Evolution Divorce Selects Pinch Hit Partners to Launch New Legal Brand in Richmond

Veteran family law attorney Christopher Macturk has selected Pinch Hit Partners to help launch his new family law practice, Evolution Divorce & Family Law, PLLC in Richmond’s West End. Evolution Divorce will assist clients with separation, divorce and child custody issues, but that’s where the similarity with its competitors ends.

“I wanted to create a firm that’s built around the clients, not around the lawyers,” says Macturk. He plans to differentiate the firm by offering pre-agreed pricing instead of hourly billing as well as providing his clients with a service guarantee. Evolution Divorce and its clients will enter into an attorney-client relationship only if they have first agreed upon the work to be done and the price for that work.

“I see Evolution Divorce as a disruptor in my industry and it’s important to me to work with someone like Mark who has a similar approach. He’s disrupting the local marketing scene with Pinch Hit Partners,” says Macturk.

“With hourly billing, clients never know how much they will spend by the completion of their case. This creates unnecessary anxiety during an already stressful period in their lives,” says Macturk. During his 20-year legal career, he has often experienced clients who have been reluctant to contact him or share important information for fear that the conversation would add to the overall bill.

Evolution has selected Pinch Hit Partners to develop its brand and implement a strategic marketing plan. Pinch Hit Partners’ founder Mark Cipolletti serves as Evolution’s fractional head of marketing and oversees a virtual team of marketing specialists.

EvolutionDivorce-logo-RGB_primary

Pinch Hit Partners’ first assignment was to help create a name that would send a clear message to potential clients that Macturk’s new firm was unique. “Chris said from the beginning that this firm isn’t about him and he didn’t want to use his last name as most attorneys do. We tested several names and landed on Evolution Divorce. The name, the pricing model…it’s the evolution of family law,” says Cipolletti.

“I see Evolution Divorce as a disruptor in my industry and it’s important to me to work with someone like Mark who has a similar approach. He’s disrupting the local marketing scene with Pinch Hit Partners,” says Macturk.

Pinch Hit Partners was created to provide small and medium-sized companies with a cost-effective alternative to hiring their own marketing staffs or contracting with expensive creative agencies. Each Pinch Hit Partners account is led by a fractional, senior-level marketer who selects a team of specialists to meet a client’s unique needs. “You get the best of both worlds but without having to pay for all of the overhead,” says Cipolletti, a former head of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance, Connexions Loyalty and Sheltering Arms.

About Pinch Hit Partners

Pinch Hit Partners is a Richmond, VA-based company that’s disrupting how marketing gets done for small and medium-sized companies by providing them with a cost-effective alternative to hiring their own marketing team or contracting with an expensive full-service creative agency. Learn more at www.pinchhitpartners.com. Contact Mark Cipolletti at mark@pinchhitpartners.com.

Tell us about your marketing challenge.

Breathe new life into your brand using these 4 market disruption techniques

Over the last decade, the internet has fueled the growth of disruptors in every market segment. For many years, I worked in the travel industry where travel agents, tour operators and hoteliers saw their businesses forever changed by brands like Expedia, Travelocity, Jetsetter and Airbnb. Hailing a taxi cab has been replaced with Uber, Lyft and Safr. And buying a car has been transformed by the likes of TrueCar, Carvana, Beepi and CarLotz. The list goes on.

Market disruption is a form of differentiation, a way for a brand to stand out amongst its competition. Disruptors understand that simply focusing on price or service just won’t cut it anymore. They use a multi-dimensional approach to differentiating their offerings to gain adoption from buyers and attention from the media and investors. Try taking a page from the disruptor’s playbook to breathe new life into your company’s brand.

Here are four techniques to consider:

Refresh Your Branding

Disruptors are master branders. They develop clearly articulated brand personalities and visual identities. Most disruptors do very little advertising, instead they are community builders that rely on their customers to share their brands through word-of-mouth. So, consider a brand refresh and look for ways to encourage sharing by your customers. Disruptors love one-word company names too. Some may sound a little silly but Uber certainly works better than ABC Cab Company.

Simplify

Legacy providers have spent years, and lots of money, building systems and processes to support their businesses. Most were built to serve the business, not necessarily the customer. Disruptors exploit this weakness, building customer-centric companies. Look at your business through the eyes of your customer and simplify your processes whenever possible. And don’t forget to take advantage of smartphone capabilities when selling and servicing your customers. These devices will soon overtake desktop computers and laptops when it comes to how people access the internet (and your business).

Collaborate with Customers

Disruptors know their customers and their competitors very well. They dig deep into data to unearth what drives their buyers to action. Survey your customers, engage with them on social media and create feedback opportunities during every interaction. Invite your customers to contribute to product development, marketing and other aspects of your businesses. Consumers love brands that build relationships with them and collaborate with them to provide a customized product or service.

