The Business edition. Summer 2012.
The Guide to successful marketing in a regional environment. A compilation of editorials featured in recent editions of Harpendia Magazine, plus new articles brought together in a single issue.
digital...social media...target markets...market research...creativity...campaign planning...advertising...sales promotion...product innovation... retail...networking...online marketing...new...ideas...incentives ...budgets...media...branding...roi... events...pr...sponsorship
From the Editor. Well the London 2012 Games are over and what a successful event it proved to be, despite all the pre games doom-mongering. A monumental feat of organisation, implementation and communication for a ‘brand’ with both mass appeal and specialist interest. Packed with effort, emotion, reward and olympic spirit transcending traditional barriers of politics, class and culture. What factors can we attribute to their success? Sufficient finance; Government backing; support from the people; sporting heritage; organisational experience and much more. PLUS Marketing excellence. Marketing is one of the most important elements of success for all businesses yet often neglected or misunderstood. I hope this edition of Harpendia provides plenty of information on the subject and inspires local and regional businesses in the year ahead.
Ron Taylor Editor August 2012 www.harpendia.com Please contact me to air your views on Harpenden business life. email@example.com
In this issue. EDITORIAL COMMENT. Pg. 2. By Ron Taylor.
THE MARKETING MIX Pgs. 10 & 11 By Kate Warr.
INBOUND MARKETING Pg. 3, By Keith Sammels.
QR CODES Pg. 12 & 13. By Rod Wynne-Powell
HOW DIGITAL CAN HELP THE HIGH STREET Pgs. 4, 5 & 6. By Sarah Wood
NETWORKING Pgs. 14 & 15. By Ron Taylor
JOB APPEAL Pg 7. By Emily Hickey- Mason
BNI BUSINESS CONTACTS Pgs 16 &17.
THINK SMALL, STAY SMALL Pgs. 8 & 9. By Keith Sammels
Inbound marketing can find you thousands of new customers and save your advertising pounds! By Keith Sammels. Executive Creative Director. LAW Creative.
Already some are predicting that as we enter 2013 minus the uplift of events such as the Golden Jubilee and the Olympics that the double-dip recession has the ability to worsen. If this is the case then businesses will be competing for an even smaller available share of market. On the basis that very few of us will be contemplating giving in and ‘switching off the lights’ then marketing could be the saving grace for many companies. Whatever business you are in one has to assume that you are offering products or services that people want to buy at a price that they want to pay. And in these recessionary times service levels need to be optimised within an inch of their lives. If you’re not making it easy for customers to buy from you then you are simply playing into the hands of the recession. If you have a clear strategic direction for your business and a strong brand it’s time to consider your marketing options! The good news is that with the advent of inbound marketing you can succeed at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. We invite you to read a short article about Inbound marketing strategy. Please click the following LAW Creative link http://www.lawcreative.co.uk/blog/in-boundmarketing-godsend/
9 ways digital can help our High Street. By Sarah Wood. Founder, Director at SwiSh thinking
Ok, let’s be honest. Technology by itself can’t fix the high street. But understand its place, the role it can play and how it can be used and it can be a powerful way to reduce costs, increase revenue opportunities and emphasise what your business is great at.
What is the point of a Beer Boutique vs a Beer shop?
Many find digital overwhelming, too time consuming or alien. But not everything needs to lead to big projects, or require lots of money or drain lots of time. Often the small things count. So what is your businesses conveying in the digital world? What can you learn from others? What issue are you trying to address? What experience are you enhancing? Darwin’s survival of the fittest has never had such modern day relevance as the battle being played out on the high street. Don’t be beaten by the competition, higher business rates and restricted access issues. See how digital can extend your armoury and take you fighting into the future. 1.
Make the most of location – get found • • •
Cover the basics. Get listed on Google maps Go a little further. Promote time based offers and raise your profile on FourSquare Make an event of it. Bring your street to life on Layar or Google goggles. Ahead of the curve but a powerful talking point. Find all you need to know about something just by pointing your phone at it!
