Mar
14
choose web design

How to choose a web designer

March 14, 2017 8:33 am Published by Comments Off on How to choose a web designer

Many businesses think that having a simple website with their contact information on is enough. And it is. If the site is a user-friendly, responsive online platform that succinctly markets your product or service. After all, first impressions matter and customers may choose a competitor if your website is confusing or difficult to use. Here at Ketchup HQ, we understand the importance of quality web design, which is why we’ve put together some top tips on choosing a web designer:

  • Good communicators – not only is it important that your web designer comprehends your vision, but that they can talk you through what is included in the work they are providing and are on hand to answer any questions you may have
  • Experienced – while this does not have to be sector specific, viewing their portfolio will give you an idea of the standard of their previous work. Equally, looking at current clients is advised, as there may be conflict if they are working with any local businesses similar to your own
  • References – hearing others’ experiences is another way to help you decide whether they are the right web designer for you. For instance, did they deliver the project on time and within budget? Would others recommend them?
  • Technical support – trusting that your agency will be available to help with any problems, and able to provide post-build support, is vital. The expertise that went into your website means you may not be able to solve issues yourself. Alternatively, if your website is built in a CMS, will you receive training on how to manually edit parts of your website?
  • Rapport – here at Ketchup, we like to discuss a project over a dog walk in the country, or cake and coffee in a local cafe – would you want to do that with your web designer? Having a good working relationship will make the process a lot more enjoyable.

If you are interested in working with an agency that does all the above and more to produce high quality websites for its clients, call Ketchup 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.

Jan
09

The ‘Creative Process’ ..

January 9, 2014 1:25 pm Published by Comments Off on The ‘Creative Process’ ..

– isn’t that an oxymoron?

When we come to work with new clients there can occasionally be a slight sense of dread on their part that; a fear that we are going to arrive at their offices and “be all creative at them”.  And so we thought it would help to explain, step by step, how we actually work.

Yes, there is always ‘method’. No, there is not, as a general rule, much in the way of ‘madness’.

First of all, we do our best to get to know your business, your goals and aspirations. If we don’t understand where you’re trying to go, how are we supposed to help you get there?

Then we talk budget. Always a tricky part that, but it has to be done. We are always totally transparent and up front with our pricing. The price only changes if you decide to change or expand your brief.

Once we’re all agreed, off we go. You may only see the tip of our creative iceberg at this stage, while we sit down with you and ask probing questions and take careful, copious notes of your answers – this is the beginning of probably the most valuable part of our process. It’s the bit where we sit down and start hammering out ideas, evaluating your competition and developing an approach that is tailored to match your goals. A bespoke solution, because your business is unique and one size certainly doesn’t fit all.

Then we present our ideas – these could be rough designs and/or strategic suggestions – and with your approval, we begin to implement them, getting your feedback and sign-off at each stage.

Once the project is complete and delivered to your total satisfaction, we can continue to work with you to monitor and measure the impact on your bottom line.

So many oxymorons make up part of our daily language, it’s an open secret, you might say.  But we don’t believe that ‘creative process’ is one of them.

To see how a splash of Ketchup can transform your marketing, give Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277 or contact us here.

“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!

It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today...
May
31

All A-board!

May 31, 2013 2:12 pm Published by Comments Off on All A-board!

blog-aboard-header

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.

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
03

Open for Caravans!

May 3, 2013 2:42 pm Published by Comments Off on Open for Caravans!

 

Back in February I met John and Lynn who whilst local to our Melton Mowbray office had purchased a caravan and camping site in Cornwall, and were looking for our help with designing a website.  Over coffee and cake we devised a sitemap and I sold the prospect of weekly blogging and social media to Lynn, John (renamed the silent one), just sat and look at me a little bewildered and often mentioned budget!

So whilst the sale of the business went through and prior to moving “down south” we designed and launched The Meadows website.

