Mar
20
Marketing Relevance

A-Z of Marketing: Relevance

March 20, 2017 10:18 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Relevance

Marketing Relevance: who is your audience and why should they care?

Knowing your target market is key, and it is important you know your clients well; where do they shop, what are their hobbies, what kind of lifestyle do they lead? At Ketchup, we refer to this as knowing your ‘Janet and Johns’, and having this kind of information enables you to think about who your customers are and what kinds of products or services you can offer them specifically, which in turn allows you to create campaigns that appeal to this group of people.

What is your marketing message?

This is something we have discussed previously and is vital, as you need to not only target the right people, but also say something relevant to them and how they interact with your business. For example, you wouldn’t identify young professionals as your target audience then offering them a 20% discount on over 60’s health insurance. When planning campaigns, consider what is important to the person you are trying to reach.

When are you trying to tell them?

This is a key point for businesses with seasonal services or products, as Marketing these at the wrong time can lead to disappointing results. For example, a wedding shop owner will consider when wedding fayres are on and what months are most popular for events, scheduling a campaign for when brides are likely to be looking for dresses.

Where are they?

Understanding the geography in which clients live and work is essential and links back to understanding your target audience. If the majority of your customers live in one area, advertising in the local magazine is likely to be more effective than random location selection.

How are you telling them?

What kind of form your marketing takes can make a big difference to how well received your marketing message is. Some clients will prefer reading a glossy magazine to the local papers, others will engage more with Facebook advertising as opposed to a leaflet through their door.

As you will have noticed, all the above are linked. Gaining knowledge about your customers helps ensure Marketing campaigns remain relevant to them and so are more effective.

If you want relevant Marketing campaigns produced by experts, contact Ketchup on 0330 088 9277, or use or contact form here.

Jan
09
Marketing reach

A-Z of Marketing: Reach

January 9, 2017 10:35 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Reach

It’s no good putting in lots of time and effort thinking about and planning your Marketing strategy, or spending hours writing a monthly newsletter or editing your website, if no one sees it.  This is why reach is so important when thinking about Marketing.  Reach is a term often used in advertising, and refers to the potential number of people exposed to your message or see a particular campaign.  Without reach, any active Marketing you do is unlikely to be successful.

There are many different ways of ensuring your marketing message reaches the right people.  For ease, I have split these into physical and digital marketing:

                                       Physical                                           Digital
                                Print advertising                                           Website
                                       Leaflets                                          Blogging
                                 Direct Mailing                                       Social Media
            ‘Outdoor’ Marketing – e.g. A-boards                                 Emailing Marketing
                                   Networking                                              SMS

Battling the ‘Noise’: Frequency

However, it is not only the way in which you reach people, but how often you do it.  Associated with reach, frequency refers to the number of times an individual is touched by your marketing message. There is a lot of brand ‘noise’ in our everyday lives as we are bombarded with advertising.  With this in mind, your marketing message must reach people at least 3 times to avoid being part of the ‘noise’, as reach without frequency is likely to give a low ROI.

Marketing Message: Stay Focused

Equally vital is what you are saying and to whom.  As explained in our Marketing message blog, you need to make sure you know who your target audience is and that your campaign is tailored to them.  Business owners often want to tell everyone everything about their business, which confuses the marketing material you are putting out there.  Different campaigns should have different messages for different people.  Ultimately, if you reach the right people enough times, but the message is wrong, you won’t achieve the results you want to.

In a nutshell, reach is limited by both frequency and your marketing message, so it is imperative you get them spot on.

To discuss how we can help you reach the right people with the right message, call the Ketchup team on 0330 088 9277, or use our contact form here

Sep
18
ROI and Marketing

Return on Investment (ROI) and Marketing

September 18, 2015 1:15 pm Published by Comments Off on Return on Investment (ROI) and Marketing

Return on Investment (ROI) which is most closely associated with the worlds of finance and investment.  In the case of marketing, ROI essentially appraises the relative gain – in terms of profit gleaned (or costs saved) – which is gained by undertaking a marketing campaign in comparison to the expenditure related to that campaign.

ROI and Marketing

The above is a basic explanation of the general concept of ROI but as is often the case, in reality things aren’t quite as simple. When it comes to the ROI delivered by marketing activities, it is crucial to first understand that there are many factors which must be considered on both the expenditure and return sides of the equation. Costs associated with marketing activities after all, come in a number of shapes and sizes:

  1. Creative costs – Expenditure devoted to generating marketing ideas, developing brand identities and deciding and implementing campaign strategy.
  2. Practical costs – Investment in the physical creation and dissemination of marketing materials, the salaries of those involved in such processes and other similar day-to-day expenditures related to marketing activities.
  3. Subsidiary costs – Unforeseen expenses and costs related to marketing exploits or changes to business practices as a result of specific campaigns or general marketing advice.

Whilst this is indeed important to understand, and may seem to suggest that achieving good ROI from marketing activities could be more difficult than it first appears, it is even more crucial to realise the diverse and numerous forms which returns from marketing can also take:

  1. Immediate profits – This is the most obvious and commonly considered type of return gleaned by marketing, and is made up of the physical increases in sales or contracts won as a direct result of any marketing campaign.
  2. Future business – An unquestionably important aspect of the benefits wrought by marketing campaigns, the potential for future business from customers attracted by marketing activities is often overlooked by many when considering ROI. In a similar vein, recommendations and referrals generated by those new customers also count amongst the returns generated by marketing campaigns.
  3. Altered perceptions – In many cases, marketing activities may not be explicitly aimed at generating immediate sales but instead at changing people’s perceptions of a company or brand. It is difficult to measure but the future choices made by prospective customers based on their altered perceptions of the company or product can also contribute to the returns delivered by marketing expenditure.

If you want to learn more about marketing that really delivers, the team at Ketchup can help. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.

Jun
05
r is for research

A – Z of Marketing: Research

June 5, 2015 10:17 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Research

Marketing Research

As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to your business and attracting customers. A large part of carrying out effective marketing involves carrying out research and gathering information on everything from new techniques to your competitors and customers.

We truly are spoiled today because getting access to useful data and information is easier than ever before. The internet and the willingness of companies to share valuable data and insights as part of their content marketing campaigns means that we have no excuse not to know our marketplace inside out.

So, as a business what kind of research should you be carrying out and where can you find this information? The team at Ketchup have put together their top tips.

  1. Competitor Research

If you don’t know everything that you can about your competitors then you are potentially missing out on vital opportunities. Knowing your competitors inside out not only allows you to stay one step ahead, but what your competitors are up to can give you access to the next big idea for your marketing. Focusing on what your competitors and the market leader are doing well and then improving on that is the best way to remain a key player in your marketplace.

How do I find out more about my competitors?

  • Websites – if your competitor has a good website then the likelihood is that it will be full of useful information about them as a company and the products and services that they offer
  • Social mediasocial media platforms are a fantastic way to find out more about what your competitors are saying and how the marketplace is responding, take time to monitor their most active accounts on a daily or weekly basis
  • News and alerts – setting up Google Alerts for your key competitors will show you how they are being talked about on other platforms, for example, are they guest blogging and getting positive results, are customers writing good or bad reviews about their products or services, are they receiving positive or negative press etc… 
  1. Customer Research

How can you provide your customers with the right products and services and craft the right marketing messages if you don’t know who your customers are and what they want. We can’t be everything to everyone no matter how hard we try, so identifying your ideal customers, finding out exactly what they need from your products and services and the most effective ways to communicate with them is the recipe for success. A key ingredient for that recipe is customer research.

How do I find out more about my customers?

  • Internet research – once you have identified who your ideal customers are, take the time to find out where they hang out online, what blogs do they read, websites do they visit, events do they go to etc… The internet can be a great way to build up a more complete picture of your target market.
  • Surveys – if you want to know more about what your customers want and need from you, ask. A short online survey is a fantastic way to get direct answers to your questions both from existing and potential customers. There are a wide range of free online survey tools out there to help too, it’s never been easier to get feedback.
  • Interaction online/building a community – businesses across all industries need to build a relationship with their customers and potential customers to be successful. Much of this comes from interaction and building a community, whether that’s online, offline, or a mixture of the two. Posting regular useful content across your social media channels is a great way to build and nurture this relationship, email marketing can support this too. Regular contact and useful content are key. The better the relationship you build, the more you will find out about your customers.
  • Social media – honestly, social media platforms are information gold mines when it comes to finding out more about your customers. They can also spark marketing ideas based on exactly what your customers are saying that they want. Follow trending hashtags and topics that are appealing to your target market to find out more about what they are saying.

Taking the time to research your competitors and customers can pay dividends in terms of increasing sales and becoming a front runner in your marketplace.

If you would like some support in understanding your market, the team at Ketchup Marketing can help. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.

May
29
Quality

A-Z of Marketing: Quality

May 29, 2015 8:32 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Quality

Many businesses when they think about offering high quality think that this only applies to their products and services. However, when it comes to your brand and the marketing activity used to promote your business and its products and services, quality should be at the top of your agenda.

The quality of your communication, messages, content, design, website, presentations, etc… directly influence the overall viewpoint that your customers will have of your business. Many organisations make the same mistakes when it comes to the quality of the marketing activity that they put out into the world and they just don’t realise the negative impact that this is having on their brand.

Common mistakes when it comes to compromising on the quality of their marketing include;

  1. Do it yourself design

There are a wide range of affordable graphic design packages out there, however, great design isn’t just about the tools used. There is a science involved in ensuring that a message is communicated correctly and that the design catches your customer’s eye for the right reasons. This all has to carry your customers through to taking the required action, such as picking up the phone, completing your enquiry form, or pressing the Buy Now button.

  1. Poorly written content

Just like design, there is a science to writing content that sells. Badly written content will create a bad impression and even discourage customers from buying from you. Common mistakes in this area include not proofreading your content and publishing it with spelling and grammatical errors, not having a call to action, and leaving out vital information that could have encouraged your customer to contact you.

  1. The clip art logo

Your logo is the most tangible element of your brand, it’s a large part of distinguishing yourself from your competitors, and it’s often what your customers see first before they find out anything else about you. Investing in a high quality logo is one of the best things that you can do for your business, it will be with you a long time and is probably more affordable than you think. Nothing drags down the quality of a website or other marketing materials than a badly designed logo.

  1. A badly developed website

These days a company’s website is the most powerful bit of online real estate that they have. It’s also more than likely going to be the first thing that your potential customer will see of your brand. The design and usability of your website is vitally important. We are impatient when it comes to getting access to the information that we want, if it isn’t easy to find or your website is slow to load then people will leave and many get what they want from one of your competitors.

A well designed and functional website can be a key tool in helping you to grow your business. It can encourage a steady flow of enquiries, showcase your products and services, and be used as a platform for promoting great content.

We may be biased when it comes to promoting the use of a marketing agency to ensure that your marketing communications and materials are of the highest quality. However, you really do get what you pay for and high quality marketing is most definitely worth the investment.

Marketing is always better with Ketchup added, contact us today on 0330 088 9277 to discuss your requirements in more details. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form

May
21

A-Z of Marketing: QR Codes

May 21, 2015 8:27 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: QR Codes

When QR codes were first launched businesses went crazy, adding them to everything that they could. However, the excitement has now died down and people have moved on to the next big thing.

You still see QR codes around but actually, I think that we have gone to the other extreme and we under-use what can be a great additional feature to any printed piece of marketing collateral.

What are QR codes?

QR codes are a way to make your printed marketing collateral more interactive and they are a very handy tool for getting people to visit your website. Essentially QR codes are a little like the bar codes used in shops. They can be scanned by a smartphone or tablet, this then takes you to a web page of your choice, it could be a specific page on your website, or even a social media account.

Benefits of QR codes

As previously mentioned, QR codes are a great way to add some interactivity to printed materials, they also offer other benefits;

  • Encourage further action – printed materials are still a fantastic way to tell people more about your products and services, and they are still an effective marketing tool. However, the addition of a QR code offers an easy to follow call to action.
  • Allow you to point people in the direction of targeted information – the printed material that you give to your customers can still only tell them so much about the products and services that you offer. The addition of a QR code can encourage people to view further information, and even visit a page where they can purchase the product there and then.
  • Gets people onto your website – let’s face it, today we want to encourage as many people as we can to visit our website. This used to be achieved by adding the website address to you printed materials, which meant that the holder of your flyer or brochure had to actively type the website address into their browser. This may seem like a small thing but it meant effort on the part of your potential customer. Now they simply scan the code and end up on the exact page that you want them to view.
  • Save on printing costs – with QR codes, you can offer more in-depth information without having to increase the size of your printed collateral

Some ideas for using QR codes

If you would like to try using QR codes as part of your printed materials, here are some ideas to help you to get started;

  1. Business Cards – adding a QR code that points to your LinkedIn or professional online profile to your business card is a great way to offer people the opportunity to find out more about you.
  2. Brochures – people are often put off from reading thick company brochures. With QR codes you can reduce the amount of information offered to just enough to get the reader interested enough to scan the QR code and find out more information
  3. eGuide/Whitepapers – if you want to offer people access to further information about a topic, maybe even point them towards specific facts and figures, case studies etc…, the QR code is a perfect way to do this and avoids overwhelming your readers with too much information/a War and Peace size document
  4. Point your QR code to a specific offer, sign up, or purchasing page – the QR code makes it easier for the readers of your printed material to sign up to your mailing list, or take advantage of a special offer by purchasing online via a dedicated QR code

For more help with the design and production of your printed materials, contact the team of expert designers at Ketchup today on 0330 088 9277, alternatively, complete our online contact form.