Good for? All businesses. It’s the essence of the high street. 2. Sell where your customers buy Full ecommerce solutions aren’t always appropriate. But the extra online revenue can help off-set high shop-costs. • • • •
Can your prices compete online? Or are your products unique? Or is the service outstanding? Don’t lose the essence and personality of your business when you move online. It differentiates you. If the sale can’t be completed online. How far can you go? Consider reserve and collect, qualifying processes etc. Or, sell unwanted stock via a discounted ebay shop
Good for? Businesses whose customers or competitors are shopping online.
When our local speciality beer merchant opened they defied our expectation and succeeded where others had failed. They focused on what they were excellent at. A Beer Boutique –not a store - dedicated to sharing new tastes and temptations. Everything supports this. From savouring a beer pavement-side, to speciality tasting evenings, to enhancing the taste sensation with a homemade Indian snack. A local, tantalising and unique experience. They are DR.iNK of Fulham. Although not a focus, a website captures their compelling story, with quality images, an extensive online product catalogue, clean lines and simple navigation. Importantly their uncluttered in -store principles are emulated online. Testimonials, and events promote their excellence, persuading the most unlikely of beer drinkers (yes I’d be one!) to give them a shot. Even the parts that don’t work show steps in the right direction – their twitter is healthy and would add a sense of community if streamed into their website. Their blog and Facebook, if nurtured, has huge potential to drive promotions, spark discussion and drive
3. Search beyond Google Adwords have a place but not everything needs to be paid for. Get found online with these quick principles. • • •
Write for your mum. If it makes sense to her it will make sense to Google. If it’s too long or woolly she stops listening. Pictures speak a thousand words. Give them titles (it won’t work otherwise) and get in Google images. Get social and link with other businesses. Seriously. Other people’s words count for more. And there’s more of them than there are of you!
!!! !!!!Did you know? 78% of affluent families, business travellers and trendsetters in the US, use location-based apps on their phone; 29% use them multiple times a day.1 Where they go the rest of us usually f follow. With a percentage this high it won’t be long.
Good for? This is a no-brainer. For everyone
4. Mobilise - Have you checked how your site looks on a mobile phone? Mobile is not just about virtual working. How often do you or your customers use a smartphone to get contact details or check product information? • On a basic level, make it easy to find your contact details. Check how your site looks on your mobile. • Make it easier for your customers. SMS alerts on appointments, promotions, new arrivals etc. • If competition is really tough online consider going further with apps – but test first!
Did you know? Mobile shopping is now more popular iiithan online among 15-44 year olds.2
Good for? Eventually all businesses, it’s where we’re heading. For now, Estate agents (property search sites already have) and shopping.
5. Influence, learn, listen and adapt No matter how hard we try we always miss something. Check what your customers really think. • • •
Ask questions; get feedback and ideas with Facebook and survey tools. Check Pinterest to see what people really like when they pick themselves. Recruit your best customers, local influencers and bloggers. Invite them to test the new thing. Get them to write about it, tweet and tell others. Don’t hide it. A good answer to a negative comment brings the best results. Few people expect perfection. Check analytics – but don’t get lost in them.
Great for? Getting ideas and testing new websites, products, services and campaigns. And for businesses where experience really matters.
Did you know? Social sharing now produces an vestimated 10% of all web traffic and x31% of referral traffic to sites from vsearch engines and social networks.3 !
6. Create seamless experiences – link up 9. Don’t forget who you are Your business will have a character, a point of your channels
difference, an essence that is unique. Whatever you do must support and be in keeping with this. If it doesn’t, don’t do it. Seems obvious but Marks & Spencer and Mothercare have both forgotten this at Your shop, business, website, email, social networks, some point and paid the price. Put the same thought events are the points on the map. The best journey’s into planning digital activity as you would if extending have clear sign-posting, are easy to follow and or opening another shop. provide points of interest along the way. Think of your business like a journey. It starts when you first get your customers attention. It ends at the point of sale (and aftercare).
