5 Signs It’s Time To Revamp Your Sales Script

Illistration of a hand holding a megaphone with a speech bubble saying

“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.”

 

This quote from a prominent business author and keynote speaker pretty much sums up how to handle sales. Even if a business has all the opportunities to make lucrative sales in the world, it won’t matter if it blunders on every one of them. With the lingering economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, never has proper sales management been more crucial than now.

With that out of the way, perhaps it’s about time business owners re-evaluate their current sales script. For one, since COVID hit, doing business has changed. Consumer habits, supply chains, business operations—none of these aspects can ever go back to what they used to be before the pandemic. Businesses unable to cope with this change ended up closing their doors.

For another, for all their expertise, sales reps are prone to getting complacent after successful sales. Because whatever they’re doing seems to work, they either won’t be in a rush to change their ways or tackle more than they can chew. When such tactics no longer produce the same effect, they’ll be at a loss as to what to do.

For the record, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a sales script if it still yields wanted results. However, if the following signs manifest, it’s time to update it to suit the new normal:

 

1. Misconceptions are rife

False beliefs and half-truths can induce a false sense of confidence, and businesses are just as vulnerable to it. Sales reps who cling to such misconceptions will be in a dangerous position when they come back to bite them. Contrary to popular belief, they occur more often than one might think. 

Here are some common misconceptions about sales:

  • There’s a one-size-fits-all sales pitch
  • Excellent sales reps can sell anything
  • Lowering prices entices more customers
  • A sale’s success depends on the first three minutes
  • Sales reps care more about commissions than customers
  • Quality products and services practically sell themselves 

Breaking them down one by one warrants its own article, but the gist is that these fallacies can appear in a business’s sales script. Specific lines like “I know you are busy” or “Can I have 15 minutes of your time” will give the impression that the rep’s just reading from a prepared sales script. Some consumers might feel that the sales attempt isn’t genuine.

Eliminating this dangerous mindset requires updating everyone’s knowledge of what constitutes good sales. This, in turn, reflects in better questions to ask consumers, information supported by data, and improved adlib, all of which are present in good sales call script examples. Sales reps will also be less likely to read them verbatim, which is the ideal way to do so.

 

2. Reliance on cold calling

Cold calling involves sales reps contacting people who have yet to express interest in a business and its products and services, typically by phone. Although slowly falling out of favor, plenty of companies still rely on it for several reasons: it helps find new customers and establish a healthy connection, and even hones fledgling sales reps in their craft.

That said, the reasons for cold calling’s recent decline are twofold: statistical and governmental.

  • First, statistics show that only 2% of all cold calls result in a meeting—and they cost 60% more to manage than other marketing methods. Over the years, consumers have become more aware of how blatant advertising looks and sounds. They don’t appreciate wasting their time. (3)

 

  • Second, several countries have enacted laws that protect consumer rights, including the choice of receiving such calls. In the U.K., the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) enables individuals and businesses to opt out of sales calls (similar to the National Do Not Call Registry in the U.S.). Companies can face legal action if they attempt to cold-call a TPS-registered number.

 

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that cold calling itself isn’t illegal. In fact, when done responsibly, it can help businesses yield positive results. When drafting a sales script that relies on cold calling, don’t forget to update it with the following elements:

  • Research data on the prospective industry or market
  • More personalized responses for various situations
  • Information provided by relationship-building tools
  • Inbound marketing principles 

More importantly, it pays to have more than one type of sales script. Given that some consumers don’t like being cold-called, businesses should develop variations for other marketing media. A multipronged approach can enable the brand to appear in more channels.

 

3. Too much dialogue

Arthur Miller’s 1949 stage play, Death of a Salesman, is a classic, if not spoiling the ending. The main character, a 63-year-old salesman, tends to be a chatterbox but can’t figure out why. He doesn’t get as much respect as another character, who seems to talk far less. Regardless, the play essentially portrays a problem among sales reps: they talk too much.

One study shows that seven out of ten consumers see sellers that help them discover their issues and offer a practical solution as having the most influence in their purchases. When it comes to the actual numbers, however, only three in ten sellers fit the description. This means that a seller’s words go nowhere 70% of the time. 

The reasons for such a habit vary from the sales rep’s personality to the quality of the sales script given. The latter should allow enough time for prospects to ask questions or share their concerns. A sales script that has a sales rep talking for more than half of the time isn’t ideal. One way to reduce unnecessary chatter is to include some questions to ask a prospect, such as:

  • What I heard from you is that [reiterate the prospect’s words], correct?
  • Is this relevant to your company’s goals this quarter/month/year?
  • Is there anything that I might have missed?
  • What aspect takes priority at the moment?

In the end, the most critical goal a sales script should achieve is the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the consumer. It’s the best way a business can prove that it’s worth every penny of the consumer’s money.

 

4. Lacking valuable data

One thing that’s as dangerous as talking too much is talking too little, even to the point of having nothing important to say. Expect any sales attempt to fail if the sales rep can’t back up anything they claim or say with sufficient evidence.

People put a lot of faith in statistics and other hard facts; that’s why any information that carries these will appear credible. There are plenty of things the average consumer doesn’t understand, especially in certain industries like healthcare. Science-backed data is the best way to explain a phenomenon in layman’s terms, and statistics is the science of presenting that data.

A sales script should include any relevant data and the means to present it. If a prospect asks about a cheaper option, the sales rep must support its answer with hard facts. As trivial as it seems, the potential customer may have been struggling with this question for days. Getting customers to pick the brand will depend on the answer the sales rep gives.

Of course, anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Packing a script with enough figures to make it a full-blown academic paper may be tempting but doing so will only veer customers away from the more essential points. Only include facts that’ll support a brand’s claims.

 

5. Lack of storytelling

Related to the point above, as credible as an informative sales script can be, it’s only half of a successful formula. As mentioned earlier, too much information, especially when it’s barely relevant, can quickly bore a prospect to the point of losing interest. 

In a twist of irony, there are statistics to back it up: among prospects, 63% remember stories vividly, but only 5% remember a statistical point. It isn’t hard to see why: storytelling connects to people on an emotional level better than statistics. Readers of a good novel can’t help but put themselves in the shoes of a struggling main character for the immersion. (5)

Whether in the retail or tech industry, whether to customers or other businesses, always keep in mind not to sell a product or service but the experience of using it. A good sales script should reflect this, focusing on the outcome of using a product or service more than its features. Experts refer to this as experience selling.

If a sales script appears rather bland after a run-through, it must be because it lacks a compelling story. A business can do this in three ways: asking what-if questions, highlighting its mission and vision, and citing testimonies from satisfied customers. Whichever the script chooses to include, the following storytelling tips apply.

  • Remember the golden rule of storytelling: “Show, don’t tell.”
  • Don’t hesitate to be emotional (still support it with facts).
  • Make sure the prospect is following the story closely.
  • Tell it in a way that everyone can understand clearly.

 

Conclusion

Whether caused by a global health crisis or changing consumer habits, change in business is inevitable. No matter how long it’s been in use, a sales script could use a major update if it’s showing these signs and more.

Forget-Me-Not: Science Reveals the Secrets of Print Marketing

Open magazines

Let’s close our eyes and travel back to a couple of months ago. Your friend is on holiday and has sent you a joyful text with a fascinating picture from the exotic country they are visiting: do you remember it? Vaguely? Perhaps not at all? What is more, you may have even deleted the photo after a while to save space on your device. However, if a postcard reaches your letterbox, you may recall more details about it: the stamp, the message on the back, the actual image, and so on. Chances are, it is still on your kitchen wall, and you often look at it with a smile.

