How to Plan Your Seasonal Advertising.

How to plan your seasonal advertising

How to plan your seasonal advertising

Like dogs, seasonal advertising isn’t just for Christmas. There are plenty of times of the year where you may see an increase in sales.

After the crazy Christmas period is over, or perhaps now during the calm before the storm. You need to start thinking about next year’s seasonal advertising.

Seasonal hot points will vary dependant on your business. The simplest example being; sales for an ice cream retailer will be at their highest during the summer and low during the winter. Yet sales for a warm drinks retailer will be at their highest during the winter and at their lowest in the summer.


How to plan your seasonal advertising

The easiest way to do this is to sit down with a calendar and map out all of the seasonal hot points for your customers and target audience.

This might not be quite so straight forward as you think. You need to consider every seasonal point which will appeal to your customers and target market. So this might depend on things such as religions or where people live.

If you sell internationally you’ll need to think about seasons as well. For example, it would be okay to sell winter clothes to British people during December. However trying to sell them to Australians during December would be pretty pointless.

Then there are budgets to think about. If you haven’t got the budget to advertise and promote your products or services for every seasonal event, you will then need to think about which hot points will provide the most return for you.

Once you’ve worked out your seasonal hot points, you can begin to look at when and how far in advance you’d like to begin promoting or advertising your products or services.

You might then decide to look at finer details such as what kind of advertising you’ll do. Whether it’s an email campaign, PPC or print adverts.

Then you can begin to look at things like whether you’d need to print a new brochure or catalogue. If you need leaflets or cards to hand out in store to direct people back to the website. Or whether you’ll need to make amends to your website.

Once you’ve got your seasonal advertising planned out, you’ll know what you need to provide to your in house team or marketing company. They’ll then be able to create whatever you need for your campaigns and ensure you’re prepared. So there’s no rushing around at the last minute.


What if big seasonal hot points don’t apply to your business?

There are plenty of businesses, such as B2B or services, whose sales won’t increase before large seasonal events such as Christmas or the summer.

For example, an electrician’s workload will probably remain pretty steady throughout the year and it’s not likely to increase in the run up to Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

Most B2B businesses won’t see an increase in sales in the run up to Christmas either.

So what should B2B or service based businesses do if holidays or seasonal hot points don’t apply to them?

If that’s the case for your business, it’s important for you to keep in touch with your customers, so that when they’re ready to spend again your business is the first one they think about.

As we mentioned in our blog post about Christmas marketing campaigns, the easiest thing to do is to send them an email. This could be something as simple as a Christmas e-card, or an email which reminds them of something they need to begin preparing for after the season is over.

Contact us

For more advice on all things seasonal when it comes to marketing please feel free to browse the rest of the category.

If you’re looking for a marketing company to create and manage your seasonal advertising campaigns, get in touch with us now to talk about how we might be able to help you. You can call us on 01543 387 047 or email us on

How Your Business Can Use Topical Content to its Advantage.

How your business can use topical content to its advantage

How your business can use topical content to its advantage

Similar to topical advertising, creating topical content is creating content which links to a current news story or something which is popular. 

Creating topical content shows people that a brand is on the ball, relevant and clever. Especially if they have managed to link their business to a completely unrelated news story.

Topical content generally tends to add something extra to the story. Which means it’s relevant for much longer than an advert would be. As the ‘something extra’ will still be relevant long after people have stopped talking about it.

For example, when Cadbury’s won exclusive rights to their signature shade of purple. We wrote a blog post on why that was important to them and the importance of brand recognition.

An advert linked to that story might be relevant for a week at the most. Our blog post will be relevant to anyone looking to read about why it was so important for Cadbury’s to do that and the importance of brand recognition.

Despite the high number of news stories that will appear in search results. It’s still possible for your story to be found as people get bored with reading the same story and search for something extra or a new angle on the story.

When Apple Maps first came out we created a blog post which looked at the core competencies of Apple and Google, despite the number of news stories, our blog post was still found on simple keyphrases such as ‘apple maps vs google maps’.

Linking to a news story can work in favour for a business. As customers may decide to buy from the business because they have a similar opinion, the same values or like the same things the customer does.

What kind of content can you create?

The most popular content to create which is linked to a news story is a blog post. Which identifies what people can take or learn from the story because it ensures the reader will learn something.

For example, following Red Bull Stratos last week. Marketing websites were full of articles telling people what they could learn from the way Red Bull promoted and marketed the jump.

