Marketing mix Archives - Klaxon

Video Showreel for Commercial Architects

We were recently asked by our client Granit Architects to put together a short video showreel to support their involvement at a major property event next year. The objective of the video is to show the practice’s involvement in multi-unit, commercial schemes.

Take a look in full HD below, we’re pretty happy with it.

The Importance of Market Research

Listen up marketer’s: Don’t underestimate the importance of data and market research.

The correct skill-set and confidence to run a business will often lead marketers and chief executives to make informed decisions about their company’s organisation, goals and customer experience. However what many overlook is the importance of investing in and applying market research. Sheryl Pattek, Forrester’s VP and principal analysts talks about the best practices for marketers today.

So, Why Market Research?

1. Identify potential customers

2. Understand your existing customers

3. Set realistic targets

4. Develop effective strategies

5. Examine and solve business problems

6. Identify business opportunities

“Marketers should be taking a strong look at research to get an outside perspective of reference and then bring that outside-in perspective to their thinking” (Sheryl Pattek, Forrester’s VP and principal analysts).

Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of market research.

Quantitative and Qualitative Studies: when you could use both

As you might imagine, there can be lots of value in bringing both quantitative and qualitative types of data together, and a mixed methods approach can offer a powerful resource to inform and illuminate data answers. There are several reasons to choose a mixed methods approach, four of which include, enriching data, examining findings, explaining findings and triangulation.

However, it is paramount to plan in advance how quantitative and qualitative data will be combined. Two options present themselves,

1. Parallel Data Gathering – gathering qualitative and quantitative data at the same time.

2. Sequential Data Gathering – gathering one type of data first and then using to inform the collection of the other type of data.

In a world where we are constantly gathering information from countless resources, the potential combinations are endless!

Big Data

When discussing research, more times than not the big data buzzword often comes into play. The question is, how can marketers make that data actionable? 

Big data is often intimating and can be a struggle to get your head around. First thing to do? Answer the following question, ‘What are you trying to figure out with the data?’ Once you know the answer, you can pinpoint the data and solely focus on that data. Utilising big data correctly can help to enhance the management of your business and ultimately your clients.

While there is support of new ways of gathering insights, the role of ‘gut instinct’ often is preferred over big data.

Social Media Research

Many businesses have begun to turn to social media as a cost-effective and in-depth tool for gaining insights into their customers, market, brand appearance and other important market research aspects.  The keys to utilising social media for market research are to understand the benefits and creating a proper research plan. Social media research offers numerous ways to interact with your market and build your business. Conducting research is as simple as signing up for a social media service, such as LinkedIn or Twitter and utilising their built-in search features. Within minutes, your business can start analysing trends and improve your marketing strategies. 

Neuroscience

Neuroscience is a great way of digging a bit deeper – to get to grips with the way the brain functions and understands messages.

As written up on The Drum, The Post Office has turned to neuroscience to guide it through its brand overhaul.

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer explains the development of research and the role neuroscience is now playing, “The way of research is fundamentally changing. When I started my career at British Gas, you’d do a campaign and get customers in a room behind a sheet of glass and be there sipping beer and eating sandwiches with eight people who were meant to be representing the UK. You’d show them the storyboard and hope they like it.”

“Now, the role that neuroscience plays is beginning to be more widely embraced by marketers who are more frequently turning to things like brain-mapping to gather data on memory, attention, engagement and emotion towards brands and marketing activity.” Markey explained the brand’s renewed purpose – “Helping to make the important things happen – was born from the insights gathered in neuroscience research and now it turns to the same methods across its wider marcomms activity”.

Are you beginning to understand why we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of market research?

Using the analogy of a house foundation, marketing research can be seen as the foundation of marketing. Just as a solid built house requires a strong foundation to remain sturdy, marketing decisions need the support of research to be viewed favourably by customers and to stand apart from the competition and other external pressures. All areas of marketing and all marketing decisions should be supported with some level of research.

Market research needs to be part of your business strategy and should not just be a one-off activity. More so than ever, consumers’ motivation and behaviour will change over time, as will market conditions so you should review your research on a regular basis.

If you have any questions, want to suggest a post, or are interested in how Klaxon can support your business, you can contact me on twitter @lauren_klaxon, or in the comments below.

Good Old AIDA 

When you need a simple model to explain a marketing plan, you really can’t go far wrong with good old AIDA.

Granny Ada

I know it is oft’ derided for presenting an overly simplistic view of the purchasing journey – particularly in the face of the much more complex buying cycles we all now experience – but it’s actually a good, clear model to explain a marketing plan.

