The Marketing Dogs on Exhibitions

the marketing dogs on exhibitions

the marketing dogs on exhibitions

You may know that we run a group of humans at The Marketing People. Well they keep talking about exhibitions, and giving tips on how to make the most of them. But, they don’t have the dogs eye view on things! So we thought we would take a break from running around the office, put on our best ties and give you some tips from a different perspective.

If dogs were in charge of shows, they would be pawesome, and we would focus on these three things:

Free Food … yum

George and Chops with Ice Cream

We will always follow our nose, and if you have tasty treats on your stand, you know we’ll be there! The humans say it’s not essential to offer free stuff, and you should focus on your key messages, and we suppose they’re right, but we just can’t resist some ice cream!

Following your nose doesn’t always take you to stands though. We love to hang out in the café, to try our best puppy dog eyes to get lots of food. But the humans seem to gather there to network, which actually seems a good idea to make the most of the day out! We’d be greeting our 4 legged pals if they were here, and making lots of new acquaintances too. The humans seem much more relaxed doing business here too.


Ooo … Shiny Things

George and Chops destroy their toys

If food isn’t your fancy to get visitors to your stand, shiny things always work with us. Humans seem to react the same when they see pens, highlighters or mugs. I would think something better like a bottle would be good. I love bottles.

We love new toys, and if we see something new, we’re going to run straight to it, and drag our humans with us! So if you’re going to spend all that money on freebies, why not go for something a little more unusual and have people running for the stand? Humans seem to treasure their new ‘toys’, unlike ours, which we seem to destroy quite quickly, so I guess it would be important to have your messages on your freebies. Once you have got our humans attention to the stand though, you need to give them some attention to get them to stay!


Lots of fuss … Ahh

George having fuss from David

We love fuss. And humans do too. We love fuss in the form of someone rubbing our ears or giving us a cuddle. Humans don’t work quite the same, in fact they seem to find it strange if someone rubs their ears. (They don’t know what they are missing!). They seem to enjoy being asked about their business though, actually being listened to, and just having some attention we think, which keeps them talking at a stand.


So there you have it, to gain the humans attention at exhibitions:

  • Meet them in the café (but don’t steal their food!)
  • Put interesting shiny things on your stand to gain attention
  • Once you have their attention, use it!


Then at the end of it all, have a little sleep, because doing business is tiring work and can be a little ruff rough, as is running the office! That reminds me, it’s time for our 10am snooze meeting. Must dash!

George going to sleep


If you want to see more of what the humans say on exhibitions, talk straight to them by calling 01543 495752 to talk through your exhibition set up.

10 things to think about when considering a CRM

10 things to think about when considering a CRM

10 things to think about when considering a CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be a huge asset to a business. They can be your phone book, track your emails, help with your marketing strategy, be your to do list, and even your productivity report.

There are a huge number of CRMs available, all of which have different strengths and limitations. We, at The Marketing People use Hubspot CRM, which we have reviewed.

Setting up and using a CRM requires a huge commitment in terms of time, effort, training, and money, so you need to think carefully before you make your decision.

So where do you even begin? Here are 10 questions you need to ask when considering a CRM.


Why are you considering a CRM system?

Why do you need it? What is going wrong at the moment? It is a really big investment, both in effort and in money; what are your reasons for this change?

What do you want from your CRM?

What do you want to achieve? Do you just want to use it as a record of calls and contact? Do you want to have reports available to managers of productivity? Do you want to grow your prospect list? You need clear goals to pick the right system

Who will be using it?

Will only one person be using it? Will there be 300 people on it? Some systems charge by user, so you need to have an idea of who you want on it.

Who needs to view what? Do you need different access levels?

Following on from who will be using it, you need to know who can view what. Some CRMs have open accounts so all users can see all information. In a bigger company you may need to give certain access to certain people, in which case you will need to look at buying user accounts.

Is it easy to use?

Some CRMs can have every report and action under the sun, but that can make them very awkward to use. CRMs become an extra limb once you have one, and you rely on it constantly, so you need to make sure its user friendly. The last thing you want is for you and your employees to get frustrated with it and want to throw your computer out the window every day.

Is it easy to customise?

