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Traditional And Digital Marketing

It’s great in my job when traditional and digital marketing work together.

I went to see the most niche business you can imagine the other day.

They’re a start-up hiring out gowns for student graduation ceremonies.

Certain elements of their marketing are very straight forward.

Their target audience couldn’t be any more clearly defined –  students graduating in about a month’s time.

The message is also simple – they’re about 30% cheaper than the only significant player in the market, who historically have had a virtual monopoly.

So far so easy.

It’s when you come to communication channels that things become more interesting.

The 200 year old market leader is deep in bed with all the universities who endorse them as their approved supplier and tell all the students to get their gowns from them.

So the marketing for the guys I was talking to has two very specific objectives.

  1. Generate awareness that they exist and that their gowns are massively cheaper than the existing supplier and so drive the students to their website.
  2. The website needs to convert visitors into customers.

So what channels should they be using to drive them to the website?

Well obviously 20 year olds spend all their lives on line especially on social media.

So that seems a no brainer.

But which platforms?

We know Facebook’s has reduced the reach for organic posts through the algorithm changes earlier this year.

Additionally for 20 year olds Facebook  is no longer as cool as it once was.

But Facebook posting, especially in groups should still be part of the mix as should Facebook advertising.

But Instagram is the cool platform of choice for kids this age.

What about Google – both the organic listings and Google Ads.?

Will kids search gown suppliers when the university tells them where to get their gown from?

The Keyword tool will give us an idea of search volumes.

But this will be an area where we’re likely to try it and see.

At this stage you can’t know what the result will be.

So what else should they do?

Although we’re talking to such a digital audience, interestingly we’ll need to revert to traditional channels.

We’ll need to make traditional and digital marketing channels work together.

Bill boards and posters around the campuses will be perfectly targeted and have space to communicate the key messages.

Likewise handing out flyers – hardly cutting edge but absolutely appropriate.

Whether we can get a bit clever and find audiences of exclusively final year students I don’t know yet.

And student ambassadors – individuals who are incentivised to generate word of mouth referrals and bring people into the brand one at a time.

In a world fixated on digital marketing it’s kind of refreshing to make old style traditional and digital marketing channels work together for such a digitally orientated audience.

So if you’ve got a marketing challenge that you need resolving give me a shout on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk , call me on 01483 200387.

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The Future Of Marketing Is Now

My son Sam watches quite a lot of films and I have to admit his taste in movies isn’t exactly highbrow.

 

His favourite of all time is probably the Back To The Future series. Apparently, he’s seen all three at least 10 times each.

 

Where did we go wrong?

 

I’ve seen the first one but neither of the others.

 

Amazingly the first one was made over 30 years ago and is almost like a bit of a time capsule. You can see what Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg between them thought the future would look like.

The Future of Marketing is Now

Some ideas like hover boards and dehydrated food is sort of reality today but we’re certainly still miles away from flying cars and self-lacing trainers.

 

But when you think about it there’s one bit where they were miles off.

 

At one point in the second film, Marty receives a fax!!

 

I guess in 1989 faxes must have still seemed pretty futuristic.

 

The digital age and the internet hadn’t even been dreamt of.

Website

Back in the 80s, no one would have believed you if you told them that:

  • In the not too distant future, you’d be able to present your business to anyone, anywhere in the world via your website just when they’re looking for what you sell.
  • That a set up called Facebook would have one in four people in the world as members and you’d be able to target them precisely, showing ads to people who exactly match your target audience……… and that it wouldn’t cost you anything until they actually take a look.
  • That email would enable you to send detailed messages to thousands of carefully selected people at virtually no cost.
  • That via Google Adwords you’d be able to advertise to people who are searching for exactly what you sell and none of your budget would be wasted on uninterested people.
  • That a technique called Remarketing would allow you to track down people who are interested in what you sell, have visited your website but haven’t bitten first time around.

Digital

For someone like me who has been in marketing since before the digital age, back in the day, this stuff would have sounded impossible and I would have done anything to get my hands on it.

 

There’s absolutely no doubt that if you put all this lot together and get them working synergistically, that you can deliver loads of new prospects into your business, allowing you to dramatically grow your business in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost that it would have done in the analogue days.

