Digital Marketing Live – The Cost of Free Design

the cost of free design

As a part of our Digital Marketing Tuesday series, Pete and David recently went live and discussed The Cost of Free Design. If you couldn’t tune in live on Tuesday don’t worry, here’s a rundown of everything you missed.

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“If it’s free design it means you’ll probably like it because it’s just what you thought you wanted, but it might not be what’s needed. It’s worth a little investment sometimes figuring out that message first and then designing effectively across any touchpoint.”


(DAVID) Good afternoon everybody, David from The Marketing People here, and you probably already know Pete our Digital Marketing Manager too. We’re not going to take too much of your time because it’s the run-up to Christmas and everyone’s pretty busy, so we’re just jumping on the live stream quickly to discuss the cost of free design.


(PETE) It’s a topic that can take us a day and a half full of presentations to discuss, but really, we wanted to give people food for thought, that’s why I’ve invited you [David] on today to give a deeper depth of the conversation. We talk to businesses all day every day and they’re all saying, “can you do us a free design?”. Now in my past life, I ran a leaflet distribution company, and we used to get this all the time. I wanted to invite you on today David to really talk about what is the true cost of free design?


(DAVID) Before we start, I must mention the shirt I’m wearing. Apparently, we got a lot of feedback and comments about the shirts I wear, and after you all choosing which one I should wear for the next live video, the pug one won! This is a pretty good choice, and it’s a pretty good design I hasten to add. Thank you to those that got in touch and requested and voted for the different shirts, this is the shirt that won.

But onto free design, it’s not just concerning print. Most people think free design comes with just print but over the years and more prominently now, it is actually across all touchpoints. The cost of free design? Monetary… zero. On outlay… zero. Let’s say you’re having leaflets produced, which can get distributed, handed out, put in invoice letters, or whatever you’re going to do. For the message that’s going to go on there, you’ll sit down taking your time to figure out what it is you need to say and focus on with this leaflet. You’ll think about all the important points and advertise what you’re really good at, and take all this information to the printers. The print designers will collate all your content and logo, and stick it all on the leaflet, as best they can.pete and david discussing the true cost of free design

Once printed, you’ll look at it and think “yes, that’s exactly what I asked for and they’ve put all the things that I wanted on there.” You may end up not getting the results you wanted from the leaflet and the time you spent giving that information to the printer and the ‘free time’ they took to put it on that paper actually could do more harm than good. The message might not be the right message, sometimes if you’re not careful you turn people off that were already working with you, because they’ll realise what you’re saying on this leaflet isn’t really what they previously thought of your business.

We’ve seen this happen before, and recently we have just worked with a UK national Association as they sent an advertisement brief to a large publication company and it came back, and it was nothing like the message or the structure they wanted to put across. They then asked us to design the advertisement and send it off to the publication using their specifications.

As Pete said, across anything, whether it’s a digital ad, a printed leaflet, an advert in a publication, or an advert online, even down to your website. The cost of free design is actually more cost-effective if you have it designed with the correct messaging.

I’m not going to sell our services, that’s not what these things are about, it’s to bring to you and highlight that thought process. People have had free design done, and then realised what you can have designed for you at a small cost have realised it’s worthwhile the small investment to get the right message, to get the right visual aspect across. Sometimes less is more as it is on digital ads, isn’t that right Pete? If you try and cram too much in what happens?


(PETE) Absolutely, you can say too much, and this is a journey. The leaflet that your potential or current customers have seen- that’s one touchpoint, that’s one of many that you can have out there and if you’re going down the free route all the time and being persuaded by free design it can be damaging for your brand messaging.

I’ve got case studies from years ago, a roofing company that we ran the leaflet drop for down in Solihull. Their leaflet was just put together on the back of a coaster by a big national company and it ended up costing them a couple of thousand pounds because they lost customers.


(DAVID) Also, you can give a mixed message, sometimes you’ll find that on some of these elements you’re trying to ask too many things in one go. Be specific when you’re doing digital ads, you need to have one specific thing that you’re targeting, not an overall because people want to know what it is that you’re offering, and they can get in touch. Then they get back to your website or give you a call depending on what the call to action is, then you can cross-sell and upsell. Targeting the right message for the right type of person, knowing who your market is, knowing what you want them to do, but of course, you’re going to make sure you get that message right and that takes some clever design. It’s got to be engaging and appealing, it’s got to attract them and engage them to do what you want and make them think it was their idea.

We’ve seen and spoken about examples where free design can give the wrong impression if the design company doesn’t understand your particular business.


(PETE) I was going to ask, David, you could go to a web design company, printing company, or signage company and they will happily design something for you, but from our perspective, how would we approach something like that?


the marketing people discuss the true cos of free design(DAVID) Well, we approach our work from a marketing perspective, and the design has to achieve something rather than simply selling a client 5,000 leaflets. Print might not be the best method for everyone, however print does work and we use print, we try and be as eco-friendly as possible but print does work it stands out at the moment. We design for the job the advertisement has got to achieve, not for just what the MD wants (no offence MDs). You know what you’re like MD’s you’ll want to get as much across as possible and you’re really proud of your business, and that’s great! But there’s a time and place for those messages, there can be too many elements in one part, and customers might not be sure what to look at. It can be the same for leaflets, too much going on. Stripping it back, looking at what the target audience needs to know to do that next step, then you can convert them and sell them at the next step.

So, horses for courses whatever it is Pete, if it’s free design it means you’ll probably like it because it’s just what you thought you wanted but it might not be what’s needed. It’s just worth a little investment sometimes figuring out that message first and then designing effectively across any touchpoint.


