Archive for the ‘Thinking’ Category

Customer profiling and brand building at the Advanced Engineering Show

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Advanced Engineering Show Advanced Engineering Show

The biggest and best show for the engineering sector took place this week at the NEC. The Advanced Engineering Show featured exhibitors across a range of high value and interlinked engineering and technology industries – Aero, Composites, Automotive, Auto Electronics and Printable Electronics for Industry.

Many exhibitors serve a broad range of customers with their products and services and speaking to a few, there is still a heavy reliance in the sector on repeat customers, large sales teams and word of mouth to secure future new business. The overriding challenges seemed to be that of understanding specific customer requirements and attracting potential new customers with a very niche product.

The Anochrome Group

Surface coating and finishing specialists, The Anochrome Group, supply many market sectors from structural and automotive, to advanced electronic, aerospace and telecommunications industries. The company is currently using some key inbound marketing principles on their website, offering visitors the opportunity to download seminar presentations and whitepapers in exchange for data.

However, I found that visitors only had to register once on the site to be able to download any of these materials, meaning that you never really know what product or service each potential lead has an interest in. With some great content such as they are already producing, Anochrome could be creating dedicated landing pages for each piece of content, optimising the page to get found by people searching for a problem they can help solve and capturing data with unique forms. They could use their established blog to help leverage this content by placing calls-to-action next to relevant blog posts.

This inbound marketing approach helps nurture the lead from the start of the buying decision making process until they convert into a customer.

OGP UK

Derbyshire based multisensor metrology company OGP UK showcased their multisensor measuring equipment technology at the exhibition, demonstrating how the equipment could solve problems for aerospace, automotive and engineering-led manufacturers.

With their advanced technology, the company has a great opportunity to start producing a number of informative ebooks or how-to-guides to offer their  insights on common problems such as time and cost savings relating to programming and inspection routines for example, educating their potential customers and building trust and credibility in their brand. Content such as this will help OGP get found organically for key phrases that people in the industry are searching for when they have a problem that OGP can help solve.

Customer profiling

It’s easy to forget that people will not always search for your product or service – what if they don’t know the precise solution you offer even exists? What if they’re not yet ready to buy?

By understanding your ideal customer profile, you can better understand what problems they are likely to have which will better inform the type of content you provide them with. Producing content with a specific customer profile in mind, particularly when working across numerous sectors, will help get you found at the research stage of the buyer decision making process and makes sure your company is front of mind when that ideal prospect is looking to purchase.

By Rhiannon Hulse





Maximising ROI from the Photonex Exhibition

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Photonex_Thorlabs

I attended the annual two-day Photonex event last week at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and met a range of exhibitors with varying marketing challenges, one of which included utilising their digital channels to get the most ROI from their event marketing spend.

Photonic manufacturers and social media

I was surprised when researching event exhibitors that there are still many businesses in the photonics technology and manufacturing sector that don’t have social media accounts. Speaking to a couple of marketing managers at the event, there seems to be the view that social media isn’t relevant in this industry. Using the excuse ‘no one in manufacturing uses social media’ is like saying ‘our customers don’t use the internet.’ Your customers aren’t just businesses, they’re individuals making purchasing decisions. If you want those decision makers to find you online and be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, it isn’t too late to start using, and integrating, your digital marketing more effectively.  (more…)

A Business Development Manager’s Guide to Exhibitions & Trade Shows

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Trade Show, Exhibition

As all Business Development Managers know, the best way to connect with your leads and ultimately win new business is through meeting actual people in the flesh. But getting that first meeting to understand challenges faced by a lead and how you might be able to help them is notoriously difficult to secure, particularly if you’re selling a service that you don’t yet know if they need.

