Got a marketing problem?
I can help you
Call me on
07751212662
lisa@acorn-marketing.co.uk

Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

How to Reach Millennials

Monday, November 18th, 2019

The term ‘millennials’ can often be referred to in the media but understanding this generation is the key to helping businesses market their products and services in the most relevant and productive way.  

Millennials are born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. The youngest of these millennials are at university and the oldest are now approaching 40.  

They have grown up with internet from a young age (or since birth!) and so are knowledgeable of technology and the world of social media. Normality for them is having access to mobile technology and information at their fingertips quickly. They like convenience and will opt for products that fit their lifestyles rather than being loyal to brands. 

Millennials like to live a lifestyle with quick accessibility to information and services. They adopt new technologies swiftly – be that via devices, apps and programs. 

Often described, in a cliched fashion, as narcissistic and self-centred individuals who are lacking motivation, they have had more challenges than previous generations. They are confident and well informed due to the immense wealth of data available in their hand-held devices. Millennials are notably socially responsible with a global awareness and drive to improve the environment in which we all live and in order to leave a better planet for generations to come. 

These individuals value word-of-mouth more highly than the usual channels of marketing and branding. Companies who have embraced an understanding of social media channels and designed their strategy to attract and interact with these 20-40-year-olds will benefit and succeed in engaging this generation. Millennials are happier to give recommendations to friends and family for brands they align with, who are conscious of environmental impacts and are future focused.  

Companies who can utilise user generated content (UGC) in their social activities will engage more with their followers, fans and customers – and in turn be seen on their feeds by their hundreds or thousands of friends. Being able to react quickly to communications from the public, be it a comment or a simple ‘like’ will drive interaction.  

Enabling customers to be able to swipe up whilst on Instagram to access their shop is a key driver for sales in this digital age. With a brief thumb movement, millennial customers are familiar with browsing and purchasing whilst on the go via their mobile devices.  

Millennials are found across all social media platforms, so companies should ensure their messages are shared over their chosen, relevant apps. In order to engage this generation, make your business content relevant, friendly and appealing – shareable. 

As we know, mobile activity is the norm nowadays so do be certain that all aspects of your business work clearly and visibly on mobile first and desktop second. Millennials are multi-taskers and can order clothes whilst in the queue at the coffee shop or buy an item just seen on an Instagram post whilst on the train journey home. Make sure you are visible to this influential generation, on their preferred channels and once they engage, they will be loyal and responsive customers.  

For assistance with social media strategy and management please contact Lisa on lisa@acorn-marketing.co.uk

GDPR Update

Monday, October 28th, 2019

In the middle of 2018, it seemed the only topic being talked about, prepared for and worried about was GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation. This regulation was introduced by the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and European Commission in order to give European citizens a higher level of control regarding their personal data.  

All organisations now need to be fully compliant, ensuring any personal data they collected prior to the May 25th 2018 deadline is accompanied by consent from the individual for the organisation to retain it and use it in the way expressly permitted by the individual. This covers employee, client and customer data so is relevant to all businesses. 

The type of data that the GDPRs protects are names, photographs, email addresses, IP addresses, medical information, bank details and social media posts.  

There are penalties for companies who do not comply with the regulations and also for those who do not deal with any data breach in a correct and timely manner. The biggest named example of this is British Airways, who reported a data breach incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office in September 2018, where customers were diverted to a fraudulent site where hackers then harvested personal data and financial details from 500,000 customers. The ICO fined BA for this customer data breach to the tune of £183m. 

After announcing the fine for British Airways, the next day the ICO imposed a fine of £99m to the Marriot hotel chain for failing to protect the data of 339 million customer records.  

If a data breach should occur, the GDPR specifies that companies must provide adequate notification. Your company would have 72 hours to notify the appropriate data protection agency and must inform all affected individuals without undue delay. 