Still, in an increasingly digitalised world, there seems to be very little space left for print and paper. With the frenzy of everyday life, we tend to engage with content by scrolling through social media, glued either to our phone or laptop. Marketers have adapted swiftly by rendering their digital ads as punchy and as condensed as possible to immediately grab consumers’ attention.

On a whole, digital marketing is fast and cost-effective. However, print is often more memorable than digital content, and some feel it is more authentic. With recent neuroscience research revealing that print content has the capacity of maximising sensory appeal and that it may ultimately stick with the consumer for longer, let’s have a look at why – according to science – it is certainly worth giving paper marketing another go.

 

Easier to read and understand

When comparing the impact of paper marketing with digital content through eye-tracking and EEG brain wave measurements, the results were in favour of print. Evaluating the difference in cognitive load – the ability to understand what you have in front of you – print media proved to be easier to digest. In fact, according to a study performed by Canadian neuromarketers at TrueImpact, print content “requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable”. Considering that the ability to comprehend content with ease is strongly linked to brand recall, it is clear that this is particularly interesting data.

 

It presses the right ‘buttons’

Locked away inside our cranium, the ventral striatum is an area of the brain that has been identified by scientists as an indicator of desire and valuation. Through fMRI scans, Temple University researchers compared digital and print media’s effects on this small brain structure to measure marketing effectiveness. Results showed that paper advertisements, whether direct mail or magazine inserts, sparked more activity inside the ventral striatum. This suggests that print marketing has a more persuasive influence on buyers. While not a total guarantee, activity within this area of the brain can be a reliable predictor of future purchasing behaviour.

 

Paper creates more emotion

In line with our postcard example, physical material has the ability to both build meaningful connections and stimulate sentiments. This is because it feels much more ‘real’ and tangible to the brain. As a 2009 Bangor University study highlights, paper media allows for a greater ‘internalisation’ of the adverts; by entering buyers’ minds more effectively, people will likely remember the content and the brand for a longer period.  

 

Long-form print best satisfies contemporary needs

We live in a world that becomes more complex every day. Amidst the numerous controversies of our times, consumers are increasingly demanding transparency. When it comes to pinpointing one’s position on a pressing current affairs issue, from climate change to ethnic minorities or LGBTQ+ rights, it may be quite challenging to express the brand’s view in a succinct, character-restricted statement. The nature of the online sphere requires digital adverts to be short and incisive in order to capture people’s attention. However, this compromises the length and depth of the company’s stance. Long-form print offers the chance to express a brand’s view on a problem that cannot be pinned down in a few words, giving consumers the opportunity to remember and relate better to the company’s ethos.

 

In a nutshell, print content allows for a more personal and impactful experience. By engaging consumers’ senses on multiple levels and stimulating people’s memory, paper adverts may have an edge over their digital counterparts.

Ultimately, science has spoken: print marketing should not be a dying art. It is, instead, still very much capable of creating engagement and sparking curiosity in people’s minds.

A Guide to Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most dynamic and cost-effective ways to reach existing and potential new customers. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services and expand your potential reach with a soft-sell and relatively unobtrusive approach.

 

What exactly is email marketing?

Email marketing is more than just sending an email. It’s an intelligent form of targeted marketing that introduces news products, services, discounts and special offers to customers and contacts on your email list. It can be a crucial component of your overall marketing strategy, generating leads, selling products, encouraging sign-ups, strengthening brand awareness and relationships.

Email marketing and useful email marketing software will keep customers engaged with your brand between their purchases through different types of marketing communications. It delivers important marketing messages to targeted recipients who have already formed some sort of connections with your brand, either through a previous purchase, email sign-up or request for more information.

 

Why choosing the right email marketing platform for your business matters

If you’re looking to begin email marketing then having a reliable platform to deliver your marketing is essential. Different platforms offer a range of different features and benefits, with some being more suitable for some businesses rather than others. Some businesses will require more facilities and greater scalability, others will only need a streamlined set of features to help them deliver a basic set of marketing messages.

It’s important therefore to think about the kind of strategies you’re likely to employ when it comes to email marketing and how they will integrate into your wider marketing approach. As well as exploring the features each platform offers you should also consider how easy it is to use.

A complex email marketing platform with a multitude of features might be superfluous for your needs. Likewise, you should consider how your email marketing will develop over time, and how important it is that your email marketing platform is able to deliver increased email volume.

 

What criteria should a platform be judged on?

There are a range of criteria to bear in mind when looking at which email platform is likely to be best for your business. These include:

 

Ease of use

Firstly, how easy is it to use? Does it allow you to get started quickly and won’t require too much time spent learning how it operates. Errors can be costly and time-consuming to put right, so having an easy to use platform is a real advantage.

 

Features

You should pay close attention to the range of features that each platform offers. Typically you should look for a comprehensive range of templates, as well as easy management tools. A good platform will incorporate good reporting software and offer integration with other tools you use such as WordPress.

 

Pricing

Pricing should always be a key consideration when comparing platforms. They should offer an introductory trial option to give you the opportunity to try out the platform, assess its features and decide whether or not it’s suitable for your needs. Is the pricing structure realistic for your business over the long term?

 

Compliance

A platform needs to take into account UK compliance requirements. Your email marketing needs to stay within relevant legislation and your platform should make it easy for you to do so by providing tools to encourage credible sign-ups.

 

Scaling

It’s important to think about the likely trajectory of your email marketing strategy and how it might need to be scaled up in the future. Is the platform you’re considering flexible enough to allow your email marketing to grow?

 

What platforms are available?

There are a number of different platforms available and here we’ll take a look at each of them in more detail:

 

Email Blaster

Email Blaster is one of the UK’s leading email marketing platforms. They make it easy for you to get an email marketing campaign up and running. By using drag and drop, importing your email database is a simple task. The online wizard also allows you to add data saved from any spreadsheet application.

Once you’ve added your database you can choose from a wide variety of free email marketing

templates. These allow you to add text and images direct from your computer, making it easy to personalise templates to suit your needs. Once you’ve compiled your email content, you can then hit send, or schedule the date and time of delivery that best suits your needs.

Crucially, Email Blaster makes it easy to keep a track on how your campaign is progressing. You can access information about how often your emails are delivered, opened, read, clicked and more. Charts and graphs help you assess how successful your campaign has been. Integration with mapping software allows you to locate where your customers are. All of this data can then be used to help inform the next stage of your campaign.

In terms of pricing, Email Blaster is highly competitive offering a range of packages based on the number of emails you will be sending per month. Accounts are free to open and you can try each of the packages for free.

Email Blaster also provides accessible, UK based support that is available when you need it most. To help you grow your email marketing lists it comes with a powerful subscribe app free of charge.

All in all, Email Blaster provides an easy to use and accessible means through which to start developing an email marketing strategy.

 

Mailchimp

If you’re looking for an email marketing platform you will almost certainly encounter Mailchimp. They are one of the world’s biggest providers of email marketing tools and have a large marketing budget themselves. For this reason, many people opt for Mailchimp without considering some of the alternatives.

Mailchimp provides three different versions of its platform: Forever Free, Growing Business and Pro. The key difference with each of these versions is the number of contacts and emails you can send each month.

The free option provides an accessible way to get started but without any analytical tools, it doesn’t offer you any means to monitor how your campaign is doing. As a result, you can end up wasting a lot of time and energy on fruitless campaigns.

Mailchimp offers a range of integration features, including a FacebookAd option, but many of these may be superfluous to most small business users. One factor where Mailchimp loses out to some of the competition is its very basic automation options. Without automation you’re left doing much more of the work.

In terms of support, Mailchimp is US based so what support it does offer may be difficult to access. Overall, Mailchimp may be a decent option for the occasional email or newsletter, but if you’re intending to use email as part of an integrated marketing strategy then other options are more suitable.

