Tough Times call for Tough Measures?
It’s not unusual to believe that everyone cuts marketing budget when times are tough. When things get hard (yes, we’re looking at you 2020), marketing budget is often first to get the chop. But is this really a sensible business strategy? If anything, continuing to market your brand (or even increasing your marketing budget) in times of adversity is a prime opportunity to connect with customers and overtake your competitors.
The parable of the cornflake
It’s easy to panic and step on the breaks when you’re not playing the long game. Take the humble cornflake. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Kelloggs wasn’t the market leader in cereals by any stretch. But the bold marketing strategy they went with is what made them the global brand they are today.
Instead of cutting their advertising and their marketing budget when times got tough, like their competitors had, Kelloggs amped it up – even advertising at a loss to begin with. By going against the grain (pun intended) and taking a long-term marketing approach, they blew their competitors out of the water.
So, the next time you’re tucking into your cereal, just remember, there’s a lot of truth in the old adage:
“When times are good, you should advertise.
When times are bad, you must advertise.”
So my final message is this. Don’t wait for things to pick up, because it’s unlikely they will, keep your message at the forefront of your target audience’s mind.
Magnificent Stuff’s savvy specialists are here to help you market your business (breakfast cereals included) through good times and bad. Not everyone cuts their marketing budget when times are tough. Our team are on hand to understand your latest hurdle and support you with a smart plan to race over it!
Thinking outside of the box
In this digital age, it’s never been easier to reach your customers. Ditto for your competitors. In the endless barrage of marketing directed at consumers, standing out from the crowd is vital, BUT, it’s also easier said than done. So, how do you transcend the norm and make your mark? Thinking outside of the box.
Engage your creative brain
The most successful businesses are the most creative thinkers. Take inspiration from people and businesses that inspire you, be open to different perspectives. Break habits. Question everything. Challenge the obvious, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Show some personality
You don’t have to go full ‘Wendy’s Twitter account’ (unless you’ve got the comedy chops for it, of course) but a generous dollop of personality can truly differentiate your brand from the rest. Have a think about who your audience is and what they want. Don’t try to match that perfectly but bring your brand to life for them.
Keep it fresh
Found something that works? That’s great – for now. Trends and tech are in constant flux. Keep your finger on the pulse and be prepared to change, or that groove you’re in could quickly turn into a rut. Keeping up to date with what’s going on in your industry can be easily done with access to trade body content, by reading relevant news and by following pertinent social channels.
Thinking outside the box is what we do (we’ve actually flattened it and put it out for recycling). If you would like some help with your strategic thinking, to help you stand out and be remembered then we’re your team.
For expert help with crafting a creative marketing strategy, call our Magnificent team on 07834 760627 or fill in our Contact Us form or you can email us on email@example.com
I’m Emma Knewstub, founder of Magnificent Stuff and I have over 30 years industry experience. I am a highly qualified marketer, I can help you promote your business both on and offline. I help make people famous in their sector.
This year has been a very exciting one for Harlow and we are extremely proud to be part of and support the new Discover Harlow movement. We made the easy decision to become Ambassadors for the Discover Harlow scheme because we are passionate about making Harlow a better place to both live and do business. The more Ambassadors on board, the quicker it will be to spread the word about the exciting things happening in Harlow; therefore, it was a no brainer for us!
The Harlow Ambassadors Programme brings together businesses like ours, organisations and individuals to help raise the profile of Harlow whilst supporting investments and attracting visitors to the town. We all have the same vision and goals; so why not work on achieving those goals together? Many hands make light work as they say…
We are now part of the programme as Ambassadors bringing our ideas to the table, but there is so much more to it than that. We are part of a charismatic network of well-connected patrons who both understand and champion Harlow’s story as a thriving area of opportunity. We have already been involved in several events held by the Discover Harlow board and have many more booked in the diary! Exciting times!
We actively contribute to promoting Harlow through our production of Stories Magazine which is now in its seventh issue! Unlike any other magazine in the area, Stories is completely content focussed. We are able to give extraordinary individuals, amazing charities and remarkable businesses a platform upon which they can tell their story. The Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce have been a great support. We were able to incorporate the Discover Harlow visual language into our latest issue, Changes, which can be read online here.
If you are thinking of becoming a Discover Harlow Ambassador and allowing your voice to be heard by the most influential individuals in Harlow, then head to www.discoverharlow.co.uk and get in touch with their team!
We’ve collated some excellent top tips from members, associates and contacts to whet your appetite for learning more.
STEVE CHEW – Magnificent Stuff
- The brain is designed to learn. If you don’t learn it will atrophy.
- Technology changes ridiculously quickly – constant training is imperative.
- I know it’s unfashionable but… READ things!