 

In the film, there were two different versions of Marty’s dad George. There was the downtrodden guy whose life was going nowhere and the super successful version who had everything under control. If you want to be more like the second version, get in touch by emailing me on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or calling 01483 200387  and we’ll start turbocharging your sales.

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Top Tips for Combining Digital and Traditional Marketing

In the last few years the world of digital marketing has exploded.

SEO, content and social media campaigns have become essential elements of your marketing efforts.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should forget about traditional marketing methods.

Read more

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Does Your Business Use Facebook Ads?

Facebook could be described as the world’s second-largest billboard (with Google at number one). But advertising on Facebook is a whole other beast to appearing on search engines using Google Ads or even Bing Ads.

Creating ads on Facebook is a relatively easy process – it’s designed to be as simple as possible, because not everyone has a degree in computer science! What’s more, compared to advertising on Google, Facebook is an affordable way to promote your company online.

If you aren’t currently using Facebook ads, you’re missing out on an amazing opportunity.

Facebook ads can achieve a variety of different objectives from promoting specific products and offers, to building brand awareness and engaging and increasing your social media audience.

Social media is what I like to call a ‘fleeting medium’, in the sense that a Facebook post you write today could very well be forgotten tomorrow, replaced by another great post by your business. Rather than seeing this as a negative, advertising on Facebook positively plays on social media’s fast-paced and modular nature.

A/B Testing

If you’ve done email marketing before, you’ll be aware of A/B testing, and how it can help produce superior results. Facebook offers precisely the same ability, in which you can test two forms of the same advert, and see which performs better before launching the successful advert to a wider audience.

Reach a Mobile Audience

Much of today’s browsing occurs on mobile phones – a fact Facebook fully understands, given that they have well over 1 billion mobile users logging in each month. That’s a vast audience you can reach with your adverts.

Take Control

Want to change your advert’s design? Facebook is ideal if you’re concerned about spamming people with the same images and videos over a period of time, allowing a greater level of creative control when it comes to switching out one advert style or message for another.

Facebook, however, has one single killer app that blows search engine advertisement out of the water…

Audience Targeting

While Google, Bing and Yahoo! have a lot of coverage, with around 12 billion searches each month on Google alone, they lack the laser-focus offered by Facebook.

Facebook ads and boosted, or promoted, posts can be targeted to precisely hit the right market for your business. You can choose age, location, gender, and even associated interests, and even what’s known as lookalike profiles; those profiles who are similar to your existing customers in a single country.

The social network even allows you to exclude your existing customers in order to attract strictly new clientele. That means rather than taking a scatter-gun approach to online advertising, you can pinpoint the exact market you want to reach.

There are some huge benefits to using Facebook advertising to complement your wider marketing strategy, and given that much of today’s marketing occurs online – and in the hands of mobile phone users specifically – Facebook offers companies the opportunity to promote themselves, their services and their products to even larger audience than has ever been possible before.

If you’d like assistance in successfully marketing your business both off and online, simply contact me on 01483 200 387 to find out how I can help.

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What Google’s Ad Changes Mean for Your Business

The world of marketing has found a very natural home online. That’s where the businesses are; that’s where the audience can be found; and that’s where the money is. Everything from creative content to purely promotional posts can be found online, each assisting with an overall marketing strategy.

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Spearheading that change is Google. Not content with providing the world with split-second search results, they swiftly dominated what is essentially the world’s most famous billboard with advertising. Appearing at the top of the page are relevant paid-for adverts, while on the right-hand side, you’d expect to see more adverts from Google Shopping.

Why Google Removed Ads

Well, you might’ve done once upon a time. However, at the end of February, Google opted to remove all adverts on the right of the screen. There are several reasons for that change. For starters, Google found that browsers simply didn’t click on those adverts. Then there’s the fact that the majority of people on Google are searching using their mobiles, which don’t even have right-hand adverts.

There is another added bonus too. Without the ads, the page looks a lot cleaner, visually. This is one of the main (if few) reasons that people have consistently rated rival search engine Bing as better than Google. But a bonus for general users still has knock on effects for businesses, who fear that with the removal of ads equals a major drop in brand awareness, website hits and, ultimately, the bottom line.

But is that fear justified?