Experiment and Iterate

Disruptors don’t spend years building new services. They experiment and iterate. Their services are constantly evolving, keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. Launch new services with a select group of customers and make modifications quickly. Once you feel confident about your offer, ramp up your marketing to gain market share.

In a world where consumers are overwhelmed with the amount of marketing messages they see and hear on a daily basis, having a strong differentiation strategy will help your businesses stand out. What works today may not work tomorrow so it’s important to not become complacent and look for new opportunities to differentiate.

You may also like:

5 Ways to Grow Your Business (with the Customers You Already Have)

Audi Selects Richmond as Backdrop for New A4 Promo Video

Great Customer Experience Can’t Overcome an Inferior Product

About the author

Mark Cipolletti is the president of Pinch Hit Partners, a Richmond, VA-based marketing company that’s disrupting how marketing gets done for small and medium-sized companies by providing them with a cost-effective alternative to hiring their own marketing team or contracting with an expensive full-service creative agency. Learn more at www.pinchhitpartners.com. Contact Mark at mark@pinchhitpartners.com or on LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: CarLotz

5 Ways to Grow Your Business (with the Customers You Already Have)

It’s very difficult to get a new customer. And of course difficult translates to expensive. Research on this topic provides a wide range of figures on the costs associated with acquiring vs. retaining a customer, but most agree that it’s at least five times more costly to convince a new customer to buy than it is to get an existing customer to buy again.

So, why do so many businesses quickly forget about the customers they already have – the ones they’ve paid so dearly to acquire? Do they think that just because someone bought from them once that they will automatically buy again? I hope not. Other brands are constantly selling to our customers so we must continue to engage with them too. Maybe it’s because most agencies that support our companies are focused on customer acquisition. When was the last time you heard an agency tout their latest award for an email they created for existing customers? Uh…never.

Differentiate Your Brand Like a Market Disruptor 2 (2)Regardless of the reasons, the sad truth is that we often forget that most of our revenue comes from a small, but loyal, segment of our existing customers. Every marketing plan should include strategies for identifying our best customers and selling them more stuff.

Here are some customer retention strategies to grow your business with the customers you already have:

A thoughtful customer experience is the key to your customer’s heart

I’m not a big fan of traditional loyalty programs that reward repeat purchases with points and discounts. That’s just bribery. You can do better than that. Loyal customers are usually willing to pay more for your product or service – so, let them. Make your customers feel special, like they’re a part of the family or an exclusive club. Make it easy for them to do business with you. Simplify your processes and remove customer satisfaction barriers like cumbersome return policies or the need to carry a loyalty card. Customer experience is especially important for B2B focused companies. Creating a relationship with your client will make them less price sensitive and less willing to entertain pitches from competitors.

Anticipate your customer’s needs

I recently purchased a gift certificate from a day spa to give to my wife for Mother’s Day. It’s her favorite spa so this is probably the third or fourth time that I’ve made this annual pilgrimage. The lady behind the counter expressed her surprise at how many men had been coming in to buy gift certificates for their wives and mothers. Hello. It’s Mother’s Day! They should have anticipated this need and emailed me the month before. I certainly would have appreciated the reminder. Get creative. Customers love it when they think you know them better than they know themselves.

Create brand ambassadors

Your best customers may be the ones that spend the most money with you but they also have a huge impact on influencing others to do business with your company. Find ways to encourage your best customers to become brand ambassadors. Try a “get one, give one” offer so they can share your product or service with others. Celebrate your customer’s loyalty with a “surprise and delight” gift. They will almost certainly share these experiences with their online and offline social network.

Loyalty is created after the sale

I’ve already mentioned removing cumbersome return policies to improve your post-sale customer interactions. How a company treats its customers after they’ve gotten their money demonstrates just how much they value their past and future business. Keep the conversation going with emails, newsletters, special events and previews of new product offerings. Send birthday cards or mark other special occasions.

Reconnect with lost customers

Don’t be shy about reconnecting with customers you’ve lost touch with. Everyone likes to hear that they’ve been missed. Invite these folks back, remind them about what attracted them to your business in the first place and let them know what’s new since you last did business together. By rekindling your lost customer relationship you may be able to find out what mistake you made. Chances are it was as simple as you stopped communicating with them.

Before you kick off a big customer retention effort, be sure to benchmark your churn rate and understand what is causing your customers to leave. You may find that in addition to a customer retention problem, you may also be acquiring the wrong customers in the first place. That sounds like a topic for another day…

About the author

Mark Cipolletti is the president of Pinch Hit Partners, a Richmond, VA-based marketing company that’s replacing the traditional in-house marketing department. Using a fractional executive model, Pinch Hitters bring c-suite marketing expertise and their vast network of functional experts to lead transformative marketing programs that drive growth for small and mid-sized companies. Learn more at www.pinchhitpartners.com. Contact Mark at mark@pinchhitpartners.com or on LinkedIn.

