Content, content, content

July 25th, 2017

contentThe estate agent’s mantra of location, location, location can be easily adapted and applied to digital marketing as this voracious machine needs more and more quality content to keep brands and personalities on their audience’s radar. This needs a whole new approach in the collection of our marketing collateral and one that not enough companies are giving their consideration to. This vital element of your digital marketing strategy can become your competitive advantage if you follow some simple rules:-

look to generate content in everything you do
search your archives for good content
develop relationships that will generate content with you
keep looking for the good stuff
choose your best times to post your content
develop a series of good content postings
promote your content on other platforms
use video wherever possible
use soundbites from content
signpost other good content
Don’t forget to keep all your content posts in your corporate tone of voice so that it all sounds like it is coming from the same person, follow up every interaction and keep posting.

It was a false dawn!

May 15th, 2016

Reviewing my post of a few weeks ago regarding Trinity Mirror’s launch of New Day, I posed the question New Day or False Dawn? It took just nine weeks for this venture to fail and has now ceased publishing, so what can we learn? A number of things come to mind, first of all the digital juggernaut is not going to stop and go into reverse…for anyone, so the sooner brands and companies engage with it and master the wonderful things it is capable of the better.

Secondly the brave management who attempted this must have had some questionable data to base this decision on, as a nine week life cycle possibly could have been predicted with some good stats. Yes, I know that hindsight is a wonderful thing and that fortune does sometimes favour the brave but surely the focus groups and quantitative research gave some clue as to what might happen.

The publishing world most certainly has a future but it must be a combination of the digital and, for some target audiences, the traditional media and I’m sure that publishers around the U.K. will be analysing the rapid rise and fall of New Day with great interest to help in developing their own strategies for future survival.

Brexit or Fixit?

May 4th, 2016

As the U.K. prepares to vote on it’s future in the European Union on June 23rd, it is interesting to view this from a brand perspective and to consider what a brand consultant might recommend. As a consultant to many companies this is a well trodden path and the first step is to review what strengths and weaknesses you have. The U.K. economy has proved to be remarkably robust over many centuries and will survive whatever it’s people decide is the best plan for the future. So the brand is quite healthy and although it may well be into the mature stage of it’s life cycle this could be an ongoing state for the country’s economy. The recent past has been developed jointly with other ‘brands’ some of which are strong and others weaker, but the sum of the whole appears to be greater than the individual parts, or is it?

The challenge whichever way the vote goes is to establish a brand presence for the ‘new product’ whether that is a relaunch of the existing state or developing into a solus brand with the need to establish it’s unique selling point. The brand is most certainly strong enough to pursue either of these paths and with it’s history of recovering from a series of crises will come through another fairly unscathed. But what if the competition is bigger and better or does a niche brand have a greater chance? Business theory can support either strategy and there are usually economies of scale with the large organisation but an opportunity for adopting a premium position for a niche brand.

So although this may not help in you arriving at your conclusion, it is at least heartening to know that some good rules of branding and product development will stand us in good stead whatever we decide to do.

Relationship, relationship, relationship

April 3rd, 2016

The old adage of the importance of location when hunting for a new house can be adapted to the current need for brands to develop relationships with their customers. Whether you are a consumer or B2B market the relationship is critical to developing long term customers who will remain loyal and recommend you to others. So how do we achieve this holy grail of relationship? Here are some pointers and clues to achieving this for your brand or organisation:-

1. Decide on the relationship your customer wants and does this match what you want as a relationship?

2 What are the main media that your customer uses on a regular basis and begin to build your relationship on these platforms.

3. Plan the relationship elements over a twelve month period.

4. Make the relationship interesting by introducing new and informative material.

5. Regularly review the relationship to make sure it’s still working.

6. Introduce new customers in to your growing relationship group encouraging interaction between old and new customers.

Keep alert to new media platforms emerging and always look to engage with your customers on their favourite media.

New Day or False Dawn?

