Promote Yourself Unashamedly

Social media is a great tool for promoting yourself and don’t feel ashamed to do it. If you’ve worked hard to achieve something or are really proud of an achievement why not tell everyone about it.
Does it make you look like a big head? Probably not-it will make you look like someone who enjoys what they do and if you are in business this cannot come across badly.
Think of people in business you admire-do they promote how much they love their work?
In my job last week I was really proud to see the publishing of a XXL Dylan Thomas Souvenir supplement inside our newspaper.
I really enjoy watching and listening to the plays and poems of Dylan Thomas so I asked our editor if we could get together to mark the centenary of his birth. A week later I was in discussions with a team of journalists to discuss content.
I proposed the XXL size and advertising content and what soon materialised was a plan of content encompassing an events programme, history and celebrity tributes. A few weeks down the line with the vision of a creative designer the Dylan Thomas supplement was sent to our printers. And that was that. I had to wait.
The day of publishing came and I literally couldn’t wait to get in to work to see it.
I was over the moon with the results and here it is:
dylan thomas

Was that the end of the journey?

Absolutely not.

The above picture was posted on Facebook and Twitter to let fans know it was free inside the paper that day.

My colleague in work took a photograph of three of us reading this huge supplement-that was shared.

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I talked about it a lot that day because I wanted others to enjoy it so I Tweeted and Posted on Facebook about it several times that day.

I shared a testimonial I received from a customer:

Can I, on behalf of the choir, thank the both of you for the work you put into producing the Centenary Special in general and the choir’s advert in particular. The end result (what the public see – not the work that goes into it) was great and I’m sure you’re all proud of the finished publication.

Again Congratulations, Thanks and Regards,

And one of my team members shared a great testimonial with me.

Success is energising.

The following day the supplement was posted on our website with a link to the real thing.

dtc

I was so excited by the different formats the supplement could take and the different ways that I could reach Dylan fans with the information.

I’m still excited about it now because it’s now the subject of my blog.

Yes I could come across to some as a bit of a fruitcake but I’m not afraid to share my passions and talk about them. I just think how lucky I am to have a job that manifest itself in to something I have loved so much.

My ultimate point I suppose is that displaying your pride, your achievements and your knowledge is definitely not a bad thing but it is something you can’t fake.

Your customers will respect you and come to know you as a master in your field.

Self promotion is essential and do you know what? It makes you feel good too.

I’d better log off before I start talking about Dylan Thomas again-there is such a thing as overkill.

Have a good week and thanks for reading.

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Ignorance Is No Defence

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat

ignorance

If you are in business and are preferring to remain ignorant about the effects the web has on every aspect of life then chances are you may not survive. Because ignorance is no defence.

I am an advertising manager of a newspaper and somehow I have now become a multi media manager within a newspaper. It happened fairly slowly but over the last two years the rate at which we continue towards an ever increasing digital future is alarming.

Like  a lot of people in business I thought internet propositions would disappear so I played the game and kept my focus on the printed newspaper then BAM! digital hit me again and this time I knew it was sink or swim.

It takes courage and strength to change the way you work-as a colleague of mine says it’s like trying to turn an oil tanker on a narrow road. So I recently made a conscious decision to surpass myself and become a more competent manager better suited to today’s world.

So as a multi media manager I decided to make the conscious decision to almost ignore printed advertising- after 12 years in the industry I almost know newspapers inside out. Instead I decided to become a digital advertising expert to work in tandem with my knowledge about print.

What did I do?

First of all I briefed my team on how we are going to attack our digital targets in the most productive way-by breaking down our targets in to small manageable chunks. If I told you that my target in April is to generate over one million impression sales for our website then you should be able to better appreciate my need for turning this oil tanker.

Then I gave each person a sliding scale of impressions and their cost-to avoid the endless tapping of calculator keys but also to make it easier to build in to campaigns and tailor to the needs of their business.

Thirdly I made sure that every single day every member of my team was given daily visit information from the previous day. I also did spot checks on how much of this information they were taking in. Was it much-no! Is there improvement-three days of me spot checking and my team are getting closer to the right figures.

After this I started working on the creativity of the sale and pitched a campaign bespoke to a business which would mean them targeting sports readers on our website. It was a success.

Finally-I’m not going to stand back and watch the web take away my business-I am learning, researching, calling people for advice, tying, testing and above all enjoying becoming someone who understands online advertising.

My point-yes it was longwinded- is that it is much easier to sit back and say ‘Well I don’t need to learn’ ‘I don’t use the internet’ or ‘I don’t need online advertising’ because the truth is-you do.