Let me explain…

A is for Awareness

You have to make your intended target audience aware of your products and services in the first instance. Without an introductory knowledge of who, what, where, when etc, your target audience is not even in the buying cycle.

How do you raise awareness?

Advertising, press relations, online influencer relations, SEO, solus email campaigns, events, guerrilla campaigns, social media… the list goes on.

A good old-fashioned integrated marketing plan is what you need and of course this is where you start to build a database of prospective customers too.

I is for Interest

Once you have developed awareness of your products and services with your target audience, you need to think about generating an interest. This is the stage where people begin to demonstrate early buying signals.

For example visiting your website and responding to a call to action, calling your contact centre, or contacting a channel partner.

If you focus on digital you might run a search marketing campaign (SEO and PPC) to drive web traffic where they can view a host of targeted marketing assets.

Using a visitor tracking platform will provide you with some insight as to who is viewing your site and specifically who from your original target database is engaging. You could use a retargeting paid search campaign with Google or Twitter ads to keep that level of awareness up and develop interest.

It’s at this stage you need to begin managing your sales pipeline too. For most b2b marketers this means a CRM system, something like Pipeliner or Nimble.

D is for Desire

After you have established a level of interest in your product or service, you need to begin increasing the customers’ desire to make a purchase decision. To put it another way, move them further along the buying journey and closer to the point of sale.

Depending of what your product and service is you could employ a range of different tactics. Typically for a complex b2b market this might include customer testimonials and references, events, webinars, public relations and so on.

By focussing on online tactics you could continue to track your audience across campaign specific digital outposts, or indeed all of your owned online channels.  Continue to collect data on their behaviour and look out for key buying signals such as downloading digital assets, watching video content, visiting pricing information etc.

The key here is to use a platform that allows you to track behaviour data at an individual contact level, something like marketo, or hubspot perhaps.

A is for Action

This of course is the final step. Where your marketing objectives are focussed on convincing the target audience to make the final leap – to make a purchase decision. At this point your communications might step up a gear into sales promotions, product bundles, channel specific promotions and so on.

It is at this point that the marketing team should align closely with sales. You should be handing over marketing qualified leads to sales for them to close. This might of course be traffic into the appropriate point online to make a purchase too, depending on the nature of your product.

Of course this is a fairly simple look at marketing communications using the AIDA model, but that’s the point. If you are trying to sell a marketing plan to non-marketers, using this simple framework can help you to spell out the objectives of each of your campaign elements and how they relate to the buying journey.

You could get a lot more granular in defining that journey if you wish, but to get to grips with the fundamentals, AIDA remains a useful model for b2b marketers.

12 Days of Lead Generation

As it’s Christmas, I wanted to write a an awfully seasonal blog post for you all to enjoy. Without further ado, here goes my 12 Days of Lead Generation

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A social media marketing machine.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight Payperclick ads,
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine brand new webinars,
Eight Payperclick ads,
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten twitter research reports,
Nine brand new webinars,
Eight Payperclick ads,
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven half day workshops,
Ten twitter research reports,
Nine brand new webinars,
Eight Payperclick ads,
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve email broadcasts,
Eleven half day workshops,
Ten twitter research reports,
Nine brand new webinars,
Eight Payperclick ads,
Seven engaging podcasts,
Six perfect blog posts,
Five optimised landing pages,
Four days of telemarketing,
Three speaking slots,
Two brand new eBooks, and
A social media marketing machine.

 If you’ve got this far well done you. Imagine trying to sing that after a couple of glasses of Sherry on Christmas Day.

And last but not least, enjoy this classic rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas

When to Use a QR Code?

QR CodeSat on the tube this morning an advert for British Airways (I think) caught my eye. Not the content, but the fact the fact it had a QR code as the call to action. This seemed a little odd to me, given tube trains spend most of their life underground where there isn’t currently access to the Internet.

A similar thought occurred to me walking past a hotel currently being built in Moorgate. On the side of the building works, about 50ft above street level, is a massive banner featuring a QR code. The code must be at least a metre square in size. You can of course pick up an Internet connection outside in Central London, but how would you scan a code at that height and of that size?

Then of course there are the QR codes you see on some television shows. The BBC trialled this recently on a cookery show, where you were invited to scan the code on your television screen to get to the recipe. The few seconds available didn’t even give me time to reach my phone, let alone start up the scanner app.

These to me are all good examples of when not to use a QR code.

When then should you use a QR code?

