Here are some articles from industry publications that we found interesting. You'll also find interesting articles written by the RCR team, where you can find useful information on building your Revenue, Capability and Reputation.

If you like what you’ve read feel free to add your comments at the end of the article.

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Apr 13 17

Reference marketing is a relative of recommendation

I recently attended Marketing Week Live. Before joining the paid for session on multi-channel marketing and mapping the customer journey, I sat in on a session on brand engagement and innovation, led by Andy Cockburn, CEO at MentionMe.

The first slide, entitled ‘Using word of mouth and trust marketing to build brand engagement’ intrigued me. I listened to Andy talk passionately about reference marketing and his business model. It was very interesting, and a lot of the concept and strategy he spoke of with regards to customer loyalty, rewards and recommendation just highlighted to me how important the relationship between a buyer and a business is.

I found it particularly interesting to see how they used email marketing to target loyal customers who they knew were spending money on their site, and offering discount to them for referring a friend. Not only would they get discount on their next purchase if the friend signs up but also the friend for joining! If you’re both making a saving on a product of interest to both, it seems like a good incentive.

The referral scheme then continues to the new buyer and allows them to recommend the brand to get further discount and the incentive cycle continues, as the brand builds its credibility, increases purchase orders and its customer base.

How do you ensure your service or product puts customers first? How do you differentiate loyal customers to new ones? How relevant is the content to building brand engagement?

The key learning I took away from the presentation was the focus on reference marketing, it reminded me of my  recent blog ‘You have to earn business credibility’ and that reference marketing is a relative of recommendation.

A change is happening in marketing, are you keeping up?

by Tina Chohan



Mar 1 17

Do you believe?


On Sunday afternoon, just before I settled down to watch England play Italy in the Rugby Six Nations at Twickenham, I said to my family, ‘How must it feel being Italy: knowing you’re going to go out there and get hammered?  How can they possibly believe they can win?’

But anyone who watched that match, or read about it,  knows that Italy were lacking anything but belief.  They had an an innovative strategy (some say dodgy!) and they came out committed to it.  And, ahead 10-5 at half time, they must truly have believed they could win.

What, if anything, can we learn from this in marketing or business?  Perhaps that there’s no one ‘right’ strategy.  That being innovative, surprising the competition, disrupting the game, and, above all, believing in what you’re doing can pay off.  (Or almost, at least, for the Azzuri – better luck against Scotland!)

by Victoria Ash

Feb 27 17

You have to earn business credibility

Business credibility does not come overnight, you have to work for it and build relationships with clients, prospects and even colleagues over time, so that your knowledge and business ethos can be shared.

In our view there are three components that make up good business credibility:

1) Trust:

Trust. It’s important in our personal lives, but also just as important in business – and it is earned not expected. How do you make sure your clients trust in you? Most clients look to work with people they can rely on. Do you have the expertise in your industry? Experience is key to starting new relationships and letting prospects and clients know that they are in safe hands. This reminds me of what Seth Godin says about permission marketing – allow others to want to hear from you, instead of spamming them with information that holds no credibility, sent to someone who knows nothing about you.

2) Empathy:

Can you relate to your client and their needs, understanding exactly what they want? Do you consider the client roadblocks, challenges and resources? Knowing how to help your client, and supporting them with the right solution will show you are listening and are proactive. Prioritising what is best for the business will put you in a good position as a credible point of contact for helping the business grow. Here’s a guide you may find useful to help pinpoint marketing priorities.

3) Recommendation:

Your clients are your priority so if you’ve worked hard to position yourself differently to competitors and have gone above and beyond to deliver results – you have a happy client. People know people. So the logic is simple, if you have built a credible relationship you stand a good chance of being a business to recommend, and from there your credibility continues to strengthen and grow.

Here’s what some of our clients have to say about RCR:

by Tina Chohan

Jan 5 17

The Battleground: Direct Mail VS E-mail 

Will direct marketing make a comeback? 


The growth of digital marketing in the last 10 years or so has meant some of the traditionally-used marketing tactics have lost their allure. Advanced technology allows us to send messages directly to inboxes, and a fast-paced lifestyle means an increasing number of people are using smartphones to open emails on-the-go. However, as things are ever-changing, direct mail is quietly making a come-back into the marketing mix. 

