Trick or Treat … From The Marketing Dogs

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Bonjour humans

You’ve not heard from us for a while, as Autumn has fallen and we have been very busy protecting our humans from all of the leaves throwing themselves from the trees. The humans laugh at us but we think they’re barking mad!

We’ve also been busy greeting the human’s customers, making them feel very welcome, and sometimes giving them some of our extra fur to keep them warm. Which is all part of our pawesome customer service.

So we’re already at that spooky time of year George in fancy dressagain, which means mum and the team have had chance to dress us up.

Though I woof love to strut the show in my outfits, Chops is not a fan, and normally gets me to help her rip it off straight away. It is definitely my favourite time of year, being wrapped up nice and cosy, getting to wear brrrrrrilliant outfits and running around in leaves.

Chops seems a little bit disappointed that the sun bathing in the foyer season is over. I’ve tried to convince her it’s the best with tails tales of warm sausages, cosy blankets and extra fuss from the humans as they want warm cuddles, but she is still feeling a little blue that summer is over. So I thought I’d tell her some Halloween jokes to cheer her up and get her as excited as I am.

Did you want to hear them?

Why don’t ghosts like rain on Halloween? … It dampens their spirits!

What’s a monsters favourite dessert? … I-Scream!

Why did the skeleton go to a BBQ? … For the spare ribs!

What do witches put on their hair? … Scare Spray!

How do you fix a jack o lantern? … With a pumpkin patch!

I know; I am hilarious. What do you think chops?

Chops looking unimpressed

Hmmm she doesn’t seem impressed …

I think maybe I’m better at tricks than I am jokes, and we both love doing tricks if it means treats!

George, Chops and Puppy being well behaved

Just look how well behaved we are! This is when our clients WKD trained dogs bought one of their puppies in to see us. She knew a lot more tricks than we did! But we kept up as best we could.

We do know a lot of tricks though like … sitting … and sleeping …and saying hello to the team. They might not be backflips and riding skateboards, but we’re business dogs, we’ve got a bit more decorum!

We’d love to see our fellow canine pals though doing some fantastic tricks, so feel free to comment, or come see us on twitter!

We’re off to devour the rest of our treats now.

Love and paws,

Chops and George

Happy Halloween!

Until next time, you can catch up on all our adventures in our blog!

A dog’s view on SEO

a dogs view on seo

a dogs view on seo

I’ve heard the humans talk about the importance of SEO, but I’m not sure if we’re barking up the same tree! My whole life is SEO, sleeping, entertaining and ogling, but the humans seem to think it’s something to do with a search engine?

George the business dog

All I know is I have a really hard life. For example, every day the humans drag me to work, they make me walk all that way! That’s like at least 100 metres! As you can see I am a very busy business dog, and I do not need to be wasting valuable energy on something like walking!

 

Sleeping 1

 

So how does a successful dog like me run my day? Well the first thing I have to do, once I’ve said hello to everyone of course, is to have a little sleep. The humans say I snore, but really I’m just multitasking and protecting the humans from nasties by making my presence known.

 

George playing with bin

 

Then its play time, I love to be social and have to get everyone to give me a fuss and choose a toy. Sometimes its snake, sometimes it mouse, sometimes it’s even the bin. I thought it was brilliant I could even make the chore of emptying the bin fun! But instead the humans laugh at me and talk in weird baby voices, so at least I know I’m entertaining them.

 

George ogling cake

 

Then I have to ogle at the human’s food that they are mean enough to keep away from me. One day, I will ogle enough that they will give me their lunch! It hasn’t worked so far, mum never cuts me a slice of cake! But sometimes Laurie gives me a bit of ham … he might be coming round …

 

George the marketing dog giving tips

 

Then once I have given David my professional opinion on business things, I usually have another snooze. Funnily enough when I wake up to go home, he doesn’t seem to have used any of my ideas of an extra paw print here and there, adding my toys to exhibition stands or making the brochures sausage scented. So I will try again tomorrow …

I’d woof love to hear if you agree with my idea of SEO (Sleeping, entertaining and ogling) but I suppose if you want to see what the humans say about SEO, you could click here.

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.

How the Mobile Phone Has Changed Marketing & Website Design.

How the mobile phone has changed web design

How the mobile phone has changed web design

Earlier this week the mobile phone celebrated its 40th birthday. As a modern dog who spends pawlenty of time on his iBone, I wanted to look at how the mobile phone has changed marketing and website design.

At the end of 2012, Portio Research found that there were 83 million mobile subscribers in theUK, 36 million of which were smartphones.

Thanks to smartphones, humans (and dogs) can get on the internet. Read product reviews and buy regardless of where they are. For example, if you’re out walking your four-legged friend and they lose a ball. You could order them a new one right there and then.

As a result, marketing, advertising and even website design has had to adapt and change as the popularity of smartphones grows.

 

Social Media is furry very im-paw-tent

Last week research was released which found that smartphone users with a Facebook account check their Facebook 13.8 times a day on average. If that’s not proof of how important phones and social media are to humans, then I don’t know what is.