Now the GDPRs are in full force, companies have ensured that their privacy policies are up to date regarding how any data collected from individuals is used. Businesses which utilise Google Analytics means that visitors IP addresses are collected, so this must be clearly explained in the privacy policy. 

You must ensure people have chosen to opt-in to receive emails from your company and be sure to give them a clear instruction on what to do if they want to opt-out at any time. When visitors to your website or customers give you permission to record their data, you need to also make a record of when they opted in and keep this data secure. People can submit access requests to your business to find out what data you hold about them.  

Security on websites is of key importance so do check that your website has a current SSL certificate (you’ll see a padlock symbol in the address bar if so). If not, get your web team onto it immediately.  

If a company is found in breach of GDPR they can be fined up to 20million Euros or 4% of their turnover. It is not a law worth flouting so do ensure your business is up-to-date and compliant with the GDPR. 

Check your company’s GDPR procedures for the following: 

Deleting personal data 

Providing data following an access request 

Do you need to obtain parental/guardian consent for data of under 16s? 

Check your plans and procedures for detecting, reporting and investigating and data breaches. 

Ensure your current privacy policies are clear and correct. 

www.ico.org.uk continually updates its website with reference to GDPR and is a useful resource. 

Mobile marketing trends

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Mobile marketing is the technique of online multi-channel digital marketing focusing on a specific audience using their smartphones, tablets and other portable devices. With over 80% of internet users owning a smartphone, the mobile world is dictating how brands need to plan their communications to customers. There was a time when websites were designed for desktop viewing primarily and were then adapted to become mobile friendly. Nowadays, with more traffic viewing websites via mobiles or tablets, website design and communications need to be created in order to get the best experience on a mobile. 

Websites now must be mobile-friendly to reach audiences in the right format and to feature favourably in Google’s mobile-friendliness rankings. Search engines, such as Google, will be looking for content that loads quickly, fits to the mobile screen size without cropping or zooming and is free from errors known to be specific to mobiles. 

Augmented reality is a great tool for the mobile generation where customers can visualise updates to their homes (new kitchens, décor or furniture) or individuals can see how a new hairstyle or colour would look before taking the plunge.  

User generated content is a very powerful tool in the mobile world. More people are influenced by their friends and families purchases than by celebrity influencers. Real people are important and help leverage authenticity. If you have a happy customer who posts online and tags your business, that’s top-quality content. A customer who loves their manicure, new hair cut or colour, and wants to tell everyone about it or someone who posts about enjoying your food or loving their new purchases from your company creates fantastic, genuine content. This is recognised by family and friends on social channels who prefer the content of such posts over any celebrity endorsements and are more likely to be prompted to buy the same products and services.  

The ease of making purchases from your mobile phone now extends into social commerce so consumers can purchase whilst scrolling through apps including Facebook and Instagram. Businesses with goods and services would be encouraged to utilise the selling features on these social channels.  

Chatbots are here to assist in our daily lives. Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ and Apple’s ‘Siri’ are on hand to help us stream music, check facts, create shopping lists or order items online. Marketers will need to edit their keyword strategies because online search terms differ from what people ask chatbots. Rather than entering a generic search such as, “Italian restaurants in Penrith”, people will re-phrase their enquiry to a chatbot, saying “Find an Italian restaurant near me”, in a more conversational style. Marketers need to ensure the re-phrasing is included in keywords for titles, descriptions and content.  

Mobile apps now deliver push notifications which are an ideal tool for marketing strategies, covering downloads, subscription renewals, recognising birthdays, highlighting promotions and shopping cart abandonment. 

Recommendations to users via push notifications are a simple way for companies and brands to remain in contacts with their app users. Maximising the user preferences on the data collected, companies can suggest related content. Netflix sends push notifications when an app user’s favourite series has a new episode available or alerts them when a new film is release, based on their viewing history. Brands can maximise this technology to wish users happy birthday and share an offer, discount or gift.  