 

May
13
What is PR

A – Z of Marketing: Public Relations

May 13, 2015 8:21 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Public Relations

Public Relations, or PR, activity can be extremely useful to all kinds of businesses, whether they are small, big, or multi-million corporations. When PR is used correctly it can be a fantastic tool to raise awareness of your organisation, and build your brand and reputation.

What is PR?

PR is often seen as something that a publicist does for celebrities, and while that is one arm of Public Relations, it’s not the only one. The objective of PR activity for organisations is to build a positive image and reputation, therefore, it fits in well as part of your overall marketing strategy. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ official definition of Public Relations is:

“Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you.

Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”

Here are some examples of how PR can benefit your business;

  1. Credibility – Your reputation is everything in business. It’s easy for businesses to plaster advertisements everywhere and maybe it will result in a few sales, but if you have spent time and effort on building your reputation, people will feel more comfortable buying from you.
  2. Securing bigger business – A good and well publicised reputation takes away some of the risk in buying from you, that means that larger organisations will be more likely to want to work with you and will be willing to pay a premium for your products and services.
  3. PR and the internet – Online advertising and other forms online marketing is a must but with PR you can get so much more out of it. By sharing press releases, news, broadcast clips and much more with news outlets online, you can boost validated links to your website and therefore increase traffic and your rankings with search engines.
  4. Cost effective awareness building – Even with the use of the internet, advertising and marketing can be costly, and businesses have to budget, which can limit what is seen by customers. PR is much more cost effective if done right because one major link to your business via the media can result in more custom than months of minimal advertising.
  5. Stand out against your competitors – PR is an excellent way of positioning yourself ahead of your competitors by building a rock solid and well recognised reputation.

Public Relations can do a lot for a business if carried out correctly, having a great reputation in your marketplace can offer you so many benefits, from being able to charge higher prices for your products and services, to standing out against your competitors.

If you are looking for someone to handle your Public Relations, including media publicity, you need to contact the Ketchup team today on 0330 088 9277 or by completing our online enquiry form.

May
07

A-Z of Marketing: Pinterest

May 7, 2015 8:16 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Pinterest

In the last few years, Pinterest grown more and more popular, to the point where it is predicted to overtake more traditional channels such as Facebook and Twitter. With over 10 million users, it is home to a bigger audience than traditional advertising could ever reach for any business. With Facebook being number one, Pinterest is the second highest social media site for referring traffic to business websites, so if you haven’t already got an account, you may want to head over and sign up ASAP. Now that you know how powerful Pinterest can be in establishing your business and loyal clientele take a look at these tips on how to get started in the right way.

  1. Set up your account properly – When you intend to use your account for business, make sure it is in the name of your business. This means that every time you pin something, your business name is seen. The Pinterest Business Centre is a great tool to use when you’re getting started because it will equip you with the basic knowledge you need for a business account.
  2. Share your pins – By now you probably have at least one account with a social media site, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other. Pinterest allows you to share what you’ve pinned on other social media accounts so you can easily get your existing followers to follow you on Pinterest and see the types of things you’re pinning.
  3. Carry out market research – Pinning is a great way of showing people all of your interests and ideas at once. By using Pinterest to narrow down the type of customer that your business will attract you can also research what that customer is pinning and keep their ideas in mind so you can apply them to your business marketing.
  4. Keep your own material – As a business owner, a lot of your pins will be original rather than taken from somewhere else and many will want to re-pin them. When you post content that is original, make sure you watermark it with your logo or website address so it cannot be stolen and when it is re-pinned, you get more advertisement.
  5. Get involved – The best way of getting the most out of Pinterest is to get involved. Pin across a variety of different boards, follow people that are like-minded, and make sure to interact by commenting on and liking pins. Like other social networks, you can also use @ to tag users and # to highlight keywords so people can see what you’re doing more clearly.
  6. Keep it interesting – Remember, the name is P(interest). Around 80% of all pins are re-pins so you must remember to pin things that you think others will want to re-pin. Find quality images, don’t over complicate things, be creative, and show the world what you and your business are capable of doing.

Pinterest is a fantastic way of communicating with the people that are admirers of what you do, potential customers, existing customers and life-long customers. It’s a network full of ideas and creativity that your business can benefit from daily.

If you are looking for a team of marketing experts that can get your business noticed online, contact the Ketchup team today on 0330 088 9277, alternatively, complete our online enquiry form.

May
01
Pay per Click

A-Z of Marketing: Pay Per Click Advertising

May 1, 2015 8:13 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a way of advertising your business in a prime position on search engine websites. When a user types in something related to your business that matches the selection of keywords used, your advert will appear at the top, or to the right of, the search results. When someone clicks on your advert, you pay the advertiser a set amount of money. Although it does cost, it’s a great way of getting your business in the spotlight and knowing that the people that click on the advert are the people that are going to be interested in your products and services.

What you need to know about PPC

  • You, the advertiser, have control over where your ad is placed and who it should be targeting. When the ad is clicked, traffic is sent to your website and you pay for the privilege.
  • You must choose your own keywords and then place bids on them when setting up a PPC campaign. The search engines will then use them accordingly.

With this in mind, it’s obvious how important it is to get the details of the ad right; that is the keywords used, audience parameters set and the copy in the advert itself. One slip up and you could be advertising to an audience that will have no interest in what you do at all which could lead to a chunk of your marketing budget being wasted. The whole point of PPC is to get more traffic and increase your revenue but if a campaign is managed in the wrong way, this isn’t going to happen.

When it comes to PPC, you need to bare these things in mind:

  • What are you willing to spend? It’s impossible to know how well a PPC campaign will work for you but you can estimate what PPC is worth to your business. For example, if two clicks out of every fifty purchase something from you, how much per click are you willing spend?
  • Once you know what you can afford, you can set a daily budget. The beauty of PPC is that your ad will appear until you’ve reached your budget so you never spend more than you want to. It’s completely within your control.
  • You must have exceptional SEO on your website. PPC ads are still subject to ranking so when you choose your keywords it’s going to be no use if they’re not keywords that appear on your website. Be thorough in your research into the best keywords for your business. See our previous blog on keywords.
  • Your ad will include a title, short description, and URL, so make sure you make them count because that’s all that the viewers will see. Ask yourself, ‘Why would someone click on this?’

In essence, you shouldn’t expect to use PPC as way out of all the hard work of building your organic rankings. PPC will only result in increased revenue if it is used properly. The combination of your website, the way you set up the campaign, and the reaction from searchers are all vital in the success of PPC.

If you’re unsure of how PPC will work for your business, we can help. As a Google Partner we are well placed to help you get your Google rankings and PPC campaigns on track. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online form.

Apr
28
Online advertising

A- Z of Marketing: Online Advertising

April 28, 2015 8:06 am Published by Comments Off on A- Z of Marketing: Online Advertising

The main objective of online advertising for any business is to increase awareness and drive people to look at what you can offer them. Advertising online can attract visitors to your website with the click of a button and in many cases, business owners can use this to accurately measure the amount of people that are enticed by their ads. When you know where to advertise, what successful online advertising means to you, and how your ads should be designed, you should have a combination that will increase your profits. So, how do you successfully advertise online?

  1. Find out what works for you – There are so many platforms and options offered that you could spend your entire budget on online advertising alone. To narrow down the best websites and platforms for you to use, you need to know where your audience is. Put yourself in their shoes and brainstorm what they would be searching for when coming across your advertisement.
  2. Set your objectives and measure results – As with all marketing campaigns, you need to know what you want to achieve. What will make your online advertisement a success for your business and how will you measure the results? One of the key benefits of advertising online is the ability to see how many people viewed or clicked on your ad, so you can see just how effective it has been. If people seeing your ad alone is a classification of success then you need to set that as an objective beforehand.
  3. Invest in the right design – Wherever you decide to advertise on the internet, the design of your online ad is crucial to attracting the right people. Anyone can produce an ad that has the right details, but it needs to catch the viewer’s eye enough so that they will follow your call to action. Sometimes there can be so many ads on any given website that consumers are subconsciously training themselves to ignore them so you need to stand out. Hiring a designer costs money, but the rewards should more than cover what you spend.
  4. Social media – Taking advantage of social media, and the online advertising options offered by the platforms that are relevant to your business, is a really effective way to target the right people. Not only can you get people to follow you so that they receive future promotional messages, but you can heavily drill down into your target market and tailor the advert specifically to that group. This can lead to higher levels of success at a fraction of the cost of some of the other online advertising options that are available.

Compared with traditional advertising, online advertising can be much quicker, much more efficient, and much more successful. Whether you want to hook new customers, increase website traffic, or keep existing customers returning for more, the internet is a wonderful and ever evolving tool to use.

If you are looking for support and the right team to help you make your online advertising activity a success, contact Ketchup today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online form. We’ll have online advertising working for you in no time.

Apr
22
special offers

A – Z of Marketing: Offers

April 22, 2015 8:02 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Offers

Everyone loves a bargain, that’s why most businesses will put on special offers and discounts for new and existing customers and the majority of the time, if done correctly, they are a huge success. It’s the perfect way to encourage people to try or repeat purchase your products and services.

However, many small businesses don’t know how to use special offers to their advantage. It’s easy to make common mistakes when it comes to producing and marketing offers, discounts, and freebies. If people don’t take up your offers, or you are constantly giving away your profits, at some point you may get so frustrated that you give up entirely. Here are some pointers for getting the best out of offers and special deals for your products and services.

  1. Make sure your customers aren’t waiting for offers – If you have offers and discounts on too often then you run the risk of customers holding off on their purchase until the next bargain. This means that you’ll potentially have long periods where people aren’t buying, or be left with very little profit and a customer base that isn’t loyal to you. If you’re going to give your customers special deals, calculate what you can actually afford to give away first and how often you should be marketing special offers. Be strategic, not desperate.
  2. Think outside of the box – Some companies tend to have sales or put on offers at the exact same time of year so it becomes easy for customers to predict when they will get the best deals. Why not do something a bit different, and at a different time to your competitors? It will get you noticed and attract new customers.
  3. Make profit, don’t lose it – If you are too generous when putting on special offers you can actually lose money, make sure that you are still benefiting as a business and that you are still taking a profit.
  4. Know your objectives – Make sure that you understand what you want to achieve when putting out your special offers. Do you want to entice new customers and encourage them to switch brands, attract early adopters to a new product or service, or encourage repeat purchase from existing customers? Identifying your objectives is the best way to ensure that the offers you are marketing are the right ones that attract the right people.
  5. The offers that will cost you very little can be just as effective – There’s no point in giving away your most expensive items every time business is a little slow when there are so many other options that work just as well. Try running a competition for an inexpensive item that’s well loved – it can get you tons of attention and usually results in new customers and sales. Other less costly offers include free delivery, loyalty cards, free trials, free workshops, and even giving cheaper items for free when more expensive items are purchased.

When offers are marketed and implemented in the right way, they can be extremely beneficial to business of all shapes and sizes. If you are looking for a dedicated marketing team who can get your special offers noticed, contact the Ketchup team today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online form.

 

Apr
17

A-Z of Marketing: Networking (Business)

April 17, 2015 7:56 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Networking (Business)

Businesses do not operate well in isolation. A business will grow if you are willing to take the time to build relationships, learn from and teach others; networking with people and experts can help you to fulfil the vision that you have for your business. Networking can also help you develop and establish trust with your customers and potential customers.

