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marketing

marketing psychology - using emotion to connect with customers

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;

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Pros and cons of email marketing and direct mailTechnology has enabled us to communicate faster than ever. In the digital age, email tops the list of many people’s favoured way of communication, mainly because it’s faster than letters – or even phone calls.

So, in a world where communication is dominated by instant messaging, email and social media, is there still a place in the marketing mix for direct mail?

As David Manton explains, direct mail may be slower, but it still has a lot to offer businesses. Continue…

how to create a great business card Most business cards are about as much use as a scrap of paper with a name and number scribbled on it. That’s fine if you are looking for a date, but not so good for showcasing your business.

With a little thought, however, it’s easy to create a business card that packs a real promotional punch and helps you, and your small business, stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips and ideas that will help you design business cards that make a big impression;

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guide to content marketing

When you are looking for ways to promote your new start-up or small business you will, without doubt, soon hear the words, “content marketing”.

There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing at the moment, but what does it actually mean and how can small business owners use content to help grow their business?

This guide answers those questions, and also offers useful, practical advice if you are considering incorporating content marketing as part of your marketing strategy. Continue…

where to put your advertising budget

Now that the panic-provoking headlines of “print is dead” have toned down to “well, not quite”, it’s safe to say that we all know there is value in both print and digital marketing.

The question that businesses are now asking themselves, is how exactly do we work out how to divide our budgets between print and digital marketing? Continue…

How to get customersFinding customers is a vital skill for all startup and small business owners.

Without big advertising budgets or marketing campaigns to bring new customers to your door, you need to know the smart ways to attract clients.

To help you succeed, we asked growth coach and author, Robin Waite to reveal how to cut through the noise to reach customers.

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Branding tips for small businessesThe number of businesses in the UK is at a record high. It’s exciting the country is a fantastic place to start a business, but, it also means today’s business landscape is more competitive than ever before.

With lots of competition for customers it’s imperative you find ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace and set yourself apart from your competitors.

Creating strong brand messaging is one of best ways to get your product or business noticed. So how can smaller businesses do this effectively, without it costing too much? Continue…

Making the leap into starting your own business takes a lot of bottle and brings a lot of new challenges.

Those early days, as you work to drum up business and generate new customers, will be among the hardest you face.

Making sure that your business stands out in your niche is crucial to your success. But how can you do that?

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Making memorable communication with storiesFrom primitive cave-paintings, etched long before words were first recorded, to modern-day classics such as Harry Potter, the power of stories has been used to move people.

Stories we heard as a child – whether it is Aesop’s Fable of the Hare and the Tortoise, or fairy tales such as Cinderella – can create created ever-lasting memories, so the power of a good story should not be under-estimated.

And when it comes to business, there are lots of ways we can use stories to really get our message across. Whether it’s to our colleagues in a team meeting, an audience at a speech, prospective customers at a trade show, or potential investors at a pitch, you can use the skills of a great story-teller to win people over.

But how exactly can we do this? We asked Christopher Hirsch of Toastmasters International, to tell us his story. Continue…

why you need to find a niche for your businessIf your new business is going to be operating in a competitive marketplace, it’s crucial that you find a way to differentiate your business from all the competitors out there.

In short, why should customers choose your products or services over what’s already available?

If you can’t answer that question, then you need to read on to find out why it’s essential startups and small businesses find a niche, and how you can spot a potentially profitable gap in the market.

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going from startup to successful businessThe dream for many entrepreneurs is to come up with a great new product, find the funding to develop it and then for it to fly off the shelves.

The reality for most is different, but when this does happen it’s worth finding out how this success was achieved because the lessons we learn can help us to replicate the achievements for our own business.

Yuu is one such success, so we asked co-founders, Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes to share their story with us; Continue…

real time marketing word cloud

Real-time marketing (RTM), the strategy and practice of reacting with immediacy in digital channels to external events and triggers, has been steadily growing in use and popularity.

An expanding array of tools and digital channels (e.g., social media and listening capabilities) has made real-time accessible, in theory at least, to virtually every marketer.