If you want to create something which is brief and just outlines the main points, an infographic would be the best thing to create as they’re visual and easy for people to read.

However, if you want to go into a lot of detail about the story. It’s probably better to write a blog post or create a video.

No matter what your business is, you can link to a story

Your area of business doesn’t have to be directly linked to the story for you to link to it.

The Olympics sparked a mass of blog posts informing people of all sectors, what they could learn from the 2012 Olympics.

  • 3 Lessons You Can Learn from the Olympics and Apply to Your Job
  • What Radiology Can Learn from 2012 Olympics

The above blog posts show that to take advantage of a news story your sector doesn’t have to have anything to do with. The most unusual blog post in there is the link between radiology and the Olympics. While the points touched upon could be applied to literally any sector. It’s interesting and unique because no one else had thought to do it.

How to create content which links to a story

The key to creating a really good piece of content which links to a news story is this. To ensure that it has a unique angle or link to the story which no one else has covered yet.

As with all content, it should give the reader some value or information which is of use to them.

While a blog post will be relevant for much longer than an advert. It’s still important to create it and post it while the story is still relevant. This will mean you attract anyone who is interested in the story. Which will gain you more coverage straight away.

As with any content you produce, there’s no point working hard on a blog post if you don’t promote it. As no one will see it. You can promote your content on social media, on your website or in emails. Which you might send out to customers or prospects.

For tips on how to create great SEO friendly content, take a look at our 10 Tips to Help You Create High Quality, SEO Friendly Content blog post.

As we mentioned in our blog post about topical advertising. If you’re using social media or blogging, the chances are you’re already creating topical content to some degree.

Contact Us

If you live in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire area and require some help or advice with your marketing, why not see what we can do. Take a look at our case studies, and call us on 01543 495752 and book a no obligation meeting with us today.

What is Topical Advertising and Why Your Business Should Be Using It.

what is topical advertising and why your business should be using it

Topical advertising is taking advantage of a news story or something current. Then creating an advertisement based around it.

Topical advertisements can gain extra coverage for a business that they wouldn’t have received ordinarily. As it’s something people are interested in and talking about.

Linking adverts to news stories can also allow the brand to show off their sense of humour. To show that they’re on the ball and in some cases if the advert is particularly clever, funny or controversial the advert may even become part of the news story.

In order to create your own topical advertisements you need a team who can all act quickly to get the advertisement created as soon as possible. If you leave it a few days or a couple of weeks it will be old news and people won’t be interested in it anymore.



Over the past few months we’ve been treated to some brilliant tactical advertisements. Especially with London playing host to the 2012 Olympic Games.



Specsavers South and North Korean flag advert

Specsavers are no stranger to topical advertising. So took advantage of a mistake which saw the South Korean flag being shown instead of the North Korean flag before a women’s football match.

The next day their advert appeared in national newspapers showing both the North and South Korean flags and ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ in Korean.



Braun Get Winning Sideburns advert
LOGOC enforced strict rules about what non-sponsors could do to advertise or promote themselves in relation to the Olympics.

Braun, ignoring the rules, took advantage of Bradley Wiggins gold medal and famous sideburns. Then created an advert which showed Wiggins with his Gold medal and the words ‘Get Winning Sideburns’ in the 2012 Olympic font.



Lynx "Sorry Harry" advert
Prince Harry’s incident in Las Vegas was a talking point in worldwide news for weeks.

Lynx took advantage of the story by creating an advert where they apologised to Prince Harry. In case the whole thing was caused because the Prince was wearing Lynx.


Social Examples

With the rise of social media, advertising is no longer limited to print, TV or radio. If a brand updates their status, that’s considered advertising as it reminds someone of the brand. Just as reading a newspaper advert would. Here are a couple of great examples of brands using topical advertising on social media.



Oreo iPhone 5 advert
While not strictly an advertisement, Oreo did a great job of taking advantage of news stories for their Daily Twist social media campaign.

For their 100th anniversary Oreo uploaded an image everyday for 100 days of an Oreo, and sometimes a glass of milk. Which represented a big news story or an anniversary.

The images brought the brand a lot of attention and created a huge amount of engagement. Oreo’s director or marketing said that images which were part of the Daily Twist campaign saw a 110% increase in engagement on Facebook.