Open for Caravans

Open for Caravans

We have had weekly updates and photos of the refurbishment of The Meadows, from the discovery of old cars, vintage farm machinery, and caravans hidden in thick overgrowth, the tales of “odd” workmen and of course the arrival of Camp Dog Harvey (Head of Security) and his new work boots!  Lots of the treasures discovered have been ‘upcycled’ and appear around the site for customers to enjoy. In addition, you will have often seen us mentioning Camp Dog Harvey in our tweets and The Meadows has appeared on our blog.

12 weeks on, and many man hours later (and budget … John, see we are a “bargain in comparison to new electrics) The Meadows opens for business TODAY.  The camp site, now benefits from hard standing grass pitches, and the shower block refurbishment is fantastic. New electrical hook up points next to the stream have been installed and a shop will open on site this weekend ready for Martin Doreys arrival, and of course lovely new signage to welcome guests. There is also a fab new decked area for guests to enjoy and in the evenings the old log burner will be lit, with a kettle for customers to fill up.

As for the website, well it’s attracting over 1300 visitors a week and on average there are 7 bookings a day – what a great start to The Meadows first season in Cornwall.

Team Red and Head of Office Security – Tommy Ketchup will be visiting in June, can’t wait to see it for real and for one of Johns breakfast baps (how much?).

Enjoy your first weekend from all at Ketchup HQ.

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

Yes it's that time of year again...
Apr
26

Spring Cleaning Season

April 26, 2013 2:56 pm Published by Comments Off on Spring Cleaning Season

blog-spring

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.

Tommy

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!

Ketchup Marketing 

Original Thinking – No Artificial Additives

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.

 

"Saucy" top tips ..
Mar
20

Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 1

March 20, 2013 9:22 am Published by Comments Off on Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 1

If you’re paying for a website for your business, you need to be sure it’s working for you and that you’ll get a return on your investment.  Here’s a selection of things we think you should seriously consider when you’re planning your webpages.

  1. Make sure your contact details are easy to find.  You might have a beautiful looking website but if no-one knows how to get in touch with you, you may as well have not bothered. And you can use Google Maps too.
  2. The ‘About Us’ page… Do you really need a page that talks about Uncle Bob starting the company in 1876?
  3. Address the reader – use ‘You’ & ‘Your’.
  4. Use testimonials – endorsements from your customers (real, not made up!) speak volumes.
  5. Sell the sizzle, not the sausage.  Don’t just talk about features of what you sell, emphasise the benefits.
  6. Don’t use huge blocks of text – it’ll put the reader off. Use headlines and break up lengthy paragraphs with subheadings. Check for typos!
  7. Demonstrate your expertise in your field.  Oh look. We’re doing that now.
  8. Use real photos. Give them a proper name.  A picture speaks a thousand words.
  9. Inject a bit of urgency with a call to action. “Call us now to find out how you can benefit!”  (You can if you like!)
  10. Make sure you’re updating your site regularly. Blogging is a good way of keeping content fresh.

More tips coming soon… in the meantime you can get in touch with us to find out more michelle@ketchup-marketing.co.uk

Thank You – from The Meadows
Feb
27

Thank You – from The Meadows

February 27, 2013 4:09 pm Published by Comments Off on Thank You – from The Meadows

blog-caravan_header

Dear Michelle and your fabulous team

John and I were so excited to see our website “live” and what a fantastic job you have done.

We have been so impressed from start to finish and in particular with regard to delivery. You have interpreted our initial ideas and made these in to the most fantastic website, and you should be very proud of what you have produced for us, as we certainly are.  What a great start for our new business venture and our camping site could not have a better platform for launch thanks to you and your team.

The time constraints were very tight and you have worked so hard, and have done everything you promised and more.  The whole process has been so easy for us, as you have set everything out so clearly for us, and most importantly you have done exactly what you said you would, absolutely on time and on budget.

We would not hesitate to recommend “Ketchup” and we are more than happy to display your details on our website, and to include our website in any of your advertising material.

Thank you once again for the excellent job you have done. Your company deserves its success, and thank you for giving ours such a good start.

All the very best to you all.

