There are so many ways of reaching out to customers these days.
A few years ago, a start-up business would have a decent logo, a set of business cards and letterheads (and possibly a leaflet or brochure), get a nice website designed and sit back, feeling pretty smug that they’d got the ‘marketing thing’ done. These days of course, it’s not so simple; the marketing mix of the modern day business consists of social media strategy, e-shots, video, SEO, guest-blogging and much, much more to capture the attention of today’s time-poor consumer. And that’s great; marketing has moved on as it should. But recently, there’s been something of a kick-back against all of the marketing noise that we’re exposed to on a daily basis – our inboxes are chokka with uninvited and unwelcome sales messages, we’re bombarded with a constant stream of adverts online and we can’t even log on to Facebook to see our friend’s wedding photos without being deluged with marketing fluff. And therein lies the problem – the marketing messages which companies have carefully planned, crafted, and deliberated over have become no more than an annoyance. So much so that many of us just block them out – we don’t even take any notice (here’s a challenge for you – I bet last time you checked your twitter feed there were several sales-driven tweets in there. Can you remember what they were? No, thought not).
So, as these things do, marketing has gone full circle. Direct mail is enjoying somewhat of a moment right now – a fantastic targeted way to achieve great results from your marketing budget. It’s quick, it’s measurable and it gets noticed – particularly if it’s personally addressed to the recipient.
Our recent Let’s Get Growing promotion was sent out in the form of direct mail; we posted our clients a pack of Forget-Me-Not seeds along with an invitation to join us for a complimentary brainstorm session. We’ve had wonderful feedback so far, with the most frequent comment being that ‘it’s so lovely to receive something in the post’ (one client told me it was ‘lovely to receive something other than sales nonsense or a request from HM Revenue & Customs for money for a new tiara for the Queen’). There you have it. And that promotion just wouldn’t have been as effective over email.
As with any promotion, you need to keep a keen eye on costs and ensure that you know what you need to generate in sales in order to pay for the promotion (we can always give you a hand with that) – and it’s wise to use a mix of platforms to promote the same message. Direct mail is definitely a trend to watch out for – and you should be thinking of how you can take advantage of it. Need some ideas on how to make direct mail work for you? Give us a call and we’ll show you how.
Image sourced from Pinterest
I’ll admit it. I barely slept the night before filming.
I’ve not done this sort of thing and the thought of spending a day being filmed is really not my cup of tea! Not to be deterred, I spent yesterday morning buzzing around our building, organising, tidying, making endless cups of tea and preparing for Ian and Juliette of Superfilm to come and capture our best side. We had a handful of similarly nervous clients who joined us for filming (thank you so much, you were all wonderful), and I have to say that Juliette did a brilliant job at making everyone feel really at ease. The day actually ended up being an awful lot of fun (did I really say that?!), with loads of laughter and jokes to get those happy smiley faces that the camera demanded.
I’d like to thank everyone involved personally; Rachael Hale of History Magpie (as the first in front of the camera you did brilliantly – and yes, I owe you!), Liz Anderson of Bit Spicy (totally unflappable – what a professional), Dionne Baron of Nurture Nannies (lending me your cardi and scarf so I had a change of clothes really was above and beyond the call of duty – I promise not to ask you to strip again!), Steph Harrison of Breast Cancer Care (I think a future career as a TV presenter awaits – the camera loves you, dahhhlling!), James Hoad of Hoads Shoes (see, told you you’d be great ), Chris Whiteside of Little Freddie Productions (bet you regret popping in now), Andy and the team at …Happen Web (sorry for all the noise!) and last but by no means least, Ian and Juliette from Superfilm. You made the day really enjoyable and the amount of care you’d taken over planning each shot was evident – I can’t wait to see the results.
Photos courtesy of Steph – thanks for stepping up as our unofficial photographer!
I have to admit, there have been times where I’ve cringed inwardly at the thought of a corporate promotional video. Many that I’ve seen seem so insincere, cold and sales-y that I’m instantly turned off and have to watch through my fingers. I’m pleased to say that my thoughts have changed vastly since meeting with Juliette at Superfilm.
Superfilm are a local group of passionate film makers who work with businesses to produce the most beautiful, aspirational promotional videos you could dream of. With the focus very much on telling a story, their videos capture the essence and personality of the businesses they work with. I was amazed by the ways in which the videos portray a really honest, genuine feel – so different to many of the staged, scripted corporate videos I’ve seen before. Their relaxed, story-telling style and aspirational finish produces videos which companies can be incredibly proud of. I’m very excited (if a little nervous!) to announce that Superfilm will be working with us to create a video for Ditto – I look forward to sharing more on this with you in the next few weeks!
To give a taste of Superfilm’s work, do take a look at the video below which was produced to document The Savoy’s Jubilee celebrations.
At Ditto, we’re passionate about helping businesses grow. Lots of businesses lay claim to this, but we really mean it
And just to prove it, we’re delighted to be selected as a delivery partner for the Start-Up Loan Scheme, a government initiative headed by James Caan (from Dragon’s Den) to help 18-30 year olds in England secure funding and mentoring to start their own business. As the Sevenoaks printing.com studio (which runs alongside Ditto), we’re looking to help local entrepreneurs aged 18-30 start their own business. As a previous finalist in the Young Entrepreneur Category of the West Kent Business Awards myself, this is something close to my heart!
Have you got a burning idea for a new business, which you need support to turn into a reality?