 

Sendinblue

Sendinblue started out as a digital agency. They developed their email marketing platform when they identified just how difficult it was for small to medium sized businesses to develop effective email marketing strategies. It contains a comprehensive set of features, including CRM, marketing automation, transactional emails, SMS, landing pages and Facebook ads.

Their free plan gives up to 300 free emails a day, along with 60 days of free (US based) phone support. Their paid plans begin at $25 dollars a month for 10,000 emails.

The plans are low cost and the platform is accessible and easy to use. Unlike Mailchimp, Sendinblue offers a comprehensive automation feature. On the downside, the free plan is very limited in terms of the amount of emails you can send, offering more of a platform taster than a realistic means by which to develop an email marketing strategy.

The newsletter templates perhaps look a little dated and the available choice is limited. If you want to expand your available templates you will need to upload your own HTML. Also, the system can feel a little slow at times.

All in all, Sendinblue is a budget option that offers a basic service for people starting out with email marketing. It now looks and feels a little dated and as a US based platform, isn’t tailored to the UK market.

 

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a lead generation tool that allows you to integrate email sign-up forms on your website. It can be integrated with a range of email marketing platforms. Starting out as a WordPress plugin, it’s now an adaptable cloud-based tool that allows you to create and manage email sign-up popups without having to rely on WordPress.

OptinMonster has an easy to use interface, which makes creating email sign-up pop-ins relatively straightforward. It allows you to create a variety of different campaigns, from small pop-up boxes to whole screen fillers, as well as slide-ins, floating bars and a sidebar form.

While OptinMonster does offer a range of tools that make it easy to set up sign-up forms, they do have their limitations. While OptinMonster has simple intuitive UI, and its design editor doesn’t require any coding knowledge, it doesn’t offer any internal analytics to help you assess how your pop-ups are performing. It also still works best with WordPress.

While OptinMonster offers an achievable means for businesses to grow their email marketing lists, other options may be preferable, not least lead generation tools designed specifically to work with the email marketing platform of choice.

 

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing platform that promises to get users emailing quickly through its easy-to-use features. It’s targeted primarily as small-to-medium sized businesses and offers a range of tools that they may find useful.

One of these tools is its campaign tracking analytics which give the user the ability to assess how any particular email is performing. These are available at every pricing band. The design feature includes drag and drop graphic elements as well as one-click access to a stock image library.

In price terms, Campaign Monitor is one of the more expensive options, with a $9 a month basic package that allows for just 500 emails a month. The potential for customisation is limited and its direct support channels are lacking compared to some of its rivals.

That said, Campaign Monitor does have some benefits for small businesses looking to quickly establish an email marketing campaign. As another US based platform, it may have some drawbacks for UK based companies.

 

An effective means to communicate with customers

Email marketing provides a simple and highly effective way to communicate with customers. Email marketing platforms make it easy to create and manage an email marketing campaign offering a range of templates, analytics and other tools to simplify the entire process.

Email Blaster is a UK based company offering email marketing solutions with high-levels of support and great functionality to businesses of all shapes and sizes across the world.

You can find out more about Email Blaster, what makes it different and how it could benefit your business right here. If you’re ready to get started then why not sign up for a free account today?

7 SaaS Website Design Tips to Convert Visitors into Customers

Website Design

SaaS companies are booming, and competition in the market is fierce. With so many options for customers to choose from, it’s crucial that SaaS websites have a really catchy design which will impress potential clients on first sight! 

If you fail at this, users might start looking elsewhere- but not before they take their business away with them too if left unchecked. To avoid this, check our 7 useful tips on SaaS website design that help convert visitors into customers:

 

1. Make your website simple and responsive

SaaS websites are usually designed in a simple way because the users don’t want to spend a lot of time on them. If your site looks too complicated, users will leave it immediately. So, make sure that your website is easy to navigate and doesn’t have any unnecessary elements which could distract the visitors from what they came for.

Also, make sure that your site is responsive and works well on all devices. According to research, around 66% of the visitors are using portable devices to access the Internet. It means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, you could lose a lot of potential customers because they won’t be able to see it properly on their phones or tablets. 

 

2. Use clean navigation buttons

When designing a SaaS website, use clean navigation buttons that are clear and easy to understand for everyone. Don’t use too many different colors or styles in them, otherwise your website will look messy and hard to navigate through. Use only one color scheme for the whole site and make sure that you don’t have any broken links in it as well.

Also, make sure that there are no unnecessary pop-ups or advertisements which would distract users from what they want – to find information about your product.

 

3. Make sure that you have a great landing page for new visitors

If you want to attract more customers, make sure that your landing page is designed well. It should be clear and easy to understand, so the visitors won’t have any difficulties with finding information they are looking for. You can also use some interesting facts about your product or company to keep the visitors interested in your website.

 

4. Make it easy for visitors to reach out for help

If someone has questions or problems with using your product or service, they should be able to reach out to you without hassle and get an answer as soon as possible so that they can continue working with your product without getting distracted by technical issues. That’s why it is crucial for SaaS companies to provide live chat support and quick response time in case there are any problems with using their product or service.

 

5. Use clear call-to-action buttons

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are one of the most important elements of any website because they help users convert into customers. That’s why it is crucial for SaaS companies to use CTA buttons on their site because they should clearly show what users will get if they click on it. For example, “Get Started” button will encourage users to sign up for a trial version or the “Buy Now” button will encourage them to buy a product/service immediately after visiting the site.

So, make sure that your CTA buttons look attractive and compelling enough to persuade users into taking action. Also, try using different colors for different CTAs – red/orange color usually works best for call-to-action buttons that encourage users into taking action (e.g., signing up for a free trial), while green/blue color usually works best for call-to-action buttons that show what user will get after clicking on it (e.g., buying the product).

 

6. Use images and videos on the site

Images and videos are very important when it comes to SaaS websites because they help users understand what kind of services you offer better than just text would do. So, make sure that you have plenty of them on your site because they will help users get a better idea of what kind of work you do, how it works, etc.

Videos are especially useful if you want to explain how some complicated features work or show how to use them properly. Also, don’t forget to mention which devices are supported by your software or service – pictures are not enough for some people who might need more detailed information about how their device works with your software/service before making a purchase decision.

 

7. Add a blog section

Blogs have become an integral part of online marketing strategies because they help you build trust among your potential customers by providing valuable content on your niche. Also, blogs allow you to connect with influencers in your industry, which can be very helpful if you want to increase brand awareness or get more traffic from search engines.

7 Must-read Books for Aspiring Marketers

Marketer

Marketing is one of the things that make a business successful. If you have a good idea, product or service, but do not know how to sell it, you will not make money. Turning prospects to customers require the help of a good marketer and marketing skills.

Marketing is all about the activities a company takes to endorse the purchasing or selling of a product or service. Advertising, selling, and delivering products to customers or other businesses are all part of marketing.

Influential and affiliate marketing can help in boosting the sales of the company. The marketing department of the company needs to be updated on the different trends in society. This is because marketing experts need to get to their targets by connecting with them.

Some marketing moves may involve celebrity endorsements, catchy phrases or slogans, media exposure, and excellent packaging. Marketers – make use of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion) to convince buyers.

 

What is expected of a marketer?

As a marketer, you need to be updated with all recent trends amongst your target consumers. Doing market research and analysis will help in getting the required information. 

If you are an aspiring marketer, you need to know that the business world is fiercely competitive. Your business needs healthy ideas that make your strategy unique, and you can improve this by reading books from seasoned experts. 

We have put together a list of seven marketing books to read and improve your marketing strategies.

 

1. 2017 Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future by Rohit Bhargava

What are some of the trends that affect our businesses which several people are not aware of or do not even think about? This is typically the information you will get in the 2017 edition of the book “Non-obvious.” 

