The Napier approach - Our 4-step process for delivering great service

WHAT?

The Napier approach was designed to help ensure we deliver the best service possible to our clients. A 4-step process tailored for the B2B technology market, ensures that we are applying the right processes and methodologies. Especially when planning, but also in our daily marketing activities. This approach is a great way to stop focusing on the individual activities and start thinking more creatively about new ideas for campaigns.

 

 

WHY?

It’s so easy, particularly with modern marketing technology to launch a campaign with minimal planning and strategy. Achieving the best results depends upon having a process that defines things like the objective and audience and considers the best messages and tactics to achieve the results. Following the Napier 4-step process gives us the confidence that what we are producing high quality work, consistently.

 

WHAT EXACTLY?

 

Step 1: Determine

What: This stage is about understanding the current situation and how we can outsmart the competition.

The best campaigns are built on understanding clients and their strengths. By identifying and prioritising the things that really matter, the client’s strengths are isolated, helping us to achieve business goals that make a difference.

In this stage we look at the client, their products, technologies, the market and their competitors. We use a combination of analysis tools, research, and our existing experience to identify marketing and business goals.

Activities/ Tools:

  • Talking to the clients about their customers - This includes discussion around marketing goals, personal goals, and interviewing the client’s sales and marketing teams
  • Communications audit -We use the Meltwater tool to analyse online media coverage
  • Advertising audit - Print advertising audits require a lot of manual research an can be expensive, however, digital tools such as Spyfu provide us with good profiles of the SEM campaigns running
  • Ambition star – This is a model derived from Porter’s five forces. We have adjusted the elements to make it more focused for technology clients, but here’s an example of how it’s used:

 

  • Research - Surveys or qualitive interviews
  • Situation analysis - SWOT. Here’s some useful questions that could help you answer your SWOT:

Here is a completed SWOT for said ‘Cakes R Us’ company:

 

  • Product/ Customer involvement - B2B clients will know the distinction between high involvement and low involvement products. We use our product/ customer analysis tool to look at the relationship between the involvement of the customer and the level of involvement the supplier thinks the product demands. Here’s the Product/ Customer involvement in action:

  • Other tools that aren’t specifically aimed at technology clients but still may be used are: PEST, and Porter’s five forces, and the Boston matrix

 

Step 2: Focus

What: It’s where we identify the messages, channels and tactics that will drive prospects through the sales funnel more quickly.

Identifying the people that matter allows us to classify key elements such as the personas, and buyer journey. This stage demonstrates the tools needed to increase the pace, that prospects move through the funnel. We recognise the channels that buyers are using, and use these channels to help bring them closer to reaching a decision.

By building messages that will resonate with your prospects and customer; means that you are getting through to them and they will be more likely to make the decision to purchase from you.

Activities/ Tools:

  • Social media listening - Provides insight into attitudes and opinions of various stakeholders
  • Audience targeting - Defining the right audience
  • Stakeholder analysis - This involves building out a map of all your stakeholders, as not all stake holders will be affected by every business decision, this is a map that informs us who will be potential stakeholders and therefore educate our decision-making process
  • Personas - Developing personas for the target audience is the main way we clarify segmentation. We use the persona tool within HubSpot for this
  • Research and surveys - I’m sure this doesn’t require much explanation, we use this step to understand an individual’s perceptions
  • Perceptual maps - This is what we gather from our research, here’s what they look like:

  • Message development - Companies messaging chances too often as companies are acquired or new products are launched, we work with the client to develop their messaging (this includes their values, vision, competitor performance, to name a few)
  • Messaging house - Because it’s too important to get the branding and storytelling right. This is document that is produced from the step above, your message development
  • Buyer’s journey and Sales funnel - You’ve all heard of the sales funnel, and we lovingly support that methodology here as it can be applied to any sales process and it’s optimised for inbound marketing
  • Customer journey map - This is an alternative way to. describe all customer experiences. It begins with the customer first impression of the company and then finishes after sale of the product, this map incorporates any friction in the process of buying
  • Setting objectives (and SMART objectives) - Objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound)
  • Valid metrics matrix - Built around the funnel and outputs, this model incorporates each stage in the funnel and the effect of these on you target audience, and intermediaries. Here’s the tool below:

  • Briefing sheets 

 

Step 3: Deliver

What: It’s where we deliver on campaign planning and strategy, to generate opportunities. In this stage we focus on achieving maximum impact on our tactics, from completing and delivering the work.

Activities/ Tools:

  • Payment by results - We actively encourage PBR to ensure that our pay is tied to the success of campaigns
  • Idea generation - Brainstorming and benchmarking are some of the ways that we generate ideas to be used for content and campaigns
  • Project/ activity tracking - By using tools as simple as protect dashboards, we make sure that we can keep track of all campaign activities that are taking place and report back to the clients on our progress
  • Dashboards including:
    • Press releases schedules
    • Article schedules
    • Content planning
  • Management tools schedules - Such as work-back schedules
  • And of course, how we deliver on our services:
    • Content planning and creation
    • Managing written content
    • Creation and editing of visual graphics
    • Video production
    • Website development
    • PR and media relations
    • Advertising and planning
    • Publication analysis
    • SEO services
    • SEM
    • Lead generation
    • Email marketing (including database management)
    • Email design and development
    • Landing pages
    • Marketing Automation
    • Social media marketing

 

Step 4: Enhance

What: It’s essential that we not only understand which campaigns have been successful, but also understand what techniques got us there. Communicating success to the client is just as important as recognising a successful campaign. The tools and techniques that we use to measure campaigns can be found in this section.

It’s where we refine what we do to deliver a better return on investment. The other steps within the 4-step process involve continuous adjustments, to improve the campaign. Whereas ENHANCE takes a step back to look over the approach as a whole. In this stage we identify if the approach we are using is as effective as it can be, or we may decide to radically change the process for success. Enhance isn’t about ‘tuning our engine’ it’s more about ‘building a better engine’ (if need be).

Activities:

  • Evaluation strategy - Good objectives and KPI’s will determine how you evaluate. This will have been set out in the planning stage of the campaign
  • Media clips - We collect these in-house and share with clients
  • Meltwater - Our tool of choice when it comes to collecting online cuttings, it allows us to eliminate specific searches such as press from news wires and crawlers. This allows us to send off only the highest-value of cuttings to clients, and exclude ‘spammy’ copies of content
  • Coverage analysis spreadsheet - We believe this is standard format is the best way to present and analyse client coverage on a monthly basis, however, for specific campaigns we also do offer bespoke reports when required
  • Online activity and advertising - This goes beyond simply calculating basic metrics of cost per click, when we have access website data we can dive into looking at channel specific traffic, conversions, customer value to name a few metrics
  • Publisher stats - we use these as a last resort as you can never guarantee which publishers remove ‘spammy’ clicks and which include these within your data, never the less, they are still valuable when analysing campaigns
  • Google analytics and client statistics - This is a better tool to understand the real value, we can easily remove clicks from users that have bounced as this signals that they were not interested in the content and therefore filters out any bots, or ‘spammy’ clicks as we say
  • Marketing automation platforms - These platforms are highly important for tracking campaigns across all stages of a campaign, it gives insight into whether the interest from potential customers kicked off by a social media interaction, and followed that link through to the website where they decided to sign-up to a newsletter/ or even buy!
  • Social media analysis - These are some of our chosen tools for social:
  • KPI performance ­- Measurement matters! Marketing technology advances have made it easier to and more affordable to connect activities with outcomes, KPI’s (key performance indicators) are our tool for measuring the success

 

OVERVIEW

We use the Napier 4-step process to ensure we deliver the best possible campaigns for our clients, and also for Napier. The process not only generates great results, it also improves communication, both within the agency and without clients as we think about how to optimise the campaign.

Stuck for tools...? Why not visit our tool box?!


HubSpot's State of Inbound Report 2018

State of Inbound Report 2018

The state of Inbound 2018 report is finally here! Read on for some great stats and insights of the current state of the marketing landscape.

The Main Marketing Challenges and Priorities for Marketers

Top priorities:

  • 69% of marketers said that their biggest priority was converting leads to customers
  • 61% said that their marketing priority was to grow SEO and organic presence. Blog content creation followed second with 55% saying that is their priority. Surprisingly only 50% of people said that marketing automation was their priority, but I would expect this is because most companies already have this in place.

Top challenges:

  • 61% said their biggest challenge was generating traffic and leads
  • 39% said ‘proving the ROI of our marketing activities’. This is a big challenge as 53% of marketers said that ‘Inbound marketing gives us higher ROI’. While 18% of people could not or do not bother calculating ROI.

The Growing Importance of Video Marketing

In the 2017 report we saw a big shift with marketers focusing more on video marketing. The 2018 report shows that YouTube is the channel most invested in with 45% of marketers saying that this is one of the channels they will be investing in over the next 12 months.

But who started the video hype? Well, you may have thought this is a trend of the younger generation, but the State of inbound 2018 shows that it’s actually the senior marketing leaders who are making a stand and putting video at the forefront.

Business Preferences

Are you becoming a little anti-social? I think so... 83% of people within a business for internal communication prefer to communicate over email; with only 59% of people who would rather speak face-to-face. Looking at the other end of the scale only 32% of people want to communicate using messenger apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook messenger. It appears to be the C-Level executive’s that prefer using the messenger apps than VP’s, Managers and Individual contributors.

Overrated Marketing Techniques

HubSpot asked marketers what they think the most overrated form of marketing tactics, and by far, paid advertising was voted the most overrated. Maybe the death of paid advertising is near, there’s a few reasons this could be such as banner ads becoming too popular, or people aren’t seeing enough return on investment from them, we’ll have to wait and find out.

Sales

Surprisingly, 75% of sales teams have said that instead of improving the efficiency of the sales funnel that they are more focused on closing more deals in the year to come.

Now a sales team should be spending all their time on prospecting and selling, right? In fact, many reps are spending a lot of time on data entry. The report showed us that only 25% spend less than 30 mins on data entry per day, everyone else is spending between 30-120 minutes per day on data entry and other manual tasks.