The technologies available for marketers to maximise communications via mobile devices continue to develop and opportunities increase to reach end users via their powerful portable devices. Let Acorn Marketing help your business by assessing your needs, creating and managing your general marketing strategy. Get in touch here.

Marketing FAQs (from prospective clients)

Friday, June 28th, 2019

As a Marketing Consultant, I am always asked a variety of questions when networking or by prospective clients who want to know the finer details of the services Acorn Marketing (Cumbria) Ltd offers. I’m always happy to help with any queries so wanted to share the most popular marketing FAQs – and my responses here – to help any future enquirers and clients.

How much do you charge?

As every project we work on is different, there are no set fees for our services. Our primary objective is to discuss with prospective clients what their needs are from any marketing activity. It could be simply to manage all social media or a comprehensive package to run an entire marketing department. Until we understand exactly what the goals are and what is required to reach them, we cannot provide a quote. We like to meet up and chat about the business and its requirements and can then customise a package.

Is ‘marketing’ the same as ‘advertising’?

Marketing is so much more than simply ‘advertising’. The term ‘marketing’ encompasses a whole array of activities. Acorn Marketing can help businesses with the following:

Marketing Consultancy – a cost effective solution if a business cannot afford a full-time marketing manager, consultancy is also the ideal scenario when the team within a business doesn’t have the knowledge, experience or time to undertake all marketing work.

Marketing Strategy & Planning – we can customise a comprehensive strategy and generate a step-by-step marketing plan.

Social Media – we can help with ideas and training or manage your social media accounts.

Digital Marketing – from website design, content creation, e-newsletters, blogs, videos and online advertising, we can manage digital marketing needs.

Branding & Graphic Design – creating a brief and concepts, liaising with designers and printers to deliver impactful print work.

Public Relations – generating press coverage in local newspapers, magazines and online.

Event Management – we can plan and execute any event; from a product launch to an awards ceremony – however big or small.

And finally, Advertising – we can help to create and deliver your campaign, be it for print or online.

Which is the best social media platform?

There is no one answer to this question. The best social platform for your specific service or product will depend on what it is and where your potential audience can be found. Having a presence on all social channels will be a waste of time and money if your audience is not prevalent across all of them. Focusing on your biggest social audience and building the numbers is the best strategy of time and budget.

Where do you work?

Acorn Marketing is based in Cumbria, but this does not dictate where my clients are based. My current client portfolio is spread across the UK. I meet clients regularly and also have Skype meetings. My business is based from my home, so my overheads are low, and I cannot be impeded in getting to the office by traffic problems or bad weather, which is an advantage.

Why hire a freelance marketing consultant?

There are many reasons why hiring external marketing expertise is the best option. Some companies might not be in a position to employ a full-time marketing manager, others might just need help on a time specific project. On occasions, our services help individuals who are just too busy running other areas of their business and need the day to day marketing activities covered.

Delegate your marketing requirements to a consultant like me, who has the time and knowledge to join your team and get on with the tasks needed, freeing up time for you and your other staff members to do their roles.

Hopefully these responses will answer any queries you or your business may have regarding marketing. Should you wish to know anything more, please feel free to get in contact.

It’s Stress Awareness Month – Here’s how we react

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

April is stress awareness month – something we can all attest to as stresses do get on top of us whilst we juggle the various aspects of our life. Making sure we get ‘me’ time each day to decompress and relax is easier said than done if we have a busy routine and people – however big or small – relying on us.

Exercise will always help to create those happy endorphins which in turn can boost our mood and reduce stress. Whether it’s getting out in the fresh air for a run in the great outdoors or heading to the gym for a workout class or a swim, these activities will release happy hormones to surge around our bodies and combat any stressful worries.

The Acorn Marketing team all have their own preferred ways of relaxing and taking some time for themselves after busy working days.