Rohit puts together 15 new trends and 60 past forecasts that will aid any business make a more significant impact. Marketers need to read about the future of marketing and which strategies will successfully influence customers and earn customer trust and loyalty.

 

2. Blue Ocean Shift

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

This book is a must-read for all aspiring marketers. It is all about taking your business from a fiercely competitive market known as the red sea to new markets that have not been adulterated or touched the authors refer to as the blue ocean.

The blue market is filled with unexploited opportunities. Most businesses are already accustomed to using the same strategies. The book helps you think beyond the standard marketing norms and develop your own fresh, unique approach. 

 

3. Future Marketing

Future Marketing: Winning in the Prosumer Age by Jon Wuebben

The future is ours to build, and we can make whatever we want of it. In this book, the seasoned marketing writer Joe compiles recent research, data, and predictions from different fields, to show how cultural and technological changes will affect the marketing industry.

He further talks about how content marketing and marketing technology will change.

How will marketing practices look like in 2021 and 2030? Future marketing is your guide to get more insight into the future of marketing and how to plan your strategies.


4. GetSocialSmart: How to Hone Your Social Media Strategy by Katie Lance

Are you a new marketer and not yet familiar with how social media works? GetSocialSmart aids you figure out the leading platforms to use and how brands can use the media platforms successfully. The book focuses on creating a well-branded social media strategy to ensure long-term success by creating a full-proof customer acquisition and retention plan. 

As a marketer, you will also need to learn how to use the different social media technologies plus live streaming to tell the story of the brand and build relationships with customers.


5. What Customers Crave

What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas Webb

This book talks about how companies can get accustomed to changing customer needs and wants by identifying their target audience’s likes and dislikes. It shows that you have to build essential and engaging experiences that generate brand loyalty to comprehend your audience.

 

6. A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing

A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts by Bev Burgess and Dave Munn

The book is written by the two people who introduced account-based marketing as a strategy for business growth. The book provides a detailed guide to comprehending, investing in, and successfully establishing ABM strategies.

The book uses companies like; Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft as their case studies. This helps to give a practical guide that can be used by any company.

 

7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

How do you persuade someone to say yes? The basic of marketing is getting someone to agree to your proposal. This is always easier said than done – people are still coming in contact with things they love but hesitate to make a purchase.

Though a customer is reluctant to buy, you still want to sell your product. In the book “Influence,” the author spells out how thoughtful words and a convincing prowess.

If you are an aspiring marketer searching for new approaches/strategies in marketing and ideas, you can relate to your marketing tactics. The books listed above are some of the best marketing books that you can read. The books will aid you to comprehend recent trends and strategies for all marketing types.

Marketing is a complex and continuously evolving field. With digital marketing pushing us into a new era, the learning curve is always around the corner. Every marketer needs to realize that they have to be a student of marketing for life in order to master its various aspects. 

To continue your marketing education, check out this list of the best marketing books by Cool Things Chicago, which will help you in your journey. 

The Storytellers Heralding in a New Age of Business Communication

Communication

As the ‘Most Outstanding Tech-Focused PR Agency 2021’ for California, LMGPR has been quick to secure itself as a cornerstone business during the pandemic. Helping its clients to find new public relations and communications methods, it has been hard at work to ensure that no business under its care lost sight of how to reach the market segments they need to operate within.

LMGPR, in essence, are storytellers, influencers, and market shapers. Being the marketing and public representation agency with the latest innovations and processes at its back, it has endeared itself deeply to its clientele, each of whom can expect the right story, the right audience, and the best results as a direct consequence of its work. Its efforts allow clients to reach out to the market segment that their products and services will best serve in the most effective manner possible, delivering incredibly efficient and sophisticated ways to operate in the dynamic and ever-changing media landscape.

Its flagship product, LMGPR Pulse, has therefore been built up from three key components. Each of these components are elements that follow LMGPR throughout its business, and have been in implementation since its inception, ensuring that this company can develop on top of a solid core foundation. Critically, these principles are strategic positioning, narrative story engine, and social influence. By finding ways to leverage each of these things in a contemporary, online marketplace, it will be the catalyst of further growth for its clients in everything from their leadership to their momentum and expansion; its efforts also create new business opportunities, increase sales, and create space for them to become a market leader.

Each of these elements is made possible by its experience, knowledge, and understanding. Over the years it has been in operation, LMGPR has been working hard to gain an in-depth, broad, and expansive knowledge base that it can implement when serving its clients, both of the wider market and the ways certain businesses fit within it. Therefore, it has been able to use these elements of its operation to create a new and systematic approach to public relations that will help its clients to use this knowledge to their benefit, representing the most effective and sophisticated way to drive business success in a diverse corporate ecosystem.

In a world where means and formats of communication change on the daily, LMGPR keeps time with the beating drum of progress, guaranteeing its clientele a certain peace of mind that its services will be tailored to match. By keeping itself thoroughly adaptable and using the concepts of art and science both, it manages the subjective and objective features of public representation, whilst not losing sight of its client’s core company goals and mission. Instead, it seeks to use these aspects of its client’s operation in order to create a personable and effective communications strategy.

It supports the marketing, branding, and positioning of its clients’ businesses in their journey to continually get ahead in their respective markets, securing business development, strategic partnerships, new product development, sales, and more; in short, it ensures that a client has time to focus on the things that truly matter, whilst LMGPR handles the professional way to communicate its activities to the wider world. The Loughlin/Michaels Group, founded in 2002, was the starting blocks that LMGPR launched from, led by the eponymous Donna Loughlin Michaels – an experienced PR professional in her own right – and empowered by her tenacity, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Each of the skills and talents of its founder has emboldened LMGPR further in its sprint to the forefront of public relation program development for businesses, made even more outstanding by Michaels’ experience in leading such programs for early-stage technological investors.

Therefore, with knowledge of how to take a new and brilliant innovator from start-up to IPO and even acquisition, LMGPR has secured its reputation as a comprehensive, exemplary, and highly effective public representation company. Its work has become, above all else, synonymous with guaranteed further success. Due to this, LMGPR’s current team is able to consistently live up to this repute with its insightful, expert, and full-service network of communications options, with staff handling everything from editorial, social media, analytics, and industry contact creation. Every account team is led by a professional with a decade of experience under their belt, able to guide those under them seamlessly.

With such a flawless internal organisation that promises LMGPR’s sustainability long into the future, and constantly dependable results for its clientele, its customer service and end results have worked together to make it a true darling of its industry. In addition, by making itself a strategic partner for its clients, its agency team has been able to launch hundreds of market innovators into their deserved spotlight, cultivating their businesses into the next best thing to be seen across a variety of different sectors. Its reshaping and revamping of company image has aided clients across all manner of markets as a result, from the automotive industry to IoT, cybersecurity, robotics, wellness, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, customer lifestyle, and so much more.

LMGPR has also received countless accreditations as a result. With a number of different awards to its name, earned by way of its continuous excellence in leadership, creativity, media relations, and innovative public relations, it has secured its notoriety as a foremost guide in the changing media landscape. It recognises how difficult this can be to navigate – both for newer businesses and even for established enterprises – and so its services invite them to leave nothing to chance, granting them the ability to leave their company’s image in the hands of people who will make it fit the contemporary paradigm perfectly.

During the past year, this has been especially pivotal as many companies found their previous marketing and outreach material no longer effective, either due to a message that did not fit the changing world, or due to a tone that was not appropriate to a global pandemic. LMGPR, due to this, has been helping more clients than ever to find their way through the labyrinth of creative destruction cycles that has been accelerated over the past 18 months, allowing them to find better delivery methods and formats whilst the client continues to focus on the core goals of their business. It will be continuing to provide this as it moves forward towards the rest of the year, taking its clients with it into the fast-emerging new era of public communications.