CRMs are brilliant, and usually include most things you will need. However, each company is unique, and you are bound to need to re-label things, or add extra elements, to make the system work well for you. How easy is it customise? Will you need to go through the CRM hosting company, or can you change it yourself?

Will it add extra work to your day?

The CRM system is meant to make your life easier, but if your CRM doesn’t meet your needs, or you don’t have the processes in place for it to work correctly, it can quickly become a time suck. Will people be doing jobs twice? If telesales workers have to type notes after the call, it will add time to each call, meaning you have to reconsider targets etc., as you are giving an extra job to do.

What is the CRM’s support team like?

If you have a large team, you are more than likely going to need a strong support base. You are going to need someone to call upon all hours of the day to answer the problems of the many people.If you have a smaller team, you will still require support, but possibly might be able to have one connection who’s available, or have an internal support system before you escalate it to an external support team.

Will you require training?

Will the people who need to use the CRM system be able to use it? If this is the first time using a CRM system, even the most computer savvy can get overwhelmed.Take the time to book training at the beginning, whether this is a group training session, or webinars sent out to individuals.

How much do you want to spend on a CRM?

The big question. How much do you want to spend? This depends on all the above elements. There are some free systems you can use, but that really depends on what you need it for. Extra costs can be found in needing more user accounts, customisation, extra support and extra training.


Once you have established your expectations, you can narrow down the huge list of CRM options available.

You should be able to arrange a free ‘tour’ around the CRM. This can be quite exciting as you see all the new possibilities, but remember to keep coming back to your list. Does it do what you actually need it to do? And, does it do it efficiently?

It is usually best to ensure an actual team member who will use it is on this virtual tour too. Though management are the decision makers, if your top biller can’t make head or tales of the system, it’s going to affect their mood, their attitude and consequently the money they bring in. Having honest feedback from the actual users will save you time and money in the future.


Transferring data to your new CRM

Once you have decided on a CRM, and installed it, the next big task is the set up and transfer of data.

Unless you are a brand new company, you will have to transfer existing data over to the CRM. This takes time. Lots of time. You will need to prepare the data you have so that it is suitable to be uploaded, then depending on the system, and the amount of data transferred, it will take its time to upload too. Though annoying, it is much more preferential than the alternative of manually inputting all of your data.


Set expectations about how you want your employees to use the CRM

Once your data is up and running, you need to allow time to adjust. Though you may have great ideas of how the process will work, they may not be practical when you actual use it day to day. Have an initial plan and trial it, if it takes more time than you expect, or you realise you can capture extra data that would be really beneficial, review the plan and reset the standards for all users.

The worst things about CRMs is when everyone uses them differently, and you have half a collection of data on one contact’s page and an essay on another contact’s page. Set out the essential information that needs to be captured every day or every call.


Then that’s it, the organisation begins. But remember, if it really isn’t doing what you need it to do, change it! There are plenty of CRM’s out there, and they are not one size fits all, keep looking until you get the right one.

You can find more useful articles on customer service throughout our blog, to make sure your customers are receiving the best experience possible.

If you want to utilise the data you have, and create a profitable marketing plan give us a call today on 01543 495752 or take a look at the marketing services we offer.

8 ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

how to increase your linkedin ranking header image

how to increase your linkedin ranking header image

Did you know that LinkedIn has a ranking system? Find out what you can do to boost your LinkedIn ranking and be found by more people.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for making initial contact with prospects, but it can be hard to make sure what you are doing is worthwhile sometimes. Here’show The Marketing People can help you increase your linkedin ranking.

One of LinkedIn’s more recent features is a ranking system, which lets you see where you rank for profile views amongst your connections. As well as creating some competition and drive to regularly use LinkedIn, it also gives you an insight into how easy it actually is to find your profile. You can read in more detail about this feature in this blog by LinkedIn themselves.

8 Ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

Over the last 2 weeks I have improved my personal ranking by 25%. If you don’t know how to get the best out of LinkedIn, and don’t want to pay for premium, this is how I did it for free and you can too.

Find out more about your aims and goals you’re looking to achieve through your social media. Lets see where we may be able to help.

Find out how you rank on LinkedIn

Before we get started, let’s take a look at how you’re currently ranking.

