Around the back of North Weald Airfield, within earshot of the drone of classic planes and high-performance cars speeding along the runways, is an un-prepossessing eighties warehouse which is home to Best Mailing Services UK (BMS) and HDCC member, Lyn Reed. Lyn has been managing director of BMS for “more years than I care to remember.” But it wasn’t always thus….
Her working career began at Rank Hovis McDougall, once owned by the famous J. Arthur Rank, who at one time employed over 3,000 people, many of them in Harlow. “I began as a punch card operator. I am not sure how many people today even know what that was.” She quickly progressed to NCR, tape encoder, operator and supervisor. The role was repetitive and she became disillusioned. “I needed something different,” she said, ‘something to get my teeth into!”
At this point, Lyn’s new husband had left the army and had a role within the security services, and she was approached by MI5. After an extensive interview and vetting procedure she was given a position at the Joint Computer Bureau and tasked to set up a Secure Remote Location in London, to take the manual registry records and computerise them. At the time all the records used to identify the potential connections of individuals to groups identified as a risk to National Security were kept on card. She sourced, interviewed and managed a team of twenty-five 18 and 19 year old girls who were employed to facilitate the three-year job. “It was a fantastic time,” Lyn laughs, “unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it, or I’d have to shoot you..”
After 5 years with the security services she moved on, having been ‘headhunted’ for a role with the famous Bowker Publishing House in Epping – employed as their chief computer manager and programmer. However after 6 years, the company was asset-stripped by its American owners, Rank Xerox, and was forced to close. Lyn’s business brain went into overdrive and she approached Xerox and convinced them that they should support her new venture, Best Mailing Services. That was in 1985.
BMS are specialists in mailing services, print management, order fulfilment and data processes for all businesses. They were one of the first mailing and fulfilment houses to be accepted into the Royal Mail Strategic Partnership Scheme and have grown to become a respected provider of Direct Marketing Services throughout the UK and Internationally. Some of their clients include Kier, BAFTA and Kuoni. In March of this year she launched a Marketing and Fulfilment Hub with a local marketing agency, “One of the great lessons I have learnt in business,” she said, “is to try to be innovative, to move forward and try new avenues.”
A very big part of Lyn’s life is her charity work. She has been a Samaritan since 2009, a ‘Befriender’ at Mind, mentoring and leads a homeless centre for Crisis at Christmas. ‘ homelessness is not inevitable, we work together to end it ‘. The main image shows Lyn in the Himalayas on a charity trip with other Samaritans in 2012.
If you would like to contact Lyn at Best Mailing services you can give her a call on 01992 524343 or visit her website www.bestmailing.co.uk.
Samaritans Harlow :
Phone: 01279 421 308
Contact: Alison Wilson
Crisis at Christmas:
Tel: 0300 636 1967
…and madness drives us on!
Nearly 2 years since we first set up and we’re going from strength to strength. Year on year we continue to grow followers, Likes, client base, knowledge and turnover.
Thank you for your support to date and please continue to like, share and talk about us and the work we do. No marketing is more powerful than word of mouth and personal recommendations!
Every day we face a new challenge and sometimes a new battle to juggle or beat but we genuinely love what we do and we do it because we love it.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Support for organisations of all sizes.
We like to think we can help with most business objectives, just a few of the areas of marketing support we specialise in include the following:
Content marketing strategy
Small agency consultancy support
Market research – surveys, questionnaires, focus groups Subscriptions and distribution
Loyalty marketing/membership marketing
E-commerce setup and management
Readability/tone of voice
Contract Publishing – B2B and consumer
Print and publication management – full service offering (inserts, magazines, brochures, catalogues)
New business development/strategy
Commercial consultancy – advertising sales support/setup/management Subscriptions management
Distribution management/targeted placement
Search engine optimisation
Social media strategy
This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the type of work we do. For costs and more information on marketing support in-house or offsite please contact email@example.com or call Steve on 07723 024865
Professional Marketing Support.
You may be spending loads on marketing your business already or you may be considering advertising and are not sure of where to invest. Magnificent Stuff are running a limited promotion giving local businesses access to jargon-free, professional marketing support with London agency expertise – helping you to attract more customers for minimum costs.