February 29th, 2016

Today in the U.K. Trinity Mirror has launched a new daily paper ‘New Day’ in hard copy only and with no web site! Is this commercial madness or have they spotted something that everyone else has missed? Only time will tell but isn’t it wonderful when marketers have the conviction of opinion, and possibly some research, to buck trends and try a different route – to zig when the world zags!

In an era when so many marketers are taking the ‘safe’ option whether it is product development, advertising strategy or digital initiative the prospect of a company flying in the teeth of popular opinion and taking a brave stand must be applauded. Just like the takeover of the Evening Standard in London and subsequent turning of it into a free sheet confounded critics at the time but it’s still surviving and thriving on a very different strategy to most newspapers. We are living in an age when marketers need to be bold and try new business models because the old ones are no longer effective, so welcome to a brave new world and a new day.

Digital Marketing or Marketing digitally

February 1st, 2016

Much has been written and spoken regarding the age of digital marketing and many have pursued the holy grail of search engine optimisation, pay per click, social media trending and creating a ‘buzz’, but we are now living in more enlightened times when the realities are beginning to dawn that the digital world is yet another route to market, means of communication and as such should be treated like all of the other innovations of the last 100 years. This is not to deny the power and abilities of marketing digitally but simply a growing up to accept that the basic rules of marketing still apply and it’s now much faster thanks to the digital connections we all have.

In listening to Mark Ritson’s presentation recently this reality was really driven home as the hard facts and figures regarding digital channels emerges and we realise that it is the new t.v, mobile phone, computer but it does more to enhance these than replace them, take a look and see what you think  http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/11/13/why-social-media-is-mostly-a-waste-of-time-for-marketers-mark-ritson-presentation/

East West Fusion

January 15th, 2016

Having just returned from a trip to the Far East the question of companies integrating their East – West activities has exercised me. Some brands seem able to bridge this question easily with a global brand strategy which works equally well across the world such as de Beers and Coca Cola, while others struggle. The gap between our global cultures is narrowing and digital marketing is speeding this up considerably and the wise marketers are spending time understanding culture and it’s impact on their brand before embarking on major campaigns. The old phrase ‘before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes’ can be usefully applied to your global strategy as you work to understand the cultural similarities and differences in your market before embarking on a major strategic direction.

This approach can be considerably helped by using agencies and partners who fully understand the cultures you are operating in so that the pitfalls of global marketing can be avoided. Let’s look forward to more globally successful ventures to spur on marketers to be more globally savvy.

When Academia meets Business

December 4th, 2015

Working in both the commercial and academic worlds gives a great perspective as to how these two worlds co-operate and co-exist. There are obviously many touch points between the two disciplines and areas of mutual benefit. So why is there often a struggle between the two interfaces and a deal of miscommunication. Shall we identify the drivers of these two businesses, for one it’s profit and customer satisfaction and for the other it’s income and student results. So we can see that these are not always compatible; the good news is that as academia becomes more customer focused we can see the emergence of similar goals and ultimately the language between the two parties will also reflect these similarities. This can only be to the benefit of both parties and the betterment of students, businesses and the economy generally – is that a win, win, win?

Getting ahead of the pack

November 10th, 2015

The daunting task of job hunting comes with added pressure in this digital age to make sure that not only does your CV look impressive but that all of the social network sites reveal a dynamic individual who is at the cutting edge of their profession. To be this great first cyber impression don’t leave it until you start job hunting but work on it all the time participating in discussions, posting articles, adding comments to others posts and regularly updating your status so that your network are constantly informed of your progress. This will build a positive picture to enhance your CV and improve your job prospects.

Online or offline?

October 31st, 2015

When it comes to creating your marketing communications plan so often Marketers feel that it has to be on or off line depending on the audience. This is a major error which ignores the benefits of a multi media campaign and reduces the number of potential hits on your audience. In combining the online and offline media you will enhance your overall communication message by reaching the audience on multi platforms and, provided you have the synergy between media, you will get better results from your strategy.

Use a mixture of the two, selecting the appropriate media mix for your target audience and the results can be staggering as we encourage our audience to engage with us across the media mix. Try it, you may be surprised.