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).

ASPIRE WELLBEING

by BGL Communications on June 23, 2017
Aspire-Wellbeing-Logo-300x159 ASPIRE WELLBEING

ASPIRE WELLBEING

Aspire Wellbeing is a not-for-profit social enterprise that was spun out of Lambeth Council to safeguard the provision of day care for disabled adults living in the local area. Aspire were looking for a London design and marketing agency, and we were appointed to create a corporate brand proposition, to design and develop the website, and to deliver a suite of marketing communications materials. The first step in the process was to get to know the business, the staff and their customers. We analysed the business plan and researched the marketplace to seek insight from competitors.

We developed three brand concepts and worked closely with the client to fine tune the preferred creative route. This led to the creation of the website, which we built in WordPress. Training materials were provided and we supplied ongoing web maintenance and hosting. We have recently developed an online booking system.

We also designed various materials, including a brochure and folder, uniforms, signage, stationery (business cards, letterhead and compliment slip), exhibition stand, gazebo, leaflets, PowerPoint templates, posters, adverts, certificates, lanyard badges, promotional items (mugs, notepads and pens), ring binders, security passes and internal forms. We managed the print process for all these items.

We created brand guidelines (as well as full logo and icon packs) to ensure a consistent brand experience at every customer touch point.

We were subsequently asked to join their Advisory Committee, which meets on a quarterly basis to support the management team basis in the delivery of its business objectives on a pro bono basis.

 

‘‘I could not recommend Abacus Marketing more highly. Their creative work is always favourably commented on by our customers and other stakeholders, and we appreciate all the consultative support and strategic advice they provide us with too. They are extremely easy people to work with, they are professional and friendly, and we think of them as a natural extension of our business. They have a great eye for detail and a visible passion for their work. Great energy, enthusiasm and integrity.’

Keith Edmondson
Managing Director
Aspire Wellbeing

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BGL CommunicationsASPIRE WELLBEING

DIRECT TEMPING

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
Direct-Temping-Logo DIRECT TEMPING

DIRECT TEMPING

DirectTemping is an online platform for managing all aspects of temporary and casual workforces across the UK, with a value for money proposition and a transparent fee structure. The client had developed a powerful backend technology, but was hampered in their attempts to grow the business by the design of the front end of the website.

We were contracted to develop a marketing strategy for the business, and subsequently to create a creative corporate brand proposition, and to apply this branding to the website and other materials to deliver a professional and credible first impression to site visitors.

The first stage in the process was to talk to the management team, so that we could better understand their needs and requirements and get a better feel for their customer base. We also researched the marketplace to seek insights from the competition. It became apparent that there was a need to unify the branding for several different satellite businesses within the overall corporate group. These each had a different area of focus in the recruitment sector – temporary, permanent, contract and executive search. We realised that we needed to create three websites – one for the corporate group, one to cover all recruitment services except temping, and one for DirectTemping. We developed a site map and structured the navigation to optimise the customer journey for each website.

We created three different concepts for the logo, and visualised how it would work across various pages of the website for all three corporate websites. We worked closely with the client to develop their preferred creative concept. We developed copy and designs for all the frontend pages for each of the three websites. We created CSS templates which the backend developers installed on their system. We created videos explaining the key benefits of the DirectTemping approach to both clients and temps. We delivered other sales and marketing communications collateral – stationery, brochure, folder and presentation templates. We photographed staff and sourced library images. We set up their social media channels and optimised the website for SEO, as well as providing recommendations for lead generation activities, which were delivered internally. This included a three-dimensional direct marketing campaign, the purpose of which was to bypass gatekeepers (secretaries, PAs, receptionists, etc.) who would prevent materials from reaching their boss.

‘Abacus Marketing created a number of excellent concepts to integrate our different corporate brands and services. The chosen concept was executed in a timely fashion. Their marketing knowledge, professionalism and unbounded energy made for a very successful project, that was delivered on-time, in budget and to a high standard. They took plenty of time to understand the needs of the business and the different stakeholders involved, and ensured we got the most from our budget. I’d highly recommend them.’

Tony Marven
Chief Technology Office
Direct Temping

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BGL CommunicationsDIRECT TEMPING

EBCS

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
EBCS-logo-300x97 EBCS

EBCS

We were appointed to create a sales and marketing plan for Elmbridge Borough Council’s building control division, which was being spun out of the council into the third sector as a social enterprise, as part of the government’s policy to safeguard important local authority services.