The exhibition or trade show can be the ideal place to put real faces to the names you have in your CRM and connect with them on a human level. Though there are numerous strands to an effective lead generation strategy, exhibitions and trade shows can be part of this and can be essential in strengthening new relationships. (more…)

Letting the hand rule the brain: Cultural Connections and Printmaking

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

IMAG0490

Our latest Cultural Connections event was inspired by this season’s exhibition at QUAD – A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker, which meant inviting our guests to try their hand at their own bit of printmaking. This largely resulted in inky hands and pictures of cats (inspired by Kentridge’s ‘Scribble Cat’ below).


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Infographic: The Business of Gamification

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A new infographic by Demand Metric has revealed some impressive numbers relating to how gamification is being used by brands. Scroll down to see the full infographic.

Gamification key statistics

  • $100m was spent on gamification in 2010
  • 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies planned to use gamification for marketing and customer retention in 2011
  • 80% of gamified applications fail because of poorly designed business objectives
  • Cisco systems increased sales between 8 – 12% through gamification
  • DevHub increased the number of users who completed online tasks from 10% to 80% by using gamification

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Three big marketing metrics Managing Directors care about

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Have you ever presented a marketing report to your Managing Director filled with great looking graphs and stats only to be greeted with a look of scepticism and doubt? Was the report filled with terms such as engagement, reach or eyeballs? These are some common metrics that marketing has dealt in for years but they don’t reflect an understanding for what senior management, especially managing directors and chief executives, care about. These are three of the big metrics that marketing teams should focus on when presenting to the board:

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

In the simplest form, this metric concerns itself with answering one question: when all costs are considered, how much have we spent acquiring each new customer. It’s a simple metric and one that is critical to understanding the effectiveness of sales and marketing programs.

How to work it out
Choose a time period, say the financial year 2012/13, and add up all of the sales and marketing costs. Be sure to include salaries, bonuses, media buys, agency fees and any other associated costs. Now take the total number of customers gained in this period and divide the total costs by the number of new customers.

Sales and marketing costs ÷ total new customers = customer acquisition costs

Example

Why do bosses care?

This tells you the average amount you are spending on acquiring new customers. Monitoring this over time allows your boss to see how effective sales and marketing is and whether the standards are slipping or if the market is becoming increasingly competitive. A low average CAC is good for business and shows the sales and marketing teams are doing something right.

Marketing % of Customer Acquisitions Cost (M%CAC)

This is where the boss gets to see the value of the marketing team specifically within the customer acquisition process. It is good to monitor this for your own department’s sake as you can quickly identify whether your sales team are letting the side down or whether your marketing department is in itself spending too much for too little in return.

How to work it out

Take all of the marketing costs and divide them by the total sales and marketing costs used to calculate the CAC. This means including all of the media buys, the salaries of the marketing team and the agency fees but removing the sales team costs such as salaries and commissions.  To get the percentage of CAC, multiply this figure by 100.

Total marketing costs ÷ total sales and marketing costs x 100 = M%CAC

Example

Why do bosses care?

It shows how the marketing team’s performance impacts the overall customer acquisition costs. While we are not in the business of trying to pitch sales and marketing against each other, this metric can help to identify which team is letting the side down. High M%CAC can imply several things such as an investment phase involving lots of media buying (something that should be planned for and expected) or it can suggest the sales team are under-performing as their commissions have been lower in this period.

Marketing Influenced Customer (%)

In order to effectively measure this metric you have to have two things: a clear method on tracking marketing generated leads (such as with inbound marketing) and a process of asking all new enquiries where they first heard about your business. By tracking this you will not only gain insight in to which channels produce the strongest leads for your business but also just how effective marketing really is in the sales process. One of the biggest gripes amongst executives about marketing is that they struggle to demonstrate it’s effectiveness. This metric helps to address that issue.

How to work it out

Take all of the new customers generated in a specific period and identify how many of them had an interaction with marketing while they were a lead. Divide this figure by the total of new customers in that period and multiply by 100.

Customer who interact with marketing at lead stage ÷ total new customers x 100 = MIC%

Example

Why do bosses care?

