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!
What is the importance and value of customer success stories?
Building trust in your brand
You can talk about your own products or services until the cows come home, but your subjective take isn’t half as powerful as a real, honest consumer experience. If previous customers trust you, you’re seen as a much safer bet by prospective customers. They will also talk about you. They will recommend you and they will ensure they promote you – if they really trust you.
The more, the better
The more user-generated content you share, the more fresh product-specific information there is to boost your search rankings – and give customers valuable insights that encourage conversion. Add just one review to your page and you could see a 10% lift in sales. Add 100 and you’re looking at a 37% hike.
Recent statistics reveal that testimonial content results in:
- +58% conversion rate
- +62% in revenue per visit
- +3% on the average order value
We help make people famous in their sector.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Customers are the cornerstone of your business.
They’re the reason you exist, the people behind your success – and the people who could bring it all crashing down if you don’t look after them, it’s important to be keeping customers happy. In fact, a recent PwC survey found just one bad experience could turn 1 in 3 customers off, with another 92% jumping ship after further poor service.
We all know that gaining a new customer can cost up to seven times more than working to retain an existing customer so when you’re thinking of ploughing all those £’s into Facebook advertising or LinkedIn Mail to new prospects just to get your name out there, think again. It could be so much more worth investing in the people that have already bought into and love your offering.
So how do you keep your customers happy?
Listen and engage
Encourage feedback (and take it on the chin); be honest about your failings; rectify mistakes; engage with people. Care about your customers and they’ll care about your brand.
Make life easy
If your website isn’t mobile friendly or your social media engagement sucks, and it’s difficult to get hold of you customers will find someone else who does it better. Make your systems fast, responsive, effortless.
Go the extra mile
Who would you go back to – the company who simply ‘delivers’ or the one who makes you feel like nothing is too much trouble? Be flexible enough to bend over backwards.
“Customers who love you will market for you more powerfully than you can possibly ever market yourself.” – Jeanne Bliss
We help make people famous in their sector.
To find fame in your sector please contact Emma on 07834760627 or visit our Contact US page and fill in our little form with your details and we’ll call you back with a plan.
WORKING FROM HOME IN ISOLATION – Brand visibility
Employees are working from home during isolation and representing your business. Here are some smart and very simple ways you can ensure employees still feel part of your organisation and maintain your BRAND VISIBILITY.
Engagement is so much better when cameras are switched on and people interact visually whilst working from home during isolation. Company policy of CAMERA’S ON is key to ensuring everyone is present, engaged and paying attention. It’s important everyone adheres to this from the top down to install it as part of brand culture. Having a branded coffee cup for staff to use whilst they’re on a call is a very simple and easy way to remind video call users who they are meeting with.
‘Camera-Ready’ Clothing and Appearance
You get washed and dressed to go into work, therefore employees should be doing the same when working from home during isolation. For video calls choose a simple, solid coloured top, (intricate patterns and designs are distracting on camera). If there is a uniform or branded clothing encourage teams to wear it – not only does this help employees feel part of an organisation, but also ensures they are representing the company professionally. Advise employees to keep their hair out of their face and to position the camera to show face, shoulders, and a bit of the torso.
Be aware of what a computer or phone camera shows to avoid anything embarrassing especially not just thinking about how you look but the background in your house too. Have a digital branded backdrop created or blur out the clothes drier or unfinished decorating. This helps give teams a united feel for meetings whilst driving a unified brand.
Custom Reactions & GIFs
GIFs and custom reactions in messages help strengthen a bond between users when working from home during isolation and banter/face-to-face interactions are less likely. Many applications offer these as an option however we can create a series of bespoke, branded Gifs/icons for your team/business.
IMAGE CREDIT: www.datum.co.uk
Magnificent Stuff are delighted to welcome their latest hire, Rebecca Hartgen, who has joined the Magnificent Stuff team as Account Manager.
After studying Events and Marketing at the University of Greenwich, Rebecca started her career as a Marketing Manager for a 5-star hotel in Essex. went onto work for a well-known flooring company developing and delivering a complete rebrand including 3 new websites, new logos and a digital marketing strategy.
Rebecca brings to Magnificent Stuff a fresh and innovative flare for digital design and more importantly fantastic technical expertise.
“I am thrilled to be part of such a talented team and I can’t wait to put my ‘stamp’ on the business. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Magnificent Stuff! Watch this space!”
Rebecca is already working across a number of Magnificent Stuff’s projects and clients couldn’t be happier with her support and fresh perspective
Steve of Magnificent Stuff says “Rebecca’s talent not only lies in her attention to detail but also her ability to really get under the skin of our clients businesses. She fits in perfectly we are really excited to have her on board”.
For more information about the work we do at The Marketing Hub and Magnificent Stuff, please contact email@example.com or call on 01992 522452.
Magnificent Stuff at the Marketing Hub are thrilled to announce the appointment of former Premier League and Supporters Direct employee, Laura Knewstub as Head of Operations.
Following a 3 year course at The London College of Fashion Laura Knewstub started her career working for the Premier League, in the Chief Executive’s Office before being promoted to work in the Press and Communications team.
Moving alongside Phillip French, (now a Director of the International Olympic Committee) to Supporters Direct, a not-for-profit he had helped set up nearly 20 years ago to assist supporters influence in the running and ownership of football clubs. Laura spent 11 years supporting the organisation through a period of significant growth and promotion.
