Work Experience with Koogar (Marketing & Events)

Event Marketing (small)Koogar are looking for a Marketing and Events Student who wants a work experience opportunity for the next 8 weeks (Summer of 2015).

They would be looking after marketing and events for an Integrated Marketing Agency based on The Wirral to start IMMEDIATLEY!

This person MUST be studying marketing and events, can use a computer well including Social Media, great conversationalist over the telephone and email as well as creative and motivated!

A bonus of up to £800 is available for the student if targets are reached within the 8 weeks of working with us!

Contact Amanda at info@koogar.co.uk with the reason why YOU should get this amazing opportunity…

REMEMBER; be creative NOT boring! To stand out we MUST do something different…

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

[Guest Blog] Marvellous Mystery Marketing Tool

Traci Williams of Excel AceGuest Blog by Traci Williams of Excel Ace

When you think about Marketing your business, I’m sure you think of the common Marketing Tools such as Social Media, E-Mail Marketing and Branding etc, but I’m sure you don’t think of Spreadsheets??

Well, I can assure you, they are one of the most valuable assets to your Marketing Campaign, and can help with:

  • Identifying your Target Audience
  • Measuring the effectiveness of your Marketing
  • Following up and prioritising Leads

……and you don’t need to be a Spreadsheet Whizzkid either, here a few simple tricks:

Identify your Target Audience

You probably have a box full of Business Cards that you’ve collected over a period of time, but which ones do you select to aim your Marketing at?

I’d recommend listing ALL of your Contacts (from Business Cards, FB (Facebook) Friends, Linked In Connections etc) on a simple Spreadsheet……… but don’t only include the standard information you find on a business card, add a couple of additional items of information, like those columns at the end of this example:

Image 1

If you are then trying to find Contacts within a particular Geographical Location, or within a specified Industry, you will be able to apply Filters, to your spreadsheet to pick them out quickly and easily.

Filters enable you to drill down into your data, by temporarily hiding rows and just leaving your selection visible. Once complete, the Filter can be unapplied showing all of your data again.

To apply Filters, highlight all of your headings, go to ‘Data’ Ribbon’, and select the ‘Filter’ icon.

Image 2

This will apply ‘Filter’ arrows at the top of each column. You can click on the arrow at the top of each column to see a list of all the items in that column, then manually select or de-select them as required. (Tick ‘Select All’ to un-apply Filters and return to all of your original data).

Measuring the effectiveness of your Marketing

Keep another Spreadsheet, where you collect the details of all the Enquiries you receive, as follows (copy & paste data from ‘Contacts’ spreadsheet as necessary):

Image 3

By using Filters, you will be able to track the total ‘Value’ of the Enquiries that relate to each ‘Source’ or type of Marketing Activity, to see how effective it has been.

I would also recommend taking this sheet one step further by adding columns for ‘Action’, ‘Date of Next Action’ and ‘Status’, as this sheet shows:

Image 4

The ‘Status’ column contains Data Validation which provides a ‘Pick-List’ to select one of three statuses from, and also contains Conditional Formatting which will also change the colour of the row according to the status selected. This makes it easier to pick out those enquiries that are still ongoing (you can also apply Filters using these colours too).

You can also use Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts to analyse this data:

Image 5

This Pivot Table & Chart show the Value of Enquiries converted to ‘Clients’, by Marketing Source.

Following up and prioritising Leads

The ‘Date of Next Action’ column can be used to identify a list of Actions that need to be completed for a selected period of time, providing a ‘To-Do-List’. These dates can be simply overwritten as actions are taken and dates are amended.

The data on this sheet can also be ‘Sorted’ in order of ‘Estimated Value’ (in descending order, to put the highest value first), to help to prioritise which actions to take first.

Hopefully this has given you some idea of just how valuable a Spreadsheet can be to your Marketing……..and it’s not really that difficult either……..I promise!!!

The ‘Lead Tracker’ is a FREE Template you can download form my Website and it already contains the Filters, Data Validation, Conditional Formatting, Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts………so all you need to do is add your own data:

http://www.excelace.co.uk/alt.htm

Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you need any help with any aspect of your Spreadsheets……..they’re easy when you know how………and Excel Ace can show you how!!

[Guest Blog] Too busy for Time Management?

Sallie BateGuest Blog by Sallie Bate of  The Coachworks

Time Management, the wonderful enigma.  Of course, you don’t need it explaining that it is impossible to manage time, only to manage yourself and your time better.  A lot of business owners ask me for support with their time management.  Below, I have outlined some basic tried and tested methods to make sure you are spending your time on the right things.  Please believe me, I am no Time Management Guru, in fact I have always struggled with my time management, here are some ideas that have helped me get to where I am today:

Focus on your HPA

Amanda calls the important things you need to do; H.P.A’s (High Payoff Activities)

It may seem basic, but the amount of business owners who get caught up in the minutia of day to day activities at the expense of focusing on their High Payoff Activities is amazing.  Often focusing on the right tasks is the difference between a business thriving and a business collapsing.  It doesn’t matter about the colour of your paper, if your clients are starting to wane.

