Questions to help steer your marketing through coronavirus

When will all this end? When can we get back to business? How is this going to affect us in the long run?

The coronavirus outbreak has thrown up many questions we just can’t answer. But there are some questions you can address in relation to your marketing strategy to prepare your business for whatever lies in store.

Continue reading Questions to help steer your marketing through coronavirus

Cardiff business networking events March-April 2020

* Please be aware that, since publishing, the majority of these events have been cancelled, rescheduled or moved online in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Here it is: Glew’s round-up of business networking events taking place in Cardiff over March and April.

Cardiff networking events to step in to this year

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get networking, January and February have a line-up of business events that will provide ample opportunity. Please see below for a round-up, including an online one – no need to even step out of your door!

24 Tips to improve your Marketing Strategy

Over Advent, I’ve been sharing a marketing tip a day to help businesses who want to be more strategic in their marketing. But these tips aren’t just applicable at Christmas – you can them to improve your approach to marketing all year round.

  1. Know your customers’ value, both short and long-term. This article shows you how to work it out.
  2. Focus on creating a stand-out product which fulfils a genuine need. See Ilchester Cheese’s Advent calendar below for an example – it even had cheese jokes:Cheese calendar
  3. Test your ads before airing them…Peloton’s disastrous advert says it all.
  4. Be sure you’ve considered every aspect of your product… #ToyStorypants #woodyMarketing pants
  5. Triggering nostalgia can be a powerful part of your brand strategy – the extended cut of Sky’s ET returns ad did this brilliantly.
  6. Don’t think you need a bluechip budget to implement an effective strategy. Every Christmas, Welsh store Hafod Hardware’s advert blows me away with its creative genious. Check out this year’s masterpiece.
  7. Keep up to speed with what’s happening so you can make the most of opportunties. Aviation Gin’s response to the Peloton ad referenced above was responsive marketing at its finest.
  8. Make sure your marketing is relevant and timely.
  9. Maximise your impact with video. Here’s a guide to free editing software that might help.
  10. Don’t invest in a marketing tactic without proving its ROIthis case study illustrates the importance of testing it on a small scale first.  
  11. But don’t lose sight of long-term goals in the pursuit of short-term ROI
  12. Keep it local. This colouring book from The Works stood out because it’s one my children can relate to and get more excited about:santacardiff
  13. Authentic marketing is strategic marketing in its constructive sense. Be honest and don’t make claims that others can contest 
  14. Consider strategy before tactics. Do your marketing discussions currently go like this? 
  15. Think sustainably to sustain your business
  16. Give people what they want (positivity & diversity and not another headache in this case) Reindeer in here is a tradition being welcomed by many parents opposed to marketing phenonmenon Elf on the Shelf.
  17. When developing your product, you have to consider the emotional benefits it will provide as well as the functional ones.
  18. Remember to consider both your target buyers and end users – they will often have very different needs & objections!
  19. Look forwards as well as backwards. It’s just as important to be aware of what’s around the corner as it is to know what has and hasn’t worked to date. 
  20. Know your story and tell it; Tiny Rebel Newport are a great example of how to do this well.
  21. Be transparent: Disney’s Frozen 2 influencer blunder is a good reminder of the importance of this.
  22. Negative perceptions are hard to change no matter how much you innovate:consider your brand’s message carefully from the outset: BBC News – Is Barbie’s makeover working?
  23. Measure, measure, measure. If you don’t know how you’re doing, you won’t know what to keep doing or do differently. There are some great tips on building an analytics-driven culture here.
  24. Don’t forget to look after the people who make your brand and execute your strategy. There are some good reasons why internal comms matter here. 

Look for networking not work this October

In the short-term quest to get more work, networking can often be neglected. But looking for opportunities to build your network rather than win contracts can pay off in the long-run.

It’​s much easier to offer up your services to someone you’ve already met. Since you know something about them, you can tailor your message so it’s just right for them. To give you a helping hand, here’s a list of the business networking events taking place in Cardiff this October.

Cardiff business networking events worth checking out

As the evenings start getting darker, it can be difficult to feel motivated to network. But sometimes it’s worth the late evenings and early mornings. To give you a kickstart, here’s a list of the most affordable business networking events taking place this September in Cardiff.

Why authentic marketing is so powerful for business

Whether you love or hate the term, authentic marketing is undeniably good for business. But authenticity as a concept is often misunderstood and its power can be underestimated.

If you can answer yes to the following three questions, it’s probably safe to say you’re of an authentic marketing mindset.

  • Does your organisation believe in being open and transparent?
  • Would you describe your organisation’s practices as ethical and honest?
  • Do you believe you have something genuine to offer your clients or end users?

But what does marketing authentically really mean, and why is it so vital for business success?

Continue reading Why authentic marketing is so powerful for business

Affordable business networking events in Cardiff – June and July

Cardiff might be hotting up for summer, but it’s not quite time to cool it on the networking front. Make the most of these last few opportunities to grow your business network this June and July.