(PETE) I would like to add if you get something for free there’s quite possibly a copyright issue there. The person who designed it will own the copyright, they’ll never usually give you that copyright to re-reproduce artwork or whatever you want to do with those elements. They’ll often retain or watermark the design, so just be careful of this regarding free design.


(DAVID) On that point, we have done web projects in the past and have had to ask clients “where are your images from?” and they’ve often responded, “it was in the public space, it’s fine, it’s from Google”. You should be very careful doing this, just because images are o Google does not mean they’re free to use, you can get a lot of trouble using images that aren’t owned by you. There are better ways of sourcing your own images.

Overall, if you’re looking at designing something you don’t have to come to us, it’s fine. Just sit down and think about the free design, is that person going to help you with the marketing messages? Is that person going to be able to design effectively for what it is you’re trying to achieve, or are you just getting someone to bash it together? That may sound harsh, but graphic design is three, four years at university- the same as marketing it’s a university degree. Free design designers may not have the knowledge and experience to create effective messaging. This is an investment in a message to get you more business and growth, which is worth a bit of time and investment, isn’t it?

On that note, thank you very much for inviting me on today, Pete.


(PETE) If you’ve got any comments about this topic please leave them below. Remember it can cost you a pretty penny or two in the long term and short term as well because this is free design and you may not have full control over the messaging portrayed.

We approach design from a marketing perspective and understanding exactly what marketing is, and that’s a whole other conversation!


(DAVID) We know cheapest isn’t always best and ask yourself, “is it really good value by having something designed for free?”


(PETE) Well, I can’t sign off any better than that guys, so if we don’t speak to you before next week, Merry Christmas, have a great one, have a safe one, take care.

the marketing people advise the true cost of free designing

How to Get a Return on Investment from Your Marketing

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

How much time, effort and money are you wasting on marketing that doesn’t work? Watch our short video now to increase your return on investment (ROI) on all marketing campaigns.

The Marketing People’s Managing Director David Mitchell FCIM discusses the common mistakes many business owners make when marketing their products or services. Before going to market, stop and think about your business- your competitors, your sector, where you are now and where you want to be. This pre-marketing stage will ensure you clarify who you are, what you do, your target audience and their requirements, so you can capitalise on your ongoing marketing activities and increase your return on investment.

Stop wasting time and money. Watch our short video here:

Video: How Pre Marketing Can Help Your Business

Stop wasting money on Marketing that doesn’t work!

For your convenience, please find below a step-by-step guide to pre-marketing and how it can help your business:

Marketing isn’t getting Mary in reception to send some letters out, or do a few emails, or make a few phone calls. That’s not marketing. That’s just pushing some messages at somebody, trying to get some sales, and people are wise to that.

So, what is marketing?

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, it is, “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitability.”

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Our version here at The Marketing People is, “Getting people to do what you want, and make them think it was their idea. To attract, engage, convince, and convert.”

So, over the years we’ve worked out a strategy to help people identify the best way to use their marketing, and develop their marketing.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Most people come to us and say, “I want some marketing doing. I need a brochure; I need a new website because mine isn’t working; I need some Google Ads; I need some Facebook Ads, or I need some search engine optimisation (SEO).” This is because they’re desperate to start getting more out of their marketing, and they’ve realised they’re losing their place in the market. Their competitors are gaining their business.

There’s a key step before all that.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

This explains to you how you can get more out of your marketing investment and it not be a cost. It’s the pre-marketing step, which most people forget; not just small business owners that come in and see us, some big business owners, some corporate business owners, all those people who are middle management.

Most of the time we’re talking to the MDs and the CEOs so we can have a real down to earth conversation about what it is that the business requires, and we work against those objectives.

So, you want to do that- sit down and think about what your business is and where it sits. What are the key things, and your points of difference to your competitors?

Have a look at the pre-marketing step and this will really help you get more out of your marketing budget, and the resources you have.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Stop. Do not keep putting the cart before the horse. Most people do it, you’re not on your own.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Our pre-marketing materials can be downloaded from our website here.

But, here’s the short version.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Pre-marketing is all the green stuff that nobody’s doing. They’re all on the blue bit. They come in, “I want some direct marketing, I want an email campaign, I want my exhibition and events sorted. And, I need some pull-ups, pop-ups or whatever it is.” Well, what’s going to go on it? And what should be on there? Why should it be on there?

Who you are and what you offer. Your competitors. Your target audience- what do they want? Do you know what they want? Well you can find out; we can work it through. What is your name and your brand, and positioning? Is that correct in the sector that you’re in? So what do you need to say, and how do you need to say it to get those people to convert to be customers? To attract them in the first place, then engage, convince, and convert.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

If you get all that right, when you do go to market for the SEO, for the AdWords, or the other bits that you think you should be doing, that’ll be on target. That’ll be in line with what it is that your potential customers want. You won’t waste your money. You’ll actually be utilising that budget effectively. So again, stop, go back and look at yourself from a competitor’s point of view as well. They’re looking at you. You should be looking at them.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

So where are you now? Good question. Where is the business? Where are you not capitalising opportunities? Are there available elements within your marketing strategy to get more of the right type of client? What’s your steady type of client? The profitable ones? Where’s your cash cows? Which are the ones we need more of? How can we target them? What do they need from you?