GARY BENSKIN – TaxLocal
- Training – you can never be ‘too smart’; there is always something to be learned from someone, no matter how lowly you consider their current position to be.
- Development – one thing we can always be sure of is change. Try to be positive about change. A flexible mindset will help you cope.
- Growth – This ought to be contained within your business plan. Who are your ideal clients? How do you approach them? Who are your competitors?
IAN HUDSON – HDCC
- For start-ups, when writing a business plan double the costs and half the income forecasts.
- Pay invoices within 30 days and you will be more likely to be paid quicker.
PAUL BARTLET – Price Bailey
- Look for changes in the sector you are in. Are there opportunities for new service lines? Keep things fresh!
- Listen – there is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth and the key is using them in proportion. The difficult part is mastering the skill. Listen to learn rather than listening to respond.
- Learn – explore opportunities to broaden your skills.
TREVOR STANESBY – Blue Pig Creative
- Keep to your word.
- Do not over promise on what you can do.
- Listen to your client.
ED PEARSON – Entrepreneurs Network
- Make sure you’re embracing the right problems.
- There is always stuff popping up in business that can potentially derail you but solving the right issues that get you moving towards your goals and ensuring growth.
LYN REED – Best Mailing Services
- Build a strong relationship with your client.
- Stay connected.
- Pick up the phone! It is not all about email.
- Go that extra mile & be proactive.
- Offer help & knowledge for free; it doesn’t have to be about something you can charge for.
- Be happy, stay positive and show interest.
If you would like any help with any of the topics discussed please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Magnificent Stuff delighted to announce that they have been selected as Business Awards Finalists! in the HDCC Business Awards – Innovation category for Stories Magazine.
Really excited to share our most recent news – we’ve been shortlisted for the Business Innovation award in the Harlow Business Awards, and we’re proud “Business Awards Finalists!”.
Looking forward to attending the dinner and award ceremony in early October.
More info can be found here: business-awards
Fellow Finalists of the awards include:
Website / Social Media – Oakmont Construction
The English Cream Tea Company
Sir Charles Kao UTC
Innovation – Longmores Solicitors
What Can I Get You
Young Person – Harlow College
New Business – Price Bailey
What Can I Get You
Medium/Large Business – Sir Charles Kao UTC
Attwater, Jameson Hill
The SES Group
Customer Care & Service – Bidfood
Employer of the Year – Stansted Airport
Attwater, Jameson Hill
The SES Group
We presented the magazine to a panel of 11 judges in September and now await the results which will be announced during the awards dinner on October 5th at The Manor of Groves hotel in Herts.
“Completely out of my comfort zone presenting the magazine to so many people in such a quick session I’m not feeling massively optimistic about a win, especially up against such strong competition. We’re delighted to have been selected as a finalist and to have our innovative business model for the title recognised by the team on the Business Awards.” Emma Knewstub, Magnificent Stuff
Magnificent Stuff and Best Mailing Services are thrilled to announce the launch of their creative services, marketing & fulfilment hub.
In response to growing demand, the strategic partnership will deliver a one-stop marketing & fulfilment solution for clients. Meaning both consistency and efficiencies can be passed onto clients.
“As client confidence in decent agency offering continues to be challenged, creating an exceptionally high standard of service with a trusted one-stop solution is more important than ever. Our knowledge and understanding of the industry fused with the years of experience we have between us allows us to work on some very exciting projects together. The multi-function offering means we can develop innovative solutions from initial research stage right through to fulfillment and the measurement of effectiveness. It’s a really exciting time”.
Continuing to operate under the Merlin Way address, on the perimeter of North Weald airfield in Essex, BMS have been joined on-site by creative content marketing and digital specialists, Magnificent Stuff.
The development of the marketing & fulfilment hub is in response to a clear and very obvious requirement to deliver clients of all sizes a fully integrated solution.
“You tend to find that so many local agencies are really just designers pitching themselves as a marketing agency. Where we differentiate, and offer value is by fusing design, content marketing, reputation management and now fulfillment together seamlessly to provide clients with a multi-discipline offering under one roof.”
Given that BMS, who have been established for 32 years and have worked with clients including, BAFTA, LAING and Hilton, have been collaborating on a number of projects with Magnificent Stuff over the last few years making the hub feel like a very natural progression. Magnificent Stuff has been trading for 3 years and this move marks the significant growth experienced by the agency.
“With the re-launch of the HDCC B2B magazine we were very keen to explore how we could further expand our offering to clients. In BMS we have found not only a hugely experienced partner, but one with genuine enthusiasm, knowledge and creativity”.
For more information about the hub or to contact us regarding work please call +44 1992 522452 or email email@example.com.
