About Stuart Ayling

Stuart Ayling runs Marketing Nous, an Australasian marketing consultancy that specialises in marketing for service businesses. He helps clients to improve their marketing tactics, attract more clients, and increase revenue. For additional marketing resources, including Stuart's popular monthly newsletter, visit his web site at www.marketingnous.com.au
7 Ways to Evaluate Your Marketing Plan

Business owners often find it difficult to know whether their marketing tactics are working. This can be especially tricky when you use a combination of marketing activities simultaneously, or if using personal-contact tactics such as networking.

How to Find Lists of Prospects

Recently I was asked:

“We are just starting a cold calling process and I was wondering if you had any ideas on what publications we could use to track down businesses based on industry, turnover, staff numbers etc.”

– Brendan.

Client Ahoy! Raise Your Profile

One of the most common issues I’m asked about is how to raise the profile of a business to attract more clients.

Sales Partners – Agents, Distributors, Licensing and Franchises

When I’m speaking with clients who are looking for ways to expand their business the conversation often comes around to the possibilities of using agents, distributors, licensing arrangements or a franchise.

Communication is the Key

No matter what business you are in there is one common factor – communication. Whether it is verbal, visual, on paper or electronic, having clear communication is a must for any successful business. This can be even more challenging when dealing with other cultures, nationalities and lifestyles.

Smarter Marketing in a Slow Economy
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More often than not, when times get tough marketing gets the bullet. In some cases where there has been an incorrect allocation of resources within a company this may be justified. But in most cases it is a mistake. Sometimes a very costly one!

What’s Really Your Problem?

How a 19th century French mathematician can help you find the answers to your marketing problems.

How to Save Thousands on Your Marketing

Marketing can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes you will spend more than you should. Usually you’ll realise this after you’ve done it. But here are two tips that can save you thousands of dollars.

A Few Good Clients

Many of the business owners I speak with are looking for a relatively small number of new clients. It isn’t that they’re not ambitious, it’s just the size of their businesses doesn’t warrant a larger objective. Typically they own service-based businesses with an annual turnover counted in the millions of dollars, not hundreds of millions.

Selling B2B Services – Converting Warm Leads Into Eager Clients.
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One of the difficulties in selling a service is that potential clients (we’ll call them “prospects” here) often don’t know whether they should be using what you provide.

Is Your Marketing Kitchen Really Cookin’?

In discussions with clients and business associates, and during my work as a tutor with university students, I am often surprised at the lack of understanding of how ubiquitous the marketing function is within an organisation.

Using the Media to Your Advantage!


That’s what often happens when people think of using media for advertising or other promotional purposes. It’s the focus on ‘action’ that often means the results are somewhat less than expected. A bit of planning can greatly improve your chances of success.

Watch Your Customers Grow!

Nurturing your customers and helping them to develop into better people (who use more of what you sell) is often like raising children – but without the teenage worries! Customers need help to know how best to use your products and services. Look out for their needs and you will be rewarded in multiples.

The Art of Selling (and Some Tips to Help You Manage Your Sales Team)

Selling. Cold calls, introductions, interviews, appointments, proposals, referrals, call cycles, building rapport, listening, asking for the order, overcoming objections, closing the sale, and rejection. There’s a lot to know about the business of selling. No wonder many people are a bit overwhelmed when they are asked to do it.

9 Ways to Keep Clients Coming Back for More

A lot of effort is put into getting new clients. We all know our client base will change. Previous clients can move to a new area, sell their business, close down, or change their priorities. So finding new business is always important – but so is keeping your previous clients. Here are nine ways to keep previous clients coming back for more!

Show Them The Money – Marketing HR Services to Other Managers

Note: Although this article discusses the HR function it applies equally to other corporate services.

A Marketing Myth

“I don’t need to do any marketing”. How many times have we heard this said? Often business operators feel they don’t need to do any marketing because:

Who’s Sabotaging Your Sales and Marketing Efforts?

Without knowing it your business is being attacked. Sabotaged from the inside.

How to Spend Your Marketing Money

When it comes to spending money – particularly for marketing – many businesses are not sure what to do. In some situations there is a history of implementing certain marketing activities for specific reasons, in other cases a fresh start must be taken. At all times there is a need to make sure your marketing budget is being planned correctly and spent wisely.

Why B2B Marketing Should be Subtle

Subtle adj. Showing or making, or capable of showing or making, fine distinctions of meaning.

Who’s Driving Your Product?

A colleague of mine is in a difficult situation – or so he thinks! He and a partner have developed a CD-based learning aid to be used in tertiary education institutions. They both have inside knowledge of what students require, they are well qualified in their field, and they know how to produce the product. So what’s the problem?

Should You be Advertising Your Services?

You offer a reliable, quality service. You know that if more people knew what you can do, you’d increase sales. So you advertise in the most likely media for potential clients to read about you. But there’s no response. Why?

Get Your Share of ‘Old’ Business.

Lets face it…winning new business is fun. Particularly in service firms where there is substantial personal involvement required to gain clients. But the jubilation of landing new accounts often leads to problems.

The Biggest Marketing Problem

Can you guess what it is?

– It’s not having too much competition.
– It’s not about money (or the lack thereof).
– And it’s not about finding more clients.