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…)
The way in which audiences are perceiving and consuming marketing content is changing rapidly. The digital sphere has changed the nature of how we, as consumers, respond to advertising, with the result that many traditional techniques just aren’t cutting it any more.
Consumers are digitally literate and don’t have any qualms about voicing their dislike of traditional advertising. (more…)
UK exports to Asia are now worth 18% of the UK export market – that’s £98.6 billion. China is now the eighth largest export market for the UK – with India and Singapore being among the UK’s largest trading partners in the commonwealth.
Trading to Asia offers an entirely new world of possibility for UK businesses to export their products and to build a global brand – and with Brexit fast approaching and the future of British trading unclear, exporting to Asia is becoming increasingly popular. (more…)
Nowadays, everybody knows that social networks play a significant role in the promotion of a company. That’s why having an engaged and active community on Facebook can make all the difference to your business.
But if you don’t know what you’re doing, building Facebook friends can take a lot of time and effort. So to help you to quickly build your Facebook fans, here are 5 simple steps you should take. (more…)
Technology is constantly advancing and with technological advancement comes change. If you want your business to stay competitive, then you must be prepared to embrace technological changes.
You may think that you understand the current sales market, however, the sales game is changing, and these changes are coming about thanks to technology.
If you want to achieve sales success it is no longer about selling, but about helping. (more…)
Getting coverage in your local press may not have the kudos of being featured in national newspapers but it often delivers a better return on investment, especially to locally-based businesses.
For small businesses, local newspapers are a more realistic target for press coverage than the national press. Readers of local papers want to read about local news, stories and events so if you can help a journalist deliver this, then you are well on the way to getting valuable press coverage for your business.
To generate new leads in today’s online world, your business needs to be optimised for search engines – in particular Google.
Most small businesses know this and invest good time and money in their online strategy.
The challenge lies in achieving sustained search success and business map listings are a key part of this. Here’s how to achieve this with Google My Business. (more…)
Inbound marketing is an essential tool for any online business. By creating and distributing useful content, the aim is to attract potential customers to your products and services.
Ultimately the purpose of inbound marketing is to create sales. So, here we examine ways that you can hone your inbound marketing tactics to engage with more prospects and move them along the path to purchase.
Technology 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. (more…)
Email marketing is an essential tool for small businesses and large enterprises alike. The ability to communicate directly with your target audiences helps attract new prospects and keeps existing customers informed.
However, delivering a good email campaign that hits all the right notes is not as simple as you might think. It’s a complex discipline that is rarely perfected. (more…)
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. (more…)
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? (more…)
In the past, company leaders were focused first and foremost on the development of innovative products and operational excellence.
Today, customer satisfaction is the absolute number one priority – a point confirmed by almost every recent survey of top managers, with 89% of company leaders now seeing customer experience as their biggest differentiator.
Here, customer expert, Prof. Steven Van Belleghem explains why every business leader should view the customer relationship as the key to their future business success.
Finding 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.
Digital marketing never stays static, and 2018 is going to be no exception.
As a small business owner, or the person responsible for marketing in a small organisation, what do you need to know at the start of this year to stay ahead of your competition?
We asked Tim Butler, founder of Innovation Visual, to reveal the key digital marketing trends that every business owner will need to get to grips with in 2018. (more…)
When you’re starting a new business or part of a small team, public speaking is an essential skill and yet one that many of us fear so much.
As a small business owner you need to be the face of your own business and being able to impress rooms full of people will open lots for doors for you.
So how can you overcome your fears of speaking to an audience? Lyn Roseaman, explains. (more…)
Blogging is something a lot of small business owners do. When it’s done well it can be a great low-cost way to reach out to potential customers.
However, many new businesses can find that the effort they put into their blog isn’t as well rewarded as they’d hoped.
So to help you realise all the benefits blogging can bring to your business, we’ve asked Luke Budka, of TopLine Comms to reveal 5 ways to make sure that your blog gets the desired results. (more…)
The 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. (more…)
The growth of AI is set to be one of the most disruptive technologies in the coming years for businesses of all sizes. Even in these relatively early days of AI, it is already affecting customer experience.
