We like to share our thoughts on matters relating to the integrated marketing services we offer – including marketing strategy, corporate branding, marketing communications, website design and development, digital marketing (search engine optimisation, digital advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and marketing automation), and non-digital marketing (advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, event marketing, public relations and corporate incentives).
It’s fair to say that marketing terms are often misunderstood. Just to be clear, PR is a subset of marketing. It is not a different discipline.
However, it is a bespoke skill that requires specific expertise, just like any specific marketing medium. PR covers a wide range of activities, including media relations, crisis management and corporate communications – all of which are very important commercial considerations.
But, and we cannot emphasise this enough, it is not a standalone activity. It only ever sits within your overall strategic marketing plan, and this also ensures that all brand experiences by every single stakeholder remain consistent and coherent.
Some digital marketing agencies will tell you that SEO planning is primarily a technical activity, inferring that clients are unable to provide any meaningful input into their search engine optimisation strategy.
Whilst it is undeniably true that SEO is a technical process to some degree, it’s not all as technical as it used to be. The only way to rank in today’s search engines is to create a digital strategy that is supported by search engine algorithms.
And that’s not to say the technical performance of your website is not important. It is. A website has to load quickly, be intuitive to navigate, be responsive across all devices, and provide a great user experience (aka ‘UX’).
Data is useless without insight. There, we said it. As blunt as that. But we know it, and deep down you know it too. It’s one of the most significant pain points we face as marketers. Collecting so much data that we can’t actually tell if it’s even useful. Or indeed, if we’re using it in the most effective way to achieve and support overall business objectives and achieve (or in some cases prove) that all-important ROI to the management team.
Today, marketing teams need to look at the customer journey beyond the analytics. Looking at how they can turn customer data into actionable, business-minded decision-making objectives. That’s what we want to focus on in this blog— an insight into how to manage data better, providing support for strategic direction insights, with practical action points to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your overall sales and marketing plan.
The purpose of this blog is to help businesses to brief their marketing agency better, in order to end up with the best possible outcome.
As an integrated marketing agency which works with clients of varying levels of marketing knowhow, the Abacus team is used to working in an agile way to help our clients during the briefing process. Large companies normally have a big marketing team in place, so that makes life easy in this respect, but smaller companies and start-ups don’t always have a marketing person with the experience and expertise needed to articulate their requirements in a clear and concise way.
That’s fine, there is nothing wrong with that. In truth, formal written briefs tend to be self-limiting to some degree anyway. Yes, they are a good starting point, but it is often far better to meet up for a face-to-face meeting that will enable us to discuss your brief (written or otherwise) in much more detail.
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At Abacus Marketing, we pride ourselves on providing a professional, transparent and high quality service to companies of every size. Not only do we work with lots of ambitious SMEs and start-up enterprises, but we also work with a number of blue-chip corporates too – such as Canon, for whom we create through-the-line advertising campaigns for the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe to promote their cameras and printers. Or Kuehne + Nagel, for whom we delivered an integrated corporate sales presentation tool and an office signage toolkit that is used across their global network of offices. Or Virgin Holidays, who trusted us to deliver their sales conference. Add to that list the likes of MasterCard (integrated TTL marketing campaign for a prepaid product), Land Rover (dealer programmes), IBM (channel marketing across Europe), Tesco Direct (integrated marketing campaign), Esso (customer service programme for their UK forecourts) and AXA (ad hoc marketing support), and you can see that Abacus provides a service trusted by some of the biggest global organisations.
The New Year has well and duly arrived, and it’s time to get back to work. It’s quite understandable to want to throw oneself straight back into the deep end – especially if you have taken a fair amount of time out (quite rightly!) to spend quality time with your family and friends over the festive period – but, once you have sorted out any outstanding issues, responded to important emails and dealt with any immediate panics, the last couple of weeks in January are the perfect time to take a look at your business goals for the year ahead, and to have a good think about whether you need to revise your marketing plans, and the strategies and tactics you need to put in place to deliver them. It’s the perfect time for a marketing review.
With the new year fast approaching, it’s time to get ready for 2020. And from a marketing perspective, it always helps to be aware of any trends that are likely to have an impact on how you market your business to prospects and customers. So, here are some insights into some top digital marketing trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond:
What is PR? Public relations refers to how a company communicates with people who are stakeholders in its business. This includes everyone from prospects and customers, to shareholders and corporate partners, to journalists, influencers, bloggers, vloggers and of course the general public. PR is so important because now more than ever the public are valuing trust in a company and their values, not just the quality of their products. PR is probably the most effective way to build trust and rapport with your audience. Not only that, but the explosion in social media and all the surrounding buzz and noise of the internet means that people have a voice – and that voice is loud!
Event marketing can encompass a whole host of different types of events – but, in short, event marketing is the promotion of a product or a brand through in-person interactions with your target audience.
Trying to successfully navigate the world of event marketing can be a tricky business, but with the right guidance and a good understanding of your goals you could give your customers an experience they will never forget.
Why is market research so important to the success of most commercial organisations, regardless of their size, maturity, industry sector and so on? In this age of fast-paced technological advancement, with new innovative products popping up all the time, it is easy to forget about investing in market research and just get stuck in to the ‘doing’. At its heart, market research is all about minimising commercial risk and financial uncertainty – so if these concepts are attractive to you, read on…!