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

And then, of course, where do you want to be? What are the objectives? What are your business needs? What are your targets? Let’s find out because then we can do something that makes it work. So, sit down and think about it and make a marketing plan. Have the right type of clients, but map that out, and then make a strategy to fit that so you achieve those objectives, not just waste money on stuff that you think might be a good idea or the next technology that’s coming out.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Okay, let’s fill that gap in the near future. We say near future because things change. People’s habits are changing the way they work, the way they buy. If it’s business-to-business, business-to-consumer, there is a certain model that you can use for both, but habits are changing, so be aware of that. Be adaptive and keep going back to this pre-marketing step.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

It’s new tech, same principle. When it comes down to it, it’s pretty basic. I’m not going to give you loads of acronyms and techie things that are going to go, “You need this, you need that.” You don’t. What you need is the right mission statement. The right element to go through it. We know that we have strangers, to promoters, and there’s a cycle that people go through.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Every business goes through these stages. Basically, it’s quite simple: our objective working in a business is, we want to get strangers, to customers, to promoters. It doesn’t finish with the customer by the way; make sure after all the effort you’ve put in, in getting them, converting them, and getting them as a customer, that you then get them to promote you as well.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

It’s nothing new. I’ve called it pre-marketing, because a lot of people miss that step, and it is before you start what most people consider the marketing elements. It’s nothing new, it’s the same old stuff. It’s just applied through different technologies and different ways of communicating, but it is a crucial step.

Sit down now and think about every time you’ve gone to your web designer and told him exactly what you want- you’ve told him how you want it to look and what kind of feel you want. Well, when people come to us and say that, I turn to them and say, “Well, the reason it isn’t working is your fault then.” Which isn’t meant to upset anybody, but it’s true. You’ve told someone what you wanted, and all they did was do what you said so you were happy, but is it what your customers need to enable you to develop your business?

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Sales and marketing. Whatever channel- traditional, spoken, face-to-face, exhibition, whatever channel it’s on, it’s all the same stuff. It’s got a purpose to attract, engage, convince, and convert, and if it’s not doing that, then don’t waste your money.

Actually, strategically, if I was going to the doctors, because I’m not feeling very well, you’d go to the doctor, he’d tell you what’s wrong with you., and if he couldn’t fix it, you’d be off to the hospital, to professionals. Same with your accountant. Same with your solicitor. You’d be asking professionals, look, there’s an issue here, I need it fixing.

Marketing is a profession, not a hobby. It’s not something you can do in your spare time.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

So, pre-marketing, think about it. It’s a crucial step. It’s going to help you. Whether you get in touch with us or not doesn’t matter, as long as you use this video to do something. The people who have been to our seminars have come away going, “Blooming hell, I didn’t realise how much I wasn’t doing in the first step, which could save me a fortune in cost.” It shouldn’t be a cost mark, it’s a good investment, if done properly. A bit like buying a property, you’ll target the right one, you’ll do your research, you’ll figure out it’s right. Do the same with your marketing.

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Beat your competition. Get that horse in front of the cart.

Don’t tell any lies. Be polite, be honest, and in line with what the audience requirements are, not what you want.

Now, would you like marketing that’s going to actually earn you business?

Pre-marketing The Marketing People

If you’ve got some insights, or things that you think could help, then great, please comment below. If you’d like more information, then get in touch.

For marketing that focuses on a return on investment (ROI), call us today on 01543 495752 for a friendly chat to see how we might be able to help you.

Google My Business: How to Improve Your Local SEO in Under 5 Minutes

Improve your company’s local search rankings with Google My Business

Watch our short video and dramatically increase your local web visibility immediately.

It’s easy to set up, it’s extremely effective, and best of all, it’s totally FREE.

The Marketing People’s SEO Manager John Hoey shows you the simple steps to set up your Google My Business account and easily connect with customers based upon your location. Easily add your email address, phone number, cover photo and other information contained in the business profile. This can be done once you have verified your account to improve rankings.

Don’t miss out. Watch our quick video here

Video: Improve your Local SEO by setting up Google My Business

A quick and easy guide on how to setup your google my business account and attract local customers

For your convenience, please find below step-by-step instructions from the video on how to get your business live on Google:

Google My Business is a free piece of software that Google offer, so anyone around the world can set up their business.

Google my business knowledge panel - The Marketing People SEO

By searching The Marketing People in Google, look at the box on the right-hand side with our logo, telephone number, opening hours and reviews included.

Google my business setup stage 1

Click here and sign in. The first thing it asks for is your business name, so type that in and click next.

Adding a google my business location - step 2 - The Marketing People SEO

Next, do you want to add a business location where customers can visit you, like a shop or an office? By typing in your business address, this allows Google to display your location on Google Maps.

Attract Google My Business customers outside your location

what areas do you serve

Now it will ask, do you serve customers outside of this location? If so, it will prompt you to specify where. Be selective with the areas you include and don’t flood it with every city in the UK; this won’t improve your Google My Business listing.

adding categories to your gmb account

Your business category is next on the list. Google will copyright you for the categories that you input, so make sure you select the most relevant one.

what contact details do you want to show customers

Next up is your contact details. Add your telephone number and website address. If you need help with designing and developing a new website, or you need some changes making to your existing website, please call us.

Finish and Verify your Google my Business account

Once you have clicked finished, Google will send you a postcard through the post to your physical location. Once you have received this, go back here and enter the code that’s on the postcard. This will complete the optimisation.

Now it’s time to populate your page.


GMB user interface

You’ve got all this information down the left-hand side, including your address and your service areas. You can add your opening and closing hours and any special hours for Christmas, Easter or any religious celebrations. You can also easily post photos, blog posts or anything else that may help your search results.

Knowledge panel when logged into google

So there you have it, there’s a really quick and simple, free business tool to improve your Google rankings with your gmb listing.

SEO is a fundamental part of the overall process of delivering inbound enquiries, engaging effectively, and convincing and converting those visitors to customers.

Take advantage of our free SEO audit to discover where you are listed on Google, and how to appear ahead of your competitors.

