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SME confidence holds firm ahead of Christmas period

For the first time this year, small business confidence has held firm from one quarter to the next – with marketing services sectors seeing growth forecasts rise on Q2 levels.

After the Government announced its three-tier Covid restrictions, new research suggests the avoidance of a second national lockdown and certainty of direction until March has had a positive impact on UK small business confidence.

The findings come from a rolling study from Hitachi Capital Business Finance that has tracked small business growth forecasts every quarter for the last six years. Before Covid-19 struck – and even during the period of the Brexit vote – the percentage of small businesses predicting growth for the three months ahead stayed at between 36-39% for six consecutive quarters.

In April 2020, this crashed overnight to just 14% of small businesses predicting growth. 

The UK’s re-emergence from lockdown in July 2020 saw a sharp resurgence in confidence, with the percentage of small business owners predicting growth for the next three months doubling to 27%. The latest data conducted this week by Hitachi Capital reveals that the percentage of small businesses predicting significant and modest growth remains unchanged since summer months (27%). Further, the Q4 data reveals the third consecutive quarter where the percentage of small businesses fearing collapse has fallen – down from a high of 29% in Q2 2020 to a current figure of 12% for Q4 2020.

Joanna Morris, Head of Insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: “Despite the changed context from the summer months, with Covid numbers now again rising sharply, our data suggests small businesses are reacting positively to the current circumstances. The avoidance of national lockdown and the consensus that there will be restrictions through until March has at least given small business owners a degree of certainty against which to plan. 

“Our figures for 2020 show that small business confidence has had sharp rises and falls since the pandemic struck. Our new research conducted the day after the Government’s announcement on three-tier restrictions gives the first reaction from the small business community. The stabilising of confidence levels between Q2 and Q3 is a really important development as it suggests smaller enterprises (that can operate) are adapting to the new reality – and accept the prospect that we may all be in for a long-haul fight against Covid.” 

By sector the research also gives a welcome boost for the high street. Ahead of the critical Christmas period, there was a marked rise in the proportion of retail small businesses predicting growth (up from 27% to 35% in three months). The property and marketing services sectors also saw growth forecasts rise on Q2 levels.  

Conversely, growth forecasts in manufacturing fell sharply (down from 30% to 23% in three months) – and the hospitality sector remained in a serious position; here only 18% of small business owners predicted any form of growth, whilst 53% predicted contraction. Overall 29% of hospitality sector small businesses predicted they would struggle to survive, more than double the national average (12%).

Customer Engagement Tops 2020 marketing buying trends

Customer Engagement and Social Media top the list of services the UK’s leading marketing professionals are sourcing in 2020.

The findings have been revealed by the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit and are based on delegate requirements at this summer’s recent event.

Delegates registering to attend were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2020 and beyond.

A significant 73% are looking to invest in Customer Engagement, followed by Social Media and Marketing Strategy (both 70%).

Just behind were Lead Generation & Traffic (63%) and Email Marketing (60%).

% of delegates at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Customer Engagement 73%
Social Media 70%
Strategy 70%
Lead Generation & Tracking 63%
Email Marketing 60%
Content Management 57%
Conversion Rate Optimisation 57%
CRM 53%
Online Marketing Campaigns 53%
Online Advertising 47%

To find out more about the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit, visit https://digitalmarketingsolutionssummit.co.uk.

WHITE PAPER: Direct mail for e-commerce brands in a digital world

By Webmart

The argument over whether digital marketing or direct mail is the most effective to engage customers is widely contested. There is a variety of research that suggests that one is better than the other. However, at Webmart, we believe that the channels should be used together to complement one another to get the most out of the marketing mix, increase brand awareness and boost performance. 

You will, no doubt, invest a lot of time, effort, and money into optimising your digital presence as an e-commerce brand. After all, your business is online, it makes sense to invest in ensuring your online presence is as strong as it can be, but achieving cut through can be challenging! With the support of mail, the value of your brand awareness can be enhanced and cut through can be increased. Direct mail can be incredibly effective in increasing the brand value and growing an online presence. 

With the ever-changing environment in these uncertain times, the digital market is becoming more saturated as digital use goes through the roof. Which is great news for e-commerce brands, but the cut through rate to get the reader’s attention is even harder to grab. 75% of people that have used digital for the first time have suggested that they will continue to use it when things get back to “normal” (McKinsey Digital, 2020). Which means that there is an even greater opportunity to encourage new prospects and customers onto e-commerce sites. 

