The changing times of a Marketer …

 

Having delivered many training courses lately around Marketing, both for start-ups and existing, larger businesses I am keen to see what local businesses have found most effective in the current marketplace.

Google has done some fantastic research around the way consumers have been purchasing online over the last 6/9 months and in a recent report cited that consumers demands have obviously changed in response to the pandemic in both the way that consumers purchase and what they expect from businesses.

According to these Google reports the following trends have emerged; Consumers are forcing businesses to innovate, in that businesses need to adapt and be more flexible to satisfy their changing customer’s needs,  and secondly that there is a heightened need for live information, an immediate response and faster delivery times.

Now as a marketer my overriding response would be that yes as business owners we always need to be ready to adapt and respond to changing situations, but how do we respond to a changing landscape without losing sight of our visions and values, and when we are clinging on in very challenging times ?

Firstly, our business vision, the one thing that keeps us true can be a guiding light in these difficult times.  Remembering why you started out, or took on the role, can help support your work in many ways and just because we need to be flexible, we don’t need to lose this vision.  Secondly, we must look to our customers for their views, and see how they need us to adapt.  Do they need a change in products or services, or a change in the way we communicate?  Knowing your target audience is key, and for those who’ve attended my workshops, you will know my love of creating customer personas! But on a serious note, by knowing our target audience and appreciating not only why they buy, but how they buy, i.e. their customer journey, will put us in a good place for success.

Thirdly, its all about their experience when trying to shop or work with you.  Does your website give good information, can they immediately find what they are looking for, does your social connect with them, and can they see the reasons that they might want to work with you? And then last but never least, evaluations.  With so many free digital platforms on offer these days, we really have no excuse now to be able to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns and see how we need to adapt them and potentially work harder in future.

So, what’s worked for you? How has your business adapted to meet customers needs, wouldn’t it be great to share some more success stories?

 

Actually, I can …

Brave words don’t you think, especially in the current climate.  However, if we stop a moment and think about all the positives and successful business stories of the past few months, it’s actually a lovely testament to how many businesses have kept strong and even flourished in what has been and continues to be a very uncertain time.

Personally, I’m very grateful and proud to have come through these times wiser and stronger, like many I worked hard to adapt, be flexible and try new markets and new ways to work. It wasn’t always easy and there were times when there were tears and frustrations, but it has also allowed me to grow, learn and challenge myself.  Now I’m not suggesting for one moment that it was possible for all, and I know that COVID-19 has caused a great deal of trauma and suffering, but as we start to poke our noses out once more, I feel it’s really important to think about the good and what we have all potentially gained and achieved.

It seems that the business community has become even more supportive over the past few months and whilst we hear of mass redundancies and job losses, we also meet new entrepreneurs and those who given the set of circumstances they found themselves in, are now able to readjust their work/life balance for the better.

From a marketing perspective, the landscape is exploding, with more consumers buying into digital than ever before and the online world becoming our every day go to.  So, if you are keen to continue to grow or put yourself back on the map here are just a few areas that I could help with:

  1. Write a new marketing plan! Doesn’t have to be big or extensive, but having a plan will keep you focused and on track with what you believe in and help to you to make the decisions that are right for your business.
  2. Reassess your target audience .. Are they still who you think they are? Perhaps re-evaluate them by drawing up a customer persona so that your messages hit the right spot for the right people.
  3. Define your value proposition – what makes your business tick and how does this set you apart from your competitors? How can you tell your brand story?
  4. Write good copy .. the marketplace is overloaded and hectic. Your messages, whichever channel you choose, need to be targeted, optimised and relevant
  5. Learn something new! New skills are great confidence boosters and an online bespoke training session might be just the thing.

 

Keen to find out more? Let’s chat and see how we can move forwards, together 😊

 

Simplicity is the key!

I was very proud to receive my Chartered Marketer status yesterday from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM),  and for anyone who takes the time to study or hone their skills, they will know how tough this can be at times but also how much pleasure these accomplishments bring, however big or small.