8 ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

Log in to your LinkedIn account, and hover over ‘Profiles’ and click ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’. From that page click on the ’How you rank for profile views’ tab at the top of the page. Or if you are feeling really lazy, just click this link here to see how you rank.

You can then see how you rank amongst your connections, and see how your connections rank. If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can only see how the top 10 rank, and how you rank. If you have a Premium account, you will be able to see everything.

Now you know how you’re ranking, let’s look at 8 ways to increase your LinkedIn ranking.

Schedule posts to increase your LinkedIn ranking

Regular content is key. LinkedIn’s feed only allows a small portion of your updates to be seen. Around 20% supposedly. So the less you post, the less your connections see. The less your connections see, the less they will be inclined to click on your profile. Posting valuable and informative posts makes you a valuable connection, so consider this a priority.

Scheduling updates also means regular content that can be planned in advance. So if you don’t have the option to log in everyday you can spend a small amount of time planning ahead. Which saves you a lot of time, and hassle.

You can’t schedule updates directly from LinkedIn at the moment, but you can do it using a third-party application, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.

Re-connect with old connections

This isn’t quite the same as reconnecting with old friends on Facebook. With LinkedIn, and finding people you have previously working with, you may be able to work together collaboratively now.

Taking a look at their profile will probably mean they look back at your profile anyway. But being able to see from their profile if you are in an industry that is relevant to them now. Or even just that they have posted some great articles, or landed a new role is a great reason to reconnect.

In rankings terms, this could mean that once a notification has gone up on the feed that you two have connected, others may feel the need to view your profile too. Increasing your LinkedIn ranking has other benefits too, this could include a prospect opportunity, a referral, or just a nice catch up.

Welcome new connections

The main purpose of LinkedIn. To connect and work with others. But a lot of us are guilty of not really utilising this to the full. Or perhaps utilising this too much, and adding anyone and everyone.

New connections should be someone you know really. Continuing networking you have started in the real world, either face to face or over the phone. Make the jump to connect with them, and actually make conversation.

Again, the more people’s profiles you look at to ensure you know them, the more likely you are to receive a click back. Which in turn increases your ranking. So don’t be scared to properly view someones profile before you connect with them.

And always view as you, not as an anonymous viewer. Nobody appreciates it, and it will not help your ranking in the slightest.

Follow up from events

If you have attended an event, this is a brilliant opportunity to work with on social media in general. But especially LinkedIn.

Connect with and message those you met, or find the people they referred you to. Find those who posted about the event, or perhaps you saw their name in the networking or event list, but you didn’t get chance to meet.

You have a great opportunity to rapidly increase your rankings in a quick time due to the urgency of an event. Everyone will posts photos or register their attendance online, or will have a flurry of new connections. Get commenting, visiting profiles, and connecting with others to boost your ranking.

Interact with relevant posts

You don’t necessarily just need an event to comment on posts. There are a huge amount of opportunities on LinkedIn to interact with others.

Congratulate connections on new roles or work anniversaries. Congratulate that team who have posted that they are having a great week. Refer others if you see a post asking for help, and you know just the guy.

If you read pulse articles, take the time to write what you thought. You never know how many other people may agree with your point of view and want to connect. Or if you find a certain person’s posts are always valuable, ask to connect yourself. If they have influence, they may influence your ranking too.

If you want people to notice you, and visit your profile to increase your ranking on LinkedIn, you need to take the time to interact. Social media isn’t called social for no reason.

Talk/connect to those who view your profile  

What an opportunity to network! If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can see the five most recent people to view your profile in the past 90 days. If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can see everyone who has viewed your profile in last 90 days, unless they’ve chosen to turn that function off on their account. Which as we’ve said is not an ideal move when trying to rank.

Follow up with those who look at your profile and see if there is anything you can help them with. Even if it was an accidental visit, it shows you are proactive and, once again, begins the conversation between you and a potential prospect.

It also means they will probably view your profile once more. To remind themselves of who you are, and why they visited. More visits means better ranking. And if it’s also a potential lead that’s even better.

Update your profile to boost your linkedin rankings

Keeping your profile up to date means that your profile can provide viewers with relevant and current information about what you do, and who you work for. It also updates the main feed to say you have updated. This means that others will be inclined to check out your profile to see your updates.