Sort the sign-posting. Link between your sites, social networks, emails and even your printed materials e.g. bags, business cards, leaflets, posters Entice with reassuring sneak previews. Share pictures on twitter and Facebook. Likewise stream twitter to your site, showcase comments (or full sites) in-store. Educate and engage. Provide stops along the way. Build the story with videos and events. Be consistent. Too many names, identities and email addresses can be confusing
Good for? Everyone but particularly complex and involved services that need more explaining e.g. finance
7. Create as little as possible. Make use of free online tools Not everything needs to cost a lot of money. •
• • • •
Use powerful tools like Wordpress for most mobile and web sites. Easy to set-up and maintain yourself. Build it for FREE or buy a $35 theme for a design to suit you. Crowdsource your bigger design challenges. Put a brief online for designers around the world to create something bespoke for you. At prices from $299. Use social media platform - the ultimate in free tools. Great to extend your customer service and promotions. Host your videos on Vimeo or YouTube. Use tools that work via apps on your phone. Mostly free but even the expensive £5 apps can save time. Resource doesn’t need to be draining. Once created, ask your friends to help. Employ an intern for a few hours a week. Start with one thing first and build.
8. Don’t be afraid to experiment Start with one thing. Focus on it. Build it. Test it. If it doesn’t work, understand why. If necessary - bin it. Oh, and you don’t need to do everything. But remember always plan it. Unless you don’t mind where your customers or business ends up it’s best to consider where on the map and what role your ‘experiment’ plays.
Changing rooms. Digital meets real life. In Mexico City, in 2010 the Common People concept store opened. Designed to be “a place to be filled by uncommon things for common people”. The grand colonial building, the welcoming personal shoppers, the vibrant collaboration of buyers and designers contribute to a unique and eclectic experience. They have a website but it is in the changing room where they most surprise. Hang up your garments and watch images of your items appear on an adjacent touch screen. Alongside them the screen invites you to learn more, recommends accessories, or invites you to email or tweet to friends. This isn’t just a gimmick. It up-sells, it learns what people like and think and the RFID technology it uses smartly and efficiently keeps inventory controlled. Most notably it builds on the premise of uncommon experiences. Core to their business, it is why their customers return.
Insights Report by JiWire, #$%$&'$(")*!*
SwiSh thinking is about how digital can support, enhance and help grow your business. We offer a range of products which are customised to place our client’s needs at the heart of the process. SwiSh thinking is an international business providing solutions for organisations of all sizes in the UK and France. We are market neutral with clients in the retail, charity, social enterprise, fashion, IT and Design sectors. www.swishthinking.com | @swishthinking
Job Appeal by Emily Hickey-Mason Calling local businesses. I am a 19 year old student from Harpenden, currently studying Political Science, Sociology at the University of Birmingham after completing my ALevels at St George’s Sixth Form. After graduation, I am hoping to enter into the world of marketing, advertising and journalism and I am looking for any local work opportunities either during the holidays or for doing out of office work during term time.
If you think that I could be of any help to you in your business, I would be very committed and welcome any opportunity to gain further experience in this field of work. Please contact me via my Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have 11 GCSEs (predominately As and A*s) and 3 A-Levels in which I achieved an A* in photography, an A in English Literature and a B in Philosophy & Ethics (Religious Studies). I am a hard worker and have magazine editing and writing experience. Writing is my forte and I also have very good organisational and time keeping skills as well as being IT literate. I currently work as an author supporter and do her market research. I research blogs and websites for her as well as helping to create her advertising campaign and am currently helping to design and create her new website, website content and logo. “An ingenious piece of marketing from a young lady with a lot of skills. I’m sure she could be a vital addition to a local business” Ron Taylor. Editor.
Think Small, Stay Small By Keith Sammels. (Below) Executive Creative Director LAW Creative Consortium says that there were a ‘good number of sensible ideas’ in the High Street Review! Of course the undoubtedly sensible, innovative and enthusiastic ideas that will flow from the ‘Portas Report’ will be welcomed and help to create greater awareness of the benefits of shopping in the high street. But why on earth do high street retailers who depend for their living on the success of their own businesses need to wait to be reminded of the basic requirements of successful retailing. Harpenden can attract shoppers. It has a ‘differential advantage’ over many other town centres. People will shop in Harpenden:
In the Harpendia Summer issue I asked “is Harpenden in with a fighting chance?” In the recent High Street Review; published alongside new government commissioned research, it is claimed that ‘High Streets’ are degenerating or failing!