Kit Kat

Kit Kat Felix Baumgartner advert
When Felix Baumgartner’s trip to space was postponed due to poor weather. Kit Kat took advantage of his wait and suggested he ate a Kit Kat to pass the time.

The day before Baumgarnter’s jump finally went ahead, Kit Kat made their own ascent and sent a Kit Kat into space attached to a balloon.


Are you already doing it?

If your business is already using social media, the chances are you’re already doing some topical advertising. If there’s a news story which you can relate your business to, you might talk about it or create an image linked to the story.

Twitter makes this easy by showing you Trends. Which are topics which are popular on the site at the moment. The chances are that if you notice a trend which you can talk about, you’ll create a tweet straight away. Then use the hashtag to increase the chances of it being seen.


Why not take a look at some more of our marketing blogs?

If you want some help with creating a marketing strategy, why not see if our approach is for you, or call us on 01543 495752 for more information.

The Marketing Dogs Ideas for Christmas Campaigns, From iBones to Cat-alogues.

the marketing dogs ideas for christmas campaigns

the marketing dogs ideas for christmas campaigns

Bonjour humans, as you can see, I’ve been dressed up as Santa Paws, poor Chops didn’t get off lightly either. She’s had antlers stuck through her head.

This means one of two things; Christmas is around the corner or our humans love to humiliate us, or perhaps both.

If it’s time for humans to dress their dogs up as Christmas folk. It’s definitely time for you to be thinking about your business Christmas campaign.

The run up to Christmas is a time of year where humans are spending. Whether they’re buying gifts for their loved ones, a new outfit for a party, or dressing their dogs up as elves, they’re spending.

You want them to buy that knitted dog jumper from your business right?

So how can your business capitalise on the Christmas spirit?

Christmas is the one time of year when retail businesses can almost guarantee an increase in sales. So they’re all advertising and promoting themselves, or they should be.

Other sectors may see a down turn in client activity and have the opportunity to think about re marketing to existing clients. Or marketing for new prospects and keeping their brands front of mind for when orders pick up again.

Whichever you are, this means you need a well-planned marketing campaign to help you stand out from your competition, and be the dogs!

It can be anything from a well-designed leaflet to an advertising campaign.

You don’t need to run special offers either, though it’s always an advantage – if you can save a few pennies on something, you will.


A lot of people will start their search for Christmas gifts on the internet, so promoting your business on the internet is really important.

Remember that your customers are busy. So if you have a special range of products or offers, create a ‘Christmas’ or ‘Offers’ section on your website. To help people find those products or offers easily.

As with all of your products, the product descriptions should be able to sell off the page. And the meta descriptions should be able to draw people in from search results.

Once you’ve uploaded your festive products, why not send an email out to your customers to let them know about your new products? Including links back to the website will encourage them back and might even encourage them to buy right away.

Then there’s advertising to think about. Whether it’s on the Google Display Network or on Facebook. It can have a huge impact if you know your audience and target them correctly.

Take full advantage of social media and blogging by writing blog posts about your offers or Christmas products, and then promote them on social media.

Everyone is looking to save money so if they’re on Facebook and come across a link to a blog post about offers on products they might want as Christmas gifts, you can bet they’ll follow it. Then they’ll have more money on their dogs – we love to be spoilt, we prefer roadkill toys to antlers by the way!

Something else to consider, which isn’t just limited to Christmas. Is whether or not your website runs and displays correctly on mobile devices.

The increase in smartphones, tablets and other devices with internet access, means more and more people are buying from a mobile device. But they can’t do that if your website doesn’t display correctly.

A Rackspace study found that mobile devices have increased impulse purchases, so it really is worth having a mobile optimised website. There are few things I enjoy more than looking at a great mobile website on my iBone you know.


Me and Chops had a real argument about whether print should appear in this blog post or not. I’m a modern dog and I don’t like print, I like digital, but Chops is adamant that print is just as important.

Chops says that just because people can access things at the touch of a button, doesn’t mean they don’t like to hold a well-designed high quality piece of print anymore. I must admit it is fun chewing up a piece of print too, try it.

If you have a huge selection of Christmas products. Or lots of offers. It might be worth creating a leaflet, catalogue or a brochure for people to flick through. You can then include a call to action which will drive them back to your website. Getting them to purchase right away.

If you don’t want to bombard your customers with all of your products. You could send them a leaflet instead just letting them know that you have Christmas offers on, or give them an exclusive Christmas offer just for being an existing customer.

