The 17th March – a day synonymous with St Patrick and the colour green. As there is Irish blood in my veins (I’d say about one-eighth), I put on my green shirt and got ready for a busy day ahead.
The morning began with The Bay Business Breakfast, the second of its kind for the area. Led by Alistair Eagles, Cat Smith and Susan Parsonage took to the floor to discuss the impact of Brexit and Lancaster City Council’s vision for the district, followed by a Q&A session with a panel of local business owners.
The word ‘collaboration’ was used many times, whether it was in the context of Lancaster City Council and South Lakeland District Council, business owners and educational settings or people working together, it became clear that to address current issues and to put the Bay area on the map, we NEED to work together, collaboratively.
What was unexpected was for this theme to run throughout the rest of my day….
Following the breakfast, I made my way down to the Digital Marketing Roadshow in Blackpool. I almost didn’t go due to my tight schedule, but the 45 minutes spent there were well spent. I found myself in a room listing to Jamil from Wakelet talk about the content sharing platform he has created. I’d never heard of Wakelet before but seeing it in action, I am creating my account after writing this blog! If it’s good enough for Everton FC, it’s good enough for me!
Wakelet allows you to organise content you’ve collected into stories called wakes with the choice of keeping them private or sharing with others.
Leaving Blackpool, I made my way to the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Briefing. Yes, it was as serious as it sounds with [as expected] many men in suits. The event was held to introduce the fund managers who have been appointed to manage the £400m [!!] Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. They are;
Microfinance: Business Finance Solutions & MSIF, Finance for Enterprise & Business Enterprise Finance
Business Loans: FW Capital and Enterprise Ventures
Equity Finance: Maven Capital Partners and Enterprise Ventures
The fund is ‘aimed at boosting the North of England’s economy and helping the region’s businesses realise their growth potential.’ The new fund aims to provide smaller businesses with increased choice of funding and produce greater levels of investment across the Northern Powerhouse region.
During the Q&A session, that word, collaboration, was referenced in relation to the appointed fund managers working together to achieve the right investment for companies seeking funding, but also the collaboration between the local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and business owners themselves.
Earlier in the morning, I’d listened to comments about how people think the North of England ends at Preston. We all know that’s not true, but together we can make our voice heard and show what there is North of Preston…We have a world class university, an area of outstanding beauty and hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses contributing to the local, national and international economy.
In the words of James Cash Penney, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”
Written by Anna from Cross Bay Marketing. If you’re struggling to align your marketing activity with your business goals, let us help. Email email@example.com or call 07973 663674.
In my blog last week I invited you back this week to discuss a real life example of blending digital and traditional marketing. So here it is…
Jen from the Yummy Cupcake Company contacted me in late November, 2016 to help her with the release of her new book, A Decade of Cake.
To give you a bit of background, the Yummy Cupcake Company is well known in Lancaster and Lancaster University, and up until March last year had been giving Lancastrians and students alike, their weekly sugar fix with her selection of cupcakes and traybakes. She had also supplied cupcakes to hundreds of brides and grooms across Lancashire and Cumbria.
Through a crowdfunding campaign, Jen was able to write, and publish a recipe book filled with her cupcake and traybake recipes. She was clear about her target audience, the people that bought from the stall and shop, and the objective was to sell the book.
The Yummy Cupcake Company had a strong following on Facebook [2950 likes to be exact] and it was clear that any post made received good engagement, despite her struggling to find the time to post regularly. People loved Jen and her sweet treats [me included!]. To sell the book, Jen chose Shopify embedded into Facebook so people could buy direct from the Facebook page.
On meeting with Jen, it was clear she needed support with her social media but I also felt it was important to share the Yummy Cupcake Company story. I discussed an interview style press release which would be circulated in Lancashire and Cumbria and contacted Danielle at Bloomin’ Creative to help.
Jen and I agreed that Cross Bay Marketing would plan and help manage the social media for the month of December and arrange for Bloomin’ Creative to create and circulate the press release. The social media consisted of a mix of organic and paid advertising, predominantly on Facebook with Twitter and Instagram also included. Cross Bay Marketing also created branded images for each post and one giveaway. The tone of voice was in line with posts Jen had made herself.
Over the month of December, the Yummy Cupcake Company received over 1000 reactions on Facebook with 115 people clicking through to buy one or more of the books. There were 50 clicks from Twitter to the shop page.
The press release was well received and featured in numerous print and digital media including the Lancaster Guardian, Westmorland Gazette, Lancashire Evening Post and Entirely North West.
This mix of digital (social media) and traditional (press release) has re-engaged previous Yummy Cupcake Customers and actioned over 10% of those that engaged to buy the book. Without using the two techniques together, I don’t believe the impact would have been the same.
Whilst Jen takes time to think about what she may do next, it is clear she has a strong fan base that will support her. Simple steps such re-sharing her story and encouraging her fans to show what they’ve been making on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will keep her customers engaged and would be the ideal people to target with any new business venture she may make in the future.
The Facebook page also gives the Yummy Cupcake Company a lasting memory and the opportunity to live on through its fans.
Oh and for those of you who haven’t got a copy of the book, it’s still available to purchase through the Facebook page. It would make a great gift for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day 🙂
Written by Anna Bell, an Associate member of the CIM and experienced marketer, working in-house as a Marketing Manager for almost 8 years. Cross Bay Marketing can support businesses looking for a flexible management solution or for one off projects such as strategy, website redesign, social media training and more.
Take a step back and stop thinking about the website YOU want for your business.
This is a mistake I often see when people come to me wanting or needing a new website for their business. Whilst many of us probably know what we want in our head, that doesn’t mean that’s what our customer needs.
You need to think about;
Take a step back and really look at who your customer is, questions such as;
Profile your ‘customer’ and then work from there. If, for example, they are time short, viewing websites on their mobile and not that tech savvy, then you want a website that is to the point, responsive and easy to navigate.
You know who your ideal customer is but what do you want them to do on your website?
Whilst I wouldn’t advise designing a website based on what you want, you can decide what you want a customer to do when they are the website.
Do you want them to make an enquiry, purchase a product, download a guide?
If you sell online, then ultimately you want them to make a purchase. If you’re a hotel, then you probably want them to book direct. If you don’t sell or take bookings online, then it’s likely you want them to make an enquiry.
You need to be very clear on what you want them to do; the website has to take them on a path that will ultimately lead them to doing that.
Take for example a local beauty salon….
Although they have many customers, they’ve identified their most common customer. This customer is female, aged between 25 and 40 with a young family. She is time poor and wants to de-stress. She googles ‘indian head massage Lancaster’ and she finds their website.
Important Note: She knows what she is looking for before she hits the website.
Now on the website, she wants to know where the salon is in Lancaster, how much they charge, what other people say about them and how she can contact them. This should all be on the page she has hit.
From this information, the beauty salon recognises that their website needs to be;
To ensure all the information is on the page she has landed on, contact details should be on every page, the price list should be easily available and client testimonials should also feature on every page.
By designing a website around what the customer needs, and the salon knowing what they want her to do when she is on the website, it is highly likely that the customer will make a booking.
If you need a website for your business or you are thinking about having your current one redesigned, then I hope you find this blog useful.
At Cross Bay Marketing, we often put our feet in a customer’s shoes, and whilst you may not have the time to research and project manage a new website that is right for you and your customers, we can help. For an informal chat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07973663674.