Spending in Town Centres is falling whilst outof-town and online shopping has risen, with online sales doubling since 2000. The performance report also details what is called the “downward spiral of decline”. So, is it game over for the town centre? Mary Portas ‘Queen of Shops’ also has a report into how to revive the high street on which the government is due to respond in early 2012. Richard Dodd from the British Retail
• If there is a diverse range of stores. • If they receive exemplary service. • If stores are open longer, when people want or need to shop. • If they can park. (Open new car parks with restrictions to stop them being filled with retail staff and office workers before shoppers arrive). • If the high street offers additional advantages or attractions such as walk in Spa’s or Yoga Centres, Gyms, Instant Non Cut Blow Dry’s. Or “Real Food” restaurants. (These businesses will be encouraged to open in centres with sensible rates, rents and lack of traffic wardens).
Apple Stores have been hugely important because they provide customers with amazing products, previously unimaginable service and convenient opening times. High Street stores may be small but they can at least think big! Above. The Apple store in the new Quarter shopping concept in Scottsdale Arizona
Article continues on next page...
Article continues... At LAW Creative we offer exemplary seven days, 24 hours (if really necessary) service to our clients, together with award winning and successful marketing. We think big and often outperform our substantial competition. This year this philosophy has won the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Hotel Marketing Association ‘Best Agency Campaign of 2011’ for our client InterContinental Hotels Group. Despite all of the proof to the contrary I would still argue that shoppers have an inherent liking for the high street. They want to buy local but they are fed up with trying to overcome the lack of choice, service and convenience that their high street should inherently offer. Retailers do not need to wait to be told what to do. They do not need to be full of apathy and pessimism. They might need to create a new charter for their own business which delivers for their customers and allows for optimism not pessimism. Retailers are trading in a digital age where effective data capture and e.marketing allows them to compete with much bigger businesses for a fraction of the cost of advertising ten years ago! And we should all remember that a great looking website with excellent functionality and search engine optimisation costs very much the same as the typically poor sites operated by most small businesses. Every day your customers are exposed to websites for Oakley, Nike, Timberland and Nespresso. Why would you give a significantly worse experience when they visit yours? Offer great products, great service, convenience and uniqueness. Then promote it. Then they will come. Challenge convention, differentiate, win hearts and minds. If you think small, you’ll stay small and even worse you’ll expose your business to a ‘downward spiral of decline’.
Keith Sammels Executive Creative Director LAW Creative www.lawcreative.co.uk
Above. ‘Scottsdale Quarter http:// www.lawcreative.co.uk/ #scottsdale
Are you under the influence? Marketing – it’s all about the right mix By Kate Warr. Owner of Kew Marketing
The term ʻmarketingʼ gets used a lot in the world of business and life; but do you know what it really means and what value it can provide? Too often businesses get marketing wrong, they jump straight into the promotional plan, without thought of what their business is selling, who to, and how. By not taking some time out to ʻthinkʼ about marketing, can cost more in the long term and money is wasted.
Thatʼs a lot of people to try and catch their attention – how are you going to cut through all the noise of your competition? What is included in the implementing? This is the doing. Youʼve set your plan, now implement it – this is mainly around the promotional side of things, i.e. advertising, events, twitter, brochure, website – all the fun stuff that people want to do straight away ʻpromotional mixʼ.
In this article, Iʼm going to explain to you the basics of marketing and why itʼs critical to get this right first time.
The Marketing Mix – the Pʼs explained The marketing mix (created in 1960, by Jerome McCarthy), was made leading-edge by Philip As Regis McKenna (marketing guru of Silicon Valley) once said “marketing is everything”, which Kotler in his book Principles of Marketing in 1967 and extended to the ʻ7psʼ – adding People, in my view it is. However, thatʼs not so easy to digest. To me, marketing is broken down into two Process and Physical Evidence. Here is a snapshot of what they really mean: parts: the thinking and the implementing – to most, itʼs the implementing that people refer to as Product: Consider your product or service; do ʻmarketingʼ. you know exactly what it is? Are you adapting it to suit your clientsʼ needs? This is key to What is included in the thinking? The real understanding who you are targeting, what do backbone to marketing planning – is the ʻmarketing mixʼ, also known as the 4pʼs: Product, your customers look like, what profile to do they fit? Price, Place and Promotion. This sets your plan Place: How are you selling to your customers? Is and points you in the right direction. Many your strategy to sell direct to the customer, have businesses chose to ignore this – I say ignore it you thought about online? at your peril! Price: What are your customers prepared to spend? Whatʼs your pricing strategy, cheap as Without taking a little time to think about the basics, how do you know who you are promoting chips, or exclusive?