To help with this, many brands are utilising traditional channels like direct mail to achieve that cut through and improve the performance of their digital campaigns. For example, mail recipients spend an average of 31% longer engaging with the brand’s social media content and remember the online content for longer by an average of 44% (MarketReach/Neuro-Insight, 2018).

Download Webmart’s whitepaper to understand how direct mail can help to increase your ROI on campaigns, and how we use the levers approach to make sure that best practice is achieved to enhance direct mail campaigns for e-commerce brands.  

Local venues and hotels join forces to launch Meet Gloucester

Key venues, hotels and suppliers from have joined forces to launch a centralised, event focused destination marketingorganisation for Gloucester.

The organisation, which will officially launch at Meet South West on 31st January, creates a hub for domestic and international buyers looking to organise events in the city.

Created to support and target association, corporate and agency event business, Meet Gloucester has the full support of the wider Gloucester City Council, the DMO – Marketing Gloucester and funding from Gloucester Business Improvement District.

Marketing Gloucester is providing seed funding and digital support as Meet Gloucester is developed by key industry partners with a desire to see the city grow its presence on both a domestic and international level as a meetings and events destination.  Local partners volunteering their time to set up and launch Meet Gloucester are:

·       Hatton Court Hotel Gloucester

·       Bowden Hall Hotel

·       Gloucester Rugby

·       Soaring Worldwide

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council said: ”Gloucester is a vibrant and fast developing city with huge potential for growth within the meetings and events industry.  Meet Gloucester will provide an ideal face for the city, bringing together its key suppliers, venues and hotels as we look to increase not just our offering but also the number of delegates coming to experience all we have to offer.”

Further information on Meet Gloucester will be available via www.meetgloucester.co.uk as well as social channels on 31st January, 2019.

STUDY: TV THE ‘LEAST RISKY’ MARKETING CHANNEL

Linear TV advertising and Broadcaster VOD (BVOD) are the least risky forms of advertising, delivering just 20% of variance compared with the median return.

That’s according to research from TV marketing body Thinkbox, Gain Theory, MediaCom and Wavemaker, released to support a new cross-media optimisation tool based on its findings.

The ‘Demand Generation’ study is an econometric analysis of £1.4 billion of media spend by 50 brands across 10 forms of advertising over three years. It offers wide-ranging advice to marketers on how to maximise short-term advertising return without sacrificing sustained base growth. 

The study has also isolated the principle variables that impact advertising effectiveness, and these have been used to create ‘The Demand Generator’, a new tool that enables marketers to determine the optimal advertising media mix specific to their business and its objectives.

Key findings include:-

  • The variability of returns differs significantly across different forms of advertising
  • Linear TV advertising and Broadcaster VOD (BVOD) are the least risky forms of advertising, delivering just 20% of variance compared with the median return
  • By comparison, Online display, Cinema, Social media and Print advertising all have a variability of +/- 60% compared with the median return  
  • TV generates the highest ‘multiplier effect’ across all other channels
  • TV boosts the performance of other media channels used in a campaign by up to 54% 
  • Print, for example, boosts other channels’ performance by up to 13%
  • The average ‘multiplier effect’ across all channels is around 8%
  • This is the highest of any pure ‘demand generating’ channel, the next best is Print with 10%
  • Generic search, which straddles ‘demand generation’ and ‘demand fulfilment’ and is TV’s natural partner, delivers an average of 29% of media-driven sales within 2 weeks
  • Due to the sustained effect of advertising, during the following 6-18 months, TV goes on to deliver a further 2.4 times more sales than it generated in the first 2 weeks
  • Generic search goes on to deliver 0.8 times more sales than in the first 2 weeks and Print 1.2 times more

The new tool supported by the research – www.thinkbox.tv/demandgenerator – offers practical advice on optimal media mixes based on the key variables that influence advertising effectiveness uncovered in the research. These were identified as a brand’s:-

  • Category
  • Budget
  • Brand size (annual revenue)
  • Appeal (e.g. mass market or niche)
  • % of sales that take place online 
  • Desire to minimise risk

The Demand Generator also forecasts the likely business results of following its guidance, both in terms of incremental revenue/profit per year and revenue/profit return on investment (ROI).