Don’t think of the internet as a new way of doing business-think of it as an essential way of doing business that can ensure your company becomes accessible to people at any time of the day-even when you may be sleeping.

A new challenge can often make you develop a new love for your products or services.

I’ve said it before but the changes in my industry have been so refreshing and now, although hard work, are such amazing learning curve.

So please learn because gnorance will be no defence when a competitor takes your business.

 

Businesses Don’t Care

If you keep seeing negative comments about your business then you need to do something about it.

People often vent because they think that businesses don’t care about their consumers or that you won’t respond to any concerns.

You need to change your attitude in to thinking ‘I’m glad I can see what people think of my business because then I can act on it’

You also need to share the good things people say about you to ensure that all of your customers and potential customers are reminded how good you are.

Don’t beat yourself up-no one can be great all the time. Feel brave enough to give yourself a pat on the back when you see something great about your business.

Here are some of my personal experiences for you to read and maybe get some ideas from:

  • (BAD) I rarely take the time to complain but felt the urge after opening a bag of crisps from Morrison’s Supermarket. The contents of the bag were wet which was strange. I Tweeted a photo of the crisps to Morrison’s with a 120 character complaint. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I had a reply. ‘Ewww’ it said ‘Message me your details and the bar code’-which I did. Within 7 days I received £3 worth of vouchers and a covering letter. The supermarket has risen so high in my estimations. (And this is a large business)
  • (GOOD) My newspaper produced a poster to back our local football team with a local business as a sponsor. The customer on Facebook shared a photograph of the poster he sponsored and publicised his backing for our campaign. His adverts looked amazing and really captured his brand, the poster would reach his target market as he is in the motoring trade and his praise for our product is such great feedback-comments like this you can’t buy so I re-shared his post for others to see. Lovely for me as I worked with the editor in providing a good platform for a local business on the poster, great for the member of my sales team who worked with the customer, great for the newspaper to hear positive feedback and finally a great opportunity for a local business to brand his business alongside a product linked with a Premier Football team. (Lots of greats I know)
  • (BAD) Although I’ve recently turned 40 I absolutely love being out dancing in to the early hours and am happiest when I’m in Revolution in Swansea. I love the music and if I’m out of a night you can guarantee once I get in to the venue I don’t come out for hours. I was really surprised when I added the bar to Facebook the next day to see really bad reviews on their page. And even more surprised to see not one of the negative reviews had any response. Why is that important? All I can see is one side of a story. If I didn’t know about the bar and had checked them out would I have gone in-no way! if your business has a Facebook page and you allow customers to review you please make sure you respond in a professional manner. It will speak volumes about your customer care

These experiences have given me food for thought.

Don’t believe me…?

consumer_reviews_infographic

Chasing audience

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Advertising has always been charged on how many people a product attracts that’s why advertising on television was always so expensive. Things haven’t changed that much-it’s just the people aren’t in the same places any more.

Think about it in terms of the new media platforms that have evolved over the last twenty years or so ago:

Television advertising expected high revenues from advertising and with just three channels to advertise on the expected audience was vast- in 2014 my Sky remote channel numbers go up to 999 so the audience will be diluted significantly and scattered across many channels.

Radio advertising-in my youth there was Radio 1,2 3 and 4-I can’t remember any others so again advertising could dictate high prices. in 2014 there is a radio station for every era and genre. There are literally hundreds and many change their target audience as figures rise or decline. DAB Radio has meant that radio listeners don’t have to only listen to local stations because that’s all they can get a signal for.

Newspaper advertising also dictated high prices as competition in the news sector was minimal-if you wanted news you read a paper or watched the news bulletin on TV. 2014 if you want news you find it on your mobile phone, on you laptop, on a tablet, in a newspaper, on the radio or on the TV. News travels via social media-news is accessible, can be localised or national and can be tailored to suit the reader.

There has been a significant change over the last couple of years-when the audience for content shifted to online the radio, television and newspaper industry creaked-some toppled, some completely lost their share of the market by refusing to accept the significance of the internet and some lost their heads.

But….

Some-after a little dunking under the water-re emerged as some of the Worlds most powerful magnets for the audience every advertiser wants.

Take for example the Daily Mail-a newspaper which now has more UK visits than any other newspaper site. It is read across the globe. Combine its audience with the printed title and the Mail reach a significant amount of people.

The BBC-once seen as channel losing it’s audience to younger, funkier channels-now reaches an audience of 256 million people per week with combines reach of television and online platforms. It’s phenomenal.