Networking is not only a way of attaining new customers but keeping them interested too. There are so many benefits to business networking that a lot of people miss out on if they don’t try it. There’s always the fear that networking with other like-minded people will mean that your ideas are stolen but this very rarely happens and if it does, there’s a good chance that customers will be able to see that you know the product/service better. Take a look at some of these benefits of networking:

  • Referrals – When you start networking you’ll develop relationships with other business owners who will get to know you and your products. If they like what they see, it’s probable that they’ll tell their own customers and contacts about what you do and refer them to you when they need the products and services that you provide. You can also do the same for them and build long term relationships that will help your business to grow.
  • It’s who you know – As your connections from networking grow so do your opportunities. It’s likely that you’ll meet people that you never dreamed of meeting; people with power and influence that can help your business become bigger and better. You may also consider joining forces with other business owners so you both benefit from regular custom. The possibilities are endless.
  • Advice – There will be times in every business owner’s life where something difficult crops up and you aren’t too sure how to handle it. Business can be tough but if you have a network of people that you can rely upon for advice, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will have been in your shoes before and can offer you a solution. It’s not like taking advice from people who just enjoy giving it; it will be valuable advice from people who’ve been there and done that before.
  • Get noticedGetting noticed will not just be for your business but for you too. Of course, it’s great for people to know about what you do and what you can offer customers so you can increase your clientele list but it also means that you’ll be able to interact with people who can help you learn at every step. Positive influence and support is extremely important in business and without it, it’s easy to make the wrong decisions. You may also notice that your confidence is boosted and you won’t feel so disheartened when you make the mistakes that many others have a thousand times over.
  • Satisfaction – Along with being helped, you get to help others which can bring tremendous satisfaction. Many business owners face problems on a regular basis and you may have the answer for some of them. The majority of people that take the time to network regularly find that they make life-long friends with the people that they meet, so it’s definitely worth it.

If you are looking to build on the awareness that you have created through business networking, why not talk to the Ketchup team about your marketing requirements? Call us today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.

Apr
13
marketing message

A-Z of Marketing: Marketing Message

April 13, 2015 9:30 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Marketing Message

When you create a marketing campaign, you must decide upon a clear and concise message that calls your customers to action. The nature and structure of your marketing message can make or break your campaign.

When developing your message there are a few things that you need to consider before committing to it. The first and most important thing is knowing who you want the message to be seen by, the second is knowing what you want to say to those people, and the third is being confident that whatever you say will be remembered. If one of these areas fails you then your marketing campaign is likely to be less successful and you risk wasting a portion of your marketing budget, so carrying out the groundwork beforehand really is worth it.

Who is your audience?

Many start-up companies will wrongly define their audience when they send out their first marketing campaign. Whether it’s because the audience is too general, too broad, or the company is over-reaching, many find that they fail at the first hurdle. Looking at quality rather than quantity here is key.

Making your audience bigger by targeting people that won’t really be interested in what you have to say will not generate sales, making your audience as specific as possible will. In the same way, if you’re a company that targets other businesses, you must realise who is likely to open an email or message that you send. You may be preparing your message for the CEO of that company, when in actual fact it’s the CEO’s secretary that everything has to get clearing from first. So, before developing a ‘one for all’ message it’s important to think about the people who will be on the other end of it.

What are you going to tell them?

The most important thing you need to tell your audience is what problem you’re offering to solve, how you are going to solve it, and why you are the best person to solve it. There’s no need to go into massive amounts of detail, but your audience needs to know what you can do for them and why they should buy your products and services and in a very short space of time. In many cases you only have seconds to capture your audience’s attention.

Finding the perfect way to say this and hook your audience with it can take time and discipline but it will be worth it, don’t be afraid to test and experiment with your marketing messages. Try to anticipate the questions that your customers may want to ask you and the objection points that they are most likely to throw at you, do your best to answer them precisely so there’s nothing left for them to wonder about or question.

Are you worth remembering?

There are so many things that have an impact on us when we see a promotional message (marketing message). Your marketing campaign should be attractive, present the right details, and capture the attention and imagination of your audience quickly. Most people will only remember three key features so keep the message to the point and easy to use. Remember that a marketing message is the start of a conversation with your customers and you want them to respond by visiting your website, clicking on links, and buying products and services. With that in mind, you have to give them something unforgettable.

For help developing the perfect marketing massage and campaigns for your products and services, contact the experts at Ketchup Marketing today. Call us on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online form.

Mar
17
Measurement of campaigns

A-Z of marketing – Measurement of campaigns

March 17, 2015 8:45 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of marketing – Measurement of campaigns

Setting up and running a marketing campaign is often carried out with one or more of the following objectives in mind – increasing enquires and sales, receiving feedback and encouraging customer engagement, and/or getting your brand seen by a bigger audience. However, before your marketing campaign is released, you should have clear expectations of what you want it to achieve. How many enquiries do you expect to get from it? How many of those enquiries would you like to see convert into sales? There’s no point in creating and releasing a marketing campaign if you don’t know what you want from it and have no way of measuring and monitoring how successful it is.

Marketing analytics are so important to the success of businesses these days. Your marketing performance will seriously affect your ROI, whether positively or negatively, so you need to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. By monitoring and measuring your results you can work out what your customer’s preferences are and offer your services accordingly. In addition, when you know how well different aspects of your marketing activities are doing, you can spend your marketing budget in the right way. This will save you and your business from spending money unnecessarily.

What can you learn from measuring the response to your marketing campaigns?

Aside from the basics of understanding the levels of ROI from a marketing campaign and identifying what your customers like and where you should spend your money, measuring and monitoring the results of your campaigns can give you specific details that will help you to beat your competitors. For example, it’s important to know what your customers want but it’s perhaps even more important to know the keywords that they use when looking for something that you can offer them. Knowing the most frequently used keywords can help you to position your products correctly, write and distribute compelling content, and speak your customer’s language.

How to start monitoring your campaigns

Unfortunately, nothing really comes for free and the best ways to monitor your marketing campaigns can cost, whether it’s in terms of time or money. There are various ways of measuring your campaigns depending on the channels used. For example, using tools like AdWords and Google Analytics, alongside metrics from your email marketing and social media activity can give you a lot of useful information about campaign performance and customer behaviour. The results from these tools, if used correctly, can help you to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, which in turn leads to more awareness of your products and services, as well as increased sales.

An online marketing campaign can potentially reach thousands, even millions of people thanks to our ability to instantly share with family and friends via social networking platforms, email, and other media. This means that getting it right is vital to existing and future business and measuring and monitoring individual and collective campaign performance is a huge part of finding out what works and what doesn’t. Take the time to analyse the information that your campaigns give you and there should be no reason for not seeing a great financial return.

If you are looking for help with your marketing audit, or a specific marketing campaign, whether it’s email, PPC, or online advertising, the experts at Ketchup are here to help. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online enquiry form.

Mar
06
Marketing Mix

A-Z of Marketing: Marketing Mix

March 6, 2015 8:08 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Marketing Mix

When a business wants to market products and services it’s important to consider several different aspects that will help you to make it a success. These aspects include marketing the right product, in the right place, at the right price, and in the right way. Should your product be marketed online, offline or both? Does your price match or beat other competitors? Is your marketing campaign something that your customers will take notice of? These are all vital questions that should be asked before you can even begin to think about launching your first marketing campaign.

A great method of getting the answers to some of these questions is to take yourself through the Marketing Mix, as detailed below. This will help you to clarify information about various key aspects of your products and services.

Product

Your product needs to stand out. There’s no good in marketing the same product as a competing company in the exact same way. You need to know what makes your product better than the rest and why your customers should buy from you, make sure that you have identified your areas of differentiation. Anticipate their questions and have your answers ready and waiting so they can see that they’re buying from someone who knows their products and services inside out.

Price

If only a few people buy your product because they feel it’s unfairly priced, you aren’t going to make a profit. Your product will have to sell in bulk for you to see ROI so make sure the price is appealing without making you bankrupt. What do your customers value your product at? Before you price your product it’s a good idea to research what your consumers opinions are about pricing. In the same way, you need to know what your customers are willing to pay as well as what is fair. For example, someone in the desert is likely to pay more for water than someone in the UK.

Place

Considering where to sell your products and services is a big part of the marketing mix. Will you sell directly to customers or have a retailer do it for you? You need to go where your customers will be and sometimes that takes a fair bit of consideration. The most important thing to do is make your products and services available to the right people at the right time and when you know who and when that is, the where will follow.

Promotion

No matter how you choose to sell your products and services, you will always have to promote them. In order to promote them well, you need to know the audience that you’re promoting to. Using online and offline promotion will be important but both need to engage the audience in communication and encourage them to follow your call to action. Your promotion will tell your audience about the product, why they should buy it, and why it’s better than other similar products. Sending out messages should see a return on your investment and if you don’t, you may need to re-think your marketing mix.

The marketing mix is called just that for a reason. It takes the combination of different elements of marketing to make a business a success. From product to distribution, merchandising and promotion, it all matters. Don’t let one area slack in favour of others or you may find yourself losing out to the competition.

If you need help with marketing your products and services, from website design, to content marketing and copywritng, we can help. Contact the team at Ketchup today on 0330 088 9277, or complete the online enquiry form.

Feb
20
Logo Design

A-Z of Marketing: Logo Design

February 20, 2015 9:04 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Logo Design

A logo is a tremendously important part of building a brand that your customers instantly recognise. It can be a symbol of trust and an automatic notification that a product is from a particular company. Logos have the power to evoke emotion, tantalise senses, and trigger memories. If you think of the ‘Coca-Cola’ logo, how do you feel? Can you almost taste the drink? A logo is a representation of what your business, products, and services are all about. Despite your logo being only one part of your brand, it’s perhaps one of the most important parts because it is the visual representation of your company.

If you’re putting off creating a business logo, maybe these benefits of having a logo will change your mind.

  • Encourage faith in your products – You may have the best product the world has ever seen, but if it’s poorly packaged, without a logo or anything else to show that it’s from a quality and trustworthy company, it will be harder to sell. How a product is packaged is extremely important to today’s consumer.
  • Make your company more recognisable – Many of your customers and potential customers will pay more attention to a visual advertisement than one full of text, a picture paints a thousand words as the saying goes. With many of us only having the time to glance at things during the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s important that you create something that can catch the eyes of your audience. A logo that is well known will always get attention.
  • Return on investment – The more people that see your logo, the easier it will become for them to associate it with trust, good products, and reliability. This means that they will take the time to view anything that has your logo on it. Investing in a logo and using it to build a strong brand will encourage customers to engage with your company and purchase your products, if you have the right logo you should gain a healthy return on your investment quite quickly.
  • Attract the right customers – A great designer will consider the colour, visual elements, and typography of your logo. The right kind of logo will attract the right kind of audience and result in more sales. How a logo is designed should be specific to the kind of industry you’re in and catch the eye of the type of customers you want to attract.

It’s a good idea to invest in a professional designer who will get to know your business and your products and then take all of this into consideration when creating a logo that can be used for anything and everything. Something that will accurately reflect your company and get it noticed. Some businesses have attempted to create their own logos using clip art or generic images – this will get you nowhere. If you’re going to use visuals that will last you through the years, they have to be created professionally by someone who knows what they’re doing.

If you want to get off on the right foot when it comes to the building of your brand and the design of your logo, contact the team at Ketchup. We have helped a number of businesses build a successful brand with a recognisable logo. Call us on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.

Feb
17
LinkedIn Marketing for businesses

A-Z of Marketing: LinkedIn

February 17, 2015 1:02 pm Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: LinkedIn

The social network LinkedIn has brought tremendous benefits for businesses. It’s natural for a business to want to create a Facebook or Twitter account but LinkedIn sometimes comes as an afterthought. For anyone trying to grow a business, this could be a huge mistake. The main reason for LinkedIn being such a major success with businesses and professionals is because it’s aimed at businesses and professionals, not just the general public. Everything on LinkedIn is business related.

With this in mind, businesses can get an awful lot out of a LinkedIn account. Some of the benefits include:

  • LinkedIn Groups – The groups are an ideal place to share links to some of your blog posts. You can track down groups that are about the same industry as your business and skills and therefore target like-minded people that will be interested in what you have to say. This will increase traffic to your online content.
  • Learn from others – LinkedIn is a social network that is full of people who have been there and done that. If you’re just starting out, or you’re branching out into different areas in your industry, LinkedIn is the best place to find advice from experts that have tried and tested it all before.
  • It’s much easier to connect with people who will be interested in what you do – LinkedIn has over 200 million users and it’s organised in a way that will help you connect with the right people. There’s no time wasting with LinkedIn and what business owner has time to waste when it comes to advertising?
  • Others will make connections for you – With LinkedIn, people you are connected to can introduce you to others that they think may be interested in your work. That way you aren’t just tied down to the people you are initially connected with and your network will continue to grow.

LinkedIn is all about building relationships with other professionals. It’s a place where you can be challenged on improving the way you work, staying innovative, and learning how to market your products and services in the right way. You can also build local links with other businesses that may end up referring clients to you in the future. LinkedIn is being recommended to university graduates as way of quickly getting on the career ladder and building a useful online network that they can maintain for life.

Many people that use LinkedIn find that they use it daily and build up valuable connections quickly. It’s important for a LinkedIn profile to be complete and include the vital details needed for others to want to connect with it. Once a profile is up and running there’s no end to the profits that can be gained from it. Every business needs good connections to survive and LinkedIn makes that possible in a quick and convenient way. In essence, LinkedIn is the Facebook of the business world and just as many individuals couldn’t do without Facebook these days, many businesses and professionals shouldn’t do without LinkedIn.

If you would like help building your business’ online presence it’s time to talk to the experts. Contact the Ketchup team today to discuss your requirements on 0330 088 9277, alternatively, complete our online enquiry form.