However, it did get me thinking about my marketing career to date (and yes it’s very long which makes me feel very old!) and the key things that have been pivotal across the years – those key points that despite everything else remain constant in an ever changing industry.

You could argue I suppose, that knowing which marketing frameworks to use for success might be pivotal, or that years of experience are really what matters, or that for a consultant return on investment for their client is the driving force, and yes these absolutely are but there are definitely fundamentals that lie even deeper than these.

I believe simplicity is the first, and that knowing your target audience is the second.  Working together in perfect harmony preferably!

Watching TV with my son the other evening, I couldn’t help but notice the rise in the urgency of advertising now that we are slowly emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.  And, with this rise comes an explosion of noise across all our media platforms, because let’s face it everyone needs their slice of business.

Simplicity therefore wins.  Cutting through the noise and ensuring your audience know exactly what you can offer and exactly what that can do for them.    If they don’t understand what you do, or understand how it can help them, then it’s time to re-evaluate your messaging to improve your success.

And, on that note, ensure that you really know your target audience.  Take time to research them and make sure that you are advertising on a platform that is suitable for them, so that they can both easily ‘hear’ you amongst the noise and more importantly find you!  Customer experience is key and without knowing your audience how can you ensure that you exceed their expectations?

Two very simple things, but two that are so easily forgotten, and with the economy the way it is, it could so easily be the simple things that make the most difference!

Happy Marketing!

The Better Business Show 2020

Having been involved with the Worthing and Adur Chamber Better Business Show since its beginning, I’m delighted this year to be both hosting the pre-show Power Hour Networking and to also be one of the many exhibitors.

Come and say hello to me on stand S18, located just past registration on the entrance to the large hall, and enter in my Business Card Draw to WIN a FREE place at one of my forthcoming workshops, (the worst that will happen is that you’ll get a chocolate for your trouble and perhaps an email from me to say hello again in future!)  you may well be my lucky winner!

I’m also offering a 20% show discount on all workshops booked for a week after the show, please quote BBShow2020 when booking.

So, let’s hope this is the biggest and best Worthing expo yet and I look forward to seeing everyone ..

Business Card Draw Terms and Conditions

One winner will be drawn at random and offered a complimentary place at a forthcoming workshop of their choice to be held in Worthing.  There is not a cash alternative.  Should the workshop not go ahead for circumstances beyond my control then a consultancy session will be offered instead.  All entrants accept that their details will be held for future promotional purposes by Tipton Marketing but they can unsubscribe from this at their convenience at any point.

 

Some lovely testimonials …

When you work with long standing clients, you build a very unique relationship and become part of their team.  Having known and worked with both Freedom Works, Scout Store and The Scout Association for some time now, I am delighted to be able to share these lovely testimonials …

“Sheryl helped reshape our customer and marketing proposition just as I joined Scout Store. If you want someone to come in and add value and deliver results then I couldn’t recommend Sheryl high enough both as a client and a critical friend!”

Thomas Robertson, General Manager, Scout Store.  

“I was lucky enough to be I introduced to Sheryl when we just started Freedom Works. Regardless of the stage we have been at Sheryl has been there. She understands local business, how to reach your audience, build and brand and more than that, which makes her quite special, is she understands working in and on budget. Her grown up and pragmatic approach provided us with not only a strategist. But a doer too!! I’d have no qualms in recommending her to help you with your growing marketing needs…”

Jon Trigg, Owner, Freedom Works.

“I recently worked with Sheryl on a re-brand and website project. The project gave us the opportunity to dig deep and ensure insights and research drove our direction and helped form our user journey.  Sheryl’s approach to this was one of enthusiasm, passion and tenacity.  The result was a highly comprehensive and professional report which supported all subsequent elements of the project.  Sheryl is incredibly personable and easy to get along with – essential when working on a project of this nature.  I look forward to working together again soon”.

Lyndsey Nassim, Head of Marketing and Sales Development, Commercial.  The Scout Association.

Happy January!

Well what a year !!

With the New Year nearly upon us, it’s a good time to reflect on 2019 and all the successes (and challenges) that each of us have had.  As always I’m proud of the lovely clients that I work with and grateful to all of those that have had a positive impact on my business along the way.

