As the UK is now in its third national lockdown, consumers and businesses are turning once more to remotely delivered services and digital experiences to survive in the coming month. As the world adapted to the impact of COVID-19, 2020 saw a rapid increase in digitisation, including from age groups that traditionally had been slower to adapt.
The online world is vital to many people in the current climate. Face to face coffee dates and lunch with friends have been swapped for the scheduled Zoom calls and frequent internet issues. The light at the end of the tunnel is slowly becoming clearer for us all, but that does not mean that digital marketing should be ignored once things begin to become 'normal' once more.
The biggest marketing trend that we’ve seen throughout 2020 is the drive to build a strong personal brand. Customers are becoming savvy to the ethics and ethos of the businesses that they are buying from. They are being more discerning in their choices driven by the desire to do good and to avoid untrustworthy brands during an unpredictable time.
A new survey by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has found that brands have become more compassionate in 2020. The majority of senior marketers (74%) surveyed said their brands or clients have shown more compassion and thoughtfulness amid the pandemic - this included 14% who said this increased, with just 6% reported this happening less.
In Part One of our Crisis Series, we looked at how brand purpose can be a powerful tool when navigating a crisis. Now in Part Two, we are taking a look at how brands reacted during the onset of the COVID crisis and how these lessons can be applied to building a resilient brand no matter the crisis. We’ll look closer at how to best react using brand personality and values.
One of the rules of a startup is that there’s always more to do than there are people to do it! Even when you are hiring, you have to remain lean and startups are usually moving from one round of funding to another. That means you cannot always deliver what you want, and usually, marketing is at the bottom of the list.
The growing number of channels in which to advertise your business online can be a tempting route to target your ideal audience. Businesses have flocked to digital media to gain traction for their brand, but they’ve dismissed an incredibly valuable and highly successful form of marketing – direct mail.
With the sudden shock and panic now over from the COVID crisis, we are now settling into the ‘new normal’ of on-and-off-again lockdowns and formulating new habits for our businesses, all the while, bracing ourselves for the next crisis; the quietly creeping recession and wondering how our brand can survive.
Grabbing attention wherever possible is vital as a startup, particularly when it comes to your online marketing efforts, so it’s no surprise that you’re thinking about PPC — or pay-per-click — advertising. Unlike SEO, which takes time to produce results, PPC helps to create instant brand awareness and, when done well, generates all-important clicks. This can be an especially valuable part of your marketing strategy but not an easy one to pull off, and if you don’t put the work in, disappointing campaigns can be incredibly costly.
COVID-19 has made history by affecting each industry in the world. From the lockdown that caused the closure of businesses to people adapting to work from home, there is a need to identify strategies of how businesses will be run going forward. The pandemic has disrupted how people socialise as well as their shopping patterns. To adapt to this new normal, business owners have to make significant adjustments to reach out to their customers or less they risk failure.
The economic downturn has been a struggle for many businesses but it has also been an opportunity for many to review their marketing activity. POLARIS, a digital marketing agency based in London, suggests that as part of this marketing review, now might be the ideal time to consider the effectiveness of your business website and if planning an update, migrate your website now.
Just when the lockdown period seemed to be drawing to a close, cases of Coronavirus took a sharp upwards turn and local lockdowns were enforced. Already, almost ten million people in the UK have been confined to their homes once again. Nationally, too, restrictions have tightened and fears of a second lockdown period are circulating as Health Secretary Matt Hancock refuses to rule out the possibility of another strict set of restrictions being brought in.
When you’re building something from the ground up, it’s essential to have a strong foundation for support right from the start. Your business needs to have one main idea you can use to create a brand identity, to generate strong branding and to produce an effective brand development strategy to reach your goals.
In this era where life is fast-paced, customers’ demand and needs keep changing at a rapid rate. If your company is to consistently meet these needs, then it must be equipped to keep changing as the market dictates. In addition, competition is tough, and others are waiting to take advantage of where you are slacking off. If you are to survive the competition, remaining innovative is the only survival tactic. In fact, you should always anticipate future demands and work towards meeting them. That way, you stay a step ahead of the competition.
The coronavirus crisis and the impact it has had on businesses and financial resources has made the prospect of growing a business seem like a distant reality for some organisations. But for British small and medium-sized B2B organisations, Brexit is an opportunity to look beyond the EU to new geographies.
The words ‘martech’ and ‘Marketing Technology’ constantly get thrown around a lot. According to research conducted by the martech Alliance, they’re used some 678.7k times a year - but it begs the question… how often are they being used correctly? For anyone who is unfamiliar with the word ‘martech’, it is otherwise known as marketing technology, and it is the term for the software and tech tools that marketers leverage to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns.
A customer service provider has challenged businesses in the UK to change the way they think about customer interaction, amid rising levels of consumer dissatisfaction. Woven is a contact centre, customer management and BPO service provider, operating from offices in Bristol, Swindon and Ipswich and working with brands across a range of industries, including Toyota and Kärcher.
The amount of information we are exposed to exceeds our ability to process it. Out of the about 70,000 thoughts we have per day, our short term memory can hold no more than seven for only about 20 to 30 seconds. How does this relate to branding? Our long-term memory stores our associations with specific brands which is also ultimately the desired effect of marketing campaigns or PR activities - for people to remember your company (or you as a person!) when in need of the products or services you provide.
In today's global and increasingly competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of consumers. Trade marks are essentially 'signs' which help consumers to identify and differentiate your products or services from those of competitors and other traders.
With COVID-19 set to spark the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, new research by the World Federation of Advertisers says 89% of large international companies have put their marketing and advertising campaigns on hold. Global marketing and advertising spend is plummeting at the fastest rate since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, leading to uncertainty and trepidation within the sector.