For an SEO contract that provides a return on investment (ROI) call The Marketing People now on 01543 495752 to find out how we can help.

What is the best marketing strategy for an exhibition?

TMP Exhibition stand

Exhibiting at a trade show or event isn’t just about the day itself; there is a lot of preparation and follow-up work needed to make your exhibition as successful as possible.

So, how can you make the expense of exhibiting worth it for your business? Here are eight steps to running a smart exhibition campaign in a digital age.

1.Hatch the plan

So, you’ve seen an exhibition that looks like it may be fruitful, and decided to take the plunge. You book your space and you’re off.

Now what? You need to create a marketing strategy that goes further than just your objectives for that day, and this will determine how you go through the next seven steps.

Consider why you are taking on this exhibition: what do you hope to achieve, and who do you hope to meet? How will people interact with you, and what will attract them to the stand and then convince them to convert? Lay out all your plans, so that throughout the next steps, you have something to revert back to.

Begin to plan your stand and what is it going to look like. Consider the likes of pop up banners, display stands, and perhaps even lighting and flooring, depending on what space your package includes. These things can take a little while to design, produce and be delivered or installed, so it may be worth getting these in motion early, so they are ready in time for your exhibition (and it leaves plenty of time for any issues that may crop up to be dealt with.)

By setting up the goals and pipeline now, you have something solid to keep referring back to so, though your plans on how to achieve it may change, your goals won’t.

2. Lay the groundwork

Now you have your plan, you can begin to lay out the very beginnings of the groundwork. Think about following the event on social media, and posting that you will be attending.

Start to mention it to your clients in conversation, as well as if you are out networking, that you will be attending the event.

Start to assess your social media and website to ensure they are all updated, as you will hopefully be experiencing more traffic over the next few weeks. Do you have the best images on your social and the correct contact information? Does your website have up to date branding, messages and products? Take the time to sort the foundation out before you begin to look at adding offers and such on to the website and social networks.

3. Build the suspense

Now people know that you are attending this event, build on it. Perhaps post a blog to show your team preparing goody bags for the show, or a little bit of what your stand will look like. Now would be a good time to announce any on-stand offers you will be running too, to give people motivation to go. You could also include links to where people can book tickets, and find out more about the event.

You can then share this blog across your social media, with the announcement of your offers, and where people can buy tickets, as well as beginning to connect with other exhibitors who will be there on the day.

4. Edge your bets

Our very own David Mitchell & Pushpa Alexander from Headz Up Business

You will have picked this show no doubt because of the attendees you will have visit your stand, and it is true that nothing attracts people to your stand more than a crowd. Which is why inviting your current customers to come and visit you on the stand is always a good idea.

This could be through an email, or a direct mail campaign to your clients, detailing where you are exhibiting and when. This can be as an all-guns-blazing marketing email showcasing all of the on-stand offers you have available, or it could be a simple email to say you are attending so may not be able to respond to email that day, but they could come and join you for a day of fun instead.

Some of your customers or clients you may have never actually met face-to-face before, so this could be a great time to put a face to a name. If you have enough people on your stand, and you are at an event near some of your clients, it may be a good idea to arrange a meeting at the event and utilise the time you are there.

5. Prepare your troops

David & Amanda Mitchell having fun at the Expo

Depending on the size of your company, you could have your whole team attending the expo, or perhaps a dedicated handful of exhibiting experts, but whatever the size or experience of your troops, you need to ensure a number of things before you set off for the event.

Is there a sufficient brief?

Does your team know what you want to achieve from the day, and how you expect them to do this? Everyone needs to be on the same page, and have a clear picture of what you are all working towards.

Have specific roles been set out?

Do you have people who are better at grabbing the attention of passers-by, who have the knowledge to know the difference between a lead and a ‘just browsing’? Do you have experts who can take over these quality leads? Do you have a representative who will be arranging follow-up appointments? Do you have someone who is going to be managing your social on the day, and gaining images for future marketing purposes? Who is managing your team, and ensuring people take breaks etc?  

Do you have offers in place?

If you have offers in place, make sure your team knows them inside out. There is nothing more frustrating for attendees (or embarrassing for your team) than staff members having to ask each other the details of an offer.

6. Ride the wave

All set up and ready to go

It’s finally here, and its exhibition time, so what do you do? Enjoy it! With your objectives in mind, talk to as many people as possible, collect as much information as possible, whilst making use of all the tools you have available to you.

Use your social channels to send out a few blasts on your day- how people can find you, why people should pop over to your stand, and if people aren’t there, what they are missing out on.

There are plenty of live streaming options available now which could be done straight from your phone, such as Periscope or Facebook Live. This works especially well if you are running a competition on your stand, and broadens your exhibition audience to those who aren’t at the exhibition.

7. The next step

In no way is the exhibition the last step, and this is where most people fall down.

You have done this exhibition for a reason, and we can bet that the majority of your objectives relate to gaining leads or increasing brand awareness. Yes, some of this is done at the exhibition, but the bulk of the work is done when you get back to the office, and you have to close those leads, or take advantage of any awareness you’ve gained.

So, let’s break this down on how you can fully capitalise on the opportunities you now have at your fingertips.

First and foremost, schedule your time efficiently

If you are out of the office for a day or two, you are most likely going to head back to a pile of paperwork, and a bulging inbox. Add this on to all the extra exhibition work you wouldn’t normally be completing, and you can end up in a mess rather quickly.

Manage your time, and work with your managers and your team to prioritise the tasks on your to-do list. It is easy to panic and flap, and never call back anyone who left their details with you, but by managing your time when you return (or even planning it before you go) you can complete your own work, plus make the most of these extra opportunities.