The younger generation have grown up in a world where they are used to a quick and effortless service, and as a result, will lose interest with anything that takes too long or requires too much effort from them.
Here, Prof. Steven Van Belleghem, an expert in customer focus in the digital world, examines the evolution of customer service under Artificial Intelligence. (more…)
Google is the world’s most popular search engine, controlling 79% of the market share and dealing with 3.5 billion searches every day.
The power of Google is staggering, but many businesses aren’t fully harnessing this power.
To help ensure you’re not missing out, we’ve asked Tim Butler, founder of Innovation Visual to outline how you can make the most of Google for your business. (more…)
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?
From 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. (more…)
For startups and small businesses, getting down to the nitty gritty of SEO can be incredibly daunting; there are over 200 signals that Google looks for when ranking your website, and few small business owners will even have ever heard the term ‘offsite SEO’ before.
With attracting customers to your website becoming an ever-more crucial task for small businesses, we asked Magnus Linklater, MD of content and SEO agency, Bespoke Digital to outline what you need to know about onsite and offsite SEO. (more…)
In marketing, there a million ways to reach your customers. You can go big with a billboard, or far with a Facebook post, targeting potential customers city-wide, nationwide and globally.
The internet has allowed us more reach than ever before, and while powerful, this means that we can easily lose the humanity of our marketing.
When it comes to retaining your customers, this humanity is crucial. Will your customers still be with you once serious product competition appears on the horizon, ready to snap up your valued buyers with slashed prices and easier delivery means?
Customer service is accelerating towards ever greater automation. In some sectors we’re already seeing chatbots and virtual assistants transforming the customer experience.
But at what point do the cost efficiencies that technology provide become less compelling, and can the human touch ever be fully replicated or replaced?
We asked Chris Cullen, head of sales and marketing at outsourced customer contact specialist, Echo Managed Services, to assess the changing consumer communication landscape and to explain how businesses can incorporate new solutions alongside traditional methods of customer contact. (more…)
For many small business owners, the term ‘digital marketing’ could very well generate a concerned or baffled look, and the temptation to turn around and hide in a darkened room.
As an established small business, or even someone setting up a new business, you might know all about offline marketing like posters and billboards, flyers and direct mail, and word-of-mouth advertising, but when it comes to promoting your business online, it’s unchartered territory.
So to help you safely navigate the online marketing landscape, conquer new marketing activities and promote your business in the digital world, here’s a small business guide to the basics of digital marketing; (more…)
Video is a potent and wildly effective marketing tool, but only when it is part of a measured and considered content strategy.
It is no easy task to succinctly and effectively communicate your brand values and core messaging to an audience in a way that is original and compelling.
Before you even begin you need to have spent time seeking to understand who your customers are in the first place. (more…)
Start-ups and small businesses have to be prudent in their go-to-market activities. There isn’t the budget to splash out on extensive marketing campaigns, or the time for spray and pray customer targeting.
As a business owner, you are often the face of the business at every turn. Whether you’re dealing with customers, suppliers, partners or staff, what you do matters and sets the tone for your whole business.
How successful you are often comes down to how good you are at persuading and influencing people. With these skills being so important, we asked behaviour expert, Ally Yates, to outline how you can become more persuasive in business. (more…)
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; (more…)
A website can be a very powerful marketing tool for start-ups and small businesses. An effective site helps smaller firms to reach out to a huge audience of potential new customers and take on bigger rivals.
However, the battle to be found online can be fierce, so if you want your small business website to be successful, you will need to look at search engine optimisation, or SEO as it’s commonly referred to.
With SEO becoming more complex and specialised, many small businesses look to outsource the work to an agency. But with so many practitioners and firms out there offering SEO services it can be tricky to find the reputable providers.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are the 5 questions you should ask an SEO agency before you think about hiring them.