DecisionMarketing report that more personalised and targeted direct mail means people are paying more attention to ‘junk’. A study carried out by Wilmington Millennium Mortascreen shows thrown away and recycled unopened direct mail has reduced significantly over the last three years. 

In 2013, a staggering 40% of direct mailshots (1.8 billion out of 4.4 billion) were thrown away unopened while today this has reduced to a slightly less staggering 28% (1.3 billion). 

The so-called renaissance of direct marketing doesn’t mean that email marketing is falling behind. According to Royal Mail, new research shows direct mail and email work more effectively when used together. 

While email is seen as being quick and suitable for follow-ups, direct mail grabs attention and is considered informative. Consumers even say that mailed information is easier to take in against receiving emails in their inbox that they deem as spam. 

Clearly there are differences between using mail and email, market research by Royal Mail states that: ‘51% of consumers want to receive both mail and email from the organisations they deal with, while a further 17% only want to receive mail¹.  

One thing to remember in all this is that neither direct mail or email marketing campaigns can be successful without the right data, a targeted message and personalisation.  So, are you missing a trick by not including DM in your marketing strategy, or is this just another shiny thing


Nov 23 16

5 ways to grow your business and get bought (twice!)

How to grow your business and get bought (twice!)


It was great to welcome clients, old friends of RCR, and lots of new faces to our seminar at the Malmaison in Charterhouse Square last week on ‘Creating high impact integrated marketing campaigns’.

We were also very grateful to our client speaker Paul Cash who has just stepped down as managing partner of successful IT consultancy Fruition Partners UK: a company that has been sold twice in the last two years, (watch his video testimonial here).  Feedback from those who were there suggests that they found his insights into building a successful small business really useful, so I thought I’d summarise some of the key points that he shared on the day about how to generate the growth – and attract buyers for the company – as shown above:

  1. Get focused and identify growth opportunities
  2. Invest in structured marketing
  3. Choose multi-channel integrated campaigns
  4. Test new tactics
  5. Spend more time on analysis


  1. Get focused and identify growth opportunities 

After a number of years focused on consultancy and implementation services for the HP software market, around 2011 the company (then known as Partners in IT) made a change of strategic direction.  They took the bold decision to focus on a higher growth market providing consulting and implementation for a different platform – ServiceNow.  They identified that this cloud-based technology offered greater revenue opportunities and developed a new skillset accordingly.


  1. Invest in structured marketing

Having taken the decision to focus on this new strategy, Paul said the management team recognised the need to invest in structured marketing to support their ambitious growth plan.  Not having had any in-house expertise for five years, the company acknowledged that their previous approach was ‘lots of shiny ball marketing’ – in other words, plenty of activity chasing the ‘shiny ball’ but no structured plan.  The management team decided that working with an external supplier could be a good option and engaged RCR in 2013 to carry out a ‘full end-to-end’ review, develop a structured plan and help them implement it.

  1. Choose multi-channel integrated campaigns

Paul went on to talk about what had worked well, and pointed to the value of investing time in structured campaign planning that would “build the reasons to talk to us, and engage across our channels, prospects and customers” through a range of different media.

  1. Test new tactics

He was also very honest about his scepticism about some of the new approaches that RCR introduced!  For example, he said he was initially unconvinced about the value of PR, but after a successful trial campaign that we developed in conjunction with PR agency Spark Communications, he was won over to its value in raising profile and differentiating the business.  Similarly, he came to see the value in funding original research among the target market thereby creating innovative content at the core of sales and marketing campaigns.

  1. Spend more time on analysis of what works

Wrapping up with a brief look at what was learnt, Paul talked about spending more time on analysis and learning for future campaigns.  Acknowledging that the fast pace of the market meant that sometimes it was necessary to just ‘get on with the next thing’, he did advise the audience to consider putting in place specific measurement and feedback loops.   Although he did admit that the overall measure of revenue growth (see the chart above) was a good indication of overall success!

The evening wrapped up with a few glasses of wine and some lively chat in the Malmaison bar.

If you’d like more information or a copy of Paul’s slides, then do email us: and, if you haven’t already done so, you might like to register to receive regular blogs like this, along with invitations to future events.

by Victoria Ash