Just Good Old Fashioned Customer Service

Balanced Scorecard

Businesses, particularly those in very competitive industries will often be encouraged to focus on the elements of marketing’s 7P’s model in order to stand out from the crowd. These 7 P’s are: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence; but each of these can be very complex areas that require a lot of examination and subsequent investment. Just twelve months on from the purchase of my wife’s German car we’ve returned it to the main agent for its first service. It was bought from a very large brand whose franchise is owned by a long-standing British firm which can easily ‘tick the boxes’ on five of our seven P’s. But the problems we have encountered with the remaining … Read More >

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Shared objectives require defining for success

I’ve been running my consultancy for many years now, 14 to be precise and during this time we’ve been lucky enough to work with many wonderful people. I used to think that this was just good luck on our part until recently when I started to question this element we refer to as ‘luck’. In fact I recall one business owner saying to me during a car journey that “the harder he worked, the luckier he seemed to get”. I hadn’t heard this before and so it struck me as being very insightful. But since that time I’ve thought about this even further. Take for example my comment about being ‘lucky enough’ to work with many wonderful people which really … Read More >

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It’s time to treat your data much more seriously

New UK data privacy rules - GDPR

In October I wrote a blog about the introduction of new data regulations that will come into force for UK and EU businesses on the 25th May 2018. If you’ve not read it and you don’t know what this is all about, I’d recommend that you do as it should help to reassure you what needs to be done to limit your risk as a business and as a company director/data controller. It will also help you appreciate the associated risks of buying in any consumer data, namely fines imposed of up to 20 million Euros.  I for one am personally delighted to see the new regulations coming into force, but I can also see that it will be quite … Read More >

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GDPR – Ignorance is no defence

If you’ve heard about this and are already preparing your business congratulations, if not then you really need to be aware of the changes coming our way that will most likely affect all businesses in the UK in 2018. So what is GDPR? It stands for ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ and it is designed to bring all European countries into line on matters of personal and commercial data protection enforcing such policies on all member states (surprisingly not all have robust policies). Of course it’s long overdue bearing in mind how much has changed with managing personal data since the Data Protection Act of 1998 was brought into being in the UK. Many consumers are in the dark about how … Read More >

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Brand Confusion?

What is a brand? A fairly straightforward question but with many struggling to define it accurately it seemed worthy of a a short definition from someone who spends a lot of time progressing businesses from companies to brands. A brand is ultimately the message (tangible, intangible or both) that you want to convey to your customers and your staff. You hope to do this through the actions you take, the products you sell and the manner in which you sell them.  So why do many struggle…? Let’s take the case of a shopper who comes into your store to purchase garments for a specific use such as an outdoor adventure trip in a warm climate. They want these to be hardwearing, … Read More >

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The ‘Training’ Winner Takes It All

In March 2015, we exhibited at the Business & Trade Expo organised by Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and like any good exhibition attendee we needed a particularly appealing and somewhat different prize draw from the usual Apple iPad’s and special introductory offers and thankfully we didn’t need to think too long or hard about our choice. As a strategic marketing consultancy we look at a wide range of issues that will affect the promotion of your business, in fact everything from your branding and the markets you serve to the way you engage them through your external communications and support them through internal teams.  This last one is often overlooked, but is often the most critical because it … Read More >

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If you promote goods or services then you need to know about this

CAP Code in hardcopy

If you don’t know what CAP stands or what it is and you promote goods or services then you and your company could be open to a certain degree of rebuke, embarrassment and unnecessary costs. CAP is the Committee of Advertising Practice, and they set out the Code (known as the CAP Code) to assign correct procedures and guidelines for developing advertising campaigns of a non-broadcast nature. This covers all forms of print and electronic advertising (newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets, circulars, mailings, e-mails, SMS, catalogues and other printed and electronic materials). It works in conjunction with other legislation such as the Trade Descriptions Act (1968) and the Sale of Goods Act (1979) etc. to determine a process which is both … Read More >

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Marketing’s changing…it’s no longer the office ‘Mistress’

Marketing as a discipline is changing and changing fast. It’s something myself and those of my peers who operate as Chartered Marketers, Fellows  or CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) have known for some time and have indeed been responsible for driving it.  Why has this happened? Well several decades ago finance was the sole heart of a business, the necessity, but also for many a tiresome discipline in a corporate world of mundane challenges. Marketing and advertising however gave company directors and brand teams the chance to critique and evaluate the latest creative propositions at the offices of their retained creative agencies. They were ephemeral and therefore fresh and exciting, as disciplines go, the ‘mistress’ that would enable brand teams ‘time away … Read More >

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Exporting is Great (Britain)

Recently UK Trade & Industry (UKTI) ran a series of market specific one-to-one scheduled meetings and mini seminars aimed at persuading British manufacturing and service businesses to have the courage and vision to consider exporting as a means of increasing revenue. The event ran across the week of 10th – 14th November 2014 and brought companies of various export capabilities together, from absolute first-timers to those considering an expansion of markets. We attended too, partly in support of three of our clients (two manufacturers and one service provider) and partly to try and understand the thoughts of some of the business owners attending.  Whilst I gathered mixed responses amongst several business owners who I spoke to, there were several who seemed … Read More >

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Copywriting – when pictures aren’t enough!

We get the message...just.

You’ve arrived at work having mentally prepared yourself for the challenges ahead, when your boss comes into the office and asks you to urgently compile an article for last minute inclusion in a magazine. We’ve all been there haven’t we? Thankfully in situations like this, your boss has most likely given you the subject content and the word count to help you on your way. If that’s not the case, writing prose for a deadline whilst making it entertaining, informative and devoid of errors can often be a challenge for many. Personally, I’m not a full-time copywriter, but as a marketing professional I am expected to craft stories on behalf of clients that read with more than a modicum of sense. … Read More >

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