Matt Hill, Research and Planning Director at Thinkbox, said: “Often we do some research, release the findings and that’s that. So it’s wonderful to create something tangible and practical based on such robust insight. We hope The Demand Generator will be a helpful springboard for the many brands that don’t already do econometric analyses of their media performance. They can tailor it to their exact needs to find the best place to start from when deciding their media mix. With marketers increasingly adopting a zero-based budgeting approach, having a tool like this should provide a great evidence-based foundation on which to build their decisions.”

Jane Christian, Managing Partner, Head of Business Science, MediaCom: “Demand Generation provides the industry with the broadest view of media performance to date. It goes under the bonnet of what factors drive the optimal media plan for a brand, with The Demand Generator helping advertisers to tailor the result specifically for their brand.”

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Evolving marketing in the automotive industry

By Jonathan Gilpin, Lookers

With an annual turnover rate of £82 billion and an employer of over 186,000 people in the manufacturing process, along with an additional 700,000 in other aspects, the automotive industry is huge. 

In addition, the stability the automotive industry creates for the UK economy is substantial, considering the industry alone accounts for 12% of UK good exports. 

But marketing investments for businesses in the automotive industry are usually rather costly. Although there are occasions when we are driving past a car showroom and a shiny new Ford Kuga Titanium catches our eye, it is a rarity in 2019.

For those among us that try and suggest they aren’t sucked in by an utterly fantastic marketing campaign — they are telling a fib. 

Product placement is one aspect certain brands choose to focus on. Fans of popular evening soap Coronation Street helped the hashtag #roysrolls trend after the show replaced Roy’s standard coffee with the alternative, big brand Costa Coffee. 

Alternatively, some businesses have become rather symbols of festive periods, such as John Lewis and their annual Christmas TV adverts. In 2018, the campaign paid tribute to British music cult hero, Elton John. 

The popstar is shown to be playing his rather ironically named song Your Song in a modernized, up to date rendition of it in front of a packed-out concert hall. Travelling through time, letting the audience act as witness to the variety of eras in which the song has been played, it finished with a young Elton playing his first piano. 

If you think about it, none of John Lewis’s adverts in recent years have had any relation to the brand itself, however this clever subtle trick does get you thinking of their brand. 

The overriding purpose of a marketing campaign is to make it stick in your mind and most importantly remember who delivered it. For the remainder of the festive period, the British public were driving to work and doing the dishes, humming the tune to Your Song, and when they were, they were thinking about John Lewis. 

The launch of a new product is crucial. Despite the fact an all-singing, all-dancing media campaign will not be enough to mask the incompetency of a below par product, an impressive one accompanying a genuinely capable product will succeed in boosting sales. 

Here with Lookers and their new Ford Kuga Titanium, we take a look at the way car manufacturers invest in the launch of new products, and whether they opt for a subtle or direct approach. 

The true meaning behind Va Va Voom

Despite a slow start back in 2002, Thierry Henry’s career with the Gunners gradually begun to take off. 

Having two premier league trophies and being top goal scorer in two seasons for his club wasn’t bad titles to add to his name. However, breaking the hearts of Manchester United fans wasn’t the only job Henry had on his hands, or shall we say, feet. Thierry had been tasked by French manufacturer Renault to find the true meaning of ‘va va voom’. 

In the past, the Clio has commonly been associated with being a feminine car, however after the striker was seen driving the car in the advert this helped draw attention away from this stereotype and the physical attributes or capabilities of the car itself. Instead, it took a young, rather dashing sporting icon, and delivered a stylish message to the masses — the Clio is for everyone. 

It’s suggested by marketers that after doing something once, the concept loses its initial appeal. In the case of Henry, Renault were clearly so impressed with his performance at the helm, they drafted him back in to chip in with the 2019 Premier League season adverts on Sky Sports. 

A car you could eat: Fabia Sponge 

Rumor has it that after the release of the greatest automotive TV advert of all time, every day Skoda offices have a slice of cake in tribute to it. 

It’s not often you would look at a car and think “that looks tasty”, regardless of how pleasing to the eye it is. 

Eight master bakers teamed together to create a life-size cake in the shape of their Fabia vehicle for their 2007 advert. Madeira cake, Battenberg, Rice Krispies, chocolate fingers, and oil, in the form of golden syrup, were all moulded together to create undeniably one of the most expensive cakes of all time. 

It took the equivalent cost of 62 Skoda Fabia’s to create the cake for the Czech car manufacturer. Tragically, by the time the icing and filming had been complete, most of the edible aspects of the cake had perished. 