Our visit our LinkedIn page.

Jan
30
Lead Generation

A-Z of Marketing: Lead Generation

January 30, 2015 8:23 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Lead Generation

Generating leads is so important to ensuring that your business is successfully, so much so that we have even discussed it in a previous blog post.

A lead is someone who is interested in your products and services and therefore is more likely to become a customer. They will have made contact with your organisation in some way, for example, through the completion of an enquiry form on your website, and have been classed as a viable prospect for purchasing your products and services. The quality of the leads that you are generating says a lot about the effectiveness of your marketing and sales activity. The higher the quality of leads you are generating, the more effective your targeting and messages are. To ensure that you are bringing in the right leads you need to focus on the lead generation activities that you are carrying out.

So, why are effective lead generation activities essential to businesses these days? As the world grows, becomes more technical, and more businesses establish themselves, the competition gets much tougher. It isn’t easy to draw people into a business and keep them loyal any longer. Once you have found these leads, you then have to convince them that your company is worth looking at. Plan a pathway from finding the lead to warming them to your products and services, and then eventually buying from you.

Finding leads

To find high quality leads for your business you must be targeting the right people in the right way. Where can you access your target market? Is it through online advertising, social media, email marketing, or by driving them to your website through SEO and PPC advertising?

It is important to know and understand who you are targeting. You also need to put in place a system that will encourage your target customers to add their details to your marketing list so that you are able to send them targeted and relevant messages.

Some elements that you need to put into place to generate high quality leads include:

  • A good landing page – A landing page may just seem like an entrance into a website but it’s actually the first page that many visitors will see. If it isn’t good enough, you may find that visitors don’t progress and never return. Think of your landing page as the page that needs to capture the imagination of potential customers.
  • Data capture forms – As mentioned above, you could ask for information in exchange for a voucher or other opt-in offer. Whether it’s just a name and email address or more than that, it all helps.
  • Strong calls to action – Encourage your target customers to take action on your website. Whether it’s to claim a free voucher or go further into the site to look at new and exciting products, they need that nudge to become customers.

Lead generation is the key to business survival and the better quality of leads you can generate the more likely you are to see increased revenue. To get the best out of your lead generation activity you must make sure that all areas of your business are of the highest standard possible.

For help with your lead generation activity why not speak to the experts at Ketchup. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 of complete our online enquiry form.

Jan
28
Keywords for marketing

A-Z of Marketing: Keywords for Marketing

January 28, 2015 9:21 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Keywords for Marketing

You could have the most amazing website with content that will hook your customers for life but if no-one can find it, it’s completely useless. That’s where keywords come in. Although they are not the be all and end all of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), keywords are a vital part of increasing visibility. In their most basic form, keywords will enable new and existing customers to find you by increasing the chances of your website ranking highly when someone uses a search engine to look for your type of business. Here are some things you need to know about using keywords.

  • How to choose the right keywords – Choosing the keywords for your website has a big impact on its success. The right keywords will always relate to your business, what it offers, and the things you want your customers to know about your products. Do your research thoroughly to make sure you make the right organic keyword selections and it’s a good idea to work with an SEO agency that can provide you with guidance and supporting services. Try to think about things from your customers point of view, what words and phrases would they use to search for your business?
  • Use long-tail keywords – Long-tail keywords are phrases rather than single words and they are well worth exploring as part of your SEO. If you can imagine searching for something yourself using Google, it’s likely that you’ll type in a few words rather than just one isn’t it? That means that long-tail keywords are more likely to match up to what someone is typing in a search engine. They will generate more traffic and therefore, more revenue. Long tail keywords are also less competitive if you decided to implement Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
  • Google Adwords advertisingPPC advertising from Google is a great way of targeting your desired audience. When someone uses Google to search for the products or services that you offer, your PPC Ad will appear at the top and down the right hand side of the presented search results. The great thing about PPC is that you only pay if people click on your advert and if you’ve got your keywords and your targeting right then the right people will click through to your website.
  • Keep it fresh – If you built your website ten years ago and it still looks exactly same, with no fresh content or keywords, you aren’t going to get very far with it. Keep your competitors, company changes, and marketplace developments in mind when reviewing your keywords and key-phrases to ensure that you are still attracting your ideal customers.
  • Try out tools – Using different tools such as Wordtracker or Google’s own keyword planner could give you a better insight into what words and phrases are popular for your type of industry. These tools are free to use and it may just find you suggested keywords that you haven’t thought of.

The world of SEO is constantly changing so it’s important to stay updated on what’s new and what you can be doing to stay ahead of the game. If you’re not informed on how to better your business through the use of keywords, you can bet that your competitors are. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to get valuable and professional advice from an SEO expert who can share the latest developments with you so you never have to fall behind and find yourself wondering why others are getting all of your business.

For help with your keywords, SEO, and PPC why not speak to the experts. Contact the team at Ketchup to discuss your requirements in more detail on 0330 088 9277, alternatively, complete our online enquiry form.

Jan
23
The advantages of internet marketing

A-Z of marketing: Internet marketing

January 23, 2015 8:15 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of marketing: Internet marketing

The number of your potential consumers who use the internet on a daily basis to browse websites, research products, and purchase from businesses, is constantly and consistently increasing. Therefore using internet marketing isn’t just a good idea because of the lower costs and advanced data and monitoring options available, it’s essential to business survival now. Although face to face communication will never fail, using the internet to promote your business can allow you to create and sustain relationships that may never have been possible without it.

Internet marketing offers an opportunity to personalise the way that you communicate with your customers and potential customers online, while managing to have a much bigger customer base than traditional promotion and communication methods would allow.

The advantages of internet marketing:

  • It’s easy all round – Customers can find you quickly, search for what they want without having to leave the comfort of their own homes, and they can even purchase something from you at 3am if they wish. Internet marketing will lead your ideal customers to your website, Facebook page, or other social media platforms even more effectively than a board sign would lead someone to a shop. Targeting options will also allow you to target the exact people or companies that would be interested in what you have to offer.
  • Internet marketing is guaranteed to increase your custom – Why? Because you’ll reach a much bigger audience and they’ll tell their friends and family, who will tell their friends and family…you get the idea. Word spreads much faster when you can promote something with the click of a button at any time.
  • Take it out of the country – You no longer have to stick to your home town. Internet marketing allows you to reach potential consumers all over the globe, so if you want to sell your products internationally, it has never been easier.
  • Save your pennies – As mentioned before, the cost of internet marketing is much lower in comparison to traditional marketing. Yes, it may cost something to get a website designed and you can choose to spend money on social media advertising, but these costs are nothing compared to what you would pay for leaflets, banners, local or national magazine adverts etc.
  • Your customers will feel more involved – The magic of internet marketing will let you personalise your offers to your customers. Most people will ignore generic, mass produced newsletters, but if you send a personalised email with offers that will interest that specific person, you’re much more likely to gain sales.
  • It’s easier to monitor – Whether you use email, social media advertising, or banner advertising, you will get access to useful data which can let you know how your campaign is performing. Open rates, impressions, click through rates, and page views are all very telling and can help you to constantly update and improve your online marketing activity.

The internet and its many benefits are ever changing and it’s guaranteed that the majority of your customers use the internet in some form every day.  Whether it’s on a laptop, mobile phone, tablet, smart TV, or any other number of devices, people are surviving on the internet these days. As a business owner, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities that internet marketing presents to you. Some small businesses are thriving by using social media sites alone, so imagine the improvement in ROI that you’d see if you were to utilise the many online marketing options that are available to your business. The greatest part of using internet marketing is watching the results happen before your eyes and using it as motivation to do more with your business and see it flourish.

For help with internet marketing, whether that’s the development of a strategy or the execution and monitoring of your campaigns, we can help. Contact the Ketchup team today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online form.

Jan
09
Instagram can be used to reach your customers instantly

A-Z of Marketing: Instagram

January 9, 2015 9:15 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Instagram

Instagram is just one of the many social media platforms available today and it can help boost businesses in many different ways. It focuses on image sharing, posting an image can reach millions and provide a visibility like no other. The Instagram community is growing daily so it’s a good idea to hop on board the Instagram train before your competitors do.

Instagram can be used to reach your customers instantly and give them an idea of how your business is run and what you stand for. Creating this kind of connection with your customers and potential customers is priceless. Take a look at some of the ways you can use Instagram to promote your business:

  • Display your products – The most important thing that you can use Instagram for is to show everyone your products. The benefit of shopping online is that customers can browse through products at their own leisure, and from their own home, and Instagram presents that same opportunity. Show people the variety and uniqueness in what you offer and you’ll gain some loyal subscribers.
  • Give people a visual insight into your business – People always want a quality product but all too often they’re left to rely on recommendations. With Instagram, you can show your followers how your products are made. Take shots during the process of producing your products so that your customers can see the time and effort that goes into it and they can be sure it’s money well spent. Letting people see what goes on behind the scenes can really promote trust.
  • Before and after shots – Your customers will want to know what your products can do. It’s a great idea to take some before and after shots so everyone can see how well your products perform. For example, a shot of a dirty carpet before and shot of the same clean carpet after using a carpet cleaning product.
  • It’s all about exclusivity – Your followers should feel like they have special access to your business. Use Instagram to offer exclusive previews of new products or exclusive discounts and offers on existing products. There has to be a reason for them to want to follow you and your business.
  • Show people how much you love your job – It’s important to share the passion you have for your business with others. If people can see how much faith you have in your products, it will rub off and result in sales. If you are attending an event, or going to research stock, take your followers with you by taking shots of your day.
  • Get silly – If you bump into a celebrity on your travels or even find a funny animal, share it. Your followers will want to be included in everything and it shows them you are a human being, not just a corporate body behind a machine. Being a bit more personal can be great for your business.

Instagram is a great way of showing your followers who you really are and what your products are about. It’s a way of saying everything you need to say without saying a word and creatively keeping your followers entertained so that they eventually become loyal customers.

If you need help with your social media strategy, or your marketing strategy and activity in general, it’s time to talk to the Ketchup team. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online enquiry form.

Jan
07
Infographics in Marketing

A-Z of Marketing: Infographics

January 7, 2015 9:09 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Infographics

A-Z of Marketing: Infographics

Infographics are becoming increasingly popular as a marketing tool and as a way of presenting information and data in a visual form. They have become part of the content marketing revolution because they are one of the easiest ways of building natural links. Infographics spark lots of interest from customers and potential customers as this format makes it easier to digest a lot of information quickly. The use of infographics has proven to be extremely beneficial when looking to drive traffic to your website.

Take a look at some of the ways that using infographics can have a positive effect on your business.

  • Increased awareness – Infographics are eye catching so they are noticeable and as a result are regularly shared. This will drive more traffic to your website and increase awareness of your business and the products and services that you provide.
  • SEO benefits – Google loves it when we present data and information in visual form so the use of infographics can only be good for your SEO and Google rankings
  • Get the message across – It has been proven that the majority of people will better understand, and more quickly digest, information that’s in visual form. The same amount of information that appears as text will all too often be ignored or disappear into the mountain of data your customers are exposed to every day. Therefore, infographics give you a much better chance of reaching your customers with important news.
  • ROI – The most important purpose of infographics is their unique ability to catch people’s eye and drive them to investigate your website. An infographic should be able to stir up curiosity and increase traffic significantly. If the infographics that you use can do that, the business is more likely to see increased enquiries and a return on its marketing investment.

In order for infographics to have this effect on your business, they need to be able to appeal to your target audience. Here are a few things to think about when producing your infographics:

  • Creativity – Plain and simple is good for getting the message across but a design that appeals to people in your target audience is much better. Creating a great design is sometimes difficult but once you’ve got it, it will be well worth the wait.
  • Make it unique – Try to avoid using infographic templates. The result will only be that your infographic looks like a thousand others and people will ignore it because they think they’ve already seen it. Needless to say, your infographic must stand out if it’s going to make any connection with your chosen audience.
  • Keep text to a minimum – We all lead very busy lives and as a result, we don’t have much time to read in depth articles full of facts. Your infographic should really be able to say all it needs to say in a matter of seconds. Interested viewers will return for a second look if they see something they like. Any text on an infographic should be quick and to the point.
  • Reach a larger audience – The beauty of infographics is that they can be easily shared, so make sure yours are shareable. If they are, you’ll find that some of your audience will share with their friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances, and your following will grow.

Infographics are becoming more important as part of marketing your business. They are the bait that will catch you your ideal customers, so make sure they’re of the best quality.

If you would like to incorporate infographics into your marketing activity but need help with the development and distribution, contact that team at Ketchup. We can help make infographics work for your business, call us on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.

Dec
15
Images for Marketing

A-Z of Marketing: Images

December 15, 2014 12:44 pm Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Images

It’s a well-known fact that images can convey a lot of information quickly. With this in mind, it’s clear how powerful sharing images can be, and how important it is to do so on a regular basis. There are many different ways of sharing images with customers and potential customers, and with the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, it is must if a business wants to survive.