On top of this, the majority of senior leaders are predicting that their sales teams are spending less than 30 minutes a day on data entry and manual tasks.

To download and read the report in full, please click here.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 7 - Putting the marketing mix into context

 

What did we cover?

Following on from our session last week, where we explored the marketing mix and the factors we should consider when choosing your own marketing mix. This week, we talked about how we can adapt the marketing mix to the following organisation types, business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and not for profit/ third sector, and small to medium sized enterprise (SME).

Markets are dynamic, and constantly changing,. This blog in particular explains how we can shift our marketing activities in order to meet objectives that differ across organisations.

 

Business to Consumer Marketing

B2C marketing is usually the easiest of marketing techniques as, after all, we are all consumers. This gives us lots of previous buying experience to reflect on when deciding how you cater for your audience. For this business you need to ask all the questions that will be going through a consumer’s head before making the decision to purchase your product. The simplest way to do this is to imagine you are in their shoes, what do they want to know before buying?

After really diving into what they want to know and what takes a consumer to buy, you will need to tailor your marketing mix to their preferences. B2C’s use their product research and development to ensure that they are meeting their consumer’s needs and do continue to. This might include the after-sale care, such as a warranty for a phone, or added value such as ‘bundles of benefits’ which could be extra data free for a month with the purchase of a phone.

Product:

Business to consumer marketing needs to ensure that their products differentiate from their competitors. This is because consumers have a shorter decision process, than say, a team of influencers within a business making a B2B buying decision. Consumers won’t see the value in your product. Your product must cater to the individual’s needs; survey’s and focus groups are a good way to conduct this research.

Price:

Pricing strategies will vary depending on how well the brand is established; consumers might pay more for the brand itself even if a competitor is offering a similar cheaper product. The price needs to match the quality of the item.

Place:

There are many ways that the product can be distributed to the consumer, this includes less direct options such as manufacturers, agents, distributors, retailers; and more direct options such as your company website or an in-store purchase.

Promotion:

Techniques will vary dependant on your target audience, with online and offline techniques that you can get your business message across to your audience. The most important thing to think about is reaching your audience on the channels that they are already on, such as Facebook, or messaging on billboards in a particular area.

 

Business to Business Marketing

The main difference when marketing to a business and not to a consumer is that you will be marketing to a team of decision makers, rather than a singular consumer. B2B marketing can be categorised by the type of purchase, these main purchase categories are new-task purchase, modified re-buy, and straight re-buy.

For each purchase type the marketing mix will vary, this is because as the nature of purchases differ so will the marketing mix.

New tasks - These tend to have a complex decision-making process, mainly because it’s a new product that the company might not have much experience with and its likely to be a major process. Unless, it’s something like buying your stationary from a new supplier, which will probably be low risk.

Modified re-buys - Provided that the previous product met the expectations, then this style of purchase will be fairly straightforward as the customer knows what they want, whether this is the same as before, or a similar product with a newer modification. In this case, personal selling with personalised negotiations works really well.

Straight re-buys - When a business is buying a straight forward product, for example a standard product that is used in the manufacturing of their own product.

Product:

B2B companies need to make sure that their products have an advantage against their competitors, but the type of products that they are likely to be selling tend to be more complex. They might be more service based or mixed. As with more complex products, there will be an extra service such as technical advice and after sale training.

Price:

In B2B you will find that there is more leeway and negotiation when talking about price of the product/ service.

Place:

A lot of companies will buy directly from the supplier, this means that the distribution channel is much shorter than B2C. Key areas to think about here are transport arrangements, the storage of products, and inventory control.

Promotion:

The ‘buying unit’ within the customer organisation is often complex and B2B organisations will usually have a sales team that build a relationship with the key decisions makers and influencers, while catering the product to meet the customer’s needs. As the products/ services of a B2B company are more complicated, the advertising and promotion will also include a lot of educational content to teach the prospect about that particular area. Advertising is most likely going to be constricted by trade publications, the messaging of these ads normally takes a more logical approach rather than incorporating emotional messaging.

 

 

Small/ medium enterprise marketing

SME’s usually have less resources than larger companies, and with this, they might be limited in growth opportunities financially. Less resources will mean that they will take on a more hands on marketing approach and therefore have a more personal relationship with their customers. The decision-making chain is much shorter than what you would see in B2B, meaning better flexibility to cater for their customers specific needs. The distribution strategy will be simple, and promotion as it’s costly will be on an ‘all you can afford’ methodology.

Product:

SME’s key to success is about finding a niche in which they can differentiate themselves from larger competitors in the market. SME’s will take a flexible approach to new business when beginning to cater the product for customers.

Price:

A new SME might struggle to increase their pricing strategy as customers could question the reliability, or financial stability of a newly emerged product. A clear price structure that is based on the average price in the current market is how SME’s should begin.

Place:

Smaller enterprises tend to deal directly with the customer, it’s more personal but after a while new channels will develop and the selling with be less direct. SME’s need to consider the cost of different channels and how this cost might affect the overall price of the product.

Promotion:

Budget is often limited for SME’s promotion, and the approach is often what area of the business needs the most resources put in. You will see that SME’s will look for cheaper forms of promotion such as social media advertising, and steering clear of TV or radio ads. Digital media allow SME’s to reach a large audience geographically at a low cost, this is a better tactical approach for small businesses.

 

 

Not for profit/ third sector

Previously, marketing for not-for-profit companies was frowned upon, but today we see it in a different light.  The single biggest difference between commercial marketing and third sector marketing is their objective. Businesses are looking to satisfy stakeholders, and not-for-profit organisations are looking to serve a different type of stakeholders.

Product:

There might be a physical product that third sector organisations create in order to raise funds, such as a small memento, in this case there could be marketing around this product. Usually not for profit organisations is marketing a particular campaign as a service.

Price:

Prices will remain the same, they might not even cover the actual cost that the organisation is paying but this will be part of the package, that say, the council is giving back to the community.

Place:

This is usually high street shops such as a charity shops. However, there is an online presence for these organisations where people can donate and sign-up via a website that might have been shared through a link in an email.

Promotion:

Not for profit organisations are very limited by their resources. As the decision makers within these charities and other not for profits will want to give the majority of their money to ‘the cause’. These organisations need to ensure that they give out the right message, and a lot of time will be spent to make sure that the message is appropriate.

 


CIM Lecture notes - Week 6 - Outlining the marketing mix

What did we cover?

It must be the MOST fundamental of all marketing concepts, behold... the marketing mix! I have touched on this in a previous blog, however this was centred around the digital tools within the marketing mix. This blog outlines the key considerations when outlining your organisation’s marketing mix.

 

The marketing mix

It’s made up of the famous 4P’s which consist of product, price, promotion and place. The marketing mix was put into place to assist marketers with the how, where, and what, they should be selling their product or services for. These 4P’s are the tactics that us marketers use to meet the needs of stakeholders. Each P can be broken down into its own mix of activities:

 

Product:

This mix is about understanding how decision making takes place for new product development, what products a company should keep and of course, which products should get the sack (discontinued). Another important part of this mix is deciding what can be done to maintain your product. Modifications of existing products mean you can keep up with the pace of changing customer needs and the external environment.

  • Products will fall into categories, whether they are consumer or business to business marketing. These categories consist of convenience goods, shopping goods, speciality goods, raw goods, components, supplies, accessories, and installations. Here’s a good blog on the product classes if you wish to find out more.
  • There are different levels to a product or service when talking about its value, the ‘bundle of benefits or ‘total product benefit CIM like to say. It starts with the core product; which will benefit the consumer, for example with the use of a mobile phone, the core product would be communication. The next level of value is described as actual product, this is the value of the features and capabilities of the product/ service as well as any branding, packaging or design. For a mobile phone this could be the quality of the camera. The last added value of purchase is called the augmented product, this is all about the sales ‘after care’ if you wish, such as value through a product warranty, guarantee, customer service and support.
  • This was a model that was introduced by marketers to help better understand exactly how a buyer adopts and engages with a new product or technology. I’ve previously written a blog about the diffusion model, and you can have a look here if you haven’t already.

 

Price:

No shock here, this is where the pricing policy is discussed, as well as the methods and tactics for pricing. The desired positioning of a product is often reflected by the price. In this section we have the consumer in mind when considering what the pricing strategy will be for the product. The quality of the product must be reflected in its price for consumers to feel like they are getting a fair deal. For example, a corner shop with hand written neon stars as pricing labels wouldn’t be very successful with a Waitrose pricing strategy...

  • Company and marketing objectives should be reviewed when looking at the pricing strategy. This is because an organisation looking to grow their market share might need to initially reduce costs to get them where they want to be. Likewise, a company wanting to increase profits, will need to increase pricing.
  • There are a few pricing methods to choose from, and what works best will vary depending on the industry and organisation you are in. Pricing tactics include product line pricing, which is where products are ‘stepped’ (increased) dependant on their production cost, benefits and features. The next pricing tactic is optional product pricing, this means adding the option of extras to a single item, for a car the extra option might mean paying more in return for heated seats. Product bundle pricing, is for when products are sold together at a reduced price such as a multi pack bag of crisps.
  • Pricing strategies for a product or a portfolio of products include cost-plus pricing. This is a simple way of calculating the cost it took to produce the product and adding a fixed percentage for profit; this method does incorporate the marketing costs or efforts that went in to aiding the sale. Demand-based pricing is probably the consumers worst friend, this means marketers will set the price at what their research tells them that people are willing to pay. For cars, if the price goes up then people are likely to look elsewhere, but if your bus fare went up in price then for that unfortunate consumer they don’t really have another option and are more likely to pay the extra cost. Competitor pricing is when an organisation with match their competitors pricing. This includes when a company ‘matches’ the cost but at a slighter lower price for a competitive advantage. Psychological pricing, which I’m sure you will have seen everywhere, this is when you see a price at £99 - the trick is to make you think you are paying less.