An essential part of the exercise was to understand the business and the people who ran it. With this in mind, we went out on site visits, interviewed every member of staff to better understand their roles and responsibilities, and held workshop discussions to discuss their views concerning the business, corporate branding, marketing communications and marketing strategy. We also looked closely at customer segmentation to identify key target markets.

Our 60-page marketing strategy included a systematic review of the business plan, comprehensive research of the competitor marketplace, the creation of a strategic corporate brand proposition, the identification of the marketing communications platforms required to meet the needs of key stakeholders, and the creation of a lead generation strategy to raise consumer awareness in their services. We looked at the sales pipeline process and made recommendations concerning the implementation of a CRM system to minimise churn and maximise conversion. We advised on customer lifetime value and the opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling via marketing automation software. We recommended the development of customer lifetime value strategies to encourage recommendation and referral to exploit word of mouth opportunities.

The next part of the process was the creative development of the corporate brand proposition. This involved the design of a logo and the demonstration of its application across different media. We created three different creative concepts and developed the chosen route in partnership with the client. We demonstrated how it would look across various marketing platforms, including the website, brochure and folder, stationery and uniforms. Once finalised, we provided a suite of logos and icons. We developed a site map for the website and analysed the customer journey to understand content needs and navigational logic.

 

‘Just what we needed. Thank you for all the help you gave us.’

Mark Webb
Managing Director
EBCS

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FIRST ASSIST

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
Firstassist-logo FIRST ASSIST

FIRST ASSIST

FirstAssist is an insurance broker. We were initially asked to develop a full branding and marketing strategy. This having met with their approval, we were subsequently commissioned to deliver marketing support materials. This involved redesigning their entire suite of sales and marketing communications collateral, with a primary focus on the website and product-specific brochures. Being a financial services company operating in a busy marketplace, we needed to create a visual concept that stood out from the crowd.

Following a detailed client briefing and some intensive market research, our design team devised three creative concepts – one of which was chosen and developed in close partnership with the client. We devised the navigation site map for their website and worked with their internal web development team to provide CSS templates, images and copy content for them to replicate on their internal server. The website was essentially an online catalogue of corporate brochures featuring their entire range of financial products. We implemented their on-page SEO too.

The project included the creation of a suite of printed product brochures and a corporate brochure and folder. We also printed their stationery – business cards, letterhead, compliment slip, labels and PowerPoint presentation templates – and developed an exhibition stand with different sets of graphics to promote a variety of products and services.

Customer acquisition activities included 3D direct mail, pay per click advertising, email marketing and trade press advertising. These campaigns helped to drive traffic to their website and call centre. Response levels increased significantly in comparison with previous campaigns, and onsite metrics demonstrated high levels of engagement with site visitors – with lower bounce rates and longer time spent on site than had previously been achieved.

 

‘We were really impressed with the quality of their work. I felt that they took the time to understand our needs, and delivered excellent results for the business.’

Peter Underwood
Marketing Manager
First Assist

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BGL CommunicationsFIRST ASSIST

HOME LEARNING COLLEGE

by BGL Communications on June 21, 2017
Home-learning-college-logo-300x72 HOME LEARNING COLLEGE

HOME LEARNING COLLEGE

Home Learning College is the UK’s largest online learning provider. We were commissioned to provide them with a fresh design style for the front covers of their entire range of training course booklets. The client had recently invested in a new corporate brand identity, but the logo had as yet not been applied to any literature, which potentially damaged the perceived value of the brand in the eyes of their customers. There is quite a large leap in faith to get people to pay for distance learning courses, and the challenge is always to reduce churn/cancellation rates, and to improve retention/loyalty.

There was no question as to the quality of the information in the booklets themselves – it was simply a case that the outer covers needed to replicate this quality to ensure that the first impression of customers receiving course booklets through the post was a positive one.

We created three different creative concepts for the client’s consideration and they chose one of these for development. Once the final design style had been approved, our studio created artwork for the front covers for their entire suite of booklets, using colour coding to differentiate courses from one another. We used library images to keep costs to a minimum, and transferred all usage rights to the client on completion of the project.

We supplied all design templates to the client so that their internal team were able to modify the artwork as and when required. The project was completed in two months.

 

‘Excellent creative work that was delivered on time and on budget.’

