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Flexible & Affordable Marketing for small businesses.

saving you time & money!



Consider this scenario ... if you had a leaky tap or pipe, you’d call in a plumber, wouldn’t you? So, if your marketing is not delivering, doesn't it make sense to get some marketing expertise?

WHY CHOOSE APS?

APS Marketing Consulting Services are a marketing consultancy based in Northamptonshire focusing on small businesses. Andy Sarson, owner of APS, saw that smaller businesses were not really getting the levels of quality marketing help and service enjoyed by larger companies with expensive marketing agencies. Recognising this is crucial for business growth, especially at the strategy and planning stage, APS can deliver that level of service at a price you can afford giving you flexible marketing advice with strategy and planning , plus hands on help as and when needed.

WHY IT WOULD WORK FOR YOU?

For smaller businesses, a lack of time, resources and expertise often results in marketing activity which doesn’t get the response you were hoping for, wasting your valuable time and money, however with some expert help, your budget could be better spent by outsourcing to us who can save you that time … and probably some money too, starting with your first marketing consultation (up to 60 minutes) completely FREE of charge (and I'll buy the first coffee).

NO ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ SOLUTION

APS will produce a tailored marketing solution that’s right for your business, because everyone’s different, right? With 25+ years’ experience gained at marketing agencies, large companies, mostly with local retailer networks, I know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ in marketing. This is how it works … I work alongside you to understand your goals, find out who your target audience is, where they are and use the best marketing routes to reach them to maximise return on your investment (ROI) by doing marketing that works for you!

FIRST CONSULTATION FREE

There are no contracts with APS … we prefer to work out a cost in advance for the work you need us to do so there's no surprises, as we know every penny counts with small businesses (we are one ourselves) ... however you can pay us by the hour, or project or by the day, whichever suits you best. We can also spread the cost for you interest free (via monthly direct debit or standing order) over three months.

We’re confident you’ll like the way we work - honest, straightforward and no jargon – that your first marketing consultation (up to 60 minutes) is completely FREE of charge (and buy the first coffee). Also checkout our blogs full of useful tips and advice - most are available as a pdf download free of charge to help you on your business journey.

APS have the knowledge and experience to make your marketing work for you ... literally your'one-stop shop'!

AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING SPECIALISTS

APS Marketing Consulting Services are also highly experienced in the automotive industry from working at both manufacturer and dealership levels. We are very much dealership focused helping to bridge the gap between manufacturers and your dealership and you and your customers using marketing approaches that target your local customers and are right for your business.
automotive marketing

Specialists in Local and Regional B2C/B2B Marketing, Product Displays/Placement, New Product Launches, POS, CRM.

Digital

Display, Email, Social Media, CRM, Analytics, Google AdWords, SEO, Websites.

event management

Indoor/Outdoor Displays, Motor Shows, Trade Shows, Sports Events.

Marketing Planning & Strategy

Local and National B2C & B2B Marketing Strategy & Planning, Product Focus, GDPR Support, Project Work.

Marketing Management

Marketing Projects, Budgets, Print, PR, Database, 3rd Party Partnerships, Sponsorship, Guerrilla Marketing.

Media Review & Negotiation

TV, Radio, Press, Digital, OOH (Outdoor).

Creative & production

TV & Video, Radio, Press, Digital, Outdoor, Direct Mail, Brochures/Literature

what does it all cost?


I’m sure you have noticed many marketing companies/consultants have a rather vague approach to pricing, however I bet ‘how much do you charge’ is one of the first questions you want an answer to?

As a business owner myself, I know every penny counts, so getting great value from your appointed marketing consultant is a must, however looking around the marketing arena locally, hardly anyone is upfront on pricing before, let’s call it the ‘hard sell’ first meeting.

The reason? Many marketing consultants base their pricing on one of these three ways ... which is fine if you’re quoted upfront:
Hourly rate
Fixed Project rate
Retainer rate (fixed monthly cost)

Now to explain that further ... a consultancy is a service that should be delivered by experienced professionals who have achieved a certain level of expertise, so the figures could vary depending upon the credentials, knowledge and abilities of the individual, but you should expect to be paying anywhere between £50 and up to £200 per hour (approx. £350 – £1400 per day) for someone who really knows their job (consultants working for large companies could command 2 or 3 times more).

