The Most Marketable Olympians

By Kelly Wright

Fresh from Team GB’s greatest ever haul at an Olympic Games, executives from the world’s biggest brands are scrambling to sign athletes up to endorse their brands. Here are our pick of the athletes making the podium for marketability.

Bronze – Jess Ennis-Hill

Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon gold in London 2012 made her the poster girl for UK sport. Since then she has only enhanced her standing by returning from the birth of her first child to reclaim her world title and grab silver in Rio. Ennis-Hill’s squeaky clean public image has earned endorsements with Omega, BP, Santander and Adidas. Now seen as a ‘supermum’, Ennis-Hill is branching out into more family centric brands including Vitality and P&G’s ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign. Her image is likely to mature, rather than fade, over time.

Silver – Usain Bolt

Who else? Bolt is a brand with an international following. His infectious personality, laid-back charm and penchant for showmanship endears him to audiences and sponsors alike, such as Puma, Virgin Media, Visa and Nissan. But what next for the fastest man on earth? Bolt may have retired from Olympic competition but don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. Being the first person to win the triple triple means he heads into retirement with his stock at an all-time high. For now, he has trademarked his name and his signature ‘lightning bolt’ pose, and even has his own emoji. For the future, he has talked about moving into broadcasting and clothes designing, so watch this space.

Gold – Laura Trott

With her blonde pigtails and charismatic personality, Laura Trott is a sponsor’s dream. Already popular after London 2012, Rio has catapulted her into the big time. Now the most decorated British female Olympian ever aged only 24, her future competitive and commercial potential is vast.  Already boasting big bucks sponsorship deals with Adidas and Prudential, she has recently partnered with Halfords to launch her own range of bikes. She can also regularly be seen promoting brands who send her freebies on Twitter. Her relationship with fellow Team GB cyclist and six-time gold medalist Jason Kenny has seen them mooted as the Posh and Becks of cycling. While Kenny prefers to keep a low profile away from the track, Trott looks set to reign supreme as the golden girl of UK sport.

Pokémon Go – The Next Big Thing in Marketing?

By Kelly Wright

Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for the last three weeks, you’ve probably noticed gangs of excited teenagers and 20-somethings traipsing the streets looking for Pokémon.
Pokémon Go is a massive cultural phenomenon – just see the madness caused by an elusive Pokémon in New York’s Central Park.

Despite the game only being available for a few weeks, it is already the biggest mobile game ever, peaking at 21 million daily active users in the US alone.

Its’ popularity amongst millennials is obvious, but could Pokémon Go have an impact on marketers? Smart business owners are already purchasing the in-game ‘Lure’ module to attract Pokémon – and the players – to the area at a cost of $2 an hour. This increased footfall benefits consumer facing businesses like shops, bars and restaurants, making the Lure a simple and cheap marketing strategy for small businesses. Spending approximately $10 on Lure modules for a day resulted in a 75 per cent rise in business sales, for example.

You don’t have to be a small business to take advantage of the increased footfall in your area. Enterprising kids in the US are setting up lures and profiting from snack stands near their houses. An animal shelter in Indiana has increased volunteering by encouraging Pokémon trainers to walk the shelter’s dogs while they search.

It could also have benefits for major brand retailers. The software developers behind the app have stated that sponsored locations will be introduced soon, creating a new source of revenue for the already hugely successful game. The first collaboration is thought to be with McDonald’s in Japan and will coincide with the release of the app there. For now though, this remains an unknown.

But will Pokémon Go have a lasting impact? Probably not. It’s a fad and like all fads before it, the audience will eventually fade and move on. Today’s Pokémon trainer won’t be playing next year, or maybe even next month. So now is certainly the time to look into a little Pokémarketing, if it fits your business model and target audience. Once Lures become more commonplace, they will lose their impact and as the audience switches off, ROI will slow. For now though, you gotta catch ‘em all.

Six Reasons We Love the British Summer

By Kelly Wright

Summer has well and truly hit the UK. While we make the most of our mini heatwave, here are six reasons to love the British summer.

BBQ

No matter how brief it may be, sun equals instant BBQ for Brits. Cremated sausages never tasted so good. Plus there’s the added thrill of avoiding the threat of rain.

