November 11, 2015 1:20 pm
After spending 5 weeks at Ketchup HQ, I have had the best experiences and learnt so much about the world of Marketing and working with local businesses. Here are some of the key messages from my time at Ketchup:
Knowledge is Power
It is vital that business owners understand who their target market is and how these clients engage with their business. Who is your ‘typical’ or most profitable customer? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? What brands do they buy? The answers to these kinds of questions will inform the style and tone of the Marketing materials produced for this group and will help make sure your Marketing is appropriate for these people. Those of you who know Michelle might have seen the Janet and John presentation…
Online – along the right lines?
While no-one can deny the importance of a professional website, not all aspects of online marketing are appropriate for every business. Business owners tend to view social media as an efficient way to boost their business profile, but certain industries are unlikely to increase their profits by 20% simply by tweeting about their work. For instance, cranes, labels, mezzanine floors and glue are not the sorts of posts likely to receive a record number of likes. Babies, food and pets, however, are. Equally, if you are going to have a Facebook or Twitter account, make sure it remains relevant and up-to-date, as it looks unprofessional if you started in earnest, but have made no effort to continue posting.
Branding: Three time’s a charm
Three really is the magic number in Marketing, with people needing to see a brand three times before remembering it. With this in mind, businesses need to ensure their Marketing message reaches their target audience enough times. There are many different ways of doing this, from offline A-boards to websites and online Facebook advertising. Likewise, being creative is a great way to be memorable, such as using different shapes for your Marketing material. However, businesses must ensure they have the money to execute a campaign effectively, and should have the 3 touch points goal in mind when budgeting.
For more insights into what I have gained from working at Ketchup, look out for my next blog.
To discuss how Ketchup Marketing can help your business, use the contact form here or visit the website for more information.
December 15, 2014 12:44 pm
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 SEO – Search 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.
November 5, 2014 9:21 am
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.
October 16, 2014 4:45 pm
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.
August 22, 2014 3:16 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 18, 2014 8:42 am
One of the most common misconceptions we come across as a marketing agency is that branding is only for the big boys and is too complicated and expensive for SMEs. Nothing could be further from the truth; many businesses of all shapes and sizes have achieved great success from developing a well-known brand within their marketplace.
What is a brand?
Many people are under the impression that a brand is an expensive logo, but it’s so much more than that, your logo and the colours/designs that you use represent the kind of business you are, your culture, and values. The logo is simply an image, a brand encompasses everything.
The aim of your brand is to get people to associate it with the products and services you provide. It should help distinguish you from your competitors and help customers choose you over them. Not only that, it should create a positive emotional response within your customers and potential customers.
Examples of brands that have nailed this are:
Disney – the brand just makes you feel happy
BMW – quality, status, success
Amazon – reliability, variety, fast delivery, quality
Visual brand representation
Logos, colours, and fonts all represent the visual aspect of your brand. To make these effective for your business, and to begin to build a brand that is recognisable and linked to quality products and services, you need to make sure it is used correctly.
You can maximise the visual representation of your brand by adding it to everything you put out into the marketplace, from your website and email signatures, to business cards, product manuals, and building signage. Download our branding signals document for more ideas about where to use your brand.
Emotional brand response
We touched on the emotional response of brands earlier but what is behind this response? The visual representation of your brand, i.e. your logo, is the vehicle for people recognising the company but it, in itself, will not create an emotional response.
The emotional response comes from a number of factors
- Your products and services – why do people buy what you offer, is it a symbol of success, does it make them feel good etc..?
- Your customer service – how do your customers feel when they are dealing with your company?
- Your staff – do your employees enhance your brand and the customer experience through the way that they act internally and externally?
- The messages you put out into the marketplace – what tone of voice do you use, what response are you trying to get from your audience, why should they buy your products and services?
The implications of not building a strong brand
The implications of not investing in and building a professional brand can be far reaching. Today business is more competitive than ever and with the ability to get your business online and out to the masses instantly, you need a strong brand to back up the messages about your products and services.
Some of the main implications of not having a strong brand include:
- You will get lost in the crowd – If you don’t build a strong brand you can lose out to your competitors and get lost in the crowd. People need to recognise and relate to your business, branding is one of the key ways to begin building recognition and relationships with your customers. A strong brand, which incorporates everything mentioned in this article, will enable you to stand out from your competitors, therefore increasing interest in your business and what it has to offer.
- Your products and services won’t seem as valuable to customers – one of the key benefits of a strong brand is that it actually adds value to your products and services. Why else would we pay so much more for branded items, such as coffee, when the supermarket’s own brand is half the price?
- Not having a brand, even if it’s a personal one, can impact on customer relationships – your customers will be filtering a lot of promotional information throughout the day, you need to have something up your sleeve that will make them sit up and take notice. A strong brand is a great start.
- Harder to establish loyalty from customers – in some marketplaces and for some products and services brand loyalty is everything, from going to a particular hair salon to only buying a specific brand of cola. Building brand loyalty increases repeat business and creates ambassadors for your company.