Another great thing about print is that while you can delete an email without opening it. The chances are you’ll probably have a quick glance at a piece of print even if you think it’ll be of no use to you.

You don’t have to stop at leaflets or brochures, you could create signs to go outside your shop to let people know about your offers, or you could advertise in a local newspaper.

It’s never too late

Humans are notorious for procrastination, (not like us dogs, we love to do everything right now). So it’s never too late to promote your business and your offers.

Some businesses begin promoting for Christmas as early as July. And some people will have all of their Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped up by the end of September.

However, some people will still be rushing around on Christmas Eve. So keep promoting right up until the last minute to get as much as you can out of the Christmas rush.

Have you thought about January yet?

As soon as everyone’s finished their second helping of Christmas pudding and let us sneak onto the sofa. They’re already thinking about the Boxing Day and January sales and what they can spend their Christmas money on.

As you’ll probably be taking a few days off over Christmas. You need to have all of your Boxing Day and January sales promotions and advertising ready and waiting for your first day back.

Infact, it might even be worth emailing customers or sending them a leaflet out with their Christmas orders. To let them know that you’ll have offers on from Boxing Day or News Years Day onwards.

You need to think about the same things you will have done for your Christmas marketing campaign;

  • What offers are you running and for how long?
  • Have you got new products?
  • How and where will you be promoting yourself?

What if you aren’t a retail business?

Retail businesses do really well over the winter and Christmas period. But it’s not such a boom time for other businesses for a number of reasons.

If your business struggles during the Christmas period, you need to be doing something which will stick in the minds of your customers so that when they’re ready to spend again, you’re the first people they think of.

The easiest and cheapest way of doing this is to email, or even post, a Christmas card out to your customers.

This isn’t something many businesses do, so it will make your customers feel special and will make you memorable, especially if your Christmas card has a picture of a French Bulldog dressed up as Santa Paws, who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Who can help?

My humans know that the run up to Christmas is busy and it can be easy to run out of time to promote your business, so give them a call on 01543 387 047 and let them take care of it for you.

Whether you want to send your customers an email to remind them about your business, or want a full on Christmas marketing campaign, they can handle it while you’re doing the day to day running of your business.

Au revoir, I’m off to round up a few more dogs and dress them as reindeers so they can pull me around the office in my sleigh.


George the French bulldog and Chops the pug are our resident Marketing Dogs. They are full of fun, cuteness and even sometimes some useful pointers too. You can follow their adventures through their blog, or see their latest updates on twitter.

R&D Tax Credit Opportunities

R&D tax credit opportunities

R&D tax credit opportunities

This is something that we find really interesting, government wants UK companies to innovate their way out of the downturn and are supporting this by providing R&D tax credits as a tax incentive that may reduce your company tax bill.

Your company or organisation can only claim R&D Relief if it is liable for Corporation Tax, and there are two distinct initiatives on offer. These are:

  • The Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Scheme
  • The Large Company Scheme

HMRC logoR&D for Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs)

It is important that your business meets the criteria for SME, which as of 1st August 2008 is stated as:

A company or organisation with fewer than 500 employees and either of the following:

  • An annual turnover not exceeding €100 million
  • A balance sheet not exceeding €86 million

If your company belongs to a larger group or enterprise, it may not be considered an SME and subsequently fail these tests.

The Small and Medium sized Enterprise Scheme has higher rates of relief

From 1 April 2011, the tax relief on allowable R&D costs is 200 per cent – that is, for each £100 of qualifying costs, your company or organisation could have the income on which Corporation Tax is paid reduced by an additional £100 on top of the £100 spent. It also includes a payable credit in some circumstances.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the rate will increase further to 225 per cent from 1 April 2012.

The Large Company Scheme

If your company exceeds the criteria for SME, then a claim is only possible under the Large Company Scheme.

Amount of expenditure for large companies

Tax relief is only available if you spend at a rate of at least £10,000 a year on qualifying R&D costs in an accounting period. The Chancellor announced in his Budget on 31 March 2011 that this limit would be removed for expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2012. There is no upper limit.

Rate of tax relief

From 1 April 2008, the tax relief on allowable R&D costs is 130 per cent – that is, for each £100 of qualifying costs, your company or organisation could have the income on which Corporation Tax is paid reduced by an additional £30 on top of the £100 spent. If instead there is an allowable trading loss for the period, this can be increased by 30 per cent of the qualifying R&D costs – £30 for each £100 spent. This loss can be carried forwards or back in the normal way.

