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3 Quick-Wins to Improve Your Online Strategy

With the national lockdown ending Wednesday 2nd December and the new, more rigorous tiered system taking full effect, the push to drive traffic online is imperative, especially for brands looking to circumnavigate disaster and get on the path to recovery this most crucial Christmas trading period. Without the possibility to engage shoppers in-store, the need to develop effective customer strategies for digital channels, at speed, is vital.  

To help you revolutionise your online strategy – quickly – Go Inspire are providing our top 3 quick wins…

1. Truly Understand the Performance of Your Online and Offline Media Mix 

Having the confidence to adjust, reallocate or drop marketing investment for specific channels in the media mix can often be difficult for marketers, particularly when hard evidence of customer profitability and channel and campaign performance is lacking.

Imagine spending £thousands on Paid Search only to find out later that those individuals would have come to you anyway via another channel 

Ideally you would be able to demonstrate the profitability of marketing spend and business growth delivered by targeting the right individual, at the right time, with the right message using the right channel.

Digital Playback is a marketing attribution platform that maximises return on investment by highlighting when an individual is in-market, and which channel will be most effective in converting your live opportunities. 

2 things that Digital Playback achieves:

  • It chronologically clusters all interactions a known or unknown individual makes across all channels and devices to highlight the role of each media channel in the sale.
  • It also segments individuals based on engagement, value bands and channel preference to give a true measurement of incremental performance and to deploy more responsive real-time or planned campaigns.

With this new understanding of the whole customer journey you can build more effective marketing campaigns by investing in the activity that is truly working. For example, if your annual budget is £1million on Paid Search, you could typically save £150k immediately.   

If you’d like more information, simply click here and complete the short form to register your interest. 

2. Cut through the clutter and respond quickly to your known customers online actions with offline marketing.

As marketing budgets decrease, the overriding impulse may be to sacrifice quality for quantity and the physical for the digital. 

But before you put your faith in a display ad campaign with a forecasted 5,000,000 reach and 0.01% CTR, please ponder the recent JICMail and Royal Mail MarketReach research showed that a record 96% of mail was engaged with in Q2 2020. 

When you factor in that online traffic driven by direct mail increased by 70% YOY and online actions, taken as a result of receiving mail, increased by 64% since Q2 2019, its difficult to deny the role direct mail should be playing in your marketing mix. 

To facilitate this even further, direct mail manufacturing technology has now 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. 

Timely AlwaysOn communications can be triggered by any predetermined event in your customers’ online journey, such as repeat website visits or items being added to an online basket but not purchased. 

When an AlwaysOn approach was adopted by JD Williams and trialled alongside email, they saw a 14% increase in abandoned basket conversion using trigger mail, a 6% increase in response rates, and an 8% increase in average item value. 

One application could be to act quickly to communicate with customers in stores affected by local lockdowns, about product availability or changes to in-store services and drive them to online pages, solutions or services, rather than see them look elsewhere, to competitors, for their requirements. 

3. Improve acquisition and drive traffic online with targeted door drops

Win new ideal customers by using targeted door drops which research from JICMAIL shows are opened 74% of the time and interacted with, on average 2.8 times. 

Using advanced targeting you can reach households that match your desired profile. Find people within driving distance of a specific location or from particular demographic groups (e.g. age, location, household consumption etc.)

Door drops have evolved and are now much easier to execute. This is because end-to-end management and production of your highly targeted door drops can include insight, identification of target audiences, design, production and distribution, all in one place.

A bit about Go Inspire

At Go Inspire, we work in partnership with you to revolutionise communications strategies within your business and the relationships you have with your customers.

For over 25 years we’ve helped our customers live by the mantra “right person, right time, right message” and as technology and customer demands have evolved, we’ve ensured “right channel” has been added to that mix. 

If you’d like any support or expert advice in delivering any of the above, simply fill in the form on this page and a member of our team will be in touch. 

Top tips on running a business conference

One of the surefire ways to put your company on the corporate map is to have a conference event that makes a statement. When it comes to planning a notable event it’s important to remember what kind of experience you want your guests to have, whether you’re a startup or a highly developed company.

To ensure you impress your attendees, we’ve teamed up with Wyboston Lakes, a conference centre in Milton Keynes, to create this guide…

Don’t underestimate collaboration

Taking the initiative of going alone is great if you’re a sizeable company with the means to do so, but don’t forget about the power of collaboration. One of the main focuses of conference events is bringing people together from the same or similar industries under roof to discuss trends, exchange business cards, and set up working relationships. Two hosts mean twice the brainpower, which could result in reaching out to a wider range of key influencers within a sector.

Selecting the theme

Setting a theme is paramount to achieving a more focused approach. If the theme is ‘grow’, for example, this may encourage many more smaller businesses to join. This could mean lots of new faces, which is an excellent way to encourage conversations.

Have a bit of fun with the wording of the theme too — you want to aim for something that’s relatable and resonates emotionally with the reader. In short, something catchy! Themes that are too ‘corporate’ may not go down as strongly.

Keep in mind that social media also plays an important part in the run up, during, and after the conference, as hosts and guests will be sharing news and information there. It is essential therefore to take advantage of any hashtags and utilize them as part of your theme throughout.

Location of the event

The location of the venue is as important as anything else within it. Consider the potential size of your event and compare this with the size of the venue. Booking a stadium for a handful of guests probably isn’t going to go down well with your finance team, for example.

