Just who is managing who these days?
Nov
11

Social Media Marketing

November 11, 2013 10:30 am Published by Comments Off on Social Media Marketing

Just Who’s Managing Who These Days?

A few years ago, we used to impart our wisdom to clients along these lines: “If someone gives you a bad review online, don’t feel that you need to react immediately – wait for your loyal customers to jump to your defence first, and then approach the complainant and try and resolve any problem.” Having one of your customers defend you is far more powerful than jumping into your own defensive position straight away, and will be perceived much more positively by third parties. And no-one wants to witness a public argument… or at least that’s how it was a few years ago.

While in some situations that advice is still relevant, the power of the public complaint via Facebook or Twitter now requires businesses to proactively monitor what’s going on – and the manner in which any complaint is handled is also very public.

Many large businesses now have adopted a strategy whereby they have a Twitter and Facebook account for the promotional messages and engaging their audience, running in parallel with a “Customer Services” account where grumpy customers can vent their spleen in a very public fashion by Tweeting to them directly, mentioning their business name or Twitter handle in a Tweet, or writing on their Facebook Wall.

This manner of complaining is becoming increasingly popular among frustrated customers, unhappy with the quality of a product or standard of service. We recently watched with unbridled glee as one of our associates decided to use this very forum to tackle a sofa retailer. After 7 months of chasing them by telephone to sort out a problem with the sofa she’d bought, she snapped and wrote a polite but lengthy wall post on their Facebook page, detailing date by date how they had failed her on a number of occasions. Within 15 minutes she had a response, and the same morning a refund was paid by the sofa firm, who will remain nameless.

The moral of this story? Using Social Media as a marketing tool is often a critical part of a business’s marketing plan these days, but it’s not just a case of shouting about how great you are, it’s about making sure that you are responding to your clients and customers, while managing any ‘tricky’ conversations in such a way that you are reinforcing your positive brand image – because otherwise you are having a very public argument indeed.

Need help managing your social media? Want to make sure your presence on Twitter and Facebook does your business justice? We can help – just pick up the phone to Ketchup Marketing and ask for Michelle on 0330 088 9277 or email on michelle@ketchup-marketing.co.uk or @ketchuptweets

“Hi, I am rich, marry me!”
Jun
26

Sorry, what did you say Marketing was again?

June 26, 2013 10:00 am Published by Comments Off on Sorry, what did you say Marketing was again?

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 🙂

Getting bogged down in data
Jun
18

Getting bogged down in data

June 18, 2013 10:00 am Published by Comments Off on Getting bogged down in data

blog-ogilvy

It’s not sexy, management information… data…stats… stuff that needs interrogating to tell you that what you’re doing in your business is either working or not.

We always wished Ogilvy hadn’t uttered the immortal words about only half his advertising working but he didn’t know which half.  We can’t be so blasé these days, we need to make every penny count, give us a return on our investment.

That’s why we build tracking into every single website project we take on. Basically what it does is monitor how visitors find, use and share the information that’s been published online. So, how many people visit your website each day? Are they unique visitors or do they come back regularly? What page do they land on – and what page do they leave from? And what about the emails you send? Do you actually know who reads them?

Don’t get the wrong idea, all of this information can get overwhelming, but without it you’re really only partly guessing about which of your marketing efforts are making a difference to your business performance.

Equally, make sure that you are interpreting the data with some context.

For example if your data report tells you that someone opened your email really soon after you sent it, maybe that just means they were taking a quick look to make sure it wasn’t important before hitting delete to clear their inbox.

And if someone is looking at every page on your website, is it because they love it so much they need to investigate every conceivable corner of your web presence? Or just that they can’t find what they’re looking for?

It’s fair to say there is always a risk that you can misinterpret your web stats. But it can also be harnessed to powerful effect; our tracking software will give the IP address of the visitor – just think, how could you use this information?

Also, we make a point of testing various homepage designs for larger projects – which means that when your site launches. You’re going to be safe in the knowledge that the user will find it easy on the eye as well as easy to buy into (or from, in the case of e-commerce sites).

