Digital marketing – which includes e-mail marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimisation – is currently one of the most sought-after marketing training areas. Businesses are seeing the marketing opportunities online, and recognising the need to equip their staff with new skills through digital marketing training.
SharpEdge Marketing takes a highly tailored approach. Rather than running set courses – where some content may not be relevant to all attendees – each course is built specifically from a series of modules. The result is a bespoke training programme, precisely tailored to the trainee’s needs, with examples and activities based on the client’s business.
Courses are delivered on the client’s premises, in a series of short, manageable sessions; and personal follow-up sessions can also be included, to ensure the trainee has been able to apply their learning.
The nine new digital marketing training modules now available are:
I’ve just ‘unfollowed’ someone on Twitter. It’s someone I feel I ought to be following; someone who actually says useful things, and is clearly knowledgeable in their field.
So, if they’re ticking all the boxes, why the unfollow? It’s their demeanour online – their online personality and behaviour; and specifically their tone. Rather than coming across as helpful and knowledgeable, they come across (to me, at least) as a bit patronising, and a bit of a know-it-all. It’s a shame, especially when I find myself stumbling across useful things this person has said elsewhere. But the way they say it just makes me cross.
Is this person like that in real life? – I have no idea: we’ve never met, or even spoken. So my impression is totally drawn from their online persona. But in this day and age, sometimes that’s all we have – the written word, devoid of inflection, conveyed in 140 characters, and open to interpretation.
The world of social media is a fast-moving place, where the instant pithy reply reigns. Unlike other media, you can’t rely on a copywriter to refine your every sentence. You have to be your own copywriter – and censor – and be quick about it.
Of course, there’s an argument that you should always write in your own natural style, even if it’s abrasive. Because at least it’s authentic. And if people don’t like it, well, at least they’ve seen the real you.
But what about accidental style? – where your style just doesn’t reflect your real personality, and you don’t even realise it? Or, when you’re writing on behalf of a brand, and your natural style doesn’t fit with the brand’s persona? Keeping the tone of voice on-brand (and deciding what that should be) is as vital as, say, observing the company’s colour scheme in an advert.
While a copywriter probably can’t (and shouldn’t) script your every tweet, they can conduct a social media audit by reviewing your tweets or facebook postings over the last few weeks, and commenting on the tone and the personality conveyed; picking up on subtleties and saying, for example, “did you realise, you don’t sound very… approachable?”
There’s a fine line between being knowledgeable and being a know-it-all; between being followed and unfollowed. And it can all come down to your tone.
For help with creating your tone of voice (and other copywriting services), get in touch today.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the On The Edge digital marketing conference in Bristol – nine information-packed seminars about SEO, social media, video, etc. So it’s an interesting contrast to write about something perceived to be at the other end of the marketing spectrum – good old-fashioned direct mail.
Direct mail is sometimes spoken of with a bit of snigger, almost like it’s a guilty confession – the fear that it will be considered “so very 90s”.
Yet there are some good reasons to use direct mail, and I believe it has every right to be in today’s communications mix.
1) Less is more. There’s certainly less post being sent overall – thus the opportunity to grab attention and ‘share of voice’ through the medium is probably higher than ever. Continue reading →
The concept of the ‘internal customer’ has been in business parlance since the late 1980’s, and seems to have become particularly rife in recent years (or perhaps I’ve just got a bit sensitive to it). The ‘internal customer’, according to the Business Dictionary, is “an employee who receives goods or services produced elsewhere in an organisation as inputs to his or her work” – in other words, the next person or department along the chain of activities which receives the work that you do.
Propagated through the rise of quality management, and one of the fundamentals of TQM, the theory goes that if we serve the needs of our internal customer then it helps them to do their job more efficiently. If they in turn serve the needs of their internal customer, and so on, then eventually the external customer gets better service, and the whole organisation runs happily and efficiently.
Now it’s very nice in theory, and let me say I’m a big fan of quality management. But I do have a problem with this term “internal customer”. It’s a dangerous misnomer, which few people ever seem to question. Colleagues are not “customers”, and we skate on very thin ice when we start to think of them that way. Continue reading →
Here is a fact: it costs between five and eight times more to win a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
The cost comes through the marketing and sales effort it takes to make the customer aware of your existence, convince them you are worth considering as an option, make you their first choice, seal the deal, and ensure they are satisfied with their purchase so they don’t change their mind and demand a refund.
Logic tells us, therefore, that a company should hang on to its existing customers, so it doesn’t have to spend undue amounts of money on marketing just to replace them.
So please – can anyone explain to me why insurance companies seem to work in exactly the opposite way? Continue reading →
Marketing can sometimes be viewed as the money-spending department, rather than the revenue-generating department. Marketers often don’t help themselves by talking vaguely about “brands” and “positioning” (and letting themselves be seen as ‘creative types’) rather than using the kind of words the FD loves to hear – cashflow, return on investment, margin, and of course profit. So here are some important ways that Marketing and Finance are linked – and why a great marketer should be the FD’s best friend, and vice versa.
The sales force may be the ones directly responsible for bringing in the money, but they are an expensive resource. Marketing can help that investment be more effective by providing three things: Continue reading →
So it’s January, and we’re all back at work, raring to steam ahead into 2012. I’ve always been a big fan of New Year – all that new energy and opportunity. No doubt you have plans and ambitions for your business in the year ahead – I certainly do. But it won’t just happen by chance, or by wishing, or by good intentions. Making some sensible, manageable commitments is the key – so here are some I suggest.
Resolutions can be flimsy and unrealistic, which is why they are often so easily broken. Objectives make things more tangible. Don’t dream of “more business this year” – instead, think about where that business will come from. How much will come from selling more to existing clients? How much from Continue reading →
Firstly, Sales as a function is older than Marketing, so perhaps that could be why it still takes pole position. Marketing as a profession is relatively new – although the Chartered Institute of Marketing is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, so it’s not that new!
Perhaps it could be that Sales is valued more highly than Marketing in some businesses and sectors. After all, Sales is often seen as the function or department that brings in money – the dynamic bunch, on the front line, living by targets. Marketing, on the other hand, can be perceived as the department which gladly spends the cash (and not always accountably in the eyes of some), ponders intangibles like values and brands, creates pretty pictures, and fusses about which font is being used on the new brochure. So is Sales seen as more important than Marketing – more real, more down-to earth, more valuable?
Keeping the customers you already have is, of course, important. But there’s a big difference between a customer who is ‘loyal’ and a customer who is ‘retained’.
On the face of it, you might think the difference is academic. Both are continuing to give you their business, after all.
But their motivation for being your customer, and their attitude towards you, can vary enormously – and that can make a big difference to the security of your sales figures. Continue reading →
Case studies are a brilliant marketing tool. They demonstrate your work on a particular job or project – and the good news is most businesses have material for at least one case study, and probably many more. Here are five ways you could be using case studies to give your marketing a boost. Continue reading →