For more information, please contact Donna Loughlin Michaels or visit www.lmgpr.com

From Entertainment to Enterprise: A New Era of Celebrity Creative Directors

Influencer Marketing

The recent appointment of Love Island’s Molly Mae Hague as Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing has proven to be a disruptive topic within the social sphere, leading to conflicting opinions on whether or not celebrities are equipped to lead the creative practices of brands.

Printing experts Solopress have analysed the new emerging trend of celebrity Creative Directors, delving into the potential benefits and drawbacks of offering senior titles to those already accustomed to the spotlight over professionals who are not.

 

The World of Celebrity Creative Directors

With household names Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore representing the corporate image of Vital Proteins and Garnier respectively and Emily Ratajkowski named Creative Director of face mask brand Loops in October 2020, there’s an evident rise in demand for celebrities to occupy these sought-after roles.

Supermodel and influencer Kendall Jenner also became the most recent addition to the Celebrity Creative Director roster, joining fashion brand FWRD as Creative Director.

However, it isn’t famous females alone that have made a name for themselves with varying levels of success in the business world, with rapper Big Sean appointed as Creative Director of the Detroit Pistons in 2020, will.i.am being previously appointed as Creative Director for tech giants Intel, and fashion titan Marc Jacobs being appointed as CD of Diet Coke in 2013.

This obvious demand for celebrities in senior corporate roles has left many consumers, followers and industry professionals questioning whether or not these appointments are strategic business decisions or mere PR stunts to drive brand awareness.

 

Are Celebrities Qualified to Become a Creative Director?

Between four and seven years of experience working in the advertising, marketing or design sectors is required for non-celebrity candidates to reach executive level and become Creative Directors, according to Campaign.

Skillshare also notes that degree-level education is required in either art, marketing, graphic design, photography or fashion, in addition to practical experience in the chosen industry, naturally climbing the career ladder from a junior position.

The job specifications and qualifications required for prospective non-celebrity Creative Directors already put these candidates at a significant disadvantage compared to celebrities and influencers, who are given leniency with their credentials due to their status, followership or wider industry experience. 

 

What Duties are Involved in the Role of the Celebrity Creative Director?

Creative Directors are tasked with defining the creative vision of a brand, ensuring a cohesive look and feel, establishing budgets and leading the creative team; governing the direction of advertising campaigns and marketing communications. 

When it comes to the expectations of celebrity Creative Directors, the rules are slightly more nuanced. Jennifer Aniston’s relationship with Vital Proteins includes being responsible for product innovations and brand strategy in addition to leading a new social campaign for the brand which incorporates her personal wellness rituals.

On the other hand, Kendall Jenner’s Creative Director duties include taking charge of the look and feel of the FWRD site, the curation of brands sold on-site, monthly trend and style edits as well as marketing ideas, brand partnerships and brand activations.

Pretty Little Thing said Molly Mae Hague will be working closely with the brand’s creative team throughout 2021 and 2022, directing upcoming advertising campaigns and signing new faces for the brand.

 

What Can Celebrity Creative Directors Offer Brands?

With their immense followership, strong connection to their audiences and involvement in the promotion of various brands throughout their career, celebrities bring with them the promise of mass exposure, improved customer confidence and increased sales. Leveraging the 6.1 million Instagram followers of Molly Mae Hague or the 191 million followers of Kendall Jenner will naturally enhance the exposure of a brand, which in turn builds momentum from a sales perspective. 

This undisputable effect and sales uplift is evidenced in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s signature sneaker for Under Armour named Project Rock One which sold out just 30 minutes after launching. When Pizza brand Papa John’s partnered with Shaquille O’Neal and the star created his own signature pizza, over 3 million units were sold within a 2-month period leading to O’Neil eventually becoming a board member of the brand.  

Creative Director of 20ten Sam Richardson stated that one of the key responsibilities of a CD is to promote a brand in the most effective way possible and hiring celebrities is a strategic way to achieve this. 

Whilst some brands will naturally gravitate toward hiring idolised celebrities to share their audiences, others are drawn to their years of experience in certain fields. In response to the appointment of Kendall Jenner as CD of FWRD, Revolve Group shared that due to her years of operating within the fashion industry, Kendall is an expert in the field and therefore couldn’t be a better fit for the position. Similarly, Umar Kamani, CEO of Pretty Little Thing commended Molly Mae Hague for playing such a strong role in the Pretty Little Thing journey and for her investment in the brand, implying that the 22-year-old was selected for her experience, previous input and capabilities in the industry. 

Despite the varying motivations for placing celebrities in these demanding roles, are celebrity Creative Directors really up to the task?

 

Celebrity Endorsements Gone Wrong

From David Beckham representing Brylcream and soon after shaving his head, to Helena Bonham Carter revealing “I don’t know why they chose me, I don’t wear much makeup” in response to her becoming the face of Yardley Cosmetics, there have been a number of jarring examples of celebrity appointments taking a turn for the worse. 

The event of Lady Gaga being elected as Creative Director of Polaroid in 2010 to develop a wireless mobile printer and glasses that could take pictures that never materialised also suggests that the partnership was forged in pursuit of acquiring the artist’s following as opposed to introducing something new and innovative to the market.

These instances emphasise the real risk attached to celebrity appointments without the attachment of relevant qualifications and commercial awareness. One of the most notable examples being when Jessica Alba was hired as Microsoft’s Creative Director to promote the new Windows phone in 2021, the actress was caught tweeting a picture from an Apple iPhone, a directly competing product. 

 

The Average Salary of a Creative Director

As you may expect, becoming a Creative Director in the celebrity world usually involves a highly lucrative proposition. Molly Mae Hague is rumoured to have been awarded a seven-figure deal as a result of her new position whilst for the non-celebrity Creative Director, the average salary sits at £78,654 per year for Creative Directors in the United Kingdom.

Unsurprisingly, this significant pay gap and arguable skills gap between celebrity and non-celebrity corporate brand leaders has sparked a great deal of debate on social media.

One Twitter user commented “Nowadays the connections you have and amount of followers are more valuable than education or experience even” in response to a tweet on the subject of Molly Mae’s appointment, with many others eluding to the fact that those with relevant qualifications would be more deserving of the role. Others took to the social platform congratulating the former Love Island star for her hard work, hailing the 22-year-old as an inspiration, revealing a significant divide in opinion in relation to celebrity “hustle culture”.

 

The Future of Celebrity Creative Directors

Time will tell if this emerging business model of bringing celebrities to the forefront of major brands will become more about finding new ways to resonate with audiences and develop brands and less about reaping the benefits of a celebrity’s huge social presence. 

It will be interesting to see if a candidate’s social presence is going to be considered a significant commodity or pre-qualifier in the hiring process as we look to the future of Creative Directors and whether or not measures will be taken to provide fully qualified, non-celebrity Creative Directors with the same benefits and commendation as their celebrity counterparts.

Ready-to-Use Text Message Templates for Businesses

Illistrated SMS marketing concept, with a giant phone sending messages to people

With the pandemic forcing businesses to increase their digital presence, there’s never been more pressure to ‘cut through the noise’ to gain new customers while retaining existing ones. A survey from Esendex shows that 30% of people receive more than five emails from businesses every day, compared to just 6% for text message; and they’re 10% more likely to read messages sent through their phone than via email too.

But how do you catch your customer’s attention and actually get them to engage with you? James Bosley, marketing manager at Esendex, has put together some quick and easy SMS templates that’ll be useful for various teams across your business.