The moral of this story?  If your website and email marketing constitutes half of your marketing budget (other marketing methods are available!)  make sure you know it’s working for you. That’s not to say that you should apply the same principle to the other half. Want to know how Ketchup can help you?  Call Michelle Ogilvy Jones on 0330 088 9277

Jun
10

What price quality?

June 10, 2013 10:00 pm Published by Comments Off on What price quality?

When you’re out networking, as many busy business-owners & directors do week-in, week-out, you build up a great rapport with some of the contacts you make, and this can lead to great introductions and ultimately, convert into paid work.

It’s good practice to tweak your pitch, see what generates a good response, see what seem to hit people’s hot buttons, and then keep on honing it to perfection. Also, it pays to mix it up a bit if you’ve got a particular offer or deal, or if you’re swamped with one kind of project and need to keep your whole team busy by promoting one of your other products or services.

So the other week Michelle ventured out to networking group she’d been going to for a while.  A nice bunch of people, and a lovely venue.  We have, to be fair, been absolutely stacked in the studio with website work, so this time we’d decided in advance to promote more of the strategic marketing side of the business.

All was going well until in passing someone said how much they’d love to work with us, but that they simply couldn’t afford it. Now, alarm bells were set a-ringing by that, not because we didn’t like people to think we might be fractionally more expensive than the next agency, but because after having invested time and effort in promoting our technical expertise and great creative thinking, but because the individual concerned couldn’t see that as a general rule ‘you get what you pay for’.

There is a common misconception in small business that in order to be competitive you need to undercut the competition. No you don’t. You need to differentiate yourselves from it, add value to every stage of every transaction and deliver what you said you would at the time you said you’d deliver it. In so doing, you’re justifying the extra little bit of money you might be charging – because people are buying your expertise.

Let’s put it like this; If you’re booking a flight with a budget airline, the headline price might seem great.  But then you end up getting charged for your hand luggage, charged to book your seat, charged if you check in at the airport, charged for your in-flight meal, charged extra to pay by debit card or credit card when you pay… and actually it adds up to double what you originally thought. Whereas if you booked with a non-budget airline, the ticket price you pay includes all of those extras. The same applies when you’re choosing your agency.

So yes, it’s true that we aren’t the kind of agency that promotes an inexpensive service. There is a perception that perhaps we are more expensive than the next agency. But it’s funny how things transpire… a couple of projects we’d lost based on price earlier this year are now back with us. So perhaps alarm bells needn’t have rung quite so loudly after all.

If you’d like to have a chat with Michelle, and get a quote for marketing strategy, a new website, social media management, email marketing or SEO… then pick up the phone and dial 0330 088 9277.  After she’s gently grilled you (!) to make sure you know what you want, she’ll  meet you to get a clear understanding of your business & she’ll prepare a no obligation quote for you.  And if you go ahead with your project, unless you suddenly ask for something extra, they price you are quoted is the price you’ll pay.

Simple as that!

May
20

Oh Blogger It!

May 20, 2013 11:17 am Published by Comments Off on Oh Blogger It!

Ever look at your own website and think it’s not quite up to scratch? Fed up of the familiar colourways, images and calls to action?  Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.  Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are those who are most self-critical – they’re always trying to improve and innovate, and there’s nothing bad about that.

All of your online and offline marketing presence whether it’s your tweets, press adverts or glossy brochures have been created by you and your agency to pitch you differently to those of your competitors. And bench-marking them against what your competition pumps out is a good exercise to do now and then – but don’t compare them like-for-like – yours are meant to be different – that’s half the point.

It’s easy to get bored with the way your business presents itself when you are in the thick of it, day in-day out.  And that’s often the case with your blog articles too.  You scrutinise them, pick holes in them, spell-check them, read them over and over again for some grammatical flaw that you think everyone will notice (but chances are they probably won’t) so it’s no wonder that you pause just before you hit ‘publish’ … of course you’re going to be bored of them if you’ve just spent hours writing/rewriting and generally faffing around with them to achieve some kind of impossible perfection.

This is where you need to go and do something totally different, grab a cuppa with a business associate or maybe a mentor who you can trust to give you a bit of reassurance.  This is the better response than running off to a new agency crying “ Please change everything I have spent the last X number of years developing!!”