Similarly, ‘tactical’ marketing people with little strategic understanding and might be self-styled “marketing experts” will typically charge somewhere between £25 and £50/hour (£175 - £350/day), but experience levels and abilities will vary massively.

HOW I WORK OUT THE COST

When I cost work I take the worry out of the mind of a small business … “the clock might be ticking, but the 'till isn't ringing'”, as I like to work on a fixed project rate where possible, so you know the total cost upfront and have no nasty surprises. You brief what you want me to do and I'll give you the total cost - which only changes if you change the brief - is that fair?

With new clients I also try to front-load the relationship by offering my time free of charge to provide valuable, actionable advice and insight before even quoting for any of my services. Hence you get the first hour consultation absolutely FREE during which I will give you some of that advice and insight.

Still with me … good … as I like creating scenarios, consider the following:

As an expert at running your small business you try to source more leads yourself by networking, throwing a grand or so at advertising and maybe the same into your business website, so you’ve spent upwards of £3,000 to £5,000 on marketing, therefore why should you consider spending more on top of that by bringing an external marketing consultant into the mix?

Let me share this example with you, then you can decide whether you need my services or not?

Company A spends £5,000 on marketing that brings 10,000 visitors to its website. They have a 0.5% conversion rate, that means of the 10,000 visitors, 50 will be converted into a sale. The average sale value is £200, so in this case, Company A will generate £10,000 of sales income. Sounds OK.

Company B spends the same £5,000 on marketing, plus £3,000 on a marketing consultant who helps create a marketing plan and advises how and where the budget should be allocated. The synchronised marketing activity yields a modest increase in the conversion rate to 1%. Even assuming the number of visitors doesn’t increase (which in practice it usually does) and stays at 10,000 visitors,

Company B will convert 100 into a sale, generating £20,000, doubling the income achieved by Company A. The cost of employing the consultant has been covered 3 times over.

OK this is, of course, a hypothetical example, but a good marketing consultant really can have this kind of impact on your business.

Marketing is after all the process of identifying and satisfying the needs of your customers profitably (CIM definition). If you do that better, you will satisfy more customers (get more sales) and make more profit.

A nice analogy I read elsewhere … if you had a brain tumour you wouldn’t trust your hairdresser to diagnose the problem and perform brain surgery because they work with heads all day long. Your head is quite an important part of your body, so of course, you would seek out a fully trained brain surgeon to fix your problem and make things better.

The same is true with your business.

Good marketing consultants have helped to grow businesses and can help you to finely tune your marketing to yield better results and increase your profits. Equally, spending money on an inexperienced or cheap marketing consultant can be money down the drain because, they, like the hairdresser, lack the skills and expertise to deliver real results. So, is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.

If you are considering using a marketing consultant … like me … evaluate them based on credentials, experience, and ability; each on their own does not a good marketing consultant make, they all come into play in determining a marketing consultant’s worth.

Credentials These will range from self-taught marketing “gurus” with no formal training to masters-level educated and beyond. I would suggest you need someone with a wealth of experience (at least 10 years).

Experience There are two types of experience small business marketing consultants need, one is in delivering sizeable marketing budgets successfully, and the other, perhaps most important, is the first-hand experience of running and growing a business themselves. I’ve met innumerable “expert marketers” who have worked with some large firms but have no clue of the real challenges small business owners must manage on a daily basis.

Ability Do they have a solid strategic understanding of marketing or are they just tactical marketers masquerading as consultants? Are you looking for someone hands on to do this stuff day to day? Or are you looking for someone who can propel your business to the next level? Furthermore, do they understand the current digital marketing landscape and help you to leverage this in your business?

Make every penny of your marketing spend counts. If all else fails, ask your hairdresser … 😊

Testimonials

Here's what clients and people I've worked with have said about me and my work ...