 

Place:

Here is where we think about where we place our product for the best sales, how we might get the product to the consumer, and how much distribution costs will be. Selling directly to consumers, will be cheaper for the company per item sold. We also have to think about when intermediaries are involved, how this will affect how much we sell each product for, as it will need to include logistics such as storage and transport.

Sometimes the P’s will crossover, that is why price also comes into this element when we’re talking about distribution.

  • Developing a distribution network will save you effort and time, while increasing opportunity when selling in bulk, however, it will mean you don’t make as much profit per sale. These are some of the channels you might choose. Agents, this includes manufacture’s agents, brokers, fundraising agents, and selling agents, they don’t tend to take title or ownership of the product but will receive a commission for being the intermediary. Distributors do usually take ownership of the good you’re selling, and this comes with a ‘handling fee’. However, not all distributors will directly deal with the consumer, in some cases you will be responsible for customer support. Wholesalers will support the sale with a wide range of functions such as promotions, storage, customer feedback, and credit control to name a few. Retailers are anything from corner shops to, high street shops and supermarkets, and will only deal with the end-consumer. Direct routes involve the manufacture directly dealing with either the business buying their product, or the end-consumer; rather than an intermediary.

 

Promotion:

This leads onto what promotion mix will be used to promote your product or service. Here we will decide the appropriate marketing mix for our specific target audience, the right messaging to use, and consistently using this message across all tools, while also selecting what media choice will be the most effective.

  • There are far too many aspects of the promotion mix to dive into for this blog, but I wanted to highlight some if the key points that this section of the P’s cover. Advertising covers media such as radio, television, internet advertising, these media messages follow the DRIP methodology (differentiate, Remind, inform, and persuade - the consumer to buy). Public relations which is what companies do to get a message to a large reach of people; will help organisations to develop relationships with the key influencers in the media as well as stakeholders, it’s also used to counteract negative coverage. Direct marketing is one of the most personal form of marketing that the consumer will experience, and it includes SMS, email, TV selling, or any other channel where you directly meet your target audience. Sales promotion is designed to increase sales, it might include a discounted flight ticket for a holiday, the idea it to convince people to purchase when presented with an offer, it could also be about loyalty vouchers.

 

There it is, the marketing mix. All the tactics you need to reach and meet the needs of important stakeholders.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 5 - Presenting your data and information to form insights

What did we cover?

In last week’s data collection orientated lesson, we learned how to present and gather insights from raw data. Once we have these insights into the current situation, we can then use them in forecasting; this blog discusses the benefits of forecasting in marketing.

 

Managing and presenting data/ insights

You could go to the effort to create the best research project in the world, but if you don’t know how to present this data properly then it really has no value. Your marketing research should lead to results and recommendations.

Instantaneous data is becoming more apparent as we look at data that is drawn in from online sources such as surveys. In this case the person who set up the report might choose to have instant alerts meaning that once a recipient has completed the survey a direct email is sent to the creator.

 

Benefits of forecasting

Forecasting is what we are able to complete after we have collected the data and research. But why exactly is it so important to marketers?

Forecasting gives us the upper hand as it can identify opportunities and potential threats. The sooner we identify these, the sooner we can begin to create tactics that can be implemented to achieve better results. Looking at forecasted events will allow us to explore trends in the market, and how we can use them in what we do.

Previous forecasting of say, future costs and trend predictions allow us to refer back and think about how accurate we were. We can compare our current situation to how we forecasted it to be. Analysing how accurate we were can help us improve how we forecast in the future.

If we do our research at the right time and begin acting on it then we’ll keep a competitive advantage over our competition. This way forward thinking will help us to maintain a good public image, be on top of our game, serve the right product in the right place and at the right time; and also bring more money to the table.

 

The marketing information system (MKIS or MIS)

The MIS is a ‘system in which marketing is formally shared, stored, analysed, and distributed to managers in accordance with their informational needs, on a regular basis.’ Jobber, 2007. Maybe you haven’t heard of this before and it might be because your company doesn’t haven one in place, don’t worry because most companies don’t! The idea is that companies input the information in the diagram below into a collaborative dashboard that people can easily view and gain insights from.

What makes data valuable?

The value of the information can be demonstrated by the following characteristics:

  1. Completeness
  2. Accuracy
  3. Relevance
  4. Clarity
  5. Timeliness

These few checks on your information can distinguish whether it’s going to add value to your decision making or not, the key is not to rely on your information unless you believe it’s ticked all the boxed above.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 4 - Marketing information and research

What did we cover?

This lesson was focused on marketing information/ data and research, why we need insight as marketers, and how we can use it to make better judgements and more effective campaigns.

Another aspect of reviewing marketing information is the form it comes in and how we collect it, read on to learn about what we did in week 4!

 

Marketing information - What’s the need?

 

The first thing to understand is that data + information = INSIGHT

 

To know what your customers are thinking is one reason why we need marketing information. Once you know this you can begin to imagine the steps they take before they make a purchase. From looking at the customer journey we can identify barriers and eliminate these, for a smoother transaction.

As a marker, we need stats. Why? Because a hunch just isn’t enough these days! Marketing research provides you will all the information you need to be able to back up campaign ideas; if there’s a trend then we need to be able to justify and back up with stats provided by data. Trends are what allow us stay ahead of competition, if we can identify these before they do then we have a competitive edge.

Measuring how well we did can only be done if we can compare how well we did on our previous campaign, and how do we do that...? With stats of course! I must sound like a crazy stat lady, but you get what I am saying here - we do need them.

Brand perception is gauged by marketing information, we use it to understand what the overall perception of the company is from an outsider’s view. I’ll move onto what we collect, and where we get later in the blog, but without marketing information we’d struggle to understand where we are as a company, and with that, we wouldn’t know how to improve.

 

“to manage the future is to manage informationHarper, 1961

 

How do we get insight?

There are two main types of information and research that we can use to get insight from, these are:

  • Marketing research - this would be used upon starting a campaign, it involves analysis and collection of information to assist in decision making for marketing projects.
  • Market research - this is used for when you are looking at a given market place. It will analyse the bigger picture and look into the demographics of the end user of the company’s product.

 

Forms of data

Companies will often carry out the task of collecting data before many events. This can include a launch of a new campaign or product, or a move into a new market. The forms of data vary, but you will usually need to explore all forms of data below to get a well-rounded perspective:

  • Descriptive - what products are being bought and where
  • Comparative - benchmarking
  • Diagnostic - why the customer is doing something
  • Predictive - how will the customer/ market react?

 

Sources of information

The data you collect will either be secondary or primary.

 

Secondary data

This data should be collected first, confusing - I know. It’s the kind of data you can collect from sitting at your work computer with access to internet and previous marketing campaign data/ results, any existing data that has been collected for another purpose. It’s great because it’s free and ready to hand, but the important thing to bear in mind is that it has been collected for another purpose, it wasn’t created to answer the questions you’re asking. Secondary research can either be internally or externally sourced.

Internal sources

External sources

- Sales figures

- Directories

- Number of employees

- Government statistics

- Operational data e.g. stock levels

- Published marketing reports

- Customer feedback and complaints

- News and media sources

- Advertising spend

- Trade and industry stories

- Previous campaign data

- Competitor data (what’s available)

- Previous marketing reports

- Online information sources (desktop research)

- Personnel

- User generated media (social media feeds and forums)

- External database

 

Primary data

To follow on from your secondary data research, comes primary data. Primary data is created specifically to achieve one objective and is sourced usually after you’ve exhausted all your secondary resources. This type of data has been created for the purpose of answering your question, making it highly relevant but also expensive as it could involve some of the following techniques.

- Surveys

- Interviews

- Focus/ Discussion groups

- Panels

- The Delphi technique

- Observational and participating

- Experimental

 


CIM Lecture notes - Week 3 - Factors and trends in the marketing environment

What did we cover?

Trends are important for marketers as they help us identify what direction marketing taking ahead of time. Knowing trends before they happen allow us to understand what is and isn’t working, and then implement that change before your competition does; helping you achieve goals more effectively and giving you an advantage. The macro and micro environment can affect us in the planning stage of marketing, and this week we went over the factors and trends in the marketing environment, and how they affect it.

Micro and Macro environment

What is micro and macro, I hear you ask...? Well, maybe you didn’t quite get that excited, but here’s what they are. Micro factors, are the factors that can directly influence your marketing, some of which are controllable by your company. Macro factors are factors that indirectly influence marketing, these are typically the factors you would see in a PEST analysis and cannot be controlled by your organisation.

Example micro factors: the company, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customers, competitors, and the public

Example macro factors: demographic forces, economic forces, natural forces, technological forces, political forces, cultural forces, environmental and ecological forces, legal forces, and ethical forces

Once you understand how to identify the relevant factors that influence your business, the next step is to outline and evaluate these in a marketing audit. The marketing audit is a vital stage of marketing planning as it establishes a benchmark or starting point on which to grow from. The marketing audit is made up of three elements, there are an external audit of the macro environment, external audit of the micro environment, and an internal audit. I talked more about influencers can have an impact on the business, or customer/ consumer in one of my other CIM blogs, you can read that here.

 

PESTLE Analysis

The PESTLE tool is a way of working through every factor that we should be considering, we use it in similar way to a check list. PESTLE stands for:

[P] Political - First consider the external political environment, and any changes you can forecast over the next 3-5 years. What policies may a new government enforce, and how will that affect your company.

[E] Economic - Here you are looking to spot any trends in consumption, such as taxation inflation or unemployment, and changes to exchange rates would be evaluated here.

[S] Social - Changes to society, demographics, a useful resource might be the census or regular government reports to look over regional and social movements.

[T] Technology - This is where you begin to identify new technologies in the market that provide an opportunity, IoT is one area that is massively growing and will shape today’s industry. Try to evaluate how your company will move with change.

[L] Legal - New laws are often introduced, such as the more recent GDPR regulations put into place, how will this affect your company?

[E] Ethical - Consider your ethical corporate responsibility to be ‘green’ as well as take an ethical approach, companies should understand what are growing concerns of the public and the expectations that lie with you as a business to improve situations such as global warming, can you introduce a ‘paper less workplace’ for example?