We all enjoy the benefits of yoga and Pilates. Some of us take time to focus at home with daily movements at the beginning of each day, others head to a weekly class and switch off both phone and mind to outside influences and just enjoy being in those 60 minutes to workout, breathe deeply, stretch and prepare our bodies for the week ahead. You can find great tutorials online – even short routines to do at your desk.

I find baking to be quite cathartic, switching off to follow a recipe and working methodically. Tidying up whilst my creation is rising in the oven (I’m sure Bake Off contestants don’t have to do their own washing up though!). The big reveal when your cake/pie/bread comes out of the oven and stands to cool on the counter – is always rewarding. I will be honest though; a disastrous bake does negate the relaxing effect achieved during the stirring/whisking process.

Work can be the biggest causes of stress for people so to try to combat this, try and ensure you step away from your desk at lunch. Go for a walk or sit somewhere aside from your desk to eat, just to change the scenery and give your brain a rest from your work space.

Jogging is also a definite means to de-stress. Step into your trainers and head outside (I prefer on a dry day!) either solo or with a friend or two, to appreciate your surroundings – especially in this beautiful Spring season with so many new flowers and trees in bloom. We don’t run so fast that we can’t hold a conversation so it’s easy to keep fit and put the world to rights (always multi-tasking). It’s now a ritual in our diaries.

Sometimes the simplest of pleasures can help us unwind and sitting in your favourite chair with a good book and a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate, to immerse yourself in the pages, is just what we all need.

Tiny changes might also help keep calm – if the queues at supermarket checkouts get your blood pressure rising, order online for home delivery. If the thought of going to the gym with lots of other people exercising is a little intimidating and you start to feel the s-word, there are many online classes or DVDs to complete in the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits you. Whether it’s an energetic HIIT workout or calming yoga, pick the best one for you.

A great first step to make today would be to remove your phone as a distraction from your evening routine. Don’t check work emails in the evening – they can wait until the morning. Any updates on social media can be caught up on in the morning too. This will help your brain switch off, relax and hopefully aid a deep and stress-free sleep, making you ready to deal with whatever the next day brings.

Breathing can also aid us in relaxation. Taking a deep breath in for a count of 5, holding for a count of 6 and breathing out for a count of 7 will help restore calm.

So during stress awareness month, find your feel good factor (or factors), do things for you and remove those stressful triggers from your life to avoid tensions and to help you relax and look after yourself.

Inspirational Books For Marketing & Business

Monday, March 4th, 2019

As World Book Day fast approaches on 7th March, it’s mostly known as the day when children attending nursery or school are welcome to dress up as their favourite book characters. This can result in such a wide array of choices, it’s fantastic, albeit a little stressful if you are the parent having to create the costume. Now as adults, we might not embrace this day with such gusto, but we wanted to share our top must-read marketing books. No need to create your own costume!

Creative Superpowers: Equip Yourself For The Age of Creativity – Edited by Laura Jordan Bambach, Mark Earls, Daniele Fiandaca & Scott Morrison.

This book aims to help readers succeed in the fast-paced world today. Everything is broken down into four key learnings: making, teaching, hacking and thieving. The combined brain power of the authors delivers tips to re-learn qualities from our childhoods that we might have forgotten – or not thought to embrace in our business worlds. Remaining curious, fearless and finding ways to adapt to all challenges will see us benefit in the working environment. This book will inspire you to tackle problems in different ways, unleash new ways of thinking and delivering success.

Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller.

Storytelling has become the backbone of many recent marketing books. Donald Miller approaches this topic by adding his well-proven 7-step StoryBrand guidance. All good storytelling needs a compelling structure – a problem, assistance arrives, a plan is made, action is taken, disaster is eluded and it culminates in success. By applying this configuration to business cases, this book resounds with marketers. Aligning these ideas in a fresh way really enthrals you and the learnings are easily transferrable to recruiting and corporate identity. Also included are helpful instructions and templates.

The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life by Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey.