You know that you need to market your business, knowing how to is a different matter entirely. Let Magnificent Stuff take that burden off your shoulders so you can get on with what you do best.
As a business owner you should be able to focus on what you’re good at – using your skills and acumen to work in, develop and refine your business product or service. At Magnificent Stuff we pride ourselves on being good at what we do too – we let your prospective customers know that you’re there, leaving you to focus on your day job.
That said we also realize that proving a Return On Investment, (that your marketing is actually working) can be difficult, especially with regards to marketing, and that’s where our Promotional Offer comes in.
We will sit down with you, formally or informally and discuss the objectives of your company – where you are, where you’d like to be (in three months, six months or five years), your visibility and your target market – and will put together a digital and hard copy of a mini marketing plan that will produce results for you. This strategy will be tailored specifically to your company and designed to maximize exposure – and hence sales in your chosen marketplace and will cost only £60.
If you like us, and want some ongoing assistance from us we will give 50% of the offer fee back to you. If you want to manage the plan yourself, that’s ok too, because we’d have worked on it together you will be able to confidently look after the marketing for your business knowing you’re reaching the right people in the right places.
So whether its social media, advertising, directory listings, market research, emails, blogs or brochures Magnificent Stuff are on hand to work one-to-one with you whether you’re a plumber, a solicitor, a dog groomer or an accountant.
For more details please contact Steve or Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 0772302485 or you can tweet us @magnificentstuf.
Magnificent Stuff are affiliate members of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and have nearly 50 years industry experience.
For a long time now I have been attending networking events and seminars and meeting numerous small, medium and large business owners in formal and informal settings. When asked, as one always is, ‘What does your company do, exactly?’ I had a stock phrase: “I represent a company called ‘Magnificent Stuff’ and we’re content marketeers.”
Good, eh? Sounds professional and has the added bonus of actually being the truth, which helps.
Trouble is that no-one had the faintest idea what I was talking about. To anyone outside of our industry it’s meaningless jargon. Eyes glaze over.
So now I have a new line “I represent a company called ‘Magnificent Stuff’ and we get you more exposure, more contacts, more leads, more sales and – bottom line – more money’. Full stop. Period.
The business owners I meet have skills that people want, they have training, they have ideas and they have great products that they’ve developed and believe in. That said, and let’s be frank – you could have the best product in England, a World-changing product, but if no-one knows it’s there why bother at all?
These business owners are good at their jobs, they’ve all has success to a lesser or greater extent and they should be working hard in their business to make it progress. We’re good at what we do too and that is using marketing to tell the whole damn World if necessary that these businesses and products exist.
Visit us here – Magnificent Stuff
Recent research shows us that an advertorial is 500 times more likely to be read than a normal advertisement. It is 50 times more likely to result in a consumer lead or sale. Pretty incredible stats, I think you’ll agree.
Creating A Great Advertorial
As a form of native advertising the danger in creating a great advertorial is making sure that the reader feels conned at the end of the content. If he/she has read through 500 words about the joys of a particular type of red wine say, only to be hit with ‘Buy it here! We’re really cheap!’ as the concluding line – the risk is clearly that the reader will feel conned or tricked and become annoyed rather than engaged. Like so much of native advertising the sales pitch must be very soft.
Talented writers, of course, will regularly pen articles or opinion pieces which appear not to be selling anything. Humorous or engaging editorial which engages and entertains without even mentioning a product or Brand. In this instance the writer may be simply promoting himself or the company he works for. Somewhere in that article will be his contact details or that of his firm. The sales pitch is extremely subtle. However we are not all Stephen Fry or Russell Brand and a more direct approach has to suffice.
A word to the wise though:- If you do not feel confident in writing a decent advertorial a safer option is outsource it to a competent writer or marketing firm who specialise in this form of content. A poorly written piece can cause serious damage. It you do chose to do it yourself below are a couple of links containing some excellent advice. Perhaps you should contact Magnificent Stuff (soft and subtle enough?). Good luck!
As we’ve discussed before there are 5 main reasons that most businesses use social networking and blogging. It’s useful to have a think about how many of these reasons apply to your company’s posts…
- To Promote
To give your business a voice, a personality and an opportunity to shout about its benefits.
