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  • Social Networking - what's in it for businesses?
    you want to ignore someone rather than unfollow them because they may take offence then use the lists and favourites functions to prioritise those people you are interested in Twitter is a constant stream of chatter but if your targets are there then you can make it work for you to build profile engage in conversations present your expertise and learn what s going on in various communities A bit like following the office gossip What are the best tools for business The best tool for your business will depend on the audience you are trying to reach LinkedIn is purely professional users so is good for B2B but businesses are increasingly active on Facebook and Twitter The best thing is to be clear about who you are looking for then go looking But start with one and move on slowly as you become more confident and familiar then if it is not working for you then you can discreetly pull back How can you measure return on investment ROI in marketing has been the subject of many long and boring books and the jury is still out You may be able to track directly that a new piece of business came from your contacts online or you may need to trust your gut instinct and test it by scaling up and down but do be clear about what you are aiming to achieve so you know what to measure against There is a wealth of analytics that can show you how much extra traffic you are getting to your website and even the demographics of your audiences which is far more than you would get with many other forms of marketing promotions How do LinkedIn Clubs Groups work This is where you are able to engage in discussions and pose questions and publish information to like minded groups You ll need to apply to join usually but there are groups for many subject areas and professions And if you don t find what you are looking for then you can create one yourself What ways are there to engage with existing clients All of the above Go looking for your clients and find out if they are already active if they are and you re not then you may really be missing out Not only can you keep in touch with what they are doing but you remind them what you can do there may be more things you could do for them that you ve not thought of mentioning to date You can also search on specific potential clients to target and ask for introductions Over whelmingly at the end of the session people felt more confident and more inspired to have a constructive play with Social Networking Mark and I felt pleased that we had succeeded in opening up a few minds and pointing people in the right direction a good morning s work Tweet track back URL add comment Comments No comments so far why not

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/613031/social_networking_-_what_s_in_it_for_bus.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Is social networking for you?
    social networking sites can contribute to a higher ranking in search engines But there are also some caveats to consider As already said you need to find the right communities to engage with and there to be enough of your specific target audience active to make it worth your while If you start you have to keep going relationships only thrive with regular attention So start small and build up Social networks can become compulsive and time consuming you will need to develop some discipline based on understanding of their role and importance in your overall marketing strategy The tools are young no one has all the answers about what you should do so you will need to be prepared to be brave and find your own way one that suits you I would urge you to take a look find out how the networks work and then work out how they might work for your business Don t be afraid to experiment and don t be afraid to admit that they are not for you at least not right now At least you ll be making a conscious decision rather than one in ignorance And if you in the Canterbury area on 6 July come along to the seminar and find out the answer is social networking for you Tweet track back URL add comment Comments Another very informatice blog We shall bve going to the seminar Comment by Peter Norfolk 25 June 2010 10 39 Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 4927 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/612072/is_social_networking_for_you_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Are you charging enough?
    are making the right decision Always remember Marketing s objective is to be able to charge the highest possible price for what you offer and for people to smile after Tweet track back URL add comment Comments How funny I read this after doing a blog on the same sort of subject companies needing to pay higher prices for websites in order to get the better results Great minds must think alike Certainly in the online marketing industry nowadays there are so many people companies entering the industry that competition is high The problem here is that many of the newbies in this sector are earning very little and so they ll take whatever fee in order to provide a service If their expertise isn t good enough then the client will lose out even though it may not have cost them a fortune for the work to be done I guess this applies to practically any industry sector those people who are either not busy or don t have a level of expertise that enables them to charge realistic fees will always be a tempting proposition to people needing such services I use the terminology Bootfair Britain when it comes to sourcing services Everyone is looking for a bargain in business services They make a purchase and then regret it in the same way that you d regret buying soemthing cheap at a bootfair and then finding it didn t work when you got it home I can t see this mindset ever changing to be honest but those of us who provide a quality service for a price that reflects our expertise just have to keep focus on those clients who deserve to get results and not those who focus purely on gaining services for as cheap as possible Comment by Andy Harris 16 June 2010 14 54 Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 6665 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/610205/are_you_charging_enough_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Do you have time for marketing?