This book takes a scientific approach to the world of social media in order to explain how social networks replicate biological life.In our current social media age, ideas and concepts morph through hashtags, videos and photos, fed by emotionally driven people. These networks mirror roles of biology, growing due to being fed by the millions of people interacting with them. Luckett & Casey engage the metaphor of cellular biology to further aid our understanding of social media and how we can learn from progress in organisms as to what steps we should take to remain at pace with the fast-growing social media landscape. The easily relatable case studies using memes and events that have played a part in recent history drives this viewpoint home.
This really is a vital guide for marketers wanting to understand the digital world,not solely to comprehend the workings of social media, but to relate it to life today and to make it work positively for us.

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You  by John Hall.

Building trust, being consistent and engaging likability are all actions that aid recall in customers minds. John Hall explains that being the first brand, company or person to spring into people’s heads will ensure you are positioned for success. By enlightening readers with a step-by-step guide, Hall explains that cultivating habits and strategies in order to engage your audience with help to create and strengthen relationships with them. Relationship building is the cornerstone to remaining front and centre in the minds of target customers, which is turn aids growth and sales. Advice Hall gives on using digital content to truly enhance your target audience’s lives, is easy to comprehend, and the understanding that making sure you are the first thing to spring to mind will drive success and engagement and loyalty, makes complete sense.

So many professions are required to continually learn and update their skills in order to maintain their licences – Doctors, lawyers, engineers – to name a few. Within the fast-paced marketing world it certainly helps to ensure you continue to learn and educate yourself, ensuring you are the best marketer you can be. Add these marketing books to your reading list now.

Engaging Your Email Database

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Think about when you receive marketing emails, which ones have caught your attention, had you discussing them with colleagues and impressed you the most? Based on the assumption that your business has an email database that is up-to-date following the General Data Protection Regulations which came into force in May 2018, here are our top tips to ensure you’re getting the most from this popular and effective marketing channel.

Who Are You?
First things first, when your email arrives in the recipients’ inbox you need to ensure the sender’s name and email address is a true reflection of your company. If someone does not know or recognise the sender, they may not open the message at all.

Subject Header
Choosing the right subject line is also key. The best ones are short, punchy, engaging and relevant to the content. Most email software platforms have the ability to test different headers on smaller sections of your database, so you can see which works best. Then send the best performing one to the remainder of your email list.

Personalisation
Generic emails sent to a company’s entire database are no longer sufficient. Personalisation is a must, so ensure when potential customers sign up for your database that you collect useful data which you can use in your communications. Address your recipient by name and write to them from ‘you’, signing off with a name to personalise the message further. This can improve open rates, engagement rates and click-through.

Segmenting
We all prefer to be seen as an individual rather than a customer or number on a list. By tailoring your messages to the needs of your customers you will find they respond better.
Segment your email database to deliver the best results for you. This may be to divide by geographical location, age, sex or previous purchase history. You may have different information or offers depending where in the country (or world!) your customers live.
Keep your email database up-to-date and organised by removing inactive users who don’t open your messages and delete any undeliverable email addresses.

Mobile Optimisation
This is your biggest consideration as the majority of emails nowadays are read on mobile so ensure your message can be clearly read, as you’ve intended, and nothing is being cut off. By using responsive design (that works on a mobile), you will be able to ensure your content is mobile-friendly and easily readable.

Images/Content
Imagery is proven to engage with readers more than just text so ensure you are including pictures, GIFs and videos to accentuate your content. However, don’t overload the message with images as some email providers may not show all imagery by default and some may be automatically blocked. Ensure you have a good balance of text and imagery, so your message is still delivered, should there be an issue with the images.

Consistency
A basic consideration but worth mentioning – do ensure your email branding is consistent to the design and tone of your company. You need to use the same colours, logos, images, fonts and voice across your email, website and social platforms. This makes you easily recognisable and helps to generate brand understanding and trust.

