As your business grows, your brand becomes an ever-increasingly important tool to drive your success. It’s importance means you’ll want to nurture and protect it, and part of this will be developing your brand style guidelines. (more…)
Sales & Marketing
Black Friday 2019 is coming up, and consumers are getting ready for a frenzy of online deals. Last year, there were 194 million site visits on Black Friday alone, with over 1.2 billion visits across the whole of Cyber Week for the top 10 retailers. Clearly, this is an event that retailers should be taking part in and capitalising on. (more…)
It has long been an expectation for businesses to make physical spaces accessible for people of all abilities, and improvements have been made.
Now the onus is on online retailers, where there is still a lot of work to be done, so we asked Hilary Stephenson, MD at user experience (UX) design agency, Sigma to outline how small businesses can make their website more accessible. (more…)
Take a close look at any business that has been thriving over the last few years, and there’s a very strong chance you’ll see it has a clear USP, or Unique Selling Point.
Your USP is something you need to develop as you start your own business. So here’s how you can work on your USP to help draw more customers to your business. (more…)
While a large corporation can absorb the damage of a handful of negative reviews, for startups and small businesses, negative reviews can often seriously harm your reputation.
By dealing with bad reviews in the right way, you will show that you care about customer service, and take feedback on board to improve your business as a whole. (more…)
Loyalty programs have been around for decades and are still very popular with the public.
More than three-quarters of UK customers surveyed were a member of a loyalty program and roughly half agree that a loyalty program encouraged them to return to a particular brand. (more…)
Content is at the heart of every modern marketer’s toolkit. But aligning this material with sales departments is a common problem many organisations face.
Your marketing team might be well-armed with blog posts, case studies and whitepapers to generate leads and brand awareness, but you need a well-equipped and driven sales team to nurture leads over the finish line. (more…)
“Let me tell you a story.” These are six very powerful words. Six powerful words which immediately invoke curiosity and anticipation. Six powerful words from which multi-billion-dollar industries have been built.
Beyond film, TV and books, storytelling has become an intentional tool in many of the most successful organisations. How can you use it in your business? (more…)
You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers.
However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while others seem to have crept from the depths just to torment you. (more…)
If your business has a physical presence of any kind, or you exhibit or attend branded events, it’s imperative to invest in quality business signage that stands out from the crowd.
The right signage and logo design will help build brand recognition, both offline and online, and ultimately increase footfall and conversions. (more…)
A lot of small businesses start using Google AdWords in the hope that it will help them increase sales with small investment. This isn’t true.
Yes, AdWords can help you increase sales but only with the right investment. To get the return on investment you’re hoping for, you will need to set up your account properly and invest the right amount of money. (more…)
Even in an age of digital marketing, the use of direct mail as a way of attracting and converting new customers as well as touching base with previous clients remains a tried and tested technique. However, if you make any of these common direct mail mistakes, you will almost certainly be wasting time, paper, ink and postage. (more…)
Whether you are pitching for new business, updating a client on their project or doing some face-to-face business networking, you need to act fast.
As Lyn Roseaman of Toastmasters International explains, you have less than 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, and show them you’re going to talk about something they’ll value or that you are someone they’ll want to work with. (more…)
Is your company an authority in its chosen market? If it’s not — it should be.
Being seen as an authority in your line of work is a key part of attracting customers, so here are 4 ways you can build your authority and get yourself ahead of the competition. (more…)
Networking is a skill you can acquire just like any other. Sure, while you’re learning you might make some mistakes but the reality is, mistakes are lessons to learn from.
To help you quickly master the skills you’ll need, here are 5 networking hacks. (more…)
My most radical prediction is that in a matter of years, the word ‘consumer’ will have lost all relevance. Look at the signs, and it’s clear that consumerism is already fading.
In its place, we’re seeing more reciprocal relationships between brands and their customers, relationships based on genuine engagement, and not merely a quick transaction. I call the people building this movement ‘post-consumers’. (more…)
Many businesses now allocate much of their marketing budget to raising their online profile. However, this does mean that some of the more traditional methods of marketing risk being side-lined.
The printed brochure is one of those valuable sales tools that can sometimes be overlooked. Yet one of the reasons that brochures have been such an integral part of marketing for so long is that they do work – as long as you get them right. (more…)
Your domain says a lot about you and your company. It’s your address on the internet, the place people go to find you, and a name intrinsically associated with your brand.
But is one domain name enough, and what options do small businesses have when it comes to deciding on a domain strategy? (more…)
We are at a significant moment in our history when there is momentum building, putting increasing pressure on businesses to act in the right way. Our staff want us to change, our children need us to change and our customers expect us to change. (more…)
Environmentally conscious businesses are rapidly gaining much larger audiences by providing a different kind of value, as consumers are now more likely to pay more for products with an ethical incentive.
A forward-thinking mentality can set you apart from the crowd, especially in a time where sustainability and social responsibility have become top purchasing drivers. (more…)
If you are looking to make sales online, tackling the specialist subject of ecommerce SEO is vital to your long-term success.