It goes without saying that each of the tasks that you perform must have a direct link back to increasing the profitability of your business.  However, of these tasks, there will be some that can be done by other people, actually let me correct that, there will be a lot that can be done by other people.  Write down your plan for this year, and then write down your key performance indicators.  How much time are you spending on tasks that are unrelated to these key goals/indictors?  How would your business grow if you just focused on these tasks?

Time Management is my responsibility

When coaching a client on Time Management I use this phrase:

When I give you my time, I am giving you a portion of my life that I will never get back.  Don’t waste it.

It’s a powerful phrase.

Too often we believe that our time is not ours, that people take our time and we have limited control over it.  In fact the secret of good time management depends on exactly the opposite.  Good time management depends on 2 things: taking responsibility; and being disciplined.  Without these you will always struggle.  I don’t want to hear you say “yes, but…” that won’t help you.  Taking responsibility means that you need to realise that you have choices, and that your choices got you to this point, if you don’t like where you are you can choose to change.  As Jim Rohn once said: “If you don’t like where you are MOVE, you are not a tree.

So what choices aren’t working out for you?  What other options do you have?

A task written down is worth two in your head

I have always used a “to do” list, but many people I coach, don’t use them.  Crazy right?  Surely you can’t function without a proper to do list?  I wasn’t blessed with a great memory, I’m in awe of those people that say, “Yes, I’m free Sunday, I’ll see you at 12”, and they actually turn up! In a business scenario your to do list is crucial, not just for remembering things, but as an analysis tool to ensure you are doing the right things.

After coaching someone I always look for the impact that my coaching has had, between you and me, if someone doesn’t have a to do list and makes that one of their action points I love it, because I know that they will see significant results straight away.  That’s how powerful a to do list is.

Some to do’s and to don’ts:

  1. Do write tomorrow’s list before finishing work today, you are in the best frame of mind to plan significant actions at this point.
  2. Don’t write things that you have completed already, it’s wasting time.
  3. Do deal with repeat offenders: If an item is always on your list and is never tackled make a choice: remove it from the list, delegate it or get it done.

And finally

Don’t go it alone, if you are struggling with your performance or if you simply know there is a better way of doing things then get support.  A good coach will support you in this.  Please contact me, I’d love to hear from you.

The new and shiny object!

North West Womens Enterprising Day LogoIve written a guest blog for Northwest Women’s Enterprising Day as this year I have been selected to run 2 sessions called “Create a beautiful experience on and offline” during the event (21st November 2014).

You can buy your ticket on Eventbrite. I have attended for the last 4 years and its a great and inspiring event! I hope to see you there so do coming along to one or both of my sessions!

Guest Blog by Amanda Dodd

Social media is the new and shiny object that marketing magpies are going after, but it’s not the answer to marketing. To a point it’s the glue that binds everything together but you do need other things to be wrapped around it.

Print, advertising and direct mail are all still necessary but we have to be a little cleverer to use them in a way that we can track the response we get from them. Giving calls to action at each point in time ensuring people make the next move. I know you may have tried it in the past but I just want you to look at it again from a different perspective.

Standing out from the crowd is every business’s objective as well as getting more customers but when we follow fashion all we are doing is blending in and our customers “to be” will not know the difference! So how do we make it easier for people to find us and know we are the right business for them?

Simple, create a beautiful experience on and offline!

Visit Northwest Women’s Enterprising Day to read the rest of the article

[Guest Blog] Which half of my advertising works?

Mel Bragg - The Edge Magazine, WirralGuest Blog by Melissa Bragg of The Edge Magazine, Wirral

Half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half’ – this is a famous quote oft trotted out by people in media sales, and I don’t mean to be predictable, but it fits this blog because it’s true. It was said by John Wanamaker, an early retailer considered to be a pioneer in marketing. His biggest store Wanamaker’s was Philadelphia’s first department store and he attributed the successful growth of his business to marketing.

Since the days when Wannamaker was planning his marketing spend, the media landscape has changed dramatically with local and regional radio and television now viable options alongside the traditional print platforms, and of course there are many online platforms for advertising: high traffic websites, search engines and on social media platforms such as facebook. Online analytics equip us with detailed data so we can make a more informed choice than ever before about where we place our marketing budget, but have we addressed the conundrum of identifying the half that may not work?

Successful marketing including advertising isn’t about guesswork, it is a science and there are basic principals that you should stick to when planning your advertising – no matter what platform you choose.

Target your message

There are so many niche platforms designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences so by choosing one relevant to your target audience you’ll ensure that your message is actually seen and seen by potential customers with an interest in your product.

Talk to your current customers to research which available media channels reach them. Make sure to ask about the whole spectrum of platforms they engage with so ask what publications they read, do they receive trade publications,  what radio station they listen to, do they ever click on the sponsored results on Google or Facebook, can they recall any ad they’ve seen on the side of a bus etc

Make your message appealing

Reaching the right audience is only half the battle – then your space has to do the talking and it needs to be effective.