 

Check out some of the other models and tools you can use in my marketing tool kit blog!

 

 

 


CIM Lecture notes - Week 2 - Planning and buying behaviour

What did we learn?

In the second week of our digital module we discussed the marketing planning process and why it’s an important part of marketing. In this lesson we also covered buying behaviour which varies with every customer.

We also took a look at how influencers can have an impact on the business, or customer/ consumer such as environmental, social and political.

 

The planning process

There are different approaches when it comes to marketing planning, and more than one model that you can use; but why exactly is planning so important? Planning is the fundamental element for identifying organisational direction, providing direction, ensuring that you can track and report on your objectives, ensuring that you cover all areas and finally, planning provides organisational focus.

Planning helps businesses get past day-to-day firefighting, and educates the whole team on company goals, as well as exactly where their role fits into.

The planning process should incorporate all of the below:</span

  • Objectives - where we want to get to
  • Analysis - internal and external factors that could affect your business
  • Strategy - how are we going to get there
  • Action plan/ tactics - what we need to do to be able to get there
  • Timing - time scales of goals and objectives
  • Resources - the resources we need to achieve your goals, including budget

Some marketing planning will be carried out in stages, such as the action planning. Another approach to planning is cyclical, the cycle time will vary depending on the task, an example of cyclical planning is the SOSTAC model</span.

 

Planning model: APIC

APIC is a model that takes a cyclical approach, it varies slightly from the SOSTAC model. It’s four stages stand for:

  • Audit and analysis - identifying strengths and weaknesses, incorporating both external and external (macro and micro) influences. This section is also used to examine the businesses strengths and weaknesses, a SWOT tool can be used for this.
  • Planning - this stage sets out the target results that you will later audit on, these should relate to corporate goals. While also including your tactics, schedules, budgets, and specific marketing activities.
  • Implementation - this is where you deliver on the plan and discuss marketing and promotional mix. The success of this stage is dependent on a good ‘audit and analysis’, and success is measured in the last ‘control’ stage.
  • Control (Evaluation) - the very stage involves measuring the overall success of meeting goals and objectives.

 

 

 

Customer and consumer buying power

A key part of marketing is spent evaluating your customers and prospects. Marketers are really trying to understand their customers buying behaviour - here’s why you should be paying attention too:

Deliver more appropriate and relevantly: Understanding your customers wants, needs, and what influences them is key. You can then begin to develop an understanding of what platforms they are using and meet your customer where they already are. If you know your customers, it means that time isn’t wasted on content that isn’t going to move your target audience closer to the end of the funnel.

Higher customer satisfaction: Marketing campaigns that deliver relevant content, will mean that prospects will have a higher interest in what their reading. From this, it will make it a better experience for the customers, but also improve the effectiveness of the campaign.

Better customer/ business relationship: A customer who feels that a business understands what they really want, will hold a better relationship and encourage returning customers. Knowing your target audience also means knowing how they prefer to communicate. Whether customers prefer to make a purchase decision based on reviews or based on ad that popped up at the right time, this is something that you may need to consider.

 

Customer Influences

There are many variables that are not controlled by marketers but can have an influence on their purchase decision, such as their age, or lifestyle differences. Below are some of the biggest influences to be aware of:

Psychological influences

  • Attitudes and beliefs
  • Perception
  • Motivation
  • Learning

Social and cultural influences

  • Groups
  • Culture

Personal factors

  • Demographics (e.g. age, job, location)
  • Personality
  • Propensity towards risk (how likely are they to take a financial, performance, physical, social, ego, or time risk when making the decision to purchase a new product?)
  • Behavioural economics

 

Business influences

Similar to customers, businesses also have influences that play an important role within the spectrum of buying behaviour. These influences are:

Environmental factors

  • Economic climate
  • Technological
  • Political
  • Cultural
  • Social factors - especially for global companies dealing with lots customers from different backgrounds

Organisational

  • Policies
  • Performance evaluation
  • Internal hierarchy/ status

Group or interpersonal factors

  • Group dynamics within a team, teams are often not static and therefore will affect how they influence each other ion joint decision making

Individual factors

  • Personal factors including age, and an individual’s opinions will affect the direction the company goes in, at the end of the someone will make the final call

When a decision has an outcome that affects a large amount of people, there’s no surprise in the number of factors we are seeing here! The more complex decisions become, the more people are involved, and the more data is analysed.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 1 - Marketing’s position within a business

What did we cover?

 We have moved onto the next module of the CIM course (the marketing module), and begun by exploring the definition of marketing, the function of it and the role it plays within a business. 

Marketing defined

A main concept of marketing lies with the idea that marketing is the management of an exchange process, we exchange our goods whether it be money, products, ideas and beliefs for non-profit organisations. This idea can be demonstrated in the diagram below.

Let’s talk about marketing as business philosophy. Marketing plays a crucial role in a business, and the perception of marketing as a business philosophy is definitely one I would consider true. Marketing is where customers stem from and would certainly be considered a fundamental in most businesses.

In the lesson we talked about how marketing is a catalyst for change. This means that marketing sparks an action for change and marketers should be able to respond dynamically because we are working in a fast pace environment where in order to keep up, we must adapt.

Marketing is management process responsibility for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitability’ - CIM

Marketing is often perceived as a management process - yet, CIM explain that it is not only managers that do it. It’s more about understanding that marketing handles the responsibility for ensuring that we recognise customer needs as they need them, and quite often identifying the customer needs before they need them. A good example of this would be car air bags. Volvo identified that safety would be a major focus in the future of that industry and were able to introduce air bags at an early stage.

Product sustainability in marketing, is how we satisfy customers and a good product will meet a customer’s needs and expectations. The last aspect of CIM’s definition of marketing to explain is probability, it all comes down to making money, and our end goal of marketing is effectively to turn prospects into happy customers.

Key terms and useful definitions

Differentiation - this is about making sure that your product/ service has unique features, that will help it to stand out aside from the other products in the market

Segmentation - dividing your target audience into individual segments who share common characteristics, the process of segmentation allows you to give more relevant content to your customers (e.g. we have a segmented newsletter that contain different topics, this lets people sign-up to more related news)

Targeting - the process of using segmented groups of your target audience to serve better content to prospects/ customers</span>

Direct marketing - a combination of advertising using computer technology to directly reach out to prospects or customers, this includes email marketing

Relationship marketing - marketing shouldn’t just aim to acquire customers, it should also be used to retain existing customers, relationship marketing is the term used for the on-going relationship with the customer

Social marketing - over recent years marketing has grown and now covers more than just the traditional channels, there are now government agencies that are trying to implement people attitudes to specific issues such as healthy eating or anti-smoking campaigns - this is social marketing, campaigns which aim to promote social well-being

Market orientation - the focus on identifying and satisfying customer requirements is known as market orientation

Company orientation

Orientation means relative position, in this context it means how a company views the relationship with their customers. There are a few different views when it comes to business drive, below are some of the ways that a business may see themselves relative to the market they are in:

  • Product orientation - the company are high advocates of their product, they believe that their product is the best out there. The problem with this view is that the company will invest a lot of their money into the manufacturing of the product and do this because they have assumed that people will want to buy the ‘best’ product in the market.

 

  • Production orientation - making the cheapest product there is may appeal to some people... but it is not always the best approach. Some companies will put a lot of time and effort into producing the cheapest product on the market to maximise profits. The major flaw here is obvious, you will potentially lose customer over low-quality items.

 

  • Sales orientation - the need for continuous sales, for companies only really looking into the number of sales behind the product. Short term this is effective for income however, in the long run you could miss out on opportunities by hounding down on such a small area of the overall picture. There’s an argument that there should be a section for companies who have a ‘marketing orientation’, but to adapt this view would mean you perceive marketing as just a sales support role and don’t take in to account many other forms of marketing, including strategy on thought-leadership pieces and content development especially in B2B marketing.

 

  • Market Orientation - this type of organisation wants to engage with their customer to build long-term relationships. This company often understands the importance of understanding what customers want from your business (market orientated companies are market driven, different to marketing orientated companies who are market driving).

It’s clear that the goal here is to hold a market orientation within an organisation, so why aren’t all companies market orientated? Possible reasons include leadership issues, lack of customer insight, lack of infrastructure, or the company may have a too transactional approach when it comes to marketing.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 6 - Digital marketing plan models (Your planning tool kit!)

What did we cover?

As the due date for our coursework was quickly approaching, this lesson was spent recapping on multi-channel campaigns and the models we have worked on throughout the units. We also looked at how exactly, we can in-corporate these into a digital marketing plan.

 

Customer Journey

To understand the customer journey, you must investigate the different touch points that your customer experiences with your company. I’m sure you are aware that customers don’t just make any purchase, from a company placing a product in front of them...

The customer journey is the pathway your customer takes from the first step of understanding the problem, to end goal of making a purchase from your company. Marketing channels are your customer, and brand touch-points. There are now so many different channels that can reach customers, and all customer journeys will be different for each brand depending on the platforms and channels your customer uses.

The marketing activities on the top demonstrate the actions made by the customer e.g. reading a blog, or visiting the company website, and the marketing activities along the bottom are actions made by the brand.

 

Multi-channel Campaigns

If executed correctly then multi-channel campaigns will increase your market reach for the same message, you would be extremely lucky if all of your audience were using the same platforms! In reality, they are most likely not, and this is why it’s important to use more than one channel to get your message across.

These campaigns also give you the ability to integrate with segmentation, as well as buyer personas. This integration means that when reporting you can look at campaigns as a whole, rather than analysing in sections. This will give you a much better idea of the success of a campaign.

Offline marketing activities can also be integrated and use the same messaging. However, this is slightly harder to report on and align with your online marketing activities.

Multi-channel campaigns will increase the overall strength of the message in your campaign and seeing more of the same message will reinforce it.

