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Second Lockdown, Greater Support ‐ 20% off marketing retainers for 3 months

CCM Group increases marketing offering as a bid to support businesses through a turbulent time

CCM Group has been providing continued support for businesses throughout the duration of the ongoing global pandemic. Whether it’s small companies who simply need to stay afloat, or bigger businesses who have had to cut back on their marketing activity, CCM’s aim has remained the same – to enable greatness and to help those less fortunate throughout an unsettling and uncertain time.

CCM Group is a rapidly growing, people-focused set of companies; all centred on innovation and excellence, and CCM Creative is its B2B function. Providing customers with creative, marketing and print services as well as offering high quality merchandise and fulfilment services, the CCM Creative team pride themselves on their wealth of experience, their client portfolio and their flexible service and pricing offering which enables customers to build a bespoke package which is tailored specifically to their budget and individual requirements.

So far, CCM Creative has provided free marketing audits; worth almost £1000, free marketing advice and even a free rebrand – and their latest offering consists of substantial discounts on their marketing and creative services. Throughout November and December, new and existing customers can take advantage of 20% off retainer marketing services for 3 months, 25% off marketing audits and 4 x FREE bespoke graphics with all social media packages!

The marketing audits have recently been launched as a brand new service due to popular demand, and CCM Creative are offering these at a hugely discounted price of just £730 plus VAT until the end of December. Audit recipients can expect to see a full website analysis, a comprehensive review of social media activity, competitor analysis and much more. CCM Creative also includes free, professional recommendations on how to utilise and implement an improved marketing plan within the audits, making them an unmissable and invaluable resource during a time when keeping your business relevant and visible is more important than ever.

CCM Creative offers the full marketing mix – from email marketing, social media management, graphic design and analytics, to SEO, website design, animation and photography services and their client portfolio covers a vast array of industries. With a flexible ‘pick n mix’ style pricing structure and prices starting from just £40 plus VAT, CCM Creative has an offering suitable for all budgets. 

To take advantage of these offers or to find out more about CCM Group, head to www.weareccm.co.uk, email marketing@weareccm.co.uk or call 01623 625222.

Register for your free spot at EPIC 2020 – Returning speakers, different landscape

Over the course of two mornings, previous EPIC keynotes and speakers including; Peter Docker (Co-author, “Find your Why”), Mark Wright (Founder and Director, Climb Online, Winner 2014 BBC’s The Apprentice), Mark Davies (Whistl) and Scott Logie (REaD Group) will share their thoughts, research and lived experience in a 2020 marketing update – reviewing what worked when they spoke for EPIC last year, what still works now, what doesn’t and where efforts should be focussed now. 

The event will be broadcast live over two mornings

There will be additional video content, tips and advice, from Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy Group), Dee Blick (The Marketing Gym) and other EPIC supporters and speakers, including Olga Munroe (Retail Institute). You can watch the whole live event or keep your eye on the schedule and pick and choose when to join in.

Day 1 – 2nd December 2020 – 10:00am to 1:00pm

Takes a good look at marketing behaviour as we settle into a new normal and as people everywhere learn to live with the reality of COVID-19, including:

How should marketers respond to the five themes identified by McKinsey?

McKinsey reports that although the pandemic’s impact has varied on economies across regions, five themes have become evident among consumers across the globe:

1.         Shift to value and essentials

2.         Flight to digital and omnichannel

3.         Shock to loyalty

4.         Health and “caring” economy

5.         Homebody economy

Day 2 – 3rd December 10:00am to 1:00pm

EPIC will show marketers how they can address the evolving needs of customers, clients, and citizens by adapting, innovating and reinventing. Delegates will be introduced to the systems, processes, and technology that can make a massive difference to the way they work.

The take-away

Delegates will come away with:

1.         An updated idea as to what products and services will come to the fore to support integrated marketing post Covid-19.

2.         An understanding of what no longer works in marketing and why.

3.         How to create and deliver value in these ever-changing circumstances.

4.         An understanding of what now works that didn’t before, why it does, and importantly, how to implement it in their own campaigns.

Book now! www.epicthinking.net

2nd & 3rd December – 10:00am to 1:00pm

Brands increasingly turn to animation as COVID restrictions challenge filming production

By Something Big

Over the last few years, video has played an ever-increasing role in communications strategies. At the beginning of 2020, 92% of marketers, who use video, said it was an important part of their strategy, up from 78% in 2015*. And this isn’t just marketers opinion, according to industry leader, Hubspot, video content and product videos increase purchases by 144%.