2019 leapt into action with the continuation of my lecturing post at Chichester College.  Digital Marketing is an ever-evolving subject and it’s great to work with students from many different industries. Teaching both the academic underpinning of Marketing, so that the students can gain the coveted Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications, alongside the everyday ‘hands-on’ tactics including social media strategy, SEO, digital campaigns and so much more, is both a challenge and a source of much pride and success!  Working with the team at the RSPCA Headquarters on behalf of the college has also been great fun and I am proud to see how much has been achieved by the students overall.

February 2019 saw the start of a PR & Communications campaign for local go-getters Freedom Works, who now boast four co-working centres throughout the South.  Launching their first business to business expo with them in their Chichester space was great fun and it was a pleasure to work with such a driven and energetic bunch.

Moving on into Spring I was proud to continue marketing consultancy work with Scout Store, the merchandising division of The Scouts.  Having worked with them throughout their re-brand and new website implementation, it’s wonderful to see this locally based but international company go from strength to strength with their digital campaigns, especially as their profits are donated back to charity though The Scouts, who champion local communities and skills for life for young people throughout the UK.   Unity Insurance Services, another division of The Scouts, work under the same charity ethos, and again it was great to continue to work with Unity alongside Ashdown Creative, to support their work in the charity, community and business insurance marketplaces.

I have also been fortunate to run many bespoke training courses for local and regional companies this year,  focusing on subjects such as marketing strategy and planning, alongside networking know-how, customer service and business development and I’m looking forward to developing and continuing with these in 2020.

Last but not least I would like to give a big shout out to the fabulous Penton UK, who earlier this month celebrated 23 years in business, which is a fantastic achievement, so well done to all.

As for challenges .. well there have been many!  It’s tough out there and to stay in business it seems some days that there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week!  However, with 2020 being Tipton Marketing’s 20th year in business, I am looking forward to both the challenges and the hopeful successes that this new decade will bring,

Wishing a Happy & Prosperous New Year to All 😊

How well do your plan your Marketing ?

In today’s busy world sometimes we are all guilty of not planning effectively as we should and diving straight in!

However, to ensure you achieve the best results you can, try to sketch out your plan of action.  This does not need to be lengthy or arduous but having a plan will help you to use your resources efficiently, give you direction and momentum and ultimately ensure that your achieve your objectives within your given timeframe.

There are many formal marketing models that you can use .. have a look at PR Smith’s SOSTAC® or the APIC framework to help you focus and try at least to consider the following:

Start first with looking at your previous marketing efforts and their results, what did you do? What worked? What didn’t? What could you have done differently or better?

Then pinpoint who you are targeting.  Really dig deep into your target audience.  Work out who they are and more importantly where you need to promote yourself to reach them.  Are they business to business customers or are you selling to the general public? Think about who they are, where they are and most importantly how and where they buy.

Next look at your product or service and consider your price and how you position yourself against your competitors.  What makes you different? Why should someone buy from you? Knowing your competitive edge will help here.  Reviewing your buying process from your customer’s perspective is a worthwhile task to ensure that your potential customers can find you and easily purchase from you – sounds daft but in today’s fast paced world customers don’t have much patience!

With these answers in mind, set your goals and decide on your budget and timeframe. Are you raising awareness, looking for new leads or looking for sales conversions on your website? Knowing what you want to achieve and where your customers are on their buying journey is key.

Lastly plan your attack! Choose your marketing channels wisely and think carefully.  Social media is a great low-cost media if used effectively but equally more traditional techniques might work just as well, depending on your audience.  Think openly and consider each medium until you find the marketing mix that is right for you.

Finally, remember to measure your results and evaluate – and be ready to do it all over again!  And if you need some help along the way, please do get in touch.

The Body Shop team support Safe in Sussex Amber House

Having worked on PR with Safe in Sussex since earlier this year, I was delighted to learn that The Body Shop, Littlehampton, have recently supported the project through a team of volunteers who offered to help decorate the building.

