So, this statement isn’t ground-breaking or new to most people, but recently I have seen the ‘who you know’ mantra coming out in a number of areas in my day-to-day life and it got me thinking how nothing seems to have changed in the last 50 years – but is it a bad thing or not? Do people who know how to work the system deserve to get better jobs, status or funding than those that don’t. We all know there exists the privileged few who are born into the opportunity and never need to try to network or get to know the right people. Working at big old school advertising agencies made me see these unfair discrepancies - for example, the daughter of the CEO automatically given a placement or Account Exec position whether they had the ability or not, for others it was a hard, grilling interview process. This systematic, structural inequality hasn’t changed over time and appears in so many industries we as a society simply accept it, conform and fit into it. There is no level-playing field so it seems unfair to me to inform students that if they work hard that will be enough to get them where they want to be in life, of course this is important but I believe of equal importance is to learn the skills to network, to identify who can help you and how you can help them, to seek out opportunity and be available and open to it and ultimately know how to close. How do we teach these skills to kids, and would that put them on a more level-playing field or at least have a better shot on target?
With 2,461 new businesses started in this country just today alone, the UK is seeing a rise of the self-employed entrepreneur and its encouraging this industry to thrive, encouraging digital and technological development which will aid society to develop, improve communities and ultimately help our economy. As a marketing consultancy supporting these businesses I also back this bid and see these companies as exciting potential that is something to be a part of. I also see first-hand the passion and dogged determination of these entrepreneurs, sadly coupled with the inequality of funding opportunity to support them, because it still comes down to ‘who you know’. You could say that one idea is better than another, that it has more growth potential or a better ROI, and that would be fair, but getting a foot in the door of a fund-raiser or investor is hard enough to even have your business glanced at. Are those that are not getting a look in just not trying hard enough to ‘work the system’ or are they purely just unlucky - is seeking investment 40% luck, 40% who you know and 20% hard work?
I recently learnt of an old colleague who has just become an MD, she was never the best at her job, the cleverest or sharpest, but she has achieved a salary and position before she has turned 40 by getting in with the right people, by networking and being so effective at selling her ability and skills that she has been awarded the ultimate lucrative prize. How do I feel about this? Jealous? Sure! Annoyed? No not really, I actually found more respect for her than I ever did before. She went out there, not as a privileged few, and she went after what she wanted, single-mindedly, perhaps pushing people back to get it, but ultimately remaining true to what she was aiming for – the real heart of ambition you could argue? If you are in a room full of people you have never met before, where everyone is in the same position - all there to get a job or investment let’s say. Who’s got closer to the goal, the one who has got hold of the attendee list, researched the individual (finding out any common interests or contacts) and potentially got an introduction in advance or those that have prepped answers on their background and have better experience on paper? Most likely it’s the former, particularly if the individual has the charisma and sales patter to help close the deal. The better salesman wins hands down.
Can these skills truly be learnt or are they inherent in us to be one way or another – the wallflower or the life and soul? If they can’t be learnt the astute wallflower needs to partner with a life and souler to meet their yang with their ying. Then you’re open to the opportunity again.
So, what makes a good networker, an opportunist, a salesman? I had a think and came up with a list of skills:
The last one I want to add is controversial, a lot of the people I know who have achieved their goals are superficial, there I’ve said it. They aren’t authentic because that reveals too much about themselves and could give the game away, they need to ‘flirt’ with everyone to find the right person. If you choose to do this it probably will help support you achieving your goals too. I’m more of an authentic, honest person – this is me, this is who I am and this is what I want kind of person, and to be honest I haven’t done bad out of opportunities being this way. Perhaps if I was more pretentious I would have got further? Who knows. One thing I do know as a start-up seeking investment you need to aim to have all of the skills above or know someone that does, as well as the cracking idea that no one has thought of that’s going to make lots of money, and ideally a good contacts black book or know someone with one to succeed. Surround yourself with the people that will help you succeed and reach your goals, (and if it was me – be nice, be honest and be authentic along the way). So, if you are one of the exciting 2,461 new businesses starting today, I wish you the most amount of good luck, it’s hard out there but it’s worth the struggle, so you can do it!
Sign up to our newsletter to hear us rant some more (!?), but mostly to get tips and advice to help guide your budding new business. Get in touch to have a chat about how we can support you to close the deal!
With around 90% of luxury goods still being sold in stores, the move towards online has always been slow in this industry, with fashion being more forward than categories like interiors. With digital transformation projects underway as retailers all try to grab more market share, how can retailers offer the same service online to drive their overall online revenue percentage up to more like 25%, where audience reach is greater and profit margins higher?