But COVID ground production to a near-halt, with ever-changing rules, winter on the horizon and more areas of the country moving into higher restrictions, that challenge continues.

During lockdowns we have seen plenty of home video-style camera footage which has enabled brands to get their message out, but is this really the best way to position your brand going forward?

Historically, animation has been a hugely underestimated tool in marketing. Marketers can be more comfortable with traditional formats like interviews and live footage, but in the current climate, more brands are starting to consider an array of animated content formats.

Produced well, animation can be an incredibly powerful tool to tell your story or simplify a complex narrative with engaging graphics and works particularly well in social channels where 85% of video’s are now watched on silent.

Animation starts with a blank canvas and no limit to the graphics that can be brought into a story making anything possible. With a variety of formats to fit different budgets, from simple explainer videos to high production value animations fit for TV and online advertising, it really is the most versatile of marketing tools.

If you’ve only dipped your toe in the animation waters or have stuck to more traditional formats, we’re here to help and happy to guide you through the process end-to-end. Let us help you tell your story.

See our animation showreel and get in touch by clicking here.

* https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/state-of-video-marketing-new-data

WEBINAR: How to ensure you website & digital comms are legal and compliant

By Texthelp

September 23, 2020 was the final deadline for digital accessibility legislation. So it’s more important than ever that you ensure your website is compliant and inclusive.

Access an on demand webinar with Daniel McLaughlan, Accessibility and Usability Consultant, Sarah Richards, creator of GOV.UK website content strategy, and Donna Thomson, Marketing Manager at Texthelp for easy, practical advice on creating accessible digital content.

Register to access the presentation, slides and a suite of checklists and guides. Join us if you are a digital marketing professional, keen to improve compliance, digital communications and build more inclusive marketing and digital experiences.

Don’t trick your customers this Halloween, treat them with spooktastic content

By Katharine Biggs, Content and Marketing Manager at parcelLab

When I read that notonthehighstreet.com searches for Halloween are up 889% and already features in its top five search terms, I had to stop and think for a second: it’s still only just September, right? And we’re talking about 2020 – the year when Covid-19 turned the retail world upside down and left many bricks and mortar stores with no other option but to shut their doors for good. And then of course there is the long-term economic impact which last month saw the UK declared officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years. 

As summer draws to a close, I’m sure many of us find ourselves in this position every year, asking ‘Where has this year gone?’ But this has been a year like no other and now we find ourselves with 79* days left until Black Friday and 107* days left until Christmas for brands and retailers to navigate what the “new normal” will look like, adapt and prepare for what is traditionally the ‘peakiest’ season in the retail calendar. 

But Halloween is usually a slightly different story. Generally, this high level of searching and buying activity isn’t expected until October but still with 52* days to go until Halloween, it seems that consumers are already planning out their frightful activities. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise; for three-months, families were confined to their homes and staying in has become the new going out. So if you can’t go out trick-or-treating under social distancing rules, what better way for families to celebrate than in their own haunted house? 

According to Leanne Osbourne, Commercial Director at notonthehighstreet: “Customer searches for Halloween products such as unique food and drink, partyware, decorations, games & activities and clothing/accessories traditionally increase around mid-September, but this year searches began in early August as customers are planning further ahead for special occasions and celebrating key dates in the diary with loved ones at home.”

Yet the almost 900% increase that notonthehighstreet has reported wouldn’t usually be expected until the week before Halloween itself. 

Where are shoppers turning for inspiration? The digital screen in their home or pocket, of course. Great news for ecommerce, multi- and omni-channel retailers! Well, yes. But only if you are making the most of this opportunity by maximising value for your customers, and that includes after they have checked out. The post-purchase phase of the customer journey, where customers are tracking their delivery via email and text updates, is a prime time to put all your Halloween marketing efforts to good use. 

With open rates as high as 75% – significantly higher than the standard marketing emails that brands and retailers might put out – these email updates are a great opportunity to engage your customer and offer them something of value – which, in the spirit of Halloween, could be anything from how-to video tutorials, decoration inspiration, candy treats or ghoulish recipe ideas and other themed content that shows you, as a brand or retailer, care about your customer beyond the sale. That’s the foundation of long-term brand loyalty right there. As well as letting them know how, when and who will be delivering their items, it’s an opportunity to up- and cross-sell complementary products that will add to their Halloween festivities and ensure that they don’t go looking elsewhere for it. 

