We recently went through a patch of competing for tenders through one of the government portals, and despite having lots of valid experience (and being quite good at what we do) didn’t get any of the work. Of course, no-one expects to get every tender they complete,...
‘I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.’ Steve Jobs Sometimes it’s just as important to know what we don’t or can’t do as it is to know what we do and can. If we don’t recognise our limits then we run the risk of taking things on which are outside our...
How Netflix uses data to make shows you want to watch – before you even know you want to watch them.
We are all familiar with places like YouTube and Netflix recommending videos based on our viewing history. If you watched The Silence of the Lambs all the way through, there is a good chance you will enjoy Red Dragon, and so Netflix may well add it to your recommended...
Many of us are familiar with Occam’s Razor: the principle that suggests that when there is more than one explanation for something, the one with the fewest assumptions is more likely to be accurate. Basically - keep it simple. But perhaps many of us are less familiar...
Having been stood up three times in the last two weeks for a Zoom meeting, it made me wonder how long you should wait before you close it and what, in general, Zoom etiquette actually is. My personal reaction is that you wait about 10 minutes – but is this enough?...
Confidence is key. Fake it till you make it. We’ve all heard the positive affirmations that are designed to propel us headlong into success and glory. And yes, a positive attitude and a bit of resilience combined with allowing our brain to rehearse a way of thinking...
This technique was shared with me by a friend of mine, Dominic Lusardi, an entrepreneur, digital expert. It’s a simple prioritisation method (originally created by Dai Clegg during his time as a software development expert at Oracle Corporation) by which he assesses...
In every relationship, knowing when and how to listen is key, and the relationship between businesses and customers is no different. Coronavirus has created a situation in which many businesses have been forced to innovate and adapt to survive, and though that is an...
The 30% rule - utilised by businesses across many industries - is a concept pioneered by Steve Jobs as a way to help focus business efforts on customers’ needs. When he returned to Apple in 1997, the 30% rule came about in an effort to get them back on a successful...
We often take on clients who think that their marketing is not working. It’s not doing what it’s supposed to do which fundamentally is to generate more sales and more business. Sometimes this is because they are not measuring the results and so, oddly, don’t realise...
We’ve talked before about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to drive traffic and to generate leads. After all, nowadays they are the omnipresent platforms through which you aim to build your brand and engage with your audience. However, it’s still...
As light starts to appear at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, questions are being asked about what the workplace will look like moving forward. Back to the office every day? Working entirely from home? A combination of the two? Businesses will choose different...
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This is a very interesting example of low cost, artisanal, low-branded marketing.
You have to watch this a couple of times to realise it is in fact sponsored by a brand, and is a piece of clever advertising. For a budget of $1,500 it has gained huge attention - over 130,000,000 views - and national TV coverage in America.
It's an example of a marketing movement for the artisanal and the low branded which plays on an increased distrust of large brands. It resulted in a 1,400% increase in sales and a 15,000% increase in website traffic for the brand in question.
Hustle and Float.
An interesting idea about productivity, it apparently comes from a white water rafting term where to have the perfect ride you need a bit of hustle, and a bit of float. Times when you are paddling like mad, making decisions and responding quickly, and times when you need to let the river carry you along.
We've been sold the idea that we have to hustle all of the time, we have to be paddling hard and in control all the time. The idea here is that in order to be productive we need time for reflection - time to let things happen. It's interesting to consider when was the last time you took time to float, when your company reflected on what it had acheived, and spent time thinking and planning - floating not hustling.
This guy is a bit extreme in some ways, but well worth a listen.
Mitch Joel says, 'Douglas is back with one of his most compelling pieces of work. It’s not (really) about the media… it’s about us. It’s about our need to “find the others” and figure out how we – as a team – are going to work in this ever-technological world. Humans feel more isolated and repressed than ever before, and it’s going to take teamwork to pull this all together if we don’t want to lose out to automation, robotics and algorithms.'
The thing that stuck the most with us was when he said that social media makes us think of other people as adversaries, rather than adversaries as other people . Anyone who has been on our training courses will know I am relatively cynical about most social media, so this comment really stuck in my head.