    maintaining profile awareness and reputation cannot be done overnight So to help focus you on making time for marketing here are my top 3 priorities for your marketing Build a plan for the year linked to your objectives This will make it real and help you take decisions on how you will use the resources you have to hit your targets Establish some level of regular communications to the market and I include in that keeping your website up to date I talked about customer contact in a previous blog post and maintaining a light contact programme can take relatively little time More importantly it gives you the wherewithall to increase the volume without huge time or expense when you need to increase your results Review your plan regularly that way there are no nasty surprises and you can take any additional action calmly without having to put everything else aside while you catch up on the marketing that you have let get so far behind Time management is all about focusing and priortising what really matters and marketing does matter to every business Little and often will help you keep it under control and if you are hitting your plan you can stop worrying that you are not doing enough Tweet track back URL add comment Comments No comments so far why not be the first Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 7259 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21 27 I m just home from a day s training in the latest in digital marketing strategy and I m

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/609252/do_you_have_time_for_marketing_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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  • Off the Edge
    product or service has been selected We need to keep engaging the client to make sure that our solution has properly met the need and then stay in touch to ensure retention repeat purchases and up sell When we look at the buying process in this way it is obvious that simple outbound campaigns are destined to fail Marketing must comprise multi touch activity that builds dialogue and engages the prospect at all stages in the buying process The theory when converted to practice produces results Recent research by Forrester Consulting showed that businesses that market successfully Focus on lead generation as a process Profile and segment prospects based on customer behaviour not just demographics Design content that builds dialogue Employ some form of lead scoring prioritisation measure Nurture prospects that are not yet ready to buy Make certain that marketing works collaboratively with sales The Forrester research further shows that these businesses enjoy a more robust pipeline better customer insight improved marketing and sales accountability and ultimately improved marketing ROI What more can anybody want Neil Edwards Managing Director The Marketing Eye Acknowledgements How managing leads pays off in a stronger more qualified pipeline Forrester Consulting November 2009 Adam Needles Demand Generation Blog 2009 10 read comment add comment Marketing Online Should You Do it Yourself Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 11 Feb 2010 I ve just completed two Simply Better Marketing seminars for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Business Link on this very subject presenting with an expert in PPC pay per click and SEO search engine optimisation Luke Quilter of Sleeping Giant Media The events were well attended not surprisingly as the internet remains such a hot topic but there was a very wide range of experience and need in the room varying from those who had yet to set up their website to those who were interested in tweaking their existing optimisation activities to boost results And if you re in Kent you might want to know the next seminar in the series is on selling see the EventsKent website for details We set out with the objective of helping people decide if they should or could undertake their online marketing themselves or whether they would be better off mentally and economically to let an expert take the strain in one or more areas The answer as in any similar decision depends on whether you can earn more money focusing on your core business rather than spending it on the intricacies of online marketing For me the event confirmed that while the headline theories of PPC and SEO are relatively straightforward the subtleties of applying these are far more challenging It takes regular and frequent attention to develop a campaign that ensures your website is found by the right people and that those people then stick around on your website long enough to be persuaded to buy or contact you depending on your objective of course Not only that but the rules change all the time so it seems to me that it is only those that spend their whole day on the subject that can possibly keep up If you believe you have the oppportunity to earn significant return from your website then I would strongly advise getting a professional to run your search marketing activities On the other hand I could tell that for some people it was almost a hobby something they were developing quite a passion about Whether you decide to do it yourself or look for help there were some useful pointers that came out of the event that I thought I d share with you here Know your numbers the beauty of online marketing is how trackable it is so you MUST be making the most of the information you can get for free from Google Analytics to help drive your decision making Always keep the user front of mind you want to be found by search engines but only so that you can be found by your prospective customers Your content and the user experience need to work for human beings Don t forget that internet marketing is not the only game in town it needs to be related to in support of or supported by