Category Archives: Food for thought

Marketing Communications

How to communicate successfully

By | Food for thought, SMEs, Social Media | No Comments

Having seen a huge boom in the increase of online business and a greater awareness of the power of social media in recent years, it’ll come as no surprise that your online presence and business communications will always be scrutinised by your current and potential customers.

With so much choice available to your customers, they can afford to be picky and shop around. Successful communication throughout your business will ensure you create strong, lasting relationships with your customers, keeping you firmly in their mind when they require a product or service that you offer.

When your customers think about your business, chances are, they will think about their ‘first impression’, past experiences and dealings with you – not to mention your reputation, of course. There are several ways in which you communicate with your customers; through your blog posts, social media updates, website, newsletters and email correspondence to name but a few. Anything that entails you writing, posting or saying something specifically for the eyes and ears of an audience, regardless of the size (it could be one person, it could be 100), is a form of communication. You can probably see, then, why it is so important to always get it right!

Looking at your business communication through the eyes of your customers is a good way to analyse how you’re coming across and if you’re appealing to your target audience. Take note of the attitude, the tone, timescale (with regards to replies i.e. social media enquiries, emails etc.) and the content information of everything you put out there on the World Wide Web. This means your Facebook updates, Tweets, YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Google+ and LinkedIn articles, monthly newsletters, emails, web content and anything else where you connect and communicate with people.

The key things to think about are:

  • Don’t be a ‘Scrooge’, be approachable – are you inspiring people to make contact? A poor miserable attitude won’t motivate anyone to find out more about what you offer, whereas a happy and enthusiastic business will draw people in.
  • Knowledgeable – are you a leader of your sector? Make sure you demonstrate your extensive knowledge and experience with hints and tips, industry news and anything else your customers may find useful – knowledge equals trust, which then equals healthy customer relationships.
  • Correct use of spelling and punctuation – nothing says ‘unprofessional’ more than a poorly written blog post or an email riddled with grammatical errors. Make sure you read through and check what you have written – it may take 5 minutes but you can be sure you’re putting professional, well written content out there for all to see.
  • Be irresistible – your potential customer will want to do one of the following things; save themselves money, find the best deal/best added value, make money or purchase an experience that is second to none. If your business provides these things you need to communicate them with your customers – let them know what you can do for them!
  • Be responsive – endeavour to answer any queries as soon as you can. Leaving it three days until you reply to a potential customer could be enough to put them off, or at the very least give them time to find another business to make a purchase from. Reply to all correspondence in good time to save you missing out on a sale.
  • Rate yourself – would you be happy with your service? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself if you’re giving off a good impression? The saying goes ‘first impressions count’, but so do the second, third, fourth… Your aim should be to hold on to your customer, so make sure your communication is always the best it can be.

It’s important to remember that communication isn’t restricted to conversation over the phone or in person. When you understand this you can begin to look at everything you write, share and comment on and evaluate whether you’re communicating in the best and possible way to further your business. Everything exists in communication! Ensure you are getting your business ethos, personality, and benefits of your product and/or services across!

Customer Profiling - Transform your thinking

Customer profiling increases sales

By | Food for thought, Marketing Strategy | No Comments

Customer profiling may be a new term to you or you may have been utilising it for years, but either way, it is a powerful tool that many of us aren’t taking full advantage of. Customer profiling can increase sales, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty – all from changing your way of thinking when it comes to marketing! Sounds good, doesn’t it?

These days it can feel as though we are being bombarded with products, services and messages from companies across the globe on a daily basis. The things is, it’s far too easy for your business to get lost in all the ‘noise’ – this is where customer profiling can help you directly access the individuals that would actually be interested in your product or service, making you stand out from the crowd. It works by understanding who your customers are (both existing and potential), what they like and dislike, what they aspire to and what their spending habits are. The likelihood is that you may have various different customer profiles and that’s great! It means that you can direct your products or services to your audience in different ways and access a wider market.

Think of it this way; weedkiller isn’t exactly a ‘sexy’ product or one that you would often think of buying in your day-to-day life. A sunny, landscaped, weed free garden complete with BBQ and a glass of wine however, now that crosses a lot of people’s minds, especially on a wet Monday morning in a dreary office full of sniffling people! By tapping into how people think, what they aspire to and their habits you can successfully target your marketing campaign to offer the promise of a dream lifestyle, regardless of the reality. You may have already noticed that food producers picture slim people enjoying their indulgent treats, car companies picture their cars driving along sweeping alpine roads and Mediterranean coastlines and dating websites picture happy couples, madly in love on their way to the most romantic destinations this world has to offer.

Target your customers

Target your customers

Regardless of your sector, product, service, current customer base or target audience, customer profiling is a highly effective way of increasing turnover and reducing marketing costs by targeting your advertising to an audience that will listen, in a manner that will inspire them to buy from you and not your competitors. 

What’s more, you can use this information to engage with your customers through social media in a way that appeals to them; whether that be competitions, free trials or just a good old natter! Successfully using customer profiling is a valuable tool that everyone should take advantage of in their business, it’s just that good! Here at Jigsaw Communications we can tailor marketing campaigns from conception right through to final customer interaction, both before and after purchasing, to ensure you really are making the most of your available resources and gaining and maintaining happy, loyal customers – ultimately the goal of any business! If we’ve whet your appetite and you want to know more, give us a call or drop us an email for a friendly, informal chat.

