“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 🙂

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.

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

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