Marketing v Promotion
your businesses to and how to engage with them? So often I have heard people say, everyone needs what I do… Really? Everyone?
Article concludes... Promotion: Which tactical element of the ʻpromotional mixʼ will you use? i.e. PR, social media, brochures. Which elements will engage with the customer behaviour? People: Who is representing your business? Do they need other skills? Process: What is the process involved in getting your product/service to the customer? Can it be improved? Physical evidence: The physical presence of the business, for example premises, appearance of staff, vehicles etc. Itʼs not good to turn up to a customer in a filthy car if you are selling luxury goods.
clients better, and become more efficient in their promotional activities. Getting the right mix allows businesses to set the foundations to keep existing clients and attract new ones – which after all, is one of the main objectives in business.
The promotional mix – how will customers know you exist? CIM definition of the Promotional Mix is “a term used to describe the set of tools that a business can use to communicate effectively the benefits of its product or services to its customers”. Yes itʼs a set of tools, but in my opinion, itʼs any point in time that your potential customer may engage with you: ʻmarketing touch pointsʼ. For a proactive approach, these can include news articles, Facebook, Twitter, events, brochures, sign boards and so on. Other ʻtouch pointsʼ that are sometimes overlooked could be, how your receptionist answers the phone, the look and feel of your office, your personal branding i.e. how you come across in looks and behaviour! This to me, is where ʻmarketing is everythingʼ comes in. Once youʼve decided which mix of promotional activities will work for your target audience itʼs about implementing them, and testing do they work? If something isnʼt working – try something else.
Getting the right mix for a perfect blend of marketing greatness Marketing is a whole mix of tools, techniques, tactics and theories… however; itʼs about finding the right balance of time and effort to put into each of these and get maximum value. When even just a little time is invested into the thinking stage, businesses are more focused on what they want to achieve, they understand their
Above. Kate Warr. Owner of Kew Marketing
My 5 top marketing tips: Customer is king – listen and explore their needs and wants Plan and focus – donʼt try the ʻspray and pray approachʼ – do the thinking and consider who your target is and youʼll get better results Donʼt sell your features, tell them the benefits of your product/service Integrated approach is best – you get far better value from doing 2-3 promotional tactics at the same time rather than just 1 Review, learn and revise – you wonʼt strike gold every time, be brave and stop doing something that doesnʼt work and try something else instead.
LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/katewarr Twitter: http://bit.ly/kewmarketing www.kewmarketing.com
Harpenden and the Digital era
How technology can help retailers and customers By Rod Wynne-Powell
I do not think that I am overstating the case that Harpenden High Street shopping relies on its ability to attract customers by car, bus and train in addition to those who can walk or use mobility scooters. It has to ensure that shoppers will be drawn in despite the call of out of town retail parks. It must not be simply a commuters’ train stop, and a vast Retirement Home.
pick up a handheld device in some supermarkets and walk around the store and read barcodes that let you know the price of the product you scan in, and that these scanners can keep a tally of your shopping and allow you to keep a tighter control over your budget. What you may not know is that there is a form of this technology that can take you far further, and that you may even already have in your possession a device that can perform this minor miracle.
To ensure that it remains an attractive destination in its own right, it needs diversity, excitement, and it needs to attract all ages, and especially the younger The device is a Smartphone, and the generation, so that it establishes continuity. technology to which I refer is the Anyone entering town, must not be QR Code. penalised before they have even purchased anything, or taken part in some activity, they should be wooed, such that they feel they are gaining value from the experience of the visit.