If you are looking for some expert help with your branding, call Michelle now on 0330 088 9277. Start building your brand today!
August 21, 2013 10:14 am
According to a recent Survey conducted by Live & Breathe, 73% of shoppers care that the nations high street are in decline, and a good proportion of them are worried about their local high street.
At Ketchup Marketing we have been working with two local independent retailers in Oakham, in two very different businesses, selling products which are poles apart. They seem to be rather pleased with the results so far, so we thought we’d share our top ten tips for independent retailers.
- Make sure you have a good, clear sign which is perpendicular to the front of your shop so that pedestrians and traffic can see you on their approach.
- Make sure any offers or discounts you’re promoting aren’t devaluing your customer’s buying experience. Nothing like screams “naff” more than massive “SALE” signs in your window.
- Sell baskets. Before you try and sell anything to anyone, make sure they have a basket in their hand. Studies prove that having a basket increases the average transaction value at the till.
- Use music (as long as you have appropriate licences in place) to enhance the experience. Fast music speeds up your shoppers. Slow music slows them down.
- Similarly, shoppers are shown to slow down and ponder over goods where the lighting is slightly dimmer than the rest of the store.
- Position your most profitable goods at eye level. Eye level is buy level.
- Make sure your team in-store are empowered to deal with problems quickly – everyone should know what the process is for handling a complaint, return etc.
- Monitor what sells, and what doesn’t. Move your stock around to see if that changes the results.
- Position goods strategically – between 4pm and 8pm a certain supermarket chain positions nappies near beer, so that fathers on the way home from work, when requested by their partner to pick up more nappies, will “just happen” to pick up a four pack of tinnies too.
- Use your window display like a billboard advertisement – create something that’s going to inspire your customers to buy – change it regularly, use it to showcase your best products, with messages calling customers into the store. If you’d had to pay for an advertising space that big I’m sure you’d think about it really carefully, so do that with each new window display.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retail marketing and merchandising, and if you want to know more then give us a call on 0330 088 9277 and we’ll be delighted to see how we can help you.
There’s no excuse for just being lazy!
August 12, 2013 1:03 pm
Years ago, Siouxsie Sioux (of punk & goth-pop fame, for the benefit of younger readers, and by default, showing our age) commented that people just don’t pick holes out of society anymore. Perhaps we’re all becoming lazy. Lazy with our marketing too? Well we’d hope not…
There are many famous and amusing marketing blunders that spring to mind …Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux using “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” in one US ad campaign, and Vauxhall didn’t think to change their Nova model’s name so when it launched in Spain the locals thought it was a car called “doesn’t go”.
Well the Ketchup team were out and about in Birmingham in July and saw this lovely campaign The Big Bandage which is an initiative to raise support for the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Great idea, really nice branding which is consistent across their web presence as well as this ambient media – and this was a particularly novel way of taking the message to the people – but something was wrong. And it was one of those things we’d spot – picky as we are.
The last time we used a safety pin in the office was to hold Gary’s shirt closed when he realised he’d lost a button in a critical place, just before an important client meeting. And so we can say with some confidence that the safety pin holding the bandage around the injured tail of our four legged cow friend above was, in fact, the wrong way around.
We marketing folk can’t be perfect all of the time, but there’s no excuse for just being lazy.
If you need an injection of marketing brilliance, ask our (ever so picky!) team to come and help you with your next marketing campaign; just call us on 0330 088 9277 or contact Michelle here.
“Hi, I am rich, marry me!”
June 26, 2013 10:00 am
Gary stumbled across this joke again on Twitter the other day about marketing that has been doing the rounds for a while, but we thought it was still worth sharing…
“You see a gorgeous girl at a party and you say to her “Hi, I am rich, Marry me!” ~ That is Direct Marketing.
If she walks up to you and says, “Hi, you are very rich, I want to marry you” ~ That is Brand Recognition.
If you call her the next day and say, “I am very rich, Marry me” ~ That is Telemarketing.
If she slaps your face when you say “Marry me” ~ That is Customer Feedback.”
Funny? We liked it. But we also smile at this bit that can be added on:
“One of your mates says that there’s a gorgeous girl you should marry” ~ That’s social marketing.”
And hopefully, in a nutshell, that explains why using social media can help your business. Using Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to share not only your thoughts and ideas, but also good contacts via great public testimonials. 3rd party endorsements have massive influence and, if harnessed correctly, can be a hugely important addition to your over-arching marketing strategy.
If you think you “could do better” (as my teacher used to say!) with using social media as part of your marketing mix, then drop Michelle a line on 0330 088 9277. She is married though, so don’t go getting any funny ideas 🙂
It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today...
May 31, 2013 2:12 pm
It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today. I shouldn’t really, the sun’s finally out and at Ketchup Marketing HQ the atmosphere is bubbling with focused creative energy as we busy ourselves with some juicy projects… but something has been irritating me.