 

Marketing Funnel

The funnel outlines various stages that a prospect will follow, starting from the first point of contact such as a form completion on a website, to when the prospects makes a purchase. It’s a good way to visualise the customer journey and helps to demonstrate the funnel like process. Marketers should start broad and aim to capture as much leads as possible, then over time as you nurture prospects they should move down the funnel. Some prospects will drop out for reasons such as losing interest in your product, and as you get closer towards the end of the funnel you are left with the prospects who will turn into customers.

 

RACE Model

This model was introduced to aid online marketing activity planning, it integrates into the stages in the marketing funnel above.

REACH: [Buyer stage - Exploration] For raising awareness, this is usually done via social media platforms such as Facebook. Blogging and search engine optimisation is another way that companies can reach their customers.

ACT: [Buyer stage - Decision making] This is where the company is interacting with the customer through use of the website and they get closer to becoming a lead or customer. Blogging, content offers, and interactive tools are all ways that a company can act with customers for this stage.

CONVERT: [Buyer stage - Purchase] The contact has now become a valid customer and has completed a purchase.

ENGAGE: [Buyer stage - Advocacy] This is where companies should continue building the long-term relationship between them to encourage customers to become advocates. This will lead to a repeat sale or potentially recommendations to new customer who haven’t bought from you before.

 

SOSTAC

Planning... Where do you start? There’s a model for that! The SOSTAC model was created to help marketing planning, and it outlines a good methodical process to follow. The model helps guide you through all the necessary components of a marketing plan, it covers everything from identifying where you are now, getting where you want to be, and everything in between.

This is what SOSTAC stands for:

[S] Situation Analysis - Where are we now?

[O] Objectives - Where do we want to be?

[S] Strategy - How do we get there?

[T] Tactics - How exactly do we get there?

[A] Action - What is out plan?

[C] Control - Did we get there?

 

SITUATION ANALYSIS: At this point in the planning process you are trying to identify where you are now, you should consider using the SWOT tool here. Key areas to focus on in the situation analysis are marketing trends and themes, how well your competitors are performing, and your company’s internal resources and capabilities.

 

OBJECTIVES: The SOSTAC planning model uses the 5 S’s to help distinguish where we want to be:

Sell - Customer acquisition and retention targets

Serve - Customer satisfaction targets

Sizzle - Wow factor, this is the added value you offer

Speak - Engaging customers

Save - Quantified efficiency gains

 

STRATEGY: Moving on to working out how we actually get there, this stage in SOSTAC will give us an overview of our plan using the STOP & SIT tool:

Segments

Target markets

Objectives

Positioning (OVP)

And

Sequence (Trust, Try, Buy)

Integration (CRM & Database)

Targeting and Segmentation

 

TACTICS: You’ve done your overview of how you’re going to get there, now this stage goes into the specifics of how your strategy is going to work. The tactics of your marketing plan should talk about the 8 P’s of marketing, communications mix, content plan, and a contact plan.

 

ACTIONS: Who does what, and when do they do it? This stage assigns people with responsibilities, and tasks. It is also used to outline the processes and systems needed, internal resources and skills, and also if you require external resources they can be mentioned here.

 

CONTROL: Optimise! This section of the plan uses your KPI’s, objectives, and web analytics to optimise your activities. Through monitoring you can measure the success of user experience, conversion rate, frequency of reporting, and the process of how you report and carry out actions.

 

Why not visit Napier’s Toolbox  if you’re interesting in producing your own tools for evaluation?


CIM Lecture notes - Week 5 - Describing the process and stages involved for digital adoption

What did we cover?

Today’s lesson was focused on describing the process and stages involved for digital adoption and evaluating platforms for different contexts.

 

What is digital adoption?

The world is integrating to digital whether we like it or not, digital adoption is about understanding how to adapt with this change and use it is how intended.

A very common misuse of digital it is a business’s customer relationship management system(CRM), if all of your sales team is on board and using it to track and record every sales action then it would you could safely say that you are using it to its intent. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, a lot of companies are not using their CRM system to its full potential, with only some employees updating occasionally.

 

Diffusion of innovation model

This was a model that was introduced by marketers to help better understand exactly how a buyer adopts and engages with a new product or technology over time. It’s a model that is used by businesses when they want to gage how a new product or service is going to perform in a new market.

The diffusion model shows the five categories that a consumer can fall into and, as a business, how to engage with these different categories. This is the diffusion model:

 

 

These are the categories that make up the diffusion model:

  1. Innovator - Innovators are small groups of people that are exploring new exciting ideas and technology opportunities, the followers for these ‘gadget fetishes’ will typically have a lot of marketing content available to them, such as specialist blogs like Gizmodo.
  2. Early adopters - You would consider early adopters as the ‘opinion leaders’ because they share positive testimonials about a new product or service; early adopters seek improvements and efficiency. To get engagement from an early adopter it will require more persuasion than the innovator; However, they are receptive to change.
  3. Early majority - Followers that are likely to read reviews to understand to the product, they will look for product reviews via YouTube, YouTube is the platform the majority will find business product reviews.
  4. Late majority - They don’t tend to be keen on change, this category of consumer won’t tend to buy a new product unless there is strong evidence in the success of the product/ service or feel that they are being left out by not owning. To engage with this audience, businesses should provide marketing material, evidence and reviews from consumers in the ‘Early adoption’ stage.
  5. Laggards - Tend to prefer to ‘lag’ behind... these are not your trend setters! Laggards will only get on board with your product or service once they have researched statistics or felt pressure from others who have bought.

 

Evaluating platforms

Platforms have different strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to consider which platforms that are successful in different contexts. Platforms could be evaluated for the following contexts:

 

Depth and breadth of coverage

    • How frequent is the content? 24/7?
    • How many people are you reaching?
    • Celebrity endorsements
    • Websites give you a lot content, they are great for depth

 

Analytics and metrics

  • How easily can you access metrics for a platform?
  • Can you identify the success/ failure of a campaign?
  • Using email platforms, you collect a variety of email stats (e.g. bounce rate, open rate), making the platform great for tracking your campaign

 

Collaboration and workflow

  • What platforms enable you to collaborate with others?
  • Crowdsourcing (e.g. social media)

 

Engagement

  • Responsive marketing
  • How easily can you measure customer engagement?
  • Does the platform allow you to measure if it was a positive or negative engagement?

 

Scalability

  • How efficiently can a campaign be scaled? Global?
  • Does the platform allow you to tweak the budget spend? (e.g. AdWords)
  • Can you run multiple campaigns at once?

 

These are the main points ....


CIM Lecture notes - Week 4 - Digital tools strengths and weaknesses

What did we cover?

In this lesson we learnt about digital tools in more detail, and how they can support and enhance your marketing strategy with their strengths and weaknesses. We also looked at how digital hardware can be co-ordinated.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses for Some of the Digital Communication Mix

 

Live chat

Strengths:

  • Oversea call centres now mean that we can overcome language barriers, and improve the customer experience
  • Live chat enables 24-7 customer service to be available
  • Often chat ‘handlers’ are able to multi-task and help 2-3 customers at once
  • Chat bots allow you to send relevant and useful links to customers in need of information

Weaknesses:

  • Software hitches or technical difficulties has potential to result in a bad customer experience if the line gets cut off

 

Video

Strengths:

  • HubSpot found that 55% of people watch video content thoroughly, appose to skimming. As for blogs where it is more common for people to skim.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine, proving there is a high demand for video content
  • Video is widely used for learning and entertainment, educational videos make great shareable content

Weaknesses:

  • Costly and time consuming to create
  • More bandwidth required
  • People won’t always opt for video over text content if they are in an open area with others around them

 

Social media

Strengths:

  • It’s Free!
  • Humanises your brand and gives the opportunity to represent brand values and voice
  • Most social media users will log into their account at least once a day, proving that people are regularly using these platforms

Weaknesses:

  • Time consuming
  • The Edelman Trust Barometer has revealed that media is the least trusted source of all markets
  • Bad PR around social media such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Podcasts

Strengths:

  • Helps to build relationships, your audience is listening because the content is relevant, and they are interested
  • Content to build thought leadership perception
  • Can be used as live content and then re-purposed as a downloadable offer afterwards

Weaknesses:

  • File sizes are often large, which could make it hard for people who have a slow internet connection to access (an audio only podcast would save file size)
  • Unlike a webinar or conference call, there is no way for your audience to interact, get involved and ask questions

 

Applications

Strengths:

  • Apps are more than just social, they can be used for news, games, sports etc.
  • Apps give brand an opportunity to provide their customers with an app that provide them with something of value, your app could help customers solve a particular issue, or be transactional
  • More opportunity within apps if you integrate advertising onto the platform

Weaknesses:

  • Mobile apps require on-going maintenance to solve any technical issues
  • Expensive

 

Email

Strengths:

  • Flexible design will help to convey branding
  • Scalable, meaning you can reach you audience at a global level
  • Thanks to marketing automation, we can save time by using automated emails

Weaknesses:

  • Bounces and undelivered emails, there are lots of things that have an impact on whether your email will bounce or not (e.g. keywords, html, or out of date marketing lists)
  • Resources and skills - it’s sometimes easier to outsource if you don’t have the right time or skills in-house as email campaigns often take a lot of preparation and content

 

How Does Digital Hardware Fit into Marketing?

 

Mobile/ handheld devices/ smart phones

Mobile devices are now used more often than desktops are for traditional browsing, and that’s why it’s important to adapt to this change and integrate marketing with mobiles. Mobile marketing interacts directly with the consumer and has great tracking benefits; Tracking is almost instantaneously and helps us to better understand user behaviour.

 

Wearables

This market is fairly new and has lots of potential, wearables are widely used and predicted to keep growing. Wearable devices provide marketers with more opportunity to give users a more personalised experience, geo-ads are an example of a personalised marketing approach.

 

Internet of things

The IoT will continue to grow as more and more devices will be connected via the internet. For marketers this means they can give a more tailored and relevant experience to the user that could be based on location, and demographics.

 

TV/ Radios/ Consoles

Marketers are now having to think about the direction that the world is going in, Netflix’s CEO has claimed that “broadcast TV will probably die by 2030”. Consumers now have more control and would rather pay to just watch the TV shows they want, when they want it, factors that businesses should acknowledge when considering commercial advertising.


