Enhancing Campaign Longevity

I’m rather pleased with one of my latest promotion projects. Irwin Mitchell’s business employment team have launch a report off the back of a survey that they had commissioned based around recession-based employment tactics; the results are actually very interesting, and as the EBusiness Manager it was passed to me to see how we can get as many people as possible to download this document online.

My simple but effective plan was actually devised in just a few moments – the plan is to have two phases of online promotions:

Phase 1 utilises our social media footprint to bring visitors into the report landing page. We have our finger in a number of social media pies, but Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook were chosen as our number 1 options for this phase. We devised an Infographic (the first within the business) to help promote the full report, and also enables it to go viral (although we don’t really expect this thing to go global, we wanted an easy way for others to promote it).

With ReTweets and refreshing in statuses, I reckoned that this probably has a core lifespan of 2-3 weeks, so I needed a Phase 2 to help promote it a little longer.

Phase 2 gives us that longevity. A video from our Head of Employment will be shot and again posted on our website, YouTube and other social media sites. This refresh of our promotional approach will also see us repurpose the video content to provide audiocast.

I’m posting this soon after we launched the report and the campaign activity, but initial analytics are very good. Traffic to the Employment section is higher than usual and of course although this went out in a press release also, traffic from social sites has doubled (Twitter and Linked in performing the best with Facebook in clear third!)

We have tried two approaches for the actual report PDF, it’s a free report anyway, but we are trying the use of both a sign-up form (visitors leave us their name and email address to collect the report) and one where it’s readily available without providing us any details at all. I’ll post back our resulst when we have them.

Recession-based Employment Tactics

UK Law Firm Irwin Mitchell today revealed a telling report showing that there is a huge lack of confidence in the economy and that businesses are three times more likely to encourage voluntary redundancies during the next 12 months compared to two years ago.

Other key findings from this survey of 320 senior business decision-makers are:
  • One-third of businesses had made compulsory redundancies in the last year, with 75% of those also using a range of alternative cost-saving techniques.
  • Seven out of 10 firms said they are "less confident" or expect "no improvement" in the U.K. economy in 2012 and 18% said they are "quite likely" or "very likely" to make compulsory redundancies during the same period.
  • Out of those businesses stating they needed to reduce their employee cost base over the next 12 months, just over half (55%) said that they would introduce a voluntary redundancy program. This compares to just 16% of companies that did the same during the last two years.
In addition, firms are more likely to cut down the use of agency workers, freeze pay, grant unpaid absences, remove other benefits such as bonuses and reduce staff hours in the next 12 months compared to two years ago.

Outside of compulsory redundancies, the most popular method used to reduce the employee cost base during the last two years was freezing pay rises, so UK employees can expect their pay to be frozen during the next 12 months!

The full report can be found here.

Infographic: Guide to advertising on Twitter by Alchemy Social

Earlier this year Alchemy Social unveiled an infographic guide to advertising on Twitter.

The brilliant guide looks at how to target the public, what motivates people to become followers, and what enhanced pages should look like.

The key findings were that a massive 94% of people follow businesses for discounts and promotions, 87% simply for fun and entertainment, 79% for access to exclusive content and 69% to follow company news and updates.

The full story can be found here.

FIVE Winning Tweet Formulas That Work

If you're looking for tweets that work within the B2B environment then you have come to the right place; although these work just as well for B2C!

Writing a really great tweet is like writing a great headline for an email or mailshot; you need to get someone to read and take action in just 140 characters. What a lot of people seem to forget when they come to Twitter is that as humans we haven’t really changed over the years, and what worked in the past, continues to work on Twitter.

So where are some formulas that will work to get readers interest and get them to take action.

1. The Big Promise Approach

[Goal] will be achieved when you follow these [amazing steps]

This ‘Big promise’ way of writing headlines has been around for years, and the early copywriters knew that it worked.

Example: Customers will flock if you use these great Power Words http://tinyurl.com/7p38zlc

2. The Endorsement Approach

How [@Username] and [@Username] are [Doing Great Things]

There is nothing better than endorsing your product or service by using previous clients. Using this approach it isn’t you that is promoting your product or service, but by proxy it’s your previous clients.

