Client: Sara Parker, Marketing Manager, Face for Business
“I can’t emphasise how much knowledge and perspective the Watertight Marketing has given me. I am able to plan, judge, create content and think strategically about everything I do in my role. It has really boosted my confidence in marketing. It’s made a huge difference to the business too – we have internal systems and procedures in place that have come as a direct influence from the Webschool course” Sara Parker.
Face for Business provides telephone answering and messaging services for businesses of all sizes across the UK. Based near Liverpool, Face for Business was formed in 2012, by entrepreneurial partners Andy and Marie MacGregor. Their clients value working with great PAs who will get to know their business inside out and who interact with their callers as if they were a full-time member of staff.
Sara Parker is the Marketing Manager at Face for Business and completed 12 months working end to end through the Chapter Companion courses. She added a monthly half-hour check-in with a Certified Practitioner and dedicated at least 6-8 hours of focus per month to the process. Sara shares her experience of the course and how it has already made a big difference to the business – and her own marketing knowledge.
How Watertight Marketing helped
Sara joined Face for Business following a career break and was quickly given responsibility for marketing due to her enthusiasm and success in promoting the business. Although she had worked in research and PR roles in the past, she’d never had any formal marketing training. She wanted a way to update her skills and found Bryony Thomas and Watertight Marketing via Twitter and Facebook.
As Sara explains, “I listened to one of Bryony’s webinars – the 4 Steps to Sustainable Sales and it really fired me up. I felt very passionate afterwards and emailed the MD with a list of all the ways I felt it would be useful for the business – emotional connection being one and poor onboarding being the next key leak. 12 months later, everything I’ve learned I’ve put into practice.”
Sara, and Face for Business, started the process in January 2016, guided through by Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner, Jane Cuthbertson.
So what actions did they take?
The Chapter Companion courses are based on the multi-award winning Watertight Marketing methodology which looks at marketing from the bottom up. For someone like Sara who was finding her feet in marketing, the analogy of the bucket (the things you do to retain your existing customers) quickly made sense.
As Sara explains…“The course really focuses you on the internal processes first. That made a lot of sense. Why spend money on external marketing if your internal processes aren’t fixed? I didn’t have any experience of marketing terminology but fixing our bucket really jumped out. So that’s what we did first, starting with our existing customers.”
Leak #1 – Forgotten customers
It’s so logical, but easy to overlook. When you don’t stay in regular touch with customers, they are likely to forget about you. When it comes to buying again, or recommending to friends, your name may not come up. So you need consistent and regular customer communications that proactively address any service needs – and keeps you front of mind.
Sara could immediately see the danger of losing touch with their existing customers: “We had all this customer data that we were doing nothing with. We audited our CRM and created new criteria – so we can now categorise and communicate with our customers much better. For example, if someone calls to upgrade – we’ll log that – if someone gets married we’ll note that and send a card. I can really see how this will help with customer retention – but without the Watertight focus I’d never have looked into our existing customers like this.”
Leak #3 – No emotional connection
Although customers always have choices it’s often the business that the customer likes the most, or identifies with the most, that will win the order. And, as a business, you need to be the kind of people that buyers want to buy from. An emotional connection shows that human touch, particularly that a business is friendly and approachable.
Face for Business had an emotional connection problem. Their brand was based on 1950s vintage images. It was all old phones and stereotypical female secretarial images. Customers weren’t connecting with it. Research showed that people weren’t connecting with the brand. It was a bit like marmite, people either loved it or hated it.
MD Andy MacGregor was already considering a re-brand and the emotional connection was a key influence on the process. As Sara explains, “We wanted to portray an image that we felt matched our service – clear, open, honest, professional, yet friendly. So we decided to feature real PAs instead of pretend ones. We’ve already noticed an improvement in the open rates of our newsletters. It’s reassuring for them and it makes us very real to our clients – people buy from people and all our PA’s are really onboard with the new brand.”
The Logic Sandwich™
As she embraced the Watertight Marketing methodology there was one particular model that helped Sara shape the Face for Business messages – the Logic Sandwich™. The model describes how marketing messages that start with emotion, lead onto logic and then return to emotion are best placed to seal the deal.
Sara trialled it and now has the evidence to back it up. “We created two landing pages, one based on the logic sandwich – and we split tested. We talked about the pain points (about the worry and risk of missed calls), gave them the logic and then ended on a positive. On the the ‘logic sandwich’ page our bounce rate went from 80% to 40% – a direct result of the Masterplan course and the way we built an emotional connection into our messages. It works! It really pulled them in and was so effective.”
See related post: Are you serving up a Logic Sandwich™?
For someone with no previous marketing background, Sara feels the Masterplan course content has helped her breakthrough as a confident marketer. “I would advocate the Masterplan programme to any small business – it’s just so simple. Once you get back into learning as I have – it all starts to kick in and all the examples and exercises make so much sense.”
It was also the discipline of looking inwards and getting beneath their existing customer data that made particular sense. As Sara explains… “It has really made us focus much more on the customer data we already have in-house – rather than buying in external data which we used to do and then cold call. Now we are finding that the enquiries are more in-bound and that’s partly down to the Watertight process and all the case studies and evidence that we’ve created to connect with and reassure our customers.”
Sara has come to the end of the 12 month process but feels it’s only the start of how she’ll embed the learning in the Face for Business marketing strategy. “I want to implement every single suggestion! My MD has supported every step I’ve taken, he’s been so enthused and motivated to get it all done. Going forward the course has given me a lot of confidence. Now I’m about to do a campaign marketing to financial advisers – and I’m going to do it properly, giving customers what they need for evaluation, case studies for critical approval – all Watertight terminology. The business has definitely noticed my passion for the Watertight Marketing.”
MD, Andy MacGregor, added:
“Sara has been so passionate about the Watertight methodology and I’m really enthused about Sara’s positivity on how we can address each leak here at FFB. It’s given us, as a business, real clarity about what we need to focus on. I was really impressed with The Logic Sandwich as we did see a direct improvement in our bounce rates during the testing period of our PPC campaign. Our new website has been developed with the Logic Sandwich in mind, and we are part way through phase 2 of our rebranding which will see more of our ‘real PAs’ on our website as well as videos showing our customers who we really are. As a small business we still have a long way to go with each leak being implemented but the future is bright at FFB, and I’m sure Sara will continue to drive the Watertight methodology through the business.”
Sara was named as the 2017 Watertight Marketing Webschool Student of the Year at our annual awards ceremony. Find out more here >
© Watertight Marketing Ltd | This marketing case study was prepared by Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner – Ben Wheeler.