Follow up your leads

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but if people have genuinely shown interest in your products or services, then talk to them. Whatever your method of sale, go for it: you have qualified leads you have met face-to-face who have said they are interested. You are not going to get a better time than that to approach people.

Social media

You may have spoken to several people at the exhibition who have not shown immediate interest in your product, but may do in the future, or you may have just had a good chat, and it’s worth staying connected. This is where social media is great, as you can connect but there is no sales pressure. You can still see what their company is up to, and when might be a good time to approach them in the future. It is also great exposure for you as well if the event has had some buzz, and you can join in on the conversation.


What happened at the exhibition? Tell people about it. If you decide to do this all again next year, why should people come and seek you out? Show them what great fun it was, and post your blog on social media. This may get shared by other people who attended, and drive more traffic back to your website.


All that hard work you’ve put into the blog? Re-use that content and send an email out to your marketing list. Tell them how great the expo was and if they can still take advantage of any exhibition offers.


If you did have on-stand offers that were advertised on your website, then make sure they are taken back down. Now would be the time to add any valuable knowledge you gained at the expo on to your website. Perhaps several people asked you the exact same question. Is this worth adding a new page for? Writing a blog about it? Or even just adding a quick note to your FAQs? If you are driving more people back to your website through social media, blog and emails, then make sure it really provides all the information a customer needs to make their decision.

Feedback to all

Speak to your team, and to anyone involved, and let them know the outcome. What did they achieve? Did you complete your objectives? What will you be doing differently next year? By not feeding back, any motivation for the next event will be depleted, and general atmosphere can drop if people feel the really hard work of the last few days has gone un-noticed and un-appreciated.

8. Want to get really smart?

If you have a little spare time, and spare budget, it may be worth considering a 360 video ready for virtual reality. Reach more people than just your exhibition audience, by showcasing your stand in all its glory. Or perhaps create a more immersive experience for those who visit your stand by letting them experience your product in virtual reality, or let people tour your whole showroom without ever leaving your stand.

How we can help

Let us help you with your marketing materials

Are you exhibiting this year? We can help you from the initial planning of your stand, to the creation of your stand, and the follow up afterwards.

If you require any stationery for your stand, we can help to design and produce leaflets, business cards, feedback forms or any other printed media. Pull up banners can be really effective if designed properly, so speak to us to make sure they are eye-catching and impactful.

We can create on-screen presentations so that people visiting your stand can find out a little more about your products or services in a succinct and persuasive manner.

As mentioned in the blog, it is important that your website and social pages are up to date before you exhibit, as you will certainly be getting more traffic to your site following the event. We can take the hassle out of this for you and update and improve your website before and after the big day.

To ensure you are getting seen online, take advantage of our free SEO initial audit. We add real value to any SEO contract we provide by offering monthly reports and meetings to monitor and manage your ranking, making changes to the copy writing or anything else needed to boost your listing.

Get your marketing strategy right and reap the rewards of exhibiting. If you’d like to have a friendly chat on how we could work together, call us today on 01543 495752.

Rebrand – case study

Saligent Blog Visuals


Rebrand – case study

– If any of the following applies to your business, then maybe a rebrand might be right for you.

  • your business has changed over the years
  • products, services, staff or customers have changed
  • your simply not sure about how you are perceived, positioned or appear in the market against your competition, customers, products or services
  • need to get to the next level? know what you want but not sure how to get there?

What can you do?

Many believe that a rebrand is about super creative people sitting around a table exchanging name suggestions, producing visual creativity mood boards and attempting, innovative ways to provide unique, impactful ideas to promote a business. This is partly true, but it won’t provide real intelligent, effective marketing, if done in isolation.

A purely creative approach can often produce hard to understand, abstract and sometimes meaningless marketing, with no real intelligent forethought for the real objectives of any individual business. A rebrand as a result, is not as simple a process as it may seem.

All of the really creative and exciting stuff noted above can and may well be applied, but only once a strict creative brief has been discovered. This brief requires a more logical process. It will follow tried and tested conventions in marketing theory and development. To show some elements of this process, lets take a case study of what we did for one of our clients.


‘D2 business development’ – approached us, having been already in trade for approximately 18 months. They knew something wasn’t quite right in their market positioning. They were open to a full and frank discussion about their approach to the business and its current marketing. Through a thorough consultation, we were able to discover what the real objectives of the business were and challenge some aspects of the model.  We found out who the competition was and who they needed to target. We then aligned these objectives with some in depth positioning work that would describe the business perfectly.

Once we had done this we agreed with D2 that a rebrand would be most effective. We now knew its true positioning, and this would inform the rest of the project providing control, consistency, effective key tone, messaging and visual creativity going forward.

Renaming – the naming convention

Remember a rebrand might not always require a name change but in this case, it did. Naming a business isn’t just a matter of brainstorming, co-design, ideation or an algorithm driven, ‘whacky name generator’ to create a name. The convention follows a logical, process driven creation, through a living document. It tests, analyses and validates relevant words to form an appropriate shortlist. This will then morph, merge, discount and provide names to research further.

It’s a tried and tested process that works extremely well in forming a name that sounds just right, feels established and is effective against the business’ objectives. It will create the basis for a successful and credible brand, for any of its potential clients to ‘own’. The work also included research on existing names at Companies House, URL domains, trademarks, international meanings, customer perception, competition analysis and legal repercussions. The process is thorough and provides proof of discovery.

Brand Development

Now we were positioned and had a name that met the targeted requirements, we were able to develop some key factors through intelligent, creative marketing. This provided key messaging, tone and a visual brief for the next step in brand development. Find out more about Branding here.