whatever you do offline An amazing 77 of people do not scroll down a page if your information is important put it at the top Pay per click costs can easily rack up but you don t have to be paying the highest cost per click to get higher up Google rankings Making sure your campaign and content is integrated and relevant will save you money and get a better quality of visitor Natural search is 85 about what happens off your website people linking to you rather than the more controllable stuff on your site When considering social networking decide if your brand and you are sociable too If you re uncertain then have a go you might be surprised how much you enjoy it And you ll be better informed if you do decide to talk to an expert at a later date read comment add comment What does your brand say about you Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 27 Jan 2010 Last week I had great fun running a branding clinic for small businesses local to me in Canterbury It was a collaboration between the Chartered Institute of Marketing for whom I am the Kent small business champion and Canterbury Christ Church University s Business Forum The subject obviously struck a chord as the event was packed to bursting The highlight of the session was a peer review of each company s branding which really brought home to everyone that you should never be complacent or make assumptions about how well your branding is working To help make the process more effective the first half of the session concentrated on the importance of branding no matter what size of business you are and some of the critical issues that have to be addressed such as Brand values are you clear about what image you are aiming to communicate Your brand is a shortcut to creating an emotional response in customers make sure it is the response you are after Consistency do you carry your brand values and design diligently through every aspect of your promotional activities This includes leaflets websites business cards reports invoices signage vehicles entrance halls etc Service behaviour how is your brand reflected and reinforced or weakened by other aspects of your business such as service delivery the behaviour of your staff or the cleanliness of your vans Although the presentation section of the event was not as popular as the clinic I know it was important to get everyone to a common understanding of the importance of branding and ways of approaching the subject This meant all participants were better placed to give constructive feedback on the materials everyone brought along It was a noisy and energetic session with discussions ranging from the use of specific words language positive and negative aspects of expensive looking brochures weight of paper used for printing and the emotional meaning of different colours Everyone who attended took away ideas they could use to improve their business which was of course our objective Looking after your brand is essential if you want a great future for your business it doesn t have to be expensive but it does have to be thoughtful and considered Peer review proved to be a powerful tool for getting really valuable feedback and is something that you can all do with friends family or colleagues as long as they are some what representative of your target audience Don t ask a teenager for input if they are not in your target market you could be sent off down the wrong track completely If you haven t asked recently then I suggest you give it a go and find out what does your brand say about you add comment Marketing Myth 7 the lowest price will always win Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 12 Jan 2010 In the last of my 7 marketing myths I tackle pricing a subject that has the potential to tie us all in knots with most businesses being concerned about over pricing and losing customers In truth this fear means it is more likely to be the case that you are under pricing your services Not a trivial matter as price is the only business variable that is directly linked to your income I heard the following definition of marketing used in a presentation once and it made me smile Marketing s objective is to be able to charge the highest possible price for what you offer and for people to smile after What this highlights is that it is value people are after and if they get the value they expect and or need then the price will be worth paying You only have to examine your own buying behaviour to be convinced the lowest price is not the only factor in your decision making Do you always shop in the cheapest supermarket Eat in McDonalds Drive an Eastern European Car Wear clothes from discount stores Probably not At least not all the time As a key part of your marketing price sends a powerful message about where you are positioned in the market and what your customers should expect Those companies charging higher prices for seemingly similar goods are successfully convincing their buyers that they offer additional value be it in the engineering the service or simply in the branding and packaging Reliability and trust in your service are worth a premium to businesses who are too busy to want to have to re do things when they go wrong Pricing is a complex issue with many factors to take into account target audience expectations competition fixed vs variable costs target profit margin long vs short term gain The discount end of any market is a difficult place to operate unless you really have the lowest costs and ask yourself this are the customers who only focus on price and quibble every penny the ones that you want to be doing business with You can choose where you position yourself if the rest of your offering backs it up Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten Ed Sabol founder NFL Films One advantage many small businesses have is the opportunity