Ghost Stories/Marketing with Geoff Wilson

The first thing one realises when chatting to Geoff Wilson is how humble he is. Geoff began discussing his career, and kept telling us how lucky circumstance was that his career has taken him to where he is. In my experience, one can get lucky every now and again, but for longevity in a career one needs to know what they are talking about. Geoff is no exception. Geoff is clearly experienced, clearly knowledgeable, with a professional and giving nature.

The Chat:

The first and one of the most important things I discussed with Geoff was the shift in business since the emergence of Social Media. Geoff revealed that there has been a huge shift within business as a whole. The Chief Marketing Officer is beginning to change to Chief Growth Officer. Businesses are veering towards Growth as their main strategy. One of the challenges we have here in Northern Ireland is a problem with skillset. The truly talented have moved abroad and taken their skills with them.

Time and time again throughout the series of Ghost Stories one of the common denominators seems to be our reluctance to embrace change. To move with the times, out of our comfort zone, and employ leaders in their field into our companies. Why is this?

A vital point was made by Philip Wilson during the chat. This was “How many times does the option for Sales come before Service, on businesses’ call options?” Are businesses making mistake by being Sales-led before Service-led?

We should know by now that it is far easier and more cost effective to keep a current customer, than finding a new one. When was the last time your business contacted your current clients and asked them how they were? How is our service? Not simply calling to get “another deal”.

Geoff followed with targeted marketing. “Who is your target?” “How can you work through your current clients for referrals?” “Why do we not ask our current clients to help us help their network?” All excellent questions that can sometimes lead to blank stares, when we as business owners may not have an answer to.  “I don’t know why, I don’t do this?”

Geoff made an excellent analogy. You want sneezers in your business. Think of your business as a cold. If you have excellent products, excellent service, and excellent customer experience. You want your clients telling others how good your business is. How can you grow your business in a positive way? Look at your staff. Can you do something with your business supporting a charitable organisation? How can this benefit everyone? Can I use my business to make some change to society?

Key Points:

When planning your business growth through marketing Geoff recommends the following:

  • Do your research.
  • Build your proposition.
  • Build your channel.
  • Get your branding right.
  • Get reviews. (social proof is vital for your business)
  • Perform an honest audit on your customer’s journey.

In Geoff’s opinion GDPR was a good idea. “After making your database GDPR compliant, you are talking to people who want to deal with you”. An excellent point and well made.

Methods to consider when marketing your brand:

  • Find and use Influencers/brand ambassadors.
  • Create content with your clients in mind.
  • Build trust with your audience.
  • Use social advertising.
  • Be consistent. Consistent with your message. Consistent with your brand.
  • What is your businesses key message? You are what you are. Don’t change it.

When your business is busy is the best time to be strategic, and market your business.

When marketing your business, play the long game.

Use multiple channels to market your business. The content will be different to compliment the channel, but the message should stay the same.

We discussed the phrase “There is no such thing as bad press”, Geoff offered his closing advice.

“Bad press sticks, and bad PR is not a good thing for your business, your brand, or you.”

Thank you for your time Geoff

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