Graphic design

Using the brief, we set to translate this into graphic design for the brand ID or logo. This would go on to set the format for all business stationary, web development and social media graphics, posts, articles and business representation for all strategy and eventual tactical outputs going forward. The design focused on the positioning and brand development to portray a credible business, unique, recognisable and memorable within its market position.

Site scoping

Only now do we start thinking about what we needed for the website, to be the best it can be for a potential web visitor. The scoping was designed in line with its use across all screen sizes and mobile device formats.  It should provide a quick and efficient structure to enable a successful user journey, from ‘visitor to lead & contact’ in the easiest and most efficient way possible and without breaking the budget.

Dynamic copy

Our copy writing took direction from the client but at the same time, applied techniques from years of marketing experience, to get the business message and brand across perfectly and in a way that matched the target audience’s expectations. It should direct them to more information if need be, or relevant calls to action that can change dynamically. Ultimately it should prompt the visitor to contact the business, whilst remaining subtle against discovered objectives and approach to its positioning.



Of course, each part of the development was timed and carried out in agreement with D2. We made sure everything was in place to continue each stage. For example, formation of the new business at Companies House, domain ownership, business diary entries and seasonal sales fluctuations. We also consulted on the best way to inform on-boarding and previous clients of the rebrand. We leave no stone unturned. The new business, ‘Saligent’ was formed and launched successfully.

If you want to see what the end results were, follow this link to their new website.

To Conclude

This work marks a major re-brand for the company, formerly D2 Business Development.  Managing Director, Chris Davies, is well aware of how sales and marketing work together through a common goal for growth. His business develops your sales, whilst we provide him with the tools and an effective way for potential clients to discover Saligent.

Contact Us

Contact us now @ The Marketing People to see how we link up and develop marketing for your business. We can advise on your rebrand, refresh or on any other marketing matter. Just pick up the phone 01543 495752 or email

Brand Positioning & Funky Wunky Doo Dahs

Brand Poistioning - Funky Wunky Doodahs logo

Brand Poistioning

Brand Positioning & A New Website – Funky Wunky Doo Dahs

Brand positioning is a vital element when considering any business’ marketing. Here is an example of how we used brand positioning to best effect in one of our latest projects. The ‘positioning is key’, to all other elements.

When Funky Wunky Doo Dahs approached us with a view to working together, we were intrigued. Not only because it was a surprising name, but because we really wanted to know what Funky Wunky Doo Dahs was all about. Brand positioning? What was Funky, what was Wunky and what were the Doo Dahs going to say to potential customers?


Actually one of the first conversations we had with the Managing Director Sandra, from Funky Wunky, was whether or not the name worked in relation to the business and the industry it operated within. The first part of our consultation formulated the work on brand positioning and validated the business name objectively. Ultimately, both the client and The Marketing People agreed that the name could in fact work, as long as we positioned it correctly.

This was the start of a super project and Sandra has been a superb example of a customer who would work hard with us throughout the consultation process, allow for our positioning work and feedback constructively on subsequent graphic and website design elements.

Both parties knew we had to challenge the brief to get the best results. We think the results are now perfect for attracting the ‘right kind’ of customer for Funky Wunky.

What did we do?

  • Consultation – a two-way dialogue challenging the initial brief and to discover a new, more effective way forward.
  • Brand Positioning – now we had something to go on, we started work on the brand positioning statement. One that would best describe the business’ proposition and guide key messaging, tone and visual content later on.
  • Strapline – from the Brand Positioning we were able to develop a key statement to encapsulate the business succinctly. It was developed to help represent a more recognisable, memorable brand ID.

Before and after

  • Corporate & Brand ID – through intelligent graphic design, the working brief and the brand positioning, we could now work on the key visual elements and brand ID/Logo. Above you can see some comaprison against the competition and the previous ID/Logo. We needed to retain some ‘levity’ and ‘fun’ within the brand, but keep the ‘funkiness’ under control. The marketing should still represent the business’ tone, expert service and value proposition. To conclude and without making light of the hard work in its development, the design remained ‘funky wunky’, but still communicated a serious interior design outfit, with a little extra refinement still in check within its offering.
  • Business Cards – now with some key visuals, we were able to design some business stationary and then provide the business cards to go alongside it.

Brand Positioning Example

  • Business Website – prior to any visuals, or graphic design we needed to make sure the website would engage potential customers effectively and lead them easily and quickly through the services and products on offer. The site scoping enabled us to simplify the structure of the current website and make it easy for users to understand the benefits and services funky wunky doo dahs offer, and guide them to purchase a range of items available online.
  • Site Plan & Wireframes  – were produced to confirm the strategy, overall technical and functional design plus the e-commerce integration. From agreement, we then set about creating the visuals to match the brand positioning, the users requirements and the business objectives. Assisted with the copy and calls to action, managed image resizing & placement. Developing a fully responsive, re-sizable for any screen and mobile device, SSL certified secure website.



  • E-commerce Solution – you can also purchase other items from Funky Wunky Doo Dahs to enhance your ‘inspired, designed, interior‘. We were mindful of this throughout the scoping and design process. We had to tie in the user experience and direct visitors efficiently to other parts of the business that might be of interest to them. Something they could purchase easily, without detracting from the interior design service, which is front and foremost.


  • Training – on top of everything else, we enabled full access to the website. Sandra is now able to login, blog, change copy and administer small changes to the site. She can upload new products, change certain aspects and yet keep the balanced marketing UX (user experience) structure under control. The website always remains in a client’s full ownership, so we can enable this for those who are confident in its use. We can do everything, upload products, provide photography and write all of the copy, but we are also happy to guide a client and allow them to pitch in. Sometimes this can help with your business’ budget.