I work for the South Wales Evening Post newspaper and on an average week we reach an audience of over half a million people. When I began working in the industry 12 years ago, with a newspaper only we reached 172,000 people. It’s an amazing transition. Our website attracts close to one million unique users on an average month. It doesn’t feel real. I’ve seen the newspaper industry seem like the underdog in media as people only talk about losing circulation-with confidence and with pride I can say that my products can reach a vast local audience. It’s a lot more intelligent, it’s more flexible and what’s more I have a revived passion for the business because like in the old days we are at the top of our game.

So my advice to you today is don’t buy advertising on price-buy it on audience.

A former boss of mine used to say ‘You get what you pay for’-if something’s cheap then it probably doesn’t command a high audience.

An advert without an audience viewing it is like a football match with no crowd.

 

Tempt Me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As an advertising manager I’m really interested in how people buy but when advising customers I think about how I buy and apply it to campaigns if relevant.

I’ve had some really good buying experiences which have really made me aware of how differently we operate with all the choice we have.

I very rarely buy on impulse now-I can shop online for days/weeks for something and never actually buy anything.

I visit lots of different sites before I buy too.

More importantly I am often ‘tempted to buy’

Here’s a couple of examples:

Every year I help to organise a food and drink festival and every year I think what I’d like to buy and yes-it’s always a locally sourced, delicious sounding product like Welsh Cheese.

That was before I used Facebook as a marketing tool for the event.

With every exhibitor I signed up a new post was added to the event to give all attendees a tempting preview of what they could buy. As I added the exhibitors to the group I liked some of the companies pages too.

You know what I’m building up to don’t you?

I bet you think I came away from the event with lots of delicious goodies don’t you.

Well I did but it was some lovely soya wax candles!

What?

Why did I buy that?

While I was attracting over 100 people to the event with my marketing on Facebook one customers website I’d liked was busy tempting people directly to their stall.

Every day a new customer testimonial was added to the website.

Every day a new candle scent was talked about.

Every day the enthusiasm of the owner reached me and before long I was virtually shopping and choosing what I’d like. I didn’t mean to but sub consciously the good things I was reading started to create a need.

I need candles! I can’t live without candles! These candles burn for longer! These are the best candles around!

I almost couldn’t wait to get to the stall and buy my candles. I chose lavender, lime and vanilla and a burner. I got home and lit the candles and thought -‘She was right-they do smell great’

So my point it that you heavily influence buying purchase by advertising and marketing in print and online by:

  • Being enthusiastic
  • Using customer testimonials
  • Describing your products
  • Let people know where they can get them
  • Thank people for the feedback they give
  • Showing your passion for your business

My other great example is slightly different but just as powerful.

I recently organised a health and well being fair which was run in conjunction with Tara Hammett- a personal trainer and TV personality. Apart from feeling like a sloth standing beside this glowing, sporty, healthy lady I saw how her passion for her business has made her so successful.

Tara reaches out to her ‘customers’ by giving away free content-you can go on to YouTube and watch her giving health and fitness advice, you can add her on Facebook and ask her questions at any time and she’s happy to reply, she’s written a book giving a wealth of her experience away plus scientific nutritional advice tips, you can join her fitness programme or follow her on Twitter.

Wherever you engage with Tara she is the same enthusiastic role model that inspires people on a daily basis.

She is approachable which is really important in todays society.

I wanted to join her fitness programme, I wanted to be fitter and healthier but more importantly I believed in her brand as I trust her and admire her.

This is such an excellent idea of personal marketing that I had to share it with you.

There is one thing about Tara though that you do need to know-she invented chocolate sprouts. Don’t diss them before you’ve tried them-they are actually very nice.

My message today is simple really-time spend marketing yourself in as many places as you can, to as many people as you with as much enthusiasm as you can will escalate your business in a matter of time.

It’s hard to quantify but every time you engage you could be slowly tempting a person to buy from you.

Invest in your business today but make people know it I you.

Be the King and make your move!

Has the internet changed the journey

people make when buying a car?

chess-game-wallpapers

Well it’s certainly added another researching tool in to the equation.

Auto shoppers now use on average 18.2 different sources of information-from TV, news articles, online, family etc. to finally form their decision

‘The zero moment of truth for automotive study’

Marketing and advertising for car dealerships has never been so important. It needs to target as many of those 18.2 sources as possible-now that’s no mean feat.

Google’s study which can be found above really delves deep in to the psyche of a car buyer. It might make you think your customer targeting is a little archaic but it’s really important to know these trends.