With SEO for ecommerce websites requiring such specific expertise, we asked Joe Cox of Superb Digital to share his knowledge on how to grow sales through ecommerce SEO. (more…)
With each passing year, we are barraged with more and more stories of corporate scandals and wrongdoing. Recent examples include a global carmaker rigging their vehicles to cheat on emissions tests, a major bank illegally foisting accounts and credit cards on millions of customers without their knowledge or consent, and innumerable stories about sexual misconduct by powerful, entitled executives.
And these are just a few high-profile cases – the tip of the iceberg for anyone who reads the business news. (more…)
When you start your own business, one of the first things you need to do is to start promoting it and finding customers?
Depending on the type of business you are in, one age-old and sure-fire way to build relationships is through networking. However, if you are to enjoy the full rewards of networking you need to know what you are doing. (more…)
There are a whole range of ways that you can build backlinks to your business’s website, from guest posting to tactical link audits and on-site asset creation. However, the amount of time and effort it takes to get each link can become a barrier, particularly when you have limited resources. (more…)
Visuals help people retain information up to 55% more effectively. Therefore, if you want your business’s products to be top-of-mind for consumers, you must have a visual merchandising strategy in place.
Imagine your smartphone or tablet scaled up and delivering information in the high street, restaurant or hospital. That’s what a digital signage system looks like and it’s an engaging way to transmit information to your audience, whatever the focus of your small business.
To help you take advantage of the opportunity it offers, here’s our small business guide to digital signage. (more…)
Google regards links as a principal ranking signal and there is no evidence to suggest that this is set to change in the future. It therefore goes without saying that building the right links to your website will help you to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). (more…)
Continuous testing, benchmarking and learning is a cornerstone of all social media activity. It will help you identify areas of relative under-performance, potential risks and opportunities to generate better results. (more…)
The saying goes we hate to be sold but love to buy. However, the same can be said for how people feel about being involved in selling. We all love to help people buy but only a few feel comfortable with being seen to sell to someone.
In the past, this worked well, as the “sales” team were primarily responsible for doing the legwork knocking on doors and finding people to sell to. The trade-off for the company culture was that some individuals in the sales team then behaved like minor gods expecting all to fall before them. (more…)
For business founders, the “To Do” list is never ending, especially when faced with external demands from investors and stakeholders.
The need to increase revenue becomes an all-encompassing obsession, and it’s easy to forget “secondary” tasks – like marketing – that help to fill the sales pipeline.
But failing to build an effective marketing strategy will cause your growth plans to stall. And if you cannot demonstrate ongoing, increasing sales, it becomes harder than ever to secure subsequent rounds of funding. Miss your growth targets and stakeholders are often less than forgiving. (more…)
More and more small businesses coming round to the power of using video to establish their brand presence and promote their products or services.
With the technology to make professional looking brand film, becoming increasingly affordable, a little bit of production knowledge and know-how can go a long way.
Of course it’s not just a case of grabbing a camera and shooting. A proper video strategy is essential but so too is an understanding of the logistical, technical and legal hurdles you’ll need to overcome, especially if you’re going to be filming outside a studio. (more…)
The more people feel, the more people buy. That’s the clear conclusion from the last decade of work by two of Britain’s top marketing analysts, Les Binet and Peter Field.
They delved into the IPA DataMine – a huge database of ad effectiveness case studies – to find out how advertising really leads to meaningful business effects, going beyond short-term sales spikes to look at profit growth and market share gain.
So what is the key to effective marketing, and how can businesses apply this to their marketing techniques to boost sales and grow profits? We asked Tom Ewing to explain;
Are you struggling to get your sales and marketing processes clear, consistent and measureable?
If so, it may be time to invest in a CRM system. If used correctly such a platform can benefit fast-growing businesses and allow them to build their customer base whilst maintaining that personalised relationship which is essential for both B2B and B2C companies in today’s world.
To help you understand how CRM software can help you to boost sales, and what to look out for when choosing a CRM system, we asked Robert Stead of The Marketing Centre to share his insight; (more…)
Google RankBrain first rolled out in 2015. Unlike Google’s many previous updates it uses machine-learning and AI for the first time, in order to help better refine search results, especially in cases of rare, ambiguous or one-of-a-kind queries.
Understanding more about Rankbrain can help your website succeed, so we asked digital marketing expert, Paul Morris of Superb Digital, to explain what Google’s RankBrain is, how it works, where it’s going and why, as a small business owner, you should care. (more…)
In its 50 years, business book publisher Kogan Page has remained buoyant in a sector that is dominated by much larger companies.
The fact that its business is still prospering is testament to a few basic concepts that are as true today as when the company started in 1967. We asked Managing Director, Helen Kogan to share her experiences of how a smaller business can gain competitive advantage over bigger, dominant competitors. (more…)
Ecommerce now accounts for 17% of all UK consumer sales and it’s only going to keep growing. Yet, despite this growth, it is still hard to make it in the online marketplace.
Competition is tough, it requires both technical and business savvy, and you need to work much harder to gain trust.
Simply having a great idea for a business isn’t enough. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many poorly reviewed retailers on Trustpilot, so many horror stories of poor products and services, and so many rubbish websites.
To help you succeed online, we asked entrepreneur Stuart Maclaren, to share his 7 top tips for ecommerce success. (more…)