Don’t get me wrong, we’re always happy to do a brand refresh for a client or give strategic marketing input – that’s where we excel – but just because you’ve got a bit bored with the way you market your business it doesn’t mean your customers have.

Think about the Kelloggs Corn Flakes Chicken (Or is it a Cockerel? See, it’s OK to admit you don’t have all the answers…) but back to the point, which is, that poultry personality has been on the front of the Corn Flakes box since the very beginning. It has a bit of an image update every few years, but it’s never been replaced by a Turkey.  Or a Pig. Or a Duck.  See, our knowledge of farm animals isn’t perhaps the best either but that’s fine, because we’re not in the business of farming.

If your blogging and tweeting and literature and press ads and the service you give to your treasured customers is working, don’t go messing with it.  And don’t worry if you feel it’s not quite as cool as your competitor’s – chances are that they are having those same painful moments of self-doubt as you are.

If however you simply can’t escape the thought that your marketing just isn’t working, by all means give Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277. Michelle will tell you straight, based on proper research and insight if you can improve what you’re doing.  And if she doesn’t think you can, then she’s not going to try and convince you otherwise and sell you anything unnecessary.  This is the Ketchup commitment that you can trust.

 

 

“Happy Hour”
May
16

“Happy Hour”

May 16, 2013 10:07 am Published by Comments Off on “Happy Hour”

Will you ask our brand consultants and copywriting team to create new product names, or devise a new proposition and strap line for your business?

Will you have our designers re-lay a page of your website to demonstrate how it could gain added sales appeal and more standout from your competitors?

Or will you ask our experts to review your SEO to make attract the right customers – in greater volume – to your site? Or make sure it’s ‘cookie clean’ and complies with the latest regulatory requirements?

Take advantage of our offer of a FREE HOUR of creative/expert insight. Call us now to discuss your project.

We’ll even include our initial consultation, into the bargain.

For more info, click here or phone Michelle Jones, Marketing Director on 0330 088 9277 or 07747 604020.

May
01

The Role of PR for SMEs

May 1, 2013 3:37 pm Published by Comments Off on The Role of PR for SMEs

We don’t really do PR here at Ketchup. Or do we?

We do talk a great deal about embracing the whole marketing mix when it comes to promoting your brand – and in this current economic climate, small and medium-sized enterprises need to be aware of the many factors which will either strengthen or threaten their existence in the short, medium and long term. While SMEs need to be concerned with investing in their marketing strategy & shoring up their sales pipeline to ensure a secure and efficient revenue chain, a healthy PR campaign is a valuable addition to the mix.

Many traditional thinkers still believe that public relations deals only within the realm of damage limitation or engaging current clients and a very specific target audience; however with the advent of social media and with the subsequent increased leverage associated with such marketing communications, the correct targeting of a public relations campaign has never been more important. Forward thinking dictates that social media networking is fast becoming the preferred method of marketing for many global businesses.

The benefit that these have for SME’s is that there is usually little if any monetary investment while exposure can be phenomenal. It is therefore essential to gain a direct working knowledge of these sites; from such aspects as how to write a press release to how to actively engage the correct leads. The fundamental concept which needs to be recognised is that social networks are the marketplace of the future. In fact, if employed correctly, such word-of-mouth advertising can have the added benefit of generating more leads simply by increased social interest.

The principal benefit for small businesses is that this is still considered a niche market for many larger corporations. What presents itself here is a genuine opportunity to slide the proverbial “foot in the door” of what is proving to be a truly global marketplace. For guidance on your marketing strategy and how you can integrate social media into your marketing mix, call Michelle on 0330 088 9277

Apr
02

How many beans make five? Is it nine?

April 2, 2013 9:00 am Published by Comments Off on How many beans make five? Is it nine?

At Ketchup we’re rather proud of the fact that our most successful new business initiatives are the ones our clients run on our behalf. In other words, most of our business comes from positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.

Second to client recommendations comes our website, which pulls strongly. As you’d hope, since we’re in the business.

Amongst the recent leads generated by our site was the invitation to tender for the copywriting and design of a new website for a large firm of accountants; Acme Bean Counters or ABC Ltd. You may have heard of them.