 

Debt collection

It can be time and money intensive chasing customers that have outstanding debt. It’s also a difficult-to-raise topic that must be handled with sensitivity and care. The onus lies with businesses to ensure their customers feel supported while offering various payment options.

Statement/invoice

 

  1. Dear [customer name], your latest statement is now available to view here [link]. Please remember to make the minimum payment of [amount] before [time period], by [method].

First reminder

  1. Hi [customer name]. You have an outstanding balance of [amount]. Please visit [link] to make a payment as soon as possible or call [number] to discuss the matter further. Thank you.

     

  2. Hi [customer name]. Unfortunately, we have not seen any payments for the last [time period] days, we just wanted to make sure everything is ok. Please call [phone number] to update us on your current situation and to avoid any further collections activity. We are open [dates and times]. If you have been in contact with us in the last [time period] days to update us on your situation, please ignore this message
SMS marketing final payment reminder example message

Final reminder

 

  1. Dear [customer name], unfortunately, we have still not received payment for the outstanding sum of [amount]. We urge you to reply to this message within the next [time period] to avoid any legal action that may be taken to recover your debt.
SMS marketing example message of overdue payment

Payment options

 

  1. Dear [customer name],
    Your payment of [amount] is now overdue. We want to give you some options to help.

    Make a part-payment
    Set up a payment plan
    Talk to us
    <once customer replies>
    Thank you [customer name]. Please follow the link to make a secure online payment, or call [phone number] [link].
SMS marketing thank you for payment example message

Thank you

 

  1. Thank you. Your payment of [amount] has been received and will be processed within [time frame]. Your authorisation code for this payment is [number]. If you’d like to turn on payment reminders for your account, reply with ‘remind me’.

Customer satisfaction

One of the most important parts of running a business is ensuring that your customers are kept up-to-date and are happy with the service and/or products you provide. Running regular surveys are a great way to receive feedback and get to the heart of what your customers want.

 

Notifications, reminders and alerts

Deliveries

 

  1. Hey [customer name]. Your [product] from [company name] has been dispatched and should be with you shortly. While you wait, would you like to check out some [product] we think would go well with your [product]? We’ll even throw in a 10% discount for you.
  2. Your parcel is scheduled to be delivered between [time] and [time]. If this is no longer convenient, please reschedule – [link].

Appointment management

 

  1. Hi [customer name], your appointment is at [time] on [date]. Please confirm if you can make it.
    Yes, see you there!
    I need to reschedule
    <if the latter>

    No problem, your current booking is now cancelled. Follow the link to rebook online or text us back if you prefer:
SMS marketing message of an appointment reminder example message

Feedback

 

  1. Do you have any specific feedback about your experience you would like to share with us? Please reply with any comments you wish to share.
  2. Hi [customer name], thank you for your recent enquiry with us. Was your question answered? Y or N.

 

<If customer replies yes>

 

That’s great! Out of 10, what rating would you give the person who spoke to you based on their helpfulness?

Thank you. Finally, would you recommend us to a friend or colleague? Please provide us with a score from 0-10 (0 being definitely not).

  1. We hope you had a good experience with [company name] today. We would love it if you could spare a few minutes to fill out our customer feedback survey [link]. There is an opportunity at the end of the survey to be entered into a prize draw to win [product]. Thank you.

Marketing

 

Sending marketing and promotional messages can be a great way to reward loyal, returning customers, while enticing potential customers to make their first purchase.

Welcome message

 

  1. Hi there, welcome to [company name]. You will receive updates on your orders as well as exclusive deals right here in messenger. Is there anything else we can help you with today

    [Give options]

  2. Hooray! Welcome to the [company name] family. You’ll never struggle with [problem] again! We’re always happy to help and love receiving feedback too, which you can submit via our online form here <LINK>. Why not follow us on our social media pages too where you can keep up-to-date with [insert words here].

Flash sale

 

  1. Get FREE shipping on all orders placed today. No minimum required. Shop now: <LINK>.
  2. Hi [customer name], flash sale – for the next 3 hours only! Get 30% off on all [product] before [time].
  3. Hi [customer name], show this text in-store to get an EXTRA 20% off on all [products]. Strictly for this weekend only and while stock lasts.

New products launch

 

  1. Hi [customer name], the wait is over! The NEW LIMITED EDITION [product] has arrived. Hurry and shop now before they sell out [link].
  2. Hey [customer name], we’ve just launched our new [product] range and would like to offer you some exclusive deals. Check out [link].
SMS Marketing example message offering discount

Personalised offer

 

  1. Happy birthday [customer name]. Enjoy [percentage] off site wide on your special day by using the code [code] at the checkout. Valid until [date].
  2. Hi [customer name], we have it on our records that you’ve previously purchased a [product]. We have some similar [products] you might like and would like to offer you an exclusive discount on them using the code [code]. Valid until [date].

Referral programme

 

  1. Love our [products/service]? Recommend us to a friend and you both get [discount] when they [sign up/order] using the code [code]
  2. Will you help us spread the word? Give your friends and family [discount] off their first [insert word here] when they use your personal referral code [code]. You’ll get [discount] when they do!

Business Continuity

 

It’s equally as important to keep in touch with your employees as it is to keep your customers in the loop. Alongside recruitment, businesses can use SMS messaging to notify employees of new or upcoming shifts, and to relay crucial information in times of an emergency.

Business critical communications

Temporary office closure

 

  1. Good morning. Overnight we had a power outage at the [location] branch/store, which we’re working hard to fix. Please log on remotely and await further instruction. We thank you for your patience.
SMS marketing example message of office closure warning

Local emergency

 

  1. ATTENTION! There has been an emergency in [location]. Please confirm your location and status as SAFE or REQUIRE ASSISTANCE by responding to this message with your employee ID number. If you require emergency assistance please dial 999.
  2. ATTENTION! A member of staff in the [location] office has tested positive for Covid-19. If you have been in contact with this person since [date], please inform your line manager. Please visit the NHS website for more information and advice.

Mobilise teams

 

  1. ATTENTION! Mains pipe damage alert at [organisation name] [address] your assistance is required. Please confirm receipt of this message and estimated time of arrival for yourself and your team as soon as possible. For more information, please contact [person in charge] on [phone number] as soon as possible.
SMS marketing example message of a local mains pipe bursting

Shift management

 

  1. We have an available shift this [day] from [time] to [time]. If you are available for this slot please reply directly to this message.
  2. Hello. A [job title] is required this afternoon at our [location] branch/store. If you are available to work, please contact [name] on [phone number]. Thank you.

 

 

Employee surveys

 

  1. Hi [name]. We work hard to ensure we’re an employer of choice and would to hear how you find working at [company name]. Please could you spare a few minutes to fill in this feedback form <LINK>
  2. Hi [name]. [Number] a year, we like to gather feedback from our employees through a short feedback form which you can find here <LINK>. The survey should take no longer than <time> to complete, but will provide us with valuable insights. Please note that you can leave your name, or remain anonymous if you prefer.

 

 

Employee recruitment and onboarding

 

SMS messaging can be used to alert job hunters to new opportunities, set up – or rearrange – interviews, and assist with the onboarding process. With a 95% open rate for SMS, it ensures fast communication between the business and its employees and prospective employees, and is less likely to be missed.

 

Recruitment

 

  1. Hello [Name], we have an exciting job opportunity in the finance sector, based in London. If you are interested please reply MORE INFO to this message or call the team on [Phone number].
  2. Hello [Name]. We can confirm your interview on [date] at [time] with [Interviewer name]. Please attend [Location]. Thank you.

 

Book Staff

 

  1. Hello [Name], [business name] requires extra staff on [date] in [location]. If you’re available to work, please text back or call [phone number]

 

Onboarding

 

  1. Hello [Name], welcome to [company name], we’re excited to have you on board. Your first day will be at our [location] office, please arrive at [time] on [date]. If you have any questions please contact [manager name] on [phone number].

