MARKETING MATTERS

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).

PAOLO MARCHETTI

by abacus on June 19, 2017
PMI-Square-Logo PAOLO MARCHETTI

PAOLO MARCHETTI

Paolo Marchetti Interiors is a bespoke fitted furniture company with retail outlets in Hampstead Heath and Tottenham Court Road. Abacus was commissioned to deliver a variety of digital marketing support, including PPC, SEO and social media. We were also contracted to deliver ongoing management of the website. The backdrop to our engagement was that the client had been working with various UK marketing agencies without great success to encourage potential customers to book a free design visit – this was on the basis that their sales team was likely to convert a percentage of these visits into sales. Over an 18-month period, we managed to achieve a 400% increase in bookings.

Our strategy on Google AdWords was to start with a very broad list of almost 20,000 potential keywords, a total which was honed down over a period of time to about a tenth of this quantity, so that we were able to unequivocally identify those keywords which were most likely to deliver high quality visits.

Conversely, we focused on less than 20 keywords (e.g. bespoke fitted furniture) for our search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, though we continually analysed performance for related keywords, and this strategy saw tracked keywords increase to 200 keywords over a two-year period.

The social media strategy was to build a high-quality audience of relevant followers and to ensure the client was perceived as being an expert within the home furnishings and interior decoration sector.

We identified that there were issues with the website that needed to be overcome, and we were commissioned to design and develop a new website with a greater depth of content and a more logical navigational structure, which significantly improved the user experience. We designed and printed a series of brochures too – these were also hosted in digital form on the website.

We delivered an integrated market research project, which included a review of the UK retail sector and the furniture industry, an analysis of competitor websites, mystery shopping, staff consultations, customer focus groups, and an online questionnaire aimed at the target market demographic.

 

‘The team at Abacus were a real pleasure to work with. They impressed us with their passion and enthusiasm and we really felt we were working with people who were like a virtual extension of our team. The results speak for themselves. Highly recommended.’

Alexey Nagaitsev
Marketing Director
Paolo Marchetti Interiors

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VELLO

by BGL Communications on June 9, 2017
Vello-Logo VELLO

VELLO

Vello is a start-up enterprise providing a domestic plumbing, boiler and heating repair service. Their unique point of difference is that their engineers travel around London on Brompton bikes, catching the tube when it is convenient to do so. They carry all the tools they need in their bags to fix 80% of all jobs within an hour. If they need extra support or materials, an electric van is deployed to finish the job. We were appointed to deliver corporate branding, and we were subsequently commissioned to deliver website design and development and to create marketing communications materials.

The first stage in the process was to review the marketplace to better understand the digital marketing and communication strategies used by their competitors. This helped to shape the website mapping process, as well as to understand page content requirements and site navigation to optimise the user journey experience.

Our market research established that price, trust, transparency, speed of response, and industry knowhow were all important factors in a customer’s decision-making process. To stand apart from the competition, we developed a service proposition that promoted these five benefits.

We came up with the trading name, Vello, which is a derivative of ‘bicycle’ in French and ‘speed’ in Italian. It also is a word that sounds friendly, like ‘hello’, and it was cost-effective to find a unique URL and to trademark the name and logo, a process we managed on behalf of the client.

We proposed that we created a brand that could be identified with a specific region within the UK (e.g. Vello London), so that they could franchise out different geographies around the UK in future if they wished to do so (e.g. Vello Manchester) with a hierarchal corporate structure in place (i.e. Vello Group). With this in mind, we developed the strapline ‘All Round London’ for the launch region.

We developed three creative concepts and developed the chosen theme in partnership with the client. We wrote all the copy for the website and built it in WordPress. We developed brand guidelines and produced uniforms, bike and van livery, leaflets, and stationery. We also created an animated video and delivered onsite SEO, having previously identified the primary keywords we wished to focus on as part of the competitor research process.

 

‘I could not recommend Abacus Marketing highly enough. They helped us to turn an idea into a reality. We appreciated the help and support they provided every step of the way, including assistance with the development of the business plan to include an effective brand, sales and marketing strategy, and some highly insightful competitor market research which helped to finetune the proposition.’

Hannah Rossi
Operations Director
AVello Group

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VERITA

by BGL Communications on June 7, 2017
Verita-Logo-cmyk VERITA

VERITA

Verita is an independent investigations consultancy that specialises in supporting the needs of regulated organisations within the healthcare, education, charity and government service provider sectors. Abacus was commissioned to deliver a strategic and corporate brand proposition, and we were subsequently contracted to deliver website design and development, as well as ongoing social media marketing and search engine optimisation.