It’s all about communication. Create an open dialogue through this channel with your customers and give them an exceptional customer experience. Show them that you’ve got this covered and they’ll be coming back for more, well after the fake cobwebs have been dusted from the party – in prime time for the peak season to come. 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Digital Insights: Tips to prepare for the Golden Quarter

By twentysix

The peak retail period of October to December (aka The Golden Quarter) isn’t far away and this year it’s going to be an interesting one. Following the “lockdown” disruption, 2020’s peak is going to be a vital sales opportunity for many retailers.

But how can marketers plan ahead when a global pandemic has turned everything upside down? How are consumers going to behave? Will they be in buying mode? Or will the impact of lockdown dampen demand as we’ve seen earlier in the year? Will there be a second wave and what will this mean?

Much of this depends on the course of the virus and as a digital agency, twentysix, we’re not going to attempt to predict that! But amongst the uncertainty, there are things we can still rely on: Christmas is still Christmas; people will still want to buy; and there will be pent up demand and a hunger for deals – all of which will open opportunities for your brand.

With lockdown accelerating online behaviours there is one thing that is certain; digital is going to be an enormous part of the mix for all advertisers. You need to make sure you have the right mix of channels with a solid foundation in search, affiliates and user experience to capture demand, alongside upper funnel activity such as display and social to help create it. But it’s not just about having the channels in place: success will also be about building the agility to adapt to conditions as they unfold – a must in this uncertain environment.

So whether it’s scenario planning, solidifying your technology and tracking foundations, assessing your SEO trajectory, or reviewing your website to ensure your UX is up to scratch, now is the time to start getting ready.

Download twentysix’s guide to the Golden Quarter to unlock 6 key principles to help you create competitive advantage, along with tips from the agency’s digital channel specialists to help you prepare for the most significant quarter of trading we’ll experience for some time.

Download the full guide here

5 steps to optimising conversion rates with customer journey timelines

Over the last few months, as consumer behaviour naturally changed and evolved throughout lockdown and beyond, like many of our customers, you may have seen a massive rise in the volume of visits to your website.

In order to help you convert more opportunities and capitalise on increased traffic, Go Inspire Group have created our 5-step guide to getting more conversions. 

Step 1: Cluster all interactions into Customer Journey Timelines

Disparate visits from thousands of users should be clustered into customer journey timelines that group all interactions a known, or unknown individual makes with your website, across all channels, in one place.

This displays something more closely related to the customer’s actual purchase journey behaviour, as well as highlighting how different channels and campaigns are working together to drive traffic to your website. 

Step 2: Identify Individuals

Identifying whether an individual is a known customer, unknown repeat visitor or phantom visitor can inform your decision whether to deliver personalised messages through CRM activity, to invest in targeted acquisition remarketing and paid search, or to suppress your marketing from individuals unlikely to convert. 

Step 3: Segment your visitors based on engagement

Segmenting visitors to your website based on engagement, value bands and channel preference empowers you to develop bespoke marketing campaigns for Retention and Acquisition.

Overlaying your existing customer segmentation from Single Customer View and CRM data can allow you to build a rich picture of your customers and join the dots between your online and offline worlds. 

Step 4: Filter out the noise

Picture yourself walking past a store of any kind with motion sensors on their entrance doors. If you trigger the doors but do not enter the store – should you be classed as a meaningful visit? 

No, you are what we consider to be a ‘phantom’.

The reality is, around 98% of visitors to your website are probably phantom visitors – who land, bounce and then never return. 

Removing phantoms delivers significant benefits across your digital marketing for example:

  • improve quality scores by removing those who will never convert from your remarketing selections
  • get an accurate read of how acquisition campaigns are performing by only including meaningful visits
  • supress existing customers from acquisition campaigns to avoid wasted spend

By first removing the phantoms to ‘filter out the noise’, only then you can begin to understand your website’s true performance.

Step 5: Optimise marketing spend

By completing steps 1-4, you can begin to truly understand the true cost and profitability of all journeys, to know which channels are working well and which need further optimisation.

You can now focus on retaining the right customers by creating a marketing strategy that moves customers into the most profitable bands, applying your understanding of customer engagement, channel preference and stage in journey to tailor messages to an individual customer’s need.

What results can you expect to see from this approach?

This approach to optimisation typically delivers the following results:

  • 13%-16% saving on digital marketing spend
  • 14% increase in conversion from Abandoned Baskets remarketing 
  • Saving of 1-2p per click on social and paid search with improved quality scores
  • 2-5% more emails landed in inboxes with improved sender reputation
  • Save 10% on social, dm and display ad by selecting most engaged customers for campaigns

How can you achieve all the above?

Simply email info@goinspire.co.uk discover how Digital Playback can solve your attribution headache and optimise your conversion rates.