- To Inspire
Inspiration gives us a push to keep going, try harder or aim higher. Inspiring messages are shared to create a ‘feel good’ feeling amongst followers
- To Entertain
If you look at our piece on The Power of a Smile you’ll see how important and cathartic smiling and laughter are for wellbeing.
- To inform
Whether it’s the latest in news, the current trend on or a nearby event social media has become an integral medium for information.
- To connect
When I joined Facebook nearly ten years ago the immediate draw for me was that it kept me in touch with friends I no longer saw in person, due to our various relocations around the globe. It instantly added a layer of valued connectivity to my day to day activities. Now I use social media and my content to connect @Magnificentstuf with other similar organisations and to help establish our brand.
Given that you and many other businesses will have ticked only number one, you might now begin to appreciate why social media can seem a very noisy, overcrowded place, and also perhaps why many tweets, posts and updates are ignored. The savvy social media user amongst us knows that appealing to points two to five on the list is the way to get noticed…so –
1) When promoting your business don’t rerun the same post advertising your service or product. Think about smarter ways to promote, use case studies, promotional offers, testimonials.
2) Look to inspire if that is your strength; people love to absorb the wisdom of Jack Canfield first thing in the morning as they start their day, and I’m sure they’ll love your wisdom or shared insights too.
3) If humour comes naturally don’t be afraid to inject comedy into your posts (just think about how your brand may be perceived – non-offensive and clean may leave a better impression!)
4) Share information that people can put to good use. One of our most successful posts to date is ‘9 natural ways to keep spiders out of your home’ – this post has nothing to do with Magnificent Stuff… It’s not in any way marketing related but it’s interesting and informative and topical. People liked and shared leading to a positive impact on Magnificent Stuff’s reputation.
5) Support and assist your community in the same way that you would your own circle of friends. Going the extra mile for others counts for an awful lot. Follow, like and share others posts. So long as it’s not a direct competitor it’s nice, good practice and reflects well on your brand to engage publicly with others.
I usually spend an hour or so on a Sunday planning content for the week ahead. I set myself a goal of writing a split percentage across each of the 5 types of content listed above and set about researching and brainstorming posts.
Some tips for content creation:
- Google national or global calendar dates so you can use these as posts.
- Design cool graphics to accompany your posts using canva.com.
- Keep or pin inspirational quotes and posts you’ve seen during the week so you can retweet or share them.
- Integrate your social media so they work succinctly (writing a post in Hootsuite that will post across all of your channels together) but me mindful that audiences will differ so sometimes the message will need to be changed, also the display of posts changes from channel to channel.
- Ask your followers what they would like to see more of.
- Review your insights to see which type of posts have been successful and generate decent levels of engagement.
For more tips, advice and content ideas contact email@example.com
“What is it you do, exactly?” Over the last week we’ve been asked this question a number of times so it is clearly necessary to write a post explaining. I think the smartest and most concise summary would be in ‘elevator pitch’ style. So here we go…
MAGNIFICENT STUFF is a marketing consultancy with a focus on customer retention, loyalty and acquisition.
In a nutshell, we help you acquire and keep customers. We cover all aspects of marketing from research and planning through to evaluation and strategy. Anything an in-house marketing team takes care of we can manage. Basically, we’re offering small businesses and enterprises a marketing department on a consultancy basis. We work with clients who want to grow their customer base, promote their product/service and drive sales. We are NOT social media strategists, nor web designers, design agency or advertising agency. We do help clients with their social media, websites and advertising and we also work collaboratively with these specialists if it is necessary to meet a client’s brief. Our experience lies in branded content, editorial and account/project management. We have worked with some of the Worlds biggest brands. To give you an idea of the scope of work we do,
- We are currently working on developing a publishing programme to generate sales in the South-west,
- Supporting a creative supplier to the arts industry with marketing expertise,
- Writing editorial style copy for a publication to promote a number of very different businesses,
- Managing the social media accounts of two sole traders,
- Writing/selling a sponsorship package for a large charity event.