A recent Telegraph article quoted Jose Neves the founder of Farfetch, a Shoreditch based ecommerce site, 'that the ‘magic of bricks-and-morter shops can never be fully re-created. But that doesn’t mean the share of the overall revenue can’t go up.' There is a definite need for luxury consumers online to experience the same personalization and unique service from yesteryear that they get in a store; the greeting by name as they walk in, the offering of size fit and style that perfectly suits them, the ease of payment, delivery to car/work/home and simplicity of returning after a change of mind.
How to replicate that service online involves a look at the way ecommerce retailers can use tech to find solutions for the way their customers want to shop, when and where is convenient for them. There is a new trend on the horizon for fast-thinking retailers to start using IM to offer easy customer service such as updates on stock and deliveries, with WhatsApp trialing business services and Farfetch securing investment from JD.com and immediately accessing 900m users of the IM and shopping service WeChat, this direction could be implemented far quicker than we think.
Couple this with AR in stores and the success of Charlotte Tilbury offering customers a chance to preview the looks on a designated AR mirror in-store before they meet with the make-up assistant and delivery services like Toshi which will deliver, wait and try with different sizes and alterations at your door in Central London at a time to sit you and same-day services, we can see that tech is offering a unique service for retailers to start appealing to their time-poor, cash-rich demographic.
The next step is how to combine all of this into the experience that a store can offer you, there is a rise in offering more than just the product but becoming a destination in its own right, Apple are now calling their stores ‘town squares’ to embody the meeting point of like-minded individuals to access the services they require. How does luxury fashion or interiors do this online? This is where content and UX come into play to see how the site can work like a publishing house and retailer in one, drawing the audience in with content that’s relevant, interesting and engaging whilst offering tailored selection of products that is totally unique to the customer. Ensuring an ease of purchasing and delivery that is so swift and seamless that the customer has barely noticed it in their absorption and excitement of being part of the brand. Achieve that and you have a business with at least 25% of sales online.
We have experience of driving traffic and increasing online sales for luxury brands, delivering a strategy that is perfectly tailored to the resources and demands of your business. For more information about how we can offer you consultancy on increasing your share of the online luxury market get in touch.
The Internet has completely revolutionised the way that many businesses operate. It has changed how they advertise, sell products, perform market research, find employees, provide customer support and much more.
The Internet has also helped businesses reach new markets. Businesses of any size can reach customers on the other side of the planet with a well-made website or social media campaign. This rapid expansion of markets has seen many startups become multi-million dollar success stories in a few short years.
To really get the most of the Internet, businesses have to develop a set of effective digital marketing strategies. They are online marketing techniques that your business can use to gain more customers, build brand awareness, cultivate leads, and much more.
One of the most important digital marketing strategies is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It is aimed at increasing the visibility of your web properties in the search engine rankings of websites like Google.
For business owners not familiar with digital marketing or SEO, all of this lingo can be a little confusing! This article will demystify digital marketing and SEO, then explain why they should be critical components of your business plan.
How Does Digital Marketing Work?
Digital marketing refers to a group of online marketing techniques. Businesses can pick and choose from these techniques, developing a strategy that meets their requirements. The most commonly used digital marketing strategies include:
Business owners can work with a digital marketing consultant to develop a bespoke strategy that matches their business objectives.
How Does Search Engine Optimisation Work?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most common terms you will hear when discussing digital marketing. Although it sounds complex, it really isn’t. SEO involves sending signals to search engines, showing them that your pages are worth including in search engine results.
You are ‘proving’ to Google that your site is valuable for people using their search engine. Once you prove the value of your website, Google will reward you with a high ranking that produces a lot of visitors!
So, how do your ensure website is valuable? Search engines want to rank websites that are high-quality, trustworthy and have authority. In simple terms, that means:
Search engines like Google actually use extremely complex algorithms to determine a website’s quality, trustworthiness, and authority. That’s why businesses usually turn to SEO professionals to optimise their website and fulfil the ranking criteria that search engines apply. Some of the techniques that SEO professionals use include:
Why Does Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation Matter?
Here are a few of the reasons why digital marketing and search engine optimisation are absolutely crucial for your business:
We hope you enjoyed reading Marketing Strategy and SEO: How It Works and Why It Matters? If you want to discuss how to use digital marketing or social media effectively for your business, please contact us today!
You’ve got a great idea, you’ve set up your business and started reaching out to your target audience. You’ve had a number of inquiries and interest and converted a couple, but its just not getting off the ground and its making slow progress.
First of all, do you really have a great product - have you researched and refined to ensure it has a place in the market and a need, is it different from anything else out there and why? Is it priced and pitched perfectly to your audience? Most businesses fail because they either haven’t done this well enough or they fall into cashflow problems, so make sure you are continuously asking these questions about your product or service.