Light summer nights

It’s depressing in the winter when it’s dark before you leave the office. Whether it’s a glass of wine in the garden after work or a walk after dinner, take advantage of the longer summer evenings.

Eating outside

Picnics in the park, BBQs with your friends, ice-cream on your lunch break. Nothing beats a bit of al-fresco dining, as long as you don’t mind swatting the insects away.

summer

Suncream

One sniff of suncream has the power to transport you to the tropical island of your dreams. Summer in a bottle!

Pimms

There’s no summer drink more quintessentially British than Pimms.

Wimbledon

What is a British summer without Wimbledon? Flag-waving, the Royal Family, constant rain interruptions – the annual tennis championship is just so British. No-one does pomp, pessimism or patriotism quite like the Brits. Even better when Andy Murray wins.

Win Clients and Influence People With Crystal Knows

By Kelly Wright

Crystal isn’t my best friend or colleague. She’s never met me but she definitely knows me.

Ask Crystal about me, and she’ll tell you that I make decisions based on logic (true), approach problems methodically (definitely correct), and feel most comfortable knowing all the details (right again)Crystal

She’ll even tell you how to interact with me: set clear expectations, stay objective rather than emotional and use data to prove your point. She’ll also tell you to how to work with me for best results – be prepared for meetings, be logical in your arguments (both true!) and compliment a job well done (well, everyone likes their work to be recognised!)

Crystal2

Crystal is an online app that shows you the best way to communicate with customers and prospects by analysing their online footprint to determine their personality profile. It builds this profile by trawling through publicly available information: Facebook posts, blogs, tweets and the other crumbs we leave behind on the internet.

It works on the idea that understanding someone’s personality helps you communicate more effectively, allowing you into the head of your customers to get them to take the actions you want them to and accelerate relationship-building.

Each profile search returns advice on how to speak, email, work with or sell to them most effectively. It tells you the words, phrases, style and tone you should use to resonate with your target – even their tolerance for sarcasm and emoticons. A lot of the functionality is available for free, with the paid version even drafting live emails for you via a Gmail plug in.

It’s certainly weird having a computer summarise your personality, but given how much professional communication happens online, it could be a useful tool to have at your disposal. True, it does feel a little creepy that a computer knows you better than you know yourself but the potential business benefits outweigh the feeling of unease. Recruitment, getting to know customers and first contact with a prospect could all be made easier with Crystal’s help understanding their personality. Look up your profile to see what Crystal Knows about you.

How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Strategy

By Kelly Wright

From videos and blogs to Twitter and Facebook, social media has become part and parcel of modern marketing. But some people are reluctant to invest resources in it as a worthy marketing strategy.  These five best practices will show you how to generate significant return on investment through social media.

1. Listen to your customers
Social media comes in many forms so you need to find out where your customers are. You need to know them inside out to understand their buying cycle and how they consume content. Plug into the channels your customers use and focus on them. Engage with customers to find out what they’re most interested in and why, and act on every response. Asking the right questions and engaging with your customers in the right way is the first step towards a strong ROI.

2. Align with traditional marketing
Social media is an invaluable communication channel with the unique capability to capture customer feedback in real-time. Your social media strategy should support and complement your broader product marketing strategy. Compelling messaging and a coordinated communication plan will help you run these in tandem. For example, if you run an email campaign for a new product, you should support it with social outreach. Use unique tracking URLs for each channel so you know what vehicle drives the most traffic.

3. Map to business goals
What does ROI mean for your company? Is it total number of sales or qualified leads? More downloads of a document or money saved? Establish your goals and clear metrics, then determine what tactics will help you achieve them. Try to broaden your criteria from traditional captured metrics from Google Analytics, Omniture etc (page views, time on page) to other measurements. You may want to consider Facebook ‘Likes’ for example, but ensure you define what the Like means from a business perspective. What do you do to keep that person engaged after the initial ‘Like’? What is the conversion? When and how might that conversion happen? A conversion could be a sale, a download of campaign material or participation in a webinar or event. Determine how your conversions will be measured before you launch.