Interested in a free, one-hour marketing consultation? Fill out the form below and tell us more about your marketing challenge:

Differentiate Your Brand Like a Market Disruptor

Over the last decade, the internet has fueled the growth of disruptors in every market segment. For many years, I worked in the travel industry where travel agents, tour operators and hoteliers saw their businesses forever changed by brands like Expedia, Travelocity, daily deal websites like Jetsetter and social sharing sites like Airbnb. Hailing a taxi cab has been replaced with Uber, Lift and car sharing services like Zipcar. Buying music is now done through streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The list goes on.

 

Differentiate Your Brand Like a Market Disruptor 2 (1)

Market disruption is a form of differentiation, a way for a brand to stand out amongst its competition. Disruptors understand that simply focusing on price or service just won’t cut it anymore. They use a multidimensional approach to differentiating their offerings to gain adoption from buyers and attention from the media and the investor community. Try taking a page from the disruptor’s playbook when deciding how to distinguish your business from the competition.

Refresh Your Branding

Disruptors are master branders. They develop clearly articulated brand personalities and visual identities. Most disruptors do very little advertising, instead they are community builders that rely on their customers to share their brands through word-of-mouth. So, consider a brand refresh and look for ways to encourage sharing by your customers. Disruptors love one-word company names too. Some may sound a little silly but Uber certainly works better than ABC Cab Company.

Simplify

Legacy providers have spent years, and lots of money, building systems and processes to support their businesses. Most were built to serve the business, not necessarily the customer. Disruptors exploit this weakness, building customer-centric companies. Look at your business through the eyes of your customer and simplify your processes whenever possible. And don’t forget to take advantage of smartphone capabilities when selling and servicing your customers. These devices will soon overtake desktop computers and laptops when it comes to how people access the internet (and your business).

Collaborate with Customers

Disruptors know their customers and their competitors very well. They dig deep into data to unearth what drives their buyers to action. Survey your customers, engage with them on social media and create feedback opportunities during every interaction. Invite your customers to contribute to product development, marketing and other aspects of your businesses. Consumers love brands that build relationships with them and collaborate with them to provide a customized product or service.

Experiment and Iterate

Disruptors don’t spend years building new services. They experiment and iterate. Their services are constantly evolving, keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. Launch new services with a select group of customers and make modifications quickly. Once you feel confident about your offer, ramp up your marketing to gain market share.

In a world where consumers are overwhelmed with the amount of marketing messages they see and hear on a daily basis, having a strong differentiation strategy will help your businesses stand out. What works today may not work tomorrow so it’s important to not become complacent and look for new opportunities to differentiate. If you need some creative inspiration, check out these 50 ways to differentiate your brand.

About the author

Mark Cipolletti is the president of Pinch Hit Partners, a Richmond, VA-based marketing company that’s replacing the traditional in-house marketing department. Using a fractional executive model, Pinch Hitters bring c-suite marketing expertise and their vast network of functional experts to lead transformative marketing programs that drive growth for small and mid-sized companies. Learn more at www.pinchhitpartners.com. Contact Mark at mark@pinchhitpartners.com or on LinkedIn.

Interested in a free, one-hour marketing consultation? Fill out the form below and tell us more about your marketing challenge:

Home Plate: Audi Selects Richmond as Backdrop for new A4 Promo Video

The newly designed Audi A4 sedan may be the star of this show but Richmond, Virginia, subs for New York or San Francisco as the perfect backdrop for the Audi luxury brand.

“This content will run on our social channels, on Audiusa.com, in our dealerships, and in our internal communications,” said Tara Dyer, Manager of brand content and marketing innovation for Audi America (as told to RVA News). Dyer also said that those at Audi were “thrilled with the outcome” of the video and that the shots of Richmond were “stunning locations.”

Pinch Hit Partners may be a little biased, but we think that Richmond is definitely a stunning location and we’re proud to call RVA our home.

Pinch Hit Partners

Need the experience of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) but can only afford a minor-leaguer? Call in a Pinch Hitter. Our flexible and affordable fractional marketing solutions provide your business with an experienced executive to oversee existing programs, vendors and employees. Turn to Pinch Hit Partners to grow your company through customer experience management, digital marketing, social media and sales lead development. For more information, visit pinchhitpartners.com  and follow us on Twitter @pinchhitCX.

Reading on Airplanes – Branding Faith

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Just back from a business trip to Florida to meet with a client. Since I can’t sleep on planes, I used my time in the air to read Branding Faith by Phil Cooke. While Mr. Cooke provides several stories about how he’s helped TV evangelists and churches, most of his ideas apply well beyond faith-based organizations to most non-profit and for-profit organizations.

What are you currently reading?