Example: How @npowerhq got their biggest response ever to an online campaign.

3. The Hi-5 Approach

We really enjoyed this article from [@username] on [topic]

Virtual high-fives like this not only gets you the attention of the account that you are mentioning but it also enables ReTweets because we all like personal recommendations and we all like to pass them on.

Example: We liked this #Marketing Intuition Contest: Which homepage generated a 331% lift in conversion. bit.ly/Le8VFm @MktgExperiments

4. The Question Approach

Did you know that nn% of [target audience] [something interesting/controversial]?

A lot of business Twitter users don’t use the questioning approach, but it is a great way to get readers interest and click on your link.

Example: Did you know that 62% of businesses in the UK think that they are funny! http://tinyurl.com/cq39wzq

5. The Except Approach

Another Twitter formula that works well is to take an excerpt directly from an article or website; after all, this has already been written to be punchy and get a positive response!

Example: HOW TO WRITE GREAT HEADLINES THAT GET ATTENTION! http://tinyurl.com/bl73srt

One of the great cost effective opportunities that social media provides is that content can be fairly easily repurposed for different media, and this approach is a perfect example, and in the example above then a great headline is a great headline, no matter where you use it.

If you need any help with your social media work; strategy or delivery then get in touch to see how I can help your business win.

Getting Your Business Online

All businesses can benefit from having a web site, they can enhance your business image, allow you to communicate with customers and prospects and even bring in new customers.

If you do not have a web site, then chances are you have considered it and for some reason dismissed the idea. Many of my clients believe that getting a small web site created that brings in new business will be expensive.

The truth is that it needn't be. A web site can be created and set up, with email accounts for upfront costs as little as £500
Now, if over the life of the web site, it only brings in say 10, 20 or 30 new customers, don't you think that it will pay for itself!

I can define your personalised plan for moving online, create and set up a simple web site that will be your virtual shop front, then help you to promote it.

Maybe you already have a web site, but it's not generating the sales leads that you expect it to, then I can help you to determine how the site and it's promotion can be managed.

I have worked with some of the biggest businesses in the UK in helping them to define their online presence and help them to make money, I can do the same for you.

Using Twitter for Business

Twitter is the latest web-centric communications service to explode onto the scene, and businesses have moved in rapidly.

Businesses seem to be cautious about using tools like Twitter, and rightly so; if used badly then (in an over commercial way), then customers and potential customer might be put off your brand.

But your company can most definitely benefit from using Twitter. The primary use for it in business should be to listen, because, as every top-performing salesman in the world knows, listening is more important than talking most of the time.

You want to hear from every customer, supplier, client, industry leader, journalist, colleague and competitor who has anything to say (good or bad) about your product, service or business. Twitter has much in common with old-style networking, like early morning meetings at diners and water-cooler chats, except it's been "virtualised" for 21st century knowledge sharing.

With that brief introduction, let's look at 10 great ways to use Twitter to your business's advantage.

#1. Listen more, talk less: If you just think of Twitter as another way to "post" your messages and advertisements on the internet, then you're sadly missing the whole point about Twitter, and your following will probably be nonexistent. Spend a lot more time listening to what others are "tweeting" (posting) about you and you will gather valuable information. When you do post a message, make it something people want to know, not something you want them to know.

#2. Find your niche: Twitter's uses are limited only by your imagination. Don't think of what you can get, but what you can offer and what you can learn. You may want to share knowledge, you may want to obtain it, or you may just want to assure customers, colleagues and others that you are available to them. You will benefit to the extent that you listen and stay engaged, which means referring back to #1 a lot. Twitter is a great forum for asking questions and getting replies back from the people that matter.

#3. Develop a personality: Because you might tend to use Twitter a lot to talk to your followers, they will start to understand your 'personality', that is how humorous (or not) you are; how direct or straightforward you are; your tone. Twitter is therefore a good way to project your business brand. A fresh and interesting personality attracts followers, and some successful firms even allow numerous voices to reach out from within the company's offices and departments, each with their unique 'personality' but adding more value to the larger voice..