Let’s not beat about the bush: social media has tonnes of benefits. It empowers people to stay connected across huge distances, it has kept people motivated during crises such as the coronavirus pandemic (you thought you could read a blog without that being mentioned?), it empowers quick and simple customer service, and for businesses, it’s a free way to demonstrate your brand values.
As renowned author and alternative medicine practitioner, Deepak Chopra once said: “You have to think of your brand as a kind of myth. A myth is a compelling story that is archetypal, if you know the teachings of Carl Jung. It has to have emotional content and all the themes of a great story: mystery, magic, adventure, intrigue, conflicts, contradiction, paradox."
It goes without saying that for any business, in any sector, in order for it to survive, grow and prosper, sales are imperative, because sales generate profit and cash flow and these are the lifeblood of any business. It is understandable, therefore, that I often overhear the question ‘how do I promote my business?’
Emerging and fast-growing markets offer the biggest opportunities to build and grow a brand. If you can start at the point of early adoption and gain enough traction, your brand could become a leader as the market becomes established. Identifying the right market is about understanding cultural trends and then positioning your brand as the solution to shifts in consumer behaviour and growing demands such as meat and dairy reduction or a move towards a more natural, skin-first makeup routine. With the right timing, you can hit a perfect intersection like the widespread adoption of craft beer coinciding with the cultural shift towards independent brands.
The Halo Effect is a type of cognitive bias, commonly known in marketing as the tendency for positive impressions in one area to influence one's opinion or feelings in other areas. When it comes to branding specifically, I believe that this effect has been demonstrated to reinforce as well as rejuvenate a brand in the eyes of its fans, it can be utilised to spark conversations around it and thus leading to more organic growth. The question that poses itself is how can we successfully achieve this effect, and why is it necessary to keep a brand alive in the fast paced and media devouring environment that we live in today?
Perhaps you know it: the iconic scene from Jerry Maguire where Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) stares longingly at Jerry (Tom Cruise) as he declares his undying love for her, announcing that she completes him, hoping it will win her over but he needn’t have, he had her at 'hello'. She was gripped from the moment he walked in, she wasn’t listening to his fumbled speech, she was mesmerised, and one thing is for sure, she certainly wasn’t thinking about leadership. Nope. That was far from her mind.
If a guest asked for toast, would you butter a piece of bread and serve it up to them? No way - the ‘toasting’ is the essence of toast, and anything else is simply a job half done. The same applies to your brand. Skipping straight to designing your business logo is equal to spreading the butter straight onto bread...it’s ineffective and lacks the ‘essence’.
As a global pandemic sweeps large parts of our world, one could be forgiven for not having their new marketing strategy or business pivot plan at the top of their agenda. We are collectively experiencing some form of anxiety to one degree or another, with our systems on constant, low-level 'limbic alert'.
'How to prepare your brand for the next stage of growth': Many of us have tried a digital detox for ourselves: whether we’re trying to get back to nature, not ignore our families, or just step away from the phone for more than an hour! It is often far harder than we think, no matter how many influencers go on about it - ironically, on social media.
Your brand identity is how customers perceive you. A simple way to look at it, is to view your brand as a person. Someone unique, with their own beliefs, values, look and feel. Your brand identity is what sets you apart from others. So, it’s important to have this down pat. Here, Carie Barkhuizen, founder of Seymour PR, shares her top tips for building brand identity quick-smart.
Congratulations! You are officially moving from the status of startup to scaleup. It’s a big move that brings lots of opportunities, and you have managed it because you have been successful. What that success looks like will be different for different companies. For some, it’s because of sales: either a few big global sales, or in other cases, huge numbers of small scale sales. For others, it will be because you’ve landed investment. In some parts of the world, grants allow a startup to accelerate their growth and really anchor themselves in the market.
With the UK currently home to more than 5.9 million SMEs, the likelihood of reaching success for any small business owner depends largely upon their ability to make their company stand out from the crowd. Differentiating your brand from others can be a challenge in any industry, but with the right knowledge and mindset it can be achieved.
Nigel Botterill’s entrepreneurial journey began in much the same way as many others. The Founder and CEO of The Entrepreneurs Circle, a company whose mantra is to educate, motivate, help and inspire business owners to achieve more than they ever thought possible, was following a classic corporate path and had forged a very successful career with Barclays, who he joined at 16.
The startup landscape is notoriously difficult to navigate. The numbers speak for themselves – 60% of startups will fail in the first three years of launching. Whether it’s because their core proposition is unworkable and fails to fulfill a market need, or the fact they simply haven’t built the right team, there are a variety of reasons that could lead to a company ultimately closing its doors.
Building a website is about more than just an online page that shows who you are in today’s society, it is part of your brand identity, and imperative to your company or business. Wix really understand that, it’s not just putting some text and images onto a page and sharing your website with people. It’s something that reflects your business which is a part of you, and that’s why it includes a number of features that help you take your website further.
Companies have been marketing their business in weird and wonderful ways for centuries, but, in 2019, what is the best way to draw in, and retain a solid customer base through strategic marketing. When you think of Nike, you think of ‘Just Do It’, when you think of McDonalds, you think of ‘I’m Loving It’.
When it comes to marketing a startup, there can often be some misconceptions: Is it too soon to start thinking about? Is the company too small? Some people think marketing isn’t a priority and budget should be spent elsewhere (something that bigger corporations also fall foul of), or that any type of marketing is good.
On the ScaleX stage at Dublin Tech Summit 2019, April 10th, a panel comprised of: Andrew Lindsay VP Corporate Development and Business Development at Hubspot; Alan Costello Venture Investor Leader at NDRC; Niall McEvoy Manager of High Potential Startups at Enterprise Ireland; and moderated by Graham Hussey co-founder of The Startup Van, discussed how to position your team and brand for international scaling.