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Category: News

What marketing is

Seth offers a little clarity

Marketing isn’t paying for ads, changing the logo or building a social media presence.

Marketing is product design, customer service, pricing, customer delight and creating and living a remarkable story. Marketing is creating the conditions for the network effect.

Understanding is half the battle.

How to create a Bulletproof Marketing Strategy – Workshop Series

If you aren’t getting the website traffic you want; join us on our Bulletproof Marketing Strategy workshop series. Across six, thirty minute sessions you’ll learn how online marketing impacts your business’s growth, gain tactics for attracting more of your ideal customers, learn how to create powerful marketing messages and understand how to find out what’s working.

Please register your interest on the form below to receive more information.

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Recommended Marketing Tools, Apps and Resources

Everything listed is free unless otherwise specified. If you find an app, tool or website that you cannot live without share it with us.

Image, video and audio sourcing

  • Pexels – Free commercial images
  • Pixabay – Free commercial images, illustrations and video
  • Flickr – Free images, commercially available, check the license!
  • Envato Elements – Photos, graphics, video and audio assets for under £12 a month
  • Giphy – Animated graphic images, may not be able to use commercially
  • Inventive People – Photos sourcing for a website or social post (£20 for three images)
  • YouTube Thumbnail Grabber – Paste in a YouTube link, get the video thumbnail images!

Graphic and image creation and processing

  • Pixlr X – Online image editor
  • Canva.com – Online image editor and layout. Great for making social graphics
  • Pixelmator – Very useful and fast image editor, macOS only
  • Imageoptim – Image compressor, macOS only
  • Imagify – Online image compressor and WordPress plugin
  • Retrobatch – £49, multi-image processor
  • Digital Colour Meter – Handy colour picker, macOS only

Document editing

  • PDF Candy – Online PDF metadata editor, compression and a number of PDF tools
  • ExSqueeze it – Drag and drop desktop PDF compression tool, macOS only (£3 apx)
  • tableconvert.com – Website to convert tabular data or an uploaded CSV to HTML, JSON or other text formats
  • typosaur.us – Website spelling checker

Video creation

  • Promo.com (£39/mo)
  • Any Video Converter – Youtube video downloader
  • Simon Says – Video transcription 10p/min
  • Shotcut – Video editing software, macOS/Windows
  • Inventive People – Video production and editing resources (from £50)
  • Be.Live – Live video streaming to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (free and paid plans)
  • Loom – Send video in your emails. I use this to send video alongside my proposals (free and paid plans)

Copywriting

Marketing support

  • Ticked off – Marketing resources, advice and guidelines in a simple, step by step process.
  • Inventive People – Workshops and support calls (from £50)
  • Mail-tester.com – Email and newsletter deliverability tester

Tracking

Business listings and reviews

  • Google My Business (GMB) – Free business profile is usually shown at the top of a local search result
  • SayHola – A simple way to collect and manage customer reviews
  • Inventive People – Local SEO optimisation (£349)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) keyword research

  • Text Optimizer – Find additional related words to add to your content
  • Textrazer – Check how ‘on topic’ your web content is. Use the demo to copy on your own text
  • Google Trends – Simple keyword volume and trend tool
  • Soovle – Keyword research tool with relevant keywords from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Youtube, Wikipedia, Amazon, and Answers.com. Just place the keyword you wish to check on the search bar and it will show the results of relevant keywords.
  • Ubersuggest – This keyword suggestion tool helps you get a lot of keyword ideas which covers your keyword + terms from A to Z
  • Word tracker – Display a list of 100 keywords. You may need to create an account though.
  • Google Keyword Planner – Extensive keyword volume and trend tool. You may need a Google Ad account
  • Inventive People – Optimisation reports, keyword analysis support calls (from £35)

Hacking prevention and cure

Hosting

Ecommerce

  • World Postal code – Postcode lists for each country and county. Handy to create custom shipping zones

Google Analytics considered to breech GDPR

In The Register last month. Via ~this week in security~

The regulator ordered an unnamed website manager to strip Google Analytics out of their site, giving him a month to comply. It added: “Concerning the audience measurement and analysis services of a website, the CNIL recommends that these tools be used only to produce anonymous statistical data, thus allowing an exemption from consent if the data controller ensures that there are no illegal transfers.”