Take a look at why you should use images are part of your marketing strategy.

  • Gain a following on social media – With image based social sites such as Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram growing in popularity, you can show the world what your products are, how they’re made, and what makes them unique in visual form. Images can tell a story in seconds, use them to your advantage on social media so that customers can see your appeal.
  • Increase brand awareness – By sharing images with your likers or followers, or your email list, you can build up your brand. Develop a style for your images and you will build up awareness and recognition that those images belong to your company. In addition, when people share your images with others it will allow your brand to be seen by a larger audience.
  • Gain more website traffic – Often, when images are shared on social networks, the audience will want to know more about the products and company. For this, the majority of people will visit a business’s website, so sharing lots of images is a great way to increase website traffic. Even if a social site won’t allow you to promote your business by advertising your website, most people will Google your business and visit your site via search results.
  • Building relationships – There’s nothing like sharing images to give your audience a personal insight into what you do and sell, who your staff are, and how your business is run. Customers can get a much better idea of the passion you have for your business by seeing images of products in the making, how products work, staff and business achievements, and your daily activities. It will go a long way towards connecting with your audience and them connecting with you.
  • Receive additional business – The great thing about images is that if one person likes it, it’s almost guaranteed that many more will. When an image is liked on a social media site, such as Facebook, the friends of the person who liked it will see it too. This will result in more likes for your page and more business. The same goes for many other social networks, the more engagement your image encourages, the wider the reach of your business.
  • Improve SEOSearch engine optimisation is important to any business. Without good SEO, customers would not be able to find the businesses they are searching for. Google loves relevant images so they go a long way to improving SEO, ensuring that your business has a better chance of ranking higher in searches. Images are also a great way to update the content on your website, for example, the addition of an infographic to your blog or downloads page.

Sharing images and graphics can be an ideal way of modernising a portfolio. Every business needs a means of showing and promoting their products and services, and by sharing images you have got the ultimate portfolio that can be presented on some of the largest world platforms.

At Ketchup marketing we help B2B and B2C businesses of all sizes with their marketing. If you want to find out how we can help, contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online enquiry form.

Dec
05
Homepage design

A-Z of marketing: Homepage Design

December 5, 2014 7:58 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of marketing: Homepage Design

It isn’t hard to understand why homepages are so important for businesses. Generally, they are the first thing that a potential customer will see about your business, and we all know how far first impressions go. A homepage is a company’s face and needless to say, you will be judged by how it looks. If your homepage can intrigue a user just enough to make them want to learn more, and look at your products or find out about your services, your sales will undoubtedly increase. These days, if a person wants to find out about a particular business, they will visit that business’ website way before using its telephone number.

With this in mind, it’s obviously very important to get your homepage right. Its purpose is to draw people deeper into the website, and it should also guide your visitors easily onto the next step of their customer journey.

Therefore, your homepage should be an overview of everything that you offer as a business so that people will recognise what you do, where you do it, and who you do it for straight away. There are a few different ways that you can make your homepage into a page that will enhance the value of your website. Take a look at the tips below:

  • Think of a great tagline – A tagline should sum up what your business is all about and placing it on your homepage will immediately let people know where they are
  • Don’t plaster the business’ history all over the page – It’s likely that your customers will want to find out things about the business eventually, but it isn’t usually the first thing that someone wants to know. It’s like telling someone your life story the first time you meet them. Stick to the vital information when it comes to the homepage.
  • Include a search option – If you have a big stock list, a search bar could come in handy for your customers. Many people will automatically look for a search option on homepages because it saves time when they have something particular in mind and don’t want to have to search for it themselves. In a time where we want everything yesterday, visitors will want to get access to the information that they are looking for quickly.
  • Link everything – It’s no good having a picture of a product or offer on the homepage if your visitors can’t click on it and be taken directly to what they want. The purpose of using a website should be convenience, and the homepage should be no different. Try to make it as easy to use as possible. Links can also give you a great idea of the behaviour of your visitors while they are on your website as link clicks can be monitored.

Of course, along with being practical for your users, your homepage should also be visually attractive. The logos, adverts, and other graphics you use should be eye-catching and relevant to your audience, the design should support your brand. For example, a new product advert or rotating banner can be big and flashy to catch visitor’s attention, but when it comes to drop down menus, the text used should be understandable and fairly plain and simple. The homepage, along with the rest of the website must also be suitable for mobile phone access. Put time and effort into your homepage and you’ll see results.

If your website is in need of a refresh, or you need to make it more accessible for an increasing number of mobile visitors, we can help. Our clients have seen fantastic results from their new websites, why don’t you join them? Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online form and a member of our team will get back to you.

Nov
28
Google+

A-Z of Marketing: Google+

November 28, 2014 9:43 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Google+

Google+ seems to have been a bit hit or miss in terms of popularity and utilisation by businesses but those that are not using it could be missing out. If you have never explored Google+, it is used in much the same way as Facebook and Twitter but has been designed with business use in mind, in a similar way to LinkedIn.

Google+ is a social network where your business can gain likes, or +1’s as they are called, and people can keep up to date with developments in your business or industry. You may not see that it’s necessary to use it if you already have Facebook or Twitter accounts, it’s just another social media channel to manage, but Google+ is one of the best tools to use when you’re promoting your business and its user base is continuing to grow daily.

Google+ and Google search results

As a business owner, one of your many goals must be to rank highly on Google searches. When you use Google+ as a way of advertising your business, the posts that you share are indexed in Google’s search engine. Therefore, when someone searches for your type of business in your particular area, it’s likely that your posts will show up if they’re relevant.

So, how do you use Google+ to make sure you rank above your competitors?

  • Don’t just think about it – It may sound obvious but the first and most vital part to using Google+ is to create a profile for yourself and a page for your business. Make sure you utilise all that Google+ can offer, rather than just adding it to the To Do list and then forgetting about it.
  • Generate buzz – Just as you would on a Facebook page, your Google+ page needs to be shared. This means asking your existing circle of friends and colleagues to share posts, encourage others to follow, and engage with what’s happening on the page.
  • Post interesting content – One of the key benefits of using Google+ is the fact that the content that you post will be indexed in Google’s search results and will link back to your company. Make sure that you post articles, blogs, and opinions to boost your online presence.
  • Google authorship – Google+ can really help you to position yourself and your employees as thought leaders. Linking any articles you write to your Google+ personal profile will get you in the search results and get the content that you’ve posted noticed.
  • Use what you’ve already built – If you already have Facebook or Twitter accounts, it’s a good idea to use those to tell people that you’re now present on Google+. You may find that some of the people following you use Google+ more often than other social networks.
  • Learn about your audience – Using a different platform can have all kinds of different advantages. The main one is that you can learn about customers and potential customers; what posts they like, what information they value, and what products they’ll buy.
  • Really stand out – When you’re up and running, try using Google+ Hangouts. These are a great way of starting up conversations with your audience and making a name for yourself within your local community.

The most important thing that Google+ can do for you is give you credibility. Without that, you won’t stand a chance of ranking on any kind of search engine, never mind the world’s most used one. It’s a way of showing people that you’re out there; reaching people you would never normally reach through traditional advertising. With 540 million active users, why would you want to miss out? This social network will only become bigger and better over the years, so start building your presence now.

If you would like to add social media channels such as Google+ to your marketing strategy but don’t know where to start, it might be time to speak to the experts. Contact the team at Ketchup Marketing today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our online enquiry form.

Nov
21
Google and SEO

A-Z of marketing: Google

November 21, 2014 8:37 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of marketing: Google

As a business, it’s important to have an online presence, but if no-one can find your website it won’t be much use to you. That’s where Google comes in. Thanks to the wonderful invention of search engines, we are now able to search for anything our heart desires and Google will find it.

As the biggest search engine in the world, Google constantly changes and improves the way it compiles search results to ensure that it presents us with the most relevant information. Therefore, if you’re a bridal store in Surrey you will want your website to rank on page 1 in search results when someone types in ‘bridal’ and ‘Surrey’. If this isn’t happening, you may be in trouble.

In the UK, Google is used to search for something around six times per second, and the UK only makes up around 5% of daily searches. The number of websites, blog posts, articles, and other information sources and content available on the internet is staggering, and it’s growing daily, so getting ranked highly is crucial for your business.

How does Google find relevant search results?

I’m sure you can imagine the amount of spam that Google has to try and filter in order to present relevant results to users. In order to do that, Google searches for specific things on websites that link to the searched subject. For example, the website may have certain keywords throughout its content that apply to the search. However, due to new changes in Google’s algorithms, there has to be much more on a business’ website than keywords for it to rank highly.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is highly important to the success of business websites, but it’s an ever changing discipline and, unless you are an SEO specialist, it can be hard to keep up. At the moment Google requires websites to have constant fresh content. This could be in the form of a blog that is updated regularly, videos, or other attractions that can keep customers revisiting your site and encourages Google to index your business in relevant search results. The more genuinely relevant and authentic the content, the higher your business will be ranked in search.

When Google recognises that traffic is consistent, content is fresh, and links to other businesses are trustworthy, you’ll notice a gradual increase in your rankings. However, the way Google searches for the most relevant websites is likely to change and because of this, the best way to keep on top of these changes is to hire an agency that has the most up to date information. Google is the most used search engine on the web so using it to get ranked in potential customer’s searches could make all the difference to your business. Social networks and other forms of advertising will only take you so far and then you have no choice but to let giants like Google do the rest.

If you are looking for help with your website, whether it’s a complete redesign, a design refresh, or attracting quality visitors, the team at Ketchup can help. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277 or fill in our online form and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Nov
17
Facebook marketing

A – Z of Marketing: Facebook Marketing

November 17, 2014 9:31 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Facebook Marketing

Do you have a Facebook business page? If not, you may need one! There are so many benefits to be had from setting up and using a Facebook page that businesses should consider adding Facebook marketing to their overall strategy.

Facebook pages are easy to set up and only cost something if you choose to use the various paid advertising options, and even these are highly customisable so that they can be utilised in a way that fits in with your budget. Gaining page likes and posting targeted information is an ideal way of increasing custom in your area, or further afield, and it’s much less time consuming than many forms of marketing, it’s fantastic for businesses large or small.

Here are some of the main advantages to having a Facebook business page:

  • Facebook has over one billion users! ONE BILLION! That means you have the potential to reach so many more people than you would with any other form of marketing, and you can target your efforts so that you only reach the people that you want to. It is a guarantee that you will find customers that are interested in what you’re offering.
  • It’s a great starting ground. Sure, Facebook will never be enough to keep a business going on its own, but it will mean that you have people watching what you’re doing and possibly telling others about it too, it’s a great way to encourage engagement and content sharing.
  • Facebook leads to email addresses. Make sure you create a mailing list from your Facebook contacts by encouraging them to opt in to receive your newsletters or emails – it’s a great way to start building a highly targeted mailing list of potential customers who are genuinely interested in what you are offering.
  • Facebook doesn’t cost anything. In comparison to other ways of advertising, Facebook is a dream for keeping costs to an absolute minimum, especially if you can design and manage the page yourself.
  • You can expand your reach through advertising. If you want to step up the level of activity and number of page likes, or you want to target as specific demographic with a key message, you can use adverts to get to your target audience. There’s no point in inviting everyone on Facebook to like your page. The aim of a Facebook business page should be to target people that will actually engage with your posts and be interested in your products or services. There are a number of advertising option available and you have a high level of control over what you spend, it is also easy to monitor results and tweak your adverts so that you gain the best results.
  • Facebook will give you valuable information. With a business page, you’ll get insights into how well your posts are doing, weekly page updates, and other statistics that could help you to create more sales by offering what your customers want most.
  • Increase brand recognition. When you create your Facebook page, make sure you have a brand that you want to stick to. People will come to know this brand through Facebook and therefore, they will be able to recognise it outside of Facebook.
  • Facebook will lead to other things. Use your business page to drive traffic to your website or blog.
  • Conquer the mobile world with Facebook. Many small businesses haven’t adapted their websites for people using smart phones. If you have a Facebook page, this is a mobile friendly way for customers to browse through your business’ portfolio on their phones.

These are just some of the benefits of using Facebook Marketing and, as you can see, it can really make a difference to any business. It’s worth taking the time to experiment with the platform and see how it could potentially work for your business.

If you feel that you need additional help with Facebook, you can talk to our team of social media experts on 0330 088 9277, or get in touch by filling out our contact form.

Nov
05
Event Marketing

A – Z of Marketing: Events

November 5, 2014 9:21 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Events

Promoting your business is vital to making it a success, after all, if no-one knows who you are and what you do, how will they know if they need your products or services. Business events are a great way of creating potential custom and networking with other businesses that could be valuable links in the future. There are lots of different ways for you to network with the people that are most important to your business. For example, business breakfasts, business exhibitions, or a number of different evening events. You can even connect with people and groups on websites, such as LinkedIn, or through hashtag events on Twitter.

