Marketing Matters on Flipboard

Flipboard-LogoA while ago we wrote a blog article about Flipboard, an app available for iOS, Android and Windows, that allows you to read multiple digital magazines on your mobile devices, and effectively create your own magazine with your favourite content. We are now delighted to announce that we have created a Flipboard version of Marketing Matters, making reading your favorite blog on the move even easier. You can access the flipboard version of Marketing Matters here. Simply browse to this article on your mobile device & click the link above. Clicking the follow button will then add marketing Matters to your Flipboard homepage. This will then be automatically updated every time we add new content to Marketing Matters. And now I am going to give away a trade secret…. …..If you are running a WordPress blog, then turning it into a Flipboard Magazine is actually very simple. I will publish a Tutorial on how to do this soon, but in the meantime, if you can’t wait, get in touch and I would be happy to share the secret!

IKEA 2015 Catalogue – When joined-up goes wrong

Even the big boys get it wrong sometimes! In their 2015 Catalogue launch project, IKEA (or their creatives: BBH) came up with a great concept. The initial advert (which I might say should definitely be appearing on the awards circuits next year) was brilliant, and quite understandable way wide shared & quickly spread.

Take a look here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOXQo7nURs0

But that’s where things started to go wrong. The follow up campaigns, whilst trying to be joined- up in terms of their timing and design, failed when it came to delivery. Out of area offers followed by further offers – right area, lower value plus irrelevant QR codes came together to demonstrate a distinct lack of ‘joined-up”

You can view the details in the blog post on the DMA  website here This is a great example of a case where the design and creative effort was significantly greater than the effort to actually use those creatives in the real world! Don’t get me wrong great design is important, but was the saying goes, it’s not what you have, as what you do with it that makes the difference!

Exporting email addresses from your Outlook inbox

outlook_to_csv Building an email contact database can be a real stumbling block for companies wanting to explore joined-up email marketing. Most people have their contacts in Outlook though often email addresses are tucked away in emails in the inbox. It is possible to use Outlook to send emails to a database but it is far from ideal as an email marketing platform. I was investigating this issue for a client, and realised that the solution may be useful for others and so thought that it would be worth sharing. We needed to get all of the contact details out of our client’s Outlook and into a spreadsheet. For the address book this is pretty straightforward, but did you know you can also export the From address from emails into a spreadsheet too. The process is very simple:

  1. In Outlook 2007, click on File, Import and Export and the Wizard opens up. This process works with Outlook 2010 and 2013 as well. The Import/Export link is found within the file tab at the top of the Outlook window.
  2. Select the option to Export to a File and click Next
  3. Select Microsoft Excel 97-2003 (or a CSV file) and click Next
  4. Select the folder that where the source emails reside (eg inbox) and click Next
  5. Click on Browse to select a location and then type the file name that you want to export the information to and then click Next
  6. Now for the clever bit – In the box that opens up click on the Map Custom Fields button. This will bring up a list of all the available fields that are available in that folder. Since we are only interested in Email address, click on Clear Map and then from the Left side click on From: (address) and drag that to the Right list. I would also suggest exporting the From: (name) and Subject fields too as this will help in sorting/filtering the list once you have exported it
  7. Click on OK
  8. Click on Finish

Once complete , the export routine will start, and once complete you will have a spreadsheet containing all the from addresses from your chosen emails. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the end of the process, as it will require de-duplicating and filtering to end up with your target list, but the fact that the names & addresses are now in a spreadsheet format will make this process much easier. I hope you find this tip useful. If you need any help, give us a call    

Does your web content marketing generate leads? Here are 3 rules to help ensure it does

Content-MarketingLead generation through content marketing is like going to Siberia. Everyone knows where it is but only a few manage to get there and even less survive. This said, content marketing is the ‘in thing’ among Business to Business (B2B) marketers as they scramble to develop a comprehensive digital marketing plan for their business. A good quality plan helps a business establish two things:

  1. A strategic business overview
  2. An action plan to generate qualified business leads

In this article, I am exploring point 2; how to generate business leads through high quality content marketing. But first a quick look at what content marketing is all about for the uninitiated. Content marketing is sourcing and communicating information that your prospects would like to read, view or share with others and that which they would value. This information must deliver benefit and value to the reader if it is to be taken seriously and consistently.  The higher the perceived value of your content, the stronger your market position will be , and consequently the higher the likelihood of generating good quality business leads. By having a clear strategic business plan, which includes a Content Calendar to help you plan for and prepare your content in a measured way, you establish the best platform to consistently communicate the content most likely to deliver real opportunities. So what is the best approach? Let’s take a look at the 3 rules that we follow at BSA Marketing and what it does for us.

Rule 1: Set your objectives clearly.

We began our content marketing with two objectives- first, establish a position as the experts who understand and deliver practical joined-up marketing built on a platform of e-newsletters and second, to develop quality leads that could be converted into clients for our marketplace. The second objective that we laid out was that our content marketing efforts should result in generating business leads either through people directly contacting us or referring us to others.

Rule 2: Create content that has value

To ensure that your content is appreciated, it has to have value. Value can be established by the number of people who read or view your content and the follow through action that they take. The follow through action could be in terms of a) subscribing to your content b) commenting on your content c) sharing your content on their social media network. Determining value of content calls for understanding who the recipient of your content should be and designing content for that person. Our target prospect for our content marketing is the SME business owner who we felt would want to gain knowledge on all aspects of marketing in a straightforward and practical manner. Our research had indicated that most people while having skills in one or two disciplines of marketing were fairly un-skilled in other marketing areas. Our Marketing Matters blog is aimed at improving their knowledge levels by equipping our prospects with a series of articles, white papers etc. that help them gain knowledge and through this establish ourselves as a recognised knowledge partner.

Rule 3: Get your content out there

You can have the greatest article or blog on earth but it would fail if no one knows about it. Promoting your content is as critical as creating it. A good content marketing agency can help in both areas.  Of course promoting anything costs time and/or money. When we took on the task of promoting our content, we took a conscious call not to promote our content using advertising money. Instead we use e-newsletters and social media to help promote our content. Here’s what we did:-

  1. We send our Marketing Matters to our database showcasing our regular content updates.
  2. We actively use LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.
  3. We have our content carried by third party publishers (both on and offline). Yes, good content will be carried by others!
  4. We use our extensive content archive on a case by case basis to answer specific questions raised by key individuals interested in our services.

Results

By applying the fundamentals of marketing and using the process I set out above, as part of a clear, joined-up process, we have achieved significant progress:

  1. Our reach has grown by actively engaging with our target audience – our Twitter followers have increased by 200% in less than a year, yet we are very selective in who we follow
  2. Regular exposure in the press and 3rd party online publications
  3. An average of 1.5 new clients each month over the past 12 months
  4. Turnover growth of over 30% in the past 12 months

If you are a B2B SME and you don’t have a content marketing plan as of yet for your business, it’s time to start thinking of developing and implementing one.  BSA Marketing helps businesses power their marketing for business growth. We can help you structure, plan and implement a content marketing initiative for your business. Call me on 01457 851111 or contact us.

Summer Puzzle 2014 – The Answer

The puzzle we left you with before our summer break was:

What is the next number in the sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66...

If you came up with the answer 96, you were so close to the best answer; or a long way off depending how you look at it! You clearly got the key that each entry in the sequence had an increasing number of letters 10 = TEN = 3 Letters 9 = NINE = 4 Letters 60 = SIXTY = 5 Letters 90 = NINETY = 6 Letters 70 = SEVENTY = 7 Letters 66 = SIXTY SIX = 8 Letters So clearly the answer must be a number with 9 letters – so why not 96 = NINETY SIX? Consider the first number in the sequence. It has 3 Letters, so why not 1 or 2 or 6? Well, 10 is bigger than all of these so what we need is the biggest number with the right number of letters. A 9-letter number bigger than 96. To be fair, you have to go a LOT bigger than 96. A googol is the name of a number that is 1 followed by 100 zeros (interestingly it was also intended as the name of a well-know search engine but when searching available domain names they got the spelling wrong!) So ONE GOOGOL would work – except there is just one more TEN GOOGOL is the best answer we know. Now back to work….