I see the beginning of a crack down

Watchdog calls for fines for influencers who fail to declare sponsorship

From The Guardian via Jonathan Pollinger

This month the advertising regulator named six social media celebrities, including Jodie Marsh and five former Love Island contestants, for repeatedly failing to tell followers when they were paid to promote products in posts.

Oops

“The market has blossomed, the influencer marketing market has doubled in two years and it’s very, very effective,” Lusty told MPs. “It’s much more powerful than traditional advertising techniques and it’s particularly powerful with younger people in persuading them to buy things.”

Recommendations from influencers (be they family, friends or online celebs) are incredibly powerful. It’s why referrals are often the top marketing source and the easiest prospects to sell to.

Finding people to complement your weaknesses

Watch Amber Atherton share why it is important to find people who don’t mirror your strengths but supplement your weaknesses.

Amber Atherton, boss of tech firm Zyper (recently bought by Discord), says you need staff who are good at things you might not be.

BBC News

Don’t be afraid to find people who have a different set of strengths from you.

It’s time to flip the marketing funnel

Ecommerce, just like marketing, requires long-term investment to yield the best long-term results.

Promotion is the gasoline. The accelerant of not only sales, but brand essence. Yet, if you can’t control the experience, then a drop in price can lead to a drop of future brand value. It might even be better to hold back instead of leaping forward with the first discount that comes to hand.

Mediatel News

Think about the three Cs of Culture, Community and Commerce as you navigate your marketing funnel.

Coca Cola’s most memorable marketing blunders ever

Even the big brands can sometimes get it wrong…

The infamous error, which is still remembered 35 years later as a spectacular failure, was the release of “New Coke” – which saw the formula of what was and is still the most popular soda in the world changed for the first time in 99 years.

According to Coca-Cola, the launch of the product, which was pushed aside for the return of the original recipe just 79 days later, “spawned consumer angst the likes of which no business has ever seen”.

However, to fully understand the scope of the mistake, the soda company insists that one must first take into context the factors that “shaped the launch decision”

Inside the recipe tweak which sparked nationwide backlash, Independent

Make sure you listen to your consumers and don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask for feedback.

Businesses having to adapt to lockdown-cultivated shopping behaviours

Has your business felt the impact of consumers being less impulsive and keen to spend?

The majority (63%) of global consumers say new behaviours adopted under lockdown now feel “normal”.

Brands are becoming less of a factor for 44% of global consumers when it comes to purchasing decisions, as the pandemic has aided consumers in learning to live with less and consume better.

There is less pressure for consumers to keep up with the latest gadgets and technology trends (41%)

Source: EY’s Future Consumer Index – By Marketing Week Reporters

How personalisation can accelerate your business marketing

Another example why making the effort to personalise your marketing can help make you stand out against your competitors.

Boasting a growing loyalty membership and subscription base, Pets at Home is investing significantly in personalisation in a bid to boost its marketing effectiveness.

During the past six months, Pets at Home has launched over 300 targeted marketing campaigns and claims to have experienced a threefold increase in “supplier-driven communications”, improving response rates and marketing efficacy.

Manny Pham, Marketing Week

10 Steps to Optimizing Videos for Search & Discovery on Youtube

In this post, you’ll learn how find actionable advice on video SEO best practices in order to give you a step-by-step guide to optimising your videos.

Here are some tips for optimizing your videos for YouTube’s Home Screen:

Upload new videos on a consistent basis to give your audience an expectation of when they can see more new content.

Keep viewers engaged for longer and encourage them to come back for more. Whether it’s with a long video or several short ones, the longer you keep people watching, the more your content is likely to get surfaced.

Keep doing what works. When you create something that’s working for your audience, do it again. YouTube surfaces more content that your viewers like. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but do so mindfully. Observe feedback from your audience and give them time to adjust.