#4. Eavesdrop: There are several good tools for monitoring what is being said, starting with Twitter's own search field. If you look to the right, you will also get a list of the current most-popular searches so you always know what's hot at the moment. The site monitter.com, as the name implies, was developed specifically for use with Twitter, to allow simultaneous multiple searches.

#5. Build your audience: The first thing to do is post a few tweets to get a handle on how it all works, of course. Then dedicate some study time to see what your competitors and companies in the same industry are doing (if anything). Make use of the "Find People" function on the top of the Twitter page to find people in your own company, your current clients and colleagues, old classmates and friends, etc. Use the "@" reply to connect directly with people, to make sure they see your tweet, and discuss matters of interest to them. When they respond with the @ reply, other folks following them may notice you and choose to follow you, too.

It's also interesting to see who else your followers are following, as that can give you fresh insight into the types of people to seek. Use the various search methods (see #4 above) to find subjects that relate to your industry, and pay attention to who's talking about these matters. Don't be a broadcaster, be a conversationalist, and if you do Twitter right, you will build a following daily.

#6. More information!: As Tweets are limited to 140 characters, having a big discussion is out of the question, but remember you can post links to new, events or others Tweets that might be of interest to your followers.

#7. Be human: Too many people, from firms both large and small, represent their firms poorly by appearing to be robots on a fixed schedule. They crank out PR verbiage and automated data and don't offer anything for followers to grab hold of. You have to "throw them a line" or you will sail right by everyone.

#8. Be polite and respectful: Whilst you can be pretty much nameless and faceless on Twitter, it helps if you are respectful on anyone that could read your Tweets! Imagine your having the conversation with a roomful of guests face to face. Avoid sensitive topics like politics and religion etc (unless these are directly related to your business dealings!). These subjects have no place in a business conversation, so please leave them out.

#9: Play nice: Don't get emotionally involved or rant about a person, place, product or business. Picture Twitter as one big community, be nice or face the consequences!

#10: Stay positive: Don't be pessimistic, and don't whine or complain about what's wrong with this or that industry or the world in general. People will follow people they like, who offer something of value, who are upbeat and who stay on an even keel. Of course, some situations require a serious, even solemn approach, but those are the exceptions and should be handled delicately. Anyone can gripe, moan and groan. A business leader, on the other hand, offers solutions.

Bottom line? Twitter is a tool, and a good one, for keeping conversations going with stakeholders, potential customers, colleagues and even competitors. It takes real-time management because it's a real-time tool, but when it's done right Twitter can be an important addition to your sales, marketing and business communications arsenal.

If you need help with your social media, then get in touch with me andrew@andrewscaife.com

Customer Retention

It is absolutely true that it costs more to find a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, anyone in business knows that, but the big questions is … how can you retain your customers?

I found the following statistics recently and they make for interesting reading:

  • 4 percent of customers leave a business because they have moved location.
  • 5 percent simply change their purchasing habits.
  • 9 percent decide that they like the competition better.
  • 14 percent leave because they become disenchanted with a company's overall service.
  • 68 percent stop doing business with a company because they feel unappreciated.
Customer retention is all about customer satisfaction, if you can satisfy your customers (or even delight them!), then you stand a great chance of retaining them, so how do you provide this customer satisfaction?

There is a simple formula that I always use, and I have found that it works incredibly well in all situations:

Customer Satisfaction = Good Reputation + Good Customer Relationship +Good Service

You build a great relationship with them (above and beyond simply being their supplier), then you never give them a reason to leave you (you surpass their service expectations).

Once you realise and accept this Customer Retention formula is everything starts to fall into place.

Lets look at these factors in a little more detail:


Public Relations
  • It’s predominately the responsibility of Public Relations to improve a businesses reputation in the market
  • Customers ask themselves ... do they feel happy buying from a business like yours
  • Is the corporate identity and key corporate messages sending the right signals to the market?