Business events are a great way of spreading the word, whatever that word may be. Whether you’re introducing a new business, a new product, or you just want to see some fresh faces, a face to face or virtual event can get you the desired results. It’s the best way to kill two birds with one stone, connect with potential customers, and gather information from them so you can bring them products and offers that appeal to their wants and needs.

You may be wondering why it’s good to link with other businesses that are potential competition. It’s easy for businesses to become isolated and think that they’ll survive on their own ideas, however, this is often not the case. By linking with other businesses you get to see what your competition is up to, if your products and methods are out-dated, or if there is something that you are doing particularly well that you can use as a selling point. The best part about these events is that you never know who will walk through the doors; you could find yourself getting to know a future investor or someone with a large successful business that can create business for you via their clients.

Ketchup’s top tips for event success

  • Set objectives for your event – what are you looking to achieve from attending this particular event? Do you want to attract new customers, demonstrate product developments, build brand awareness, or meet with existing customers? Knowing what you want to get out of the event will enable you to focus the organisation and messages in the right way.
  • Understand the event’s attendees – many events will have a specific audience, for example, an industry specific event or an exhibition for small business owners. In most cases the event organisers will be more than happy to give you information about event attendees. This knowledge will allow you to target any marketing messages and event information accordingly.
  • Make sure that your business stands out – don’t just describe your business to people, make sure you take along products, portfolios, or use demonstrations. Your guests will want to see why they should spend their money with you.
  • Don’t give up! – If the first event doesn’t work, try and try again. Sometimes it takes attendance at a few events and exhibitions before you get your formula right and start achieving the results that you desire.
  • Give something to your guests – it’s no good hosting an event or investing in an exhibition stand, plus marketing and organisation costs, and having the attendees go home and say, ‘what was the name of that business again?’ Get your business cards in their pockets or send them home with a little pack of goodies!
  • Face your fears and be confident about what you are offering – it’s always likely that a competitor will turn up to see what you’re doing differently. Welcome them with open arms and discuss your ideas. It could be the start of something beautiful.

If you are looking to make sure that your attendance at an event doesn’t go unnoticed, why not speak to one of the experts at Ketchup. We can help with pre and post event marketing, stand design, event landing pages, and more. Get in touch today on 0330 088 9277 or complete our contact form.

 

 

 

 

Oct
30
Digital marketing

A – Z of Marketing: Digital Marketing

October 30, 2014 5:10 pm Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is essential to all businesses today. Can you imagine if you didn’t have a website or if customers weren’t able to find you on social media? In this day and age, that would make your business virtually non-existent to your customers.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the promotion of your products and services using electronic media channels. This can include email, online advertising, SMS, social media, and more.

Digital marketing offers a number of benefits to businesses today, not least the fact that it is easy to measure campaign response and success. Whether you run campaigns through your website, email social media, SMS, or apps, you can collect a huge amount of useful information, and not just around the campaigns’ performance, but also about your customers themselves. We mentioned in our earlier A-Z blog on data about the importance of this information and digital marketing is a prime way of collecting it.

Simply put, digital marketing will allow you to get to know your customers and tailor your offers to suit their requirements.

The relevance of digital marketing to growing businesses

As the digital world continues to grow, we as users take in more and more digital information every day. If you take this into consideration, it’s obvious that digital marketing will be the marketing of the future and will only become more complex as it goes on. Taking only one example, the amount of people that prefer to read the news online instead of going out and buying a newspaper has dramatically increased over the past few years and we’re only going to continue that way. We are becoming and online nation.

Now people buy online more than they do on the high street and more and more people are accessing the internet solely on their mobile device. Customers now do all their research into what to buy via online channels. Online is where your customers are and that’s where your business needs to be too.

As a business that wants to grow, you may be interested in knowing that digital marketing is actually a much more cost effective way of advertising than regular marketing methods and it will reach a much broader audience. Each campaign can constantly be tailored to increase its effectiveness as relevant data such as click through rates, registration numbers, etc… become available.

In a nutshell, ignoring the fact that your business needs to be part of the digital world will do it no good. It’s vital to have a digital presence with the amount of people that use laptops, tablets, mobiles, and other digital devices. It’s as important for B2B organisations as it is for B2C companies. Most households have at least three digital devices that are in daily use so there’s no avoiding the fact that your business will be noticed much quicker by having a digital presence than they would without one. Getting the word out to potential customers has never been easier or more effective, so using digital marketing should really be a no-brainer!

To discuss how we can help you to plan and execute the perfect digital marketing campaign, call the Ketchup team on 0330 088 9277 or use the contact form here.

Oct
23
marketing differentiation

A – Z of Marketing: Differentiation

October 23, 2014 4:57 pm Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Differentiation

You can use all the marketing tricks in the book but if you don’t differentiate yourself from your competitors, you’ll be going nowhere fast. Why should your customers buy from you instead of your competitors? What makes you and your products and services so special? It’s important to find out what you have to offer before you start sending out adverts and e-mails, or creating blogs.

What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)? For example, two jewellery stores may be selling the same necklace, but one of those jewellery stores is offering free engraving when the necklace is purchased. Who do you think customers will buy from?

There are many different ways in which you could differentiate your business from your competitors.

  • Offer as many unique, high quality products and services as you possibly can. Take the time to find out what your USPs are, i.e. what’s unique about the products and services you are offering.
  • Make your product or service stand out by presenting it as the best deal within your area. For example, a dry cleaning service may charge by the garment but could attract more interest if they were to dry clean three garments for the price of two.
  • Find your niche in the market. If you have a business that’s offering unique products and services that are tailored to a specific audience, it’s more likely that you’ll attract them successfully and you can raise your prices because of the bespoke product/service you offer.
  • Make yourself known for something. If you have a special offer and people start talking about it, you could become known for it. It’s great if a leaflet comes through the door but if someone you know says, ‘Hey, ____ does a free valet on your car with every service’, you’re much more likely to go there, word of mouth is always best.
  • Have confidence in your products and services? It’s amazing how many businesses will boast about what they have on offer but never guarantee the results the customers are looking for. If you believe in what you’re selling, say so. Tell your customers that results are guaranteed or they’ll get their money back and their confidence in you will be immediately boosted.
  • Offer fantastic customer service. A happy customer is a customer that comes back, so you might try going out of your way to make them feel special; whether that’s with a discount, a gift or even a nice friendly chat. It will all make you stand out from the rest!

Differentiation is all about identifying and making your customers aware of what’s different about your business and why they should purchase what you’re offering. Taking the time to identify just what that is, and then capitalising on it will get your business noticed above your competitors which really is the overall objective.

If you want to make your customers aware of your USPs, or if you need help identifying them and think a third party could help, contact Michelle at Ketchup Marketing today on 0330 088 9277 or use the contact form here.

 

Oct
16
Brand Design

A – Z of Marketing: Design

October 16, 2014 4:45 pm Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Design

The whole purpose of marketing is to bring in more customers, and therefore increase sales. However, it isn’t just the presence of marketing that will do that, part of a great marketing strategy will include high quality and effective design that will appeal to your customers.

When you create a website, a logo, a newsletter, an advertisement, or anything else, you’re building a brand that people can recognise. The objective being that when a customer sees your brand, they will instantly know that it is a trustworthy and quality product or service. Therefore, if part of your brand and anything associated with your brand looks less than professional, your customers are going to second guess the values of the entire business.

What can good design can do for your business?

What do we mean by good design? Good design should be effective and professional, it should represent your company and appeal to your customers. Good design speaks for itself and will attract many more people than a design which obviously contains no effort or understanding of the organisation’s key customers. The design of your marketing doesn’t just have to catch someone’s attention, it has to keep it.

Any design work created for you should complement your business and the products and services you are selling. It’s important to know what will attract your customers and make them want to find out more about the business and what it does. For example, the colours, text, information, and images on your website should all be well-designed to incorporate what your customers will be drawn to.

A good Graphic Designer will take the time to understand your business and your market and will have the knowledge and experience to incorporate the right elements into an effective design. Every business is battling to be seen amongst the thousands of marketing messages broadcast each day, a visually appealing and well-designed message can really help to get you noticed.

Creating consistent and eye-catching design throughout your entire business, whether through an in-house team or an external agency, will maintain a level of communication between you and your customers. However, in order to get that relationship with your customers, you must first know them well enough to be able to predict how they will respond to certain visuals and designs. Many businesses have customers that will provide feedback or suggestions, so the task of designing with them in mind becomes easier. This will allow you to provide something they’ll actually want. For example, if you have a well-designed website, customers will actually want to voluntarily sign up for your newsletter, buy something from your online store, or watch a video targeted at them. If they find the design of your marketing collateral compelling enough, they may even share with friends and family on social networking sites which could increase the number of users you have.

Many businesses will tell you that great design work is one of the main reason for their marketing success.

If you need help with designing the perfect marketing collateral for your business, whether it’s print or online, contact Ketchup Marketing on 0330 088 9277 for an informal chat today or use the contact form here.

Oct
08
High quality data

A – Z of Marketing: Data

October 8, 2014 8:30 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Data

High quality data is the foundation of effective marketing. Collecting, analysing, and using data is the best way to get to know your customers better, and the more you know about your customers, the better you can tailor your marketing to them.

Whilst you need to keep the Data Protection Act in mind when it comes to your customer’s personal data, there is actually a lot of information you can collect without going against data protection legislation. For example, the buying habits of your customers, what method of payment they frequently use, where they are based, if they use computers, and much more. Collecting this kind of data and keeping records of the communication you receive from every customer will go a long way towards your business being able to offer the things that your customers actually want to buy and in a way that appeals to them.

Do you understand your customers?

The data you collect from existing or potential customers should allow you to make informed choices on what kind of products you stock or services you provide. For example, if you are a women’s fashion outlet, you should know the type of garments that are popular for each season, the trending colours, and why certain items won’t sell in the area you’re based. Once you know what will sell, it’s time to advertise it, but if you don’t know where your customers are looking, the word won’t get out. You need to find out if they have email addresses, if they use social networks, and what marketing channels they pay attention to. This way, you’re targeting the people that will bring you revenue.

High Quality data is also what enables the majority of businesses to personalise any communication with their customers. Customising your marketing messages means that you are much more likely to get a positive response to a campaign, and therefore meet your objectives.

So, how do you collect data?

For fresh data that’s being collected for the first time, the most obvious way of getting it is to interview your customers, either by a questionnaire, or asking them to leave comments and feedback on your website. You can also use online data capture by offering the opportunity to register for exclusive offers across multiple channels.

Monitoring activity and response to existing marketing campaigns can also enable you to get an insight into your customer’s behaviour. For example what products, services, or messages are getting the most attention on your social media accounts?

When you want to collect more specific data there are many companies that sell data that has already been collected. Make sure that this has been collected legally, the list members should have opted in to receive communication or for their information to be used for research purposes. This is a great way of getting the information you actually need quickly to produce the best service for your customers.

Before collecting all of this information you may want to invest in developing a good CRM system so that information can be recorded and stored safely in a way that will benefit you. CRM systems are also great for analysing your customer data, helping you to gain useful insights into customer behaviour and expectations.

If you don’t know anything about your customers, it’s almost guaranteed that your competitor does, and a dead certainty that those customers will buy from the company that best targets them. Therefore, whether you’re a start-up or an established business, collecting marketing data is just part and parcel of what it takes to make sure that your marketing activity is successful.

Need help using your data to target your customers? Contact Ketchup Marketing on 0330 088 9277 to discuss.

Sep
26
CRM

A-Z of Marketing – CRM

September 26, 2014 7:30 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing – CRM

A-Z of Marketing – Customer Relationship Management

Developing a good relationship with your customers is vital to a successful and long-lasting business. There are a few tried and tested methods that can help you to create relationships that can stand the test of time, and therefore create a constant flow of income to your business. Putting a strong customer relationship management strategy in place will allow you to keep track of your relationships with individual customers, your suppliers, and your colleagues. If you’re wondering what you can do to improve your CRM practices, take a look at some of the advice from the Ketchup team:

  • Understanding your customers – In order to look after your customers properly, you need to know about them. A CRM strategy allows you to gather information, such as a customer’s order history, order status; previous issues, you can even gather together information about their likes and dislikes. From the moment a customer engages with your business you can and should gather and store relevant information about them. This way, you can tailor your correspondence to cover the products, services, and information that they will be interested in. This is far more likely to result in sales!
  • Improved customer service – If a customer walks into a store or calls your customer service team and asks for an update on an order but the staff has no information, it isn’t going to encourage them to come back. By having all the information to hand you will build a smoother, more efficient customer service process. This will keep you customers happy and encourage long lasting and profitable relationships.
  • Managing enquiries and relationships – Do you know what your customers are asking for? By quickly responding to enquiries and developing an excellent level of customer service you can learn more about your target audience and how they are evolving. Using CRM systems and processes means that all this information is gathered together in one place which makes it much easier to read, analyse, and use to your advantage.
  • Collecting data – Once you know who your customers are, what they’re buying, and what they’re likely to buy, you can also tailor your market research to them, and your potential customers, so the information that they are presented with is relevant. The same goes for marketing messages and contact such as newsletters and emails. A customer is much more likely to open and view an email that contains something of interest to them and has been personalised rather than a generic email sent to everyone.
  • Increase referrals – One of the most rewarding points to using CRM is the fact that customers are more likely to pass things on to their friends because they have common interests. Therefore, if a message is personalised and they like what they see, the business will gain additional custom. This can happen in many forms; for example, sharing a Facebook post with friends.