CEO
Home Learning College

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BGL CommunicationsHOME LEARNING COLLEGE

IFF RESEARCH

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
IFF-Logo-300x81 IFF RESEARCH

IFF RESEARCH

IFF Research is an independent market research company. We were commissioned to create and deliver a marketing plan for one of their products. The aim of the project was to increase awareness and sales. The process involved face-to-face meetings with key members of the team, and a facilitated workshop. We researched the marketplace to better understand the digital marketing strategies of core competitors.

We worked in close collaboration with the client to develop the marketing strategy. We identified several changes that we recommended should be made to the core product proposition – such as making it a monthly service rather than a bi-monthly one to ensure it was available whenever customers wanted it. We recommended the provision of a suite of webpage communication tools, including a video and downloadable PDFs, to improve the webpage experience for prospective customers. We identified primary keywords for SEO and PPC activities. We recommended changes to website navigation and proposed a tiered suite of reporting options to create a greater perceived choice, and we also promoted the omnibus as having both one-off and repeat usage benefits. We promoted the option for clients to bolt on bespoke data in order to focus on particular audience demographics relevant to their needs. We encouraged enquiries from all prospects, knowing that the client would potentially be able to deliver other research solutions if it turned out that this particular service was not appropriate to their needs.

We looked at the target market demographic profile and identified the types of organisations which would potentially be interested in using a product such as this. We considered departments, levels of seniority, channels and sectors. We identified a list of business services which we knew would benefit from using the product. We identified a range of needs and drivers to support webpage messaging and lead generation activities. We created a five-pronged service proposition – quality, experience, service, flexibility and value.

We identified features and benefits that would resonate with the target market. We created implicit ways to support the client’s corporate credentials, by showcasing client case studies, testimonials and logos. We developed a new name for the product with fresh branding that was in keeping with the existing corporate identity. We designed and developed the new webpage. Finally, we launched a series of lead generation activities, including social media promotion, content generation, search engine advertising and on-site SEO, supported by the setting up of a CRM system to manage the lead generation process. We implemented a number of reporting tools to assist with the analysis of the performance of ongoing campaigns, as well as lead forensics software to identify companies visiting the website, in support of internal business development activities.

 

‘Very impressed. Highly recommended.’

Mark Lynch
Marketing Executive
IFF Research

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BGL CommunicationsIFF RESEARCH

LABINJOH LONDON

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
Labinjoh-London-Logo LABINJOH LONDON

LABINJOH LONDON

Labinjoh London is a men’s fashion retailer launched by Justin Labinjoh. It sells exclusively online and the product portfolio is limited to a range of long-sleeved formal shirts. Labinjoh commissioned us to deliver a marketing strategy for the business. It was clear that, to be successful in this competitive and mature marketplace, Labinjoh had to find as many ways as possible to stand out from the crowd, and to find some clear space to operate in. The first stage in the process was market research. We investigated 100+ competitors to gain insights into their digital marketing and communication strategies. We identified demographics around their core customer base – we recommended a focus on ambitious professionals in the 25-25 age bracket – well-groomed, trend setters, health focused, status lovers etc. We established new potential markets not mentioned in the business plan.

We identified product features to create consumer benefits – quality fabrics, innovative designs, affordably luxury, contemporary fashion, and bespoke personalisation. We recommended creating a story about the background and motivations of the business owner to enhance a unique personality for the brand, as well as offering swatch books and signature touches to prospective customers. We also proposed a no-discount pricing policy, but to deliver an added value experience with every sale, such as by offering discounted cufflinks or free personalised handkerchiefs. We also suggested interactive video technology to better showcase the product range on the website. We looked at the brand proposition in terms of values, vision, mission, character traits, positioning, USPs, etc. We identified the need for logo development to mirror the classic/contemporary image and we recommended a redesign of the website to provide a better user experience. We looked at the marketing communication needs of various stakeholders, including staff, investors, prospects, customers, stockists, partners, media and suppliers.

We recommended a digital marketing approach as the basis for lead acquisition strategy, using social media, SEO and content marketing supported by marketing automation techniques to optimise retention, loyalty, cross-selling and referral – as well as the creation of a ‘member’s club’ to encourage loyalty. We identified the need for sales pipeline, CRM and customer touch point strategies. We recommended social advertising and promotion, targeted PPC campaigns to test keyword efficacy, network remarketing and email marketing. We proposed an investment in PR to connect the brand with industry bloggers, journalists and influencers, with a series of media events, fashion shows, and a talent competition as a viral sales promotion.