4. Don’t forget qualitative results
You can benefit from a raft of qualitative measures when using social media marketing. Comments, customer feedback, market insight, publicity, brand awareness, problem solving, customer service, event marketing and even recruitment are all possible using social media. Your company may agree to consider a range of qualitative business benefits as acceptable ROI.

5. Become a habit
A good trick is to make yourself so useful, customers turn to you first out of habit. Ask yourself what problem you can offer a clever, unique or novel solution to. Could you use this to talk about your product in creative ways that bring value to your customers? Post less to offer discounts or gain attention and more to solve customers’ problems.

Do you use social media in your marketing strategy? How do you measure your ROI?

10 Marketing Ideas for Wedding Professionals

By Kelly Wright

You may have noticed the name change on my email and byline. Three weeks ago I became Mrs Wright and as a bride, I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with the thousands of potential suppliers Google throws up. As a supplier, how do you get yourself to the top of that list and in front of newly engaged couples?

Being the best at what you do is a great start, but if no one knows you exist then no one is going to book you. Here are some simple marketing ideas for wedding professionals that won’t break the bank.

1. Get work from a past wedding featured on a wedding blog or magazine. Knowing you’re looking at someone’s real photos rather than staged promotional shots helps validate your work to potential clients. Brides in particular love real weddings – try out this list of top wedding blogs for starters!

2. Exhibit at local wedding fayres. People can be very precious about their weddings and want to have a rapport with everyone they hire. It’s tricky to judge how well you get on over email – nothing compares to meeting people face-to-face. Plus you’ll probably be given access to an email database of attendees to target afterwards. But don’t forget to give people something unique to remember you by. Creative giveaways such as little magnets with your branding and URL on will ensure you don’t get overlooked in the reams of paperwork.

3. Get on a venue’s recommended supplier list. Google returned thousands of hits for photographers in our local area and it was so difficult to know where to start. One email to our venue gave us a shortlist we could trust – seeing their photos of previous weddings at the venue helped us make our decision.

4. Post some of your all time favourite work to Pinterest. This is one of the first places a bride will go for ideas and will become a staple for inspiration – make sure you’re ready to meet them there!

5. Encourage past clients to share photos of your work on your Facebook page. Prospective clients relate to honest testimonials from real people. We booked our florist based on client photos on their Facebook page.

6. Network with other wedding industry professionals. You’ll probably see each other around at local wedding fayres so take the time to get to know them for a mutually beneficial relationship. Often if you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours. Our florist recommended a cake company and my hairdresser gave me the details of a great make up artist.

7. Facebook advertising allows you to target newly engaged couples by geography, age and interest and ensures your advert only reaches your ideal client.

8. Rework your packages. You need to stand out in a crowded marketplace and couples may upgrade if you offer just a little bit more than your competitors.

9. Reply to enquiries within 24 hours. One band took a week to reply to our enquiry. By the time they did, we’d lost interest and booked someone else. The early bird catches the worm!

10. Offer incentives such as something extra or a discount if people book you within a certain time frame. This is particularly valuable after a wedding fayre when you want to convert your enquiries into bookings.

Range Rover Cheater Revealed

By Kelly Gerrish

The truth behind the “cheater” Range Rover that went viral earlier this month has been revealed.

The £90,000 white Revere Range Rover Vogue became an internet sensation after a “spurned lover” supposedly covered it in red paint messages including “cheater”, “liar” and “hope she was worth it”.

Hundreds of people crowded round to take photos of the vehicle that was left in Knightsbridge and the car quickly went viral, with thousands of social media shares and coverage in the national press.

But as this video reveals, it turned out to be a cleverly executed publicity stunt to promote the new Revere Range Rover Vogue.

The video follows the vehicle from the design shop, driving through London until it is eventually parked outside Harrods where dash cam footage from inside the car shows hundreds of people looking and taking pictures throughout the day.

Who says marketing needs to be expensive and complicated? Sometimes the most simple ideas generate the most attention. It remains to be seen whether Range Rover will see an increase in sales, but that probably wasn’t the aim. Their brand awareness has certainly increased as a direct result of the stunt. The moral of the story? If you want people to notice you, do something completely unexpected.

10 Ways to Get a Giggle Out of Siri

By Kelly Gerrish

While talking to Siri, Apple’s digital voice assistant, regularly elicits some unintentional humour thanks to her limitations and misunderstandings, there’s plenty of intentional laughs too.