to vary and test their pricing to find out just how sensitive their customers are My advice would be having weighed up all your options on the above factors start off slightly higher than your first instinct You can more easily lower price than raise it as many companies who have rushed to discount in the recession will find and you might be pleasantly surprised to find that the increased profit per transaction makes up for slightly lower sales And before you even consider lowering your price make sure you have done everything you can in your marketing to identify and communicate the value of what you are offering Otherwise you are just throwing money away add comment My Christmas Gift to You Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 15 Dec 2009 If I could give you one thing as a present this Christmas it would be time Not more of my time although that might be good too but more of your own time to spend on your Marketing I think time is the most undervalued of all success factors well not time itself exactly because time is finite and we all get given the same amount I mean quality time or time spent doing quality thinking about your goals aspirations and plans for your business and your marketing I ve been racking my brains for days for the one special piece of advice that I could give to you as my Christmas gift The one thing that will change the way you do business next year and increase your chances of success So here it is again Make time for your Marketing I know it does not sound earth shattering but if you don t put the time into your most important business function who will And I know your time is money and you may decide to delegate some of the detail but if it s your business you really should delegate complete control of Marketing If you do manage to find the time quality uninterrupted time the next question is of course what should you do with it My advice is focus on these 3 low cost but most important ways of improving your Marketing for 2010 Set your goals and make your plan Find out more about your customer base and target market Think of ways to improve the service to your customers A good plan will focus the mind and stop you making costly mistakes it is as much about what you won t do as what you will do and it is very much about understanding why you are choosing one option over another The more you can learn about what motivates and delights your customers current and potential the better positioned you are to ensure you are delivering great value and communicating effectively You can also test and confirm the assumptions you have made in your plan are there enough of them out there to deliver you the income and profit you are forecasting Simply taking a little bit of time out each week to speak to your customers or follow up on a product service delivery can give you vital feedback and ideas on how to continually improve Growing your business is in your hands and it is only through the Marketing decisions you make that you can do that What could possibly be more important use of your precious time Merry Christmas and a Marketing Happy New Year add comment Marketing Myth 6 Doing something is better than nothing Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 24 Nov 2009 No no no I totally disagree primarily on the basis that most decisions to do something are taken on the hoof reacting to an opportunity without having done the thinking that will ensure the something is targeted and executed well I m talking about price changes new product innovations and not to be missed advertising opportunities in magazines papers and directories that your customers never read My other reason for saying no to doing something rather than nothing is that marketing tends to be about the longer term Decisions and actions taken now could take weeks or even months to fully pay off and customers being complex creatures you need to allow for knock on effects or what you might call integrated marketing Unless you have the ground work in place to allow your business to react intelligently to last minute offers the best answer is no A bargain is not a bargain if it is something you never needed in the first place In most cases the worst that will happen is you will have wasted time and money and seen no return But the worst could be that you attract interest for the wrong reasons and damage your brand and reputation in your marketplace Or what if you are too successful can you handle the fallout from disappointing customers who may never return A nice problem to have maybe but one that will need a considered response not just muddling through Maybe you believe there s no such thing as bad publicity Tell that to some of the big brands that have failed to manage their PR properly and have lost market share Perrier Water struggled to recover from its mishandling of the Benzene scare in the 1990s and Hoover have the dubious honour of presiding over one of the greatest marketing disasters of all time You may remember it In 1992 they launched a promotion to shift a backlog of vacuum cleaners and washing machines gathering dust in the warehouse which ended up costing the company 48m and dragging their name through the dirt For you the stakes may not be as high but the lesson remains the same Don t be reactive be proactive and plan your marketing thoroughly to increase your changes of success When resources are limited be that time or money it makes even more sense to take considered decisions on how you use them When not if you do your marketing plan you will do the analysis and thinking that will increase your understanding of your customers and market Armed with this knowledge you will be better placed to make instant decisions and take advantage of those not to be missed offers with greater chance of success add comment Marketing Myth 5 Marketing