Business networking events in Cardiff this May

From a Spring business conference to a directors’ awards dinner, networking breakfast events to after hours mingling, May has something for everyone looking to grow their professional network in Cardiff. Here’s a round-up of the main events.

Marketing Mental Health: influencers & agencies

On 4th April, CIM Wales hosted another fascinating Marketing Bitesize to talk all things influencers, client – agency relationships and social media.

In sport, a red card usually signals bad behaviour, but in 2017 Legal & General used it as a metaphor in their award-winning ‘Not a Red Card’ campaign.

Speaking at the Eagle Lab in Cardiff, Michael Took, a Social Media Consultant for Legal & General and Bryn Foweather, Head of Social Media at Punch Communications, provided a first-hand insight into how they drew on the values and appeal of sport to raise awareness around the accessibility and acceptability of discussing mental health in the workplace.

Bryn explained how working with high-profile sports personalities helped them to destigmatise mental health issues and increase the campaign’s reach:

“Celebrities can help as they already have audiences defined and people look up to them. We wanted people to think ‘if it could happen to them, it could happen to me too’.”

In relation to getting buy-in and managing influencer relationships, their top tips were:

  1. Focus on authenticity – their most popular video was Ricky Hatton in his gym.
  2. Provide as much detail as possible on the content the influencer is going to create –some are good at creating content, others are less a creator more an ambassador.
  3. Include length and format, and how the influencer is expected to promote it. Always seek more usage and rights to content, for example Twitter recommend up to 15-20 tweets… a day!
  4. Be sure to establish guidelines regarding use and exclusivity.
  5. Bring the influencer to face-to-face meetings to reach a more impactful output and ensure brand and influencer alignment – things can get lost in translation.

Everybody should get something out of an influencer marketing program: the audience, the influencer and the brand.

They then took delegates through an honest analysis of some of the campaign’s videos, sharing the lessons they took to improve them.

Video 1: featured Nigel Owens, but the video content was too long and he was introduced too late, which meant that users dropped off.

Video 2: featured gold medal winning hockey players Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh tackling gossiping co-workers.  As with the first video, the two hero characters were introduced too late on, although the use of two influencers did help to increase the social reach.

Video 3: featured Gabby Logan and Robbie Savage who were introduced earlier on this time. The sporting and workplace link was better executed and the use of two influencers helped to increase social reach.

Video 4: featured former rugby union world champion Will Greenwood. There was an intensity to the narrative on this video and it introduced more actionable elements that kept the viewer locked in.

Video 5: featured double Olympic Gold Medallist Lizzy Arnold OBE and was another strong narrative with actionable takeaways in a good timeframe (under a minute) The fun element helped to entertain as well as inform the audience.

Mike and Bryn then provided a checklist for producing successful video content:

  1. Is there a strong creative hook present?
  2. Is the core message clear without sound? And attention grabbing with sound on?
  3. Is the asset framed for mobile as a square or vertical ratio?
  4. Do the creatives contain branding in the first 3 seconds?
  5. Do the creatives contain the key message of the campaign in the first 3 seconds?
  6. Are there at least 3 creative variations to test?
  7. Consider how the end user is going to consume the content is it on-the-go, leaning back or leaning forward and edit the video content accordingly
  8. Measure the drop off points and use these to create new video content

Speaking on the creative side of things, Mike admitted you can have too many people involved in the process: “Everyone has their own preferences, but it doesn’t mean they’re best placed to choose. You have to go back to the viewer and consider how they will consume it; everything else is secondary.”

As well as the social video campaign, Legal & General ran an event engaging over 150 business leaders and using live social media to bring the event to life and reach more people. Mike and Bryn gave their top tips on how to make the most of social at a live event:

  1. Try and take the event to the outside audience – show them what they are missing. If people can’t be there, what would they like to see/ hear about?
  2. Use social screens that encourage engagement with the hashtag at the event
  3. Have something visual for a ‘social moment’ such as backdrop so people can upload images of themselves at the event
  4. Mention the event and your hashtag in all descriptions, press releases and comms
  5. Involve speakers in content creation – short form, a quote and tweet, or long form a wrap-up video, or long-form article
  6. Share pictures at the event with quote overlays
  7. Don’t take the Wi-fi for granted! It costs £200-300 to get a Wifi boost if you want to maximise live social value

In terms of what lies in store for Phase 3 of the Not a Red Card campaign, Mike said the biggest focus will be on how to include and bring people with mental health issues back into the workplace. He emphasised the importance of ROI, explaining how the fact the campaign reached over 7 million people and resulted in 250 pieces of national press coverage helped to justify repeat investment.

Finally, asked about the secret to a good agency-client relationship, Bryn said: “If something’s not working you’ve got to call it out. If it’s your fault, admit it. Be transparent. Deliver when you say you’re going to deliver. Be yourself and keep a sense of humour.’

Right on cue, Mike added: ‘Be open to change – agencies should always give you 3 options. If they don’t, find a new agency.’

The full slide deck is available here.