If you’ve been following along for the last few weeks, you’ll know that The Marketing Architect has a framework for brilliance for service-based businesses.
It’s called Good Foundations, and our framework includes 6 characteristics that we know service-based businesses must demonstrate in order to convert prospects to customers.
With me so far?
(If not, start at the beginning, here’s our first post on this subject).
To wrap up this series of blog posts, we are awarding Good Foundations Gold Stars to superstar businesses (some are our clients, so of course we love them!) who are doing a bang-up job of demonstrating the characteristics. This will help to bring the framework to life for you, so you can see how to get Good Foundations yourself.
Clarity is the hardest of the characteristics to get right, but our winner in this category has totally nailed it. We recently revisited its website, and a few competitors, when we were looking for conference calling services and realised just HOW easy it is to understand who its target customer is, the story behind the business, what the service is, how it works, how you sign up, what the terms and conditions are, etc, etc. Check it out, this is the ultimate case study on messaging for your business.
Gold star for Clarity goes to: PowWowNow.
Our second award is going to one of our own clients. For a great example of a business that showcases identity, look no further than this lovely company. It’s a law firm, but its brand could not be further away from the stereotypical law firm identity.
This is a business living and breathing its values. It knows who it serves and exactly how to look after its clients, giving the same, high level of service to each and every customer. When this business owner asked us for help to establish a new brand identity and roll it out across all of its communication channels, I’m not going to lie, it was a gift of a task!
We worked with a superb graphic designer on this project (shout out to Caroline King) to create a visual identity that would convey the values of the business accurately. The brand identity includes logos, fonts, colours, textures, stock and commissioned images that all fit together to communicate the fantastic things about the business effectively. We also created a key message hierarchy and a tone of voice to keep the message and brand consistent across blog posts, website, sales documentation, onboarding information and social media channels.
Gold star for identity goes to Amanda Shaw Solicitors!
(Find out more about our work with this company here.)
This one is going to a former client of ours. Coursecheck offers a great service to its clients. Coursecheck replaces paper feedback forms with an online feedback system for companies that provide training. Learners submit feedback online, making it instantly shareable to other potential customers looking for a course, reducing the admin burden of storing the information gathered and generating instantly actionable feedback for the course provider.
Coursecheck scores highly on the credibility front because of its raft of raving fans, and the way in which it is capitalising on its popularity. Testimonials are shared on its website and social media page, plenty of video and written case studies about its clients’ experiences are easy to find on the website. Scroll down on the ‘for training providers’ page to see how credibility is demonstrated with plenty of customer stories, a liberal sprinkling of partner brands and lots and lots of customer logos.
Gold star for Credibility goes to Coursecheck.
We have decided to give the gold star for Tangibility to another of our clients. This business owner needed help to design and implement a marketing plan, rebrand and create a new website. The fantastic thing about the guy who heads up this business, is that he has a very creative mind and is never short of marketing ideas. But, he needed our help to work out the most effective way to get things done, to create a schedule and project manage each task so that the process didn’t stall when he got busy with his own clients.
As a service-based business, it’s not easy to be ‘tangible’. Unlike in a product business, your customer has nothing physical that they can examine when they are choosing whether to work with you. But, this client has a signature methodology for teaching business leaders to become great presenters, so we decided to use this to create a set of printed items that would sell his service and reinforce his brand. Once we had The 12 Habits of Exceptional Speakers documented, we were able to use it to create a lead magnet, a hand-out (which is personalised for each of his clients), a measurement and reporting system, a series of blog posts and a very popular bookmark. Wherever he goes our client is able to share Tangible touchpoints with his prospects. We’d like to order some ’12 Habits’ badges for him next, but maybe that’s a step too far?
Our Dependability award is going to Ocado. We can’t think of a better example of a service demonstrating this characteristic. It’ll be interesting to see what impact the Corona virus has, but in our experience to date, Ocado deliveries turn up on time. In the unusual event of a delay, you get a notification. The technology it uses works brilliantly, with confirmations and reminders at every stage of the buying process. Ocado even text to tell you the name of your driver each week, and whether you have any substitutions, so you can decide in advance whether to keep them (this cuts out drafty doorstep negotiations). The best thing about Ocado is that it has a no-quibble returns policy. If something isn’t right when it arrives, you get an instant refund, no need to return the item. I love this feature.
Gold star for Dependability goes to Ocado.
Our final gold star goes to another of our clients, Artemis Clarke, finance and accounting recruitment specialists from Bristol. We love this business, founded by Kate Clarke, because of its mission: to break away from the stereotypical image of untrustworthy recruitment consultants.
Artemis Clarke shares its values on its website (integrity, transparency, professionalism and empathy) and they percolate throughout the business. For example, as the ‘face’ of the business, Kate makes it clear (by sharing her personal mobile number on adverts and social media posts,) that she is always available for confidential chats with applicants before they apply.
She also has very high standards for her business; she doesn’t do a hard sell, has a policy of sustainability where possible, opting for e-cards at Christmas and donating the amount she would have spent on paper cards to charity. She retains her integrity at all times – on occasion she has pointed candidates in the direction of the perfect job for them, even though she didn’t have the brief to promote it. And, whereas other recruitment consultants offer a 12-week guarantee – if the candidate doesn’t work out during that time they’ll give you a partial rebate, that diminishes week by week so by week 11 or 12 it’s almost down to zero, Artemis Clarke doesn’t do this. If the candidate doesn’t work out within the 12-week period it will either find a replacement for free or refund 90% of the fee. Even in week 12. Good huh?
Gold star for Accountability goes to Artemis Clarke.
So that’s it. Good Foundations all wrapped up. Of course, we’d love to help you get your foundations right too! Why not book yourself a no-obligation consultation to find out how we could do just that!