is Expensive except on the Internet Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 9 Nov 2009 There is a common misconception that if you use the internet for your marketing it is going to be cheaper than other options I think what people are really saying is that the internet has made some marketing activities much more accessible we can all have a go at doing it ourselves There are readily available tools and very cheap options for creating websites We can all send an email so sending electronic direct mail to large groups of people can be done at the press of just a few buttons And the point of social media is that anyone can join in and there are no fees But just because something is easy or cheap to do does not make it effective Doing it yourself can I believe be a false economy And expensive is subjective it needs to relate to the value you place on or derive from the results achieved The starting point in assessing the cost value of marketing activity is to set your marketing budget and your objectives because

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/index.rhtm?cat=marketing&first=120 (2016-02-14)
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  • Off the Edge
    We have to practice our swing if we want to play golf well There are no short cuts and it s not that much fun We do it if we want the end results badly enough That s not a great message though is it People don t like it If you want something then you have to work hard at it doesn t really grab us How much better the alternative message Don t struggle to get results We have the secret to instant success We see this sort of message all the time Eat what ever you want and lose weight fast Play guitar like a pro in just 6 weeks Take 10 shots off your handicap with our new club How much more seductive is the message that we can have what we want immediately with no effort for just a bit of cash We fall for these messages all the time even though really deep down in our heart of hearts we know that they won t work Come on honestly we do don t we Even the more realistic ones amongst us still find themselves failing because of a lack of discipline They know that popping some unusually flavoured Guatemalan herb tablet isn t going to make them lose weight What they need is more exercise That s it exercise will do the trick Hands up who has somewhere in the garage a bullworker or an ab exerciser Who s got an exercise video gathering dust on the shelf or a gym membership that s never used As in most areas of life so in business We all see adverts from people who can tell you the secret that no one else knows on how to grow your business Those 10 point programmes that will double your turnover The systems that will give you all the clients you could ever want When we re slogging away trying to make enough to pay the mortgage these messages are very attractive Even though deep down we know that there are no secrets We suspect that the growing your business plan revolves around getting people to buy your grow your business plan We want to believe because getting what you want easily is so much better than having to work for it Some of these offers are pure nonsense Some of them contain nothing that you couldn t find out for yourself with an hour spent on Google Some of these offers will have real value somewhere within them if you can recognise it and implement it properly But you still have to do the implementing the hard work The thing about these kinds of messages is that they may get people to buy into the offer and hand over the cash but do they lead to long term revenue streams and relationships Those of you who know us will know that we are not big fans of these kinds of offers We don t believe in secrets that no one else knows We do believe though that marketing is what makes businesses successful Marketing based on analysis and understanding of our customers and markets marketing built on a sound strategy marketing planned and implemented with vigour If you want to build a successful business then our advice is learn about marketing Become the best marketer your company has Devote time and resources to your marketing and keep at it It will work read comment add comment Does great marketing require inspiration or perspiration Filed under Opinion by Sharon Wilding on 3 Aug 2011 Some people claim to find marketing a bit of a mystery assuming it takes some special powers of creativity and wizardry to make it work Others believe it s a bit of fluff not entirely necessary in their business world But I can t say often enough all businesses are doing marketing you wouldn t have a business if you didn t have an offer to a customer that you were charging for the question is how much better could you be doing it And does it require inspiration or perspiration Many businesses are short on time and are looking for the great marketing idea that will bring in loads of business with the least effort Unfortunately good marketing is rarely achieved without hard work The bottom line is that inspiration or creativity in marketing is of no use without the hard work and application to put it into practice hence the perspiration Ultimately it will be the more boring sounding marketing systems and processes that will bring you results not the flash in the pan big idea In approaching the marketing for your business there are 3 critical things that you must get in place to have any chance of success barring pure luck of course 1 Know your customer Without customers you have no market and all customers are not created equal Understanding as much as you can about the particular group or segment of people that you are targeting with your product or service is where you must start What problems are they facing that you can solve for them What do they need How do they behave Where do they live How