Digital Playback is our unique attribution platform, that enables you to optimise your conversion rates and marketing spend by clustering every interaction an individual makes, across all channels and devices, in one journey.

Check out our webinar

Nick Greatrex, Digital Director at Go Inspire Insight, shares his thoughts on improving conversion by solving the digital marketing attribution headache, check out the webinar here [17min to view].

The Evolution of the Chief Marketing Officer

By Yogesh Shah, CEO of iResearch Services

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has changed dramatically in the last few years. What started as a role primarily based on market research, advertising and brand management, quickly evolved into a role focused on customer experience and data analytics, with key emphasis on supporting other members of the C-Suite to define the purpose of the business by providing insight into what the customer needs, rather than what the business assumes it should sell. Whilst many of these elements remain the same, the role of the CMO has now become far more complex.

Changes to content consumption, consumer and organisational behaviour, the rise of social media and worldwide disruptions such as Covid-19 have meant that many marketing strategies have been given a makeover, creating new priorities and responsibilities for CMOs as a result. 

As a valuable part of the C-Suite, the importance of the CMO role is not up for debate. Establishing a brand identity and a clear space in the market will always remain a priority, but where should CMOs now start as they navigate the new landscape?

Traditional vs digital media 

Change is all around us, but it isn’t just a result of this year’s events. One of the biggest drivers of this change is the shift in the use of media. The world has rapidly moved from the use of traditional media to have a heavy focus on digital; a change which has now become a permanent part of media and content consumption.

In the U.S. alone, digital ad spend has climbed up to $151 billion in 2020, significantly more than the combined $107 billion that traditional marketing has garnered. These figures are even more impressive when considering that in 1999, digital ads only had a $4.79 billion cap while the traditional market enjoyed as much as $94 billion at the time.

Bringing it back to the changes we’ve seen this year, CMOs are also now contending with audiences that have less, or no, commuting time and therefore have longer to consume content in different formats; will we see the rise of longer-form, data-driven content consumption? User-generated content has also become extremely prominent in many marketing and content strategies; turning to the end-user to show first hand the benefits or applications of the product or service in real-time.

With more changes undoubtedly on the horizon, traditional marketing should not be discarded. After all, many consumers claim that they have a longer-lasting impression of TV ads than they do with digital ads. The CMO therefore needs to be ready to adapt, with an open mind towards bringing back the methods of the past to meet consumer needs.

Data-driven campaigns 

The need for advanced research has also greatly changed the role of the CMO. In the past, CMOs have needed to rely purely on gut feeling, however the maturity of the market has shown that data is needed to back up these gut feelings for guaranteed success.

Furthermore, advances in technology such as big data and artificial intelligence have made their way onto the CMO’s evolving list of responsibilities. With a data-centric approach, CMOs can use the large volumes of analytics to their advantage and identify actionable patterns, trends and behaviours to use within their content and campaigns. By forecasting trends and building strategies based on concrete insights, CMOs are now able to create the next best campaign that not only resonates with the intended audience, but that creates a need the consumer might not have even been aware they had.

Taking this one step further, CMOs can integrate this data into their campaigns themselves. For a B2B audience, a CMO can create compelling, data-driven thought leadership content to demonstrate how much they understand their audience, building a relationship as a result. Acknowledging that decision-makers may still be working from home with no morning commute and therefore more time to read an industry-led report, could well be a winning strategy for CMOs to implement as businesses continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.

The future of the CMO

Research shows that 88% of organisations agree that the role of the CMO has changed in the past two years alone. These organisations also believe that the role of the CMO will continue to change.

No matter how you look at it, the CMO of today is not what you used to know. And, as the introduction of new technology continues to accelerate and ‘digital’ becomes the norm, the role of the CMO won’t stop evolving any time soon.

The CMO position is set to become even more varied than it is now, with different responsibilities and job role requirements that will make the position unique to each organisation, depending on what other roles they have within both their C-Suite and the rest of the marketing team. For example, if an organisation has a CDO, Chief Data Officer, then data analytics, reporting and strategy might not be part of the CMO’s role; but if there isn’t a CDO, then the CMO will likely be responsible for data as well as other aspects within the wider marketing strategy too.

Regardless of differing responsibilities, organisations will require CMOs to apply insight to their strategies to ensure they address wider business challenges. As a result, CMOs will no longer work in isolation but will be part of the organisation’s vision of growth and market leadership. Working in harmony with other members of the C-Suite and their own team, CMOs will be – and are – instrumental in bridging the gap between customer data and the strategy that needs to be executed as a result of that data. However, with so many responsibilities, the CMO will need a strong and structured team around them to provide support.