The initial stage in the process was to understand the business better. To do this, we reviewed the business plan and the marketplace, and held face-to-face meetings with every member of staff, including managers and directors. These were confidential interviews to encourage transparency and honesty. We spent time in the office reviewing their sales processes and systems. We tested opinions and beliefs about the company using an online questionnaire. From these processes, we were able to identify a number of organisational issues and cultural practices that needed to be addressed – these were relatively simple tasks, such as making sure all staff had read the business plan and understood the financial goals for the year ahead, and putting communication processes in place to ensure that all staff were aware of company performance on an ongoing basis.

We held a facilitated workshop session to develop the brand proposition, in terms of values, virtues, views and vision. This enabled us to create a clear positioning statement and to develop core messages – a customer service charter was delivered internally using this information as the base.

We developed three creative concepts for the website, and developed the preferred option in close partnership with the client. We developed a site map and navigation structure to reflect changes in the business plan, and provided a copywriting and copyediting service too. We designed and developed the website and optimised onsite SEO. As part of our planning work, we analysed a number of competitor websites and established the most important keywords for the business to focus on. We created a brand handbook for the business that is now used by members of staff to ensure a consistent house style across all stakeholder communications.

After the website was launched, we provided social media and SEO, as well as delivering ongoing consultancy support for other marketing activities delivered internally.

 

‘We value the contribution that Abacus makes to our business greatly, and consider them to be a virtual extension of our marketing team.’

Ed Marsden
Managing Director
Verita

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VIRGIN HOLIDAYS

by BGL Communications on June 6, 2017
Virgin_Holidays_Logo VIRGIN HOLIDAYS

VIRGIN HOLIDAYS

Virgin Holidays has been arranging holidays since 1985, and is the largest and most successful transatlantic tour operator, the market leader for travel to the USA and the Caribbean. We worked with their event management partner to deliver creative services for a range of domestic and international events. This led to us being commissioned to deliver their annual global management sales conference.

The process began by meeting with board directors to discuss each of their departmental strategies for the year ahead, as well as meeting with the Strategy Director, Finance Director and Managing Director to discuss their content requirements within the main conference presentation. We created one overall theme for the event, with associated sub-theming for five breakout sessions. As well as being informative and educational, the event was intended to be interactive and fun, in keeping with the client’s brand values.

Each department was involved in developing the thematic identity for their own particular session, as well as for delivering it. This was important, as it meant they owned their content and messaging. We spent time with each department brainstorming ideas.

Delegates were split into one of five groups and each conference room was dressed according to its theme, and props supplied. We produced a variety of materials to reinforce key messages regarding the strategies for each breakout session. The creative concept fitted in with their consumer advertising campaigns, and we used audio and animation sequences to bring a sense of theatre to the occasion.

 

‘Very pleased with all aspects of their work.’

Marketing Manager
Virgin Holidays

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AHP

by BGL Communications on June 6, 2017
AHP-Logo-cmyk AHP

AHP

AHP is a team of architects and surveyors located in Sevenoaks. We were commissioned to develop their corporate brand proposition, and then to design and build a website. The main issue they faced was that the business had grown quite significantly in recent years, and it was becoming more and more apparent that the company needed to invest in marketing activities to ensure that they delivered a credible and professional image to prospective clients.

The first stage in the process involved sitting down with every member of staff, including the directors, to gain a better understanding of the company, as well as spending time in the business getting a feel for the inherent atmosphere. This was followed up with a confidential written questionnaire. This research enabled us to unearth several insights that were helpful to the directors in providing clarity on the direction the business needed to take, and on internal issues that needed addressing.

We developed three different design concepts and worked in close collaboration with the management team to fine tune the preferred creative route. We developed the website in WordPress and provided training materials to assist the client to make updates internally on an ongoing basis. The website clearly explained all of the services offered by the business, as well as the sectors they worked in. Case studies helped to demonstrate their experience across these services and sectors, and the About section showcased their people, background and values. Most copy was supplied by the client and edited by ourselves. We commissioned photography on their behalf too.

 

‘You would have thought that a firm of architects would have been capable of redesigning their own logo and rebranding the business but alas the rigours of running a business consistently frustrated our attempts to complete this task in-house. We therefore sought creative expertise and Abacus stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the field. They took us through a structured process and 12 months after completing their work, we have received nothing but praise for the quality of our website and the overall presentation of our company branding across all of our sales and marketing materials. Their enthusiasm and attention to detail is superb, and it was a pleasure to work with them.’

Philip Hiscocks
Director
AHP Architects & Surveyors

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