Next up is your audience, your target audience needs to become your best friend (even better if it is your best friend!) you need to know them inside out, its no good saying its men and women aged 20-65 and living in the UK, that’s not enough to know them. You need to research them, ask these questions and start to build a persona:
You should do some field research too if you can which you could do through your own personal or professional network if you can’t employ an agency. You can use simple Survey Monkey creation tools to build your research or run focus groups. Either way put preparation time into what you want to achieve from the research and design your study questions accordingly, and remember if you are doing it yourself its impossible to get a large data set so you will have to take the results on face value not relying too heavily on the results. For instance on a basic level, if you ask 5 people if they like the colour pink and 4 say yes its a very different result to asking a 100 and 60 say yes –would you base the whole of your next marketing campaign around pink?
Knowing your target audience gets us to the point of this blog post, their journey. This quite simply is the journey or process they go on to buy from you.
The traditional consumer journey worked like a funnel, attracting from a large pool and then building a familiarity with the potential customer allowing them to choose the brand they have most affinity with and then purchase, and repeat purchase if they are satisfied.
Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company
Things changed when retail went online and now we have seen a shift in the journey as customers are more informed, researching and reviewing from one place to the next and in one place to another, checking reviews and then prices on their laptop and then on their phone. Brands need to know where their customer is and what they will look at, and be in all of these places at once – much harder to achieve!
Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company
You need to now understand that your customer wants a 2 way conversation, that you need to learn every step of the purchase process and what barriers will stop them from converting and what they are looking for, a high percentage of abandoned carts is a lot down to the fact that people get all the way to entering their card details and then, ‘oh let’s just double-check the price on google’. If you do win the sale, your process doesn’t end there it just starts a new stage, after-care and loyalty plus brand advocacy kicks in.
Profiling the identity and personalising your messaging is all about understanding where your customer is within your process and addressing their needs and barriers at this point with exactly the right answer and messaging.
So consider the emotional and rational barriers people face making the decision to hire you or buy your products then map out when they will have these questions and how they will solve them, where they will look to seek answers. Then look internally at how you can solve these with the benefits of your product and incentivise them to continue their purchase with you. Do all this planning before you do any advertising to ensure that you are creating much more effective, targeted ads and you will see a better ROI.
If you want any help mapping your consumer journey or building effective digital marketing campaigns get in touch for a free consultation here.
If you Google ‘video content marketing’ and under the sponsored ads are the Forbes and Guardian articles declaring Video Marketing as the future of content marketing. Bold statements, but video isn’t new to anyone so why is it now getting the attention and most importantly what does that mean for you as a small business?
First here are 5 facts for you:
A video on a landing page will increase conversions by 80%
Video in an email campaign leads to 200-300% increase in click through rate
80% of users recall a video ad 30 days after watching it
You’re 53 times more likely to show up first in Google if you have a video embedded in your website
76% of businesses say video has a good return on investment
Ok so why is it so effective?
Your potential customer wants to understand what’s on offer and build trust with you, a video enables that connection to happen. It can deliver the personality behind your brand and typically users will be more likely to spend longer watching a video than just reading text on your website.
A video can help answer the both rational and emotional barriers your customer has to converting in a quick, effective, and friendly way. If they have any doubts such as how to use the product – both practically or inspirationally, the dimensions or quality or just how the process will work video is a great way to address these.
People are consuming video on a regular basis, in fact 1/3 of online activity is video so they are wanting and expecting to see your video too. YouTube report that mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year and smartphone users are now much more likely to want to watch video ad content from brands, and not only that but expect a choice on the content they view from that brand on their device.
Video is social, with 76% of users saying they would share an interesting and entertaining branded ad video with their friends. Now there is Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, Instagram’s Stories alongside YouTube and that goes to show the trend shift in itself, that these social networks are investing in the medium.
They also offer several ad video formats for brands, so bear in mind a few tips when creating your ads –The content objective could be launching a new product, addressing customer queries, building brand awareness, it could be anything really but make sure there is a specific objective and goal in order to deliver that result. Tell a unique story and make it clear, simple, and interesting and entertaining– you can even do this for the dullest of subjects! Capture them in the first 10 seconds - your video doesn’t need to be long to achieve results, the first 10 secs will deliver the best ad recall results. You don’t need to spend vast amounts on your video but do make it professional and of good quality – if you can’t do this yourself employ someone who can help you. Make sure there is clear branding and call to action so that the video delivers you the results you are after.
If you are looking to create videos for your small business sign up here to find out more about how we can help you develop an idea, produce the video, and get it out to your social networks to drive conversion for your business.