Established in 1998 and with a turnover of £10 million, Total Ltd is an award winning business telecoms service provider. Here, managing director Stuart Baikie outlines the company’s impressive growth, examining the role marketing has played.
What drives you to keep growing your business?
A huge personal drive, watching other people within the company grow and develop, new challenges, oh and of course, money!
How fast has your business grown?
Phenomenally, year on year. Although this has slowed a little over the past two years, we are anticipating another significant growth phase ahead.
How have you continued to thrive despite the downturn?
By protecting our existing customer base. We made sure we were there to help in any way we could and as a result we’ve seen our cancellation rates decrease over the last 2 years.
What were the biggest obstacles to your success?
Funding growth has been tricky. Never having had outside investment we have to ensure everything we undertake is as considered and calculated as possible.
What advice would you give someone looking to grow a business?
Be clear on what you are and what you do from the outset – and stick to it. Have a good business plan with some very clear, achievable and measurable objectives. Finally, recognise when you need help and be willing to seek it out.
How important is marketing to your business?
It’s fundamental. The strong integration between sales and marketing at Total ensures a cohesive joined up approach.
How do you market your company?
We position Total as a trusted advisor, promoting value add, service and experience as our USPs. Activity covers the full mix, from more traditional channels to Twitter and blogging. We maximise opportunities for collaboration, working closely with specialist groups and other technology providers within the same arena.
How important is social media?
Although initially skeptical, social media now forms an integral, cost effective part of our marketing strategy. It’s another channel to reinforce our brand and allows two-way conversation with audiences we may otherwise struggle to engage with.
What role should marketing play in a businesses’ strategy – especially in the current climate?
In the past, marketing has often been the first casualty. However, it is every bit as important in today’s climate as when the market is buoyant. By truly understanding their needs, you can protect your customer base and enhance loyalty.
What do you feel is the future for marketing?
Channels and focuses are shifting and marketing is becoming more customer driven – as mobilisation increases, consumers will be driving how and where they obtain information. Traditional trade shows have declined and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the end of printed marketing materials and even paid advertising over the next few years.