Marketing’s ‘faux-feminism’ problem on International Women’s Day
There is much hypocrisy in the marketing world. Some examples are the ad campaigns that some companies run for occasions such as this week’s upcoming International Women’s Day.
51 Questions to Optimise Every Element of Your Online Copy.
Optimising your own copy is a bit like scaling Mount Everest without a Sherpa. It doesn’t matter if you’re in shape: if you go it alone, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll end up a crumpled human popsicle.
If you are in Chester, it's worth checking out CHIP'D - a good example of a company that seems to be capitalising on 'talk triggers'.
Having had a very disappointing experience at 'Five Guys' with their complete failure to live up to their 'word of mouth marketing' mantra and only giving me a pathetic portion of mediocre chips, I found this company up Northgate Street in Chester (through a post they had got on Cheshire Live). They are great example of doing one thing well, over and over again - they just do chips. From a pure marketing perspective their product quality is enough to generate word of mouth in itself, but its worth popping in and seeing what they do, from having a chip cutting hand press in the window, to the tossing of the chips and salt in a large stainless steel bowl in front of you, they have put a high level of attention to everything.
So, not only is buying chips from them supporting a local business, there are things we can pick up from them about the customer experience. Their packaging is great too, so you carry an advert down the street - not for long in my case - but still I got as far as the cathedral.
From their site: 'We love chips, you love chips, everyone loves chips! That perfect chip is a real treat but can be so hard to find with so many bland, watery, frozen, tasteless chips around. We use a variety of potato which is recognised as the best in the Netherlands, we use the Dutch twice fried method, we cook them on a Dutch built range and we top our chips with amazing tasty Dutch sauces.'
Eleven Questions you can answer on social media.
After reading a number of recent books on social media, and reviewing how we plan and deliver our services, we have developed a list of eleven guiding questions, or points, which we can use to direct the content on social media.
• What is going on in my business?
• What do I want to sell you?
• What is it like working here?
• What is genuinely useful to you?
• What else will you be interested in?
• What will you want to see?
• Who else buys our products?
• What about me?
• What do we stand for?
• What will our products do for you?
• What are other people saying about us?
The mix will vary from business to business, and where you share it will depend on the media (we may do more 'what is going on in my business' on LinkedIn for example), but its not a bad start to see in an average month how many we cover.
Fyre may have been a complete rip-off, and an example of the power of social media to make and break a brand, but the branding is amazing.
The high point to me is the social post of a deconstructed cheese sandwich.
But the branding, the logo and the video are all worth seeing: they are compelling stylish and convincing.
Focus on Better Design, Not Better Marketing
IKEA’s former head of design argues that too many companies hope that clever marketing will save them from poor design. It’s a backwards approach that good businesses should rethink, Marcus Engman told attendees on Wednesday at the Fortune and Wallpaper* Brainstorm Design conference in Singapore.
Consumers would not care if 77% of brands disappeared.
The majority of big brands are irrelevant in consumers’ minds, says new research from Havas Media. The agency’s ‘Meaningful Brands’ study – which is based on 1,800 brands and 350,000 global respondents – has revealed that consumers would not care if 77% of brands disappeared.
Here are some really good examples of welcome emails, which might give you some ideas.
21 Best Welcome Email Examples to Engage Customers - if you scroll down the page on the site there are 21 interesting email examples, ranging from AirBNB to Starbucks. The designs are clean, simple and in most cases easy to do in any of the usual email marketing platforms. A welcome email is a good start to an ongoing customer relationship.
What is ‘Answer the Public’, and how can we use it?
Answer the Public is a tool that allows you to visualise search queries, helping you to see exactly what your target audience is looking for – basically it performs an automated autocomplete. It fetches and maps the keyword suggestions/predictions that you see when you perform a Google search. So, when you type in a search term, Answer the Public shows the most common questions that have been searched in relation to that term.
How to Create Copy that Sells.
I’ve just listened to a really interesting podcast hosted by Michael Stelzner and Ray Edwards on Social Media Examiner, and while I don’t necessarily agree with it all, there’s loads of stuff to think about that we could find genuinely useful when it comes to writing copy.
We know that basically, copy is persuasive communication however we do it (blogs, email, press releases, ads, etc.) and the point of it is, and always has been, to get people to engage with your words which then get them to act in some way.