Which R&D projects might qualify for Relief?

HMRC have clearly defined R&D Relief in relation to a claim. If an R&D project seeks:

 “…to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty…”

The project cannot simply advance the companies own state of knowledge or capability.

Furthermore, for accounting periods ending before 9 December 2009, the project must satisfy both of the following conditions:

  • It must be related to your company or organisation’s trade – either an existing one, or one that you intend to start up based on the results of the R&D
  • If your company or organisation is claiming relief under the SME Scheme, it must own any intellectual property that might arise from the project

How to show the project is R&D within the tax definition

There are guidelines that define all the following terms, and it’s important to understand these concepts before attempting to reach a view on whether your company or organisation has an R&D project for tax purposes.

  • Project
  • Advance in science or technology
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Directly contribute
  • Scientific or technological uncertainty

Costs that qualify for R&D tax credit

Costs will be involved in the delivery of the project and the following qualify for R&D relief:

  • Employee costs – the employment of employees actively involved in carrying out R&D
  • Staff provider – paying a staff provider for staff provided to the company directly engaged in R&D
  • Materials – consumable materials directly involved in carrying out R&D
  • Payments to clinical trials volunteers
  • Utilities – power, water, fuel etc used in carrying out R&D – no phone or data costs can be included
  • Software – applications involved in carrying out R&D
  • Subcontracted R&D expenditure – potential for up to 65% of what is paid in R&D activity that is subcontracted
  • Capital Expenditure – Potential for R&D capital allowances claim on capital assets

For all additional information and some useful calculations, more information is on HMRC:

Please get in touch with us for facilitation and recommendations on suitable delivery partners.


Keeping ahead of industry developments and updates can seem a hard task, but we try and make it as easy as possible with our marketing news blogs.

How to Remove Your IP Address from Google Analytics

Remove your IP Address From Google Analytics & Improve Your Reports

Updated: 09/04/20

Google Analytics is a vital tool which helps you to keep track of traffic to your website, see how people are reaching it and what they’re doing when they get there.

But are you using it correctly?

If you do not setup your reports correctly, you will:

  • Show an unrealistic increase in traffic to your site
  • Give you / your client inaccurate data
  • Harm your conversion rates

By including your IP address in Google Analytics, your data will include visits to your site from yourself, and anyone else with the same IP address i.e. your colleagues, and therefore be inaccurate.

Thankfully there’s an easy solution which allows you to exclude your IP address, meaning your statistics will provide a much more accurate reflection of visitors to your site, and it will add credibility to your website reporting.

Watch our short video and read our step-by-step guide now to find out how to exclude your IP address and start using Google Analytics correctly:

Top tip – Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you’re there for tons more free hints & tips on all aspects of marketing

Remove Users from Google Analytics – Step by Step Guide

Tip – Visit and it will tell you your IP addresses for both v4 or v6 depending on your internet provider.

1. Login into your Google Analytics account

login into google analytics

2. Open the relevant website account and click ‘admin’ in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

admin menu

3. In the ‘account’ menu click ‘all filters’, or under ‘view’ click ‘filters’

Google analytics admin filters section

4. Click ‘add filter’
add filter - google analytics

5. Create new filter and then add ‘filter name’ (i.e. exclude my IP address)
add filter to view or account - google analytics

6. Filter type = ‘predefined’ and select ‘exclude’
select filter type predefined - google analytics

7. Select source or destination = ‘traffic from the IP addresses’
select source or destination dropdown - google analytics

8. Select expression = ‘that are equal to’
select expression dropdown - google analytics

9. Add IP address (remember to make sure you know if your IP is either static or public. Having the wrong one could cause incorrect data).

Tip – Visit and it will tell you your IP addresses for both v4 or v6 depending on your internet provider.
select filter overview section - google analytics

10. Save
save button - google analytics

That’s it! A quick and easy way to exclude users using your IP address in Google Analytics.

Can I remove multiple IP addresses in Google Analytics?

You can also exclude multiple IP addresses in the same way, but instead of using a predefined user setting, use the ‘custom’ filter type and use regular expressions. We recommend watching this tutorial on how to use regex expressions in google analytics

If you would like help with SEO, or any other area of your marketing, get in touch with the marketing people now on 01543 495752 for real business