So, in layman’s terms, we are developing the strategy and setup of a profitable magazine, working as marketing department and project management consultancy to an art installation supplier, writing specialised ad copy to generate revenue, running the social media marketing for clients and putting together a sponsorship package to sell. Hopefully this explains things a bit, but if you’re still unsure please fire any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be delighted to help. If you’d like to tap into some of our skills then please don’t hesitate to contact us too. We start with a free, no obligation, meeting, where we’ll learn about your business and understand your needs to identify what (and if) we can help with.
Your Social Media audience won’t be fooled for long.
Being lured into following a brand to win a prize or enter a draw is fine but when users do a mass cull/sort out, or become irritated by the wrong message appearing in their feed, unless a brand has worked extremely hard to engage and have some relationship with that consumer that brand will be unliked/unfollowed quicker than you can say ‘tweet’. It’s imperative to think about and plan your social media content in order to build a positive relationship and good loyalty from your audience.
More can be found about social media relationship building here
There are a few simple, yet smart ways you can
Use Facebook to Promote a Public Event
without posting the same irritating messages to the same circle of friends. These tips will not only create genuine interest and standout for your event but will also engage your audience.
- The first recommendation would be to always have a holding page for your event, so a website or similar that will host all of the relevant information about your event. You can encourage users to sign up by promising additional insight or a freebie on arrival.
- Social share buttons to your registration page on the event. Word of mouth marketing is the most effective marketing and if people see other people are linking, following and sharing your event, the more visitors will perceive your content as being popular and will also want to share.
TOP TIP: The best place to position your social share buttons is at the top right “above the fold” (visible without scrolling).
- Use your Facebook page wisely! Even the banner/image on your page is valuable to you. At 180px by 540px there is an opportunity to use all of that space to talk about what it is you’re promoting. As does the event icon itself. A call to action – Free drink on arrival or free olives or complimentary bread and oil – these are all more appealing than the repetitive wallpaper that is: BUY TICKETS.
- Give your readers/followers/friends/likers MORE than just constantly harassing for a sale. If you’re a restaurant or a pub offer a recipe? Post pictures of the mouth-watering food – Instagram is a great app to do this through. If you’re hosting a festival, audio clips of featured artists can be really popular, if it’s a charity event post some case study stories of the good work the charity does.
- If you supply decent content, you’ll engage your audience. They’ll feel loyal towards you. They will feel as though they’re getting something back from you and won’t doubt investing in your event. Now is a good time to try and start some dialogue with your audience, start with a question – something like “Have you got your ticket yet to our next event?” or “Hands up who’s attending this event?!” You could use both your sharing link and your webpage link/registration link
- Facebook events – the fundamentals…
- Facebook Events is one of the most misused features of the social network. There are 2 ways to create an event:
In a personal profile – here you have the ability to message all invitees directly into their inbox
Via a fan page – best to use for business related events. Any changes or amends will simply go out as an update rather than a message as it would on a personal event
Do note that users have 2 inboxes and so be mindful that some messages may disappear into their ‘other’ inbox.
TOP TIP: If you’d rather not receive Event invitations/emails from certain friends but you don’t want to unfriend him/her, help is at hand! There’s a little-known feature on Facebook that allows you to block Event invitations from specific friends. Just go to Account > Privacy > Block Lists > scroll to Block event invites and type in the friend’s name. Voila. Your friend will be none the wiser.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your attendees to share. Ask your engaged fans to please invite their friends or at least put the event on their profile giving you additional visibility.
- Be clear that there is a link that Facebook users need to click to register. Some people might think that by clicking the “I’m Attending” button they have signed up for your event. Write periodic updates and messages on the Event wall to encourage everyone to go get their ticket if they haven’t already.
- Finally, how about encouraging your audience to curate your next event. Ask them what food they love, which film they want to see or which band they like best. By having this additional involvement in the event they’ll feel more excited and part of the event itself, becoming evangelists for you!
I hope these few fundamental tips have helped. Facebook can be a really valuable asset in event planning, used poorly it can also be really irritating and off-putting to fans. There are loads of useful hints and tips all over the internet on the smart use of Facebook, its well worth having a trawl around to learn more.
Otherwise we can always help you plan your social media effectively – email@example.com