Monthly Archives: August 2015

BESPOKE MERCHANDISE

bespoke merchandise – why it matters for your brand

Promotional merchandise can be a great way to get your brand and marketing messages in front of your target customers. You can surprise them, delight them and make them smile with your clever but useful products that reflect your brand and become something useful for your customers’ daily lives.

Attracting and retaining target customers is an ongoing process, and unless brands are willing and able to invest in more memorable forms of marketing, their budgets could be being spent in all of the wrong ways. Much research has gone into understanding how promotional merchandise affects the consumer and customer buying decision, with the main finding being that audiences who are repeatedly exposed to a brand are much more likely to remember it.

“One of the best ways of putting your brand in front of your target audiences is to use branded promotional merchandise – because this way, you’re able to find your way to the desks and homes of your target customers. Whether its a USB phone charger, a branded sports bottle, or a simple pen, useful promotional products that remain within sight of audiences have that ‘special something’ that makes them more memorable”

– Lesley Levi, Account Director at Creative Emporium

Bespoke promotional merchandise enables you to create that ‘special something’ ; with products in all different shapes, colours and sizes, to really make an impact with your target customers. But how does bespoke merchandise benefit your brand?

Going beyond a pen with your website address on, what if you could create something that truly reflects your brand and WOW your customers…?

If you’ve ever been given a promotional item, you know how much pleasure people experience when receiving an unexpected gift, which is the goal behind promotional marketing. When you let your customers know you appreciate their business, your company benefits in many different ways. For example, you develop customer loyalty for your brand. Promotional products act as a ‘thank you’ to your customers and clients. Secondly, promotional products offer brand recognition for your products and services. When you give someone a useful gift such as a coffee mug or ipad case, you increase the odds that they’ll use it every day.

Why do bespoke Promotional Products matter for your brand?

The key to ensuring that your brand is remembered has to be in choosing the right promotional product. A gift is tangible and permanent, and when its bespoke, the perceived value is higher. For the extra personal touch, a great way to make an impact with a useful promotional gift is with a customised item that is bespoke to your shape, size, design or colour.

Some options for bespoke customisation include:

  • Pantone colour matching your merchandise in your brand colours. This is a fantastic way to keep your merchandise in line with your brand guidelines; for example a phone case which is colour matched to your company colours.
  • Custom shapes and sizes, such as a completely bespoke USB flash drive or 3D badge in the shape of your logo.
  • Extra print areas – a product being made from scratch allows more scope for different print areas as it can be printed before the item is assembled giving more customisation options to you to really make your promotional merchandise unique.

Ready to get creative?

Doing something a bit different in the form of bespoke merchandise can have a big impact on your marketing – but still be low cost. As well as a variety of off-the-shelf promotional merchandise, such as promotional pens, personalised USB flash drives, and printed bags, at CE, we have lots of experience in helping our customers create custom promotional products that their customers will love. With industry expertise and experience to advise you on the best product for your brand and message, we love coming up with creative solutions to your promotional campaigns. The possibilities are endless, especially when quantities are high – as almost anything can be bespoke made for you!

That special something…

So, why not come to us and start the process for your big idea. Maybe we can inspire you? Please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your bespoke promotional merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

 

digital

How to measure digital marketing campaign effectiveness

How to measure digital marketing campaign effectiveness

Measuring marketing activity is one of those things that us marketing folk have to do, to analyse returns, justify budgets, and to drive company growth. It’s a way to prove value and demonstrate the contribution of marketing to the business. But what types of metrics should you be measuring, specifically when it comes to your digital activity?

First, you need to be clear about what you need to do.

Ask yourself:

  • What needs measuring?
  • Why does it need measuring?
  • How should it be measured?
  • How often should it be measured?
  • To whom should the results be reported?
  • What action should be taken as a result?

Metrics to use to measure your digital marketing campaigns

The following six metrics can be used to measure performance/the achievement of your objectives across digital channels such as your website, email marketing and social media.

  1. Efficiency metrics

Examples include cost per click/impression/lead/order and so on. These metrics represent the efficiency of a marketing campaign in line with your website and show whether your objectives are being achieved in a cost-effective manner.

  1. Qualified reach, or qualified visits

With qualified reach the emphasis is on actual behaviour.  It captures two important dimensions:

Quantity (number of individuals) and Quality (the users have performed a desired interaction, which in turn suggests a degree of interest or intention on the part of the consumer).

  1. Click-through rates

Click-through rates (CTR) are especially important in email marketing, where you want to assess the level of response to a call to action (CTA) and from this you can gauge the level of interest in that particular offer.

  1. Brand awareness/perception

You can gauge brand awareness in many ways, but it can be quite subjective. For social media, you can assess brand awareness by the number of likes to a post or retweets – indicating an increased reach of your message. You can also conduct online surveys which can be available online or sent via email, which can be used to gauge changes in brand perception in our target audience over time.

  1. Conversion rate

What is the action taken by a user? After clicking on a sponsored ad or promoted tweet, did they actually purchase from you? This is often also referred to as a conversion activity. It can be an actual sale, a lead generated, a download, a video view, a form completion, and so on. It is the end goal of the content or advertisement and is a critical metric for determining the effectiveness of your digital campaign.

  1. Return on investment (ROI)

And finally, that all important ROI, which is a critical financial metric representing the value created by your marketing. All marketing, whether it is offline or online, should be measured to determine an incremental improvement in some critical consumer activity, such as acquisition, retention, loyalty, key perceptions or sales.

 Complete Branding Solution

If you’re working on a digital marketing campaign and are wondering how you can use promotional merchandise as part of your campaign, why not give us a call? We’d be happy to run through some ideas and give some inspiration. We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

analytics

Why are ‘web analytics’ important for business growth?

Almost 60% of marketers never look at their website’s analytics. That’s pretty high in our opinion! But why do analytics matter? We’ve aimed to highlight why you need to use website analytics to drive continuous improvement of your online activity.

What are “web analytics”?

Web analytic software, such as Google Analytics, simply looks at a chosen aspect of your website (e.g. page views, pay-per-click advertising, etc) and generates a series of reports that show you how your site is being used. It’s typically used by comparing and evaluating the reports against your marketing/business KPIs.

For example, you may have targets to achieve a certain number of visitors or conversions per month, and by regularly checking your analytics you can see how your site is performing and whether your targets are being met. The great thing about it is that with analytics software like Google, you can pretty much measure every aspect of your site. You can choose to focus on specific links or specific areas of your site, or simply just to measure traffic.

Services such as Google Analytics are free to use, tell you what is working and what isn’t, and therefore can increase your ROI and reduce your costs – yet almost 60% of marketers never look at their website’s analytics! We know that staring into graphs and charts might not be the highlight of your day, but it can provide key user statistics and insights that can help you tweak and tailor your online marketing activity and make much-needed improvements to generate better results. Try giving yourself some time each week to review analytics – and more regularly if you run an e-commerce site.

Key considerations when using web analytics software:

What do you want to measure?

Start by finding out what you can measure – and what this can tell you.

Be clear about where you are spending money. Do you just want to work out your return-on-investment?

If the spend is on pay-per-click or an email, and the objective is to drive prospects to your site, do you want to work out what profit or income the chosen channel is generating?

Over what time period are you doing the analysis? Remember that it may take several visits before a prospect actually buys anything!

How can you improve your website? Go back to basics. What was the primary objective? What is the primary objective now?

Then convert data into intelligence.

For example compare your understanding of where site visitors are going within the site, and how long they are staying there with the objectives of your marketing strategy. Are they viewing the content you want them to?

What are visitors doing/not doing on your site? For example, if you have a content-based site, is the number of pages accessed by visitors increasing or decreasing?

What content is most effective at engaging and converting potential customers?

How can you improve online assistance during the purchase process?

Which value-added services are building loyalty and value to your customers?

Which channels are delivering your campaign’s objective(s)?

Web analytic tools can determine which channels (search, banners, email, blogs, etc) have delivered most visitors to your site. But remember that the channel delivering the highest click-throughs doesn’t always generate the highest returns!

How does offline marketing affect your online sales? And vice-versa.

For example, how successfully have your promotional items driven prospects to specific link or campaign microsite? It’s much more difficult to determine if online marketing is affecting offline sales. However, use of ‘Contact us’ sections or enquiry forms within the site can be tracked within your office email system or CRM.

Which search terms (paid or organic) work?

Web analytics can collect data on incoming traffic from different search engines, but be clear about the amount of traffic generated by a keyword, but also about whether it is generating a stated objective (such as signing up to a newsletter).

What other methods can you use to measure your site?

Web analytics can tell you there’s a problem, but usually can’t tell you why. Therefore, why not consider combining it with engaging pop-up surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and one-to-one usability tests?

Complete Branding Solution

If you’re working on a digital marketing campaign and are wondering how you can use promotional merchandise as part of your campaign, why not give us a call? We’d be happy to run through some ideas and give some inspiration. We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

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It’s big. It’s better. It’s here

We’ve launched the new generation of our revolutionary CO3 online ordering platform: version 2.0 is now here! It comes with all of the benefits of its predecessor, but with sparkling new features – taking your promotional merchandise procurement and marketing campaigns to the next level.

What is CO3?

If you’re not yet using CO3, it’s our bespoke built online ordering system that removes all the pain, administration, and hidden costs out of ordering branded merchandise and clothing (and any third party products). All CO3 systems are built in-house by our digital experts and are available to all our clients.

CO3 2.0 is ready – are you?

It’s been months in the making, with plenty of hard work n’ elbow grease, so we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that the new version of our online ordering platform, CO3, is here – and it’s better than ever!

Designed to offer both new and existing clients an even better online ordering experience, it combines all of the great features you came to expect from the first release of CO3, but with additional features and benefits to provide you with a more streamlined user experience for better end results.

That’s the good news. But what’s the great news?

All existing customers will be upgraded to the new CO3 2.0 at no cost. A free upgrade. Yes, really! It’ll take some time to migrate everyone’s existing sites onto our new platform, so we appreciate your patience at this exciting time. While you’re waiting, check out what CO3 2.0 has to offer…

Innovation

We love innovation. Not just because we enjoy the latest tech, but because innovation creates prosperity for your business. It’s also essential to stay ahead of the changing landscape of digital technology and follow best practice – what’s new today in web will soon be out of date, so it’s important that CO3 is a robust web platform that moves with technological advancements.

It means that we can grow with our clients, by offering constantly evolving tools to make the web experience more fulfilling for you and your customers: “The future of purchasing is online, so we want to offer the best system possible – we’re investing heavily in this system to provide amazing, effective solutions. CO3 2.0 is a reflection of true innovation – we’re the only company in our sector to provide a truly bespoke online ordering system for our clients” says our marketing manager Hannah who goes on to say that this is “just the beginning” of what you can expect from this flexible system.

Benefits to your business:

  • Save Costs:

CO3 comes as standard with tools to save you money and increase procurement efficiency, such as LINK, our consolidated buying tool. LINK allows increased economies of scale by grouping individual orders so that our clients reap the benefits from bulk buying prices. The system automatically lets users know when an order has been placed, so they can save money!

  • Bespoke functionality:

We’ve developed the software in-house with our team of talented web experts – this is no ‘off the shelf’ product. It also provides the ability to create unlimited users, multiple categories, add unlimited products which is all custom functionality tailored to your exacting requirements.

  • Free Upgrades:

Every time we update the system you’ll benefit from new features and functionality to continue improving the user experience. It’s designed so that any new functionality can simply be ‘plugged in’ to your site when the update is available.

  • Brand Identity Control:

The ‘Look and feel’ of each site is unique to your brand and will follow your brand guidelines precisely to reflect and protect your brand identity. It allows you to control your brand identity at a macro level, which is especially important for organisations with multiple offices/locations , all ordering merchandise. With a centralised online ordering system there is no confusion over branding, no incorrect logos – only the correct branding from one central source to ensure your brand is consistent at every touchpoint.

  • Best practice:

CO3 sites are designed by our experienced web developers who understand best practice in terms of usability and user experience, as well as creating sites that are fully SEO optimised to perform well in search engines for optimum results.

  • Measurement and analysis:

CO3 2.0 comes with an enhanced reporting tool for even better stats for complete buying visibility.

  • Fully e-commerce integrated:

Payments can be taken via the site by credit card, invoice, purchasing card, PayPal and vouchers

  • Completely Flexible

Ability to add products not produced by ourselves to create a one stop portal for all marketing collateral and can be integrated into existing intranets

  • Multi-lingual and Multi-currency sites

For truly worldwide use – ideal for offices with EMEA and APAC locations.

  • Web responsive

All CO3 sites are built with responsive web design (RwD) – fully accessible by PC, Laptop, tablet and mobile phone – no need for a separate mobile site or app – not only saving you money but providing the best possible online user experience with no loss of functionality or aesthetic appeal.

  • Social media plugins

With social media becoming increasingly important, the new CO3 system has an integrated plugin that allows all social media feeds to be instantly displayed on the site as well as sharing buttons on all products for B2C sites.

  • Continuous improvements

We’re working continuously to improve and add to the CO3 system, so you can expect new features added all the time. We’ll let you know each time there has been an update to the features to ensure you receive maximum benefit from your CO3 system.

We’ve worked hard to create a truly bespoke and flexible system for new and existing clients to streamline the procurement of branded merchandise and clothing. If you’re an existing client using CO3, then we can’t wait to upgrade you onto our new system! If you’d like to learn more about how CO3 could benefit your business, then please get in touch with us today and see how we can help you.

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Case study: How we’re delivering customer value for the world’s largest make-up brand

When fabulous make-up brand Benefit came to us, they were looking for creative, fun and desirable promotional merchandise to embody their brand ethos which is all about how “make-up doesn’t have to be serious to look good” and that “laughter is the best cosmetic!” Armed with some creative ideas, we began our journey…and boy did we have fun too!

Our solution

At Creative Emporium, we pride ourselves on developing creative merchandise solutions where new ideas are formed and customer value is delivered. For Benefit, we delivered a range of products that not only embodied their brand creatively, but that helped to expand Benefit’s reach throughout their target audiences , which include young, trendy, fun loving females, who love to pamper themselves and feel glamorous.

What we did:

  • Produced a range of exciting promotional items including: Flip flops, Sunglasses, Cocktail set, Beach ball, Suitcases, Handbags, Torches and Umbrellas
  • Sourced and printed 12,000 custom-sized and pantone-matched branded t-shirts for Benefit retail counter staff
  • Helped Benefit celebrate their Long Service Awards with a range of branded gifts for long-serving team members to choose from
  • Using our in-house built CO3 technology, we developed a bespoke online store which allows easy ordering of all branded merchandise

Charlotte Hooper, Account Manager said, “We’re always coming up with new ideas to inspire the brand and engage target consumers. We recently produced a proactive set of ideas for summer products – ranging from promotional BBQ sets, to curling tongs, passport holders and baking sets – all of which are ideal products to appeal to Benefit’s target audience.

Benefit Summer Product Ideas

The client’s feedback

“From the start of working with Creative Emporium we have continuously been impressed with the passion, creativity and energy they put in to understanding our brand and core values. As a consumer brand in a competitive market, it’s important that we stand out. Our account management team at Creative Emporium is always coming up with new concepts and creative ideas that truly embody the Benefit ethos, which are turned into fantastic merchandise and clothing solutions that both our employees and consumers love too!”

– Director of First Impressions

What is CO3?

If you’re not yet using CO3, it’s our bespoke built online ordering system that removes all the pain, administration, and hidden costs out of ordering branded merchandise and clothing (and any third party products). All CO3 systems are built in-house by our digital experts and are available to all our clients…

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

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#knowledgecorner How social media can be used to win new business

New business is the lifeblood of any company – especially those in the service sector like us. But, acquiring new customers is becoming increasingly complex – customer needs are demanding and varied; competition is fierce and diverse, and businesses of all sizes and sectors have been forced to evolve and adapt to a rapidly-shifting digital business landscape. Our very own Business Development Director Gavin and Marketing Manager Hannah share their thoughts on winning new business with social media…

“Relationships have always been at the core of business development; and now, in 2015, it’s no secret that social media is an important part of any marketing and business development strategy, explains Gavin. It has opened up new possibilities and opportunities for individuals and businesses alike to grow their brand presence online. It allows companies to share useful information with target customers to help distinguish them from their competitors. It can accelerate the relationship-building process, and enhance the way we communicate with potential customers, leading to quicker connections and serving as a research tool when looking to establish relationships”.

Here are some practical ways you can use social media in your quest for new business acquisition:

1. Social networking with a purpose

The key to social networking efficiently and successfully, is not about chasing any bit of business – which many companies do in their desperation to generate leads – but to be very focused on exactly the type of work you want to win and therefore who you need to talk to in order to win it. “The ‘who’ is important, as that is what social media enables you to do – target and talk to real prospects, which leads us nicely to the next step – understanding your customers”, says Hannah.

2. Understand your customers

“Think about who your customers are, think about everything you know about them: where they live, what their lifestyles are, what their interests are, business wise and outside of business, and that’ll give you big clues as to the social networks they’re likely to be using”, says our Business Development Director, Gavin.

“You then need to think about how this is going to translate into sales and development for your business”, continues Gavin. Once a target has been identified, analysing social media data can then be used to get a fuller understanding of the person or brand. From Linkedin to Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram, you have a variety of platforms to explore and leverage.

3. Use employee connections to your advantage

If you’re using Linkedin and want to connect with someone at a certain company, always check to see if anyone at your company has a connection or pre-established relationship with that person. “Social media channels like Linkedin make it very easy to see mutual connections”, adds Gavin. “You could ask your colleague to make an introduction which is an automatic foot-in-the-door in the game of business development!”

4. Competitive intelligence

Social media analytics can show you which competitors are earning the most engagement from your target audience – and what type of engagement around which type of content. “Understanding the strengths and weaknesses, and the successes and failures, of a competitor’s social activity can become a catalyst to identifying a unique creative idea to help you target and win the attention of your target customers”, adds our marketing manager Hannah.

5. Adjust your messaging for different networks

Hannah emphasises, “Every social network has a different audience and purpose – what works for one may not work for another and the way people behave and connect across channels varies”. For example – Linkedin is a more formal, professional networking tool. Twitter is more informal and conversational. Therefore, your approach needs to be slightly different when connecting and building relationships with people on different platforms. Use Twitter to promote ongoing building relationships with people on different platforms. Use Twitter to promote ongoing marketing campaigns, share your blog content and answer customer support queries. Use Linkedin to showcase your personal credibility, company culture and resources. “Obviously, there’s no universal, one-size-fits-all guide to social media – so be flexible!” advises Hannah.

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.