  • Ensuring a great relationship with customers is all about the communications
  • After a major purchase, customers often feel that they have made the wrong choice, that why reassurance messages need to presented often (these can be via face to face meetings, telephone calls, or electronic messages (email, ezines etc))
  • All the customers’ touchpoints inside the organisation need to be well managed to ensure that customers get a consistent message and level of service.
  • Use marketing budgets wisely, and treat your very best customers, never underestimate the power of hospitality

Service is a huge part of customer retention The key service elements are pre-sales, sales and post-sales:
  • The reputation and friendliness of the pre-sales team/process
  • Their ability to provide first-class advice and solve customers problems
  • Win/Win negotiations (ensure the customer gets something from the negotiations)
  • Delivery/Supply (on time)
  • Installation (clean, tidy and working first time)
  • Invoicing (correct)
  • Payment (effective systems)
  • Good after sales support
  • Plenty of reassurance
  • You listen to new development requests
It’s worth checking your business to see that you have the ability to influence these areas, as they are critical to customer retention.

It’s also worth investing in a Customer Satisfaction Survey. If any of these core retention standards start to slip, the chances are that the first time you know about it is when a customer leaves you.

You need an annual survey so that trends can be captured, and any weakness in a particular area investigated and corrected.

Social Media platforms!

Businesses need to move away from the thought that Social Media means just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are probably hundreds of different platforms that could be used by businesses, some are general social media networks (i.e. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn etc.) and some are very niche indeed! Interested in the Argentinian market then try Taringa! If you sell into the hospitality market then try the Hospitality Club! Or CafeMum to reach mothers!

For a fairly complete list of social media networks, check out this Wikipedia list.

Benefits of Social Media for B2Bs

I was recently talking to an old client of mine about social media, they were looking at creating a Twitter account for their business, they knew that it was something that they should do, but didn’t really know why!

I know that there are loads of businesses that are perplexed by social media and what benefits it can be to them, these networks have traditionally been used by teenagers talking about the latest bands or gossiping about each other, surely they don’t have any real value for businesses - do they!

Make no mistake – B2B Social Media is a valid channel to market, if they are not already then your competition will soon be using it – do you really want to give them an unfair advantage over you?

Stark Facts!

Social Media users are highly engaged with the people, groups, companies and brands that they follow and/or like.

Within businesses it’s not just the marketers that have access to and use social media sites, finance managers, IT managers, CEO etc all use them.

Social Media is the most cost effective method for getting your message across to an audience this is willing to engage with you.

In the report “Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer” in 2011, revealed the following:

  • 59% of buyers engaged with peers online who addressed their business challengers. 
  • 59% of buyers shared their learnings from research on social networks. 
  • 48% of buyers followed industry conversations on topics that directly affected them. 
  • 41% of buyers followed online discussions to find out more about specific topics that were interesting top them. 
  • 37% of buyers posted questions on social networking sites looking for feedback or suggestions. 
  • 20% of buyers connected directly to potential solution providers via social network channels. 

Still not convinced about this game changing opportunity?

Ten key benefits of Social Media for Business

#1 – B2B Social Media can extend your brand and relationship building efforts
Social Media is somewhat personal in that that individuals decide whether or not they want to connect with you, and it’s a two way relationship

#2 – B2B Social Media can expand the reach of your companies brand
Literately thousands of new buyers can find you and engage with you online, each of these has the opportunity of purchasing from you.

#3 – B2B Social Media allows you to tap professional communities
B2B Professionals actively network online to solve problems, share knowledge and build their professional networks. If a professional connects to you and they share your details with their network then you suddenly reach many more contacts that you could at an event for example.

#4 – Increased third party influences
If someone in your network does mention you or praise your business then this is an instant referral to their network. This favourable WOM (word of mouth) is worth it’s weight in gold.

#5 – Be seen as a thought leader
B2B Social networks allow businesses of all sizes to become thought leaders as they can demonstrate their expertise through text, audio and video,; these in turn can feed rich , in-depth conversations across a professional network.

#6 – Reduce Marketing Spend
Social media is the most cost effective media. Apart from a little of your time, start up costs are virtually zero; and even if your network takes off quickly the costs associated with fuelling social networks is no-where near as high as it is with other channels.

#7 – Decrease the sales cycle
The B2B sales cycle can be lengthy; much of this purchase delay is around the buyer wanting to research the market and potential vendors. Social media aids this research like never before. Buyers can become educated very quickly as B2B social networks act to provide vast amounts of knowledge to the market.