Textbook rules are:

  1. Keep it simple – you’re just looking to get people interested in finding out more – not go through the whole sale process there and then.
  2. Open with a desirable attention grabber
  3. Don’t be cryptic, make it clear what you do
  4. Mention the benefits of your service – not just the features

Stand out from the crowd

Keep your branding consistent. If your ad can be recognised before they’ve even read it, your message will be twice as effective.

A picture really can say a thousand words – and will enhance your marketing message too.

Use PR to present yourself as the expert

Things have moved on a lot since the PR’s heyday and today’s readers are far too savvy to fall for the bland, generic ‘business does business’ news pieces written in the past. It’s essential for good PR to add reader value, publishing something that will broaden the reader’s knowledge rather than just reporting that you have customers or you have done a deal.  Use your advertising space to write a good piece of native PR in your field of expertise, giving readers the benefit of your knowledge and ensuring they engage with you for further help in your field. The only downside is that to be effective this has to be written by you – you’re the expert, not a PR firm. You couldn’t get someone to do your job for you, and similarly you won’t find someone to write decent native PR for you – they’re not the expert in your field.

Design a mechanism to monitor response

Can you include a sweetener to entice people to get in touch which will allow you to monitor your response? Insurance backed guarantee? Extra discount for early booking? Free report or anaylsis? Every little helps! People will only volunteer to tell you what they are responding to if it benefits them, and even then, the genuine response route can get skewed. They may tell you they contacted you from your website, but what lead them to your website? So ideally offer a discount / freebie / extra when they mention your advert / post / tweet etc.

More effective, but not always possible is to set up a brand new telephone number or web page to respond to – you’ll definitely know that those responses originated from your marketing activity.

If this isn’t feasible, ensure you religiously track your analytics in the days and weeks following your campaign. Even if the phone doesn’t ring the week your ad comes out, if your website traffic increases measurably that’s due to your marketing activity and it’s all helping to achieve your marketing objective of publicising what you do to potential customers.

There can be do doubt that marketing is imperative to the growth of a business. If you don’t work to secure a bigger share of your market, you won’t stand still, you’ll effectively go backwards as your competitors increase their market share. Advertising is a highly effective way to communicate to potential customers how great your company is and how your products and services will benefit them. However to be effective it needs to be well written, well designed and well planned – no half measures.

[Guest Blog] Do you need to protect your brand with a Trade Mark?

Kate Cruse from ForrestersGuest Blog by Kate Cruse of Forresters

What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is your name. Your brand. How your customers and clients remember you.

Trade marks were traditionally seen to be:

  1. words
  2. numeral
  3. letters
  4. logos
  5. and any combination of the four

that served to enable the public to distinguish the goods and services provided by a trader from those provided by another trader.

More recently other types of trade marks have become deemed worthy of protection, including:

  1. scents
  2. sounds
  3. shapes
  4. and packaging

In order to gain registration of a trade mark it is necessary to be able to clearly represent the sign you are wishing to protect. If you are looking to protect a non-traditional sign, such as a shape mark, some thought needs to be given regarding how to represent the mark upon filing.

How do I file an application?

When filing an application it is necessary to state who will own the trade mark, the address of the owner, provide a representation of the trade mark and a list of the goods/services to be covered. It’s also necessary to think about where you file the application, based on the geographical coverage of your business; for example, UK, EU, China, etc..

How much will it cost?

It depends upon the geography you wish to cover and how broad you would like to go in terms of goods and services covered by the trade mark.

How long will the process take?

In a straightforward case, a UK or EU trade mark application should gain registration around 5-6 months after filing.

What is a trade mark registration?

A trade mark registration a certificate confirming the grant of monopoly rights to the trade mark owner by a public institution (in the case of the UK, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO)), during a set term (in many cases 10 years).

The scope of rights granted depends upon the request originally made, and as such it is important to understand fully the complexities of the law when filing an application.
Registering a company name with Companies House does not have the same effect, and if you do not register your company name as a trade mark, someone else may be legally entitled to use, as a trade mark, the name which you have registered as a company name.

Why should I register my trade mark?

Prevention:

If you have a trade mark registered many third parties will undertake clearance searches prior to adopting a new trade mark to check that their mark is free for use and registration. If your trade mark is located by the search, the third party will be warned off using and registering their chosen mark.

Cure:

If another trader seeks to gain registration of a mark identical or similar to your earlier trade mark, or use that mark in business, it is possible to oppose the application or use based on your earlier registration. In the alternative, should your trade mark not be registered it may be possible to oppose the application or use on the basis of an un-registered trade mark but you will have to demonstrate to the UK Intellectual Property Office or the Courts that:

  1. you have a goodwill/reputation in the mark
  2. that registration or use of the later mark would act as a misrepresentation of your rights, and
  3. the registration would damage your business

Significant evidence is required in order to prove the above points and this can be a time consuming and expensive exercise.

For more help on trade marks, feel free to contact Kate on 0151 255 2180.