NEWS STORY – Co-Founder, Emma Knewstub of the Marketing and business consultancy, Magnificent Stuff, is delighted to have been featured in the Entrepreneurs Network Honours List.
Recognising Magnificent Stuff as a forward-thinking and optimistic business The Entrepreneurs Network have awarded founder, Emma Knewstub a place in their Honours List.
As well as being recognised by the group as a success story, the Network has also published a double page spread feature in their ENGAGE magazine with additional content online and across social media. Entrepreneurs Network are also hosting a Roundtable lunch to hear more about Magnificent Stuff’s innovative, perhaps disruptive plans for the future.
A recent piece on The Guardian’s site by Luke Lang from CrowdCube described Entrepreneurs as “not being fond of abiding by the rules”, and stating that “it’s this bravery, creativity and energy that enables them to challenge convention” Magnificent Stuff are certainly fitting the bill.
Since setting up 2 years ago Co-Founders Emma Knewstub and Steve Chew have a great portfolio of happy clients. Alongside working with brands such as Jaguar Land Rover and The English Cream Tea Company they are working on their first issue of The HDCC members magazine (Local Chamber of Commerce), which they are writing, designing and self-publishing – without any advertising revenue. Steve Chew adds, “Hopefully this will avoid unnecessary clutter and give the magazine more integrity and scope to look appealing”.
On hearing the news Emma comments,
“I’m so thrilled to have been selected for the Honours List. Since joining The Entrepreneurs Network we are really stepping up our game and driving the business harder. That’s the easy bit because we love what we do and we do what we do well. We’re just so pleased others are noticing too!”
For more information about Magnificent Stuff or The Entrepreneurs Network contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on @magnificentstuf
…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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve on 07723 024865
Tips to help with Presentations
Do you get nervous presenting? Do you spend the entire time whilst waiting to perform panicking, sweating, shallow and fast paced breathing or practising your speech over and over in your head? Either way you’re barely listening to anything else going on around you, everything is focused on you – trying to keep you calm, focused, and minimising the pressure you’re placing on yourself to perform.
I’m this person, I’m entirely terrified of standing up and having no clarity, complimented by a lack of incoherent thoughts and being unable to translate anything into grown-up speech and worse still, boring everyone and having no hope of holding the crowd.
I should be excellent in my position and with my background, And surely, with all the sales courses, pitches, self-help and training I’ve had I should be on the TED talk stage!
I thought it fitting to share some of the more realistic and productive tips to help with presentations I’ve been given over the years to see if it can help you more than it has me!
- Have an elevator pitch at the ready – and have it very well-practiced (an elevator pitch is a short, sharp couple of sentences that explain why people should do business with you (derived from ‘if you were in a lift with Richard Branson / A.N.Other business mogul, what would you tell them about your business/you?’)
- Always have the first sentence of your presentation ready and prepared. If you get up and go blank this first sentence will really help get you back on track.
- There is a lot to be said for breathing… It’s entirely underrated and we make so little effort with it when we really should be doing it properly. Every course and training session I’ve been on focuses on the breathing. Slow, deep inhale, so your chest puffs out a bit and being conscious of your breathing really helps calm your body down physically so can rid you of the sweaty palms, twitchy hands, dry mouth and anxious heart pounding in your head thing you may have going on. If you need help count to 10 on each breath in and then again on out.
- Silence is golden. Don’t be afraid to stop, pause and collect your thoughts at the end of a paragraph during your presentation. This not only refocuses you but re-engages the audience and gives them a moment to digest what you’ve just said.
- Nice knickers and shaved legs… Or clean pants and a good wash if you’re a guy. Being presentable not only makes people warm to you and not focus on your negatives (and as much as any trainer has told me this isn’t what people do, I know it’s a lie – we’ve all silently critiqued the poor bastard standing presenting to us instead of hanging on every word he utters!) it subconsciously makes you feel better and more confident, even if you don’t realise it! So, having a new top on or polishing your shoes, whatever you need to do, do it is and as much of it as you can do to ensure your are perfectly groomed and presentable!
- SMILE! People want to like you, and on the whole they are really interested to hear what you’ve got to say. Smiling not only makes a connection between you and your audience it will also help relax your face and in turn your mood. Smiling is so underrated in our opinion.
- Watch the big politicians and public speakers. Loads of them hold their hands together or press their fingertips together, this focuses your energy and helps curb the shakes and sweats
- Practice. Practice. Know your shit. If you know your subject matter you can wing any presentation or talk…
Failing all of these tips I’ve been crippled with nerves during one presentation before and found myself in the loo downing a miniature gin before going on… It didn’t touch the sides, I still cried after it and I still flunked the presentation, but the gin helped me laugh about it after… a long time after!