For businesses who use Facebook, that’s 13.8 additional chances for them to target and engage their ‘fans’. That’s before we’ve even though about the likes of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr.

In short, businesses no longer have to rely on their audience being at their computer to try and engage with them through social media.

How businesses use social media varies greatly. Some will use it to create and drive interest in them. Some will use it to engage with their customers or try to drive them back to their website. Some go the whole hog and use Facebook commerce apps to sell their products directly through Facebook.

From a consumers point of view, social media is useful for finding out customers thoughts on a product or service before they spend their hard earned money.

Consumers also find social media, Twitter especially, is one of the best and fastest ways to resolve an issue. As a company wants to be seen to be active in helping its customers resolve a problem. As a result some companies have Twitter accounts dedicated to customer support.

Both of these allow businesses to get a feeling for how people are feeling about them and their products. To flag up whether there are any issues they need to resolve. Or if there is anything they need to do to improve the publics perception of them.

While some of the above would be possible without smartphones. With people spending so much of their time on their phone there are now more opportunities for businesses to generate leads and get conversions and to create loyal customers.

 

QR Code

QR codes were originally used in the automotive industry, but again thanks to the capabilities of smartphones they’re now frequently used in advertising campaigns or on business cards.

QR codes can be used for a number of things, such as to encourage people to;

  • Sign up to a mailing list
  • Pre-order or buy a product
  • Enter a competition
  • Find out more about a product

 

SMS Marketing

Of course, without the mobile phone SMS marketing wouldn’t be possible at all. Some businesses use text messaging to get in touch with their customers. To remind them about their business, alert them to offers and competitions or ask them to fill out a survey.

In fact, every Friday Mum and Dad receive text messages from Domino’s Pizza trying to tempt us into ordering a big tasty pizza.

 

Email Marketing

During the second half of 2012, 28.98% of emails were opened on mobile devices. Meaning that marketers are now having to take mobile into account when designing their emails.

In some cases where the majority of email opens come from mobile phones. A business may decide which day and what time to send an email based on a peak time for mobile phone use.

 

Mobile Optimised Websites

It isn’t just marketing that’s had to adapt due to the popularity of mobile devices. Website design has also changed over the years.

Ideally businesses should now have a mobile friendly version of their website. This means that people who view their website from their mobile will be able to use it easily without having to scroll or zoom in too much.

Mobile friendly websites are especially important for ecommerce websites as if it’s difficult to navigate or search for a product the user wants, they will just use a user friendly competitor instead.

As well as creating mobile friendly websites, some retailers have also created phone apps. Big brands such as eBay, ASDA, Forever 21, Topshop, Amazon and ASOS have mobile apps that allow users to browse and buy products.

Getting users to download your app means they’ll constantly be reminded about your company, increasing the likliehood that they will use your app instead of browsing the internet and using a competitor. It also means you’re likely to create loyal customers as they’ll use your app out of convenience.

Thanks to the mobile phone businesses have more opportunities to market and sell to their target audience and consumers have products at their fingertips wherever they are.

 

Must dash, I have a iBone chess match scheduled with Chops. We are intelligent you know.

Paws and Licks,

George.

 

Contact Us

If you’re a small business based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Staffordshire or the West Midlands and need help with your marketing or website design, get in touch with my humans who can add real benefit to your business. Fill out the contact form on their website or pick up the dog and bone and give them a call on 01543 495 752

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

Four Tips For Writing Pawesome Product Descriptions

four tips for writing awesome product descriptions

four tips for writing awesome product descriptions

Bonjour Humans,

I spent last night surfing the internets for a new iBone cover (Chops chewed the last one). And I couldn’t help feel frustrated at the amount of poor product descriptions.

Being the friendly Marketing Dog I am. I thought I’d give you folks some hints and tips to help you write the best and most pawesome product copy you can!

To explain my points I’m going to use an example product throughout. This is the Holy Grail for most dog owners, a dog proof bin.

 

Get Found – Keywords

To help your products perform well in both search engines and in your websites search function, you need to include keywords in the product title and description.

Let’s imagine this dog-proof bin comes in three colours; silver, black and white.

The colours and the words ‘dog proof’ and ‘bin’ need to be included in both the product title and description. For example, if someone is browsing your website and your product title just says ‘Black Bin’, they won’t know that it’s a dog proof bin, which means you’ve just lost a sale.

It’s very important to include keywords but don’t be tempted to go overboard use too many. This is called keyword stuffing; search engines don’t like it and will punish your search rankings for it, and in some extreme cases they will banish you from the listings all together and send you to your bed with your tail between your legs and no treat after dinner.

 

So What? – List Benefits

Even if it seems really obvious, and most of the time it will do, list your products benefits. The whole time someone is reading your product description and pondering a purchase, there’s a little voice in their head going; ‘So what? If I part with x amount of my hard earned money, how will this product help me or solve a problem for me?’