More visits to your profile means more rankings. However, don’t take advantage of this tactic too much. If it appears you are updating your content everyday, others may not feel as inclined to click on it, rendering it worthless for improving your ranking.

Publish articles

Publishing articles is a relatively new feature for those on basic profiles, and it is a brilliant opportunity.

Publishing articles means you can attract people who may not normally see your profile. Through searches on LinkedIn’s Pulse feature, and others sharing your article, you can attract prospect to you who are relevant and interested. This is also a good way to build up trust with slow burning prospects by showing you have knowledge in your field.

Having a wider network of people viewing your work will encourage them to view your profile too, and maybe even connect. This is a huge opportunity to improve your ranking, and your connections too.

How to publish LinkedIn articles

Go to your LinkedIn home and click ‘Publish a post’ near the top of the page. This will bring up a new page where you can write your headline, write your article, and upload an image.

Keep your headline around 46 characters long, as it will get cut off in the sidebar if it is any longer. LinkedIn also recommend your image size is 700 x 400 pixels.

It may be a good idea as well to only part publish your article if it appears on your website too. So if people want to finish the article they can click the link to read it on your site. This means you still get your rankings up, but your website doesn’t miss out on traffic.

There are a lot of other ways to increase your presence on LinkedIn and to use it effectively, and this will change for each individual. These are just a few of the basic changes I made, that enabled me to see improvement.

What do you find helps increase your reach on LinkedIn? Have you tried any of our tips? Let us know in the comments.


If you want to read more tips for your social, take a look at our other social blogs. Or if you require a little more help with your company’s social, why not give our friendly team a call on 01543 495752 and take advantage of our free marketing consultation.


5 reasons why your small business needs a website

5 reasons why your small business needs a website

5 reasons why your small business needs a website

Some small businesses feel that a website is only necessary if you sell online, but that’s simply not true. There are many reasons why your small business needs a website, and the majority of them relate to encouraging your audience to visit your business.

Having a website makes things much more convenient for your target audience; they can find out about your business, products, and services easily without leaving the house.

Here are 5 ways a website can help your small business.


Most searches begin online

When someone is looking for a product, service, business, or a solution to a problem, their search will probably begin online. If your business hasn’t got an online presence, then you won’t be a consideration. Not having a website now, is like not being listed in the Yellow Pages in years gone by.

Talking of the Yellow Pages, it’s also important to make sure you have a listing on trusted online directories such as or 118.

Be careful when setting up directory listings; online add your business to trusted directories and directories that are edited by actual people. Adding your business to hundreds of sketchy looking directories can harm your search rankings.

A lot of people like to find out as much as possible about a business before they make a decision on which business, product, or service to buy from. If they can’t find out a lot about your business, or your offering, they make stop considering your business because the lack of information is inconvenient to them.

Yes, they could call, email, or visit you, but during the research stage, people want to use as little effort as possible. If a business makes information readily and easily available, that’s much more convenient and easier than having to call, or wait for a reply.


A website is a place to share important information

Your website gives you somewhere to share important information about your business such as:

  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • The services, products, and brands you offer
  • Your price list
  • If you run a restaurant, you could include a copy of your menu
  • Upcoming events
  • Current offers

As we mentioned earlier, your website is about making things easier for the customer. If you can give them all the information they need, they can make an informed decision about which product / service / business they want to buy from.

If they don’t get that information from you, then they may buy from a competitor who makes things easier for them. Having information about your opening hours can be the difference between someone choosing to visit your shop and buy from you, or going to your competitors instead.


Show off your work

You’re probably aware of the saying “sell solutions, not problems”. People want to see the end result of what they’re buying.

Let’s take one of our clients, Mawson Floors, as an example. Flooring is the kind of thing you definitely want to see examples of; you want to know that the business you’re considering can do a good job and won’t waste your money.

To help potential customers, Mawson Floors show examples of their work on their website, which shows the quality of the work.

Mawson Floors work screenshot

Showing the results of your products / services can also help to set you apart from your competitors.