There are so many advantages to using CRM in a business, and as customers become more interested in personalised messages and marketplaces becomes more competitive, it’s important that your methods of collecting, storing, and using customer data, are as advanced as possible. CRM will change the way your business is run and it will always be for the better!

At Ketchup Marketing we can help with all aspects of your marketing activity, from website design, to email marketing, and copywriting. We can help put all that lovely CRM data to great use, contact Michelle today on 0330 088 9277 to discuss your requirements or use our contact form here.

Sep
12

A-Z of Marketing: Copywriting

September 12, 2014 8:22 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Copywriting

There is nothing more likely to put off your customers than badly written copy, whether it’s on your website, in an email, or as part of an advertisement. Badly written copy gives the impression that the business simply isn’t interested in the finer details.

Unfortunately, as important as well written copy is, many businesses don’t feel that it warrants investment. Many write their copy themselves and don’t consider hiring a professional copywriter to do the job. This is a mistake we see made by businesses of all sizes, from freelancers to multi-million pound corporations. Everyone thinks that writing copy is easy, we all like to think of ourselves as writers and to a certain extent we are, but when it comes to writing copy for your business there are a few fundamental points that you should take into account before you attempt to produce copy yourself:

It’s not all about the words – producing copy and content that people will respond to is a skill, some may even say it’s an art. When we say it’s not all about the words, we are talking about the need to take into account the structure of your copy, the tone of voice used, and the ability to craft a persuasive call to action to ensure that you get your audience to respond in the right way.

The structure dictates how the reader progresses through the information you are providing them with. Starting the copy on your website page, in your brochure, or email the wrong way can mean that the reader never even gets beyond the first line, let alone clicks on the Buy Now button. If they do read on, you have to present the information you want them to see in the right way and order, leading them gently through and increasing the chances of engagement with your company, purchase of your product, etc…

Similarly, the tone of voice that you use has to be right for the audience you are speaking to. Use slang, acronyms, or language in the wrong way and you could lose your reader.

You need a plan – it’s not uncommon to think that to write effective copy you simply sit down and start bashing away at the keyboard. However, the best content is planned content, in the same way that Graphic Designers have to spend time thinking about and planning what they are going to design, you need to know what you are going to write about and how. Even sitting down and listing the key points you want to make, and the most effective order you can make them in, will put the finished piece ahead of much of the copy out there.

An English Tutor who has not spotted an error!Proofreading is vital – we often see copy on websites, in adverts and emails, even in glossy brochures and annual reports, which obviously hasn’t been proofread. Even the smallest spelling mistake can damage the acceptance of the information you are trying to present. This can be easily changed on a website, but it becomes more of a costly mistake if you have invested in a print run before noticing the error.

 

Make sure that the copy is run by an effective proofreader before you publish it – never proofread copy you’ve written yourself. You often read what you think is on the page rather than what’s actually there.

Whether you are designing a new brochure, having a new website built, or compiling your next newsletter, the quality of the copy is key. At Ketchup marketing we’ve helped many of our clients through our professional copywriting services and it’s true to say that they have often seen results far beyond their wildest expectations.

If you would like to discuss your copywriting requirements, please contact Michelle on 0330 088 9277 for an informal discussion or use the contact form here.

Sep
05
Competitors

A – Z of Marketing: Competitors

September 5, 2014 7:20 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Competitors

We continue our A-Z of Marketing blog series by looking at competitors. So often we get caught up in the day to day running of our businesses that we forget that we are not operating in isolation. Monitoring your competitors is key and luckily it’s never been easier, most of the time you can find all of the information that you need online, most of it is probably even on your competitors own websites.

At Ketchup we have a team of stealth experts who have helped many of our clients increase their understanding of their competition and what they are up against. More often than not, this understanding has led to greater success for their business.

So what information should you be looking out for when monitoring your competitors?

  1. New products/services or developments to existing offerings

If your competitors are launching new products and services, or making changes and developments to the products and services that they currently offer, you need to know. Any activity in this area will give you an idea of the direction the company is going in, and if they offer something you don’t and it’s proving popular, there’s no reason you can’t work on offering the same thing. This works particularly well if you can improve on what your competitor is offering, leaving you with the upper hand.

Set up an alert in Google alerts, monitor the news section on your competitor’s websites and, if relevant, keep up to date with local business news, and sign up to their newsletters.

  1. Details of new clients and case studies

Are your competitors getting a high number of new clients? This area of monitoring works particularly well for B2B organisations as they are more likely to announce a new client win or publish a case study about a particular project they have delivered. The number of new clients won will give you a good idea about the levels of success your competitor’s are seeing, any information in news stories or case studies will tell you more about their product/service offerings, implementation methods, USPs, etc…

For businesses with a B2C focus, keep a look out for statistics published online or in your competitor’s annual reports.

  1. Search engine rankings

Every business should have an understanding of the keywords and phrases their customers use to find the products and services they offer. Once you know which keywords and phrases work for your business you can use these to monitor how your competitors are performing, chances are that they are optimising the same keywords and phrases too. If they are above you in search engine results why? Are they using advertising such as AdWords and PPC to get to the top of the pile, is that something you should consider doing too?

You can tell a lot about your competitor’s approach by how they tackle SEO.

  1. Staff changes

Staff changes within companies can tell a much deeper story. Is staff turnover high? Are redundancies being made? Have they just brought on board a new CEO or senior managers? Have your competitors just bagged the latest talent?

Answers to all of these questions can give a real insight about what’s going on internally, whether it’s good or bad, and can help you to see the direction your competitors are heading in.

  1. Marketing campaigns and online activity

Monitoring the marketing activity carried out by your competitors can not only show you where the focus of their business lies, it can give you an idea of the size of their marketing budget. You may also pick up some inspiration for your own marketing campaigns.

The amount of money businesses allocate to marketing is a very telling sign. The marketing budget is often the first to be cut, so if one of your competitors used to spend thousands on marketing their products and services but has recently dropped off the radar or scaled back their marketing, this can be an indication about what’s happening within the business.

If you are not taking the time to monitor what your competitors are doing, not only are you missing out on potentially useful information, but you may fall behind in market share and industry developments. If you are the market leader you may fail to notice when your competitors are creeping up on you or using ideas and initiatives that you’ve previously executed to grow their own business. You might not be watching your competitors, but they will be watching you.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you to understand your competitors and how to monitor them effectively, call Michelle or Kate today on 0330 088 9277 or use the contact form here.

Aug
29
Marketing Budget

A – Z of Marketing: Budget

August 29, 2014 8:09 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Budget

Marketing Budget

When you are looking at how to market your business it is always advisable to look at setting a budget for the amount you want to spend specifically on marketing activity. This will allow you to focus your efforts and identify exactly how much return on investment you are getting from each marketing campaign you carry out. In fact setting a budget should be a key part of your overall marketing plan, one of the keys to successful marketing is strategic spending.

A common misconception, particularly among business start-ups and SMEs, is that to market your business effectively you need to invest a lot of money. The truth is that investing a certain amount in marketing activity is wise, but you should always stick to what you and the business can afford. You can always increase the amount over time.

We help a number of our clients manage their marketing budgets and we have identified some of the most effective options when setting a budget for your business:

  1. Percentage of turnover

This is one of the most common methods used by businesses to set a marketing budget. Depending on the industry you operate in, the average percentage of turnover spent on marketing activity ranges from 5 – 10%.

The benefits of this method are that the budget allocated will grow with your business and a specific amount of money is guaranteed for your marketing activity right from the off. However, should you have a slow year, with a lower level of turnover as a result, your marketing budget will be less. This is a mistake many organisations made throughout the economic downturn. At the time when they should have been demonstrating the value of their products and services to their customers, and differentiating themselves from competitors through effective marketing, many businesses scaled back their marketing budgets, causing sales to dip more than it would have had they ‘marketed through the crisis’.

It’s worth noting that even if you use this method, you should still set you objectives and plan your marketing activity for the year ahead. If you don’t you could overspend before the second quarter on any opportunity that comes your way.

  1. Per activity/campaign

For this budgeting method to be effective you need to plan your yearly activity in advance, research costs, set benchmarks, and identify ways to measure the success of your campaign all in one go. Planning your marketing activity is always preferable to winging it and you should have an idea of what marketing activity you will be carrying out and when, but if you max out your budget as part of your initial plan and then a fantastic opportunity comes up will you be in a position to take advantage of it?

Perhaps, if you feel that this method is the one that suits your business at the current time, you could plan the majority of your marketing activity but have a pot of money set aside for those unplanned opportunities that will inevitably come up throughout the year? Budgets are a fantastic part of the planning process but there should always be an element of flexibility, as there should be in your marketing plan as a whole.

  1. Last year’s budget plus a certain percentage/amount

This method takes into account the previous years’ performance and if the business is looking at growth over the coming year. If the next 12 months are looking positive then your will take last years’ budget and adds a bit more on top. For example, if you spent £20,000 on marketing last year, results were good and you want to build on last years’ success and increase your exposure, plus turnover projections are good for this year, you may add an extra £5,000 to make next years’ budget £25,000.

If the increase in turnover doesn’t happen then you could overspend. However if your marketing plan is flexible then you should be able to accommodate any changes as you go along.

  1. Per product or service

This budget setting technique can be especially useful if your business supplies a number of products and services, or trades in international markets. By treating each product or territory as a separate entity you are able to more accurately allocate costs – for example spending more on marketing to the US market than the UK market because that’s where the majority of your sales come from.

It also allows you to monitor results from your marketing activity in a number of ways which will probably match the methods you will use to analyse sales turnover. You can analyse ROI from marketing across the board, or break it down to focus on results by product or territory.

If you are looking for support for your marketing activity and would like to discuss what we can do with your marketing budget, call Michelle or Kate for an informal chat on 0330 088 9277 or us the contact form here.

Aug
22
Brand

A – Z of Marketing: Brand

August 22, 2014 3:16 pm Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Brand

What is a brand?

We have already touched on the subject of this subject in our beginners guide to branding blog but it’s worth touching on again as part of our A-Z of marketing series. A brand can offer enormous benefits to your business and, despite what many people think, building a strong brand is not just something for companies like Virgin, Apple, or BMW…

A brand is more than just your logo, your logo is simply a visual representation of your brand. It should incorporate your business name, products, and services, culture, and values. Your branding needs to appeal to your key stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers, and investors. Your brand values need to be communicated to, and run through, your entire organisation.

Loyalty

We all have brands that we display a certain level of loyalty to, whether it’s a specific coffee, shampoo, or even a particular supermarket or clothes store. What the marketing teams have done with these brands is invaluable to any business. By investing in and building the brand, from the imagery to the values and emotions associated with it, they have created a loyal customer base. This means that their competitors would have to work extremely hard, and potentially have to invest quite a bit of money, to knock them off the top spot.

Having a pool of customers who are loyal to you, your brand, and your products and services means that you will have a steady stream of income. Your customers will also be ambassadors for your brand, it is very likely that they will be recommending you to others, and people are more likely to buy from someone if they have been recommended by their peers.

Brand loyalty doesn’t just apply to customers, your employees will be loyal too. If your brand represents an enjoyable, rewarding, and supportive working environment and company culture, not only will you attract the best talent but you’ll keep them too.

Added Value

Along with loyalty, a well-established and successful brand can also add value to your products and services in the minds of your customers. Taking the shampoo example again, if you are loyal to a specific brand it is likely that your will be willing to pay more for that product.

Adding value through your brand, whether it’s a consumer good or a business service, means that you can charge based on the overall value you offer.

Differentiation

Let’s face it, in some industries it’s extremely difficult to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors. Building a well-established and recognisable brand could be your key to getting noticed longer term. A brand that resonates with your target market can often be the difference between noticing a business and what it has to offer and walking right on by and not registering it at all.

Building a brand is essential for your business, no matter what size. We don’t all have to be British Airways, KPMGs, or Gillette’s, but we do have to make an effort to grow within our market, attract and keep customers and employees, and differentiate ourselves from our competitors – your brand is key to achieving this.

If you would like some help building a successful brand call Michelle on 0330 088 9277 for a no obligation discussion or contact us using this form.

Aug
15
What makes a good blog

A – Z of Marketing: Blogs

August 15, 2014 8:58 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Blogs

Continuing our A-Z of marketing we are talking about blogging. The truth is that blogs are one of the most effective ways you can promote your business today. In the age of content marketing, the more useful information you can offer your customers and potential customers the better. You may have heard the term content marketing used a lot recently and it is something that you should be including in your marketing activity.