Over the last few weeks I’ve spotted that a couple of local small businesses have invested in A-boards. A-boards and other such signage can be a great way to attract passing pedestrians into your premises, but getting the message and position right is critical. The thing that has irked me is that these two new, shiny A-boards are situated on a busy A-road, so very few passers-by on foot. Most people who spot them will be, like me, driving past at 40 mph. And guess what? You can’t actually see what the boards say from your car at that speed.
It bothers me on two levels; As a marketing professional as well as from the point of view of a small business owner in tough economic times, we all want as much bang for our buck as possible. So spending a couple of hundred quid on something that has no impact whatsoever actually makes me feel a bit sad that these small businesses have wasted their hard earned money. Yes, yes, it’s my usual mantra about return on investment. For the same money – or less, the businesses could have chosen something much more effective – a vinyl banner, a sign positioned perpendicular to the building, posters, or leaflets distributed to target postcodes.
Here at Ketchup Marketing we wouldn’t dream of selling you an ineffective “solution” to help you attract more customers. If you have a store and you want more people to come into it, we can advise you on how best to get your message to people (one that is meaningful, and importantly, one that they can actually read) to maximise your return on your marketing spend. So, give me, Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277 and I (and Gary) will help you avoid the A-road-A-board error, among others.
Yes it's that time of year again...
April 26, 2013 2:56 pm
Yes, it’s that time of year again, the sun’s come out (finally) and shown us the cobweb that was sitting unnoticed high-up in the design studio, and that shiny, sticky bit of wall behind the spray mount cabinet where the propelled glue has managed to creep around the guard and land on the paintwork.
Mr Tommy Ketchup
So, at Ketchup HQ we got busy yesterday morning. Not with client work (although we probably should have done) but instead with our environment. We moved the desks and vacuumed underneath and behind them, washed the cushion covers on the sofas and even Tommy Ketchup’s bed got the once over. He doesn’t like it as much now since it doesn’t smell of him anymore.
It makes you feel good to have a bit of a once-over. It re-confirms your faith in what you’re doing, renews and revitalises you. And yes, perhaps you saw it coming, but it’s worth doing that once in a while for your website, too. A bit of a ‘website MOT’ can work wonders for your marketing and taking the time to invest in that can pay dividends.
A bit of an update, a cheeky tweak to a page that could be converting better, a slight reformatting of contact forms, adding your Twitter or Facebook feeds… all of these things can have the effect of making your site easier to find in Google, more user-friendly and more sticky – that is, makes your visitor stay on the site a bit longer, read just a bit more and potentially become a customer.
Think of it as a spring clean of your online presence. And it’s a spring clean that needn’t cost you anything since we offer a free audit of your website as standard. Sound appealing? Feel the urge to get the digital duster and virtual polish out? Then give Michelle a buzz on 0330 088 9277 and them maybe she’ll get down from up that ladder where she’s cleaning the windows. Seriously, she’s gone a bit obsessive, please, call her now – if only for the sanity of the rest of the studio!
Original Thinking – No Artificial Additives
A hedgehog smoking a pipe
April 10, 2012 9:14 am
Life’s a pitch – part two
Those of us in this industry with long memories talk glowingly of the time when prospective clients actually had something called a pitch budget. That’s right; they would see choosing a new advertising and marketing agency as akin to hiring new staff, and have recruitment costs built into their business overheads projections. They would pay agency pitch expenses. Those were the days.
Yes, they actually shot the pilot
Then they realised agencies would pitch for free, and the budgets disappeared. Of course, in advertising ‘free’ is a four letter word, so costs were recouped via other channels. But the expense was spiralling out of hand – some agencies were shooting pilot commercials for new business presentations – until a select band of London agencies stopped doing creative pitches altogether, relying on presenting their credentials instead. (Bartle Bogart Hegarty was one of them and they now work with British Airways, Dulux and Google, amongst others.)
Well, we tried that with The Caravan Club (see Life’s a Pitch – Part One) and it went down like an Elddis Buccaneer off Land’s End.
A hedgehog smoking a pipe
So for Parkers Cars – part of the massive Bauer Media group – we did it differently. We went in with three different strategic routes. We created concepts and wrote baselines for each route together with some carefully crafted copy. We created layouts with three different visual identities. And, because the art of advertising is to persuade people to buy stuff without them being able to see how you’re talking them into it, we produced full creative rationales for everything we’d done. So Parkers would see the full cunningness of our ideas.
Well, sometimes clients think you just make things up for the hell of it. I know – let’s stick in a picture of a hedgehog smoking a meerschaum pipe, that’ll flog a few cars!
A foot in the door. As it slammed closed
So did we win the business? Well, we made useful contacts and the people we impressed will certainly consider working with us going forward. So that’s a ‘no’ then. Maybe that hedgehog wasn’t such a bad idea ….
Life’s a pitch – part 1