New Year’s Resolutions

Dec 21, 2012 | Consultancy

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth The key element to a New Year’s Resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. It is a time when, with the best intentions, we wage war on those extra Christmas pounds, join the gym and reduce the red wine intake. Well, these are a few of my personal favorites. Actually the New Year has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. The New Year is actually represented by the two headed Roman God Janus who whilst staring forward also looked back at the previous year and it is this notion that should have the most resonance for our resolutions. As well as making plans for the future we should also look to our past achievements, challenges and failures and use these to help plan the future. Blindly looking forward may be brave but to really do so without taking into consideration what has gone before may be futile. You may be about to put the first parts of your 2013 business plan into action but take a moment to consider what has gone before for these experiences will help you build a more successful future. As for me I will no doubt re-subscribe to my far too expensive gym whilst cracking open a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pap and making the most of the...

Have We Become A Nation of Corporate Scrouges?

Nov 28, 2012 | Other

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth There was a time when I received corporate Christmas gifts such as smoked salmon hampers, bottles of Champagne and huge boxes of Belgian chocolates. But that was a long time ago when showering clients with gifts was the expected norm. Then the recession hit and we made do with Christmas cards. Now, with mass access to e-marketing platforms, traditional cards have become a thing of the past and an electronic card is all that is expected. What has caused this sudden decline in generosity during our Yuletide season? Could it be the implications of The Bribery Act introduced last year? Could it be firms’ hesitance to ‘flash the cash’ in times of austerity? Or is it simply that the economic downturn has meant tighter operating margins? Whatever the reasons behind the decline in corporate Christmas gift giving there is a question about its impact on client relations. I personally do not miss a desk covered with corporate Christmas cards that I felt obliged to display rather than being recycled on the same day of receipt, but I do miss the excitement of parcels being delivered to my office and the discovery that the gift was something I liked or could eat. Corporate gifts are a way of demonstrating to your clients that their business is valued and that you have taken the time to try and please them. Is this not something that appeals to all of us? Choosing the appropriate corporate gift is of course a minefield but with a little thought and planning you can stand out from the crowd...

New Business Start-ups

Nov 9, 2012 | Consultancy

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth The market offers a fertile ground for new business start-ups but a limited budget and an eagerness to get started results in the focus being on tools rather than identity. Unfortunately this will lead to a faceless addition to the industry with little differentiating you from competitors. Often companies start with a requirement for a logo and a website which are undoubtedly essential tools for any business but targeting this without answering some basic questions about what you want to establish may result in you having to continually re-address this. Sending out differing messages to your target market will lead to confusion and mean your brand is unlikely to become synonymous with anything. It makes it more difficult to sell your service if clients don’t immediately recognise you or the advantages of doing business with you. It does not have to cost a penny to start off on the right foot. There are a few basic questions that you should spend some time thinking about these this will form the axis on which your new business will spin. How do you want to be known, what do you want to achieve, what do you bring that is different, what problems are you addressing for clients, what type of business  do you want to grow, where do you want to be in 1,3 and 5 years? You can engage with marketing and PR companies to assist you but ultimately it will come down to you and your objectives. Once you have identified the answers to these questions then it is time to get started and...

Top Tips For Better Marketing

Oct 18, 2012 | Consultancy

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth Executing an effective marketing plan is paramount to achieving any type of business growth however, here are some classic ‘don’ts’ to avoid. Ultimately marketing is about understanding your customers and finding ways to communicate with them so put yourself in their shoes and you can’t go too far wrong. Don’t be too strategic – Tactical thinking is only an element of how you achieve growth the execution is what will get you the results Don’t neglect your ‘happy customers’ – Your existing base is your warmest route to growth, keep them loyal and they will help you grow your business Don’t lose sight of your Key Value Proposition – So many businesses don’t even know what this is and without it how can you possibly explain to customers why they should buy from you? Don’t neglect social media – It is instant, it is popular and it is free and you can’t say that about all types of media Don’t forget to listen – Your clients are on the front line they are your best market research Don’t think you are above marketing – You may have the best product in the market, your competition may be very jealous but unless you communicate this effectively to the right customers it really won’t matter Don’t try and take on the world straight away – Identify your key vertical and use the smaller market to more effectively promote your brand Don’t forget to have fun – The best marketing is often creative, fun and unique so don’t be afraid to be different – it...

Video Top Tips

Sep 17, 2012 | Video

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth September has always been the month to deal with the aftermath of summer folly. The kids have gone back to school, the tan is fading and all of a sudden you have to fight for a place in the work car park again. After a few weeks of al fresco dining and the odd, hardly publicised, sports event Sales once again has your undivided attention. Inevitably, perhaps, September becomes a month of new ideas, new campaigns and ultimately a new sense of focus. You may find yourself dusting off ye ole business plan and it may also be appropriate to have a little look at your marketing schedule too. Times are changing and whereas social media continues to herald the new digital age video is now fighting for a bit of recognition too. The use of video by B2B marketers is up by 27% with 52% of marketers exploring this as part of their multi-media campaign. Video caters for the impatient, information hungry consumers of the modern work place. As a tool it can be used to explain complex solutions in a manner that decision makers can understand rather than relying simply on text and then hoping it will be read and understood. It can also be used in training, promotions, hospitality events, exhibitions, website content and social media. Despite the natural synergies between video and our technological market there remains a reluctance to adopt the medium. However the immediate challenge of budget, contacts and vision need to be overcome by your marketing department in order for you to access this new...