Have a Look at the Website!

All in all, this has been a great project to work on. More products and content will be going onto the site as Sandra develops the business further, but feel free to take a look now.

Inspired, Designed, Interiors

If you’re thinking of refreshing your interior design, give Funky Wunky Doodahs a call on 01785 229306 for a consultation.

But if you’re looking to refresh your marketing… call The Marketing People now on 01543 387 047 for a free initial consultation.

Website Lead Generation

website lead generation

RebrandWebsite Lead Generation for Normans Book Keeping & Payroll

  • Our brand development and subsequent website lead generation has been a massive success! We tied it all in together and provided the web visitor with just what ‘they needed’.

‘Book keeping is boring, isn’t it?’ We beg to differ…

When the managing director from Norman Book Keeping & Payroll came in to see us, he was interested in ‘refreshing’ his website. He wanted to grow the business, targeting particular types of customers and appeal to those looking for the right kind of help. From Owner managed business to larger SME’s, looking for expert bookkeeping and payroll services. A little frustrated, he had tried once before but it didn’t seem to have made any difference. The business still had no inbound inquiries from the website. He realised that the traditional method of just telling a website designer what you want, doesn’t work very well, without the right marketing know how. Let’s see how we applied our knowledge into marketing his business correctly and effectively.

previous website

In a nutshell we needed to do the following.

‘futurise his business in line with his customer’s needs and the book keeping industry’s competitive landscape.’

This now became a little more interesting.

The previous business marketing showed a dowdy, but functional business involved in providing all of the things you would expect in bookkeeping and payroll services. After consulting for a short while, we realised this wasn’t all they did. They actually provided some pretty amazing innovative services, allowing for online cloud-based book keeping services  in partnership with Xero. This allows for easy integration with, spreadsheets, Sage & Quickbooks, plus a plethora of different mobile apps driving information into a modern and exciting book keeping model. Some of these apps include the likes of Go Cardless, Shopify, Paypal and Stripe.

Norman Bookkeeping needed to resemble a contemporary firm, able to link up with your data effortlessly. They wanted to show how they produce quick, easy management reports and information as and when you require it. They didn’t need to change the way they worked, just the way they appeared and the way they communicated this up to date book keeping and payroll service in Aldridge, Walsall and regionally around the Black Country & the West Midlands.

For example

There are many advantages to using Normans such as:

  • Access your data on the go!
  • Automatic Bank Feeds mean that we can do the job much quicker and therefore cheaply
  • Holding all your purchase data electronically means that you will be fully compliant with HMRC’s new regulations for Making Tax Digital
  • Get paid faster with online invoicing
  • There are hundreds of apps that will link directly with Xero such as Stripe, GoCardless, PayPal and Shopify to name but a few.

So what did we do?normans com slip

  • Provided a thorough consultation and brief discovery
  • Advised upon current trends, industry requirements and intelligent customer targeting
  • Worked on a real and true representation of the business services against the required target audience and an ideal customer model
  • Applied some competition analysis and helped to create a unique ‘POD’, or point of difference. We also took into account some ‘POP’, or points of parity. In other words, what do we need to do to prove a ‘USP’, without moving too far away from the industry services that others also provide. e.g. ‘we do that too, but with a difference’.
  • Provided a brand positioning report and direction
  • From this positioning came a brand positioning statement and strapline
  • All of the above now went into creating a new brand and its ID/logo
  • We began the graphic design element using some desk research, developing fonts, illustration and visual perspectives. We employed colour coding, image research and other creative elements/marketing collateral to create something really functional and easy to understand.
  • Provided in depth technical site scoping to give the potential visitor the very best of user journey and slick informational navigation
  • Wire framed the site scoping, to visualise the website more effectively against it content requirements
  • Wrote effective and intelligently considered positioning copy and calls to action plus dynamic contact copy relevant to each piece or relevant service, to engage website lead generation
  • Developed the website, provided 301 re-directs, to capture past cached pages and posts for SEO purposes, unveiled and relaunched!
  • In general, we improved the user journey and calls to action through content and a contact dynamic, re-branded the business, improved the brand visibility and developed its website lead generation capacity

Website Lead Generation

Norman is now called Normans

We now know exactly what Normans do and they are most certainly, ‘not boring’.

See for yourself here @ –

Normans are now successfully receiving leads from the website. Not just any old leads, but the right kind of customers discovered against our agreed customer modelling! It’s been a massive success, their target audience can now discover the perfect solution to a book keeping and payroll problem. Contemporary services and time saving applications, information at the touch of a button. It’s right for them, it’s modern and ‘just what they need’, communicated clearly and concisely through a brand the customer can proudly recommend to others.

Before you rush out and spend £1000’s of pounds on SEO, think about this. Make sure your website has got what it takes to engage, convince and convert your visitor first. Theoretically if your lead conversion is 1% and it equates to £1000 worth of business, we can convert this to 2%, 3%, 5% or even a 10% uplift. You do the math, it’s not impossible to double your websites return on investment. You can apply the SEO later, when you know you can convert.

Normans now ‘Convert Numbers, into Knowledge’… because here at The Marketing People, we help to ‘Convert Knowledge, into Numbers’.

For more information on our website lead generation services, contact The Marketing People on 01543 495752 or

5 tips for successful marketing #1-5 Marketing Tips


 marketing tips

5 tips for successful marketing

Marketing Tips 1-5

Please find below, marketing tips 1-5 in our series for successful marketing, plus an expanded description for each in the blog post below.

