Category Archives: Digital Marketing

I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal

Ron Burgundy

I’m kind of a big deal

Its fair to say that the British character, far from being overbearing and self promotional tends to lend itself to a more subtle and modest tone which in the digital age can simply get drowned out by all the noise. I’ve commented before about how difficult it can be to find the balance between being too noisy and promoting your online activity and the more people that come onboard with the idea of Inbound Marketing the more important it becomes to recognise the need for reserve and judgement.

Business Development is data driven, targeted and it works

I’ve been accused of being too subtle when it comes to business development and that I need to be more aggressive and persuading in my use of language. If that doesn’t sit too well with you, as it didn’t with me at the time and still doesn’t, and your against the idea of pushing yourself upon people then your probably one of the many who think there’s a better way of doing business in this day and age in which case Inbound Marketing is for you.

Today’s marketing and PR is about content creation. Your personal brand is also about content creation – David Meerman Scott

Don’t shout – Inbound Marketing gets you heard by those who matter

Inbound marketing and the use of data in developing business is something, having spent over 10 years in sales, that I firmly believe in. Far from being loud and aggressive it is aimed at working with people who already have an interest in what you do. Far from having to beat people down with your message Inbound Marketing puts you in position to get the right people coming through your door, isn’t that what you want.

“But this is the way we’ve always done it”

David Meerman Scott, author of The new rules of Marketing and PR speaks about the FEAR companies have when it comes to doing things differently and he has first hand experience of that fact. Overcoming this fear factor is something that people who run these companies need to overcome if they’re going to succeed in the Digital Age. When you’ve spent your whole life doing something and you’ve seen it work (Outbound Marketing) it’s hard to accept that your business environment has changed and so their might be a better way of doing things (Inbound Marketing) and its understandable. Change has an element of the unknown and losing control of your marketing is a scary message but to make full use of what’s available that’s an obstacle that business has to overcome.

Lose control of my Marketing – you must be mad

Let me give you an example. When Cindy Gordon was at Universal Orlando Resorts she was tasked with launching the new Harry Potter Theme Park. She had millions of pounds to spend in her budget, a dream for any marketer, and could have used any number of strategies to get the message out but instead of this she decided to tell just 7 people. Madness I hear you cry, tell 7 people, what’s that ever going to achieve, but the beauty of her plan was not just in telling 7 people but in telling 7 of the most popular bloggers and within 24 hours those 7 people had ballooned to over 350m, and that’s a big audience in anyone’s books!

Don’t be afraid to jump in – you won’t regret it

Obviously, at least as far as I know, this is an extreme case but one that highlights the possibilities that present themselves to industries that are willing to embrace the changes that the Digital Age can bring. So the message to anyone who’s thinking about jumping into Online World but just doesn’t understand what or how it works is don’t be afraid, if you value what you do, appreciate your customers and respect their opinions the Internet is the most powerful tool you’ll ever need.

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Are we nearly there yet?

Slippery RoadThe Journey of the Digital Marketer

Working in digital marketing is without doubt one of the most rewarding ways in which you can spend your days. The rate at which new products and services are churned out means that apart from having to spend a large part of your working week just keeping up, the new and emerging trends and strategies mean you can never rest on your laurels. That being said working as a freelancer in digital marketing doesn’t come without its share of problems, after all why should we be any different from the rest of the world. Simply getting across the importance of an online strategy is the start of the journey with any new client and following a process that makes it easy for others can be a challenge, but one that’s ultimately worth taking.

A rocky road

In my time I’ve worked with a variety of businesses, from the one man band to larger more corporate style organisations, and as hard as it is to believe, it’s fair to say that convincing some clients about the benefits of digital marketing can still be a bit of a rocky road. Having said that you won’t find too many businesses these days that don’t have a website, even my local burger man has one, but helping them to understand the impact that digital marketing can have on their business is not as straight forward as it seems.

Bridging the gap

Working in the industry day to day, it’s easy to assume that everybody’s finger is on the pulse when it comes to knowing what’s what in the digital world, but in reality that’s simply not the case. I don’t mean this in a nasty way of course it’s just that if you’re a business owner, large or small, dealing with the day to day issues of YOUR business you probably don’t have time to focus on developing your online strategy and that’s where the real skill of the digital marker comes in to play. Taking the time to find out what makes your clients tick can have a major impact in helping them understand the value of digital marketing and working with the person, not just the business can help in bridging the gap sometimes associated with the digital industry and the man on the street.

