One of the most successful marketing studies in the United Kingdom was conducted by Tesco prior to the launch of their Tesco Loyalty Card in 1995. A year earlier they hired a company called Dunnhumby who analysed the shopping patterns of the UK consumer. The study included looking at what customers were placing in their baskets, their shopping trends, geo location purchasing as well as spending averages across the United Kingdom. Just three months after taking on the study Tesco Chairman (at that time) Lord MacLaurin said, “What scares me about this is that you know more about my customers after three months than I know after 30 years.”
Dunnhumby’s ability to analyse the data that they collected lay down the foundations for building a huge advantage over competition, as well as putting in place a loyalty scheme that would far outshine any other ever undertaken before, not only increasing Tesco’s position as a major supermarket leader but establishing a strong brand loyalty that still exists today. Dunnhumby’s case study identified a total of eleven areas of where Tesco could focus and take advantage of over their competitors. These included trends, basket building, right product in the right place and cross-selling. The study and ensuing scheme has been so popular that books have been written on its success and the impact that it has had on the modern day supermarket industry.
There is no doubt that the way that Tesco implemented its loyalty car scheme was, at the time, the most effective of its kind to date. It remains to this day one of the most successful loyalty schemes across all industries and it is testament to the brilliant execution of a fairly simple idea.
1. Each page should be dedicated to one keyword / phrase which is in the meta title and meta description. Avoid meta keywords, Google is starting to use them to identify spam. At best they are not necessary and at worst they may be becoming toxic.
2. The ideal target is 300 words of useful content. This means that you don’t fill it with words that don’t mean anything. Google has started to identify meaningless content and ignore it, so you may think that you have written 300 words but Google will only see 10 if only 10 words are meaningful. Think semantically about your content. If you don’t know what that means it is essential that you take a Youtube tutorial on it after you have read this and before you write anything.
3. Keyword / phrase should be repeated in the whole text four or five times but not more than six. Make it relevant and useful but don’t use it too much thinking that will help. It won’t and you’ll be identified as a spammer.
3. Avoid spelling mistakes. You should do this for SEO and also for your own credibility. The most credible websites have the fewest spelling mistakes.
4. Any image used needs to have a relevant name and relevant alt tag (which is the description of the image that ‘would describe it to a sight impaired person’).
5. Use only one H1 tag and then other H tags in order; H1, H2, H3 etc. You can have more than one H2, 3 etc but never more than one H1.
6. Link to other pages based on usability and only choose the best pages to link to. You can check them out using online Page Rank checkers and Alexa but nothing beats actually reading the content you’re linking to and using common sense.
7. Regular updating is important. Google favours sites with fresh content.
8. Social media is very important. You must have share buttons clearly visible on your content and you should check them. So often I try to share something and the buttons create unusable text. Don’t people check their own websites as if they were a user?
9. Share your own pages as you update them with a bit of a story; ‘We’ve updated our XYZ with ABC because …’, or ‘This is Fred in the office’s favourite product because …’ etc. Stories and characters are important. ‘Cold’ shares which don’t actually say anything or shares that are too sales focused are a turn off.
I hope you find these basic on page tips useful. I’ve tried to keep it simple on purpose; there’s so much information out there that sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Get these basics covered and then you can move on to other advice.
The most important thing to consider these days is to be useful. Write for your readers, provide them with information and solve problems. There is a lot of content out there and you need to stand out, not just be another ‘me too’ writer.
Over the years, Posh Spice has taken a lot of stick. Women don’t like her because she took Becks away from them and Manchester United fans don’t like her because … well, because she took Becks away from them. In the years since the Spice Girls finally stopped pumping out hits, Victoria Beckham has somehow managed to create a career as a fully-fledged fashion designer. This act deserves our respect, and here’s why.
She wasn’t qualified.
Sure, she had connections and plenty of backing, but Victoria Beckham started out a fashion design business with passion for her journey and very little else. What did she do? She immersed herself in the industry and studied hard.
Everyone wanted her to fail.
When Victoria Beckham first announced that she would actually be designing her own clothes, the general reaction was one of scorn: “What does a Spice Girl know about fashion?” “She wouldn’t be able to do it if she wasn’t married to Becks.” “God, I still can’t believe he went to Real Madrid.” Over the years to come, she simply went about her business of designing, before everyone (rather reluctantly) admitted she was actually good.
She did the hard yards.
A sure-fire way to earn the endless ire of her detractors would have been to spend all her cash on a massive debut fashion show event, but Victoria did nothing of the kind. Instead, she slowly built up her business, beginning with designing some high-end jeans before moving on to sunglasses and then his-and-hers fragrances. She only released her first full year fashion collection in 2008, five years after she’d began working on her company.
In 2011 Victoria Beckham won Fashion Designer Of The Year at the British Fashion Awards. This was an important award because the voting was from her peers in the fashion industry. When she collected her award, apparently, she cried. You have seen Victoria Beckham’s public face, she notoriously doesn’t show emotion. That she cried shows how much this meant to her.
The Spice Girls achieved phenomenal success but, still, people like to rubbish them and claim that whichever girl they’re picking at the time can’t sing. Victoria then had the nerve to marry a famous footballer. Every stumble and set back seemed to be greeted with schadenfreude verging on delight. In her efforts to make it as a fashion designer she worked hard, regardless of criticism. To win an industry award judged by your peers has nothing to do with how much money you have or who you are married to. It has to do with talent.
There’s a lot more to Victoria Beckham than meets the eye. She’s a tough cookie and she deserves some respect.
Marketing and promotion plays a vital role in any type of business. That’s why small and large companies are constantly trying to apply effective and unique marketing strategies to expand their business.
SEO for your business
If you have ever wondered why competitors’ web sites are ranking higher than yours then it’s as a result of a well managed web marketing technique referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a technique that facilitates search engines to recognise and rank your web site higher than sites in response to a search.