It’s time for CMOs to embrace the ‘new normal’, consider how they can use new – or traditional – methods to reach their new audience and to remember that data is key: both to reach their target audience and within the campaign itself.

How to dominate Google with featured snippets

Heard of featured snippets but not sure what they are or how they can help you climb the search results? Selesti‘s quick guide will tell you exactly what featured snippets are and how you can use them to dominate the search results!

What are featured snippets?

The idea behind featured snippets is to provide a short, simple answer to a user’s search. The text is pulled from pages within Google’s index, and they often appear as paragraphs, tables or a bulleted list.

More importantly, featured snippets typically appear at the top of Google search results, even if the site from which the text was taken ranks on page 2 of the SERPs.

This means you can use them to rank at the top of listings even for some of the most competitive terms.

How To Win At Featured Snippets

There are certain things you can do to improve your chances of ranking for a featured snippet. 

Keyword research

Use your own knowledge about your industry as well as common keyword research tools, such as SEMRush and Google’s Keyword Planner to get an idea of the interest in your chosen topics.

It’s worth noting that you have a higher chance of getting a featured snippet for more niche topics: over 85% of snippets appear for queries with a volume of 100 or less a month.

Understand Your Audience

It’s important to understand the intent of your audience whilst searching if you’re going to get a featured snippet. One way of understanding what questions users are commonly asking is the “people also ask” section, which sometimes appears alongside the search results in Google.

You can also ask your staff what questions they hear from customers. This can be an effective way of identifying previously unthought-of queries, as well as helping your existing customers!

Structure your post better than your competitors 

Ensuring your content is well structured can make the difference between appearing for a featured snippet or not. Most content that ranks well for featured snippets tends to be driven from question-based content. Indeed, 41% of all questions searched on Google have featured snippets and this is only likely to increase.

You can also use something called “snippet bait” to increase your chances that your content will be chosen for a snippet.

Snippet bait is typically a section at the start of a post that is specially designed to appear in a featured snippet. For paragraph snippets this may be a short (40-60 word) paragraph that quickly summarises the response to a query in a straightforward, simple fashion, You can then go into further detail later into the post. 

Making the most of featured snippets

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to dominate the top of the search engines, even if you’re not ranking on the first page. 

If you’d like some help to supercharge your position in the search results, get in touch with one of our experts today.

WEBINAR: Convert more opportunities with Digital Playback and the AlwaysOn Marketing Machine

Through a combination of enhanced attribution, optimised marketing and spend timely communications triggered by any predetermined event in a customer journey, the Go Inspire Group are successfully enabling brands to convert more opportunities at speed, on the road to recovery.

Nick Greatrex, Digital Director at Go Inspire Insight, shares his thoughts on improving conversion by solving the digital marketing attribution headache, check out the webinar here [17min to view].

Solving the Attribution and Conversion Rate Headache:

Digital Playback identifies browsers as individuals, linking the online and offline interactions that an individual customer or potential customer makes with your business, across all channels, in one journey. It optimises your conversion rates and marketing spend, showing you when to act, when to pull back, and which customer groups to focus on.

Some of our success stories:

  • 13% saved on digital marketing spend
  • 14% higher profit from Abandoned Baskets by using Direct Mail triggered by browsing data  
  • Improved social, email and paid search quality score, saving 1-2p per click and 2-5% more emails landing in inboxes
  • Budget saved on social, direct mail and display ad by selecting most engaged customers
  • Average customer saving of £17k per month

The AlwaysOn Marketing Machine:

Users can now capitalise on the increased engagement and standout direct mail enjoys over other channels – without compromising on timeliness. 

This is because Go Inspire’s AlwaysOn Marketing Machine direct mail manufacturing technology has evolved to the point where it’s possible to achieve a realistic price point for standard format pre-templated mailings for volumes as small as one record. Clients are sending cost-effective mail, that goes from ‘trigger’ to letterbox, in as little as 48 hours.

Some scenarios utilising this approach are:

  • Loyal customer starting to lapse
  • Overdue account
  • Repeat website visits
  • Item added to online basket
  • Contract nearing expiration
  • Annual statement & reminders 

Some of our success stories:

  • 14% higher profit from Abandoned Baskets
  • Inbound calls to contact centre have reduced by 9%.
  • Letter costs and processing costs of sending out new credit agreements have reduced from 10% to 3%.
  • 40% Postage saving
  • Annual production saving of c£270K from associated information design services

If you’d like to find out more information about how you can benefit from improved conversion rates and an agile ‘AlwaysOn’ Marketing Communication, click here or email info@goinspire.co.uk