February 18, 2014 11:02 am
If, by now, you haven’t sussed out that here at Ketchup we are passionate about creating effective and worthwhile websites (among all of that other marketing ‘stuff’, you know the strategy and the tactics, the glorious cross-channel execution that results in sharp intakes of breath and fantastic client feedback) well, if that hasn’t quite been on your radar, well, this may not come as a shock to you…
“Sorry Mum! We got so busy doing work for our clients that we kind of forgot to include some of those lovely juicy ingredients in our own activities.” In our defence, there are only a few of us, and we are rather committed to looking after our clients, so it’s on the cusp of inevitable that we may fall a little behind with nurturing ourselves. Ssshhh… our own website is five years old… that’s old enough to be brushing its own teeth and riding a bike – possibly without stabilisers.
Despite having trusted advisers (every small business should have one!) to kick us purposefully up the rear-end we sometimes don’t actually have the hours in the day. Small businesses, we feel your pain – because we have first-hand experience of exactly the same thing.
So, we know that the way that people browse websites has changed over the last year or two (yawn… yes you know this too so we won’t bang on about it) but to discover from our webstats that our own visitor traffic peaked at no less than 77% from mobile devices… well, shall we say it rather focused the mind. In fact, over 1 billion people in the world today actually rely on their phones to access the internet. We read that online so it must be true.
Consequently, we have decided to make sure that none of our clients should ever find themselves in this quandary, and responsive website design (i.e. websites that work just as effectively on a mobile device as on “a proper computer” ) is now an integral part of our delivery process: all of our websites come responsive as standard. For no extra cost.
Research conducted by Morgan Stanley shows that mobile web will be bigger than desktop by 2015. If your strategy doesn’t include mobile, it doesn’t include most of your customers. And that aint good. And don’t go getting some crazy idea that only young ‘uns use their mobiles for web browsing. We know an 80 year old, Beverley, who is joined to her iPhone and iPad at the hip. The one that was replaced a couple of years back.
Want to get responsive? Give Ketchup Marketing a call on 0330 088 9277 or contact us here.
The first clients to benefits from our all inclusive responsive package are Allergy Resolutions and The Meeting Venue.
“Hi, I am rich, marry me!”
June 26, 2013 10:00 am
Gary stumbled across this joke again on Twitter the other day about marketing that has been doing the rounds for a while, but we thought it was still worth sharing…
“You see a gorgeous girl at a party and you say to her “Hi, I am rich, Marry me!” ~ That is Direct Marketing.
If she walks up to you and says, “Hi, you are very rich, I want to marry you” ~ That is Brand Recognition.
If you call her the next day and say, “I am very rich, Marry me” ~ That is Telemarketing.
If she slaps your face when you say “Marry me” ~ That is Customer Feedback.”
Funny? We liked it. But we also smile at this bit that can be added on:
“One of your mates says that there’s a gorgeous girl you should marry” ~ That’s social marketing.”
And hopefully, in a nutshell, that explains why using social media can help your business. Using Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to share not only your thoughts and ideas, but also good contacts via great public testimonials. 3rd party endorsements have massive influence and, if harnessed correctly, can be a hugely important addition to your over-arching marketing strategy.
If you think you “could do better” (as my teacher used to say!) with using social media as part of your marketing mix, then drop Michelle a line on 0330 088 9277. She is married though, so don’t go getting any funny ideas 🙂
June 10, 2013 10:00 pm
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, 2013 2:12 pm
It’s my turn to have a little bit of a grumble today. I shouldn’t really, the sun’s finally out and at Ketchup Marketing HQ the atmosphere is bubbling with focused creative energy as we busy ourselves with some juicy projects… but something has been irritating me.
Over the last few weeks I’ve spotted that a couple of local small businesses have invested in A-boards. A-boards and other such signage can be a great way to attract passing pedestrians into your premises, but getting the message and position right is critical. The thing that has irked me is that these two new, shiny A-boards are situated on a busy A-road, so very few passers-by on foot. Most people who spot them will be, like me, driving past at 40 mph. And guess what? You can’t actually see what the boards say from your car at that speed.
