The sign had been hastily scrawled in blue biro. The letters gone over and over again to make them more visible to the passer-by. A short cut, that in the end didn’t give the benefit of a short cut at all. It matters that your investment in recruiting doesn’t stretch to buying a sharpie to…

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My boys are lucky enough to have eaten pasta in Rome, croissants in Paris and hamburgers in New York. Yet, when the conversation turns to food memories, the one they treasure most is eating potatoes next to the Aga in a friend’s kitchen in Scotland. They remember the story of the potatoes freshly dug from…

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Have you noticed that more email marketers are trying to attract your attention at the weekend? Many weekly digests now hit inboxes outside office hours in the hope of getting traction when people are less busy. As marketers we’re using every trick in the book to capture attention in order to further engagement, and so…

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The purpose of your brand story and of every piece of marketing material is to move a prospective customer from awareness to loyalty. When we imagine the customer decision journey as a timeline it’s clear that we need to treat customers differently according to where they are on that journey. THE CUSTOMER DECISION JOURNEY 1.…

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Most brand stories… Start with what the marketer needs to say, not with what the customer wants to hear. Describe product features and benefits, instead of customer problems and desired outcomes. Prioritise conversion above emotional connection. Seek to build brand awareness rather than create brand affinity. Invite customers to pay attention while companies ignore opportunities…

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Average marketing….. Starts with the business’s emergency, not with the customer’s wants and needs. Focuses on short-term tactics, rather than on long-term business goals. Is designed to persuade not to connect, inspire or delight. Invites the customer to buy, instead of to belong. Speaks to everyone and so engages with no one. Is only measured…

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A colleague in the university sector was attending a marketing event. The presenter’s first slide showed a university’s promotional materials—complete with the typical ‘DREAM LARGE’ and ‘DESIGN THE FUTURE’ type tagline. He then polled the audience, asking if they knew which university it was. A ten minute debate ensued. Many delegates thought it was definitely…

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The cafe was tiny and packed. “What’s your revenue plan?” guy one asked. “To get more eyeballs to my site and then bring in the advertisers.” replied guy two. “Oh right.” said guy one, as he awkwardly looked away. 8 Questions to help you to focus on creating value 1. Who needs your product? 2.…

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When we market our products to customers we often use a persuasive tone designed to convince. We describe by leading with features and benefits. We try hard to give customers reasons to choose, forgetting that most purchasing decisions are not rational, but emotional. In short we forget why people buy. Three things your product story…

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How is it that we can go into the same cafe two days running, order the same drink, pay the same price and yet leave feeling entirely different about the experience depending on the interaction we have with the person who is serving? Just as it’s possible for one yogi to hold a more graceful…

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