic Digital Marketing only works AFTER you have built a strong “Organic Digital Marketing” foundation.

Saffron Key Creates, Distributes, and Measures Organic Digital Marketing for You

Unfortunately, all of these marketing activities take time. 

Saffron Key was created to create content for all of these channels for you. We post to your social media, write blog posts, and e-mails for you and we do it for an affordable price. For what you would pay for a part-time employee, you get a team of seasoned professionals.

Organic Growth Takes Time–It’s Best to Get Started Now

Growing a company means building Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and E-Mail Marketing. This takes time, consistency, and expertise. 

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.

Small Business Challenges: Conquering Digital Marketing

Small Business Challenges: Conquering Digital Marketing

According to Hiveage, the 6 Biggest Small Business Challenges are:

  1. Cash Flow Issues
  2. Tiredness
  3. Finding and Retaining Profitable Customers
  4. Motivating Employees
  5. Having Too Many Overheads
  6. Staying Current

We agree with that list. Fundamentally, all of these issues boil down to one central issue—there is not enough time in the day to do everything yourself at the quality you want it done. By providing digital marketing for small business, we take some of the burden as you scale the company.

Prioritizing Your Small Business Challenges:

The challenge with the 6 items listed above is that we are human beings and do not have 6 hands. We have to prioritize this list.

Cash is king. Every penny in the till is another potential reinvestment back to the company, and each potential reinvestment is another opportunity to take the business to the next level. After the cash starts to flow, it makes sense to work on the other 5 challenges. Unfortunately, none of those reinvestments are guaranteed to work. Welcome to the world of the small business owner.

Outsource your Small Business’s Digital Marketing:

We are small business ourselves, we live the pain of these challenges. We’ve created our offerings to solve these challenges. Our Search Marketing, Email Marketing, and Social Media offerings do not stifle the business. We use these tools drive leads to your website to grow the business. Our digital marketing services for small businesses are lean and directed, taking the business to the next level organically.

Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Email Marketing for your Small Business:

Our offerings are always on your small business’s message. We write our marketing copy in the voice of the client. Digital marketing for small businesses is what we do—and we do it effectively and efficiently.

Let us deliver your Digital Marketing for you:

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.

Startup Marketing: Light the Fuse

Startup Marketing: Light the Fuse

The Many Flavors of Startups

The term “Startup” is a bit of an overused and nebulous term. The term can refer to a business that is not fully mature and may not have all of the trappings of a business–they may not yet have a product, a sales team, legal counsel, an HR department, or a website. We have seen many strong ideas that do not have a thorough understanding of marketing. If your idea is solid, but you need some Startup Marketing, we can help you.

From our perspective, we define a Startup as a business that is still building a sustainable revenue model. The problem is that there are a lot of different types of companies that fit in that description.

  • Some companies have some revenue, but they have not yet figured out how to scale their offerings.
  • Other companies have a captive audience, but have not been able to turn that into a means to make money.
  • Others have a niche market covered, but have not figured out how to expand that market.

The endless possibilities lead to a lot of excitement, regardless of where you are in your development. We are drawn to this excitement.

Startup Revenue Model Optimization

Saffron Key has carved out a niche in Startup Marketing. Where we shine is with companies that have an idea, but not a clear path to turn on the revenue stream. We have the unique ability to boil the solution down to its essence to find where there may be potential revenue streams. Until these companies have a sustainable revenue model, they should not require full-time work to develop the solution. They need a founder who can build out a solution on nights and weekends and they need a trusted marketing hand that can deliver high-quality on-brand web presence, social marketing, and e-mail marketing. Perhaps most importantly, they need somebody to do this without crippling the company financially.

Light the Fuse, but do it Strategically

The world is full of amazing new economic realities. We are incredibly fortunate to live in Seattle, where all ideas are worth exploring. If you’ve got a side project that has some potential, let us help you figure out how to operationalize it. When the time is right, we’ll talk about how we can turn your side project into something that has some legs. We practice pragmatic optimism at Saffron Key. We want to help you ignite your passion and we want to do it without crippling your company financially before you even get started.

Ignition in: 3… 2… 1

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.