If this sounds like you, you’re aged 18-30, live within the UK, have a good-to-go business plan and require funding of up to £9,500, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more about the scheme by visiting the Start-Up Loans website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m really pleased to announce that the lovely team at …Happen Web Technologies have moved in to our London Road studio! This move cements the close partnership between Happen and Ditto, enabling both companies to provide a full and complete branding, marketing and development service as one cohesive team. We’re already working together on multiple projects for the ultimate benefit of our clients, which I’m very much looking forward to sharing with you soon.
Do pop in to see us – we’d love to show you around our brand new meeting room and have a chat to find out how we can help take your business to the next level.
I’m soooo pleased to reveal the final design for the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens 2013 Guide Book. After months of hard work and research, it’s wonderful to see that our effort has really paid off. The new Guide Book represents a new chapter for Riverhill, as yet more of their stunning gardens have been opened to the public, with the new Walled Garden being a huge attraction for 2013.
Riverhill has been in the Rogers family for generations, and one of the big changes from their previous Guide Book is the addition of the Rogers’ family story. The Rogers have quite a story to tell, and the new Guide Book includes previously unseen photographs from the Rogers family private albums, some of which pre-date 1930. It has been a real privilege to have the opportunity to view these albums, and I’m pleased we’re able to share some of them with Riverhill’s visitors. We’ve really focussed on giving equal weight to the beautiful photos of Riverhill as to the words which tell the story of the family and Gardens – and I think we’ve struck the balance.
The Rogers family are utterly passionate about learning, and believe that visitors of all ages have something new to discover in the Gardens. Before we began design work, Sarah and I debated the direction – should the Guide Book be geared towards Riverhill’s younger visitors, or to the keen horticulturists who regularly visit to see the rare species that live at Riverhill? We decided there was room for both, and have divided the page space to cater for all visitors. While the keen gardeners will enjoy the Garden Introduction by Riverhill’s Head Gardener, Guy Chatten, children will enjoy the ‘keys’ which unlock some of the hidden stories of Riverhill. And of course there’s plenty of space to introduce the mythical yeti which resides in the gardens…
To encourage visitor interaction, we’ve even included a QR code which visitors can scan to immediately land on Riverhill’s Facebook page, allowing them to share stories, post photos and keep up to date with news and events. Riverhill have a huge amount of events planned for the new season (which starts tomorrow, by the way!), so do take a trip to the Gardens if you can – I highly recommend it.
A big thank you to Sarah Rogers for all of her time in helping us piece together the family story – you’ve been a star and an absolute pleasure to work with!
This weekend, Dan and I headed off to Olympia to join Rotosound at the London Bass Guitar Show
Having worked with Rotosound for some time now, I was really excited to join them at one of the UK guitar shows. Since pioneering their world famous Swing Bass strings, Rotosound are renowned in the music industry as the company to go to if you want to achieve an incredible sound. Over the years, Rotosound have supplied strings to some of the greatest musicians around, including Jimi Hendrix, John Entwistle, Billy Sheehan and Duff McKagan – their endorsee roster is a who’s who of rock royalty. Having worked with names like these, Rotosound are highly respected within the industry and we had a really busy day on the stand meeting visitors. The bass show was a great opportunity to see more of the music industry (and meet some incredible bassists at the same time). An exhausting day – but so much fun!
Happy New Year!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and are back feeling fully refreshed, recharged and raring to tackle 2013. We’ve loads planned for this year, which I’ll keep you updated on as we go. Making changes and pushing forward is inevitably scary, but I truly believe that if you’ve got the fire in your belly and faith in your plans, you can make anything happen.
What do you have planned for the year?
What a year!
I do hope the year has been kind and your business is going from strength to strength. I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to all of our wonderfully loyal clients (both in Sevenoaks and much, much further afield!) for helping to make this year a good one, and you, my lovely blog readers, for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. So here’s to a wonderful, relaxing Christmas break! I hope you manage to get the time you need to relax, recoup and enjoy the company of family and friends.
A very Merry Christmas to you and yours
Hannah, Derek and Dan xx
PS – we’re taking a well-deserved break over Christmas, so the studio will be closed from 5pm on Friday 21st December and will re-open at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January. See you then!
We’re becoming somewhat of a regular feature in the local press
If you get your hands on the Sevenoaks Chronicle or Kent and Sussex Courier, you’ll see me writing in their twice. You lucky things
I’m really enjoying writing for the press, both in my regular branding column and giving my thoughts on the monthly business profile page. This month, I wrote about brand reputation; you can read the full article below. If you’d like to work with Ditto to give your brand some oomph, do get in touch; we have a limited number of free sessions available every month.
Taxing times for brand reputation
Starbucks, Google and the BBC: three huge brands that many of us interact with on a daily basis, and all of which have been subjected to customer boycotts of some kind over recent revelations about their behaviour. Starbucks has suffered a huge customer backlash over tax avoidance, and I don’t need to tell you why the BBC has been put in the spotlight. Brands who tell us that they are safe, warm and trustworthy are alleged to be behaving in a rather less-than-trustworthy fashion which proves that a brands’ voice cannot be divorced from a company’s actions. Brands and companies are one and the same, and the voice of your brand must be authentic at every level – both internally when working with staff and suppliers and externally when marketing to customers.These brands now face a battle to maintain trust and loyalty from their customers, and they will no doubt experience long-term damage to their reputation. In the world of branding, no matter what size the business, you absolutely must live and breathe your brand values. Do you tell your customers that you support local businesses? Make sure that you actually do – and be prepared to demonstrate it through your website, social media and brochures. Customers react very badly to their trust being rocked, and once a dent is put in a customers’ loyalty, you’ll have a real challenge on your hands to win it back.
What are your thoughts on brand loyalty? Have you ever had an experience with a brand which has shaken your trust – and did they manage to win you back? I’d love to know.