Smoke & Croak

Digital Strategy & Business Development

Great marketing isn’t about tactics. It’s about understanding what your customer wants to experience and feel, and delivering just that.

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In a nutshell

More than one million blog posts are published on WordPress alone each day, together with the billions of tweets, likes and comments happening around the web. Everyone is vying for attention. We receive cold calls and cold emails every day from people trying to sell us products and services that we don’t want to buy. So much noise, so much distraction. How frustrating is it when people keep interrupting your day?

Nobody likes being the subject of an unwanted phone call or aggressive marketing campaign, and yet, that’s precisely the route that many construction firms take when they want to sell their products. Leaflets through the door, blanket emails to prospects, cold calls to people who we have no idea whether they have any need for our product. We know that these methods don’t work on us as customers, and yet so many people forget that feeling of being on the receiving end when we market our own business.

All that said, there are so many opportunities online and offline for contractors that use the right kind of marketing and business development. The kind that is received positively rather than negatively.

Background

I’m Liam, and I work with roofing contractors to help build their sales and profits through business development and marketing. I combine my experience in sales and marketing, for small agencies and large multinational businesses, with my experience of running a roofing company, to offer a complete service of bringing new leads to clients and converting them to profitable sales. From business development and digital marketing, through to estimating and pre-contract sign off. I specialise in working with roofing contractors that work in B2B commercial and residential markets.

Vision and Values

Vision

When you learn to see and hear your customers, you begin to understand them. You understand the story that they tell about themselves. When we can see beyond the surface, understand why they ask the questions that they ask, why they buy the products that they buy, we begin to understand what they’re really looking for.

My job is to help you read between the lines, beyond the features of your service, to understand not only what the customer wants from your roof, but what they want from you as a brand.

Unique or invisible?

Customers in both B2B and B2C environments are exposed to more products and companies than ever before. They have an infinite number of options when it comes to buying products and services, as well as what type of content they consume. If you want to succeed in online or offline markets, you need to jump above the noise and completely stand out from the competition. It doesn’t matter what others think of your brand and product, as long as your target customer notices and connects with you. If you’re not unique, you’re invisible. Every aspect of my work, together with the strategies that I devise for you, are based on this principle.

how i work

See the wood from the trees

Many businesses are focused on making a great product, and that’s a wonderful thing to focus attention on. But, sadly, we often forget the people that we’re making the product for. This particularly happens with marketing. We’re often so focused on getting the sales that we need, on earning the attention that we crave, we build content, websites and social messages that are designed to get us what we want, not what the customer wants.

Whilst it’s true that we want customers to enjoy and buy our products, we need to selflessly remove our own wants and desires from the table when we consider marketing. Rather than jostle for the attention of our customers, we should be putting all our efforts into giving them our attention. Rather than creating an e-book designed to give us as many qualified leads as possible, we should be creating materials that first and foremost are created as a gift for our customers, something that they want to read and share because something this good shouldn’t be free. When you give this kind of attention and love to your customers, you invariably start getting it back from them. I work with this principle in mind. People fall in love with brands, not simply the product alone, and a brand covers the entire experience of engaging with a company and its products.

My Process

  • 1. Face to Face

    With any project or campaign, I always start by meeting my client in person, getting to know you and your business.

  • 2. Gather Raw Material

    I then gather raw material on my client, their market and customer to absorb as much as I can about your environment.

  • 3. Brainstorming

    Next, I plot out every piece of information and material I’ve collected through my research, identifying connections.

  • 4. Incubation

    This may not seem like a stage, but now I put everything aside, sleep on it and let the thoughts and information sink in.

  • 5. Ideation

    Now I bring the ideas to the surface. Notebook and pen sit down with no distractions and put ideas to paper, reeling each one off.

  • 6. Analysis

    The ideas have come to surface, now I need to analyse each against my criteria and tweak accordingly.

  • 7. Present

    Ideas at the ready, I meet with the client again and present what I have. We go through each together and agree on the plan of action.

  • 8. Core Strategy

    I set a clear strategy for the on-going digital marketing campaigns to work towards.

  • 9. Iterate

    If I’m working with clients on multiple areas of marketing, content and storytelling, I’ll test, review and iterate.