Link building and on page SEO are two of the most important things that you need to consider when it involves your UK SEO campaign. Link building is the method of gaining links to your website from other websites as these links pass some of the power of the website it’s coming from back from to your website and, cumulatively, this builds up. On page SEO marketing is the method of optimising your website in terms of the language used so that the content is absolutely relevant to the search terms that you are targeting. You also need to make sure that the site contains no programming errors and conforms to current web standards.
If you are an expert in SEO this will be a very basic summary of he subject. However, if you are a student this will be a useful beginners guide to SEO.
When it comes to using social networking sites to improve your business or reach out to more people, you don’t need to be a modern company with a modern product or service. It would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the modern methods of communication relate to modern businesses but this is not the case. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter provide every company and industry with the chance to properly engage with their customers and potential customers. All these new sites provide is a different way to communicate and meet the people that you want to meet.
This means that there is something on offer for everyone, even the ones that may think their existence is being threatened by modern technology. In the rush to hail Kindle and other e-readers as being the most important breakthrough reading has had since the invention of the printing press, it can be easy to overlook that millions of people all over the world still enjoy books. There is something about the look, feel and even the smell of a new book and even though e-readers provide a great way to have all of your favourite books and articles with you in one place, there are times when a book is still the number one choice.
Even though self-publishing authors are taking to Kindle and other e-readers in their droves, there is still a call for book binding services. Whether you are a student looking to hand in your dissertation or you want to give a personal present that really matters, a book binding service is something that can come straight from the heart and make you and the recipient feel loved.
Provide an incentive to potential customers.
This is where the services provided by The Book Binding Workshop can come in very handy and the company took to Facebook to promote themselves and reach out to a new audience. In order to make an impact, they decided to give away something for free. This is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book but it shows that modern social networking sites can be used in the exact same way as the former communication channels.
The upshot of the promotion was that any customer that paid for $300 or more of book binding supplies would receive a free 248 page hardcover book. This offer was placed on Facebook and while the company sent out an initial email to existing clients informing them of the deal, the only place to gain access to the offer was via the social media site.
In the space of one month, the number of fans liking the company on Facebook had grown massively. At the start of the campaign, the company had 50 fans and within one month of the campaign, this had grown to 650. This meant that the promotion picked up an additional 600 fans for the company’s Facebook page. This meant that from this point on, the company would be able to engage with these people regularly, in the place where these people were hanging out. The connection that a firm makes with customers on Facebook can be friendlier and more engaging than a connection made in a more formal location.
The campaign was a success with respect to the bottom line as well. The campaign resulted in additional sales worth $15,000. This was a large amount for the company and it more than justified the decision to enter social networking with a proper offer. The fact that the company was already on the site but with a poor number of followers indicates that having a social presence is not the be all and end all.
There is a need for a company to engage with clients and provide them with a reason for engaging with you. This is exactly what The Book Binding Workshop found with their social networking promotion.
Sometimes the wide range of marketing advice available can make it all look a bit confusing. However, basic marketing for a small business can be fairly straightforward. Here is the story of a driving school which undertook a well thought through campaign which gives you the anatomy of basic well structured marketing.
While many firms are falling over themselves to utilise the new marketing possibilities offered by social networking and the rise of the internet, this is not the case for every company. The tried and tested methods of getting through to customers and providing your message in an effective and worthwhile manner are still as valid today as they have ever been. It can be easy to get excited about the method of the message as opposed to the message itself. Reaching out to the people that you want to and providing them with the relevant information that they need to make an informed decision is still one of the best ways that you can achieve success in business.
You need to take on board that the methods of reaching people by the new social media sites are exactly the same as companies would reach out to clients in the past. Finding your customer demographic and targeting them in a known and deliberate manner has always been a cornerstone of marketing and it is as true today as it has always been. This means that businesses should be able to utilise this sort of promotional campaign as effectively as they could do with a Facebook or Twitter promotion.
The Behind The Wheel School of Driving in Shaker Heights showed that the marketing methods applied over the years, and now more commonly found on Facebook, can still be applied in the real world. The company aimed to reach out to learner drivers, which of course could mean drivers of any age but with respect to targeting a particular demographic, it becomes easier to target the people who are just becoming the legal age to drive.
The company new their audience
To find the people that they wanted to reach, the company bought a list of information that focused on children who were turning 15 or 16 in the near future. This was the age group that would provide them with access to people who would be interested in taking driving lessons and developing their driving skills.
The company then printed off 12,000 postcards, with 5 different backs. While the overall message of the front of the postcard focused on informing the recipient that driving was fun, the backs of the card were tailored to a specific location. The front of the car featured a Mini Cooper, the car that all of the pupils would drive while attending at the school but the back of the postcard provided localised information.
The company had sorted out their recipient list into different post code areas in the wider region. This allowed them to target potential pupils for their specific driving schools, as opposed to the larger school in general. This provided a very localised feel to the service and there was also a money off element on the back of the postcard.
The offer was to receive $10 off the price of the first driving lesson if the student book their lesson after receiving the postcard. The back of the postcard also contained the driving school schedule for the next few months, allowing the potential drivers to fit lessons in around their schedule before they even made a booking.
Once the postcards were being received by the intended recipients, the company noted that they were receiving an increase in the number of calls with at least half of the callers on a daily basis enrolling for the driving school. The company also noticed that they experienced month on month growth for people signing up with the school. This was explained by people weighing up their options before signing up and the benefit of the word of mouth promotion. The company also experienced an uptake of people who had not received a postcard highlighting the services the school provides.
While the demographic targeting for the postcard campaign could have been carried out on Facebook, the company believed that the physical nature of the postcard helped them to stand out from their rivals.