Links – website/social
Your emails will always include links for your readers, whether it directs them to your website homepage, to a specific product page, a blog post or an offer. Help them to arrive swiftly where you want them to go and always ensure your links work correctly. You will lose trust if you direct people wrongly or include a broken link.
Also, be sure to include links to your social media accounts in your email via the simple social icons to encourage people on your database to follow and support your activity across social platforms.

CTA (Call to Action)
Do be clear about what you want your email to achieve. When someone opens your email, what do you want them to do? Read your new blog post? Complete a questionnaire? View new products or take up an offer? Be certain the correct information is clearly visible, so readers take the action you want.

Option to Opt-out (Unsubscribe)
Check that your emails include the option for recipients to manage their subscription with you. That includes the option to unsubscribe. Your database figures may decline a little, but you will know that the people who are engaging and receiving your marketing messages want to hear from you.

Perfect Timing
Be sure to test different delivery days and times to see when it is most effective. Your email should ideally arrive when people are online, so it might be during a weekday commute slot or at lunchtime. You will learn from your data when the highest open rates occur and can tailor future mailers from this information.

Finally, don’t overlook the absolute basics either – send a test email to ensure you see how your message looks on all platforms, to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and to check all links within the message work and direct the user to the correct page.

We wish you many successful email marketing campaigns!

Christmas Marketing – is it too late to plan?

Monday, November 12th, 2018

It is never too late to get on board with the Christmas Marketing train – unless you’re reading this in January!

As a rule of thumb when I work with clients we start planning Christmas campaigns in June/July for promotion in August/September, with a final push in October/November.  Of course, this depends on what you’re selling.

Think about creating a month-by-month marketing plan and adding all the big occasions for marketing throughout the year – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Summer Holidays, and Halloween etc.  Think about what products/services you are going to offer during these periods and how you will promote them.  This ensures that when the time comes it’s not all panic and you’re planned and prepared – knowing what you are going to do well in advance.

You can get any brochures created, e-news campaigns planned and flyers at the ready.

However, if you’re a bit late off the mark, what I would suggest is doing a bit of Facebook advertising – it is simple and cost effective and you get to see results.

Perhaps try emailing your mailing list (if you have one) with last minute offers.

Get in touch with the local press – is there a press release you can send or an eye-catching photo to promote what you’re doing?

What about running a special offer or promotion – Buy One Get One Free or similar?

Competitions go down a treat on social media – is there something you can give away that people would love in time for Christmas

There are lots of little tips and tricks to try with your Christmas Marketing, but you might just have to be a bit creative.  In 2019 try to plan in advance, I’m sure you’ll see a big difference!

If you need some help with your marketing planning drop us a line to see if we can help!

Scary Marketing – get the basics right

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

I have worked in Marketing for almost 20 years now and my beady eye is always on the lookout for great campaigns and ideas.  However, it’s so much easier to spot scary marketing.  It just makes me sigh and my heart sinks when I see a piece of bad print, a poorly constructed website or shocking social media.

Here are my top tips for getting the basics right

1 – Plan

You may have a fantastic idea or product that you want to market, but many people jump in feet first without having a plan in place.  Think about the 7 Ps’ – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Processes, Physical Evidence (there is some really useful information here https://www.professionalacademy.com/blogs-and-advice/marketing-theories—the-marketing-mix—from-4-p-s-to-7-p-s)

Do you have a business plan?  Great.  Do you have a marketing plan?  Think about how you are going to sell your product or service, who your customer is, how they will find out about what you are selling.  By taking a bit of time to plan things out can really help you understand what direction you should take.

2 – Brand

Getting the brand right is so important.  There is nothing worse than seeing a ‘clip art’ logo, inconsistent design work or just no design at all with documents created in publisher.  A good brand reflects your business.  It tells people whether you are professional, if your product or service is good value or quality.  It shows you have taken care and attention in making your brand and business work, rather than knocking something together yourself.