As digital channels increasingly function in real-time, all marketing organizations must consider to what degree they, too, will adapt, so here are 12 steps to help you get ready for real-time marketing; Continue…

Power of business blogSetting up and running a small business isn’t easy. We all know that.

The first few years are often spent seeking the answers to — what seems like — a never ending list of questions, like, “Who is my target audience?” and “How do I reach them?”

Whatever industry you’re in, we all strive for the same thing: more website visitors, more valuable leads, more sales and more loyal customers. But how can you achieve this? Continue…

Marketing is about getting more business – and that includes getting more value out of your existing customer base – through delivering them multiple times the value you get.

If all you did was chase new clients, then you would be regularly losing the ones you already have, which means you would need to be constantly building. This is hard work.

There is an important model that will help you understand what to do in terms of sales and marketing for your existing customers, and it is one that every business owner should know and understand. Continue…

If you’re starting a new business you’ll, no doubt, want to establish and build a strong brand. Doing so will bring huge benefits over the long-term, helping you to stand out from the crowd, generate more customers and ultimately build a more valuable business.

But how do you build a brand, and where do you start? We asked branding expert, and author of ‘Winning in Your Own Way; the Nine and a Half Golden Rules of Branding‘, Robert Bean to explain;
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…continued from Part 1 of Build a Brand, Build a Business Continue…

Your business may offer amazing products and a fantastic service. It may have a clear, determined vision of what it is doing and where it is going. But if your potential customers don’t know it exists, your wonderful business is likely to disappear without trace. As Alan Sugar put it: “Your start-up will be a cock-up if you don’t learn marketing communications”.
How to get your new business noticed
But what can a small business do to get themselves noticed?

There are two options: pay lots of money to a marketing company, or do it yourself. The DIY route costs less (if anything at all) and lets you use your unique insight to create the kind of personalised, precision-targeted marketing message that an external marketing consultant could never pull off.

So let’s dip into the marketing communications pic ‘n’ mix to see what methods are at your disposal;

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In a world dominated by ever-updating newsfeeds and 140 character exchanges, it seems that the traditional practice of direct mail has no place in modern communication, particularly as businesses look to utilise cheaper, faster ways to communicate with their consumers.

However, overloaded inboxes and newsfeeds that update faster than you can blink means that direct mail still delivers impact in a digital world.

Direct mail may be one of the oldest marketing methods but it is also one of the most adaptable. Here are 7 key factors for any direct marketing campaign., combine these successfully and you can transform your return on investment (ROI):

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If you can develop a competitive advantage for your small business, you will be able to sell your product or service more easily and more profitably.

Ultimately a good competitive advantage will mean that your business is more likely to succeed and is able to grow.

With the ability to develop a competitive advantage being so important for small business owners, we asked Garry Smith, co-author of Creating Business Advantage: Setting Up and Running A Successful Business to explain more about it;

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If there’s one marketing skill you should focus on developing above all others it is copywriting.

The ability to passionately sell a product or service in the written word is something that will never go out of fashion. And the reality is that few people will be able to do it as well for your business as you.

Yes, you can pay a copywriter to create the content for your new website or write a sales letter. But you have it within you to do a better job yourself. Your business gets your full focus day in, day out, so you are more likely to understand it properly and convey it more passionately to other people.

All you need to do is follow these seven simple copywriting secrets to write copy (another word for content) that potential buyers just can’t resist Continue…

10 Top tips for small businesses starting out with social media

May 23, 2016

We’ve all heard it; “You just have to be using social media marketing.” And the response from many business owners is; “I’m keen to try using social media to promote my small business but I’m not sure where to start.” If this sounds like you, here are ten simple but effective tips that will help […]

7 Brilliant branding tips for start ups

April 11, 2016

Your brand is your identity and in a tough market place it can be the thing that separates you from the competition and grabs the attention of potential new customers. Remember you’ve only got a very short space of time to capture the attention of new customers, so whether it’s the design of your business […]