Despite the marzipan alternative, this approach did largely center around the actual car itself, in comparison to the Renault. Accompanied by Julie Andrews’ My Favourite Things, the advert watches the chefs at work, creating an utter masterpiece. 

It’s great when things just work 

For their brand-new advert, Honda used the rhetorical statement of ‘Isn’t it nice when things just work?’.

The advert that situates a Wallace and Gromit-style mechanism in a rather lengthy, desolate gallery is deemed one of the most visually intriguing piece of media contents of all time. 

This domino-effect style idea sees a variety of car parts collapse into one another causing them to fall and trigger the next element of the chain, leaving the audience sat in anticipation to see what the final falling aspect is going to be. 

Before the launch of their campaign, Honda’s sales in Europe had been rather unimpressive. The video however was incredibly well received, collecting a host of awards, including one at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Honda sales, in turn, jumped by 28 per cent, and the monthly number of Honda branch visits rose from 3,500 to 3,700. 

After 4 days of filming, £1m and 606 takes later the Japanese manufacturers had finished their advert. Again, there was little of the video that focused on the vehicle itself however, the advert got engraved in the minds of its viewers. 

From a business perspective, you need to consider how much your marketing campaign is going to cost, how much you’re willing to invest and how beneficial it has the potential to be. 

Sources:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/features/classic-ads-cake-skoda-fabia

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

B2B marketers failing to drive multi-channel campaigns

B2B marketers struggle to create and deliver multi-channel campaigns that successfully align with their marketing strategy.

This is despite an understanding that the ‘Integration Imperative’ is critical to achieving marketing goals, maximising exposure with target audiences and boosting return on investment.

That’s according to a survey by B2B agency Skout, which polled 100 senior UK marketing professionals and found that 63% feel they are not taking advantage of the different marketing channels available to them.

46% struggle to integrate channels, claiming that this is the biggest obstacle to successfully delivering their marketing activities.

Failure to create content that can actually be used across multiple channels was also identified as a challenge to successful integrated marketing.

40% of marketers don’t reuse content because they feel that it’s unsuitable for other formats, while 35% are concerned that content has lost its value after its initial use and don’t believe it can be used again.

32% blame ineffective campaign planning for not reusing content, suggesting that many marketers don’t fully consider their goals and objectives before developing content programmes.

Interestingly, 42% of marketers agree that using multiple marketing channels is the most important aspect of campaign integration. In comparison, 40% believe it’s the need for marketingand sales alignment and for 36% the imperative is good teamwork. Despite this, respondents admitted to not using content effectively.

For example, 85% of marketers think that case studies should be created for use across many channels for maximum impact. This could include video, podcast, website testimonials, long form PDFs and press stories all from one source. However, many felt these crucial content assets are significantly underutilised.

Reassuringly, 80% of marketing professionals agree that PR is a vital element of improving SEO and link building alongside building targeted brand awareness. 87% also agree that developing a PR programme can also improve social media performance.

However, 57% still struggle to integrate PR, social media, SEO and link building when planning and strategising. Over half of respondents understand the value of integrating channels – both online and offline – but many don’t know how to do it effectively, or feel that they can convey a consistent message across all outlets to achieve campaign goals.

97% of marketeers surveyed identified training, skills and budgets as the things holding them back from improved integrated marketing. Only 16% feel that they are equipped with sufficient training and skills, while just one in five believe that they have the adequate budget in place to support integrated marketing.

Claire Lamb, Director of Skout, said: “Clearly marketers realise the benefits of using multiple channels within their marketing programmes but many are struggling to integrate them effectively. If a business fails to communicate through all the correct channels to reach their audience they’re limiting the exposure of their content and brand. It’s also crucial to integrate Paid, Earned, Owned and Social media, so that they maximise their target audiences in more ways than one. If businesses don’t embrace and work across all channels together, their content won’t gain maximum reach, and they could miss out on new prospects.”

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

How to market to the over-50s

Force24’s Managing Director, Adam Oldfield, offers his insight into what digital marketers need to know when effectively communicating with ‘silver surfers’…

There’s a strong market emerging that digital marketers cannot afford to ignore, especially as they are proving to be an affluent demographic when it comes to loyalty and brand commitment – and that’s the over-50s.

According to NatWest ContentLive, the so-called ‘silver surfers’ market not only accounts for over a third of Britain’s population, but they hold around 70% of the country’s household wealth.

Further statistics in this article also underline how these customers are fans of online shopping too – with 75% of adults aged 55-64 logging on to buy products and services in 2017, as reported via the Office for National Statistics.