(We think that years ago they cunningly contrived their name to give them lead position in the Yellow Pages but, as often happens when firms do their own marketing, their plans didn’t add up. Aaron Aardvark Accountants (AAA) beat them to it.)

Anyway, that’s another story and we could spend all day inventing names for companies. In fact, our copywriting team often does.

50 pages of carefully crafted copy before lunch 

ABC wanted a quote for design and copywriting for a comprehensive, 50+ page site. Our lead copywriter did two separate estimates; one for a full site, the other for just creating copy for the 15 or so key pages.

ABC baulked at both prices. Which is odd, because our rates for copywriting are about a tenth of their rates for tax accounting.

‘We thought it would only take a couple of hours’ they said. Why? As accountants surely they could have figured out that writing fifty pages in – say – four hours meant we’d be spending just over 4 minutes on each page. We’re fast, but…

Even if it were physically possible, would you want your website – your primary point of contact with new business prospects – chucked together in under five minutes a page?

Then the Bean Counters came up with another plan. Could a copywriter spend a day with them showing them how it’s done? Because, of course, you can learn everything you need to know about marketing in a day, can’t you?

Astoundingly, we heard ourselves saying OK. Well, we try to be helpful. We also wanted to see how employing one of their £600-an-hour accountants to write 50 pages of web copy was going to save them money.

And we also thought we might pick up some tips on doing our books ourselves.

 

For more information regarding our copywriting or web design service please give Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277 or use our contact form here.

Mar
26

Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 2

March 26, 2013 10:25 am Published by Comments Off on Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 2

We have so much good advice for you but we know that if we squeezed too much into one article, you’d have been saturated with information and might miss something important. So here’s part two of our top tips for your website article (part one can be found here)

  1. Good navigation that’s clear and easy to follow is key.  No-one enjoys getting lost in the real world, so they won’t enjoy getting lost in a virtual one either.
  2. Keep any links current.  Broken links are a sign of a website that is neglected. Google won’t like it either.
  3. Be careful what colours you use.  You need your site to be on-brand but be aware of the messages colours send. And Fonts for that matter.  Avoid Comic Sans at all costs!
  4. Want your website to look good when you’re browsing on your mobile phone? Tell your web agency in advance so that can be taken into account when designing it.
  5. Don’t bury your key message several clicks away – it needs to be communicated on the home page.
  6. Make sure the images you’re using aren’t huge files that will take ages to load. We’re all in a rush these days and a couple of seconds delay will mean people navigate away from your site.
  7. No pop-up adverts please! How irritating. And they make your site look spammy.
  8. Relevant, in-bound links will improve your search engine rankings, so encourage appropriate businesses in your network to link to your website from theirs.
  9. Write using your customers’ language. Use keyword research to find out how people describe your product / service.
  10. Make sure your site is accessible to as many people and systems as possible.  Even colour-blindness can affect someone’s ability to use your website.

Food for thought?  Feel free to get in touch with us to see how we can help you market your business more effectively.

 

Nov
15

Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

November 15, 2012 7:22 pm Published by Comments Off on Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

… from Ketchup Marketing

In 2012 Ketchup Marketing have designed, built and launched 24 websites (another 9 are pending pre Christmas Launch), of these bespoke websites 22 have an integrated WordPress blog, so we are often asked “What makes a good blog post?”, of course the answer will differ depending on your business sector and your marketing strategy, but as a starter for 10, here are our top ten tips for the business blog writer:

1. Talk to your audience

Who is your audience? Who is reading your blog, have you looked at your web stats?

2. Keep to one audience.

You are likely to have more than one target audience, so keep the brand message and tone consistent throughout your blog, whether you are writing about new products / services or recruiting. A good idea is to lead the blog with a question and then answer it within the blog post, for example How do I write copy for a website?

3. Think word count.

A good blog article should be between 250 and 400 words easy and quick to read to keep the reader entertained and to read your full message and any call to action.  If your article needs more words then consider splitting into in to  2 or 3 parts, and then use links to drive the visitors to these other article.

4. Good blog posts are easy to read.

Use lists or sub heading to make for easy reading.

