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Welcome to Handy Croissant

May 9, 2015

Getting maximum benefit from your marketing toolbox

Recently, member and marketing consultant Steve Gunn, of Steve Gunn & Associates, presented to members on how to get maximum benefit from their “marketing toolbox”.

Recently, member and marketing consultant Steve Gunn, of Steve Gunn & Associates, presented to members on how to get maximum benefit from their “marketing toolbox”. Here we summarise some of the key points. Steve started by asking the question, “If I asked you which tools you use, when you use them and why you use those particular tools – how many of you would be able to give me and answer.” The rationale for the question was that there are so many choices these days that some businesses simply follow the herd and focus on one or two “in” tools and techniques without considering:

1) Whether they are appropriate and effective for their particular business and its objectives
2) How they complement each other and integrate with other marketing activities.

Steve commented that the group had probably all attended networking meetings where they had been told that: “video is a ‘must-have’”; “you must ‘do’ social media”; “email marketing is what you need”; or “nothing beats a quality printed document”, and added that his aim was to “Shed some light on how to use your marketing toolbox.”

Back to basics

Steve used the task of converting prospects into delighted, repeat customers to illustrate the principles.

So what tools do we have available to help us?

Plenty! So the challenge is: Which tools to use when, and for what purpose?

Steve said that over the years he had seen any number of pronouncements about the “next big thing” come and go! People said, “Traditional advertising is dead – you need direct marketing; you need exhibitions; corporate videos; multimedia; online advertising; SEO; PPC; video; social media”.

Eventually we learn the capabilities and limitations of each and how it compares to other tools, and we work out where it can best fit into our marketing efforts.

One challenge is, “How do we meet the varied communication needs of different groups such as prospects and customers, as well as other important stakeholder groups?” Steve suggested we develop specific plans and objectives for each key group and choose appropriate vehicles to cater for the different needs, for example, a prospect carrying out a preliminary high-level scan of “what’s on the market” compared to a regular customer considering purchasing one of your new products. Different tools and different executions can help meet these diverse needs, for example:

  • Concise flyers with bullets vs. brochures vs. white papers, technical reports, etc.
  • Short copy web pages vs. long copy web pages.
  • Short awareness ads vs. long copy ads.
  • Long copy direct mail.

To help us in our planning there are some models of how a person moves from “unaware” to becoming a customer. Some of these models are better than others. None is perfect.

They tend to go through three basic phases; in psychology speak these are: cognitive (in simple terms, what does one know or think about the subject – your business, product or service!), affective (one’s feelings and attitudes towards the subject) and conative (one’s behaviour towards the subject).

Sales people will be familiar with the AIDA model – “Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action”. Another popular variation used in marketing is the Lavidge and Steiner Model.

So what are the implications of this?

The consequences when marketing anything more than a simple, inexpensive product or service to someone in the unaware phase compared to someone with already knows your company and has a favourable attitude towards it are:

  • If your prospect is in the unaware phase, with little or no knowledge of your company and its products or services, you can't just give them the specifications of a product or service and hope they’ll buy. You need to build awareness and knowledge about the company and its reputation; an understanding of what the product is and does, and the benefits it will bring the customer; as well as a degree of positive attitude, before diving into the details.
  • On the other hand, if you’re talking to someone who already knows what you do and has a favourable opinion of your business and products, you can discuss the specifications and attendant benefits immediately.

The “risk” attached to the purchase has an effect – you are more likely to buy a simple, inexpensive product or service on the basis of ittlle knowledge and limited trust in the supplier than you are a more complex, expensive product. Steve illustrated this by looking at the process a consumer may follow when purchasing an expensive new camera, compared to the one the same consumer may follow when purchasing a simple can opener for the kitchen.

Things that will impact upon the process the prospect follows and the amount and type of information they require are: the complexity of product/service; the stage of the cycle that the prospect is at; the cost of the product or service; and the risk of failure (I’m sure we’re all familiar with the old adage, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM”).

To help members select the appropriate tools and technique for the job in hand, Steve provided a chart showing which tools would be more effective at the various stages of a prospects journey from awareness to action (hopefully purchase!).