It bothers me on two levels; As a marketing professional as well as from the point of view of a small business owner in tough economic times, we all want as much bang for our buck as possible. So spending a couple of hundred quid on something that has no impact whatsoever actually makes me feel a bit sad that these small businesses have wasted their hard earned money. Yes, yes, it’s my usual mantra about return on investment. For the same money – or less, the businesses could have chosen something much more effective – a vinyl banner, a sign positioned perpendicular to the building, posters, or leaflets distributed to target postcodes.
Here at Ketchup Marketing we wouldn’t dream of selling you an ineffective “solution” to help you attract more customers. If you have a store and you want more people to come into it, we can advise you on how best to get your message to people (one that is meaningful, and importantly, one that they can actually read) to maximise your return on your marketing spend. So, give me, Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277 and I (and Gary) will help you avoid the A-road-A-board error, among others.
May 20, 2013 11:17 am
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.
May 3, 2013 2:42 pm
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
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 1, 2013 3:37 pm
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...
April 26, 2013 2:56 pm
Yes, it’s that time of year again, the sun’s come out (finally) and shown us the cobweb that was sitting unnoticed high-up in the design studio, and that shiny, sticky bit of wall behind the spray mount cabinet where the propelled glue has managed to creep around the guard and land on the paintwork.
Mr Tommy Ketchup
So, at Ketchup HQ we got busy yesterday morning. Not with client work (although we probably should have done) but instead with our environment. We moved the desks and vacuumed underneath and behind them, washed the cushion covers on the sofas and even Tommy Ketchup’s bed got the once over. He doesn’t like it as much now since it doesn’t smell of him anymore.
It makes you feel good to have a bit of a once-over. It re-confirms your faith in what you’re doing, renews and revitalises you. And yes, perhaps you saw it coming, but it’s worth doing that once in a while for your website, too. A bit of a ‘website MOT’ can work wonders for your marketing and taking the time to invest in that can pay dividends.
A bit of an update, a cheeky tweak to a page that could be converting better, a slight reformatting of contact forms, adding your Twitter or Facebook feeds… all of these things can have the effect of making your site easier to find in Google, more user-friendly and more sticky – that is, makes your visitor stay on the site a bit longer, read just a bit more and potentially become a customer.
Think of it as a spring clean of your online presence. And it’s a spring clean that needn’t cost you anything since we offer a free audit of your website as standard. Sound appealing? Feel the urge to get the digital duster and virtual polish out? Then give Michelle a buzz on 0330 088 9277 and them maybe she’ll get down from up that ladder where she’s cleaning the windows. Seriously, she’s gone a bit obsessive, please, call her now – if only for the sanity of the rest of the studio!
Original Thinking – No Artificial Additives
March 26, 2013 10:25 am
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)
- 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.
- Keep any links current. Broken links are a sign of a website that is neglected. Google won’t like it either.
- 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!
- 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.
- Don’t bury your key message several clicks away – it needs to be communicated on the home page.
- 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.
- No pop-up adverts please! How irritating. And they make your site look spammy.
- Relevant, in-bound links will improve your search engine rankings, so encourage appropriate businesses in your network to link to your website from theirs.
- Write using your customers’ language. Use keyword research to find out how people describe your product / service.
- 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.
March 20, 2013 9:22 am
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.
- 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.
- The ‘About Us’ page… Do you really need a page that talks about Uncle Bob starting the company in 1876?
- Address the reader – use ‘You’ & ‘Your’.
- Use testimonials – endorsements from your customers (real, not made up!) speak volumes.
- Sell the sizzle, not the sausage. Don’t just talk about features of what you sell, emphasise the benefits.
- 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!
- Demonstrate your expertise in your field. Oh look. We’re doing that now.
- Use real photos. Give them a proper name. A picture speaks a thousand words.
- 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!)
- 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 email@example.com
Thank You – from The Meadows
February 27, 2013 4:09 pm
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
November 7, 2011 10:42 am
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!
October 14, 2011 3:09 pm
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.
June 24, 2011 12:44 pm
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:
A fat bloke bursts in, waving a pair of nail scissors.
April 15, 2011 7:13 pm
“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
.. mind-bogglingly huge ..
March 16, 2011 3:48 pm
When first investigating the world of website design, you’ll find out about the more established rules fairly quickly (never use comic sans, all pages only two clicks from the home page, etc). However, there are also several very useful tips that are less well known that stem from common viewer behaviours that might seem unusual in any other environment. Ketchup Marketing – website design Lincolnshire experts – are here to share them with you: