Author Archives: hannahp14

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A day in the life of our wine & cheese loving Account Manager, Ashleigh Lawson

 

Hi, I’m Ashleigh and I’ve been with Creative Emporium for just over three and a half years. I first joined the business as a Production Co-ordinator in our sister company Creative Emporium Online before joining the CE sales team, becoming an Account Manager earlier this year.

 

I spend my days here at CE supporting quite a few of our key clients, acting as their main point of contact for all things merchandise related. Having developed great relationships with these clients I assist them to come up with exclusive ideas which will boost their brand and campaigns, while ensuring they receive high levels of customer service from the team.

 

My favourite thing about my job has to be the variety of briefs I can receive on a daily basis, making every day unique. However, juggling them all in one go can still be a challenge, so organisational skills definitely come in handy as a part of my role.

 

Outside of work, I like to stay healthy by going to the gym quite frequently, either before or after work and I love going on a long walk at the weekends – generally ending up lost! Alternatively if you can’t find me out and about you will find me most likely in front of the fire with friends having a wine and cheese night.

 

Next up I’m going to pick our amazing Account Executive, Charlotte Rhodes!

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Marketing: small business vs big business

When it comes to small businesses and big businesses, the challenges and everyday operations vary dramatically. This applies to their marketing too. While both will require an effective marketing strategy and will follow a similar marketing process, the similarities stop there. That’s because of differences in budgets, staffing, time scales, creative approaches, size of the market, audience responsiveness, and communication techniques.

The Key Differences

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Where Coca Cola may be able to afford to send hundreds of branded trucks up and down the country at Christmas, staffed with a team wearing promotional merchandise to meet and greet with customers, backed by a full-scale television promo advertisement, this isn’t so achievable for the everyday business.

There’s a lot you can achieve with big budgets, although that’s not to say they’re mission critical. Many successful campaigns have gone viral despite being very simple and cost-effective. It’s simply about thinking creatively and making the most of what you do have to hand. Every decision you make should be scaled to the size of your business and budget.

For both business sizes, the marketing process is the same. It involves a circular motion from customer, product and competitive research to product development, pricing to labels and packaging, distribution to advertising, promotions and public relations, sales to customer service and so forth.

The Right People for The Right Job

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It’s also important to consider that small businesses won’t necessarily have highly skilled (and expensive) marketing directors and managers, a permanent team of social media executives, and so forth. You have to be gentle with yourself and appreciate that you can only do so much with a smaller team. Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t compete with the big brands. Your business will still be okay. Many smaller businesses hire freelancers to fill in the gaps, which can be more cost effective as you can just use them as and where required.

As time goes on and your business grows, you can then consider bringing someone on full-time, as long as the return-on-investment makes it a suitable decision. While resources are stretched though, it’s best to adopt the approach of ‘quality over quantity’. Often it is the business owner trying to juggle the marketing with everything else in a small business. Rather than trying to do everything and do it badly, simply find what is most important and successful in communicating with your audience and try to do that well, with focus, and consistency.

In Summary

chess-424556_640Unlike big businesses, small businesses won’t be able to spend as much money or time focussing solely on brand recognition campaigns. Instead, the attention will be much more on specific products or promotional offers. These will be important as every piece of marketing needs to create immediate, measurable action. However, they will help to double up as brand awareness campaigns too.

Smaller businesses need to work much harder to ensure their marketing inspires purchases, as the marketing costs need to be accounted for and a ROI visible. It is a balancing act – creating clear and effective communications on budget, articulating a brand identity, while also inspiring a customer to enquire, generate leads and prompt a sale. That all being said, the results can be just as fruitful. With successful marketing, the sales will grow, as will the company, and the marketing budget and creative potential can expand too.

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A day in the life of our tech loving outdoorsman, Dave Lister

 

 

Hi, I’m Dave and I’ve been with Creative Emporium for nigh on a decade now. I joined as the business’ first Production Coordinator, then swiftly became our second Account Manager. Quite a few years ago now, I made a move to become our first Systems Administrator.

 

In my role I manage our internal software, aspects of our IT hardware and also the functionality of our client-facing websites, ensuring that everything works smoothly for our customers and that they integrate with our internal processes, allowing us to provide effortless service.

 

The biggest challenge in my role is also the thing that makes it the most interesting and exciting; the sheer variety of different clients and suppliers we work with and the diversity of products we offer our clients. Keeping every day fresh, but also making it necessary to find hugely flexible tech and systems solutions.

 

Being involved in systems, websites, and IT here at Creative it’s probably not too much of a surprise that I’m interested in technology, how it affects our lives and how we utilise it. I love science fiction, especially the ways in which it often predicts technology and ideas way before they actually materialise. I also love music and I find it fascinating to find out about innovators who have used music technology in ways that were not intended by the inventors, sometimes creating whole music genres in the process (the Roland TB303 and Acid House, or turntables and Hip Hop are my favourite examples).

 

Although I’d not count myself as an innovator I do like to dabble with various music; I used to play guitar a lot but these days I prefer pressing buttons on various enigmatic machines that I only roughly know how to operate. These days though I’m likely to have a small mammal strapped to my chest whilst making noise so volumes are a little quieter than they used to be.

 

When not in the office I love to get out into the outdoors: camping, wild swimming, running, cycling, hill walking… I’m not too picky; if I can see some trees and a hill I’ll probably be happy. I also enjoy a good challenge and have previously done a marathon, cycled the coast to coast and Liverpool to Leeds canal rides, and done the Yorkshire 3 Peaks & National 3 Peaks walks. I hope to tick off all of the fells in the Lake District before my legs stop working!

 

As many at Creative will know I love my coffee; learning different techniques for making it and even sometimes try a bit of latte art, though my skills are still a bit on the hazy side! I also enjoy cooking, especially making pizza from scratch. My current favourite is a white pizza with brie, black grapes and caramelised onions (shamelessly stolen from Dough Boys’ Queen Brie pizza at the Belgrave in Leeds).

For our next ‘day in the life..’ blog, I nominate our awesome Account Manager, Ash!

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The Top 10 Marketers of All Time

One of the best ways to learn about creating successful marketing campaigns and engaging company messages is by studying those who have come before us and carved the way with their marketing prowess. Many of these men and women developed this sector of business long before they even knew it was a ‘thing’. So, who are the top 10?

 

 

lead_pho1. Henry Ford

Founder of the Ford Motor Company, he played a key role in developing the automobile industry. He sold a lifestyle, rather than a product, but people quickly brought into it and were driving round in his cars. He converted automobiles from expensive to practical, teaching marketers to focus more on ‘why’ someone would want something, rather than ‘what’ it is. For his customers, the ‘why’ was freedom.

 

 

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2. Ray Kroc

His name may not be household, but he was responsible for turning McDonald’s into being the fast food chain it is today. He led the way with creating a uniformed, consistent service across all the chains, ensuring the quality was standardised throughout. He always put his customers at the heart of his campaigns.

 

 

lead_pho3. Walt Disney

How can he not be on this list? His media enterprise and theme parks are a second to none experience that end up on many people’s bucket lists and dream vacation plans. His magical experiences take the customer on a journey, away from their everyday reality, while still leveraging authenticity and quality. His experiences speak for themselves, meaning word of mouth played a crucial role in his strategy.

 

 

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4. Steve Jobs

A pioneer of marketing in modern times, his innovative designs, high-quality products and simple marketing messages have led to thousands queuing overnight to buy into his brand. His products sell themselves.

 

 

lead_pho5. Simon Clift

The former CEO of Unilever had wise words when he noted that “a brand is the contract between a company and consumers.” It’s all about ensuring you’re holding up on your side of the deal when marketing to customers and selling your product.

 

 

 

lead_pho6. Dale Carnegie

American writer and lecturer, his philosophy was to make relationships with people through being interested in them, rather than getting them to be interested in you. You can make more in two months by adopting this approach than you can in two years through the latter.

 

 

 

lead_pho7. The Kardashian family

Love them or hate them, they have marketed themselves from a little-known American family into a globally famous, multi-millionaire tribe headlined across all of the biggest magazines and newspapers, with their everyday lives played out on television. People follow their every move. They have used modern technology to their advantage, telling their story through Instagram and creating their own emojis.

 

 

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8. Mary Frances Gerety

Another lesser known name, Mary was a copywriter. She was charged with the task of kickstarting the sale of diamonds after the Great Depression. During one night, she came up with the timeless slogan of “A diamond is forever”. It has been used in various advertisements by the largest jewellers throughout the years, and has turned diamond rings into the go-to item for engagements. Advertising Age named it the ‘Slogan of the 20th Century’ in 1999.

 

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9. Milton Hershey

Founder of chocolate brand Hershey’s, Milton had a very simple yet effective philosophy: “Give them quality”. With this, his products would sell themselves. And indeed, it has worked.

 

 

 

lead_pho10. Beyoncé

Another modern marketeer of millennial proportions, everything Beyoncé does is an instant success, from teaser videos to a visual album or an Instagram account followed by millions to concert tours packed with promotional merchandise, or launching music on Tidal to prime time performances, such as at the 2016 Super Bowl. Known globally by her first name, she constantly adapts and develops her image, with her core philosophy of female empowerment at the heart of it all. When there were calls to boycott her following her 2017 Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé even turned this on its head by selling ‘Boycott Beyoncé’ t-shirts while on tour!

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Is Traditional Marketing Still Relevant?

We often spend a lot of time looking towards the future, addressing new trends, new technology and new research. However, does traditional marketing still have a place within these modern business strategies?

Is traditional marketing still relevant?

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The answer, in simple terms, is yes. No matter what brilliant results can be achieved through social media, viral marketing or stealth advertising, there is still a very important place carved out for the more traditional forms of marketing. While it is an important method of reaching people, online is not the only way. Potential customers still watch television and are receptive to the messages in commercials. They still read newspapers, and will be intrigued by the advertisements – especially if they’re being offered some kind of great incentive.

Additionally, people still drive past billboards and will notice the messaging being conveyed, and they’ll still listen to the radio in the car and hear advertisements. None of this has changed through the advent of online. Traditional messaging is accessible to all, no matter whether they’re online or not. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re looking to target an older generation who aren’t always as internet savvy as a millennial audience. Likewise, traditional marketing can help you target a specific audience in a geographic area, and remains credible in a time of fake news. Traditional media outlets are seen as trusted sources.

Do we still need marketing collateral?

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Likewise, marketing collateral remains an important strategy. Sending leaflets and letters through the door is still a great way of getting your message across in a direct and targeted way. The same goes for any collateral that is being given away at events and exhibitions, including promotional merchandise. Huff Post have found that 83% of consumers actually like to receive a promotional product that has an advertising message on it, while 85% of customers will go on to do business with the advertiser once they have received the promo product.

Unlike an e-mail, which has a fleeting lifespan, with a promotional product, over half of recipients will keep hold of the item from anywhere between one year and four years. There’s a lot to be said for the value that this merchandise holds. In addition to all this, by combining a traditional method, such as promotional merchandise, with modern methods, such as online marketing, it has been found that the promo product increases the effectiveness of other strategies and media. Ultimately, through combining new and old together, it’s possible to find greater success.

What is the future of traditional marketing tactics?

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It is worth noting, though, that the modern audience is becoming increasingly more judicious as they find themselves dealing with advertising and marketing at every turn. Therefore, personalised communications are proving most effective. Showing an awareness of the audience or appreciating details about their life can all help traditional marketing tactics thrive in the future of the digital world.

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Interactive marketing – what is it and why it matters?

Marketing is a constantly changing field; it plays a key role in raising brand awareness, generating new sales leads, building customer loyalty, and creating a company communications strategy both on and offline. One new trend in this field is interactive marketing, which is changing the way consumers engage with businesses.



lead_pho Thanks to social media, which has created much more intimacy and connection between brands and customers, there is now a greater expectation upon how much engagement should be available. Interactive marketing is another way of developing this, and is about responding to something that a customer specifically does, rather than taking a vague and blanket approach. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘trigger-based’ or ‘event-based’ marketing. The action is led by the consumer, who starts this chain of events off.

An example of interactive marketing can be seen when you go to a fast food chain and order a hamburger. This will be followed with another question, such as “Would you like fries with that?”, It sees the purchase of one product trigger another purchase.

lead_phoThis can again be seen on sites such as Amazon, when you put an item in your basket and the website generates a list of other possible buys with the headline “Customers who picked this, also bought…”. This relies on collecting and digesting visitor behaviour, and using clever algorithms and technology to show meaningful information to the customer. This may also see the site recommending products that relate to something you looked at months earlier, or placed an order for previously.