Amber House is the latest project from Safe in Sussex and will offer a new approach to supporting people experiencing domestic abuse at the earliest stage possible.  Instead of a refuge hidden in the community, Amber House will be visible and recognisable, and able to offer a full range of services all under one roof.  The aim of this assistance is to stop domestic abuse through working with the whole family.

Jimmy Beenie, from The Body Shop, organised a total of 60 staff volunteers from all departments to give their time to help paint both the house and the drop-in centre.   This not only speeded up the proposed opening time for Amber House, but also meant Safe in Sussex could then also use precious funds in other vital areas of the project.

The house has been converted into living accommodation for up to 5 women, with a shared lounge area, large kitchen and family bathrooms.  Amber House also benefits from a small, courtyard garden area leading to a drop-in centre with private meeting space for confidential discussions.

Jimmy said, “It was really great to be able to get involved in such a worthwhile cause, and all of our volunteers were keen to play their part in making the project a success for our local area.”

Through Amber House, women and their families will have a safe place to turn too, and with dedicated and trained staff on hand, they can seek the support they need to re-build their lives, within their community so they are not parted from family, friends, schools or other essential links. The house will be professionally protected working closely with the police just like the other refuges do, as safety will be the highest priority.

Safe in Sussex currently offers local support to people experiencing Domestic Abuse providing both vital out of area confidential refuge for those in immediate danger and early advice through their successful Freedom Programme.

For more information please contact www.safeinsussex.co.uk

A lovely testimonial …

It’s always great to gain a new client and to start a new project; learn about their industry and get the creative thoughts flowing, but it’s absolutely great when they are write a testimonial to say how pleased they are with the work that you’ve carried out.

Empire Printworks are a print and design company based in Lancing, and alongside their sister business Worthing Office Supplies, I have worked with them on their initial marketing campaign to ensure that they get their businesses off to a flying start.

We set up the various social media channels, explored mailchimp – and got a great response from their initial e/newsletter campaign – set about raising their profile through PR, worked on their website, advised on exhibition attendance and literature and generally ensured that everything was in place so that they could set about concentrating on what they were good at, whilst winning new business.

So, if you’re in the market for print, or office supplies, check them out – and tell them I sent you!!!

Paul Green, Director commented “We enjoy working with you very much, not only because you have an extensive knowledge of marketing and how to promote our business, but also because your happy and enthusiastic disposition inspires us – thank you for all your hard work. We would happily recommend you to any businesses that need their profiles raised as we know they will benefit enormously from your determination and expertise.”

Happy Days!

 

Join us for a Kahoot! (and some good networking too!)

Having worked with Freedom Works on their PR and Marketing since they opened last year, it has been great to see how this high tech co-working space has grown and is now home to a diverse range of businesses and co-workers.

Part of co-working is, of course, collaboration, and this is something that is high on the list of priorities for all. Events from simple Free Beer Fridays to the recent joint networking event with Wired Sussex are a great way for everyone to come together and build new working relationships, so with this in mind ….

On Wednesday 17th May Kahoot is coming to Freedom Works…

Kahoot is an interactive gaming system used widely throughout the world to educate and inspire.. it’s a multiple choice quiz style game, all run through a large screen with everyone playing on their own smartphone or tablet.  Take a look here https://getkahoot.com/how-it-works 

It’ll be a great opportunity to test your knowledge against your fellow networkers and see if you can become Kahoot King or Queen for the evening!

The fun will start from 5pm with drinks and nibbles and the chance to recruit a team or make a decision to go at it alone… all you’ll need from then is your smartphone or tablet and we’ll do the rest!  We’ll have several quiz rounds intermingled with relaxed networking and some great prizes at the end!

(You never know you might just win!!)

Bring your friends, family, clients and suppliers and share the event widely please – the bigger the better. The World record for the largest Kahoot currently stands at over 1,000 people playing at once but we’re just planning to fill the room!!!

Book online now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/come-to-our-kahoot-an-evening-of-networking-with-a-twist-tickets-32691067864?aff=erelexpmlt

Look forward to seeing you there!