So, what do marketers really need to understand about this group, in order to effectively get their messages across? 

Firstly, it’s a demographic which holds traditional values close to them. They prefer to buy from people they trust, and have a level of engagement that certainly shouldn’t be underestimated – or overlooked – by brands.

However, it’s important that marketing departments approach this kind of audience in a different way – and that’s by embracing their ethos of wanting to get to know people.

Why? Because the over-50s place long-term value on the organisations who show they truly care about their individual needs. Therefore, businesses need to demonstrate a commitment to connect, and take them through their purchasing journey in a personable, humanised way.

When it comes to understanding when to engage too, if marketers try to communicate with this target market at the wrong times, the audience is more likely to unsubscribe because they guard their inbox like it’s their front door – they certainly don’t care for blanket brand spam.

What they do hold true value to is security, and, that’s where marketing automation can be a real benefit to companies. Having such a platform ensures communications are relevant, land when most timely, and are sent in-line with the end user’s preferred frequency.

Automation allows for companies to super-personalise their marketing can help to build the trust this audience requires, as well as collect crucial data, in order to understand what the customer is looking at – helping departments to escalate the purchasing journey, at their desired pace.

Finally, another element for firms to really consider is the artwork included when sending their comms. This demographic is less design-critical – they prefer a polished, well-constructed piece of marketing over something that’s contemporary or graphic-heavy. They want value over vibrancy.

In order to really connect with the over-50s on a level that will create a long-standing relationship, organisations have to be patient and put real effort into personalising their messaging, in order to show how dependable and trustworthy they really are.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

GUEST BLOG: Science and sales – A match made in heaven 

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having an immediate effect on how businesses operate today. However, one area of business where AI is having the biggest impact is sales, with UK sales leaders anticipating AI adoption in their industry to grow over 150% by 2020. 

Executed correctly, AI now has the potential to revolutionise sales and marketing processes, enabling companies to increase the speed, accuracy and output of lead and revenue generation. AI can not only assist in identifying and targeting ideal customers, but it can be leveraged to align sales and marketing activity and deliver integrated campaigns, ensuring the right person can be contacted at the right time, in the right way, with the right message.

James Isilay, Founder and CEO, Cognism, outlines how lead generation has transformed to become far more scientific than ever before, and how companies that use relevant, intelligent, accurate and timely data will reap the rewards.

The sales funnel is broken 

The introduction of GDPR undoubtedly disrupted the way marketing teams carry out inbound digital marketing and sales strategies. However, it has been a long overdue wake up call for the industry: organisations have realised the poor quality of their data which until now, has resulted in inefficient and ineffective marketing outreach.

GDPR has forced companies to take a look at the data they are using and how they are using it. A key aspect of the regulation is ensuring that data is fully up to date; a welcome side effect of this is that it means every outreach is more relevant and effective. And it’s not just about ensuring the contact details are up to date: it is about leveraging detailed, up to date insight to rapidly identify new revenue streams.

Strategy and data 

Customer and prospect data can be an incredibly valuable resource, but it can also be a liability. Poor quality contact and lead data is certainly one of the most frustrating aspects of any B2B outbound sales campaign. From job changes to company acquisitions, data is always in motion. In fact,  approximately a third of CRM data degrades every year with most sales teams using data that is 60% out of date. Improvements to the sales process must be supported by a completely different approach to data sourcing: static CRM is no longer good enough, so B2B sales organisations need access to fresh, accurate and GDPR compliant data.

New business relies on new opportunities. From identifying an existing customer that moves to another company or champions promoted within an existing customer, there is always an opportunity to upsell or find a new prospect. In order to regain data confidence, fix the broken sales funnel and ultimately achieve revenue growth, a more scientific and strategic approach to data sourcing is required.

Data with a fourth dimension

Relevant data is essential if businesses want to ensure they are reaching the right contacts. In addition to the two dimensions of company and people, adding the third dimension of events and fourth dimension of real-time data completely transforms the way in which a business can identify and reach its total addressable market. But how can companies bring the science into their sales strategy and ensure their data is fresh and up to date? The answer is AI.

Bringing science to sales 

From LinkedIn Profile to company websites to corporate announcements, these data points are crucial sources of information for the sales team when it comes down to adding a fourth dimension of time into data. Artificial Intelligence powered data tools can provide a deep data resource, allowing sales teams to access the information they need to ensure strategic and effective outreach. Data profiles include skill sets, education, time in certain roles, even specific technologies that are in use which is everything needed for a successful sales call to identify hot leads.