Lynn Bowler & John Brooks – The Meadows, Cornwall

the_meadows_1_web_site_design

Aug
29

Serious business – playing with trains

August 29, 2012 10:35 am Published by Comments Off on Serious business – playing with trains

All boys like trains. Especially when their train sets cover over 19 acres of ironstone quarry and include classic trains, steam diggers, loco sheds and workshops, tracks, nature trails and events.

But playing with trains is a serious business if want to raise the money to go on restoring and expanding your train set. You have to attract the public, and that means steaming ahead with some motivating marketing.

The rail journey began with Ketchup

Ketchup’s planners and creative teams spent time with the Ironstone quarry’s main directors, discussing the possibilities. We knew we had to compete for the diminishing ‘leisure budget’ of local families as well as drawing in visitors to the region. And that meant devising a marketing strategy that would give the quarry an ownable niche, to differentiate it from other leisure providers and allow it to appeal to a defined market segment.

Rocks by rail website designThe obvious advantages of locomotive rides; plus giant, historic machinery; plus the quarries educational appeal allowed us position ‘the attraction’ somewhere between an out-and-out theme park and a museum. Perfect for a whole range of families looking for a multi-faceted experience in their day out.

The creative work? Just the ticket

Following the positioning, our copywriting team worked with the client to research groups of potential names. The one most on track – Rocks By Rail – encapsulates the locomotive and quarry aspects of the attraction, references the 1960s onsite café and even manages to sound like fun. You remember fun – it’s what attracts people to spend money when they’ve out and about.

rocks_by_rail_1_logo_design

From steam engine to search engine

Then flowed a train of creative ideas. Our designers created a new logo style and expanded it to an involving brand identity that hinted at the excitement, and quirky worthiness, of the attraction. Suddenly the project gained momentum. The website was built – steam engines became search engine friendly – and a direct mail campaign launched Rocks By Rail as a destination to families and enthusiasts in the surrounding regions.

To see the results of our epic rail journey, please click here.

 

Team GB? No, Team Ketchup
Aug
14

Another gold for the British rowing team

August 14, 2012 5:01 pm Published by Comments Off on Another gold for the British rowing team

olympic-atlantic-row-1-website-design-banner

A huge number of unseasonal icebergs off the Newfoundland coast forced the British rowing team of Andrew ‘Mos’ Morris and Roz Savage to cancel their heroic bid to row across the Atlantic to Britain.  The risks to crew and boat posed by the icebergs were simply unacceptably high.

So plan B swung into action. Raising money to buy a fleet of rowing boats to inspire both able-bodied and disabled young people had always been a golden goal of the OAR project. By rowing up the Bristol Channel and across the country via the inland waterway system, the OAR team managed to arrive in the Thames for the start of the London Olympics, thus achieving their own ‘gold’ and continuing the interest and legacy generated by our valiant Olympians.

Team GB? No, Team Ketchup

Of course, not all members of the team were actually in the boat, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t pulling hard for the project.

At Ketchup we put together our own ‘hands on’ team of specialists to steer the OAR marketing effort, ensuring the project attracted maximum attention and support. At the helm was our figurehead and leading marketing strategist, owner Michelle Jones, backed by a crew of able creatives.

Our OAR campaign was launched with our design of the innovative OAR logo which was then translated into a distinctive brand identity that informed the nature of all consumer-facing and internal communications.

Making a splash on both sides of the pond

Once underway, the campaign had a big effect. We designed, wrote and built a website that gave fans on both sides of the Atlantic the latest news, updates and project information. This website included links that allowed followers to interact with the project and find information on allied subjects – as well as including direct video links to the rowers during the voyage. Its dynamic presentation gave a true feeling of the epic nature and underlying difficulties of the endeavour, and the copy gave a sensation of the momentousness of the event as well conveying the essential facts.

The team were interviewed on TV and radio shows in Canada and Britain and were deluged by twitter and facebook commentary and messages of goodwill.

No, we haven’t got the blisters

The sense of disappointment at having to cancel the first part of the voyage was obliterated once ‘Bojangles’ – the specialist boat designed and built by British ocean rowing expert Mick Dawson – made its way up the Thames to massive applause, and came to rest at Tower Bridge. The gigantic Olympic symbol hanging from its upper bridgework was certainly an inspiring sight. Well, the marketing and creative team from Ketchup weren’t in the boat and hadn’t done anything more strenuous than thinking hard, and judiciously wielding a mac programme or two. But the sense of achievement was noticeable – even in land-locked Melton Mowbray!