It doesn’t have to be expensive and once it’s done you can use it for years to come – if you’ve got it right the first time around.

 

3 – Website

A good website is like a shop window to your business.  Get this wrong and people will leave as soon as they visit.  I won’t be cruel and pick anyone out, but often the worst websites I see are ones that have been built in-house.  “My friend can build websites” or “I watched a YouTube video” are things I’ve often heard.  Again, websites don’t need to cost the earth (trust me you don’t need to pay 5K for a basic brochure website!)  There are some free sites you can use, but they can be time-consuming and if you run into difficulties there is no one technical for you to get help off.  You’re on your own.  It can all get a bit messy – and does it actually work?  It may look pretty, but can it be found on Google, can people read it on a mobile phone, do people actually look at it?

 

4 – Social Media

Social media is a fantastic platform to get messages across, tell people about your brand and bring your business to life.

When using social media, think about what you want people to know about your business.  I see a real mix of how people use social media.  Some people go all out in telling their personal story on their business pages, which is fine and it’s great to add personality into a brand, but do we want to know what they ate for breakfast?  Then, in contrast, some people are so professional and salesy it just puts you off and no one will ever read your posts.  Getting the right balance is key.  Think about the tone of voice – are you professional, are you friendly, are you a bit crazy and kooky?

I have also seen people getting a bit #hashtag happy.  #literally #using #a #hashtag #in #every #word #they #type #in #a #post.  Aggggghhhhhhh don’t do it!  There is no point and it is not effective.  The point of a hashtag is to make the word searchable #a #in #they are not something that people are going to search for in social media, so you don’t need to use them.  Be a bit more clever with them, for example in a post about marketing I may use things like #marketing #socialmedia #Instagram etc, which would help people find my post.

 

5 – Print

Another pet hate of mine is poor printing.  If you want to be a professional business, your printed materials should be too.  There are many online, cheaper printers, but I would recommend talking to your local printer, who often give excellent rates and can print better quality.  They will let you know about different types of paper you can use, if the artwork is right and if any images are poor quality (another massive pet hate of mine – make sure you use good quality images for print – not one you copy off the internet!)  They will often do the design work for you for free too!

If all else fails delegate and pay a professional!  I am rubbish at maths so use an accountant.  If I need legal advice I will call my solicitor – it’s the same with marketing.  If you don’t know what you’re doing there are loads of marketing professionals out there who can help, investing and bit of time and effort into your marketing can really reap rewards!

Click here to find out more about Acorn Marketing (Cumbria) Ltd could help with your marketing.

Every day is a school day

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

There has been so much back to school marketing around recently it got me thinking and reminiscing about my old school and University days (crikey it’s 20 years since I started Uni this year!)  Everyone always used to say they were the best days of your life and anyone who has been to university will know that they really are!  However, when you leave school or Uni your education does not stop there.  I feel I am always on a continuous journey of learning whether that’s in life, motherhood or work.

When I was in paid employment, I often attended training courses to broaden my skills, whether that was health and safety or leadership management.  However, since being self-employed this has changed slightly.

A few years ago, I decided to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).  I wanted an accreditation that proved that I was a legitimate marketer.  There are so many cowboys in the industry and I wanted people to know I was genuine and I actually know what I’m talking about.  At that point, I had about 15 years of experience in marketing, which was enough to prove to the CIM that I was fit for the title.

Ever since I have undertaken a path of Continued Professional Development (CPD) whereby I attend training courses, read books, watch webinars, mentor people – generally try to keep on top of my game.  I record the work I do and undertake reflective statements on what I’ve learnt and how I will implement this in my own work.

By doing this it has ensured that I am continuously learning and developing, being the best marketer I can be.  So, for me, every day is like a school day as I learn new things about myself and my business and continue my education and gain more experience in the wonderful world of marketing.

School Marketing Acorn Marketing Cumbria CIM certificate

My 2018/2019 CIM certificate