This sales intelligence extends across the globe and into every industry allowing B2B lead generation to be based on specific triggers allowing the sales team to hone their pitch and improve responses. The fourth dimension of time remains key in this strategy as it enables the sales team to exploit specific events such as funding rounds or geographic expansion and target the right prospect at the right time.

What makes this strategy truly smart and strategic is the feedback that is provided by Revenue AI. With each new outreach campaign, responses are fed back into the system, providing further insight and a better understanding of personas and their reaction to specific messaging – it is Revenue AI’s constant feedback loop that ensures the sales and marketing activity retains momentum and continues to deliver value.

Conclusion

With current outreach activity wasting time by using out of date contacts and failing to maximise revenue growth, the case for sales to be underpinned by a scientific strategy is clear. Few companies have achieved a truly scalable, integrated and harmonised B2B sales operation that maximises opportunities, but those who have are certainly reaping the benefits and seeing significant growth.

Like science, B2B sales success is all about the metrics – it’s about understanding and refining the process and ensuring that the right team structure is in place. With the right sales model that is underpinned by AI, a company can quickly and effectively explore and exploit a source of accurate, fresh, real-time data to achieve fast, targeted and timely B2B lead generation and sales activity that is effective and efficient.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

Brands urged to embrace the ‘purple pound’

Businesses are being encouraged to register for Purple Tuesday to learn more about the purple pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families.

Over 13 million people in the UK, one fifth of the population, live with a disability and households with a disabled person spend a combined £249 billion a year.

But many businesses could do more to provide for disabled customers, according to the organisers of Purple Tuesday.

Purple Tuesday is an international call to action which will take which place on 12th November 2019. Created and coordinated by disability organisation Purple, it celebrates the power of the purple pound and asks businesses to make a commitment to improve their offer to disabled people. Businesses that register for Purple Tuesday will benefit from free resources from Purple on topics such as website accessibility and customer service training.

Last year over 750 organisations participated, including retail giants Asda, M&S and Sainsbury’s. This year, Purple Tuesday will engage with organisations across multiple sectors on an international level.

Geraldine El Masrour, Centre Manager of Motherwell Shopping Centre, worked with Purple to prepare the centre for Purple Tuesday and saw first-hand the impact of the day on her staff and customers: “Following Purple Tuesday, one of our Security Officers put his dementia training into action to support a shopper, who had previously been seen as disruptive, to make a purchase. The customer was so happy he cried.” Geraldine has since been nominated as Centre Manager of the Year for the SCEPTRE Awards, she says: “I’m sure that working with Purple and taking part in Purple Tuesday has helped me to be shortlisted and I’m looking forward to making continued improvements to our services for disabled people as we build up to Purple Tuesday 2019.”

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple Tuesday said: “Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for businesses of all sizes, from all sectors.

“Purple Tuesday is a milestone moment, but the issue is relevant 365 days a year. From retail to restaurants, tourism to insurance, we’re calling on businesses across all sectors to back Purple Tuesday and commit to changing the customer experience for disabled people for good.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “A day out for disabled customers should be an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends, but for so many it can be such a hassle that they end up staying at home instead.

“That is a terrible shame, not only for the UK’s 13 million disabled people but for Britain’s businesses who are missing out on the huge spending power of these valuable customers. It’s also not acceptable in this day and age.

“I want businesses across the country to get involved with this year’s Purple Tuesday and open their doors to disabled customers – not just on this day but all year round.”

Disabled people tend to be more brand loyal than the average consumer, yet less than 10 per cent of businesses worldwide currently include disabled customers in their marketing plans. By failing to meet the needs of disabled people, businesses could be missing out on a share of £2 billion a month.

As well as providing free resources for Purple Tuesday participants, Purple provides tailored accessibility consulting and support to businesses through paid Purple Memberships and Partnerships.

Purple Members receive benefits including website accessibility diagnosis with recommendations which are free of low cost to implement, as well as consultancy with Purple and support through the Government accredited Disability Confident programme.

A Purple Partnership is designed for organisations with experience of disability issues who want to benefit from longer-term consultancy to address employee, consumer and supply chain related issues. Both Members and Partners receive discounts on Purple’s additional training and auditing services.

To register for Purple Tuesday and join organisations across the globe in changing the customer experience for disabled people, visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/.