6 Signs Your Digital Advertising Campaigns Are Underperforming and What to Do About It

Ad Campaign

By Gez McGuire MCG Digital Media & Lead Accelerator founder

Poorly performing paid search campaigns could be costing businesses tens of thousands of pounds every month.

Pay-per-click is often a victim of its own success. With even the most basic of setups delivering results, marketing managers and agencies can see it as a fit and forget solution. A closer look however, will often reveal significant wastage.  

Lead Accelerator founder and AI marketing expert, Gez McGuire, reveals six of the most common issues and how to address them. 

 

1. You struggle to maintain consistent results

Often businesses find that the amount of traffic driven by digital marketing is inconsistent, or in gradual decline. One of the key factors affecting this is a much too simplistic campaign structure. Having just one ad running for a given search term is rarely if ever the best approach. Multiple ads optimised for different times of the day, different devices and locations provide much more oversight on exactly what is and isn’t working. In this way each campaign can be assessed, tested, optimised and scaled to achieve consistent results. 

 

2. PPC visitors aren’t converting into enough enquiries

In some instances, businesses can be seeing good or even high levels of traffic to their website through PPC, but visitors are simply failing to take the next step to get in touch. In this case it is often where potential customers are being driven to rather than the advert itself that is at fault. A poorly optimised landing page will be costing businesses £1,000s in lost revenue. 

In the past, addressing this issue meant creating a single landing page with a clear and direct call to action. While this principle remains correct, there are now a series of advanced features that can supercharge conversions. Taking advantage of the latest advances in AI and machine learning, it’s now possible to quickly and effectively create intelligent landing pages that use multiple multi-step forms. Geared a lot more towards website visitors taking immediate action, we’ve adopted this approach across all of our clients and are seeing conversions increase to as much as 30 to 40 per cent.     

Introducing AI and machine learning eliminates the need for a “one-page-fits-all” approach to conversion optimisation by delivering the most relevant content to each visitor. Through analysis and learning AI powered landing pages send visitors to a landing page variant where they are most likely to convert. 

 

3. Your competitors seem to be everywhere and are stealing your share of voice

Smart businesses make sure that they have multiple touchpoints with their prospective customers. Engagement in the form of conversions or enquiries often happen after the 9th or 10th time that a prospect sees a relevant and timely ad.

One effective way to do this is through remarketing. Incorporating a tracking pixel onto a website or landing page allows businesses to retarget prospective customers across digital platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. 

There will soon be a shift in the way that digital marketing is carried out when the use of third-party cookies is phased out, impacting the way thousands of advertisers use platforms such as Facebook to target their desired audiences. One way advertisers can stay ahead of this change is to gather as much first-party data as possible, through the implementation of remarketing pixels and data collection, from lead generation.

Creating your own multi-touchpoint campaign funnel will be important and ultimately, rewarding.

 

4. You cannot identify how and where to scale your campaign reach

Many companies with sizeable digital marketing budgets still have very limited ability to leverage their campaigns as a result of a poorly thought-out strategic approach from the offset.

Time and again we have re-structured clients’ digital campaigns to allow for greater transparency in terms of understanding where the greatest engagement and opportunity lies in terms of campaigns / devices / time segments and many other factors.

This leads to being able to be data driven when making key decisions in terms of where to spend budget as being informed by results is far more effective than anything else.

As a result, we can easily identify where to reduce ad spend and where to scale it up and the results are always impressive, with an average reduction in waste of approximately 25% and an increase in productivity of 20% – 30% in terms of increased conversion rates and lower cost per enquiry / sale.

The main takeaway here – do not take your in-house marketing manager or incumbent agency’s word when they say that nothing more can be done to improve your digital campaigns. We’ve heard that and within 30 days turned things around in a big way.

 

5. You do not have full autonomy or ownership of your digital strategy

All too often the ownership of many companies’ digital marketing lies with either one person in their marketing department or with the incumbent agency that manages it.

This is very dangerous as we’ve seen accounts spending £30,000 per month where the main people in the business don’t know how to even access it to view performance.

In these situations, a company can be given very bad advice by their in-house staff or by their incumbent agency. Meaning that not only could they be missing out on opportunities to streamline and increase the efficiency of the campaign, but they could also be wasting a significant portion of their ad spend.

Companies that find themselves in this situation often have to play a difficult game to get a fresh perspective from someone else but it’s ultimately worth it. If this describes you then act today to start putting things right.

 

6. Your marketplace is just too expensive to advertise in and you don’t know a way around it.

Sometimes it’s just too expensive to advertise in an online auction, such as Google Ads, for certain sectors as the click costs can run very high. This is due to advertisers in those sectors ramping up their bids in order to dominate the paid search results.

This may seem strange but we’ve seen this happen when a company receives venture capital investment, for example, and one of their marketing strategies is to play the long game, as they can afford to do this. They can therefore pay high costs to get enquiries as they know most of their competition cannot afford to do this.

However, there are multiple advanced bidding strategies that can allow advertisers to compete in very expensive markets without paying the inflated costs that their competitors have created.

Take a look at all of the smart bidding options that allows advertisers to set goals in terms of target cost per acquisition, return on ad spend or even to target by impression share. The suite of bidding options available allow advertisers to test and measure different campaigns in the same auction until you find one that works for you and your sector, and your budget.

Advertising vs Organic Interaction: Influencers Are Having to Address Their Content

Illistrated graphic or an influencer sitting on a speaker, with likes, comments, and other information coming out of it

For many years now, social media influencers and online content creators have been somewhat forced to disclose whether the posts they are sharing are in fact a paid-for advertorial or not. Just as we see on television and in magazines, it is clear what is an ad, and what is not – so why should things be different across social media?

 

In today’s world, many would say that social media influencers and the content they share is much more impactful than that of more traditional forms, and so the need to honestly disclose ads becomes even more important. Which is where the Advertising Standards Authority, also known as the ASA, comes into play.

 

The ASA is the UK’s advertising regulator, ensuring that ads across UK media stick to the rules put in place. From influencer marketing, to print and broadcast, the ASA monitor it all and everything in between.

 

And Amelia Neate, senior manager of Midlands-based influencer marketing agency Influencer Matchmaker uncovers why the enforcement of such disclosure is now important as a new era of ‘genuinfluencer’ has arrived.

 

With the arrival and accessibility of platforms like TikTok and the expansion of content creation from the everyday social media user, there has been a collective shift for generation Z in particular, who have become bored with the celebrity show boater and are more focused on the authenticity and human behind the screen.

 

Cultural conversations via influencers have caused movements such a Black Lives Mater, MeToo and even more recently the #FreeBritney campaign that set out to understand and remove the conservatorship that Britney Spears was under post her mental health struggle in 2008. While other media platforms like LadBible and ArchBishopofBanterbury have prided themselves on redefining entertainment – often taking ordinary people with relatable circumstances and making them part of the conversation.

 

Like the above outlets, while they are able to monetise with paid for advertisement ahead of videos, it is imperative that the authenticity still comes across in their storytelling and therefore content from real people, addressing real life situations is imperative to the success of the viewership.

 

Whilst many popular influencers take pride in appropriately labelling their paid for content, the ASA recently threatened to name and shame influencers failing to stick to the guidelines.

 

These days, the GenZ demographic are more sustainable, more ethical and more educated. They want full transparency from brands and from social media, with recent research stating that 82% of followers agreed the importance of influencers disclosing their personal use history with the product they are promoting. But with ASA guidelines being regularly updated, some influencers have struggled to keep up.