 

‘I am very pleased with the work Abacus has delivered. We are now seeking investment funding to deliver the marketing plan.’

Justin Labinjoh
CEO
Labinjoh London

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ONE TRUST

by BGL Communications on June 20, 2017
OneTrust-Logo ONE TRUST

ONE TRUST

OneTrust is the new trading name for a day care centre for adults with learning disabilities. We were commissioned to deliver a strategic marketing plan and brand proposition to support a change in the business structure of the day care centre from being owned by the local authority into a standalone not-for-profit social enterprise. This was a part of Wandsworth Council’s ongoing aim to safeguard essential services.

The purpose of the marketing plan was threefold. To develop a comprehensive brand identity that established a meaningful character and personality for the organisation congruent with its vision and values. To identify key collateral for all stakeholder groups. To provide recommendations for sales and marketing activities, the intention of which was to create business development and funding opportunities through various stakeholder channels. We also considered the lifetime value of customers in terms of retention, referral and cross-selling, as well as referral and recommendation opportunities.

We were given access to the business plan and sales forecasts, and visited the centre and its four hubs to understand how the organisation operated. We researched the marketplace to look for insights and ideas from other day care centres providing similar services. We interviewed management and staff on an individual basis to get a better feel for their personal views, thoughts and concerns. We held a series of workshops with the management team to develop the marketing plan.

At the first of these workshops, we analysed marketplace competitors and discussed customer segmentation and demographics. At the second workshop, we agreed the new trading name for the business – OneTrust – and developed the core brand proposition. The third workshop outlined stakeholder communications priorities into three tiers, and the final session identified the core sales and marketing activities needed to generate business development opportunities.

We then moved on to the creative brand proposition – this involved the development of three brand concepts for the client to choose from, and we worked in close partnership with them to develop a brand identity and logo, which was then applied to the website, stationery, brochure/folder and vehicle livery.

 

‘The board have been very impressed with all the work that Abacus Marketing has delivered and are in full agreement with the recommendations outlined in the marketing plan. We are also delighted with the strategic and creative brand proposition.’

Louise Hayes
Director of Operations
OneTrust

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OPTIMAL DATA

by BGL Communications on June 19, 2017
Optimal-Data-Logo-300x72 OPTIMAL DATA

OPTIMAL DATA

Optimal Data is a document scanning business working in the B2B marketplace. We were commissioned to deliver a lead generation strategy. The client had tried telesales activities in the past but without success. They also invested in Google AdWords but, with an average CPC in the region of £15 per click for core keywords relating to their business, this did not make commercial sense. Email marketing campaigns using purchased data had led to minor new business acquisition.

We manually and technically analysed competitor websites and used this information to generate insights and ideas to inform our strategic recommendations. We also researched the primary keywords used within the industry. We looked at customer profiles and identified key market challenges – for instance, their industry sector is perceived as being a commoditised service whereby it is often difficult to create meaningful differences between competitors other than via a value add brand proposition. The market is price-led and most forms of marketing are expensive. Our research identified that good branding and clear messaging on the website, along with easy navigation and relevant content, would be likely to have a significant positive impact on lead conversion. We saw an opportunity to develop trust in the business by creating case studies, and by using client logos and testimonials.

We recommended that the first step in the process was to freshen up the brand identity and then to redesign the website – before investing in any more lead generation activities. We developed three different concepts and worked in partnership with the client to develop the preferred creative route across the website, brochure, stationery, uniforms and packaging. We supplied logo and icon packs as part of this process. We proposed that the company redefined itself as “the paper to data people” serving the needs of the UK, and that it communicated itself as being an integrated document management company. We also recommended the introduction of a “quick quote” facility on the website with an online calculator that would provide suspects with instant cost estimates. The primary aim was to capture email details to support business development activities and feed the sales pipeline.

We created a proposition based on five key service factors that we felt would appeal to the target audience – the use of the latest document management technology, high levels of security, proven expertise, an environmental focus, and pricing transparency. We also recommended the creation of an engaging brand story to stand out from the crowd. In terms of lead generation, we recommended a focus on social media, SEO and content to deliver longer term benefits to the business, and to invest in a CRM system to optimise the sales pipeline process and minimise churn, and the introduction of marketing automation software to maximise customer lifetime value, as well as to encourage referral and recommendation opportunities.

 

‘We are very pleased with the work Abacus delivered for us’

Kevin Anderson
Managing Director
Optimal Data

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BGL CommunicationsOPTIMAL DATA

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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