Where do I start with a marketing strategy?

Lets start at the very beginning – a very good place to start!

One of the most basic things that I ask a prospect is if they have a marketing strategy and the majority say “no”.  This is either because they haven’t had time or usually don’t know where to start.  If you have not written a strategy before it can be a bit daunting but the most basic would be –

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How do we get you there?

The same as with any journey you need to know where you are going – but also where you are starting from, it is hard to measure success without this data.  Then a route can be planned.  It may be that you have a few options for routes that depend on budget, resources or other factors during the implementation stage.

To work out how you are going to get there you will need to think about the channels and resources that you have available.  This could be social media as the channel and a social media marketer as the resource.  Or your website as the channel and a content writer as the resource.   The real skill in any strategy is the breakdown of the campaign and the ideas being used.  Please note that this does not mean huge budgets and resources.

Let’s take a quick look at the recent Range Rover campaign as a classic example of what can be achieved with a can of spray paint and a clever idea.

It was the effect of the powerful statement that achieved the goal which might have looked something like this – ‘Get coverage across all media of our new Range rover model’.

The campaign saw the car appear across all National newspapers, National and international digital news channels as well as flooding the social media channels.  It was a truly viral campaign.

Another lesson to be take note of here is that the marketing company or marketer responsible did not need any in depth knowledge of the product or any technical knowledge – it was purely a very inspired idea by a team that played on the human characteristics of sharing, spreading the word and the implications of the message – shock that someone had sprayed this all over an expensive Range Rover.

So whatever your resources and budget make a start and record your goals, then a simple plan to execute and achieve them – voila you have a marketing strategy in place.  Time to implement.


If you would like any assistance with your marketing strategy then drop me a call or connect on social –  +44 (0)7443 902432 or Twitter @aldridgemiranda


Writing for clients

Content writing for our clients.

One of the hardest marketing tasks can be producing content for client’s websites, blogs and email campaigns.  Marketers are not generally experts on all industries but we can be called upon to write like experts for clients.

In the last week we have written press releases, blogs, web pages and email content for everything from employment law to vacuum cleaners. Our clients are very happy which is great news – but it got me to thinking, what makes a good writer who can easily adapt to any subject and produce content that can appear in a multitude of places? My article about ethical twitter

A blog is generally more conversational than an article which would aim to provide key information or put across a clear range of points.  A press release will need to be in a certain format to be accepted by many newspapers or magazines and would need to be newsworthy and well written.  A webpage is a key element for search engine optimisation and needs to drive the reader to perform an action e.g. sign up, email or call.

Then there is content like auto-replies and email. Making these engaging, pushing a subject line that will convert to a click and being memorable are all points that need to be achieved here. I often will save email campaigns sent to me that I have clicked on, then when I have time I will return to these to see what triggered the click. It can be quite insightful – if you do this for all content that your read then you will soon begin to build up a list of those trigger words and phrases, the play on curiosity or emotion.

There is so much more to content writing than just pouring a load of key facts out on the page.  For now I keep learning and improving for my clients benefit….

.if you would like to find out more then call 07443 902432

London bound….

Meetings in the big city…

Yesterday was one of my regular visits to London to meet prospects and clients.  This is always a great adventure as there is so much to see and take in – very different from the rolling valleys and peaceful serenity in Dorset.

The one thing I do enjoy is the train journey – it gives you a chance to read and catch up on work without other distractions.  My first meeting was in Regent Street, such a fantastic part of London, everything is very grand and the shopping amazing, focusing on the task at hand and equipped with a lot of research on the Association I was meeting I enter the building.  Piccadilly, Regents street, London

Such lovely people and a great meeting, it is always hard to pre-empt the type of questions you will be asked, I try to put myself in my clients shoes, what do they want to achieve? How do I think we could get them there?  What options are there? Are there any other ideas that might have not been considered?  What could be tried and experimented with?  Are there technologies that will help?  So many questions and a lengthy discussion follow, it seemed to go well.

Off to Chelsea next to see a high end furniture designer, a multitude of tubes to get to the right stop but then a stunning area to explore by Chelsea harbour – modern design butted against old refurbished brick workhouses that towered up in the sky by the banks of the river. Another great meeting and lots of scope for the company to grow, very exciting for them.

Next mission was to find the right tube back to Clapham – what an experience, it was like stepping back in time – the station had an antiquated system to let you know which train was approaching, it was basically a sign showing a list of destinations and an arrow just pointed to the one that the approaching train was going to, not quite the technology used at the bigger stations. Oh well, found the right one in the end….On the journey home I reflected on the people watching I had been doing and marvelled at how many different nationalities I had encountered – our country and market really is truly global now.  I then received a call back from my first meeting – they would like to work with us. Fantastic news.  A quick call to Karen my business partner to let her know (she was holding fort and minding children) then home for a celebratory glass of wine and a catch up with the family.  A perfect end to the day.

Trials of running a marketing company – Percentages….

Slight delay with the latest update to my blog – stinking cold and it has spread throughout the household – need a ‘beware, infected’ sign on the door.  However business as usual and we have a client launch of their clothing range this week so no time to feel sorry for ourselves.  We have been generating signups for the VIP launch and have a healthy double opt in list ready to receive priority access and discount to the site.

I seem to have a head whirling with percentages and conversions at the moment.  From the stacks of promotion online we have been able to see a very healthy 23.6% sign up rate.  Now to turn these into sales.  The email has been tweaked, tested and examined – the website tested, tweaked and tested again.  Right we are ready to launch. 

