What better recommendation can there be than that of a business that is successful thanks to the exact same advice it specialises in handing down to others? There’s an old saying about practising what you preach, and when Andy Sarson was busy working out the best way to build his own marketing consultancy, the answer turned out to be to put his own expertise to good use.
These days, APS Marketing Consulting is working with businesses across the region to help them reach that all-important target audience, combining traditional marketing methods with digital and social media and, of course, that tried and tested solution – word of mouth, or referral marketing.
Andy said: “Over the past 30 years or so I’ve worked in agencies and corporate marketing roles, representing some of the biggest retailers and brands, including Peugeot, Cineworld, JD Wetherspoon, Chrysler and Jeep.
“When I finally made the decision to put the commute and the long hours in the office behind me and set up my own business, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know where to start. I knew how to do marketing, but I didn’t really know very much about how to run a business.”
It was mainly through networking that Andy found not only a route to potential clients of his own, but also a pool of talent in other aspects of business that he could call on for advice and guidance and a listening ear when he needed to bounce around new ideas.
He already knew that those one-to-one conversations and taking time to build up relationships was the way forward, and that was cemented when he was approached to deliver training workshops on Asentiv’s referral marketing programmes that support growth through building better and stronger business relationships.
The involvement with Asentiv not only enhanced the offering of APS Marketing Consulting, but in becoming a qualified trainer, Andy also built on his own skills base, adding learning and value to himself as well as his clients.
“Getting involved with Asentiv was a big step in the right direction for me because it was not only a continuation of everything I’d been doing for many years, but it was also passing on to others something that I had seen work for me in my business,” explained Andy.
“What was clear when I started out on my own was that you have to work at building trust. It’s a huge part of any business relationship and I was asking people to believe in my tailored approach to helping them develop a clear strategy and ways of identifying and then hitting their target audience.
“And referral marketing is such a powerful marketing tool for any business. It is a marketing tactic that uses recommendations and word of mouth to grow a business’s customer base, whether that is through networks of business connections, suppliers, or existing customers. It can take many forms, but at its heart, it’s one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your brand.”
APS Marketing Consulting aims to work with smaller businesses, where getting the marketing strategy right from the outset gives them the best chance to grow. That involves improving the quality and effectiveness of marketing, using affordable and targeted strategies that pull together as a whole as Andy believes there is no ‘one size fits all’ or ‘off the shelf’ solution. The goal is to help the client understand the benefits of a targeted approach, developing a clear vision of what they want to achieve from the marketing before any money is spent.
“Doing what I do now is one of the most satisfying jobs I’ve ever had,” said Andy. “Gaining the trust of someone who is happy to work with your ideas to see the long-term benefits. I am passionate about helping smaller businesses understand how marketing works and how a carefully thought-out approach is so much better than jumping into all sorts of different opportunities just because they present themselves.
“There are so many facets to marketing now. Social media and digital marketing are growing and changing all the time, and we’re all having to stay abreast of that, but the fundamentals of marketing remain the same.
“I’ve had times when I have walked away from work because the client wanted to go down a route I didn’t think would work, but I’m prepared to do that rather than charge someone to do something I don’t believe in and that I don’t think will bring results.”
“On the other hand, I do genuinely believe that APS Marketing Consulting can bring all the right tools, marketing knowledge and experience to help a business grow and prosper.
“I am also proud to have my achievements in marketing recognised by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) being approved for membership at Fellow level. I am committing time to improve my skills through their CPD programme leading to the next and final step of becoming a Chartered Marketer.”
Find out more about APS Marketing Consulting by calling Andy on 01604 261 411 or mobile 07773 366393. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website www.apsmarketingservices.co.uk