many of them are there What options do they have With this understanding you can make decisions and judge the likelihood of your inspirational ideas producing the desired results 2 Make a plan Dull though you may find it you will not get the great results you hope for without a plan Hoping is not enough A key element of the plan particularly difficult for many clients is setting a budget for their marketing up front What is reasonable or affordable for you to be investing if your target is to make 100 000 or even a million Knowing the budget you have and the goal you are aiming at are critical factors in making choices and decisions about which marketing activities you then detail in your plan It doesn t matter if your plan is only a page long just make sure you have one and that you refer to it often 3 Test measure adapt No matter how many year s experience you have in marketing there are few dead certs when it comes to delivering success What works today may not work tomorrow what works for one company doesn t deliver for another It is impossible to control all of the factors that influence that elusive purchase decision so you must gather information look at what it is telling you and act promptly to stop what isn t working and do more of what is Marketing is not something you can do once every few weeks you need to be on top of it all the time building your reputation generating awareness interest and ultimately sales Sorry to have to break it to you there is no magic wand in marketing but getting the fundamentals right through hard work and perspiration means that you create the right environment for your inspiration and creativity to flourish Adapted from a blog first published in 2009 add comment Has Facebook peaked already Filed under Opinion by Sharon Wilding on 19 Jul 2011 You can t shift these days for people exhorting you to join the social networking bandwagon Everywhere you turn there are offers of advice and training on how to get your slice of the action We ve even launched our own training course to help people effectively implement social media as part of an overall marketing plan And yet confusingly I m also starting to read about how Facebook is on its way out That users are switching off and that it could be dead in the next 5 years What is going on Most people I know haven t even started yet and it may already be too late Apparently in May 100 000 British users kicked their FB habit and 6m did the same in the USA as a reaction to the most famous social networking site becoming too commercialised and mainstream And my own friends have talked about culling their accounts to get rid of the clutter In Real Business magazine this month the offline version there was a debate for and against the statement Will Facebook be dead in 5 years Actually it seemed to me that neither writer really thought it would die because what they violently agreed on was the incredible pace of innovation and change in the online world So whatever Facebook is now chances are it will be different next time you look at it And it may even be replaced by a completely new phenomenon Just as Google out platformed Microsoft and Facebook aims to do the same to Google so will Facebook meet its nemesis What does this mean for the vast majority of us Do we care who or what is leading the way I don t think so What we do need to understand and care about is how the way we and our customers access and consume information and how we form and nurture relationships has fundamentally changed Because the choices of when how and if to communicate have never been so great Don t worry that you may have missed the boat Every UK SME still needs to be actively considering if they should and how they can use Facebook and or Twitter LinkedIn Youtube to engage prospects and customers Each network has their own strengths and weaknesses and you need to work out the right combination for you For example I was recently co presenting a seminar on social media and I was discussing opportunities to exploit social networking with a Foster Care Agency For them LinkedIn was a great way to engage with their public sector customers while Facebook could give them a more human and accessible front to find new foster families From our experience at The Purple Edge and from talking to many fellow networkers Facebook business pages can be hard to make work effectively unless you are a major brand as they lack the personality and human face of an individual Stimulating interaction can be tough But social networks have an increasing impact on search rankings so for that reason alone every small business should have a presence that they can maintain with minimum effort One word of warning though this is not a magic bullet and is not free it will take up your time You must make sure that your strategy for using social networking is linked back to your overall online strategy aiming to drive traffic to your website where you have most influence and control If your website is not up to scratch then don t get diverted into social networking you ll be throwing good money after bad We d love to hear your experiences with social networking good and bad Leave your comments here read comment add comment What do you do Filed under Marketing by Jim Hunt on 14 Jul 2011 I want to ask you a pretty straight forward question What business are you in It shouldn t be too difficult to answer What business are you in Obvious right Well no actually Every day people get the answer to that question wrong In fact the history of business is littered with companies many of them globally recognised who no longer exist because they got the answer to that question wrong What am I talking about Let me give you an example The classic one is the drill Every house needs a drill Pictures to hang shelves to fix hooks to put up the list of