Now moving into our fourth year of trading Magnificent Stuff has needed to expand in order to streamline processes and better manage the continuing growth of the business. Alongside exemplary organisational, managerial and HR skills Laura brings to Magnificent Stuff a black book of connections and nearly 20 years experience in the sport, leisure and charity sectors.
“After years of working in London I’m really excited to be welcomed into Magnificent Stuff and the Marketing Hub and am looking forward to supporting the growth of the business and its activities” Laura comments.
Co-Founder Steve Chew “Not only is it an incredibly exciting time for Magnificent Stuff, as our Management Team expands, but Laura has brought with her a breath of fresh air, new processes and loads of new opportunities.”
Magnificent Stuff work with clients including Harlow Town Football Club, Hoppily, Clifford Thames, Professor John Celin, Secret Quote, HDCC, Bishop Stortford Chamber of Commerce, Taylor Milburn, The English Cream Tea Company and The Transition.
For more information about the work we do at The Marketing Hub and Magnificent Stuff, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01992 522452.
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.
When was the last time you picked up The Yellow Pages? Or a hard-copy Local Directory for that matter? Five years ago? Six? When you needed an electrician or a plumber when did you last look in the back of a local paper? The same can be said of your customers too. The percentage of marketing that was digital (ie online) stood at 25% in 2013. Last year it was 75%.
In my role as Co-Founder and Head of Content for marketing consultancy, Magnificent Stuff I must have met upwards of 250 business owners over the past year or two. At risk of generalising they do fit a certain demographic: normally male, normally between 48-55, normally heading up an established SME. In those two years I have met only a handful of business owners who’s digital marketing could be described as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. It’s no coincidence in my mind, that these people happened to be in their 30’s.
The so-called ‘millennial’ generation have grown up with digital marketing and advertising. In simple terms they ‘get it’, however it can be a steep learning curve for those of us who grew up in the seventies and eighties.
It’s not my place or intention to be alarmist, however the next generation of business owners, our ‘millennials’, are way ahead of the game here. They are tech-savvy, digitally aware and ambitious.
Take social media, for example. Which of us would not like our Facebook or Twitter presence to generate leads and clients? To engender enthusiasm and customer loyalty? Every MD knows that they should be using social constructively for the benefit of the Company, but do they? Chances are unless the Business Owner is under 35 social media not being used effectively or used at all. Why? Three reasons. Firstly, we don’t know how to. No-one’s actually shown us. Secondly, we do know how to but we don’t know what to say and, thirdly (and most commonly) we simply haven’t got the time or resources. Have you got an extra two to three hours per week to spend on social media management? Do you have enough time to blog fortnightly? To create newsletters? Do you even consider such marketing to be useful?
In 2016 digital marketing is not simply important but – in my view – intrinsic to business growth. But then, I would say that wouldn’t I? Here are a few stats:
- 80% of customers do “a lot” of online research for considered purchases.
- 46% count on social media when making such decisions
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog
- The average return on an e-mail marketing investment is £29.14 for every pound spend
- 93% of marketeers use social media for business
Of course every business is different but ultimately without digital and content marketing of some type, your company will be missing leads and clients. If you’d like any advice on how to make digital marketing work for you please get in touch, we live and breath content.
Steve Chew is Head of Content at Magnificent Stuff Limited, Old Harlow. You can contact Steve via the link above 0r on 07723024865.
Pinterest for Business
In the six years since its creation by Cold Brew Labs, Pinterest has expanded to cater to 100 million users worldwide, with roughly thirty percent of all social media users visiting the site. The introduction this year of Rich Pins, containing a greater amount of information and allowing users to purchase items or services direct from their providers, has turned Pinterest into an unparallelled marketing opportunity for businesses, not only in the realm of online shopping. According to Ahalogy, over half of Pinterest’s daily users say they consult the site in-store to help them make decisions about their purchases. Over eighty percent would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.
The way Pinterest works is by allowing users to upload and “pin” photographs to a personalised “pinboard”, which can in turn be browsed by other people according to their interests. Globally most of these users are women who are more likely to book holidays or designers. That said, the number of men using Pinterest has increased dramatically recently especially in the UK. Men are reportedly twenty percent more likely to purchase items after seeing them on the site. Of course, the visual nature of Pinterest makes it ideal not just for impulse buys, but also for services such as interior design, where a picture can convey far more of a sense of what is on offer than mere text could ever do.
Once you start to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform things start to become very interesting indeed. Especially for anyone wanting to push their products to a wider audience and, crucially, for anyone wanting to know how effective this marketing strategy is proving. Like most online marketing platforms, Pinterest is equally valuable as a market research tool as it is a virtual storefront, allowing advertisers to react quickly and dynamically to shifting demographics as well as customer response.
Given its rapid expansion and increasing popularity, which shows no signs of abating any time soon, now is the ideal time for brands to take advantage of this unprecedented marketing opportunity. Pins seen by your followers will be spread to their own followers, essentially meaning that the people to whom you are marketing become your brand’s marketers themselves, This makes it very easy for your content to go viral very quickly. Let’s face it, who hasn’t dreamed of harnessing the power of the public (and a very 21st century form of word of mouth) to build a huge audience?