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.

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Oct 31 16

Want more attention? Get yourself a green wig

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We’re going to be running a seminar on 17 November on creating effective integrated marketing campaigns.  We’ll be looking at the stages of planning, execution and follow up, and how you generate original IP that will drive a host of different activities and, ultimately, revenue.  It’s all good strategic stuff, driven by depth of ideas and content.

But sometimes you just need to get out there and grab some attention in the simplest way possible.

An IT trade show is one of the places where you do have to shout pretty loudly to get heard.  And for our client Fruition Partners UK last week that involved some pretty vibrant green wigs as a starting point.  The next step was not much more sophisticated – having got delegates’ attention, they were offered a ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’-inspired Golden Ticket, and the chance to win a smart watch in return for their contact details.  Maybe the IT crowd don’t get out much but this proved hugely popular – the Fruition stand was buzzing and the completed Golden Tickets came flooding in!

Of course, if visitors were interested, there was then the opportunity to find out more about Fruition Partners’ current products and campaigns on our stand, or by chatting to one of the account team.  But from our point of view, the trade show’s job was done: a first point of contact in the buyer’s journey had been established, and the Fruition Partners’ name was out there.  The next stage will be all about taking the data and developing a slightly more in-depth conversation that goes beyond green nylon hair and a Golden Ticket!

by Victoria Ash

 

Sep 30 16

Creating a high-impact integrated marketing campaign: what works in practice?

Come to our seminar for small businesses on 17 November at the Malmaison London.

Email marketing, social media, events, PR, advertising, telemarketing… What should you choose and how can you tie them all together to maximise impact and sales?

Find out how to create effective integrated marketing campaigns that really deliver results, whether your objective is a new product launch, penetrating a new market sector or getting more work from existing clients.

Squirrels

Date: 17 November 2016
Location: Malmaison London

Timings:
Registration 3.45 – 4.15
Seminar 4.15 – 5.30
Drinks, nibbles and networking 5.30 – 7.00

Click here to get your ticket!

Spaces are limited and are offered on a first come first serve basis.

The event will include a case study on our client, a successful 50-person IT consultancy. We will be discussing how campaigns driven by original research have helped the company raise its profile and generate new business.

Who should attend? Business owners and directors, plus marketing directors and managers – If that’s you, register now to book your space.

Sep 14 16

How to help your business grow revenue and set marketing priorities 

RCR strategy workbook

Working on marketing strategies and implementation for various clients from IT resellers to law firms, I have noticed something a lot of them have in common.

Many of these B2B companies are dipping their feet into various random marketing tactics from social media to email campaigns to SEO, without any clear reason on why nor any view on how long they should be focusing on each. Then they wonder why they aren’t seeing results.

When we work with our clients, we help them focus on what their main marketing priorities should be. There are many marketing tactics which a business can use but, with time and money being an issue, how do you define your priorities?

RCR has put together this short practical guide on how to set your marketing priorities for business owners who may be facing some of the following common scenarios:

1- I know we should be doing more marketing, but where should we start?
2- I really want to delegate responsibility but who can I trust to do it well?
3- Our marketing could be a lot better. How do I fix it?

The guide helps to put in perspective some of the business challenges and then offers solutions based on those specific concerns to help put together an initial basic strategy. This will act as a starting point to take both business owners and marketing professionals in the right marketing direction.

Avoiding the latest shiny thing syndrome

Creating a good marketing strategy is all about focus. Ask yourself how good is your marketing strategy? Do you have any comfort that you’ve got the right plans in place? Or are you like many businesses, whose sales and marketing strategy is often determined by:

– What we’ve always done
– What’s cheapest
– The wish list we came up with in a brainstorm
– What people feel like doing today

Or, as one client recently described it: “The latest shiny thing to come along”

The reality is that there are so many different tactical things you could be doing, from advertising to networking; from cold calling to social media; from market research to PR. While none of them is ‘wrong’, how do you work out what’s right for your business? It’s one of the commonest requests for help that we get. It’s this ability to make good marketing decisions quickly that makes the difference between success and failure, and the starting point is being able to answer the question ‘why are we doing this?’

So, how do you work out where you should focus now, and in the longer term?

Download Growing your revenue: How to set your marketing priorities now to get started.

Sep 4 16

The Magic Link – part 3: the importance of ‘good intent’

Paul Griffith has recently taken a look at what creates energy in marketing a successful business, including the wellness business Battersea Yoga.

Now it’s my turn to visit a successful business to find out what makes it tick, and how successful marketing has been a force for sustainable growth.

Artichoke was founded by its Creative Director Bruce Hodgson 25 years ago and describes itself as “Designers and Makers of Bespoke Luxury Kitchens and Interiors”.  With an amazing portfolio of projects (like the one pictured below), ranging from Tuscan villas to Mayfair townhouses, and a client list that is as at home in the pages of ‘Hello’ or ‘Tatler’ as it is in its luxury residences, Artichoke has clearly done a lot of things right.