jobs for which our trusty drill is used is almost endless We all want a good drill Or do we The common theme in all the jobs is not that we need a drill but that we need a hole Drill manufacturers are not in the drill business they re in the hole business Why does this mindset matter Because if we focus ourselves on our solution to the customer problem rather than the problem itself we can lose track of the real customer requirement and be usurped by new competitors coming along with a better solution This phenomenon is called Marketing Myopia and was described by one of the grand daddies of Marketing Theodore Levitt back in 1960 Levitt cited numerous example of myopia including the railways movie companies grocery stores and most amusingly a famous US millionaire who ruined his heirs by stipulating in his will that his estate was to be invested forever and exclusively in electric streetcar securities because there will always be a big demand for efficient urban transportation Well he got the last bit right Marketing myopia doesn t always lead to ruination though we still have railways and movie studios The issue is more often that the businesses fail to grasp potential opportunities because We are not in the XYZ business Movie studios didn t grasp the potential of TV because they were in the movie business not the entertainment business TV is now a much bigger business than movies ever were What about records and CDs Most players in the music industry just didn t respond to the move to digital music The record companies resisted MP3 based music for years suing their customers to protect their CD business even as it dwindled away Record shops such as HMV just didn t adapt and are now as rare on the high street as grocers shops Myopia isn t exclusive to big businesses though Lots of people who attend our Marketing Mindset Coaching Programme initially define the business they are in as the solution to a customer s need not as the need itself So we have printers web developers hotels telephone companies By the end of the programme we have people who are in the business of creating an impression building business on line making perfect weddings helping businesses communicate By thinking like this they are opening themselves to new opportunities rather than closing themselves off So spend a little time and work out what business you re in What is the need the real customer need that you re fulfilling and what ideas and opportunities does this create for you Let us know read comment add comment Price yourself out of the market Filed under Marketing by Sharon Wilding on 7 Jul 2011 When is it a good idea to price yourself out of the market When it is a market you don t want or shouldn t want to be in The flip side of the coin it follows is pricing yourself INTO the markets that you do want to be in A marketing exam question I came across recently invited candidates to discuss the premise that Understand segmentation and targeting and you understand strategic marketing I ll return to that subject in a future blog but for now let s think about this purely in relation to pricing What mostly sets good marketers apart from bad is the skill they apply in understanding their target market and the discipline they use in using insights gained to focus their efforts In order to achieve their targets and objectives SMEs generally don t need to be appealing to the whole market they just need to be successful in a segment where their offering is valued If you have a match between your product or service and the target market then your pricing can be clearly based on a fair return for the value you are delivering In the wise words of Warren Buffet Price is what you pay Value is what you get Focusing on VALUE rather than PRICE means that you Understand your customers and know what they do value Can communicate your value to customers in their language Aim to deliver the value and the benefits not just the features Have higher levels of customer satisfaction and repeat business Are able to confidently justify your pricing and feel less pressured to discount or undercut the competition As a key part of the marketing mix we tackle pricing in our training and coaching programmes and the last point above is a common theme Many SMEs would like to charge more know they should be able to charge more but are caught in a trap where they fear raising their prices and losing business As a result they are under valuing their services under charging their customers and under achieving in their businesses When we dig into the subject a bit more it is often the case that they are targeting the wrong markets If you offer a premium product or service then there is no point in targeting customers that you know are price sensitive and lack the resources to invest You will just end up working very hard for very little money even more so because these customers can be the most demanding and difficult to please Even when they are not prepared to pay you for your trouble I have a favourite quote that I can t attribute to anyone in particular Marketing s objective is to be able to charge the highest possible price for what you offer and for customers to smile after For SME marketers it is a good rule to hang onto and philosophy to live by If you can deliver great service and leave your customers smiling at the same time as maximising your returns then you are winning Deciding prices can be a complex business with many factors competition the economy regulation fashion and of course costs to take into account which is why so many people prefer to go for a percentage mark up model It seems straightforward scientific logical rational It seems to do away with the emotional angst and fear that you will get it wrong But ultimately is is a self limiting strategy If you re unconvinced I ll remind you