This gives a clear indication about how important marketing is to the buyer’s decision making process. When the percentage is high, senior decision makers will be reminded of the importance of spending that extra money creating compelling content for marketing campaigns rather than cutting budgets back.

Conslusion

When speaking to the senior decision makers in your business you have to speak to them on their level. Understand their motivations (revenue and profitability) and make your reports relevant to that. Speak their language and show that you are working to the same goals as them and don’t convince yourself that the light, fluffy metrics such as likes, shares and retweets will be enough to satiate the demands of managing directors or shareholders.

By Martin Broadhurst








Customer experience: The antidote to 3P*?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

pound-shop-2

*pound shops, payday loans & pies

The future of the high street

So, what now for Britain’s high streets? The demise of yet another high profile retailer is another portent for the future of shopping on our shores. Is there life for consumers in our towns and cities beyond the prevalent ‘3P’ offer of pound shops, payday loans and pies? The City wouldn’t appear to think so, with many masters of the universe putting their money where their mouth is in willing the high street to fail.

The Queen of Shops says…

The Portas Review made a set of clear recommendations designed to revive fortunes but mentioned little about customer experience. Was this underplayed? Surely brands big and small need a shot in the arm in the form of a reminder that there is much work to do here, if high street shopping is not to capitulate completely to the omnipotence of the online alternative? Ironic really when you consider how much brands invest in user experience as part of their digital development. And it rings true. When was the last time you had what could honestly be described as a ‘customer experience’ in Comet, Jessops, Blockbuster, HMV et al?

“What can we do better?”

So as not to labour the point, high street brands could start by taking a long hard look at their online counterparts and asking themselves the question “What can we do better?”. Not just a bit better. Not just much better. There’s no option but to be jaw-droppingly better, better on a level that stirs the loins, better that wakes people from a website induced slumber and makes them say “I want to go there”. Brand, service, convenience, environment, integration with digital channels…hey, even our old friend price has a role to play. And let’s not take it for granted that just because a. n. other brand has a presence on the high street, that customers are just going to walk in out of the goodness of their hearts. This is about finding prospective customers, engaging them, keeping them interested, converting them and retaining them.

As it stands, 3P (You read it here first) looks to be shaping our high streets. Let’s hope brands (I’ll say it again, big and small) have the sense to think about customer experience in leading the fight back.

By Neil Perrott

Image credit: Flickr, Bettysnake

Introducing Martin the Third, our Digital Marketing Manager

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

martin-broadhurst-bw

We’re pleased to welcome another new face into the Katapult fold…Martin Broadhurst, the newest member of our digital team. Sharing the same name as two of the team, this means that a quarter of people who work at Katapult are now called Martin.

Martin joins us as Digital Marketing Manager from a specialist social media marketing company which he co-founded. His role includes implementing inbound marketing campaigns, focussing specifically on content development, driving traffic and converting leads.

Along with his passionate support of Derby County FC, Martin also has an unhealthy obsession with watching mixed martial arts and likes to think he’s a bit of a funny man.

To help you get to know Martin better, we asked him a few questions:

Q: What sort of projects are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into?
A: “Online ones obviously. I’m particularly looking forward to getting some more measurable campaigns up and running.”

Q: Who or what is your digital inspiration?
A: Phil Higgins. Or Google.

Q: If you weren’t so passionate about digital marketing, what else would you want to do?
A: “Fight in a cage. No, I take that back, I’d get my ass handed to me. I’ve always wanted to be a stand up comic actually”

Me: “but you’re not funny enough?”
Martin: “yeah quite simply”

Q: What is the last film you laughed out loud at?
A: “The Candidate with Will Ferrell on the plane on the way back from India. Everyone was asleep and I was guffawing.”

Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
*Sighs, as if there are many, before saying something rude and getting told off.*
A: “Staying up until 5am and watching sweaty men fight in cages” (the fact we all know this already suggests he doesn’t feel that guilty about his guilty pleasure)

Q: What’s your idea of a great night out?
A: “Derby beating Forest, followed by a trip to a real ale pub, some pork based snacks: pork pies, sausage rolls, pork scratchings, piccalilli…” (he continues for a while on the food related theme) “and a group of friends up to 8 in size, an open fire and maybe some whisky – ideally wintery outside – and then a taxi home to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (On reminding him that 3 of his answers are now fighting related, he responds “and even then, that’s not quite enough.”)

Q: What in your opinion is the greatest invention of all time?
A: “The microchip. It revolutionised the way everything works.”

Martin has already hit the ground running but if you haven’t been introduced yet and would like to give him a friendly welcome, you can do so at martinb@katapult-studios.com

Rebrands 2012: The good, the bad and the ugly

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Rebranding is never a simple task; everyone wants to entice new business whilst retaining their existing customers. The best rebrands can convey an organisation’s redefined proposition and the worst can destroy reputations.

As such, I’ve picked three of my favourite rebrands of the last year and highlighted some that perhaps controversially, i’m not too fond of.

The Best Rebrands of 2012

1. CooperVision

cv_poster

CooperVision, one of the world’s largest contact lens manufacturers, stepped away from cold and literal representations of water to unveil  ‘a refreshing perspective’ as their revised brand promise, using bold watercolours in their marketing materials to convey this. Whilst the whole ‘sight is more than just about seeing’ connotations may seem obvious, they are also effective (and won the organisation a 2012 Rebrand 100 Award).
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Myspace Review: Mixing Social Media and music in 2013

Friday, January 4th, 2013

newmyspace_profile

After being frustrated by messy looking profiles on the old Myspace and being bombarded with friend requests by bands I had no interest in, I was sceptical towards the new release.  A combination of nostalgia, intrigue created by the teaser video and the impressive new look/style persuaded me to look into it further.

Sign-up

After receiving my beta invite, I was surprised that I could use my Facebook login in order to sign up. It seems that the new Myspace isn’t trying to take on the social networking Titan that is Facebook, but work alongside it. Its new mission is much clearer: to connect people through music.

As promised by the teaser video, the new Myspace interface is clean and simple; high on visuals, low on clutter, which is a refreshing change of pace compared to other highly evolved and wordy social networking sites.

Social Networking Comparisons

The Myspace stream is a lot like Facebook’s News Feed, with updates from your friends. You can see who has made mixes, what music people are listening to and who is connecting. Connections on the new Myspace are more akin to the follow feature of Twitter rather than the ‘friends’ feature on Facebook and with a heavy focus on visuals, the horizontal scrolling feature makes it feel like a music themed version of Pinterest. The biggest appeal for me is the ability to make playlists which are played in your deck whilst browsing, a lot like Spotify.

newmyspace_stream

Profiles

Unlike its predecessor, with the glittery GIFs plastered over people’s profiles, the new layout boasts a large full screen cover image behind your stream. Something that seems to have made a return from the old Myspace is your chosen top eight connections, and the choice to include a profile song (which thankfully doesn’t play automatically like on the old Myspace).

Improvements

However, with it still being in the beta stages, there are still a lot of improvements to make.
The first of which being the user experience, particularly with regards the search facility which is clunky and difficult to find the exact thing you want. The horizontal scrolling feature also feels like random ‘browsing’, making it difficult to find something you saw before, with a jumble of things in between that you might not be interested in. A filter would be a useful addition to sort this, as would the option to choose what to see from a certain person when connecting to them.

Overall, I can see how the site could be used and who might use it. The new Myspace has repositioned itself in line with what it was predominately used for at its height back in the early noughties – a way of connecting to new music. When the user experience improves, the new Myspace will come into its own.

Go to the new Myspace site and leave your email address to request an invite to trial the beta version of site.

By Martin Stewart