Marketing your small business through YouTube – The 4 essential steps to success

April 7, 2016

No longer uniquely the home of shaky phone cam footage of comedy pets, YouTube has become a truly global broadcasting powerhouse. Sure, there are still grainy home videos aplenty, but these days YouTube is as much about film trailers, news channels, comedy sketches and even dedicated web series. With one billion unique visitors every single […]

How to grow referrals with Strategic Alliances – And 5 features that make for fruitful partners

March 8, 2016

In the world of marketing, Word of Mouth has great, well … word of mouth. According to WOMMA (the Word of Mouth Marketing Association), word of mouth marketing is considered to be more effective than traditional marketing by 64% of marketers. You may be thinking they would say that, wouldn’t they, but their survey is […]

How winning an award can get your business noticed, PLUS 5 ways to reap your prize’s full potential

February 11, 2016

One of the time-tested ways of establishing yourself as a standard in your industry is to win an award. An industry-recognised award serves as an independent endorsement of your company’s quality. And more importantly it’s an evaluation that potential customers are more likely to trust, than any marketing material you can produce. We know that social […]

Write the right book to help promote your business

January 25, 2016

Writing a book can be an extremely useful tool to help you promote your business or new start-up. Being a book author, immediately gives you kudos and extra authority, but only if your book is produced properly. In most areas of business, winging it is rarely (if ever) a good idea. Each aspect of your […]

5 common branding mistakes to avoid making with your small business

January 12, 2016

Every business – even yours – has a brand. One common misconception is that your brand is your logo. Your logo is a single visual representation of your brand, but it is not your brand.

How to publish a book guaranteed to help build your small business

October 28, 2015

Many business owners now recognise what a powerful tool a book can be to help them build credibility for their brand and raise the profile and visibility of their business. A book gives you a terrific platform from which to share your purpose and your vision. In the main, people who have written books about […]

Carve out a niche for your business and you’re more likely to succeed

October 4, 2015

Ever heard the saying: jack of all trades, master of none? That saying has never been more true than when it comes to marketing your small business.

Get people queuing up to do business with you by creating a ‘Campaign Driven Enterprise’

September 17, 2015

There are restaurants that have people queuing up to dine, products that you have to pre-order months before they are released, tickets that sell out within hours and shares that shoot up in value right after they float. There are cars that are snapped up before they are constructed and apartments that are sold before […]

How One-to-One marketing can help start-ups to promote, pitch and sell more effectively

March 4, 2015

As a start-up, you often don’t know the best ways to market your new business, or what works and what doesn’t. The good news is; whether you’re selling to a market of ten or ten million, one of the most effective ways to learn how to improve your marketing is to talk with a single […]

How to develop a strong USP and how to use it to attract more, high-value customers

February 23, 2015

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. It’s something you need to develop as you start your own business. A USP is much more than just a way of […]

5 ways to get the most out of offline marketing

February 5, 2015

When it comes to promoting your business, the focus these days seems to be almost exclusively on online marketing. Of course, since the social revolution it’s important for businesses to have a strong ‘digital footprint’ but what about the traditional offline marketing methods? Does the proliferation of Twitter, Facebook and co. mean that you should […]

The 60 minute marketing plan for small and start-up businesses

July 10, 2014

Marketing your business should be fun and simple. Surely there can be no better way to spend a day than working on something which is going to help you achieve your objectives more quickly? Sadly many business owners don’t see marketing that way. They see it as a necessary evil; something that “must be done” […]

Bootstrap marketing for beginners – Part five

June 26, 2012

In the first four parts of this series, we looked at online and offline marketing techniques, how to build some buzz around your promotional campaign, and how to adopt a positive approach in other aspects of your business. With this fifth and final part, we tie it all together by looking at a final few […]

Bootstrap marketing for beginners – Part four

June 26, 2012

Over the past three parts of this introduction to bootstrap marketing, we’ve looked at the different ways in which you can promote your brand. But obviously there are different approaches to adopt, even to the same marketing method – and it’s up to you to choose the style that’s best suited to your business.