George Jarboe, Search Engine Journal

Youtube remove dislike button from public view

YouTube announced last week that it is removing its ‘dislike’ counts on videos for public across its platform

In the instance of YouTube removing the dislike counts publicly, it’s good for all 3 stakeholders because it limits mass trolls that often videos can get, it allows creators to be more experimental with their content while not being afraid of backlash. For users the like button still serves as a way for them to know if a video has been appreciated while letting them form their own opinions.

At the same time, creators can still opt to view their dislikes privately so they can receive needed data driven feedback to know what’s working for them.

Karuna Sharma, Advertising & Media Insider

With YouTube disabling public dislike and Instagram testing time-outs, these influencers and agencies suggest more steps to building a safer space on the internet.

Become a marketing magician

An interesting approach to help funnel your consumer’s decisions into getting a sale.

A study from Goldsmiths, University of London, says the psychology used by magicians to deceive audiences can also be used to influence consumer choices in other areas. The study, published in Trends in Cognitive Science, identifies different psychological tools used by magicians. In the same way that someone might be directed to choose the “right” card in a magic trick, so, too, we can be “nudged” towards buying products in the supermarket.

BBC News, Magicians’ tactics found in politics and marketing

By understanding a magicians’ technique in sculpting their audience’s decisions you too maybe able to encourage more consumers to chose your products.

How one man and shoes made a multi-billion-dollar business

Definitely worth a watch. Can also be found on iPlayer.

The story of the phenomenon of Air Jordan sneakers, showing their social, cultural and racial significance and how groundbreaking marketing strategies created a multi-billion-dollar business.

It is also a story with a dark side – manufacturer Nike’s high price tag and genius marketing strategy has fuelled a demand so high that since 1989, young people have killed and been killed for a pair of the famous sports shoes. Nike has turned a blind eye. This film is a parable of America’s dark love affair with consumer capitalism and celebrity culture.

BBC News, One man and his shoes

Director Strategy: The Four Cornerstones of Leadership – 23rd Nov 2021 [Free event]

Focusing on several important aspects of Leadership, The Gloucestershire Growth Hub has organised a free two day workshop series featuring an outstanding line up of speakers, all experts in their field and they want to pass on what they know to you. 

Come along and learn from the best in the business. For Free.

The event, takes place on November 23-24 and will look specifically at the Four Cornerstones of Leadership, giving you practical tools and techniques to get your growth strategy on track for 2022 and beyond.

We’ll be digging deep with expert speakers and collaborative working to uncover successful leadership strategies on key themes:

  • Resilience – Peter Milligan
  • People – Elaine Warwicker
  • Innovation – Dr David Dawson
  • Marketing Strategy – Ben Kinnaird

Places are free, but limited. You can come in person and they’ll even treat you to lunch, or you can join online from the comfort of your office or kitchen table.

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Cats, Mats, Maths and Myths

This post, on the Bromsgrove Speakers Club website, has some useful advice when presenting in public but they can also be used when presenting on video. Via David Wike.

Before we start, we need to acknowledge that there are barriers to effective verbal communication. A downbeat voice, not engaging with the audience and not appearing to be sincere in what we say, will prevent us from being an effective and persuasive presenter.

Cultivate better customer relationships & cultivate brand loyalty

Increased consumer protection poses a unique set of challenges for marketers.

Brands and marketers must look beyond typical third-party data, like general demographics or the time users spend on a page, and understand the specific interests and objectives of their customers. The next generation of marketing will run on an intentional brand-to-consumer relationship where collaboration—likely in the form of sharing data and incentives between parties—will drive purchasing power. Consumers want relationships with the brands they prefer, but many companies don’t focus on building this type of loyalty. If marketers strategise and embrace these changes in data privacy, they can cultivate better customer relationships and brand loyalty.

By MarketingTech

The cookie is on the way out, and no, I don’t mean the dessert. Third-party data collection— “cookies” to most— lost their allure because consumers are skeptical and privacy laws are increasing.

The UK’s data watchdog, received a 60% increase of reported nuisance contact

The ICO recorded an average of 13,925 reports of nuisance calls, texts and emails received each month across the UK.