Imagine your target audience are considering two websites:

  • One contains images and information about the end result
  • The other doesn’t contain images or information about the end result

What do you think sounds more appealing? Being able to see the end result can also help to relieve potential customers’ concerns by showing them that they will get high quality, and it won’t be a waste of their money.

The quality of imagery is also important; a poor quality image (blurry, or dark) could give off the impression that your work is poor quality. High-quality cameras aren’t expensive anymore, in fact most smartphones have good cameras on them if used in well-lit conditions.

If you’re concerned about the quality of images, you could always consider hiring a photographer.


It’s a place to show off your achievements

Anthony John Salons awards screenshot

One of the most important things your website can do is alleviate your audience’s concerns.

None of us want to waste money, and a website can provide reassurance that you are a knowledgeable and experienced business that will not waste people’s hard earned money.

Your website can show:

  • Awards you have won, or been nominated for
  • Any accreditations you have
  • Information about customer feedback – for example, you might say ‘99% of our customers would recommend us’, or ‘over 10,000 happy customers’
  • Media coverage
  • Testimonials and case studies
  • Product reviews – read ‘why customer reviews are important and how to get them


If you haven’t got a website, you’re losing business

The final point wraps up everything in this post so far, and is the biggest downside of not having a website.

If you haven’t got a website, you are almost certainly losing business.

  • Your audience can’t find your business
  • They don’t know where you are
  • They don’t know how your products or services can help solve their problem


It’s not enough to just have a website; it needs to be kept up to date as well as looking up to date.

Consider your own experiences – if you come across a website which looks dark, old, and out of date, you may discount that business entirely because it looks bad and out of date. The appearance of a website can impact how people perceive your business also. If someone sees an out of date website, they may assume that your business is out of date, or not very modern.

If your small business hasn’t got a website, get in touch to talk to us about how we might be able to help your business.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.


What Taylor Swift can teach you about personal branding

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

Image taken by GabboT, used under Creative Commons license.

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is the most relevant and successful example of doing personal brand right. Here are 5 things we can learn from Swifty herself.

Personal brand is an essential part of everyday business. How you represent yourself can severely affect your business, as people buy from people they like and trust. How can you make the most of personal brand?


Change with the times

One of the biggest changes in how people connect with customers or fans, is social media. It’s something that many companies still shy away from, but it can work wonders for your business.

Using Taylor as an example, she was able to gain a fiercely loyal fan base by connecting with them over social media. Responding to their posts. Adding personality to an industry that is famously impersonal. Meant she could propel herself into the spotlight, setting herself apart from other stars who did not appear to care about their fans.

Many customer service responses to Facebook posts and tweets have gone viral. As they show outstanding service. Tesco for example have been in the news a number of times this year. For taking the time to write a poetic reply or even just declaring their love of bacon. Taking the time to reply to the people reaching out to you shows respect, and creates loyalty, and sometimes even a viral campaign.


Stick with your morals

Taylor is well known for calling journalists out when they make a sexist remark, and for speaking quite honestly.

It can be tempting when building up a business, to begin trying to please every prospect, but the truth is, everyone does that, and it only comes back to bite you later if you agree or go along with things you don’t actually believe in.

Stand up for yourself, and respect what you believe and the ethics of how you work. Others will come to respect you, and if they don’t, do you really want their approval or business anyway?


Take the negative on the chin

Taylor is no stranger to being judged and receiving negative comments, mostly about her personal life.

As the old saying goes ‘jealously can be an ugly thing’, and people making negative comments about your business or brand without genuine reason are more than likely worried about the competition.

Unfortunately, you just have to take it on the chin and keep on doing what you do best. Making other people look bad won’t make you look good, and sinking down to someone else’s level will make you look worse.


Use the power you have to empower other businesses

It was one of the biggest news stories of June when Taylor Swift stood up to the big boys Apple, and refused to let her work go out for free. The even bigger news was that Apple backed down and agreed with Taylor that all artists should be paid for their work.

There are a number of things to look at here. Taylor could of stomped her feet and screamed and shouted that it wasn’t fair, but she was savvy, and used her business mind to leverage Apple to see the unfair and accept responsibility. She also didn’t just do this for her music, she did it for all the artists. Meaning artists who haven’t quite gained the same following yet so don’t have the same power behind them still have a voice too.