CIM Lecture notes - Week 3 - Digital tools in the marketing mix

What did we cover?

How digital tools can support and enhance marketing efforts, we also looked at role of digital marketing within the marketing and extended marketing mix.

 

Digital and the marketing mix

The marketing mix is your core 4P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion). These are the foundations for your marketing mix, but as time as progressed we now also have the extended marketing mix. This is made up of 7P’s that are tailored for use in service industries (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence).

Below are the ways that these important P’s can be thought about in a digital aspect:

Product - Digital products, brand rise and fall, digital enabled services

Price - New dynamic pricing strategies meaning that price can be updated in real time according to how popular the product /market is at that point in time, enhanced measurability of pricing, less overhead costs for eCommerce<

Place - Fewer intermediaries, global locations, digital product delivery 

Extended marketing mix::

Physical Evidence - All online collateral is consistent and recognisable with branding, higher use of customer testimonials in messaging, expert content enhancing brand confidence such as webinars

Process - Better customer communication, enhanced eCommerce platforms, introduction to customer relationship management (CRM) systems such as SaleForce

People -Social media marketers now commonplace, marketers now need digital skills, brand advocacy now actively encouraged

 

Digital communication and the online community

There are thousands of free, as well low-cost tools that can help us as marketers. The important point to remember is that integrated plans require a range of communications, which will depend on your segment and message focus.

Within the past ten years, digital has grown massively and marketing can now happen on almost every communication platform.

The digital communications mix includes the following:

    • Blogs and chat
    • Video sharing
    • Social networks
    • Wikis, user forums and groups
    • Podcasts
    • PSS
    • Widgets
    • Photo sites

How I Learnt About HTML Emails and Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can seem daunting... especially when looking at the full picture from someone who hasn’t worked with it before. Marketing Automation is so valuable to your business from cutting down time spent on previous manual tasks such as the creation and sending of emails, social media posting, and of course the tracking insights that come with measuring all your marketing activities in one place.

1. HTML foundations

To take this back to very basics and where it all began, was of course learning the foundations of HTML. No, don’t worry... you don’t actually need to know HTML, the current popular MA platforms enable to you create emails easily using ‘building blocks’ and by dragging and dropping the content where you want it.

Taking this back to how I learnt about MA, this is where it all started, with my first HTML email as shown below:

This was one of the initial tasks I started with when I was still an apprentice at Napier; it was purely a training task that was set out for me to complete using Notepad++ as the tool to write the code. Being a keen festival goer, and having free reign over the design of the layout, I started writing the code aimed to be used as a promotional email for Wilderness festival.

The VERY basic form of HTML coding can be seen below, this is an example taken from W3Schools including the code and what it will look like when displayed on a web page:

2. Client work

Progressing on my training tasks, the next step was putting this learning into practice with client work. The first client project I worked on was an eblast, which already had the structure from previous email campaigns. It was important to run a consistent theme across campaigns so, for this email it was a matter of keeping the format and knowing which parts of the code to alter. My training on HTML meant that I knew what tags to update and how this would affect the final layout.

Changing HTML can be scary, one missing ‘<’ and your email could risk having random white spacing, images over lapping, odd fonts of text, it’s endless really. You must make sure you’re closing all your tags and using the right text. An example of a simple mistake is when styling you accidentally use the UK spelling for ‘colour’ as in HTML we use the American spelling like this:

How do you check you HTML exactly? Using a HTML validator is one of the methods I regularly used when writing code, I used CSE HTML Validator, this will pick up any potential problems and flag them in your code.

3. Intro to HubSpot

This is where I moved from using Notepad++ and started using our Marketing automation platform, HubSpot. In this platform I was working on client email campaigns, that originally started off as static emails that would be automatically sent to contacts that met the ‘criteria’. This could be an action such as the contact purchasing a product off the website.

HubSpot email automation works using ‘workflows’, once a contact has completed the required action they would then be put in a workflow that follows with a series of actions. Workflows can be tailored to achieve different outcomes such as welcoming a new customer, engaging with current customers, or sending relevant content as a result of an action they made.

4. HubSpot advancement

As I continued developing more experience in HubSpot and its capabilities, the team and I at Napier worked to develop a series of emails that were designed to automatically pull through data from the customer management system. With this we could pull in customer purchasing data into  automated emails that we were distributed to customers.

Moving onto smart lists, and personality tokens was the next step in my development into learning marketing automation, smart lists are what we used in HubSpot to get the right emails to the right customers. Smart lists are created using smart criteria that assigns contacts into lists. It gave the customers a much more personal experience that was unique to them, we also used HubSpot’s ‘personality tokens’ to personalise the email one step more; These personality tokens can be used to include the customer’s name in the email body.

5. Top tips for getting started with Marketing Automation

  • Use personalisation / dynamic content
  • Segment your audience for better engagement
  • Use MA to re-target prospects
  • Get your timings right, remember to set the times in which your automated emails are being sent, you don’t want customers getting your marketing emails at 3am!
  • Make sure to allow recipients to have the option of viewing the email as a web version, just in case the email doesn’t render on their email server

 


CIM Lecture notes - Week 2 - Integration of Online and Offline Marketing

What did we cover?

In this lesson we were assessing the impact, and influence of the dynamic digital environment. We discussed the integration of online and offline marketing concepts and applications, and also looked into how customer behaviour has changed as a result of the digital environment.

Integration of online and offline marketing

Digital is great but... Not every ad will look the same across every channel.

Multichannel campaigns (combinations online and offline marketing techniques) can be used to reach your audience and connect with them. The key is for campaigns to be consistent and engaging, your campaign could be focused on digital but you can integrate other channels such as print advertising to help increase your reach.

Consistency will improve awareness and ad recall, while taking a multichannel approach will help improve the overall engagement.

Different channels have distinct strengths and weaknesses, an integrated campaign doesn’t mean that you have to do the exact same thing across all channels, it gives you the flexibility to tailor each message slightly for the ad to utilise the strengths of each channel.

The 4 C's

This model is what is used to generate a successful integrated campaign, Pickton and Broderies 4C’s outline the 4 key elements to help your campaign reach its goals.

These are the 4Cs to consider below:

the_4_cs

 

Customer power!

Yes! Customers now have more power. With the influence of digital and online coming into place we see that consumers now expect more communication from companies before making the conversion from a lead to a customer.

These are some of the key ways that digital has changed the purchasing process:

  • Less intermediaries between the brand and customer due to websites and eCommerce
  • Brands are closer with customers through their use of social platforms
  • New technology enables more convenience for customers, Chats bots enable a 247-communication platform for customers to reach out to your company
  • Customers can readily access more information at the ease of a Google search
  • Payments are made easier through eCommerce sites
  • More availability for consumers, due to globalisation

CIM Lecture notes - Week 1 - Digital disruption and The Scope of Digital Marketing

What did we cover?

In this week’s lesson, our focus was on the impact of digital disruption. What exactly is digital disruption? Digital disruption is the introduction of new digital products, and more importantly how they can make an impact on your business model.

We also looked at the scope of digital marketing, with specific attention to the Internet of things, Big Data, and Marketing Automation.

Digital Disruption

Traditional marketing concepts are not to be thrown aside, and they’re still valuable! The shift over to digital presents new opportunities for a more direct, tailored, diverse and accountable marketing approach.

With the shift to digital, we now have more data than ever, and marketers need to make sure that they are utilising this power.

Below are some key opportunities and challenges that arise from digital disruption:

Opportunities-

  • Enhanced customer knowledge
  • Faster and more efficient channels
  • Personal engagement
  • Community-based marketing
  • Two-way dialogue
  • Niche segmentation

Challenges-

  • Limitations with technology
  • Customer brand power
  • Training needs
  • Cost of initial investment
  • Too much data!
  • Partial participation

The Scope of digital marketing

This is where we looked at how digital marketing is progressing and what new technologies are coming into play as we move forward.

Internet of Things:

The internet of things is the connection of remotely controlled, physical items to an online network. Through the IoT devices we have access to more accurate data that will help to market to people more successfully. Recently, there has been a significant rise in the number of connected devices over the years.

The IoT promises to bring every object, consumer and activity into the digital realm
Paul Daughty, Accenture CTO, Accenture

wearable devices such as the smart watch, is a great example of the type of device that can be used in marketing. Wearables like the smart watch are fitted with geo trackers, and location based vouchers are a way of utilising your customer data in a way that will benefit them.

Big Data:

The use of big data in marketing is accelerating and, at the moment, mostly being generated from users. However, future data will move to being collected by machines and connected devices (Internet of Things). Through data collection more opportunities are offered to better understand our customer’s needs.

90% if the data in the world today has been created in the past two years

Data is being generating constantly, but to make good use of the data it needs to be transmitted, stored, analysed, and acted upon. The two key areas for marketers to use is personal information, and business/ impersonal information.

Marketing Automation:

To put it simply, marketing automation is the automation of all your manual tasks; this could include sending emails, social media posting, and other various marketing activities. The automation of these activities saves time and allows you to focus more on the monitoring, measuring and improving of the customer experience once the campaign has been set up.

Marketing automation lets you integrate personalisation, 24-hour availability, and the ease of measurability with your campaigns; It’s widely being adapted by companies as a ‘must’!


CIM Student - Where Did it all Start?

(Certificate in Professional Marketing (CIM) Level 4 - Intermediate)

It was approaching the end of my apprentice and the big cloud that dawned above me was, what’s next...?

Over the past year and a half, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an apprentice at Napier. It’s down to the experience I have gained, the things I have learnt, and of course everyone at Napier who has supported me on my path.

What’s next?

So, I knew that I wanted to stay on with Napier, but more specifically, what comes next? I spoke to people around the office and found out about the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), others have taken part in this certification at Napier to boost their marketing skills and qualifications.

CIM

The Chartered Institute of Marketing offer qualifications that are designed to help guide marketers through their career, and development. As I had previously completed the apprenticeship in digital marketing, I went direct to the Level 4 - Intermediate level, rather than the Level 3 - foundation certificate.