“This is not to say that all reports of nuisance contact have malicious undertones, but it is certainly something that end-users and business decision-makers must be aware of, particularly as the remote working climate has increased the cyber threat facing businesses.”

By MarketingTech

Make sure your marketing doesn’t fall into this category and that there is value in the contact you make to your customers.

A data ecosystem that is rooted in consumer trust

Find a way to personalise the consumer journey without the need for unauthenticated device and browser IDs

It’s time to rebuild the modern-day ecosystem to transact on people-based identity and to move away from the third-party cookie. It’s time to build an ecosystem that is rooted in consumer trust and puts the consumer first. And, in a trusted ecosystem, this trust is expressed through a privacy-focused, transparent authentication experience.

By MarketingTech

Provide authentic value by offering a clear and fair exchange of information.

ISBA launches Code of Conduct for influencer marketing

A new code of practice aimed at raising standards, smoothing relationships between industry participants, and delivering transparency for consumers.

Jill Dougan, ISBA executive committee chair and customer director, British Gas Energy said: “As marketing continues to evolve, it is vital we keep pace with new marketing channels and ensure they are being used honestly and authentically. Influencer marketing is a great way to reach and engage with customers but until now there has not been a common code that everyone involved adheres to.

By Asa Hiken

A valuable tool to anyone involved in influencer marketing.

Coca-Cola refreshes brand with shared moments campaign

Coca-Cola is inviting the world to celebrate the real magic of humanity in its first new global re-brand platform.

“Coca-Cola is refreshing the brand platform for its Coke trademark, as well as altering its logo design and launching a global campaign to support the revamp, according to a company blog post. This is the first brand refresh for Coke in five years.”

By Asa Hiken

It’s important to make a personal connection between your product and consumer.

Marketing effectively in the run-up to Christmas

After Christmas was effectively cancelled for many people last year, it’s predicted that consumers are planning to make up for it in 2021.

“This Christmas is set to be very different from the last, so to execute effective advertising campaigns brands must plan to peak at the right times, when consumers are most engaged with relevant content.

By Steve Hemsley

It’s never too early to get your festive marketing strategy in place.

Dining With Wax Figures

A creative idea one NYC restaurant owner had to benefit from the capacity restrictions earlier this year.

‘The 35 percent capacity rule only applies to actual people. There are no stipulations at all about wax people, which is why, according to a press release, the “iconic steakhouse” has partnered with Madame Tussauds to “fill empty seats” with wax replicas of celebrities. “Diners are invited to toast with Jon Hamm at the bar, enjoy a moment of elegance with Audrey Hepburn, or share a laugh with Jimmy Fallon,” explains the press release, promising an “an unforgettable dining experience.” I believe this. I would never forget this dining experience, not in my waking life or in my dreams.’

Creative thinking at its best and a great opportunity for some PR.

People are human, not data points

‘Has it all gone too far? Are we losing the human connection? Consumers and brands are still figuring it all out, but when it comes to how businesses approach their relationships with customers, Houston, we have a problem. 

Customer experience, after all, is made up of a variety of touchpoints and interactions that a consumer has with a brand—its products, services, employees, even its cultural values—across multiple channels over the course of the relationship. Almost all of it is driven by emotion and how the customer feels about the experience. A PwC survey of 15,000 consumers found that one in three customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.’

Marketing Dive, Hey marketing execs: People are human, not data points

We mustn’t forget how incredibly important it is to make the effort to personalise content and have that human touch when engaging our customer base.

A new way to watch & create on YouTube

Youtube have launched Youtube Shorts; a blog post from the tech giant reads:

‘Every month, 2 billion viewers come to YouTube to laugh, learn and connect. Creators have built entire businesses on YouTube, and we want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts.”‘

‘User-generated short videos were born on YouTube starting with our first upload, a short 18-second video called ‘Me at the zoo.’ As technology advances, creators and artists can now take advantage of the incredible power of smartphones to easily create and publish high-quality content wherever they are in the world,” the YouTube post added.’

Shorts IN launch 3x4

This is the first launch of the software and I’m excited to see how Youtube Shorts develops over the coming months. It will be interesting to see how businesses will start using more candid videography to promote their businesses.