Here’s a simple checklist to work with. If you can satisfy each of these points then you could think about using a QR code in your campaign:

  1. Your target audience is tech savvy and likely to have a smartphone
  2. You have a landing page optimised to work on a mobile phone
  3. Your call to action does not require downloading a large file, completing a long subscribe form, or doing anything that will eat up a lot of bandwidth
  4. Your QR code will be in a position where it is easy to scan and where there will be an internet connection
  5. You have an offer or call to action based on real value for your target audience

QR codes are quick, easy, convenient and trackable, but ultimately not worth the ink if you don’t meet these criteria. Perhaps a more simple vanity URL would be a better option for your campaign.

Please let us know if you have used QR codes succesfully. We would love to give some examples of best practice case studies here on the blog.

Interview with twitter’s Chief Revenue Officer

Business Insider posted up this interview with twitter’s Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain yesterday. If you don’t yet understand the opportunities for you as a marketer in using twitter as part of your marketing mix, this is well worth watching.

Some interesting case studies with VW and Audi referenced a few times, but perhaps most usefully is that the three advertising products available from twitter are explained in very simple terms:

  1. promoted tweets
  2. promoted accounts
  3. promoted trends

Well worth 30 minutes of your time to watch this.

Integrating Social Media into your Marketing

If you’re following trends in marketing you’ll no doubt have heard a lot recently about SoMe (social media). There’s a lot of hype and justifiably so if you look at the impact social media has had on the way we all communicate. I’m sure you don’t need me to list the top social media platforms, but if you’re thinking facebook, twitter, linkedin, YouTube and Flickr, you probably wouldn’t be too far off – although the list of options is mind boggling.

But what’s the hype really all about with social media marketing? What is it that marketing through social media platforms delivers that you don’t get through more traditional marketing tactics?

The key really is customer engagement.

If you consider traditional marketing tactics as broadcasting your messages and SoMe as creating conversation, then you might start to get a feel for the opportunities for driving engagement. After all, can you customers really engage with a print advert?

A really great example of this type of engagement is from Londonist, the blog all about London. They’ve created an account on photo sharing site flickr, which allows any of their readers to upload images for a daily photo contest and which may also be used any of the articles published on the blog. As a customer this is very rewarding as you can actually contribute to the product. For Londonist, this provides a fantastic catalogue of images at no cost while creating a strong relationship with their readers. This type of customer engagement is impossible to achieve with broadcast marketing.

Of course, the core strength of social media marketing is when it is integrated with other marketing tactics, both online and off. But how do you know which marketing tactic to use and when?

It’s useful again to think about the sales pipeline, or better still to think about the typical journey your customers might go on in order to make a purchase decision. You should read an excellent blog post from James Whatley where he describes a purchasing journey he went on for a new video game.

Have a think about how your customers decide what to buy and where, and then how you can apply this to your marketing communications.

Next think about how you can integrate your communications to increase their impact. For example in promoting a new product you might consider the following process:

  1. start off with some more traditional broadcast advertising, media relations and blogger outreach to raise awareness of your product within your target customer segments,
  2. follow this up with a direct response marketing campaign (DM plus email) targeting the same segment. Include a personalised message and strong call to action to visit your facebook page where you can begin to engage the customer and increase people’s interest and desire to buy,
  3. develop conversations on the facebook page, interact and create a dialogue to encourage people to actually make a purchasing decision.

Yes social media is an important marketing tool, but it’s not the be all and end all. There is still a place for more traditional marketing, but the key challenge is to think strategically about where both fit into the buying cycle and how therefore to integrate them into coherent marketing campaigns.

The type of campaign you can plan, manage, control and measure.

Content Based Marketing

I’m a member of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on Linkedin and came across this excellent slide deck from group founder Holger Schulze. This one’s well worth a moment of your time if you are interested in content based marketing – which it seems an increasing number of B2B marketers are.

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eMail Marketing Critical Success Factors

email marketing performance

We received an enquiry for email marketing recently and as part of our proposal pulled together some email marketing critical success factors too. I’ve summarised a few of these below.

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Building Community with Benjamin Ellis

At Klaxon we co-organise a meetup group for meetup organisers. An event for events people if you like. You can find our more about this group here.

At the last get together we were lucky enough to have Benjamin Ellis from redcatco as our guest speaker. Benjamin delivered an excellent talk on building communities around meetup groups, but many of the lessons could equally be applied to brands / businesses. Community of course something which is becoming increasingly fashionable as brands and marketers look at how to move from broadcasting marketing messages, to engaging with people.

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