The CIM course is made up of 3 modules:

Marketing -

This module of the overall qualification is mandatory and it’s recommended that you do this unit first, it goes into the role and function of marketing as well as covering what it is that influences buyers to buy.

Integrated Communications -

This module is also mandatory, it will look into the different communication methods for communication with customers, including both inside and outside the company.

And your choice of...

Customer Experience -

It’s really important that you are be able to understand every aspect of your customer’s experience in order to meet and deliver to the customer’s needs, this module talks about how to monitor and measure customer satisfaction.

or...

Digital Marketing -

In this module it covers the digital marketing landscape, it looks at emerging technologies and how we can utilise these in our marketing. Another important topic that this module goes into is your digital tool kit, which is about how to use digital tools to enhance your marketing.

If you would like to see more information about the CIM certification, please visit https://www.cim.co.uk

What’s next to come?

I will be putting together my weekly lecture notes into a series of ‘Lecture notes’ blogs, so that you can learn about marketing with me.

To stay updated, you can check the blog for my lecture notes.

 

Lecture notes

CIM Lecture notes - Week 1 - Digital disruption and the scope of digital marketing


Top Industry Twitter Feeds

Twitter is great platform for marketing, but it’s a lot more than just adding some text, a link, and a hashtag. Successful Twitter accounts will reach out and engage with the right people and with the right content. But how exactly do you know what content to share?

Often the best way to learn how to grow your own account is by looking at existing accounts. What are they are doing? And how well is it working?

We've compiled a list of some of the best Twitter feeds in the industry for you to use as inspiration for your own account, whether it be personal or for your company.

Electric Engineering - @eeportal_com

This account focuses on providing a portal dedicated to electrical science and education. Joining Twitter in 2008, they currently have a good following at 68.8K followers. Electrical Engineering share great educational content from their Electrical Engineering Portal as well from their Electrical Engineering Daily Dose blog. Educational content is great for giving your followers content that is valuable because it’s something that they will gain from and find useful.

Another good tip we can pick up from EEP’s Twitter is the consistent stream of content in their feed. Consistently sharing relevant content will position yourself as a industry expert and give people a great reason to follow the account.

IEEE Spectrum - @IEEESpectrum

IEEE feature all the latest technology and engineering news updates. They’ve been using Twitter since 2008 and have a massive 129K followers, so they must be doing something right. IEEE consistently have a good flow of information, and link to appropriate hashtags and other users. Linking to other Twitter accounts is a good way to increase engagement, and show that you’re involved in the community.

Electronics Weekly - @ElectronicsNews

Electronics Weekly use Twitter to promote its content on the Electronics Weekly website, with most of the content centered on industry news. Looking more specifically at the text in the tweets that Electronics Weekly are sharing, they have a good use of hashtags which will help increase the reach of their tweets, and means that their tweets will come up when users are searching for those key terms.

A pinned tweet might be something that you could consider for your own account, if you’re not using one already. Whichever tweet you decide to pin, it will stay as the top tweet when someone visits your profile until you decide to unpin it. Pinning tweets are a good tactic if you’re wanting to include a bit more information than the bio on Twitter allows, or if there’s a tweet that has been particularly successful and you want more users to see it when they visit your page. Electronics Weekly have used a pinned tweet to highlight the award results from an event, a great way of utilising the feature.

 

MIT Technology Review - @techreview

Focusing on providing its users with educational content, this account explores all the ways in which our world is shaped by technology. MIT Technology Review have used great imagery in their tweets and coverage image, the power of imagery is often overlooked but it’s key to making sure that your content looks engaging.

Interesting Engineering - @IntEngineering

Designed for lovers of all things engineering, tech and science, this account pulls together fun news and shares about 5 tweets a day. This may seem like a lot of tweets, but if you have enough of the right content then this is a good number to share per day. There is so much content on Twitter that when you share a tweet it often won’t be top of the feed for long; the length of time that a tweet is still receiving impressions in a Twitter feed after the time of the post can also be referred to as the tweets "life span".

Interesting Engineering’s has varied its content by integrating video marketing into their social media strategy. Video is great content to share because it’s visually stimulating for followers and can often convey messages quicker and more easily.

EDN.com - @EDNcom

EDN are primarily engineering focused, and again successfully use its hashtags to increase their reach. This twitter account has kept the length of tweets short, which is important for Twitter, as often too much text will not be read. Unlike a social media platform like LinkedIn, where adding more text to a post works better.

Writing tweets about current and topical events is a good way to engage with your audience. Below is an example where EDN has discussed an important date of Technology history, as they mark the first American spacewalk during the Gemini 4 mission.

All About Circuits - @AllAboutCircuits

A good description of the content you are sharing in each post is key, your followers should be told exactly what it is you are sharing and what they are supposed to do with it. In the tweet below, we can see what the topic of the content is, appropriate hashtags, and a short description in the link.

Sometimes interacting with other accounts on social media can be overlooked by businesses, but it is still an important tactic to make sure that you are liking, retweeting and commenting on relevant industry figures posts. It shows your followers that you are active in the industry community, and that you’re aware of what is going on and current hot topics in the news.

 


What is Flipboard? And why use it?

What is it?

If you haven’t yet used Flipboard, it’s a great social app that allows its users to share, group, and collect content from multiple sources all in one place. It gives you the flexibility to set up your own streams, called ‘magazines’ to organise valuable content you come across when online. Users are also able to subscribe to public magazines that are owned by others or brands.

It’s a really easy to use tool that more people should be using. You’ll never have to worry about losing that bookmark article again!

How can it help you?

Whether it’s personal or business related, Flipboard can be used to aid many activities in your day to day tasks:

Keeping up with the industry news - gather all the top new stories and group into a magazine that can be shared with people in your team

Content marketing - looking for content ideas? Flipboard contains thousands of magazines covering numerous topics at your disposal to view, group, and take ideas for your own content marketing strategy

Collaboratively - this tool can be used to discuss ideas and concepts with clients. The clients can also use it to represent the direction they want a particular project to go in.

Create your own newsletter - yes, you can do this! We’ve integrated our Flipboard with Mailchimp to give us our very new ‘Industry News’ updates as an email newsletter that is then sent round the office, and has been met with great success!

Napier’s Flipboard

Here at Napier we have started to use Flipboard as a haven for all our useful articles, and stories that we want to share with colleagues. Our ‘B2B Tech Marketing’ stream is where we keep relevant marketing news, and Business to Business specific marketing tips and tricks.

Please go have a look at our Flipboard B2B Tech Marketing Magazine for more news.


What has an apprenticeship meant for my future?

It’s safe to say that I don’t regret my apprenticeship with Napier one single bit. My journey started when I finished taking my A levels at sixth form and I decided to jump straight in and take the apprenticeship route to kickstart my career. I was amongst the minority of people who chose to take an apprenticeship rather than going to university, and I really feel like the hard work has paid off now that my apprenticeship is coming to an end.

I made the choice to take an apprenticeship while everyone around me was deciding what they were going to be studying at university. Although there are lots of interesting courses out there I’ve found that I’ve always been more of a practical learner. There is a common misconception that apprenticeships are designed for engineers or hairdressers, but I can tell you that this is nothing more than a myth and I think more people should be aware of all the different courses out there, as from my apprenticeship I have gained a strong foundation in which to build my career on.

One of the factors that draw people to apprenticeships is not having endless student loans debts to pay off, and of course it’s been beneficial to be earning while learning at the same time. This has allowed me to be able to start saving money for moving out, and help me set up for my future.

After being with Napier for over a year now, there’s no doubt that this is where I want to be moving forward. Apprenticeships give you the full insight to what exactly work life is like in your chosen industry, and with the addition of college alongside your work placement, it gives you the perfect complementary mix of education and work.

I don’t think it’s stressed enough how many other valuable skills you learn from apprenticeships; skills that you won’t be exposed to if you’re not in the workplace. I now know how to effectively communicate with others, better manage my time and have gained the experience of working in a full-time position.

I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to explore such a large variety of digital marketing, and PR projects. The whole team at Napier should be thanked for giving me enough support and guidance, while still giving me that necessary leeway by trusting and giving me the independence to work on client campaigns.

The apprenticeship has led me into earning even more qualifications. From this April, I am enrolled on the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Level 4 course, an evening course at Chichester college. It’s great to continue developing my knowledge base and gaining more qualifications.

Over the past year I’ve had lots of time to look at the different elements of marketing. Napier has introduced me to all the areas, helping me decide exactly what I want to specialise in. I’ve been involved with PR activities, the designing of graphics, advertising production, and digital marketing campaigns. I look forward to continue developing my skills across all areas as I work on more projects with our clients in the future.

 

Why not read some of our other blogs that have been in support of National Apprenticeship Week?

From Apprentice to Marketing Specialist - Taylor's Journey

Emily's Level 3 Apprenticeship Experience at College

Q & A: We ask the employer, Why did you decide to take on Apprentices?


Emily's Level 3 Apprenticeship Experience at College

People often ask me how my workload at Napier affects my apprenticeship coursework, and I must say that managing college vs. Napier work hasn’t been an issue for me. This is because everything that I have learnt in college has been transferable to my work at Napier, in one way or another. Similarly, my work at Napier aids my college course, and a lot of my coursework portfolio has been made up of campaigns that I have been involved in at Napier.

I have found it really interesting to use client campaigns in my course work, as it gave me time to look into the objectives, target audiences and why we do what we do. It also meant that I was analysing campaigns with the client’s goal in mind, documenting my results and putting the academic learning from college into a real-life situation.

The structure of the digital marketing level 3 apprenticeship has been one that I have found to be truly helpful, and I think the main reason for this because of how relatable it is to my job. I found that the topics I was learning about in college would make much more sense after seeing it being put into place in a real-life example.

The course itself is made up of coursework (your portfolio) and the rest is exam based. I found that when it wasn’t busy at work it’d give me time to work on my portfolio for college. There are lots of units that you get to pick from, this is good because it gives you the option to select units that are particularly relevant to your workplace, or a unit that you wish to develop skills in.