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However, when I meet Bruce Hodgson at the company’s workshops in Cheddar, Somerset, to talk to him about what ‘winning’ looks like, the incredible projects and glitzy client list are not top of his list.  At the outset, he says, the company was founded on his passion for good design and the desire to make beautiful, tangible ‘things’; today, he describes this as “creating strategies for living”: bridging a gap between architecture, interior design, and traditional furniture making.

What does winning look like?

Driven by the global demand for luxury goods, and the rising premium property market, there is a strong market for this kind of high-end and high-margin design.  This has fuelled Artichoke’s growth to thirty people, the creation of its own design studio and the recent investment in new purpose-built 14,000 square foot joinery workshops.  However, it’s clear from talking to Bruce that profit, while important, is not his primary driver.

When I ask him how he would define success, he says it crystallises above all “when I’m at the company summer party for all our staff and their families – I can see that we’ve built a business that’s sustaining those families, and that we’ve created a culture that I’m comfortable to live in: that’s egalitarian, decent and consistent.  I don’t expect utopia, but if you get the culture right then that feeds through everything you do, including the message you send out to the market.”

Other indicators of success include his pride in the company’s creativity and technical knowhow, which means they are able to overcome almost any design challenge thrown at them by their demanding clients.   Sustainability is also very important: “I want to build a business that’s going to be here in 50 years’ time, as a centre of excellence for design in Somerset” Bruce says.  “Profit is obviously critical – it’s a fair exchange for the risk that you take as a business owner, and it gives you the freedom to develop.  But long-term sustainability is also vital, and providing a future for the team we’ve built up.

“At some point we may consider selling the business, but only if the buyer was as committed to Artichoke’s sustainability and culture as I am.  That’s more important to me than realising the maximum possible sale value.”

Good intent drives marketing

This commitment or ‘good intent’ is what, in turn, drives the company’s marketing, rather than a fixation on profit or a company valuation.   Bruce says, “we try to get our cultural values across in our communications, such as the website, and more importantly in how we behave to clients.  If a client has entrusted us with their home, then we have to respect that trust.  So if that means working til midnight to get a job right so they can move in the next day, then that’s what we’ll do. In turn, it means that clients feel they can trust us to get the design right, and often give us free rein.

“We’re wedded to quality and good design in everything we do so we don’t cut corners, but we’ll push back if the client wants to spend on something we think is unnecessary, even if it reduces our fees.  We use sustainable timber, even if that puts our costs up, because it’s part of our commitment to act in an environmentally-friendly way.”

This clear intent at the heart of the business has made it relatively easy to build a strong and distinct market position and business development strategy, which the company describes as an embodiment of their passion for design. Rather than spend money on Mayfair showrooms, Artichoke invites its clients to visit its Cheddar workshop.  The company’s website showcases its amazing projects, but also emphasises its investment in people, technology and manufacturing capability.   Its press coverage appears in high-end design publications and blogs, and its social media feeds major on the company’s people, skills and commitment to quality.

Be passionate and set parameters

Bruce’s advice to anyone starting a business is to be passionate, and to communicate that to your target market: “People buy from people – it’s a cliché but it’s true.  If you want people to be passionate about your product, you have to show your own passion for what you do.”

He also talks about how it’s important to set clear parameters and establish a distinct market position: “be clear about where you want to go, then it’s much easier to shape your marketing strategy and secure a good position in the marketplace.  We’re in the lovely position now of being able to turn work down if it doesn’t fit with the ethos of what we want to do.  That may not be something a start-up can afford to do, but it’s something to aspire to!”

In touching briefly on the downsides, Bruce describes how running your own business can become all-encompassing especially if you are emotionally attached to it.  But he clearly recognises that this is just the flipside of doing something he loves, and creating a sustainable business built on ‘good intent’.

by Victoria Ash

Jul 6 16

Top 3 tips for effective marketing campaigns

What does ‘marketing campaign’ mean to your business?

For too many companies in the B2B space it simply means outbound email marketing, with a greater or lesser degree of targeting and follow-up.

Truly effective campaigns look at the bigger picture, integrating a range of channels, media and tactics to deliver success over time.

At RCR, we use our three phase Scout – Blitz – SiegeTM methodology to help our clients run successful campaigns and our top three tips are:

– Spend time on planning
– Raise awareness by coordinating media and messages for maximum impact
– Don’t neglect the ongoing conversion phase

Planning is the ‘Scout’ stage. Investing time in working out the right marketing activity for your business will pay off in the later stages. Prioritise objectives, messages and tactics, and focus on the time frames and skills required to implement them. If you do the scouting well, expect your initial plans to change considerably. In some cases, you may even call the whole campaign off.

Raising awareness is the ‘Blitz’ stage. This is where you implement what you have planned to do in the ‘Scout’ stage – for example mailings, PR or advertising. The aim here is not necessarily to generate immediate leads but start the process of building relationships, raising awareness and creating interest in prospects’ minds.

This leads on to the vital conversion or ‘Siege’ phase where your aim is to build engagement with prospects by keeping in touch through newsletters, regular blogs, events and social media, for example. This is where you work closely with your sales team to convert leads into revenue, and to monitor the results of your campaign.  By tracking what’s worked, and what hasn’t, your next campaign ought to be even more effective!

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Scout-Blitz-Siege

by Tina Chohan