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Category Archives: Marketing

We are finally feeling it.

We probably felt it before today but this week it has been really noticable. Interestingly the fall in sales and enquiries has not been matched by our traffic – which has remaned constant (although not growing). Personally I think this reflects that people will still buy, but they are being much more careful where they place their money – and so doing a lot more research into the market.

Times like these really make you consider other opportunities and ventures that otherwise would have been cast away to one side, we are certainly trying to be more creative in how we are meeting the market and what value our offering might hold. In particular we are putting more time into generating B2B relationships, by working together with other companies that might be feeling the pinch we can create something new (or better value) for the consumer.

That’s always a nice thing to do.

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So the Best Awards are meant to acknowledge the ‘best’ ideas that take ‘integrated communications into tomorrow’….but it’s not is it. It’s meant to promote Marketing agencies. As I don’t work for a marketing agency I can’t enter. I’m not saying that I have done anything particularly worthy of said prize (maybe there are others that deserve it more) but why should my work go un-noticed just because I happen to be in-house?

Had the awards included non-agency marketing departments then I would have most certainly put forward my company for development of talent as I feel they have supported my development over and above what many large corporations would have. As I am part of a smaller company my development has been tailored personally to me from when I start work to my breaks, time away from work to study etc. They have also allowed me to really take a hold of my own learning and grow myself (letting me visit fairs etc that I suggested rather then being forced to attend).

I feel rather bitter….can you tell?

Something that has been on my mind no end just lately – growth. We’re falling into a recession, defined by the fact that growth in the economy is zero or negative, it’s not completely illogical to see sales and business growth at the very least stall. It eases my mind to think that this is happening to everyone and so I should just sit tight and wait, I’m impatient though – I don’t want to wait.

That aside I’ve been thinking about the size of the market in the first place. I want to double the sales for our main product in the next 6 months. To do this I’m going to get us better SERPS (as a starting point anyway) but what happens if we rank #1 for all our keywords and we still don’t see an increase in sales….then I guess we’re reaching the complete market. Then what? I guess then we have to consider other types of marketing as opposed to solely online (promotion, advertising etc). By reaching #1 we capture the entire market that BROWSES for our product but what about all those people that simply search by brand name. So therefore we need to strengthen the brand and raise awareness so that more people search for us as opposed to just our product, if we can also add an intrinsic positive feeling with the awareness that would also help battle some of the ‘buying online’ demons that people still have making it even more beneficial.

Complete brain fart there, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

When did advertising become about the things that we had all expected anyway?

An insurance company in the UK has spent money advertising the fact that they give lower premiums to small cars, people that do less miles and people with more experience….SO DOES EVERY OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY! It’s like Tesco’s advertising that they charge less for 6 eggs than 12. Infuriating. I hate it when companies presume that consumers are so idiotic. Even more than that it infuriates me that the marketing budget has been wasted in this way. Their targets were clearly about differentiating themselves in the market place (as opposed to building the brand, raising awareness or gaining immediate sales) and yet they have done the opposite. How did that meeting go?

-HEAD – “we need to make people see what we do that is different from everyone else, how can we do that?”

-MARKETER – “I know we could run a TV campaign highlighting all the basic fundamental principles that all insurance companies use to set prices”

-HEAD-“Fantastic, here’s a £1m budget, go get em tiger”.

What the hell?!

Dominoes Pizza are opening up there menu to now include an oven baked sandwich in 4 different varieties (notice there is no vegetarian option currently available).

Personally I just don’t get it, especially when the options are so limited and so….ordinary. This is something that Subway does – and Subway does it particularly well (hey even McDonalds do it fairly well).

However, although I would probably never try one (other than through sheer curiosity) I can almost see where they are coming from although I don’t think they have it yet. Had I been a part of this team I would have tried to go more down a health line. Let me explain a little better.

When my partner and I go to Dominoes we HAVE to order a large and we have to have something that is dripping in fat and calories. As a woman (who has a beach holiday coming up especially) I would like to have an alternative and I think this new sandwich idea could really catch my eye. The sandwich would have to have that same ‘luxury’ feel to it but without the hidden calories and fat – by the looks of this youtube video, I think it does. I’m not saying rival the Subway <6% fat campaign I’m just saying a ‘healthy’ alternative to a very fatty pizza.

The other thing about the new Dominoes sandwich idea is the delivery, I like the idea of having a sandwich delivered to the office for $5….but there are about 40 cafes and sandwich shops near me that do that already.

If Dominoes are really backing this wholeheartedly then why does the website not mention the launch at all?

In summary I can’t see this lasting longer than a year, but nice effort (and get a vegetarian option).

We have a competitor that sells the exact same product as us (made in the same factory even – literally the box and our superior manual is the only difference) and yet they have branded theirs ‘x’.

Now I’m all for branding – as long as it carries a value that the customer can understand.

With our competitor there is no information about what the brand means, where it came from etc just the logo. They even have the cheek to advise against other ‘cheaper’ versions of their brand and yet when I called to ask what the difference was exactly the sales advisor couldn’t tell me – she even said ‘it’s just something we thought of, it’s the same product really’.

What makes this even worse is that they use the same brand on a completely different product! Is the consumer really this daft? Do they not think ‘what the hell is ‘x’, sounds like a loads of bull? I would…

We are going to be branding a future product for the second site and have already gone to the trouble of setting up a mini site, creating a backstory, logo and information page on our regular site to explain how wonderful ‘m’ is – in the vain hope that the consumer can use this as a distinguishing factor against our competitors. It wasn’t even that hard.

Tut tut…….rant over

Today I am mostly listening to the excellent Kid Carpet – Casio Royale