Course teachers and tutors at Chichester college have been really helpful throughout the course; they have been the main point of contact for any questions or queries that I have had. It’s also been good to have the Wednesday sessions because you meet others that are on your course, and I liked finding out how our placements and work varies. The college was excellent at providing the right training resources I needed to complete my coursework and prepare for exams.

I’m looking forward to when I start attending my next course in April, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Level 4. This course will help me to have a better understanding of the global marketing landscape, so that I can progress my career in marketing.

You can read more on Emily's blogs here

 

Why not read some of our other blogs that have been in support of National Apprenticeship Week?

From Apprentice to Marketing Specialist - Taylor's Journey

Q & A: We ask the employer, Why did you decide to take on Apprentices?


From Apprentice to Marketing Specialist - Taylor's Journey

It has been a year since I completed an Apprenticeship with Peter Bush Communications, and I have recently hit the milestone of my second year working with the company.

It’s odd thinking that just a couple of years ago, I wasn’t certain about what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go after Sixth Form. I applied for an Apprenticeship through Cambridge Regional College in 2015 and since then, I haven’t looked back. My progression throughout the programme really gave me the boost I needed to kickstart my career in Marketing.

I chose the Apprenticeship path over University, and I strongly believe that it was 100% the right decision for me. Peter Bush Communications gave me the opportunity to develop my marketing skills and gain valuable career experiences in a real working environment; something I didn’t think was possible at such an early stage. The time and training dedicated to my personal development from the company has been faultless.

During my time as an Apprentice, I was able to get hands-on with the day-to-day running of the business, building relationships with clients and working on various exciting B2B marketing campaigns.

The company has now appointed me as one of its Marketing Specialists, where I continue to work directly with clients and broaden my knowledge within the industry. My next step is the goal of becoming an Account Manager here at Peter Bush Communications.

An Apprenticeship worked for me, and I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone looking to make the first step up into a worthwhile career.

Read more on Taylor's story here

 

Why not read some of our other blogs that have been in support of National Apprenticeship Week?

Emily's Level 3 Apprenticeship Experience at College

Q & A: We ask the employer, Why did you decide to take on Apprentices?


Campaign highlights from 2017

For Napier 2017 has been a great year, so we thought it was only right to share with you some of our best B2B campaigns we have worked on…

Vicor, Zero Volt Switching Whitepaper campaign

This content campaign aimed to promote the Vicor Zero Volt Switching whitepaper by encouraging people to fill in the form and download it, resulting in a list of marketing qualified leads for Vicor.
We started by promoting the whitepaper in Europe via a 3-part email drip campaign sent to an internal CRM list, which generated a successful open and download rates.
We also worked with Electronic Specifier on a specific whitepaper promotion package which included three months hosting on their website, daily newsletters and 2 custom emails.
So far, from all our promotional efforts, we have had over 350 downloads of the whitepaper and we’re only half way through our campaign duration. From this success, we’ve now deployed the campaign in America and India too.

 

Vicor blog

The Vicor blog provides relevant content around the best, and most innovative use of Vicor products and solutions written for Power Engineers. This includes interviews, checklists, and promoting other Vicor content such as webinars, and whitepapers.
Last year Napier wrote 68 blogs, here’s some of their most popular blogs from 2017
The blog has generated some of the most viewed pages on the Vicor site, proving that content marketing is an important part to any marketing strategy.

 

 

Anritsu webinar

Earlier this year we were asked by Anritsu to recommend a media partner to promote and host a webinar for them focusing on “Future technologies and evolution for Cellular Telecom Networks”, with the objective of generating marketing leads. Anritsu were really pleased with the way the campaign was handled, but were delighted with the 440 marketing leads that the pre-and post-webinar activities generated.

Farnell EU Lead Gen with Electronics Weekly

Farnell’s objective was to generate more leads across Europe with minimal budget, and with this we decided to run a competition. This competition ran in Electronics Weekly, Farnell element14 offered 3 lucky winners the chance of winning a STM32L4 Discovery Kit IoT Node. The competition was promoted by emails, banner advertisements, and blog posts.

The results were incredible, we exceeded client expectations and generated over 1000 leads! The landing page had more than 5,000 views, and a conversion rate of 20%.

 

Farnell element14 IoT Calculator

The objective was to create an informative piece of content that increased SEO value and traffic to the new IoT Hub website, also to increase PR coverage within the media. The inclusion of an interactive calculator tool was proposed by the SEO team at Farnell element14, designed to help engineers calculate battery life in IoT applications.

“The calculator really transformed a simple feature on battery life into something much more interesting that got us both SEO value and PR coverage.

Konstantina Papaioannou, SEO Analyst, Farnell element14

We wrote an article about IoT Battery Calculation, and created a simple tool that calculates the battery life for your IoT Application. You can read the article here

This campaign was a great success, the outcome was 32 different pieces of coverage spread out over 12 different countries which also generated over 900 visits to the calculator since page launch.

 

Farnell element14 Change the World

Premier Farnell’s Change the World challenge for engineers, is a global campaign, which had to make a large impact with a small budget. The campaign engaged engineers around the world by exciting them with an opportunity to present their creative ideas, which would make a positive impact on the world.

This competition offered engineers the challenge of selecting $1000 of Farnell’s products to create and achievable idea that would impact the world today.

Expectations of both the client and the agency were exceeded. This was demonstrated by the number of engineers and makers that took the time required to provide detailed information about their idea.

The outreach generated 30,000 visitors to the website, from 171 different countries exceeding the objectives and reflective the truly global reach of the campaign.

 

Farnell element14 HubSpot campaign

Farnell element14 have started using Marketing Automation, with HubSpot as their MA platform. Using HubSpot has meant that they can send personalised multi-language emails using dynamic content that pulls in data directly from their CRM, allowing the emails to incorporate product recommendations based on their purchase with links to the Farnell site.

These emails have increased open rates by 150% and successfully increased sales. Using HubSpot, we have been able to create drip campaigns and send to segmented lists based on customers buying habits, and also engage with customers that haven’t been active for a said amount of time by giving them money off vouchers.

 

Vector book

At Napier, we love nothing more than seeing the results of our hard work especially client coverage landing in our inbox or on our desks. More importantly, our clients always enjoy seeing their coverage and over the years we have chosen to share this with them in different ways.

Recently, for our client Vector Software, we worked on a campaign to produce a series of articles explaining their approach to producing high quality software for embedded systems in cars, which secured excellent coverage across a series of top European automotive, electronics and testing publications.  So, rather than just compile a report we created a book: we curated the articles and other content from campaigns so that the clients could use it to showcase their products and services and thought leadership.

Vector were so impressed with the original book that they commissioned Napier to produce five books that curated all the company’s collateral; data sheets, whitepaper, articles and fact sheets into five vertical industry books in English and German, which have proved to be a huge success at events and exhibitions.

 

IronCAD website plugin

IronCAD sell CAD software globally and have resellers around the world, each reseller had a different website to advertise their products. But, the problem that IronCAD faced was that each website looked different and didn’t carry the same look and feel throughout.

Napier created a plugin that allows IronCAD to roll out websites with the same look and feel of the American version but, is adaptable meaning that resellers around the world could include their products, their own contact information and also localise the text where appropriate. This plugin meant for IronCAD that they could deliver consistent brand messaging across individual country sites, and ensures each website is targeted to the resellers country which improves SEO for all sites around the world.

Websites have now successfully been rolled to out to resellers in Germany, Spain, Taiwan, South Africa, Sweden, Belgium and the UK.


What's it like to be a digital marketing apprentice?

The last 4 months at Napier have flown by, and I can safely say I am still enjoying it as much as my first day. This is my second blog for Napier, read my first blog here.

Napier is a great place to work as I continue with my apprenticeship - it provides a motivated and friendly working environment, everyone here at Napier are always willing to help me if I’m stuck or have any questions. My colleagues are really driven to help me progress throughout my work, and always keep me busy with new work.

My biggest project has been working on a Marketing Automation eBook that addresses all the mistakes that companies are prone to making when it comes to Marketing Automation. It was pretty hard to begin with for someone who has no knowledge in this field, but the project has really helped me learn and understand more about the topic.

Using social media is something that I have been used to as an active social media user, but now I know how to use social media more effectively, specifically for business use. As a result of this I am responsible for curating content for some of Napier’s social channels. I monitor social feeds to find relevant content and schedule posts in advance, I was glad to hear from the directors that the Klout score had increased since I’ve been active on the accounts, after I found out what that meant of course… a Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that ranks your influence on social networks, the higher score the more influential you are. Napier have been taking on more digital work and it has been interesting to be involved with business development, including prospecting for new clients.

I have also been able to get to grips with client work, such as the day to day running of competitions which encompasses the sending out emails to notify the winners they’ve won, checking prize stock lists and asking for new stock if required, and shipping the prizes to the winners; learning how to use SurveyMonkey in order to create research surveys in several different languages; I’ve been in contact with editors from various publications, to arrange meetings for a client in an upcoming exhibition/ conference; and analysing competitors coverage. I’m hoping to soon get experience with creating HTML emailers and newsletter coding.

The push for students to go to university after A-levels was strong, but choosing to go straight to work through an apprenticeship rather than completing a university/college focused course will give me the essential experience I need for a successful career. I am so fortunate to be in the position I am now, I have my whole career ahead of me and this is just the start. Working alongside my colleges, managers and clients as well the guidance provided by Chichester college has given me the support I need if I’m ever in doubt. While some tea rounds were inevitable, luckily my apprenticeship has been centred on getting involved with a large variety of work and, increasing my skills so that I can make a valuable contribution to Napier.

Having been used to the type of study done a classroom, it is completely different working in an office, surrounded by professionals in my field. I find this really motivating and pushes me to learn more. The one day a week I spend at Chichester college is good because it is a change in pace from the busy working environment, and gives me chance to focus on portfolio work, get guidance on coursework and prepare for exams to get my final qualification.

The 6-10th March 2017 is National Apprenticeships Week, so find out more by checking out the hashtag #NAW17 on Twitter.