Reasons to Be Cheerful

Not exactly. It turns out that far from meaning the disappearance of small- to medium-sized businesses on Google, the removal of adverts has generally had next to no effect for smaller players, either good or bad. Partly, of course, that’s down to the low CTR (click-through rate) of right-column adverts – but it’s also being assisted by Google adding an extra banner advert to the top of the search results page, bringing the total to four.

Another worry was that it would mean having to spend more for less; with space at a premium, the price would become premium too. Again, there appears to be no great change to the auction-style bid process that Google’s ads have always used, and overall, the CPC (cost-per-click) hasn’t dramatically risen.

These changes do have wider ramifications though – as you’d expect from our old friends Cause and Effect. Specifically, if your business is focused solely on marketing through SEO, you could stand to lose out, as the old ‘organic #1’ spot has been replaced by the ‘paid ad #4’. As such, you may notice a lower organic CTR.

How to Deal with Change

In fact, the only way to face changes such as these is to embrace them. And that means ensuring you have a fully integrated marketing strategy, which encompasses both SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) tactics, not just working together but totally complementing each other.

What these changes to Google’s adverts really mean is that we’re entering an incredibly exciting time, for marketers and companies. It means you can craft even better ad extensions – the brief description of what you offer – for paid-for ads that have a wider audience. It means you now have the perfect opportunity to review your website, studying how to improve the experience for users. That, in turn, means upping the site’s quality, which enhances its organic search potential on Google.

If you’d like to discuss Google’s latest changes and how we can work together to help grow your business please contact on 01483 200 387.

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Comparing Traditional and Digital Marketing

The purpose of the article is to look at and comparing traditional and digital marketing and assess which is most appropriate for small businesses in 2016.

If you look through the local paper there will be loads of advertisements for local businesses but the question I always wonder about is how successful are they?

I say this as most of them are what you would call “brand adverts”.

That is they are advertising their name and probably what they do but little else. There’s no special offer, no benefits and no call to action.

What they’re trying to do is to get their name out there – to build brand awareness.

So what’s wrong with that – isn’t that what all the big companies do?

Well yes it is, but big companies have the benefit of people already knowing what they do and what they stand for.

Small businesses, like yours and mine, should be doing direct response marketing. Marketing that makes targeted special offers within a limited time frame and demands action.

To illustrate what I’m talking about I’m going to take a completely hypothetical example which I’ve just made up involving two local bakeries, who will fight it out on your local high street in the run up to Easter in a couple of months time.

“Cracking Cakes” goes the standard route of building brand awareness while “Simply Brilliant Bread” decides to go down the direct response route.

So this is what happens……………

“Cracking Cakes” decides to run a series of ads on the local radio and to take a series of quarter page ads in the local paper.

The ads look nice and pretty and talk about the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread and cakes, how good it is to know where your food comes from and how you should feel warm and fuzzy for supporting your local retailer.

However the ads say nothing about particular products and give no specific reason why anyone should buy from them in the run up to Easter.

Now the people in “Simply Brilliant Bread” take a very different approach.

They create a special seasonal product – a hamper filled with lots of festive products and then they create a digital campaign to support it.

They start by creating a web page featuring the hamper. Also on the page is a free download featuring several festive baking recipes.

To drive people to the sign up page, they create some banner ads and then some re-marketing ads which they target to local people.

They also do some Facebook advertising, tightly targeted at their key demographic of 30 – 60 year old mums.

They support this activity by emailing their database, telling them all about the special offer, with its cut off date shortly before Easter and then another series of emails, this time pushing the free baking recipes.

So there you have it – two very different campaigns.

So who makes the most money?

 “Cracking Cakes” will probably have generated a little extra business – a few people might have been motivated to go there just by being reminded of their existence but they haven’t given them any reason to take action and a lot of their spend will have been wasted on people not in their target audience .

“Simply Brilliant Bread” have been pretty clever.

They’ve targeted their audience precisely in a way which will avoid wastage, they’ve made them a seasonally relevant special offer with a built in cut off date and their messages have been delivered by extremely cost effective mechanisms.

So I hope you can see why this kind of business should avoid brand advertising and focus on direct response. Now this doesn’t in any way mean that I think all traditional forms of marketing no longer work. Direct mail, for example, probably works better now than ever.

Traditional advertising always had its drawbacks and nowadays there are so many better options than advertising.

If you want to see what direct response marketing can do for your own business get in touch by emailing me on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk , calling me on 01483 200387.