marshmallow

Taste the success in 2017

Happy New Year folks! It’s quite daunting to think that we’re now a year on from what Robert Zemeckis’s deemed to be the future in the 1989 ‘Back To The Future 2’. We don’t have hover boards yet, unfortunately, but we do have more of a dress sense, thankfully and in any case it’s a much more accurate representation than what ‘Space 1999’ must have been in 1999. It’s interesting to see how others perceive the future and 2016 is unwritten so what will those in 2017 be looking back on this year? Will you invent that new Smartphone that defies belief, or actually get a working hover board to market on Kickstarter, since I imagine all hover boards would be have to be kick-started anyway right? In any case it’s time to think big, and I mean REALLY BIG! In our new age of ‘appreneurs’ and boy-wonders sat in their bedrooms creating the next thing to rival Facebook there’s a lot of competition. I hope 2016 will be a historic year and why not make it a year to get that idea of yours off the ground and into the hemisphere! To do so it might help to ask yourself: Are you …

70 Marketing Ideas For Promoting Your Business (some are free!)

Whether you’ve just started a new business or are a seasoned Marketing Professional working in a global organization, we all need creative ideas to bring our brand closer to its audiences and increase our sales. So I thought I’d list some marketing ideas for building a brand, generating contacts, progressing leads through the marketing cycle and nurturing existing customers. Some will mean reaching into your pocket, but there are some free ones too. They won’t all be relevant to you, but hopefully one or two will give you some inspiration… Brand Building and Awareness 1. Include banner ads in your email signatures 2. Add your business to Google places 3. Promote your business on Google Adwords 4. Advertise on a website/publication which your audience visit/read 5. Sponsor a local event e.g. a half marathon, football team 6. Become a walking billboard e.g. get a classy t-shirt printed or car sticker made 7. Hand out some cool ‘freebies’ e.g. pens, phone cases, water bottles etc. 8. Place your business cards in local shops, library’s and meeting places 9. Put up some posters in the local shops and surrounding area 10. Put a billboard up outside your shop 11. Sponsor a local round-a-bout …

Celebrate Your Achievements And Build In Some Reflection Time

On the eve before our company weekend, I thought it was worth a quick article to all the hard working Marketing students, professionals and business owners to say keep up the great work, but remember to enjoy the fruits of your labour! And to be the best at what you do, you need a little thinking time. Make time for some reflection Marketing is fast paced, flat out and never stops and although that suits our personality, it’s too easy to smash through a campaign, move on before admiring your handy work and fail to take stock on improvements for the future. Personally I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by – so I know I’ve been guilty of this at times. In a competitive market it’s more important than ever for our campaigns to capture an audience’s attention – and for that we need to come up with award winning marketing initiatives. An important step in achieving this is to build in some thinking time – bogging yourself down will suffocate your creative genius and have a negative effect on your marketing results. Are you pushing yourself too hard, or not hard enough? It’s a fine balance …

What Is An Innovation Audit?

An innovation audit is an assessment of your organisation’s innovation history and ability. The aim is to understand the current innovation situation and highlight obstacles which then form a platform for a plan to overcome them. As discussed in our Innovation In Marketing article, innovation is a ‘holistic’ approach which is about more than just product innovation, it includes looking at departments, processes, supply chains, communication channels and more to ensure your organisation is progressing at a rate which maintains or grows your competitive advantage. What should be covered in your innovation audit? Organisation’s environment What is your organisation’s culture like? Is it progressive of ‘stayed’? This is important to understand as new innovations need to be bought in at a similar speed to that of your organisation’s general progress. Too quickly and it may be overwhelming for employees/markets, too slow and the innovation will get left behind. Product development When did your organisation last bring out a new product or service and when is it likely to bring out a new one? It may be that you want to speed up or decrease this depending on the current situation and market demand. Client satisfaction How satisfied are your customers …

How To Build A Successful Brand

There are 3 types of brand; a manufacturing brand such as Honda, an own-label brand such as Sainsbury’s own brand food and a generic brand which doesn’t have any identifying, consistent features such as a logo. Building a brand takes years and can be lost in a heartbeat through bad PR, poor customer service or an unsuccessful product launch. The first step to building a successful brand is to set a clear brand vision and set of objectives, which should be aimed at the 6 key criteria for a successful brand, as identified by De Pelsmacker et al, 2004: 1.    Differentiation Your brand must be different, if you offer the same value at the same price why would a consumer choose you over your established competitor? Your brand must clearly communicate this. 2.    Added value Your brand must add additional value to the customer. ‘Me too’ products are ok as part of an extended product portfolio, but if your customers are to part with their cash, they need added value and this should extend right through to the augmented product level e.g. to include services, or finance deals. 3.    Quality If your brand and products are of low quality, you …

Classic PLC And Product Adoption Model

Once you have used your holistic approach to innovation, followed the NPD process and found your perceived product placement in the market, you need to consider the customer adoption stages so that you can develop an integrated marketing mix strategy to appeal to the each audience at each stage. In 1962, Rodgers identified five categories of product adoption and the diffusion model below demonstrates these stages. This model has been over-laid against the classic PLC model which includes four stages; introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Innovators Innovators make up 2.5% of customers; they’re the ones who are queuing outside Apple’s store three days before the latest iPad release. Innovators are usually adventurous and are happy to take risks, so in some cases they’re used as a late test bed for products so that improvements can be made for the later stages. At this introduction stage of the life cycle, your objective should be to grow and their views, positive or negative can affect sales, especially if they’re an opinion leader or former such as a top technology blog like Mashable. Brand and image is usually important to innovators, so introduction price is often high (skimming) but can be set to low (penetrate) to …

New Product Development Process (NPD)

The new product development process (NPD) is a core component of any business. Markets never stand still and customers expect products and services to evolve and meet their ever-changing needs. New product development is the evolution of an existing product or the improvement or innovation of a new one. Types of NPD There are 4 types of new products, all of which are new to your company but affect the market in different ways; they are: –    New to company and market –    New to company, major innovation for market –    New to company, slight innovation for market –    New to company, no innovation to market Some organisations, like Apple, lead the innovation march, where as others are happy with minor innovation or ‘me too’ products. Your financial backing, brand power and organisational structure (amongst other things) may affect where in the spectrum you sit. When developing a new product, regardless of innovation level, the NPD process should be followed, it’s outlined below: NPD Process 1.    Idea generation – Gather ideas from employees, customers, competitors 2.    Idea Screening – Filter out the strongest ideas 3.    Concept development – Develop a concept/prototype product 4.    Business analysis – Evaluate costs, break even …

Innovation In Marketing

Innovation is spread across the extended marketing mix, from product through to physical evidence. It could be argued that the people element is the key to marketing innovation as they are the ones who come up with and deliver it. Innovation is a key part of the New Product Development Process (NPD) but isn’t just about creativity and new ideas, it’s about evolving business processes, products and markets which meet untapped customer needs; the key thing here is innovation is not just about product, it’s about processes, manufacturing, communication and timing. What is innovation? Here’s a textbook answer for you: Innovation is ‘not a single action but a total process of interrelated sub process. It’s not just the conception of a new idea, nor the invention of a new device, nor the development of a new market. The process is all of these things acting in an integrated fashion’. Myers & Marquis (1969) What do I need to consider? So if innovation is a holistic process, businesses must work in harmony with suppliers, employees, customers and all other key stakeholders to ensure the right idea is invested in and the whole process evolves to deliver the product or service in …