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  • events
    need to be concerned about whether you can be found and whether you are convincing as a potential supplier when people are searching Sharon Wilding and Jim Hunt of The Purple Edge Marketing will help you understand what it takes to be more visible online even if you don t have your own website We ll look at why you should make the most of free listings in directories and Google Places as well as how to turn your website into an effective marketing tool Training Solutions 4 5 Invicta Way Manston Park Ramsgate Kent CT12 5FD Thanet College 01843 821580 27 Oct 2011 Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential Invest two hours to get your LinkedIn profile maximised and learn how to use this social network more effectively to grow your business Brought to you by Canterbury Christ Church University with the help and expertise of Sharon Jim from The Purple Edge Three sessions available all at Hall Place Enterprise Centre Canterbury Thank you for presenting the LinkedIn session this morning I learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed it and going by the feedback sheets so did the delegates It is always a pleasure working with you both Jenny Overy Hall Place Business Development Manager Canterbury Christ Church University Event now closed 15 June 2011 Social Networking Making it work The next in our series takes a more detailed look at the practicalities of making social networking work for your business setting up your pages and profiles finding the right friends and followers tips on the etiquette of social networking tools to save time and give you focus Hosted by Canterbury Christ Church Business Forum with presenters Sharon Wilding of The Purple Edge and Mark Zaretti of Sparticle Limited This event is closed 26 Jan 2011 Build your own Marketing Plan Hosted by Canterbury Christ Church Business Forum with presenters Sharon Wilding of The Purple Edge and Joanna Wood of CCC University Walk through the key steps to creating a marketing plan for your business This event is closed 22 Nov 2010 FSB East Kent Meeting AGM At 7 45pm Sharon Wilding of The Purple Edge will be presenting on Social Networking Necessity or Distraction The meeting will be held at St Augustine s 125 Canterbury Road Westgate on sea CT8 8NL and non members are welcome to join after the AGM at 7 15pm This event is closed 10 Nov 2010 What does your brand say about your business Hosted by Canterbury Christ Church Business Forum at the Medway Campus with presenters Sharon Wilding of The Purple Edge and Joanna Wood of CCC University Bring along examples of your branding and learn from the experts and from peer review what your brand is really saying about your business and how you can make it work more strongly for you This event is closed 14 Sept 2010 Social Networking Making it work The next in our series takes a more detailed look at the practicalities of making

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  • Why bother with a marketing plan?
    that with just 2 hours planning you can make a difference but I m now looking forward to when we all meet up again in 6 weeks time to share how much more progress everyone has been able to make and what impact their plans are already having on their business I ll keep you posted Tweet track back URL add comment Comments a href http www blog smallbusinesscopywriter com Marketing tip a If you are marketing locally make sure to have your local numbers addresses etc displayed prominently in your ad Comment by marketing strategy 31 May 2010 11 05 So many points very well made Sharon It s no different in my specific line of work so many people want to attract traffic to their websites but there is so much groundwork that needs to be put in place in order to make the promotion fully effective It ll be interesting to follow the progress of your attendees now that they ve got something to work with over the next few weeks Andy Comment by Andy Harris 17 Apr 2010 12 49 Your name Email address never displayed Web site Organisation add me to your email list HTML markup not supported Access code 3584 Please enter the 4 digit code above into the following box We re sorry about this but we need to do this to prevent our site being abused by people looking for free advertising required fields Past Blogs search Oct 2015 Top 10 Product Naming Tips 23 Oct 2015 19 50 I m working with a client who is launching a new product next year They know what it is what it Aug 2015 Is Marketing essential for success 7 Aug 2015 11 11 Strange that having spent so long trying to show clients how much more there is to marketing than Jul 2015 Christmas is coming 27 Jul 2015 20 40 It s July The weather might lead you to conclude differently but it s the middle of the British Do you have a personal brand 10 Jul 2015 16 25 Jim s post of a couple of weeks back about getting on and doing stuff brought to mind a discussion Exhibition Time 3 Jul 2015 21 33 Next Tuesday 7th July the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce are holding the annual Kent B2B June 2015 You know what you need to do 25 June 2015 22 58 I was with a coaching client this week and in the middle of the session she said something that I The 1 sin in content marketing mea culpa 15 June 2015 21 27 I m just home from a day s training in the latest in digital marketing strategy and I m racked Mar 2015 One to One Personalised Marketing should be the norm for all businesses So why aren t more companies stepping up 20 Mar 2015 19 06 Personalised marketing campaigns driven by online data collection are fast becoming a key Feb 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.thepurpleedge.co.uk/blog/detail.rhtm/605964/why_bother_with_a_marketing_plan_.rhtm (2016-02-14)
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