I have picked out some key facts from the report for you-things I think can provide enlightenment to local new and used car dealers:

  • Shoppers take several months to go from decision to action
  • Shoppers clearly identify in person experiences as the most influential-test driving, visiting the dealership etc.
  • The internet has added a new stage to the car buying process-pre-shopping
  • Top stimuluses’ for buying a car include TV advertising, magazine articles, newspaper articles, direct mail and advert in newspaper
  • Test drives were listed as the number one decision influencer
  • Second to a test drive looking at a car was a major influence
  • In newspapers people react most to price guides and special offers, financing options and style.
  • 59% of online car buyers were looking at style as a priority
  • People who buys cars more frequently use almost 4 more sources in their search than people who buy less cars

So what does this mean for car dealers?

I would suggest not putting your marketing budget in just one place-advertising to sell cars now means promoting via social media, online advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, own website, search engine optimisation and branding.

I was going to say car buyers are much more savvy these days but I don’t think that’s actually true.

There are so many choices and so much information available it is possible to completely change a purchasers mind several times advertising/marketing needs to be consistent and the message needs to change to suit the medium. And the purchaser.

The average person test drives 2-3 cars.

Consumers love online video.

In the UK 23% of people experience “switchbacks” where they move backward into earlier stages of the journey.

It’s such an exciting market to be part of-a little bit like a game of chess.  If you think strategically then the other players piece of the market can be yours.

A sample a marketing campaign that encompasses some of the research data available might consist of:

Magazine article detailing a test drive of a new vehicle listing pro’s and con’s plus sleek images to target reader type.

Online advertising on an influential website to include a video of the latest car being test driven or link to national ad campaign video

Search engine optimisation to look at key search criteria (Linked with Google keyword tool)
Newspaper advertising to promote a good price, finance deal plus car profile

Social media to capture wants/ already has/ knows someone who has feedback

Blog to talk in a frank and honest way about cars in your showroom, adding in personal experience, likes, dislikes and knowledge.

This is a very broad basis for a campaign-what matters is that the reason and logic is behind each reason for advertising.

All you need to remember is

‘I WANT TO BE IN AS MANY OF THE 18.2 INFLUENCIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO BE IN WITHT HE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING PEOPLE IN TO MY SHOWROOM-ONCE THEY’RE IN I HAVE MY BEST CHANCE OF SELLING THEM A CAR’

Let me know if I can help you in any way

Digital Disruption In The Market Place

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I read today that digital offerings are disrupting all of the traditional ways we receive information-television, press, radio, film and magazines. It offers something new to people where that was a gap in the market-and slowly it will replace them.

It’s happened plenty of times before so don’t think this is something new:

THEN Camera film + camera = printed photographs.

NOW Instagram, Facebook, Smart Phones= Storage of photos online

Another example:

WAS Records, then tapes, then CD’s, then ipods

NOW Online music streaming.

Now I work for a newspaper so you must be thinking I’ll soon be out of work soon and the newspaper will close.

Well I can say with hand on my heart that I have never found my job as exciting as it is now. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I do know that I’m not afraid to go with the changes.

I bring material home to read on digital advertising-I’m understanding how much investment there is in the UK economy on digital advertising and as a frequent internet user I am the future. You can’t pretend to embrace change-if you don’t believe in it I say don’t go along with it.

Take for example this about use of devices through the day:

In the morning mobile internet devices are heavily used as people log on during their commute to work- that’s me-I switch on in the car once I’ve parked in the morning! Tabletop PC’s and laptop useage is high during 9am to 6pm when people spend a lot of time in work-that’s me! And tablet use is highest in the evening when people are browsing the internet at home. That’s me!

So how could I not love digital advertising when I am a typical digital advertisers target?

As an events sales manager in work I recently thought I’d try setting up my events on Facebook. I wasn’t really expecting too much.

I cannot tell you how much it has transformed the way I work.

I now have my Facebook on all days in work as people contact me for information on the events all day. Every time an exhibitor comes on board I post their info on Facebook.

More importantly I am engaging with people more than I ever did before. And I hope I’m creating enthusiasm and brand awareness for my events and my company.

It sounds childish to say I’m excited but I genuinely am.

I’m not a sales manager any more-I’m a sales and relationships manager. I’m not just selling-I’m creating products/events and campaigns that provide solutions to businesses and around it I’m adding marketing information relevant to the events.

With my events I am:

  • Encouraging likes for local businesses
  • Enabling businesses to network with each other
  • Reaching a new community of people to engage with
  • Providing a new method of getting in touch with me
  • Encouraging engagement with my brand
  • Creating a sense of expectation
  • Meeting new people and contacts

I’m just a beginner and don’t profess to be a social media expert but enjoyment comes first in anything.

Here are my events if you’d like to see how I’m getting on:

https://www.facebook.com/events/333304756808170/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

https://www.facebook.com/events/625080507559214/

https://www.facebook.com/events/541943052560755/

If you have any questions please get in touch

All the best