5. Good blog posts actually say something.

Of course it is ok to comment about a recent event or news within your industry, for example commenting on the Christmas advertising of the big brands, but ensure that your blog starts and ends with a story or reason, plus reinforce this with a call to action, for example “hey John Lewis give Ketchup a call next year we will help you spend your marketing budget” 🙂

If you are unsure of the content ask a colleague or a friend to sense check it.

6. Good blog posts don’t have to be works of art.

You are unlikely to win any literary awards for your blog, but as long as you keep to our top ten tips people will come back for more.

7. Good blog posts show your expertise, they don’t yell at you.

Show your readers you are a great company, showcase your expertise, don’t tell them you are great at designing websites or creating email campaigns, build up trust, show expertise, use testimonials.

8. Good blog posts use a headline and sub heading.

Remember your keywords, use interesting language or question to encourage readers. You can look back over past blogs and see what have been the most successful headlines.

9. Good blog posts use keywords and are SEO optimized

See point 8, for further information on SEO can be found here

10. Good blog posts include a call to action.

A blog should avoid a hard sell, but include a CTA, this could be to another related blog post or to leave a comment, or to take the reader to twitter / facebook or linked in.

Well, there are my top 10 hints and tips for a new blog writer, please comment, please add more.

Happy Blogging.

About the Author: Michelle Jones is the owner, founder and steering force of Ketchup Marketing. Established in 2009 and based in Long Clawson, near Melton Mowbray Ketchup delivers full branding and strategy to local SME’s. A selection of recent work can be found here.

 

 

Jun
19

EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

June 19, 2012 8:49 am Published by Comments Off on EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

Half-baked EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

Following straight bananas and standard-sized apples, the EU has passed a law on cookies. Snack-lovers needn’t worry though, these are the cookies that live on websites, not in biscuit tins. British companies, on the other hand, should be worried.

Potential fines of up to £500,000

From the end of May 2012, the UK government been enforcing this European Union law – passed in May 2011 – and the penalties could be quite severe for those companies found not to be complying with it.

So the big questions for you are….does your website contain cookies and are you contravening the law by not giving visitors the right information and options about computering cookies stored on their computers?

The big answers are ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’

For a technical explanation of exactly what cookies do, please see below or talk to John, our SEO Director. But basically a cookie is a small file that allows the site to remember data about that user.

So ‘yes’ your website almost certainly uses cookies – 92% of UK websites currently do use cookies in some capacity on their website.

But are you in contravention of the new law? ‘Maybe’. It’s really worth making sure you are compliant with the new rules – after all, figures like £500,000 fines are being talked about for deliberate and malicious misuse, so it’s best to be on the safe side. If your company / website is based in the UK/EU then you must comply, even if your website is hosted outside the EU and even if you are not using a “.uk” domain name.

The letter of the law

The law actually relates to the use of ‘non essential’ cookies. All websites in the EU are now required to make visitors aware of the use of cookies and give them the option to opting out of using them. For example, cookies which are deemed not “strictly necessary for a service requested by a user” such as visitor tracking codes, advertising and most Google Analytics tools may well be subjects for consumer opt out.

It’s not enough to simply rely on visitors changing their cookie settings in their browser to block websites from storing cookies on their machines. It’s also worth noting that it’s no longer advisable to merely have a privacy policy; you may choose to provide information on the cookies from within your privacy policy – a practice that is currently gaining ground with many companies.

Be safe – put Ketchup on your cookies!

We  can conduct an initial assessment of your needs, followed by a complete audit of your website and full integration work to ensure your site is fully compliant with the Cookie Law. We’ll help you make sure the information about the use of cookies on your website is transparent and easy to find, and that you give visitors to your website the choice of opting out of your use of cookies. We’ll advise which cookies are necessary for the working of the website (Eg: Cookies used to remember which items visitors have placed in their online basket and are permitted within the legislation. And – most importantly in terms of the law – which are not.

