Photoshoot: a day in a professional photography studio. . .

As a marketing professional, images play an important part in creating an impact; whether it’s making sure you have consistent, good quality representation of your products or you need to project a warm and welcoming impression, good creative imagery plays a key part in your marketing activities.

My own bio images were starting to look a little tired and whilst representative of my personality, I felt it was time to create a better impression by investing some time and money in a professional photoshoot.

Having met Ted Davis on several occasions over the years and collaborating with him on several marketing projects I had never actually experienced an actual photoshoot with Ted, who is a fabulous professional photographer based in Hove.

Studio 323 is located in historic Palmeira Square, overlooking the beautiful gardens and the sea and occupies a space that was once the first floor drawing room of a large Victorian house.

The studio provides 500 square feet of space, 14 foot ceilings, and is equipped with full blackout facilities for studio photography or generous daylight for naturally lit work.  The view from the windows of this magnificent space provides the perfect backdrop and setting for many types of photoshoot.

Here are some of the resulting images Ted created for me. . . .

Christine Davey Marketing Brighton

Christine Davey Marketing Brighton

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CD4

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help implementing your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

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Digital Marketing: 3 Winning ways to make it work for you

Digital Marketing BrightonStill in its infancy, digital marketing is so fast changing that it’s not always easy to know how to integrate into your existing marketing planning effectively.

Try these 3 simple steps to making sure you choose the right platforms for your business.

1. Research: find out where your audience is

As a small business, it’s very tempting just to pick one channel, normally one you might be familiar with or may have dabbled with on a personal level. Focusing all your efforts on Facebook, for instance, when your target market might be engaging more in Instagram or YouTube, could prove costly in the long term.

Before you commit to setting up profiles on Social Media streams, find out what research has been done on your target market which outlines where your customers might be communicating. Using your keywords, search each channel to see how your competitors are engaging and learn from their apparent success.

Recent studies show that small businesses see the best results when they commit themselves to joining up their marketing efforts making sure all their digital platforms are accessible, whether through print advertising; QR codes, Website; link to email marketing sign-up, Social Media; links in online profiles which direct traffic to specific targeted offers/services.

2. Add Value: consider what your target audience really wants

Avoid blatant selling; posting constantly about how great your products are and communicating special offers won’t generate a sale on it’s own and will soon see your followers dwindle and go somewhere else. Whilst everyone loves a bargain, sharing useful pieces of knowledge and advice will give credence to your products and position you as the brand to follow in your field of expertise.

Ask your customers what they want; as soon as you know then you can start providing powerful, targeted information, which will generate more sales.

3. Join the dots: make sure your digital marketing becomes part of your overall marketing mix

Digital marketing is only one part of your overall marketing strategy; albeit an important one – don’t be tempted to separate digital from your other marketing efforts.

Consider your key propositions and utilize other marketing strategies to communicate your key digital platforms including Face-to-face (business cards/flyers), Media (advertising) and PR (Press releases).

Consider every physical touch point you have with a customer – at the till if you own a shop, the food bill if you own a restaurant, in the waiting room if you run a beauty salon.

In essence, try and keep it real; communicate openly with your customers and give them what they want – this way they’ll keep coming back again and again.

 

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with implementing your digital marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

How to create engaging online content

Online content marketing allows you to communicate with your target customers and prospects without selling.

  • Instead of pitching your products or services you are sharing information to inform and make your buyer more intelligent; ultimately rewarding you with their business and loyalty.
  • The information you share needs to be relevant and valuable to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience to help drive traffic and profitable customer action.
  • The content needs to be consistent and ongoing; fresh and engaging content will fulfil your marketing objectives, drive traffic and build brand loyalty.
  • Effective online content is key to drive marketing, engage users and increase website conversions.

Here’s a really useful infographic from Mari Smith to help you on your way

How to create engaging content

I write your targeted online content, whether it’s for your website, blog or social media pages, which resonates with your target audience, capturing their attention and answering their needs.
I can also help you identify how to increase your online effectiveness through email marketing and get your social media sites up and running.
Contact me today by telephone 01273 772033 or on Twitter to arrange to meet for an initial chat over a coffee.

Christine Davey
Davey Marketing Brighton

Utilising colour to influence your customer’s purchases

Pantone2014I was heartened at the weekend, when it was clear that another new season is well on its way, with the emergence of new colours, enhanced by the warmth of the sun.

It’s no secret that colour plays an enormous part in how we are portrayed to our customers and, seeing the signs of new growth emerging all around Brighton brought to mind how we can utilise colours to influence what our customers will buy; consumers place visual appearance and colour above all other factors when making purchase decisions.

The colour of the year, as predicted by Pantone for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, which according to their blurb; blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination.

So, exactly how important is colour in your marketing?  Whether you’re seeking to stimulate people’s appetites, or creating a sense of trust, colour plays a big part in how we are portrayed by sending a specific message to the people who view them, not only when designing your marketing materials, but also the brand itself.

To learn more about colour psychology and how it influences purchases, check out this infographic created by Marketing Tech Blog on The Psychology and ROI of colour – fascinating stuff!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice on your branding and marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

Psychology-of-Color-640x6419

Home Workers Beware! Be distracted at your peril. . .

Freelance Marketing Management BrightonAs a homeworker, I know how difficult it can be to remain productive when the house is full of tempting distractions.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to resist the urge when no one is looking over you, and giving in just means wasting precious time and money.

I tend to combine my time working on site with clients when I have a meaty project, but when I need to be ‘at my desk’ at home, I’ve managed to put a few disciplines in place to combat wasting time.

Find an appropriate workspace

Preferably a dedicated ‘office space’ –  ideally a spare room or even a converted shed at the end of the garden that you can close the door at the end of the day.  This is not always possible if space is an issue.  A dedicated area of a room is just as effective, as long as you make sure you delineate your time between work and recreation.  Here are some real homeworkers who have set up shop in a bedroom (me included) in WorkFromHomeWisdom.com

Keep to a definite business schedule

When working within an organization, your working hours are pretty much set in stone – 9am-5.30pm, 5 days a week – you’re contractually obliged to keep within these times (depending on what you do).  Working from home gives you much more flexibility, but it’s all too easy to take advantage of your freedom and discipline goes out of the window.

Try and stick to a schedule.  I make sure I set my alarm every morning and arrive at my desk to start planning my day by 9.30 when I’m working on a project from home.  It’s also a good idea to let your friends and family know your schedule to avoid those impromptu visits.

Never work in your Pyjamas!

I’ve read many articles over the years where small business homeworkers relish the opportunity to be able to fall out of bed and start working, without having to get dressed in a ‘business suit’.  Don’t do it!  Imagine the embarrassment when a client calls via Skype and you’re sitting there in your nightwear!  Being smartly dressed gives you a sense of professionalism and creates a good impression and, when the client calls for an urgent face-to-face meeting, you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Stick to a routine

It’s all about managing your time and workload.  Manage your day carefully around work and family commitments.  Being a parent, the usual domestic chores and school run is going to play an important part of your working life and it’s essential to stick to a strict routine to remain productive.

With the advent of smartphones and tablets, it’s always tempting to overdo things.  If you’re in your ‘non-work’ mode and an important email pings through, it’s too tempting to jump on it immediately, which can be very distracting for both you and your family.

Get out and network

Meeting people face-to-face will make your working life much more bearable.  Working from home can be very isolating whether you live alone or you’re juggling work and family.  Taking advantage of the many business networking events will allow you to integrate with other human beings and give you an opportunity of making new business contacts with a view to gaining new customers.

There are lots of organisations out there that regularly run business networking and training events to take advantage of.  Whether you want to be locked in and pay an annual fee or just drop in for a coffee and a chat, here’s a list of some of the current groups in Brighton & Sussex.

Networking in Brighton & Sussex

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help to manage your marketing planning  Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

Will Social Media replace Email?

SocialMediaI participated recently in a very interesting debate on a LinkedIn forum, which asked this very question. Predictably it generated a lot of debate, specifically from those specialising in Email Marketing who were fiercely defending their products!

At the moment, Social Media is nowhere near replacing Email, but continues to be complementary – an important tool in your marketing kit bag, so to speak.  Rather than being completely replaced, I think it will evolve to work even harder to integrate with Social Media.

Email has been around since the 1980’s and whilst it isn’t as permanent as a postal address – another form of communication which hasn’t died out altogether – consumers don’t tend to change email addresses; once you have a customer’s email address, you have a fairly assured way of getting a message in front of that customer.

Consumers do, however, migrate social media.  Remember when MySpace was the most popular social media site?  Then, when Facebook arrived and became more popular it seemed unthinkable that anything would take over FB’s position. Then up popped Google Plus, which has taken a big slice of the pie and still seems to be gaining momentum and I’m sure there will continue to be more contenders in years to come!

So, whilst social media evolves as a place to communicate with your customers in real time, keep up with news and enhance knowledge, Email continues to provide a more personal connection with more opportunities to repeatedly communicate with direct targeted messages.

But who knows?  Twenty years ago, who could have predicted the demise of the fax machine?  Maybe in another twenty years, we’ll be reminiscing the demise of email. . . .

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on putting together some email marketing campaigns Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

How hard does your logo work?

I was reading a really interesting article recently, which was entitled ‘Our logo looks like underpants’ which illustrated the difficulties facing global brands when different cultures interpret particular visual stimuli in very different ways.

It got me thinking about logos and how we need to think about how hard our logo works – like anything in your business, your logo has a job to do; it not only needs to be distinctive but it needs to be memorable too.

Try to look different from your competitors – don’t blend in, stand out!  And, you want people to recognise it.  In order to build customer loyalty, recognition is the first step to establishing you as the ‘go to’ company.

Have you ever wondered what messages some of the famous brands are sending with their logos.  Although they’re mostly American, this video demonstrates brand messaging through the eyes of a five year-old.  Shown by her designer-dad, these were her immediate responses.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on reviewing your brand or developing a new logo Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

Davey Marketing: Lead NurturingTo stay engaged with future buyers, Lead Nurturing is a powerful way to deliver engaging and interesting content to your prospects – specifically those who have given you permission to stay in contact with them.

What you’re essentially doing is educating targeted sales leads, which are not yet ready to buy.  Valuable content that keeps your audience engaged can help you build a strong brand presence and engender trust long before they make a purchase.

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

  1. Identify who could be interested in your product/services and obtain their details. (This could be easily done through consistent networking within your business community)
  2. Follow-Up these contacts with an acknowledgement and the reference point of contact.
  3. Offer them information they can instantly use, even if they don’t choose to do business with you; ‘how to’ guides which relate to your business and might help them.
  4. Offer them a special place to interact with you; website, twitter page, LinkedIn, email etc.
  5. Get permission to stay in touch through an opt-in link to email newsletter/ downloads etc.
  6. Stay actively in touch and offer added value such as an e-Book or white paper or a special offer/package deal.
  7. Above all track the content and results of all interactions and use this to spot the times your prospects indicate their willingness to buy and ask for their business.

Remember!  It’s not all about hard selling anymore; it’s about building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on managing your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

What is Marketing?

What is Marketing: Davey Marketing BrightonI was at a social event recently, which was previewing some up coming new films; chatting afterwards, the conversation inevitably led to ‘what do you do’?  My normal response is ‘Marketing’ which usually leads to the question ‘What sort of marketing’?

This is always a difficult question to answer, as most people quite often confuse Marketing with Advertising.  Whilst the two go hand in hand, and are necessary to the success of your business, Marketing is about getting the right product or service, to the right people at the right time.  It’s about identifying and understanding your customer and giving them what they want, it’s not just about advertising and promoting your business.

Effective marketing requires you to examine every aspect of your business and how it affects your customer’s experience; covering everything you need to do to deliver your products and services to your target customer.  Planning is essential and you’ll need to look at each of the following areas in order to create a comprehensive framework to develop an effective marketing plan:

The Marketing Mix (or the 7 P’s of Marketing)

Product
Simply, what your business offers: this covers the combination of goods and services that your business offers.  A good product provides client value i.e. satisfaction of use outweighing the perceived sacrifice of amount paid.

Place
This refers to how your customer accesses your produce or service; it should be convenient for the client at all times.  How your customer accesses your product or service.  This could be your business premises, shop or online presence.

Price
What approach will you take to pricing your product?  Price communicates a lot about a brand. It is a key factor in the marketing mix – too low may put off the target market, too high will carry a high client service expectation which may be tough to fulfil.

Promotion
Refers to how you communicate with your customers.  The objective of the promotional mix is to communicate what the company does and what it offers, to the right people at the right time, in order to acquire and retain customers.

People
All people who come into contact with a potential customer are part of your marketing; they can have a profound effect on customer satisfaction.  Your staff or collaborative partners are ambassadors for your business.

Process
The processes you use in the day-to-day operation of your business ensuring that enquiries and orders are effectively managed.  Issues such as waiting times and helpfulness of staff, quality control, planning and feedback channels should be considered here.

Physical Evidence
This is the evidence you can provide to show you can do what you claim you can do.  Asking for feedback from satisfied customers to underpin your expertise and publishing it for potential customers to refer to.

The process of developing a marketing plan will help you understand the key benefits and features of your product or service, and how to go about attracting and retaining the right type of customer.

But remember, quoting the wise words of Darren Rowse from Problogger “There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy and determination you can get there”.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

Simple steps to understanding your Target Audience

How to appeal to your Target AudienceWhen it comes to growing business and increasing sales, the most successful brands don’t try too hard; they don’t constantly bleat on and on about it; they simply design their products and services around the needs of specific segments of their target audience.

Whatever you’re selling – be it food, legal services, travel, or luxury goods – one thing is for sure: no one likes to be told what to do!

Start by going back to basics and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Understand your audience
What it is they like about your product?  Or, even more important, what it is that’s stopping them from buying it?

Research
Qualitative research (focus groups) and product trial (hall tests) is potentially valuable in understanding what makes your customers tick and together with quantitative research (questionnaires and surveys), you’ll be able to clearly define your target audience with more precision than ‘someone who might like what I sell’.

Design
Design your product or service specifically for your audience and ensure it is based on a clear need, making sure you design your communications to sell the product, not as a plea to appeal to your audience.  For example, if you’re appealing to an older audience and you’re selling car insurance, using the headline  ‘Car Insurance that rewards your driving experience’ is far more effective than saying ‘Car Insurance for the over 50’s’.  There’s nothing more off putting than being told you no longer fit the ‘norm’, even if it might be beneficial to you!

Communicate
Be open to engaging the audience through new and less used channels.  If you’re appealing to an older audience, research suggests that 37% of over 65’s will be using Facebook by 2017, and if your customer is more likely to appreciate a more tangible representation of your product or service (say you’re a photographer or graphic designer), consider producing printed literature which will showcase your specific skills.

We all tend to fall into the trap of looking at how we can sell more to our customers, rather than looking at what we can do for them – whilst subtle, a very important difference when it comes to successful targeting and generating more sales.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!