Once you decide which tools and techniques to use and start creating marketing collateral, Steve advised members to put themselves in the shoes of their customers. “If a marketing person shows you a concept for a nice brochure, website or video, etc., make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by first appearances and think ‘Wow this is flash and has lots of bells and whistles - I want one just like this’. Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your target customer and then ask yourself, ‘If I was a customer of my business and was shown this brochure, website or video, what impact would it have on me. Would it make me think, ‘Yes, these people have the expertise, products and / or services that can help me solve my problems or achieve my goals’.”

The good news is that no one could or should try to use all of these tools and techniques. Pick those appropriate for your products/services, audiences and their stage of the journey, markets, objectives and budget. When it comes to the objectives, consider, “Where are my audiences on the journey and, consequently, what do I need to do, raise awareness with audience X? Generate preference and conviction? Etc.”

For help with your marketing strategy and execution, contact Steve today for more information:

Steve Gunn & Associates Ltd
Tel: 01844-352540
Mob: 07764-621527
Oct 28, 2016
We've got a visitors' day on Friday 18 November. Come along and meet the members of our business development group. Join us at the Holiday Inn, Handy Cross (J4 of the M40) from 07:15 - 09:00. It's FREE to attend. If you're interested in attending, email us at
Dec 24, 2015
Handy Croissant member Tony Thomson of Third Wave Business Development recently presented a five-step business planning process to members. This will be followed up in the new year with an interactive workshop to help members review and augment their plans for 2016.
Oct 16, 2015
Recently, Handy Croissant member Matt Simpson of Ingenuity IT outlined the essential elements you should look for when you’re assessing an IT support company. When some of the highlights in this summary.
Oct 7, 2015

Recently, Handy Croissant member Theresa Marks of AddHR spoke to the group about the importance of accurate and reliable data for the HR function and the potential costs of not getting this right. She illustrated the subject with some case studies.

Sep 23, 2015

The Members of Handy Croissant would like to invite you to a Business Breakfast at The Holiday Inn High Wycombe (J4, M40) on Friday 9th October 2015, 7.15am – 9am.

R.S.V.P to Jerry Hughes, Chairman. Tel: 07973-749176. Email

Jun 29, 2015

Recently, Handy Croissant member Steve Gunn of Steve Gunn & Associates described a process to help members develop a unique and powerful value proposition. The process builds on previous strategy sessions for Handy Croissant members that have examined the Business Model Canvas and Strategy Canvas, and was prompted by a value proposition development project Steve had carried out for a client.

Jun 14, 2015
Lindsay Horler, Marketing Director of Excel Office Supplies Ltd, visited to explain to members the relationship the Company is developing with the Better Schools Project, a schools procurement partnership that aims to deliver best value on a full range of products and services for schools by using its specialist knowledge to source suppliers who offer exceptional value and service.
May 19, 2015

Recently, member Rita Adams of A.R.M. Credit Control explained how managing cash flow and customers is the key to credit control success. Rita said that the critical elements for success were to ensure you have the:

  • Right customer.
  • Right terms.
  • Right process.

Rita went on to explain each of these elements in detail.

May 9, 2015
Recently, member and marketing consultant Steve Gunn, of Steve Gunn & Associates, presented to members on how to get maximum benefit from their “marketing toolbox”.
Apr 25, 2015
Handy Croissant member Steve Groves of Take One Business Communication recently outlined some of the ways in which you can use video to promote your business.
Mar 20, 2015
Phil Stebbings of Flackwell Financial Services, who joined Handy Croissant recently, used his first spotlight session to tell us about his business and also explore the benefits of ISAs.
Mar 12, 2015
Recently, Handy Croissant member Matt Simpson of Ingenuity IT outlined some enhancements to the Company's service package which ensure that it has a laser focus on helping its clients achieve worry-free business benefit from their IT.
Feb 21, 2015

Handy Croissant member Theresa Marks of Add HR recently used a range of case studies to illustrate how her professional HR services add value to the businesses she works with. Add HR provides practical, no-nonsense HR support and works with customers to develop a  service package precisely tailored to their needs.