 

Here at Hortus Ligneous we are delighted to recommend Ketchup Marketing...
Jun
15

Client Testimonial

June 15, 2012 3:40 pm Published by Comments Off on Client Testimonial

hortus_ligneous_1_web_site_design

Ketchup Marketing have been a fabulous company to work with.  We had a basic idea of what we wanted our updated website to say and do, but had no idea how to portray this.  Michelle worked closely with us to get a precise idea about our likes and dislikes and was very knowledgeable in telling us what would work for us.  They have designed a site which exceeded our expectations- it takes into account our personal taste and is paired with the in-depth knowledge of how to run a successful, fully working site.

We are enormously pleased with our finished design and look forward to seeing how the website works for us in the future.  We are excited about continuing to work with Ketchup with regards to SEO and regular blogging and are also thinking of further ways to extend our site.

Here at Hortus Ligneous we are delighted to recommend Ketchup Marketing for all your website needs, you will most certainly not be disappointed.

Charlotte & Sam Clemons

Hortus Ligneous Limited 

Shhhh, the dog’s asleep
Mar
19

Life’s a pitch – part one

March 19, 2012 8:54 am Published by Comments Off on Life’s a pitch – part one

Life’s a pitch – part one

Busy isn’t it? We’re touching wood here, of course, but at the moment there aren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in a month. Checking around, it’s not just our clients who are pushing through the work; the advertising and marketing industry as a whole seems to be pedalling furiously just to keep up.

Shhhh, the dog’s asleep

So why are we pitching for new clients? Isn’t that akin to waking up a dog you can’t feed? The point is that you can nurture contacts over a period of time, but you can’t choose the moment they invite you to pitch for their business. So it’s often a case of buckle up boys, here we go.

We recently presented our wares to The Caravan Company. And we didn’t exactly win ourselves a week in Great Yarmouth in a top-of-the-range Marauder. Or even in Gorleston-on-Sea, for that matter.

Off with the new. On with the old

Now, a lot of agencies cannot resist the glitter of prospecting for new clients. There be gold in them there accounts. But we make a point of putting keeping our clients long term, and that means them first.

So, for The Caravan Club we decided not to present creative work. After all, we reasoned, they can see our skill with words and design in our portfolio. So we concentrated on the thinking.

What, no crayons?

We discussed marketing strategy in some depth. We put together a marketing activity plan stretching over the next 12 months. We created on and off-line strategies. We talked about Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click advertising and alternative revenue streams like eBay and online stores. We even put together some wire-frame layouts of sample web pages, just to give them an idea of the content.

Did we win the business? Does a Ferrari have a caravan hitch point?  Maybe we should have got the crayons out after all.

Life’s a pitch – part 2

Nov
07

Ketchup in bottle race

November 7, 2011 10:42 am Published by Comments Off on Ketchup in bottle race

Sometimes, running a busy marketing company with a wide variety of differently-sized, clients is like running blindfold through a zoo. You can’t envisage what sort of creature you’re going to bump into next!

Our sponsorship of the local Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven springs to mind. The Rotarians had received a donation of 10 bottles of tomato sauce from Wilkins & Sons and challenged our graphic design and copywriting teams to come up with a way of using them to raise money for their ‘End Polio Now’ campaign.

Tomato sauce and Ketchup Marketing? Hmmm, obviously a natural fit in there somewhere.

We devised a bottle baton race, the sauce passing from person to person to create a…well…gravy train of £1 donations. With 10 bottles and 201 or more donors the race would raise over £2012 towards polio eradication by 2012.

The Rotarians were delighted and we set about a logo design, whilst our print design team and lead copywriter created a graphic but inexpensive advertising promotional leaflet to market the events to fellow Rotarians and prospective bottle baton participants.