At midnight the email goes out and by 10 am this morning we already have an open rate of 35.4% and click through rate of 16.5% – not bad considering the retail industry average is 16% and 2% respectively.Email open rates

Feeling pretty proud of ourselves at this early stage of launch and for once the tech has not let us down.

Being involved in the local promotion of digital services in Dorset we decided to book to go along to a local Women in business conference on Friday.  It will be great to spend some time out of the office and I cannot wait…well I thought so until I receive an email – Hi Miranda, great to see you are attending the conference on Friday, I wondered if you would mind being interviewed as one of our local digital gurus for a short film?  Sounds like a great opportunity but why do these things always happen when you have a full blown cold?  Never when you have just had your hair and nails done, look great and feel great.  Oh well, never one to turn down an opportunity I obviously have snapped up the chance….

Just had another quick check and campaign open up to 39%… whoooo…..off to celebrate with the day nurse and Strepsils….

Really… you mean send by post??

Enquiries and snail mail.

One of the joys of working in marketing is the array of businesses you get to know all about, I feel I could hold some intelligent and knowledgeable conversations at dinner parties now on a range of subjects from Thermal imaging to Employment law.  New enquiries heighten my sense of curiosity and being able to delve into the inner workings of a company and see how they run things gives me great insight in how to make the most of my own business.

Constantly learning brings such freshness to your campaigns too, discovering a new tool is one of those exciting moments, I love to click on every option available and see just what can be achieved. Then when you realise it can only do half of what you would like it to do you have a sense of disappointment, do the founders not realise that their tool could be so much better?  Have you noticed that the ‘all in one’ tools are never able to the individual things as well as one tool designed specifically for the job?  So I guess this leads me on to….Send by post?

A quick rant….Running a paper free business and working from home I feel I do my bit with regards to reducing carbon emissions so why do people still insist on having paper copies of documents being sent to them by snail mail?  I have even resisted replacing the broken printer/copier/scanner in favour of photographing documents and sending by email if a paper copy has arrived in the post.  Echosign is fantastic for getting contracts and proposals electronically signed off.  Oh well, looks like I am off to the post box – at least I can multi task and walk the dog at the same time…


Trials of running a marketing company 2

19th September 2014

System Restore….

Okay so computer problems still persist….. No choice but to restore the laptop to a previous version.  Now I about it there does seem to be a correlation of the problems appearing after installing the latest Windows update, it did take forever which is usually a sign that something is afoot!

Set up to restore to before the update…. Oh no! Now we have thunder and lightning… phew the battery has enough charge to see it through the system restore.  That was a hairy moment, I could just see it crashing the whole system and that would be it, computer frazzled!

All done and seems to be working fine now, yes I can access Google Chrome, my Dropbox and everything.  All systems go….

Call from my business partner on Skype and guess what? Unable to answer on the laptop so we have a conversation with no screen share. Just pants.  What a week.

Good note – I have just sent our PR campaign report for a client in Ireland.  A week campaign that saw his press release published all over the industry press online as well as included in a National newsletter.  Some great engagement built on social as well as relationships started. Sounds like he is impressed and wants to use us for more work coming up.  Such a nice feeling to achieve a client’s goal.

Next on the ‘to do list’ (Karen you are a star and keep me so organised) is a client marketing strategy for the next 3 months.   Immediately we notice a huge problem with their sales funnel – it has a great big stopper half way down that is not going to help with selling anything no matter how good the marketing plan is.  Also they have no analytics installed anywhere, not sure how they were able to tell where people are coming from and what is working.

Never mind – Invincipeople to the rescue.

Trials of running a marketing company

Find a way out of technical issues...

17th September 2014 – Trials of Tech.

Having got going early, due to the long to do list and a couple of deadlines to meet, the day started pretty well.  Starting pulling the reports together for a client that we had done a week of PR for and they were looking good.  7 online magazines and website had published, one organisation had sent out the details in their newsletter and we had a great endorsement online from a National organisation.  Client’s goals ticked off and they are happy.

Calls to accountant, then adding the business card to pay for the website hosting – oh no, ‘unable to validate the card’ – what!  Call bank, “no problem with the card Mrs Aldridge”, back to the hosting company, dig and delve for the support email which always seems to be hidden in some far flung place that you need a degree in IT to find!!!  Support request sent.

Next it was time to login to give an update to a Men’s fashion brand that is having a launch in a couple of weeks with their new line of street wear, only problem is it will not allow me to login, frustrating.

Okay so I move on after requesting resetting of usernames… let’s put together the email ideas for another client who works in the Property arena, some brilliant and exciting copy (she says blowing her own trumpet!) put together ready to send to a test list and see what works and what does not, drop it over to client – but no! computer says no!,  Chrome will not let me send an email with attachments, so try Gmail, no luck their either….. Firefox – nope!  Cleared all the cache on everything and try again…. Yippee.

Back to chrome to now reset the password from the support query earlier – Chrome will not open…. Well here we go again.  Shut down computer, reload computer, still not working, uninstall the programs I added yesterday that were supposed to save me time…. Still not working… run the control panel trouble-shooter…. 20 mins later the long green line has not moved past 15% – cancel that and try to open Chrome.. works fine……

Some days it seems that everything is working against you.  Total of about 3 hours trying to fix the laptop and problems with various programs and tasks I needed to do.

These were just the low points of the day, I was certainly cheered up by the new client phone calls, one looks like a very interesting longer term affiliation with a grant funded organisation that has a need for our customer relationship consultancy.

Go team Invincipeople….