What a difference a word makes

oneword

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Content is king! Good content is key to making your website engaging, yet many people struggle to maintain a regular content flow. One trap that writers sometimes fall into is to focus on themselves and write about things that are of interest to them, rather than asking the question:

Will my readers be interested in this?

Ask yourself some questions:

  • What is the focus of my article?
  • Does it position my business in the right way?
  • Am I delivering useful knowledge to my readers?

It’s a fact; if you want to be successful in business, you need to be good at what you do and know more than your customers about your product or service range. You can use this knowledge to demonstrate your expertise. It is OK if sometimes you are talking about your market rather than you, in fact it’s good! But isn’t it easier to talk about yourself? Not necessarily. Sometimes changing just one word in an article can make a real difference…. I was recently with BSA client Joshua Greaves (manufacturers of industrial mixers – www.greaves.co.uk) and we were reviewing an article on his website. Here is the original wording:

Greaves Technology flies high   In the drive to improve aircraft efficiency (yet lower manufacturing cost) mixing composite resin is a key focus for aerospace designers while reviewing construction materials. By producing composite applications for the main outboard components, weight is hugely reduced. Production techniques are now available to offer this reduction and increase strength with even better quality. The net result is improved fuel efficiency and reduced component costs.  Composite technology constantly evolves to deliver these benefits but consistency is a paramount factor, regardless of the technology. Greaves has partnered a number of leading Aerospace manufacturers by developing and supplying high specification resin reactors. These four latest machines are specified for agitation, full vacuum to high pressure and thermal induction jackets with internal cooling coil. Contact parts are polished to ensure good evacuation following a batch therefore eliminating debris traps.

From the title it is clear the article is  about the company but suggests that the article is about what is going on technically within the business (i.e. it is inward looking). The discussion we were having was whether the article could better (and more immediately) demonstrate Greaves’ expertise in the aerospace composites sector. After some thought, we realised that changing just one word could have a profound effect on the impact of the article. We changed the title to:

Composite Technology flies high

By changing ‘Greaves’ to ‘Composite’ we shifted the emphasis from the company to the market. It was now an article looking at technical developments in the composites sector. Sure, Greaves’ work partnering with leading aerospace manufacturers is still in there, effectively positioning the company in the market but the article has wider appeal (admittedly in a niche market!) You can see the final article here So what does this mean for you? When you are writing your next news/blog article, review your content, take a step back and be ready to refocus to concentrate on your customers rather than yourself. Modest amendments can have a significant impact.

Thanks to Edward Greaves for permission to use his article as our example.

GrowthAccelerator helps boost Manufacturers

GANew figures from GrowthAccelerator are giving really positive indicators with manufacturers supported by the GA programme forecasting an average growth of 40% for 2014. This high growth is coming from businesses both new and established; over half (55%) of the 903 manufacturing businesses currently working with GrowthAccelerator have been operating for over 10 years. Over one third of GrowthAccelerator’s manufacturing clients plan to achieve significant growth through investment in innovation, and a similar number say expansion is key to future success. A key goal of the GA programme is to help clients address barriers to growth. Over half of GA manufactureres believe strategy and management presents the highest barrier, followed by sales and marketing (43%) and skills and staff (37%). An impressive 100 per cent of our manufacturing clients would recommend GrowthAccelerator to others. Many of the manufacturers supported by GrowthAccelerator are also supported by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), enabling these businesses to access a wider range of support services and funding. It is quite clear from the GA report that if a business is committed to succeed, despite seeing challenges, accessing the funding and advisory support available through Growth Accelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service can have a real, positive impact. As accredited Growth Accelerator coaches with the opportunity to also access funding from MAS and other sources, if you want to grow your business, we would love to talk to you. Call David Wright on 01457 851111 or  contact us here.