We’ll make sure it’s as fast, non-interruptive, economical and painless as possible. For our full cookie recipe, see below. Or talk to us on   0330 088 9277

 

Ketchup’s cookie service – the ingredients

A full, Ketchup audit of your website will list each cookie and detail how it is used. We can then provide you with a couple of solutions to ensure your website complies with the new legislation. Our service also includes:

  • Assessing how intrusive your use of each cookie is to the user’s privacy.
  • Establishing whether these cookies can be linked with personal data such as a username or email address.
  • Finding out whether they apply to the session or if they’re persistent cookies.
  • Checking that your Privacy Policy includes accurate information on each cookie being used.
  • Giving visitors a way to opt out of the use of cookies.

 

What is a ‘Cookie’?
Cookies are small files that websites put on your computer hard disk drive when you first visit.

Think of a cookie as an identification card that’s uniquely yours. Its job is to notify the site when you’ve returned. While it is possible to misuse a cookie in cases where there is personal data in it, cookies by themselves are not malicious.

Many websites, including Ketchup’s, use cookies. Cookies tell us how often you visit pages, which helps us improve our website for you and future visitors. In this way, we can concentrate more on the content you like and less of the content you don’t. If you’re using analytics software such Google Analytics then your site will be using cookies to track the page visits.

Some cookies are essential to the working of a website and can help you be more efficient. Have you ever put something in a virtual shopping basket on an online store and then returned a few days later to find that the item is still there? That’s an example of cookies at work.

Cookies let you store preferences and user names, register products and services, and personalize pages.

But if you never register or leave personal information at a site, then the server only knows that someone with your cookie has returned to the website. It doesn’t know anything else.

A Cookie is NOT a virus. Many cookies are used to make the experience of using a website better and disabling cookies may prevent a visitor from using certain aspects of a website’s functionality. If your website does any of the following, then you will be using cookies:

  • Uses Google Analytics or similar to track page visits
  • Uses a plug-in such as Twitter feeds, Facebook Like or Google +1 buttons
  • Embeds a YouTube Video
  • Has any kind of “remember me” button
  • Enables the user to “login” to their website 

 

Different Types of Cookies

Session Cookies
Session cookies are stored on your computer until you have finished browsing the website. Once you leave the site the cookie will be deleted. For example if you visit a website and you need to login every time you visit they are using a session cookie. The website will use this cookie to store your login details temporarily whilst you browse the website. Session cookies are less intrusive than persistent cookies.

Persistent Cookies
Persistent cookies are cookies which are downloaded onto your computer to help identify you when you return to a website. For example if you use Facebook and you tick the “Keep me logged in” when you login this will store a persistent cookie on your computer to remember you when you return so you do not need to keep logging in. All persistent cookies have an expiry date, this can normally be 30, 60 or 90 days and once reached the cookie will be deleted.

Secure Cookies
Secure cookies are only transmitted via a secure HTTPS connection. These types of cookies are generally used during the checkout process of an online ecommerce website. This cookie will ensure any data stored is encrypted as it passes information between the website and the browser.

Third Party Cookies
Third party cookies are ones which are downloaded onto your computer via external websites such as Google Analytics, AdSense, AdWords, Facebook likes, Statcounter etc. These cookies are set by a domain other than the one being visited by the user, but they are placed through the website being visited.

 

Madam Ketchup? I think not
May
25

What did you do at work today, daddy?

May 25, 2012 1:44 pm Published by Comments Off on What did you do at work today, daddy?

You can’t say it’s not varied. One day we’re reviewing a client’s marketing campaign the next we’re presenting an SEO strategy. And that’s on top of designing and writing websites from the wire-frame up. Luckily, our core team of project managers, designers and copywriters is backed up by a network of specialists – SEO professionals for example – so we can handle virtually anything. With aplomb, we like to say.

Loving those new clients

Following the old ‘bird in the hand’ adage, we make sure the pursuit of new business never impinges on the service we give our existing clients. That said, most new clients do need a honeymoon period whilst they bed in.

Which brings us to a new client in the wedding industry. Interesting project; it’s for a successful, established, local business with big ambitions. We’re taking them through a complete rebrand: new name and business proposition, redesigned branding, new website design and copywriting plus SEO programme. Exciting times.