Informing customers. Most of all they need to be informed that Harpenden has what they seek. Any bricks and mortar establishment needs to provide something that the online experience does not offer, it has to accept that the Internet has lesser costs and greater reach, but is impersonal, yet this very reach Above. Ashtons Harpenden Estate Agent’s could draw custom from a wider area than manager Joe Wilkes “Always keen to embrace technology to give our clients the the local newspaper. Technology can help. There needs to be a bridge from the analogue world of the pedestrian to the online world of the computer shopper, and it needs to be a two-way communication. Many of you will recognise that you can
competitive edge. QR codes are proving to be a popular app. for the discerning but time constrained purchaser”
Let me also tell you that already there are free (yes, free!) apps (‘software programs’ – for the less technical of you) that can be... Article continues on next page...
and transport them to an explanation of services, charges, or even a video. downloaded to these Smartphones, which Here is an opportunity to bridge the gap having taken a photo of the QR code can between a freebie newspaper and the Web. bring up a video, or take you to a website, Take the opportunity to offer ‘buy online, and therefore bridge the gap between the pick up in store’ so that the customer who everyday analogue world into the digital may be out all day during the week, and domain. who would feel frustrated at wasting a day The younger generation are more likely to for some indeterminate delivery time, you see the possibilities this opens, and it is the could have him/her collect at their younger generation that needs to be enticed convenience over a weekend or at the end into Harpenden and then visit more of the working day, and you now have the frequently. This should be one of opportunity offered by face to face contact Harpenden’s main targets. The Station and the possibilities of giving further attracts the business world commuters, they advice, or selling something in addition. must be drawn to visit the town for more than the station, so view the station as your Make technology work for you. billboard, and use their spare time waiting You may be able to lessen stock levels and for that train to arrive by having small QR use JIT, Just-in-Time delivery by this cards on display with simple messages to method; you could stock the ancillaries yet categorise what can be gleaned. order the capital items only when you have a confirmed sale, the advantages of the Internet and ‘Online’ could be made to work to your advantage, not be seen as something evil that is stealing your business and clients. I give you the QR Code. Article continues...
Above. A & K Wilson Gallery in Station Approach were one of the pioneers of QR codes using the device in their window to direct customers to their web page featuring the work of the Plein Air Brotherhood.
More effective than website or email? Perhaps it would be better to have classified ads in local newspapers with QR codes rather than the website or email address, which if jotted down might be misspelt. This would entice potential customers to point their camera phone at the QR code
Article written by Rod Wynne-Powell. Photographer, Retoucher, Trainer, Consultant Author of 'Photoshop Made Simple' and recently published 'Mac OS X for Photographers' – !!!! email: email@example.com Blog: http://rod-wynne-powell.blogspot.co.uk/
The early bird catches the worm! How networking with BNI can improve your business. By Ron Taylor. Editor
...early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. 6.15 am. Arrived at the Ramada Inn in Hatfield on August 9th with 2 stalwarts of BNI Verulam , Richard Hunt and Anthony Lacey 6.15 â€“ 7.00. Coffee and introductions to most of the other members who were all enthused with the prospect of their regular weekly get together. A group of twenty one locally based business men from the worlds of financial services, design & print, computers, marketing, building & property services. 7.00 - 7.15. Cooked breakfasts from the grill to energise everyone ahead of the formal proceedings. 7.15 onwards. Feedback from each member on their weekly activity... a series of professional presentations on various business subjects... then the most important element--the referrals--
where each member gives details of business leads they have made to other members to follow up...concluding speeches from the chairman and other officers on the importance of networking and supporting each other. 9am. The meeting closed and members depart to their places of work.
Above top. The Top table, L2R, Daniel Webster, Tony Berk & Guy Keen. Above. Tim Huckle receiving his â€˜Notable Networker Awardâ€˜ from Tony Berk.
Article concludes... BNI. What’s it all about? Founded in the USA it is now a world wide organisation with 611 groups (chapters) in the UK and Ireland. Set up for small and medium sized businesses with exclusive areas and membership so there are no conflicting interests. Professionally run to fairly strict guidelines members are there to help each other and expand their businesses via referrals. Once established new members quickly gain awareness and trust to become active within the chapter. Annual fees work out at £435 +VAT [ usually tax deductible] Calling local sign makers. BNI Verulam are actively looking for a sign making business to join them to fulfill a number of local contracts. If you are interested in joining then call Guy Keen on 01582 456404 Does it work? I spoke to several members during the morning and came away with a positive impression that membership is definitely worth the fee.
Above. Jeremy Silverstone (left) with Daniel Webster explaining the concept of the ‘Business & Personal Services Power Team’ and how it will benefit the membership.
Improve your business with a little help from the BNI Verulam Chapter
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The Business edition. Summer 2012. First in a series of Business editons. For information on future editions please contact the Editor, Ron Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org www.harpendia.com