We’re also sponsoring a saucy competition. A case of wine will be awarded for the most interesting photo of the bottle, taken in situ. So our web design team will be posting pictures on the blog as the bottle baton race continues.

Gives a whole new perspective to the idea of ketchup marketing!

Oct
14

Mostly it’s the stuff you don’t put in that makes a web design great

October 14, 2011 3:09 pm Published by Comments Off on Mostly it’s the stuff you don’t put in that makes a web design great

Let’s face it, the internet can be really irritating. When it gives you the football results before you’ve had time to watch Match of the Day, for example.

Then there are the websites that just won’t let you do what you want.

Like enter the site and get on with it, without going through an artificially clever intro – usually comprising some meaningless widdly boo and bong with the company’s logo.

Then there are websites that won’t let you have the info you want without sifting through a maze of drop-down menus.

And our pet hate. We call it commercial suicide. Web sites that don’t set out their stall in a way that lets you see the goods, understand the goods, desire the goods then buy ‘em!  Sites that don’t lead you in logically designed pathways through the product aisles – or the site-owner’s company ethos – to the check out.

Their designers ought to get out more. Drop the fascination with programming pyrotechnics and walk round a supermarket with their eyes open.

And the language! A recent blog – actually about blogging – included the sentences; ‘There is blogs that aren’t written in proper sentences.  There is advice sites with no advice on them”. How we hooted.

At Ketchup Marketing, we don’t believe in being technically clever for the sake of it. We believe in using technology, and creativity, to produce end results for our clients. Usually accompanied by the sound of ringing tills. Good old Return On  Investment.

We are experts in website design in Leicester – and have years of experience in creating websites that work, that regularly receive high traffic levels and easy to use. Created by disciplined designers who understand that less can be more, and written by professional copywriters.

It’s important, because your success – especially if you’re a young business – depends on attracting visitors in volume, them impressing them with a highly functional, attractive web page (see SEO for more on increasing visitors).  When people visit your site they must receive a brand-enhancing experience. Your site should help them make decisions and, ultimately, ensure they get what they want.

Contact us now, and talk to us about creating the perfect, and perfectly functional, website for your business. First consultations are FREE.

Comic sans ...
Jun
24

The website design features that everybody hates

June 24, 2011 12:44 pm Published by Comments Off on The website design features that everybody hates

We love website design at Ketchup.  Creating a stylish new site that can help a firm reach a whole new audience is one of the most rewarding things that you can achieve in working life.  Do you know what’s not rewarding or successful, though?  A website that uses any of these features:
(more…)

A fat bloke bursts in, waving a pair of nail scissors.
Apr
15

Copywriter? Copywriter?

April 15, 2011 7:13 pm Published by Comments Off on Copywriter? Copywriter?

“My wife’s got a degree in English, the client said, so what the hell do I need a copywriter for?” We sighed silently. We used to hear this a lot in the old days.

Nowadays, of course, clients are all professional marketers with a fine appreciation of the importance of highly targeted communication and a savage determination to give themselves the competitive edge.

It wasn’t always thus. ‘I can read, so I can write’ was the rationale behind many local business-owners decision to save themselves a few quid by doing their own copywriting. It’s a view akin to saying ‘I’ve eaten food so I can cook’. Or ‘I’ve heard Mozart’s Sifonia, therefore…’ well, you get the gist.

A fat bloke bursts in, waving a pair of nail scissors.

Professionals like, for example, opera singers roll their eyes as their crafts suffer at the hands of Gifted Amateurs. Other professions have it easier. Ophthalmic surgeons, for example, are almost never interrupted by a fat bloke bursting into their operating theatres, waving nail scissors and bawling ‘Gimme a go, I did a frog at school’.

However, we do live in the age of the budget cut. So, for the sake of economy – and because we like to help our clients achieve the best possible results – we’ll be exploding the copywriting myth in a series of blog articles. We’re going to show you how it’s done!

Coming soon… Blondes prefer copywriters

Signup to our Newsletter

Your privacy matters to us. We promise to keep your information safe and we’ll only get in touch with you according to your preferences.
You can read more about how we store and use data in our privacy notice.

It’s all about the results