  1. Think deeply about who you are, what you do, your target audience and your competition, this should set the tone for all creative and marketing outputs from here on in.
  2. Don’t go to market without developing your brand, positioning and ID thoroughly.
  3. What has worked best for you in past could work for you in the future, plan your strategy now, not when you need it.
  4. Be sure you make a plan, stick to it, update it and make a note of what works and what doesn’t.
  5. What do your customers actually ‘want’ from you? Analyse deeply, what do you ‘really’ look like?

marketing tips 1
Marketing Tip 1

Marketing Tips 1

Think deeply about who you are, what you do, your target audience and your competition, this should set the tone for all creative and marketing outputs from here on in.

Who are you, no really, who is your company? Who are the employees, what do you stand for and why? Is it value, is it expertise, style or cool. What are the pillars that underline your company and how do you operate? Why does this matter? Well it matters because you are unique, your business is different to anyone else’s and as such your marketing should shout this from the rooftops, ‘we are different to everyone else!’ Your USP is your ally, use it. You don’t want to look like the competition, another ‘me too!’. You need to establish what your real values are before you can provide any marketing. Who are your customers, who would be your ideal customer? Again, nothing goes out until you are sure of it all and more.

marketing tips 2
Marketing Tip 2

Marketing Tips 2

Don’t go to market without developing your brand, positioning and ID thoroughly.

Like number one, we should take all this fantastic in depth understanding of your business and develop a brand to fully represent it. All this beautiful, unique information about your business is invaluable and you can use it to discover your true position in the market place. Once you understand who you are and what you do, it feeds the development of how you are seen by your customers commercially and visually. It should represent the value you put on your product or service, your tone of voice, it should be effective and appeal to your target audience. Your difference will provide a memory, it will define you.

marketing tips 3
Marketing Tip 3

Marketing Tips 3

What has worked best for you in past could work for you in the future, furthermore, plan your strategy now, not when you need it.

The most important part of this tip is the timing. I’m not just talking about more complex tactical strategies, I am talking about a more basic perspective. Don’t wait for the quiet times, don’t be satisfied with what you have got. Plan for it now, don’t wait for the recession. Maybe you know when the quiet times will come, diversify, consider them early on and don’t keep making the same old mistakes, look back to look forward.

marketing tips 4
Marketing Tip 4

Marketing Tips 4

Be sure you make a plan, stick to it, update it and make a note of what works and what doesn’t.

I know this sounds a little like tip 3 but I believe it requires some more detailed analysis. Its about being consistent but remaining flexible and open to change. When you have developed this well thought out plan, don’t just stop if it doesn’t work, keep going, it may be a question of campaign length for it to work i.e. one newspaper ad may not get you anywhere, a six-month campaign will bring much better results.


You may need to develop the strategy, continue to update the plan, tweak the outputs and your proposition. Everything we do in life usually involves an update and I don’t just mean the apps on your smartphone, although this is a pretty good example. Most software application business’ have a team of people continually improving the functionality of its product. It might mean smoothing the edge of a button or providing a different outcome for a certain logical process, but the development plan is the same as in marketing. Most of all, its goal is to appeal to and delight more and more users based on the target market. Like in marketing its designed to work, but it can always work a little better. Better marketing means better clients.

Continue to update and develop the marketing output to achieve the desired results. Stick to this plan going forward and update it constantly to move one step closer to your goal. Refine your sales, lose the customers you don’t want and keep the kind of clients you value most. Improve your ‘value proposition’ to potential customers and get the ones you want. Your marketing can do this for you, if you stick to, analyse and update your plan.

marketing tips 5
Marketing Tip 5

Marketing Tips 5

What do your customers actually ‘want’ from you. Analyse deeply, what do you ‘really’ look like?

Improve your credibility, your customer, your visibility. A potential customer will judge you harshly and it will only take them a few seconds to do so. Your window of opportunity is short and so this is the reason why I recommend you take your marketing seriously. You hold the answers and you are great at what you do, but are you really a marketing professional? If you are honest with yourself and believe me, you must be brutally honest, you will get results.

If you are serious about your business, you should be able to ask yourself some really challenging questions. For example, is your business card rubbish? Do you look too cheap? Is your website old fashioned, does it look a bit dated? is the logo a slightly different style in several different examples of your marketing? does your business look like it has any credibility?

BE HONEST. Your business is your livelihood, why would you not take it seriously right?

BE HONEST with yourself, don’t ask friends and family, they are more likely to tell you how great you are!

Find a real marketing professional or agency who will challenge you, but don’t be offended. They won’t hold any emotional attachment, they will view you impartially, just like a potential customer or client. Just because Sarah in accounts is great at adding lovely visual filters to her holiday snaps, does not mean she can run your marketing. So many small businesses make this mistake, indeed external agencies can refresh what can usually bog down internal marketing departments.

Your customers can discount your offering in a millisecond and will judge you instantly. They are fickle, they are dazzled, they need reassurance and they will judge a book by its cover. Your marketing isn’t just informational, it should be transformational. Make sure your cover is good and make sure you can live up to it or else you will ultimately fail. So unless you are incredibly fortunate, make your own luck.

Analyse your business in depth either at the beginning or during a business refresh, or what we call in the trade, re-positioning your business. It will help you to understand your brand, positioning and business identity. Ultimately it will define the image you can live up to, keep it consistent in your marketing and honest in your approach. Your customers will look to you for honest answers. The truth is in you, you just need to know where and how to apply it.

Your Call to ‘Marketing Action’

If you want to discuss your business marketing in more detail why not call us here @ The Marketing People on 01543 495752 and ask Richard about our free ‘business focus’ consultation. Alternatively email

Challenge yourself, challenge your business, create more opportunities to sell.