Feb 1, 2015

Handy Croissant member Steve Gunn, of Steve Gunn & Associates Ltd, recently presented an interactive session entitled “A beginners guide on how to approach media interviews”. This interactive session included a couple of practice interviews with Handy Croissant members, along with hints and tips on how to prepare for and conduct yourself in media interviews.

Jan 20, 2015
Join Handy Croissant member A.R.M. Credit Control and MinistryForGrowth, for ‘Cash Control – Growth without tears” An evening event at Metro Bank High Wycombe on Thursday 12th February 2015. Sponsored by Growth Accelerator and Handy Croissant member Metro Bank.
Dec 31, 2014

Handy Croissant member Phil Holliday, of PH Cleaning, recently gave a very interesting presentation about carpet cleaning. You may think this is a simple, straightforward task, but Phil revealed the tips of the trade concerning how to keep your carpets looking and feeling great for many years.

Dec 29, 2014
Join Handy Croissant members A.R.M. Credit Control and Metro Bank, along with MinistryForGrowth, for ‘Cash Control – Growth without tears” An evening event at Metro Bank High Wycombe on 12th February 2015. Sponsored by Growth Accelerator.
Dec 6, 2014

Handy Croissant member Tony Thomson of Third Wave Business Development recently presented a practical approach to carrying out SWOT analyses. He noted that most people start with the “SW” portion of a SWOT analysis – the strengths and weaknesses, which are internal factors. Tony suggested reversing this practice and starting with the “OT” portion – the opportunities and threats, which examines external factors.

Nov 28, 2014
Handy Croissant member Matt Simpson, Managing Director of Ingenuity IT, recently presented an overview of “the cloud” and its pros and cons to members. He reminded us that anyone who has used webmail has actually made use of the cloud.
Oct 30, 2014

Update: Postponed until the New Year. See update here.

Join Handy Croissant members A.R.M. Credit Control and Metro Bank, along with MinistryForGrowth, for ‘Cash Control – Growth without tears” An evening event at Metro Bank High Wycombe on November 6th.

Oct 26, 2014

At a recent Handy Croissant meeting, Tony Thomson of Third Wave Business Development Specialists gave an absorbing presentation aimed at helping members understand how they can become and stay competitive in today’s dynamic business environment.

Sep 14, 2014

Handy Croissant member Steve Gunn of Steve Gunn & Associates Ltd recently presented on the topic of effective planning of communications activities with the aim of helping the members to make their communications activities more successful and cost-effective

Jul 4, 2014

At a recent Handy Croissant meeting, group member David Banes gave a presentation entitled “It’s only email”. Drawing on his experience in the IT industry, where his work encompassed IT security and anti-spam technology, David outlined:

  • Some of the ways in which people, especially in small business, abuse their business email accounts when sending marketing emails, and how to improve the situation.
  • The dangers posed by incoming email and some ways in which you can mitigate them.
Jul 2, 2014
Handy Croissant are delighted to have been asked to run a networking session at the Wycombe Business Expo, which takes place on 21st October at Adams Park, home to London Wasps and Wycombe Wanderers.
Feb 25, 2014
Seymour Taylor, accountants in High Wycombe, Marlow and the Thames Valley have been named the number one medium size firm of accountants in the country.
Apr 30, 2012
A.R.M. Credit Control team grows with the arrival of Tamara and Emma to ensure greater capability, improved service and even speedier money collection for clients.
Oct 28, 2011
Handy Croissant today exhibited at the Wycome Expo, the second of what hopefully will prove to be a regular annual event. Excellent visitor levels show the enthusiasm in the Bucks area for new business opportunities.
Oct 11, 2011
Handy Croissant, one of High Wycombes oldest breakfast networking groups, are delighted to welcome Jerry Hughes of Auditel as a new member.
Sep 14, 2010
When local business networking group Handy Croissant held its annual charity golf day recently at Hazlemere Golf Club it raised £740 for its chosen charity which this year is the Ian Rennie Hospice.
Sep 14, 2010
Excel Office Supplies, which is run by long-standing Handy Croissant member Ian Horler, has won a major industry award in the face of stiff national competition.
Sep 14, 2010
A group of 15 business people from The Handy Croissant, High Wycombe’s leading business networking group, recently had the privilege of being given a tour of the Palace of Westminster, including the House of Commons and the House of Lords.