If you have power or influence and can use it to make changes for the local community and local businesses, use it.


Show you care

If you want a lesson in how to show your audience that you care about them, look no further than Taylor. She is well-known for keeping an eye on her fans and rewarding those who are loyal.

Before her latest album, 1989, launched she invited dedicated fans to secret listening parties after stalking them (or ‘taylurking’ as she calls it) on social media.

In the run up to Christmas, she surprised some fans with gifts, such as $1989 dollars to go towards a fan paying off her student loans, and sending people stage costumes or items of clothing she’d worn.

Now, you don’t have to go as far as offering to pay off your audiences’ debts, but the occasional surprise for a loyal fan, or maybe even a curious prospective customer, can get people’s attention and make you look caring.


Work hard, but celebrate the good

Though Taylor is doing everything you can think off, she still shows that she is a normal twenty something in some ways. Who would believe she’s like us normal people sometimes? She celebrates birthday, days out with friends and dinners with her boyfriend, and that makes this complete superstar who is successful beyond imagination, relatable.

This is where your blogs and things come in to play. Social media is a way for you to connect with your target audience and show you are normal people, you are relatable and you could be part of this family too.

If you’re a small business and think your brand could use some strategy?

Do you know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there? We could help. Call us today on 01543 495752

What information needs to be on a business card?

What information needs to be on a business card

What information needs to be on a business card

Your business card may be the first impression someone gets of your business, so it’s important to make sure your business card contains the right information.

It’s amazing how many people have business cards that don’t do them, or their business, justice. You go to an event or a networking meeting, and the amount of people who have ‘forgotten’ or ‘run out of’ business cards is tremendous. This is the memory of your chance encounter that your prospects will keep, so why are you not making the most of the opportunity?

Here are 5 tips to help you make the most out of your business card, and ensure prospects remember you.


Make sure it contains your key information

First of all, do you have a business card? If you do, does it include the vital and necessary information for someone to contact you?

  • Who are you?
  • What is the best number to contact you on?
  • What is your email address?
  • Have you placed your address so that prospect you are setting up a meeting with knows how to find you?

You also need to take care to spell check your information. If you have misspelt your information, not only does it mean the prospect is less likely to be able to contact you, but they’ll be less likely to want to if you haven’t taken the time to spell check a small amount of information.


Consider how your audience want to contact you

You need to consider how people may want to contact you. Understand that shy people would rather email and have a response before they pick up the phone. Others want to pick up the phone and talk to someone directly and have an instant answer on their query.

If you only provide certain contact information on your business card, you limit who will make the first contact with you, so ensure you leave a good selection. However, be warned, you can include too much information.

If you are adding your Facebook address, Twitter handles, LinkedIn profile, Pinterest account and where to find you on Google+, you may want to scale back a little. Include your key contact information, and leave the social accounts for when people head to your website.


Encourage people to contact you using your preferred contact method

Though people do have preferred methods of contact, you can try and suggest which way is the best way to contact you.

With a business card, it can be as simple as explaining to someone, it is easier to reach you by phone, as you are on the road all day. Prospects will appreciate knowing the best time and method to get in touch, and it will help build a bond, knowing you are making it easy to be contacted.


Make it memorable

Your business card is the part of your company that others get to keep. Do you really want that represented by a flimsy piece of card with the bare minimum printed on? What would you think if you received your business card? Is your brand instantly recognisable?

Ensure your card is not only informative but eye catching. Not only does this give you a better chance of your business card being kept in a safe place, but if it does get thrown on the pile of paper at the office, it will definitely be spotted again.


Use both sides!

When you receive a business card, what is the first thing you do? You read the information on one side, and then you turn it over to look at the information on the back. You have two sides to a card, why are you wasting one?

If all of your info fits neatly on to one side, then why are you not using the other side to promote your business, represent your brand or as an opportunity to sell? Printing one sided business cards is a wasted opportunity.


Not sure what to do with that spare side of your card? Why not have a look at this case study to give you some inspiration? 

Looking to update your business cards? Why not give us a call and speak to one of our friendly team, you can even pop in if you like. Or if you’re looking to read more about print, why not check out our other blogs.