In providing two-way communications, B2Bs not only inform and teach prospects, but they also build trust and credibility in such a way as to increase sales in shorter periods.

#8 – Gain competitive advantage
It’s always been the case that B2Bs must continually work to identify ways to strengthen and improve their competitive advantage. This is true of their offerings as well as their marketing strategies.

Since many B2Bs tend to be slower to adopt social media techniques, many companies can leverage first-mover advantages within their industries.

As great insights can be gleaned through monitoring online conversations, companies can identify new offerings and needed improvements around which to strengthen their competitive advantage.

#9 – Reduce the complexity of solutions
When I first started out in telecoms it was pretty obvious that our solutions were complex, and you almost needed to be a telecoms engineer to understand most of them, this increases the buying cycle!

The information that is exchanged between parties, and relationships built, through these conversational media help to decrease confusion and, in turn, increase the purchasing rates of B2B products, services and offerings.

Educating and helping prospective buyers through social media channels can help to position B2Bs as trusted and knowledgeable advisors and decrease the concerns associated with high learning curves.

#10 – Strengthen CRM efforts
I’ve talked a lot through this post about engaging with prospects and customers, and this engagement is at the core of what a traditional CRM program aims to do.

When you have a direct link into your customers you can improve your communications to them; extend customer service and provide knowledge sharing opportunities.


If you want to start to build your own social media footprint but really haven’t got a clue how to start, then get in touch with me (andrew@andrewscaife.com) and I’ll help you.

Simple Social Media Strategy

Looking to start off your social media and need a push in the right direction? This is a simple social media strategy that is a good start for any business.

Base your strategy around these three basic themes:
  • corporate reputation/credibility 
  • managing expectations 
  • internal communications/cultural change. 

Corporate reputation/credibility
You want to develop a reputation for trust and integrity, and to be seen as getting results - getting results for your customers and getting the best for your industry.

You will need to:

Raise your profile to support the reputation you are seeking

  • Position yourselves as an influencer within the market 
  • Demonstrate with robust evidence that your work leads to change 
  • Generate supporters across media contacts and other relevant stakeholders 
  • Improve the reach of your business to all business sectors 
  • Develop a positive image/brand that supports the desired corporate reputation 

Managing expectations
You want to be perceived as a professional organisation that has the breadth of expertise in either what you sell or supply.

You will need to:
  • Clarify your range of services 
  • Define your uniqueness and strengths 
  • Promote your wins 
  • Promote your market achievements 

Internal communications/cultural change
You want a culture that is open and allow your staff to contribute to your social media success. Let your staff feel involved and engaged.

You will need to:
  • Have an open social media policy within your business 
  • Allow staff to talk about your business and its products and services 
  • Reply to prospects and customers questions/concerns 

If you need more help in developing your social media strategy, then simply get in touch with me.

What should you show on your website?

There are a number of basic things that you should show on your website in order to attract and convert the best number of visitors.

Show your qualifications and achievements, achievements

  • Always show evidence of what you have done
  • Demonstrate your understanding of your target market and the problems they have.
  • Speak to your audience through stories – we respond much better to them.
  • Prove that you care about your audience – ask questions.
  • Be proud, but also be humble 
  • Always put you customers first

Is Your Website Suffering from a Personality Disorder?

The old adage is true … People buy from People!

Injecting personality into your website is one of the most effective ways to convey a human touch, to convey the fact that your website and therefore business is backed by real people!

Visitors are interested in accessible, unintimidating websites just as we’re drawn to friendly, easy-going and downright nice people.

But not all of us are blessed with this effortless charm. Likewise, many websites exhibit a lot of traits that simply put visitors off them.

Is your website suffering from any of these common “personality disorders”?
  • Does it talk about itself more than the visitor? 
  • Does it forget to say how good it can be for your potential client? 
  • Does it provide simply outrageous claims that it can’t back up! 
  • Does it talk the talk? Keeps rabbiting on about things that just aren’t important! 
  • Does it talk with forked-tongues? Talk gibberish? Talk in jargon so that no-one will understand it! 
  • Does it talk negatively about itself? 
  • Does it show too pics like a boring uncle who shows you their endless and dull holiday snapshots? 
  • Is it anti-social or does it allow you to follow it on one of the many social networks? 
  • Does it lack goals, drive or enthusiasm? 

