NETworking or NOTworking

As a small business time is precious and every moment spent out of the office feels like a lifetime of missed opportunities. It is the reason many of the companies we speak to avoid events and networking opportunities, as they feel compelled to stay close to their desk and phone rather than getting out to meet people. With TFM&A, the largest UK marketing and advertising event coming up next week, we faced the same challenge. The decision to attend an event should always be based on the size of the opportunity. Events should be about learning new things, meeting new people and catching up with contacts, so the more you…

valentines

Roses are Red, Romance is Dead

Today is the day that half the country is swooning at the flowers just delivered to the office and stuffing heart shaped chocolates into their mouth, whilst the other half is pretending it’s a normal Friday, talking about how Hallmark are making billions of pounds out of our need to materialise our affections. The reality is every twitter feed, Pinterest page, Facebook post and email is brimming with references to Valentines whether it’s pro the fluffiness of love and happiness, or a stoic stand against the commercial machine. For a small business, you may already have jumped on or off the Valentines bandwagon, but how can you make the most…

pinterest

How Pinteresting! Should small businesses use Pinterest?

  Pinterest has been around now for over three years, and in that time has amassed an audience enthralled by the idea of pinning their ideas onto a virtual pinboard. There is still a myth that Pinterest is only used by women planning their wedding or people obsessed with cats, but surprisingly more businesses are integrating Pinterest into their social media marketing strategies as a great way to reach an already engaged audience. According to econsultancy, in the UK, Pinterest has seen a 786% increase in the last year, growing from 901,761 visits in September 2011 to 7,985,316 in September 2012 with its users spending double that of visitors to…

checkmate competitor

Beating the Competition

When you are a small business, the end goal is to be bigger and better than everyone else. When you are in a competitive environment this can be a real challenge, investing time and money into staying one step ahead without losing sight of your own business. Speaking to small businesses every day we often find that companies have never done a competitor analysis to understand who they are really competing with and how they can benchmark themselves against them. We have undertaken a number of independent reviews for small agencies, restaurants, retailers and online services and they are always surprised by the results. We wanted to share the top…

customers

Do you know your customers?

There are very few things that really grind us here at marketing ammo but one of the common mistakes we keep seeing from usually savvy marketers is getting their customer data and targeting wrong. Google have been making mistakes for years, collecting data on our browsing habits and making assumptions about our interests. We for example here at marketing ammo love classic music, bed linen and trains according to Google which is pretty obscure and very inaccurate. Recently we were speaking to a medium sized business who has invested thousands of pounds in a CRM system however all they have managed to collect so far are email addresses. They were…

new year

New Year, New Site

The turn of a New Year leads to many things, resolutions to get down to the gym, impossibly difficult detoxes and talks of holidays to escape the bad weather. One other noticeable New Year trend is TV adverts for website companies. For years small businesses looking for online presence would either attempt to “do it yourself” often with disastrous consequences or turn to one of the many website providers who offer cheap and fast ways to get onto the net. Entry prices often start from as little as £10 a month for hosting and a basic design which to a small company with a limited budget can appear the perfect…

The Elves have gone home!!

Sorry the Elves have gone home!!

Christmas time for any small business provides many challenges; where will you hold the company party, what can you buy for under £5 for Secret Santa and who is going to make sure Kevin from accounts stays away from the intern. Thinking seriously though, digital marketing is now 24/7, 365 days a year and just because you are off for two weeks over Christmas doesn’t mean your customers are. Having a plan for something going wrong over the Christmas can help prevent a holiday meltdown Planning your content, scheduling  your posts, and being prepared to jump on to your social feeds over the festive period are all necessary to the…

santa twitter

Cyber Christmas

Next Monday, 2nd December is the hotly anticipated Cyber Monday, an event following the US Black Friday that sees consumers flocking to buy their Christmas presents. Last year Amazon claimed 41 sales per second on Cyber Monday, and many retailers are expecting similar flurries of customers looking for the latest offers with Experian Hitwise predicting UK internet users will make 113 million visits to retail websites. This year however Cyber Monday has fallen slightly earlier, so we predict that the following Monday or “Middle Monday” 9th December will see more actual transactions. Either way, retailers need to ensure they are prepared for the influx of website traffic, orders and enquiries…

Showrooming Showbusiness

On Tuesday the Oxford English Dictionary announced that “Selfie”; the art of taking a photo of yourself for a social media site, was named the word of the year, however “Showrooming” was a close contender. Showrooming, as defined by the Oxford dictionary is “the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price”, and has been in practice for years. It is widely believed and often fact that items seen in stores can be found cheaper online, especially with pure play businesses who do not have the same overheads as businesses with traditional bricks and mortar stores. Many…