We’ve also been appointed by a dynamic chain of Estate Agents, who are keen to build a monumental reputation for their new office in Melton Mowbray. We’re creating a press and direct mail advertising campaign for them, using a copywriter with extensive experience in the property market – having worked for Barratt, Higgs and Hill, Crest Nicholson amongst others.

Fun and (Olympic) games

Talking of Melton Mowbray, I popped into JJ’s Lingerie – a long-time client of ours – to admire their new, Olympic-styled window. A great effect but I did wonder about brand protection. Sure enough, in came the local Trading Standards and ordered the display to be taken down; on pain of a £10,000 fine. Ouch.

Madam Ketchup? I think not

They say variety is the spice of life, but sometimes life can be a little too spicy. Over the years we’ve been approached by potential new clients who include a transvestite hotel, a company selling sex toys, and a whip maker. Regrettably we couldn’t offer them to – ahem – handle them to their satisfaction. Nothing wrong with the adult business – we just don’t have experience in that area. No, really.

Apr
24

It’s a civil partnership. Usually

April 24, 2012 5:15 pm Published by Comments Off on It’s a civil partnership. Usually

Michelle – Ketchup MD

The dodgy sex aside, I sometimes think that long term client relationships are a bit like marriages. Both parties enter into them with eyes wide open and with the best of intentions; and learn to adjust their expectations as time passes.

At first it’s all passion and togetherness discovered. There are a couple of warm discussions as you feel your way around and operational guidelines are laid down.

 

Then something wonderful happens

Like all seasoned couples, you become perfectly aligned. The agency is so immersed in the client’s market that it responds to new challenges instinctively. Our creative/management team thinks proactively – without being briefed – to present new directions, ground-breaking ideas and early solutions to future issues. In short, we all work together in shorthand.

Blind date? Actually we met on the internet

A good number of our clients have been with us for over 5 years, some for even longer. Most of our new clients come to us via recommendations from established clients, or people who have worked with us previously. Which is gratifying.

But we do go on blind dates – or pitches, as they’re known in the industry. We also attract new business via the net and targeted marketing efforts. Lucky really, because if we can’t market ourselves…

Taking it personally

Gary – Ketchup Design Guru

And sometimes the personal partner merges with the professional. Our Director of Copy married his Art Director and our Creative Director met his intended over the garden wall when they were children, but he designed all my wedding stationery and table layouts. And our longest standing client was at the ceremony some – oooh – 13 years ago now.

There’s a lot to be said for long term relationships.

 

 

Hire the dog!
Jan
24

Copywriter’s blighters

January 24, 2012 7:09 am Published by Comments Off on Copywriter’s blighters

They’re called ‘baselines’ because they sit underneath logos, or ‘strap lines’ because they tie all the other elements of communication together with a single thought. Whatever you call them, they are absolute blighters to write.

The summation of everything. In 5 words

Baselines must leave consumers with a single, over-riding thought when they wander out of your communication. They’re the manure that allows your communication to blossom. They must be memorable, apposite, incisive, umbrella ideas. They are a statement of intent. They represent the one single thought your company espouses, its appeal to consumers, its brand image. And you can’t use the word ‘care’. Everyone’s seen it 1000 times and no-one believes it anyway. As an example, here’s one we prepared earlier for a people’s health insurance company.

“Health-wise it pays”. It’s colloquial and memorable, yet it communicates the company’s line of business, the wisdom of being with them, the fact that it’s sensible to have some form of health cover, and the crucial proposition that the company will pay out. In 3 or 4 words. Took a couple of days to write, mind you.

Hire the dog, don’t bark yourself hoarse.

Of course, if you’re writing a website you’ll have to include SEO in your copy and that’s a completely new piece of nadgery; as Ketchup’s resident Search Marketing wizard – Simon Fisher – will gladly explain. But for the moment you’re finished. You’ve defined your proposition, devised a strategy, established a tone-of-voice, created a headline, written compelling copy and rounded off with an unforgettable baseline. Only one thing left to do – ask yourself if it wouldn’t have been a damn sight more cost effective to have called in Ketchup’s copy team before you began!

Coming soon… Copywriting for our clients

 

To avoid doing-it-yourself, call Michelle on 07747 604020 and ask her for a copy quote

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