If it exhibits any of these personality disorders then I need to take a look at it as soon as possible for you, if it shows any of these disorders then no-one will give it any attention!

How's that website of yours looking?

Isn't about time that you took a seriously long look at your website!

I know the site was probably designed by you or you approved it, it’s a very personal thing to your business, it might even seem like part of the family; but sometimes you need to ask some very tough question of your website, and business owners do not always like what answers they get back.

Sit back and answer this question with complete HONESTLY; is your website REALLY working for you?  Are you getting enough business or enquiries from it?  Does it really have that WOW factor when the homepage first loads?

You can answer the first part yourself, you know very well (or you should know) whether your website is selling for you and bringing in the enquiries that you need.

Whether your site provides the WOW factor can be a little more difficult for you to judge!  Try this very simple test …… load your homepage or main landing page and study it closely for 6 seconds (I know this doesn’t seem like a long time but seriously, this is all a real visitor will give you).

Now answer the following questions honestly.

  1. Can you tell instantly what service or product you provide?
  2. I'm sure you have a couple of key messages that you want visitors to know about you – can you find evidence of these?
If you think you can’t answer these without being bias then pass get some feedback from other people whose judgement you trust.

If you think you have a problem here it could be down to a number of factors, including:
  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Design
  • Content
  • Images
This is where I can help you, I can work with your development team or website designer to help you create a website that it fit for purpose and will provide a WOW factor that will help you convert more visitors into customers.

Improving Your Business in an Economic Slow Down

Now is the very best time to take a look at your business to help you move it forward.

Here are some tips on how to make that happen.

1. Find out what your competition is doing

This is a really fantastic opportunity to let your sales and customer service staff get reacquainted with past customers and communicate with current ones and through their discussions find out what your competition is doing.

Old customers are one of the best sources for competitor intelligence information, they left you for some reason, now is the time to find out why and what it would take to gain back their business. Was it price? Was it service? Was it quality? Were there performance issues? Maybe the competition just had a better product. Get as many details as possible to help bring improvements to your product and/or service.

Keep in mind that your old customers might also be in a "slow" period due to the slow down, so they may welcome talking or meeting with you find out how you can help them!

2. Training

Like most businesses you'll go through periods of time when you really couldn't afford the time people would need to be away from the business to learn new skills? Well right now could be the right time to allow them out to hone their skills or develop new ones by sending them to seminars and workshops (these can be really useful and cost effective). Or bring in a trainer to help teach team building, teach teams how to be more creative, or develop sales and customer service skills.

If you are concerned about the cost of outside training, why not cross-train your employees internally so your team is more flexible to deal with business issues going forward.

3. Don't cut your marketing budget

Chances are this is what your competitors are doing, and cutting yours too will simply mean that you could miss out on good market opportunities.

That said, a careful review of your marketing spend is sensible, look at what you are doing and why.

4. Check your Sales Literature

Now is a good opportunity for you to check your sales literature and web site to see if the sales messages are still working for you or whether you might need a refresh.

5. Revise your business plan

This is one of the most critical activities that you will need to perform if you are feeling a slow down in business.

Chances are your sales forecast will need to be revised, which means your overall budget will need to change. Get your business plan up to date so you and your employees have a solid strategy to work towards.

6. Ask your employees for suggestions

It's not just said for fun, your employees are you best asset, they know your business well and either know your customers or your internal processes and systems extremely well.

Find out what ideas they have for a new product or service, or how to make improvements to save money or increase performance.

7. Network

This is one of the best source of leads for any size business. Join a peer group, find a breakfast club, get back involved with a trade association, speak to existing customers. Nurture these sources and they will bring you business.

8. Remain positive

Listen to the news, read the newspapers or specialist press, and business gloom and doom is everywhere. You can't ignore it, it's always there reminding us how bad it is!

But is isn't always bad, chances are that you have a good core business, with great employees, focus on that. Get back to basics. What motivated you when you got into business? Revive the positive attitude and enthusiasm that made you successful in the first place.

Keep away from all those negative influences.