So what is content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s offering your customers information that they will find useful without obviously selling your products and services. Content marketing includes activities such as whitepapers, eBooks, vlogs, informational videos, hints and tips, and of course blog posts.

Running a blog is cost effective, easy to do with the right content, and can offer your business a number of key benefits such as:

  • Encouraging engagement with your business and its products and services – people love to read information that is designed to be useful to them. If you provide engaging and informative blog posts you will build up a following of people interested in the information, and hopefully, the products and services you provide. Research by Content Plus shows that company websites with regularly updated blogs result in 55% more visitors.
  • Positioning your business as a thought leader – this is perfect for high information and knowledge based industries such as marketing, IT, business consultancy, accountancy etc… or industries where the values of purchases are high and involved such as car manufacturers and retailers, or leisure and travel companies. By putting useful, informative, and non salesy blog content onto your website, or contributing as a guest blogger, you can soon build yours and your company’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry. People buy from people and companies that know what they are doing.
  • Increase trust – if someone has never brought from your organisation before, or they buy from you rarely, you can build an element of trust through your blog. As people read the information you put out there they will begin to get a better understanding of who you are, what you do and the benefits of using your products and services. This will build an element of trust and hopefully encourage them to purchase from you.
  • Increase your organic rankings in relevant search results – new and well written content is hugely beneficial to businesses in terms of being placed higher in organic search results, in fact Google has recently made changes to its algorithm so that useful content, such as blog posts, are rewarded more highly. According to Content Plus, blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  • Increase your market reach – people love to share and if you are providing useful and informative content on your blog it will be shared. This will increase awareness of your brand, products, and services; your audience will expand naturally, all you had to do was post some great content.

As with any marketing activity, if you do decide to add blogging to your marketing plan, there are pitfalls you should try to avoid. We help a number of clients get noticed through their blog so here are some tips for doing it right.

  1. Pick the right topics – the topics have to be useful and something that people would want to read. Offering advice, hints and tips, or an explanation of industry developments are always useful places to start.
  2. Jump on anything newsworthy – if something comes up in your industry that’s relevant to your customers, for example new legislation, a technological development, or even a failure of some kind, get your blog writer on it immediately. As news spreads people will be searching for relevant content, if you are one of the first to provide it you could get more exposure that you could ever get through paying for a print advertisement or attending an exhibition.
  3. Make sure your blogs are well written – this goes without saying, but for your opinion and information to be trusted your blog posts must be well written and easy to read. If they’re not people could switch off from the message you are trying to get across and you have lost any impact.
  4. Respond to comments – allow people to comment on your blog posts and you could receive some interesting insights and get into some useful discussions. Showing that you are happy to engage with people on your blog is great for your reputation.
  5. Market your blog posts – once your blog post is live you need to let people know that it’s there. Post a link on your social media networks and include the link in any email marketing you do. You can also find relevant topics on social media networks such as LinkedIn and on other blogs and comment on the topic whilst pointing people to your blog post. As you go on and your followers increase your content will be shared by them, it’s a bit of a snowball effect.

If you are looking for some help planning, writing, and marketing your blog posts then give Michelle or Kate a call on 0330 088 9277 today or use our contact form here.

Aug
08
Marketing Agency

A-Z of Marketing: Agency

August 8, 2014 9:00 am Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing: Agency

Your Marketing Agency

Business is changing and becoming more virtual. As a result more and more business owners and start-ups are recognising the benefits of outsourcing critical business functions that they cannot carry out effectively themselves. Outsourcing not only frees up your time to concentrate on running and growing your business, but outsourcing key functions, such as marketing, can help you save money and see better results faster because you are working with experts.

What does a marketing agency do?
There are many kinds of marketing agencies of various shapes and sizes; all offering different levels of marketing support. They can act as your complete marketing department, which is great for SMEs and business start-ups that do not require full time support. Alternatively, a marketing agency can support you or your in-house marketing team with specific projects such as a customer survey, website development, or event planning and marketing.

Many businesses outsource some aspect of their marketing at some point in time.

Some agencies specialise in a specific industry and only work with organisations providing products and services across that industry. Others are more general and apply their expertise to businesses across many different industries.

How does outsourcing your marketing work?
When you have made the decision to outsource all or part of your marketing activity, it is crucial that you find a marketing agency that is a good fit for your business. The agency should be curious about your business and want to know about the long and short term objectives, and how you see the agency fitting in with what you are trying to achieve.

It is advisable to discuss your requirements with a number of agencies so that you are sure of a cultural fit and high level of understanding about your business. You need to trust the marketing agency that you decide to work with, after all they will be handling one of the most important parts of your business, great marketing leads to business growth, increased sales, and a strong brand. Great marketing is the key to business success.

Why Ketchup Marketing?
Ketchup Marketing prides itself on being your complete outsourced marketing department. We are made up of a strong team of people from marketing experts to graphic designers, copywriters, and website developers.

Combined our team has many years of experience in successfully planning and executing marketing campaigns and activities for organisations across a number of industries. We take our time to get to know your business and will always put a firm strategic plan in place before we begin to roll out any marketing activity.

We offer a number of services, from setting your marketing strategy so that it supports your business’ overall objectives, and delivering effective marketing campaigns, to making sure that your website is ranked highly is search engines through our Pay per Click and SEO copywriting services. We can support you as your marketing department, or work with your existing marketing department when time is tight and you need our expertise for bigger projects.

We also offer top end skills without the big city price tag from our offices in the East Midlands.

If you are looking to outsource your marketing and don’t know where to start, call Michelle or Kate today on 0330 088 9277 or use our contact form here.

Jul
21
Advertising

A-Z of Marketing – Advertising

July 21, 2014 4:38 pm Published by Comments Off on A-Z of Marketing – Advertising

We continue our A-Z of marketing with one of the oldest marketing methods available, advertising. The first recorded piece of advertising dates back to well-known excavations such as Pompeii, where businesses would promote their wares and location through simple wall paintings.

The medium has changed a lot since then, and even over the last decade, with online advertising becoming an option alongside print, radio, and television advertising.

What is advertising?
Advertising is used by businesses to attract attention to their products and services whilst encouraging people to buy them. As with other marketing channels you only have a small amount of time to catch and keep your potential customers attention.

Advertisements need to be eye catching and keep information short, sharp, and relevant.

There are a number of mediums available and the main forms of advertising used today include:

  • Print advertising in magazines and newspapers.
  • Outdoor – posters such as those seen on the London Underground or at bus shelters.
  • Online – banners, MPUs, and skyscrapers on websites. More recently social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have launched their own advertising options.

Why advertise?
There has been talk over recent years about advertising becoming less effective, particularly through offline channels. However, if used as part of an overall marketing campaign which involves your target market seeing your message in a number of ways, and through a number of mediums, advertising is still an essential part of a marketer’s toolbox.

The great thing about the way advertising has evolved is that it has become easier to make interactive and measurable. Online advertising, unlike print, can be more accurately measured by monitoring impressions, click through and conversion rates. Even print advertising today often brings with it the opportunity for an online presence as many publications have moved with the times and now offer online versions.

Print advertising still works well in more niche publications such as trade magazines, you are hitting a more targeted set of readers, and in glossy magazines where taking out advertising space is still associated with glamour and success. Yes print advertising is harder to measure in terms of how many people actually see and take note of what you are offering, however, by placing an advertisement which includes a special offer or coupon with an associated code, you can easily track conversion rates and sales which are key metrics.

The new found interactivity of advertising online or on TV means that you can now point interested parties to all the information they need via a targeted landing page. You can offer special promotions because they’ve come to you through a specific advert, or you can offer them a free download, or the opportunity to request more information. The options are endless.

What to take into account when planning your campaign
Depending on the advertising channels you are using, there are a number of things to take into account when looking at placing an advertisement for your business.

  • What’s your key message and how will the advertising channels you are considering display it.
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of the campaign and do the channels you are looking at support that kind of measurement?
  • What is your definition of a successful campaign? Is it number of visitors to your website, number of enquiries, downloads, sales.
  • What is an acceptable cost per click /enquiry/sale for your business?
  • Are any of your competitors great at running advertising campaigns? What can you learn from them?
  • How much are you prepared to spend on your campaign?

How much should I invest?
Advertising is such a flexible medium that you can cater to most requirements and budgets. It all really depends on what you want to achieve and what budget you have available.

If you are looking for advice and how to get started call Ketchup Marketing today on 0330 088 9277.

Jun
14
Marketing Audit

A – Z of Marketing: Audit

June 14, 2014 9:06 am Published by Comments Off on A – Z of Marketing: Audit

What is a marketing audit?

If you want your business to succeed and grow, you need to market your products and services effectively. At Ketchup, that’s what we do, we work with businesses to ensure that they are marketing their products and services in the right way.

We’ve got a lot of marketing super brains in our team, even if we do say so ourselves, so we’ve decided to put together a series of blog posts covering the A-Z of marketing and how you can and should be using it within your business. This week we’ll be focusing on your starting point – the marketing audit.

Before you start to focus on your marketing and where you want it to take you and your business, it’s wise to get a feeling for where you actually are now. A marketing audit will essentially show you more about the environment you are operating in, what are your competitors up to for example, plus what you are doing well, and what areas can be improved upon in your current marketing activity.

Why should you complete a marketing audit?
The results from completing a marketing audit will show you your starting point. This will then enable you to identify the objectives for your marketing, enabling you to plan how marketing activity will be used to support your business going forward.

How do I complete a marketing audit?
The marketing audit will involve you taking a look at your organisation from the inside out and the outside in. The following steps should be taken when conducting your marketing audit:

1. Look at your company

As your company stands currently, how well known are you, what are sales levels like, how aware of you and your brand are your target market? What is the perception of your company and its’ products and services among your buyers?

Answering these questions with honesty and as much accuracy as you can will provide some very powerful insights. Maybe you are doing better than you thought or maybe there are some gaps between how you want to be perceived and how you actually are perceived.

2. Identify your objectives
What are your key objectives when it comes to your marketing and building your company? Do you feel that you need more visibility, are you hidden behind your competitors, do you need to increase sales leads and your market share? By getting your key goals down on paper you can then start to add some focus to future marketing efforts.

Separate your objectives based on long term – say the next 2 – 3 years – and short term, objectives you want to achieve over the next 6 – 12 months. Make sure you are realistic about this based on your team and the resources available to you.

3. Who buys from you now
Carry out a quick review of your customers. Where they are based, what jobs they do, what their income levels are, the typical lifestyle choices they make, what kind of companies they work for, etc… Obviously the questions you ask and the profile you build will depend on whether you are dealing with businesses or individuals.

What you want here is an overview of your ‘average’ customer.

4. Who would you like to buy from you in the future
Now that you have your customer overview you can make some decisions regarding your ‘ideal customer’. If you are already selling to your ideal customer then that’s great. Sometimes though you might want to look at people with higher levels of disposable income, bigger budgets, those who are more likely to repeat purchase etc…

Based on the information you already have, take a good look and identify how you can grow your business through the expansion or change of your current target market.

5. More about your product and service
What do you offer your current customers? What are the main features and benefits of your current products and services? Why do people buy from you? What do you offer that your competitors don’t and what do your competitors do better than you?

In the wider environment are there any factors affecting the use or adoption of your products and services? For example, new legislation, currency strength, or economic changes.

Has there been and increase or decrease in awareness and sales levels over time and what are the likely causes? Answers to these questions are designed to help you look at what you are offering in an objective way with the view to identifying strengths you can maximise and weaknesses you can work on to improve.

6. Your competitors
Who are your main competitors? If possible choose 5 or 6 of your closest competitors and really delve into what they offer and what their objectives and goals are (many organisations list this kind of information on their website these days). Take a good look at their products and services, what do they offer, to who, at what price. How are their products and services better than yours, be honest here! How are your products and services better than theirs?

This knowledge will help you to see the bigger picture when it comes to who and what you are competing with on a daily basis.

7. What’s currently working
As a business it is probably fairly obvious to you what’s worked and what hasn’t in terms of marketing activity over the years. The one thing that many business owners fail to do however is to sit down and look at why certain activity has been more successful and the way that they can improve on things even further.

Identify your most successful sales and marketing activity over the past 12 – 18 months and the reasons why it worked.

8. What’s the plan
Now it’s time to take the information you have and put it together into an outline marketing plan for the next 6 – 12 months. Take a look at your budget and revisit the objectives you want to achieve. Analyse the resources and knowledge you have in house, is it time to bring in extra resources or outsource some of your work to an agency? The information you have gathered during the previous steps should have gone a long way towards getting you clear on what needs to be done to take your business to the next level.

If you are looking for support with your marketing audit, planning, and activity going forward it might be time to speak to the experts. Call Ketchup Marketing  today on 0330 088 9277 or use our contact form here.

 

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