 

And, with it not just being a paid-for advertorial or post that needs to be disclosed influencers must consider how the rules can vary dependant on a typical sponsored post vs integrated videos on YouTube, affiliate links, PR products and press discounts.

 

Previously, when the industry was in its infancy, brands would send out products to their favourite influencers in the hopes that they would be authentically mentioned on their platforms. Whilst this is still the case, such products must be disclosed as ‘PR product’.

 

To some, this may seem slightly overboard, however in this industry, influencers must be conscious to make their audiences aware of what might qualify as a means of payment in order for the consumer to make an educated decision about the purchase of a product based on that influencers testimonial of a brand. If this is backed by a true and genuine story that equally connects their recommendation, then it will clearly better connect with its audience.

 

For example, health and fitness influencer Carly Rowena made her mark on the industry because of her love for fitness and nutrition. And, after many years of being recognised for her easy-to-follow workout videos, Instagram posts and blog posts, Carly has teamed up with Halo Fitness to create her very own range of activewear. Because of her genuine love and passion for finding the perfect workout gear for many years, it seemed a natural and obvious choice for Carly to launch such a collection.

 

In the next year, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget. Instagram is also extending its shopping features, testing its Shop tab, which will allow users to click and view extra product details quicker.

 

The introduction of these features will certainly be the becoming of new sponsored ad additions for the ASA guidelines and with more consumers demanding such transparency influencers must keep ahead of the curve when it comes to genuine and purposeful content in order to reach a profit.

The Great Digital Overhaul(age)

Blaack HGV with green tech bianry code on it

Digitalisation has transformed every sector in recent years. The implementation of technologies like artificial intelligence and automation have streamlined processes, improved data accuracy, and allowed businesses in every industry to become more efficient.

One sector that has been slow in its adoption of technology is logistics and haulage. In a pre-pandemic PwC survey, only 28% of transport and logistics providers rated themselves as digitally advanced.

However, digitisation is picking up in the sector. In its whitepaper, Using Digital to Drive Your Transport Business Forward, Mandata found that digital adoption is a priority for two-thirds of hauliers in 2021.

Here, we discuss how digital technologies are transforming the logistics sector in 2021 and beyond.

Back-office digitisation increases productivity

When we think of innovative technologies, we might focus on virtual assistants and robotics, but sometimes the best digital solutions are the less glamorous ones. For many years, hauliers and logistics firms relied on manual or paper-based processes to manage planning, jobs, and invoices.

Gone are the days of using spreadsheets, or even easily misplaced sheets of paper, to carry out your operations. Now, transport management software allows you to manage your processes, from order right through to invoice, in one fully integrated system. Not only does this allow you to be more time-efficient, because it eliminates duplicate data entry, but it also offers real-time visibility on reporting or job status updates for key stakeholders like customers and colleagues.

 

Route planning software makes journeys more efficient

In days gone by, your drivers’ deliveries could be impacted by a poor route choice or unexpected traffic. One late delivery can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the day’s deliveries, which can impact profit made on each job, your customer satisfaction, and potentially your customer retention rate.

Route inefficiencies can also cost your business a lot of money – and in a sector with already razor-thin margins, this is the last thing you need.

With real-time status updates and ETAs available, your transport planners will be able to see if there’s anything holding up your drivers and, if necessary, divert them. A live arrivals board will allow you to easily spot any journeys encountering issues and view delivery countdowns.

 

Mobile apps for drivers improve accuracy

Drivers are also benefitting from the technological innovations driving change in the sector. In recent times, many planners would send their drivers a list of jobs via WhatsApp, SMS or even phone calls, which was difficult to track and follow. Prior to that, many relied on paper sheets handed to them at the start of the workday. Paper proof of deliveries also presented a lot of issues for drivers.

Mobile apps for drivers are making their day-to-day tasks easier, allowing them to carry out essential parts of their work in one place and paper-free. They can access their jobs for the day within the app and update them when they’re complete.

One of the most powerful tools for hauliers in these apps is electronic proof of delivery (ePOD). Paper-based PODs were the standard until recent years, but they were prone to being misplaced, lost, or even illegible. Electronic PODs allow drivers to easily capture confirmation of their delivery, whether that’s via a photo or a digital signature. The ePOD will automatically match back to the correct job and when the jobs are ready to be invoiced, the ePODs will automatically be attached. This results in less duplication of work while also providing the ability to complete invoicing in a few clicks, cutting down on hours of manual work.

Many sectors have reaped the benefits of digital innovation, but until recently, haulage and logistics companies have been left behind. We know the industry struggled with the impact of COVID-19, with 73% of hauliers reporting that their cash flow significantly reduced in the first UK lockdown. However, we’ve also seen priorities change as a result of these extraordinary circumstances, as many hauliers are choosing to focus on digital adoption this year.

7 Ways to Boost SEO in the Fall

Man outside in the autumn checking his phone

People find new businesses in many different ways. Some get a referral from a friend. Others see a shirt they like and ask a stranger on the street where they bought it. While these can help your business grow, one of the most effective options is to leverage search engine optimization. People are searching for services and products online every day. They use their smartphones and computers to find exactly what they are looking for. With the right SEO, your business can rise to the top of the list. Here are some of the best ways to boost your SEO this fall and in the months to come.

 

Create Seasonal Content

A great way to engage your audience is to use seasonal content in your SEO. Discover what keywords are trending and how it relates to your business and create content around that. You’d be amazed at how many people want to find seasonal sales on things like home décor, clothing, and even technology. Maybe you aren’t launching an orange tablet this season, but you have cases that can be customized with fall messages. The important thing is to consider your products and your audiences to find the best SEO keywords to use.

 

Use Internal Links

If you aren’t using internal links in your blog content you are missing out on a big SEO opportunity. When you want to get found for certain keywords, and you have relevant content, link back to it from your blog. It’ll tell the search engines that you have something valuable to offer with those keywords and make you jump closer to the top of the list when people search those words. It’s a great way to build your SEO and connect with new customers who are searching for products like yours.

 

Compete for Relevant Keywords

Keyword research is boring. Let’s face it. Searching for what keywords are popular and which ones relate to your business isn’t the fun part. But when you can tag along with trending searches, you can easily start competing for those relevant keywords. You’ll have more success in the fall for instance if you create content around those trending fall searches. Take some time to learn about what your customers like and what they are searching for in this season. Use what you discover to compete for those keywords.

 

Add New Products

The fresher your portfolio, the more interesting your content is to the big search engines. When you add new products, it gives the search engines even more reasons to pull your content to the top of a relevant search. With a great product description, a good photograph, and an excellent title, your products will get found by just the right people. Creating relevant and new products helps your SEO in the fall and all year long.

 

Get Creative With Your Marketing

It’s easy to get stuck in a marketing rut. If it’s working for you, then keep doing it. But find ways to get creative with how you connect with new clients. Marketing for accounting firms, tech companies, and even healthcare may seem unnecessary, but it’s critical to leverage creative methods of finding new business. The best marketers use a combination of data and unique ideas to help reach their target market year-round. This time of year is all about pumpkin spice, apple cider, and cozy sweaters, so think about how to incorporate those into your fall SEO campaigns.

Your website should not be static all year long. By adding fresh marketing campaigns, new products, and even regular blog posts, you can be sure your business will be near the top of the list for search engines. A fall marketing campaign on your site makes it fresh, fun, and applicable to the season we are in. It’s in your best interests to use your creative team to write content, make graphics, and direct a marketing campaign to encourage new sales in the fall months.

 

Use 3rd Party Review Sites

This strategy is two-fold. It gives your company credibility when there are good reviews. It also adds another location to put your website link. During different seasons, you can add in fresh content to help people know what’s happening in the fall and other seasons. Third-party review sites are an excellent part of a good SEO strategy no matter what industry you are in.