People are being careful with their money and they want to know that they aren’t wasting it by buying your product and that it will help them.

Let’s think about the dog proof bin, the benefits are obvious, but let’s list them;

  • It holds rubbish
  • Your dog can’t get into the rubbish
  • This means your don’t won’t injure themselves or make themselves ill after raiding the rubbish
  • You won’t have to spend your evening picking the rubbish up off the kitchen floor

Humans are being careful with their money and want to know that your product will help them and won’t be a waste of money.

Thankfully the only money issues us dogs have is, whether that 50p we swallowed is going to cause us problems.

 

Know Your Target Audience – Know What They Want

You’re all good business owners and marketers, so you know exactly what kind of person your customer is and what kind of information they want to know.

There will be certain questions your product description will need to answer for your customer. Such as;

  • Will it arrive fully assembled, part assembled or in bits?
  • If I need to do some assembly what tools will I need?
  • How big is it so I can figure out where to put it in my kitchen?
  • What size liners will I need?

This of course will vary depending on what your product is, but take time to think carefully about what questions your product description needs to answer.

Knowing your target audience also means you can gauge what kind of tone of voice you can use. With something like a dog proof bin, you can get away with a bit of humour and a few puns, but only if all of the information is there.

 

Formatting

Formatting is important, people don’t want to read huge paragraphs of text, so short and succinct sentences and paragraphs are important.

When listing your products advantages, you may have a lot to bark about, so listing them as bullet points will make it easier for people to digest. Figuratively of course, eating a website would be more impressive than raiding a bin.

Keep an ear out for The Marketing Dogs tips for pawesome product listings which will be on the blog next week.

 

Contact Us

If your e-commerce website isn’t performing as well as you’d like, or you need help with your product descriptions, get on the dog and bone and talk to my lovely humans, The Marketing People. You can call them on 01543 495 752, or drop them an email on contact@themarketingpeople.com. Don’t write to them though, I’ll only eat your letter.

 

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

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

the marketing dogs ideas for christmas campaigns

the marketing dogs ideas for christmas campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

So how can your business capitalise on the Christmas spirit?

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

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

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

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

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

Digital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Print

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s never too late

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

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

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

Have you thought about January yet?

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

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

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

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

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

What if you aren’t a retail business?

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

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

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

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

Who can help?

My humans know that the run up to Christmas is busy and it can be easy to run out of time to promote your business, so give them a call on 01543 495 752 and let them take care of it for you.

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

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

 

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

The Marketing Dogs Landing Page Tips

the marketing dogs landing page tips

the marketing dogs landing page tips

Good afternoon everyone, today I’m creating landing pages. I know that sometimes it can be tricky to know what to include or do, so I’ve put together a list of really important landing page tips.

I’m so kind aren’t I?

 

Design and branding.

As with any web page, you have a matter of seconds to engage someone and get them to stay on the page, so draw people in straight away.

Many businesses find that plain and simple landing pages work really well for them. This means removing as many points for the user to exit as possible, so get rid of anything you don’t need or that might distract them.

As your landing page will look different from your main website, make sure it’s still within your companies branding otherwise you may leave users unsure as to whether they’re still on the same website.

Therefore, make sure you’re using the same colours, fonts, logo’s and tone of voice as your main website.

 

Call to action.

Landing pages are a really important point in the conversion funnel; you really need to make it obvious what you want the user to do.

Make sure the button, link or form really stands out and ensure that the user knows what will happen if they ‘click here’. You don’t want to put users off by being vague and leaving them unsure of what will happen if they follow a link or fill their email address in.

For example, if I land on a landing page about tasty dog treats; tell me to ‘buy now’ and I’ll have the humans opening their wallets straight away, (I’m a dog, I don’t have money) or tell me that if I sign up to your email newsletter you’ll send me dog treat offers monthly.

Where you can, try to include some testimonials from happy customers.

 

Adverts and emails.

So how do you get people to see your landing page?

Advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google will allow you send users to a landing page. You could also direct people to your landing page by including links in emails.

 

Relevant content.

Ensure that the landing page lives up to the promise in the advert; if the advert offers 40% off a product, make sure the landing page also offers 40% off a product.

Hopefully my landing page tips have helped, but if you don’t have the time to create your own landing pages, I hear my humans do a great job, here’s an examples of a landing page they’ve created.

If you like what you see, give them a call on 01543 495 752 to find out how they can help you move people along the conversion funnel.

I’m going to see what’s under the sofa now, have a good day!

 

 

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

The Marketing Dogs: Print isn’t dead!

print isn't dead

print isn't dead

George is in a huff this morning, he lost an argument with Chops about print. George thinks print is dead and there’s no need for it, Chops put him right and told him;

 “You can’t just use your iBone George, you need print to create a blended marketing strategy. Plus, people like holding printed things and paper’s fun to chew, you should know that.”

Who are you siding with here; Chops or George? We’re going with Chops on this one.

 

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