Stuck in the mudDon’t get stuck in the mud

In reality developing or increasing an online presence doesn’t happen overnight and having a clear idea as to the objectives as well as managing your clients expectations can be as much a part of the process as measuring the actual results. Personally whenever I start working on any project I like to have a process that enables me to feel confident and assured in knowing which way the road’s going to twist and turn so here’s my interpretation of a guide that I like to follow courtesy of Chris Markham at Bizfix.co.uk to help drive your plans forward and ensure your project doesn’t get stuck in the mud.

Research – Starting off on the right foot is key to succeeding in any project and that foot should always be the research. Without research you won’t be able to set your goals and objectives, know who your target is or what they want from you so get this right from the start and you’ll be on the right track.

Plan – Sounds obvious but planning a project can take up a large portion of your time and can sometimes be quite tricky but as the great man once said, fail to plan plan to fail. Take the time to plan in detail, talk to those around you and take on board other people’s opinions, oh and try not to rush it – just think tortoise and hare.

Agree – making sure people within the project are aware of the plans and agree to them gives everyone a sense of direction and purpose which adds value in driving the project forward. Hopefully by now you’ll all be reading from the same script anyway but ensuring people are happy and comfortable with what’s being proposed is a great way in further developing those relationships.

Implement – this is the doing part, whatever you’ve said you’re going to do, now is the time to do it. Actually getting on with the job can be the hardest part of all but knowing you’ve got it right up to this point should give you the confidence to drive your plans forward

Measure – In my opinion the corner stone of any project comes in measuring the results and hopefully the successes. Working your way through a project and achieving a positive result, whatever that may be, gives you a great sense of satisfaction and sharing that feeling with those around you makes it feel even better.

Remember that a project is all about team work, whether it’s 2 people working together or 200 it really doesn’t matter, having a process you can rely on will always give you something to fall back on. So when all that’s said and done and you’ve arrived safe and sound at your destination take a second to lean over your shoulder and enjoy the moment as you scream at the top of your voice.

WE’RE HERE!

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Have computers become the teachers?

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the first computer training manuals ever released titled Computer Training and Education, The Picture in 1962 by F.J Gruenberger.  Gruenberger, who worked for the Rand Corporation based in Santa Monica, wrote his paper with the aim of highlighting areas of threat to computer education as well as detailing the potential rate of growth of computers within the U.S, which he said at the time was “probably exceeded by no other technology”, a statement that is arguably as true today as it was then.

In 1962 there was a severe shortage of people who had practical computing skills and this was mainly due to the number of computers there were in existence at the time, coupled with the fact that any computer would have been rendered virtually obsolete by the time it was built and delivered such was the pace of development. The progression of computers was so swift that only 2 years after releasing his paper the world had its first Super Computer. In 1964 the CDC 6600 by Seymour Cray was released and it revolutionised computing. It was 10 times faster than anything on the market at the time, had 60-bit words of memory and sold for a staggering $8 million dollars each and was testament to Gruenberger’s vision at the time that “the total computing capability of the U.S will at least double in the next twelve months”. These days computers might last a little bit longer than those of the 60’s but the number of daily software alerts and updates you receive on your PC or laptop gives a good indication as to the continued rate of progression that the Industry is renowned for.

It’s amazing to think how far computers have come in a relatively short space of time and almost impossible to imagine what’s in store in the next 50 years. I doubt anyone involved in the early computer era of the 50’s and 60’s would have believed you if you’d have told them that by 2012 computers would be small enough to fit into your briefcase, let alone your pocket and explaining the Internet to someone who needed a small gymnasium to store a single computer would probably have taken quite some doing. In fact it’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of us who use computers for daily chores also find that we require them much more for leisure purposes than they would ever have been intended for and that the information at our finger tips would be practically impossible to have imagined in 1962.

Gruenberger then, one of the first teachers of training in the world of computers and the man who stated that if he had to start from scratch would rather have a computer and no teacher than the best teacher and no computer might look at today’s world with a touch of irony for it would seem that in 2012 man who was once considered that teacher, has at the hands of the computer,  most definitely become the student.

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