Interactive marketing is much more personal and tailored than other types, and therefore can help to drive up sales results and increase conversion rates. It can additionally play a key role in improving the overall customer experience. In putting the best suggestions or opportunities to your customers at all times, you are showing them that you have been paying attention to what they’ve been doing, ordering, and what they’re interested in. It builds engagement and brand loyalty, and makes for a more pleasant experience.

lead_phoIt doesn’t have to be time intensive on your part – no one at Amazon sits around watching your movements on the site, making manual suggestions. It is all tracked by computers.

Interactive marketing can be as straightforward as all other types of marketing, such as promotional merchandise. It can also lower marketing costs, because happy customers will naturally refer you and keep coming back for more. They will enjoy the personal experience. It can also increase sales, increase customer satisfaction, and build a clear sense of branding.

However, interactive marketing should come as part of a wider strategy, rather than being the only type relied on. Promotional products, for example, help to spread brand awareness with new customers that may not have heard of you before. Once they’re directed to your business or site, this is where interactive marketing can kick in. It also helps in recognising that not everyone is alike, and people need to be targeted in a number of different ways.

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A day in the life of our jet-setter, Lauren Alexander…

Hi, I’m Lauren and I have worked at Creative Emporium for nearly 6 years now. Yorkshire lass born and bred, I live in Saltaire with my fiancé Dominic.

My role has changed a lot since I started! Starting out as an Account Manager, I worked with great clients like Deloitte and the University of Manchester. I later moved into my current role as Client Services Manager, responsible for training all our CE sales staff on customer service processes, to make sure everything runs as smoothly and effortlessly as possible. I work to improve the service we offer clients by managing projects that focus on client interaction.

I also act as HR Manager across the group, fulfilling the need for the recruitment, induction and training of new staff.

My favourite part of my role is meeting all the new recruits that enter the business! Introducing them and helping to get them settled into their new roles. The business is fast paced and that means I’m always looking at new opportunities and working on new projects. I do this alongside our Account Managers and Executives, ensuring our team develops and we offer the best service possible.

I love planning and going on holidays! I went with a group of friends this year for a joint 30th celebration in Las Vegas and San Francisco. I’m also recently engaged and taking on the mammoth task of planning a wedding. I’m surrounded by Pinterest boards!

If I’m not planning holidays or my wedding, I’ll be exploring the new bars and restaurants that pop up around Leeds, it’s a great place to be at the moment. I also love a good crime drama or detective novel, but who doesn’t like a whodunnit?

For our next ‘day in the life..’ blog, I nominate Dave Lister, our systems and CO3 expert, in addition to self-confessed coffee snob!

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Dark Social – why you can’t ignore it…

Since 2012 the phrase ‘dark social’ has been mentioned with increasing frequency amongst many marketing circles. It sounds like something you might expect to hear about in a Batman movie, but it’s actually all to do with your traffic, referrals and how you are able to track it.


lead_phoTypically businesses will have many different analytical softwares in place to help them see where people are coming from, how they’re finding out about your company, and who they’re sharing it with. This includes Google Analytics, which provides a very detailed account for users of their website and the impact social media can have.

However, dark social is a concept that Alexis C. Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, introduced to refer to content that is shared in ways that cannot be measured by web analytics programs. So how does this work in reality?

augmented-reality-1853592_1920Essentially, you may see an article about the value of promotional merchandise or a list of the top 5 promotional products your company needs. A journey would have occurred for you to find this, which would be possible to track. For example, you may have googled a specific search term, or seen the link on social media.

If you were to cut and paste the link to this article or product listing and send it to someone in a messenger services, such as e-mail, SnapChat or Whatsapp, then you have just engaged in dark social. To the person whose link you’ve shared, you will look as though you are direct traffic, even though a referral process took place behind the scenes. Without recognising the impact of dark social, brands can be misled into thinking they’re getting more direct traffic than they actually are.

lead_pho The article or listing you have shared in a one-on-one capacity rather than through social media means there is traffic coming to your site that you can’t always effectively measure. It is thought by Radiumone that dark social accounts for 84% of consumer sharing. Much more is taking place in private, even though 90% of social marketing ad budgets – on average – is spent on social networks. Dark social typically occurs on mobile devices, with 62% of clickbacks happening this way.

It’s important for businesses to consider the impact of dark social when looking at their social media marketing strategies, and implementing trackable sources for analytical purposes. Dark social is, as the name suggests, a lot more about being social and shows an awareness in customers of just how much technology tracks movements. Recognising this social part of the web and how customers are communicating with each other can ensure your brand or links are getting shared more frequently, and with greater success.


 


 

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