Social Media Day-1-Module-1

Social Media Training

By | Food for thought, Social Media, Training | No Comments

I’m really looking forward to attending Media Tim’s Social Media training at Maximo Learn ( on next Tuesday – the 20th of January in Bedford.

Like everyone I try to keep on top with my social media, sending out tweets on news and promoting the business and trying to start those all-important conversations with clients and suppliers. The one thing I’m looking forward to the most is getting a Social Media strategy in place and a plan of what I’m going to send out and when. I’m hoping that it should keep me focused and target those clients and industries that I would love to work with.

Tim looks at all social media platforms, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and how all of these together can help you promote your business. If you are interested in putting together a social media plan for 2015 for your business, why not check out Tim’s courses. They run in Wellingborough and Northampton as well.

For more information on Tim’s course check out the below links:

Book on the course:

I will post next week and let you know how I get on. – Laura

How to write a Marketing Strategy

By | Branding, Food for thought, Marketing Strategy | No Comments

Align your marketing strategy with your business strategy

Traditionally business and marketing strategies were seen as separate documents with some common features such as business goals and values. The business plan was organised around what products and services a company could offer its customers.

The strategic question that should drive business today is “What else can we do for our customers?” not “what else can we offer or make?” This shift at the centre of gravity demands a rethink of all strategy pillars within the business and especially how marketing plays a role.

Who are your customers? What are their needs and desires? Companies where everyone has a clear understanding of their customers always perform better and act in a more joined up way. It’s vital that marketing personal look at other departments and try to see how they can complement them.

Whether you are a sole trader, medium sized business or a larger organisation, it’s important that marketing is seen as an integral part of the team. If you are thinking strategic, you need to ensure that you have marketing represented in the meeting or the thought process.

So why is cross company like a rugby scrum? Unless you all push in the same direction to deliver what your customer wants, you will never win against your competition!

Here are some Dos and Don’ts to think about along the way:

  • Do identify the vocabulary used by different departments and ensure you are speaking the appropriate language.
  • Do work closely with the sales department – marketing is a service provision to the business it needs to help sales! Get them involved from the start and work as a team; and remember they are at the front line – they can get you vital market knowledge!
  • Do have ROI that you report back to the business so marketing is seen as an investment not as a expense.
  • Do be straight talking – don’t fall in the trap of being fluffy
  • Don’t forget – You can’t have a strong brand if you don’t have a strong business!

Memory Palaces – every marketers target!

By | Branding, Direct Marketing, Email Marketing, Exhibitions, Food for thought, Marketing Strategy, Public Relations, Social Media | No Comments

I don’t know about you, but I loved the latest series of Shelock from the BBC and was disappointed that is finished last week. The last episode with Sherlock going head to head quite literally against Charles Augustus Magnussen; memory palace to memory palace! It was a fantastic episode with many twists and turns so no wonder there is still such a buzz about it.

The memory palace has been playing on my mind this last week (no pun intended) – how powerful it is, and how as marketers we are trying to tap into the memory palace to influence both consumers and customers with strong logos, branding and corporate images. Using different tactics and ensuring each tactic has a consistent image and message to make sure that we are locked into the memory palace of our customers so we don’t get kicked aside by our competitors.

This has led me to think about the retail environment, how 70% of purchasing decisions are made in front of the fixture and that you have 3 seconds to influence the consumers mind to choose your product over your competitors. This is where the power of the memory palace really comes into play. It’s vital that your product / brand has been securely locked in before they even reach the store.

Knowing your customers

This links back to my blog last week, about knowing your customers, where they go and what they read. This enables you to ensure that all “touch points” that your customer goes through in their every day life has your product or brand there. If your marketing budget can not stretch to TV advertising, then think about page advertising, money off coupons or even advertise on the social media sites they visit. Do they fill their car with fuel at a local garage? Try sponsoring the fuel pumps with your logo. If their son or daughter play’s football or rugby for the local town team, have a advertising board there.

Knowing this level of detail of your customers takes time and commitment so don’t expect it to happen over night. If you consider that Coca-Cola have been in the market for 128 years, no wonder they are securely lodged in all our minds! The one thing they have done very successfully is made sure that the brand has remained the same and consistent over the years. They have even managed to become a tradition at Christmas, many of my friends saying “it’s not Christmas until I see the Coke Lorry advert” – Well done Coca-cola!!! The other thing they have managed successfully are any changes to the brand; they made changes as a evolution otn a revolution so consumers and customers do not have to replace the images in their memory palace.

I know what your thinking – Well that’s great Laura, but I can’t wait 128 years! That’s true for all of us, but let me ask you this…… Do you know how many more customers you need to remember your product in order for you to add an additional 10%, 15%, 20% to your profit or market share? You will be surprised at the difference that some small consistent messages or small changes to your marketing can make year on your to your business.

After all, you don’t want to end up coming back like Moriarty asking your customers – Did you miss me???

Sharing is caring…

Please don’t forget to share my blog with your friends and family, or share through the various social media links. I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, what are your thoughts on the memory palace? Do you think integrated marketing still has a place in this digital marketing age we are in?

I look forward to receiving your comments.