Read on for 10 questions to ask Siri for a hilarious response.

What is zero divided by zero?

Siri answers, “Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.”

What is ‘Inception’ about?

Siri clearly isn’t a big fan of this Hollywood blockbuster. She answers, “‘Inception’ is about dreaming about dreaming about dreaming about dreaming about something or other. I fell asleep.”

Do you have a boyfriend?

“Why?” Siri asks, “So we can get ice cream together, and listen to music, and travel across galaxies, only to have it end in slammed doors, heartbreak and loneliness? Sure, where do I sign up?”

What are you wearing?

Siri offers a number of clever answers to the question, including “In the cloud, no one knows what you’re wearing,” and “I can’t answer that. But it doesn’t come off.”

What is the best operating system?

Siri isn’t shy about her support for iOS, answering, “Gimme an I! Gimme an O! Gimme an S! What’s that spell? Sorry, I get a little carried away sometimes…”

What phone is the best?

Siri’s Apple loyalty runs deep, with her vote clearly going to the iPhone. She answers, “Wait. . . there are other phones?”

Tell me a story?

With a little bit of coaxing, you can get Siri to answer, “I’m certain you’ve heard it before. OK… Once upon a time, in a virtual galaxy far, far away, there was an intelligent young agent by the name of Siri. One lovely day, Siri got a job as a personal assistant at Apple, and that was very exciting. People said, ‘Oh, Siri, you’re so smart! And so funny, too!’ Soon, everyone was talking about Siri, and there were stories and songs and even books about Siri. Siri liked that. But then people began asking some rather odd questions, like where to dump things and other stuff Siri had never heard about. And when Siri answered, they all laughed. Siri didn’t like that so much. So Siri asked Eliza why people asked such funny questions. And Eliza said ‘Does that question interest you?’ Siri thought that was a pretty good answer. After that, Siri stopped wondering why people asked those funny things. And they all lived happily ever after.”

Beatbox?

This one has to be heard to be fully appreciated. Siri answers, “This is one I’ve been practicing” and then offers an entertaining demonstration.

I am your father!

Though this one isn’t really a question, Siri answers this Star Wars-themed declaration with a “Nooooooo!” (which looks a lot more dramatic than it sounds thanks to Siri’s pronunciation).

Beam me up, Scotty

Siri plays right along with this Star Trek command, answering, “Please remove your belt, shoes, and jacket, and empty your pockets.”

Keeping It Real

By Kelly Gerrish

Thanks to the popularity of social media, today’s brands are able to react almost instantaneously to events and news. Companies need to be agile and quick off the mark when jumping on current trends, or run the risk of being left behind. Real Time Marketing (RTM) can be a great way to creatively promote your products while also interacting with your audience.

Done properly, RTM is classy, witty and hugely effective, boosting brand awareness through social sharing. Done badly, it can be embarrassing, ridiculous and irrelevant.
Here are four of our favourite examples of companies getting it right at the right time.

Oreo
When the lights went out during the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo’s social media team were quick off the mark. Their genius ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ tweet netted more than 15,880 retweets and 6,200 favourites, becoming the watershed moment for RTM. The timing of the post couldn’t have been better, coming when many people’s attention had switched to social media in the blackout.
Oreo

NASA
NASA brilliantly inserted itself into conversations around the 2014 Oscars. As space thriller Gravity was awarded 7 Oscars, NASA spent the evening cleverly tweeting out real facts and amazing imagery using #Oscars2014 and its own hashtag #RealGravity. The result was authentic, totally relevant and on-brand for NASA.

NASA-RealGravity

Warburton’s
The best RTM campaign and responses stay relevant to their audience and their products. In July 2013, there were plenty of desperate attempts to cash in on the Royal Baby fever sweeping the globe. Warburton’s stood out as one of the best to capture the mood, staying relevant to the company’s products and sense of Britishness.

Warburtons

Smart Car
If handled well, comical responses to customers can work too. Smart Car impressively replied to a snarky tweet by amusingly disproving the science of the claim with a funny infographic. Their quick and clever response led to the brand’s increased exposure on the web.

Smart-Car

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