Accessibility is important too — is it near train stations, airports, or any main motorways? If many are arriving by car then plenty parking is a small factor that goes a long way, keep it professionally thought out and not sloppy.

Picking a secluded area of the building is important also for the guests to feel they have privacy away from the main areas to allow them to focus more on the on the conference itself.

Do all the necessary facilities come with the venue of your choice? Plenty seating, smaller rooms for breakout sessions, and modern technical aspects such as video equipment, projectors and suitable audio are all essentials if you’re planning on delivering a seminar or require a PowerPoint to go alongside a speaking slot.

Caring for the environment

Businesses have a duty to the environment, and with more attention than ever on ‘going green’, it’s vital for your event and your brand to maintain an eco-friendly image. Being ecological should be one of the underlying factors of your event, making sure wherever possible the green alternative is being deployed rather than using too much plastic.

Refreshments

No matter the size of the event, it’s important to have a selection of refreshments on offer. A few pastries and hot drinks are suitable for smaller events, whereas larger events would require pre-paid catering companies to provide a larger range of options. Make sure that your catering options include some alternative offerings too, such as gluten or dairy-free.

Influential speakers

People like to come away from a conference event feeling like they have learned something new, something they can take home with them that they did not arrive. So, take advantage of your connections and include some influential speakers that you know will create an atmosphere and deliver some useful tips for all businesses.

Agenda

Arranging and setting up an itinerary prior is a no-brainer if you want to guarantee the event runs smoothly. Planning activities that have the guests engage with each other is always a positive way to break ice, as well as allowing plenty of time for refreshments if it runs throughout the day.

You can overdo it though, planning everything to the smallest detail can make it seem not natural, keep it organized but let the networking parts guide themselves, allowing some flexibility over the course of the day of hours that it runs for.

There are many aspects to consider when planning the perfect conference. By following the tips above, you’ll be sure to have all areas covered!

Sources:

https://www.senatehouseevents.co.uk/features/how-plan-conference-your-guide-planning-perfect-conference

https://www.creativebloq.com/business/how-organize-conference-21619080

https://billetto.co.uk/l/how-to-organise-a-conference

Forum Insight: 5 top tips to closing big money deals…

There are a number of viable reasons as to why decision-makers across a broad range of sectors ultimately lose out on big money deals; many overlooking the simplest of techniques that can either make or break a business relationship. Here, we break down the fundamental tips to help you sell your services…

  1. Let the client do the talking

Inevitably, to provide the very best service for your existing and potential client base, it’s crucial to find out exactly what the client is looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can to hone in on what their needs are. By asking questions, not only will this benefit your end by acquiring a better understanding; however, the client will also feel they are being productive and part of the solution.

  1. Personalisation goes a long way 

    Remember that clients say things for a reason. If they volunteer that they can’t talk right now because they are getting ready for a social event taking place on a Saturday; on your follow up call, ask them casually how the event went. Although you shouldn’t pry or send a gift, by casually asking about the event, you show that you pay attention to details. Knowing how successful the party was will prepare you on how to approach the conversation.

  1. Be enthusiastic

Your client feels passionate about what they do, and if you show that you are passionate and enthusiastic about providing them the solution they want, you’ll get the client on board. An enthusiastic attitude is sure to open many doors for you.

  1. Play it simple 

    Speak to them on their level, not yours. Keep the conversation simple and get straight to the point. If your client understands what you can do for them, they are more likely to hire you. If you try and dazzle them with industry speak, you’ll lose them, and lose the contract. You may find that if you are speaking to a perspective client on the phone, stand up. For many people, standing makes them get straight to the point. 

  2. When should we get started?

A straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no hinges on far more than just the specific closing sentence or question, reps often struggle with wording their deal denouements. Does this sound too pushy? Too weak? Should they ask a question, or use a statement instead? But just like there’s more than one way to peel an orange, there are several strong ways to close a deal.

Forum Insight: The essential client meeting checklist…

A well prepared face-to-face client meeting can create a significant impact on the quality of existing and new business relationships; as well as vastly increasing the value of a company in the long term.

Conducting client meetings is also a viable solution to sustaining business longevity which, is primarily determined by the loyalty and commitment of its customer base. Therefore, by following our essential checklist, a strong focus on hosting productive client meetings could turn out to be the one of best investments you will ever make in your business…

  1. Do your homework

It’s worthwhile to spend some time researching your clients’ business: their strengths, weaknesses, competitors and challenges. Gathering as much information as possible before your meeting will give you the much-needed confidence to hold a strong conversation and proactively suggest appropriate solutions.

  1. Plan your meeting

Particularly at a Forum or Summit, it’s likely you will only have around 20 minutes to make a bold first impression, so don’t waste it! Make sure to rehearse answers to any potential questions you feel the client may ask, and you’ll then be ready to overcome any obstacle.

  1. Focus solely on the client

Your last meeting went really well, and the client has given you a brief. Put that meeting to one side – you already have a date set for the next contact. Don’t neglect the client sitting in front of you; their potential contract could be bigger than the last and it crucial to keep this focus. If the clients purchasing requirement is good enough for them to travel to the Forum, then the sales opportunity is good enough for you to give them your undivided attention.

  1. Watch your body language

Get it wrong and it will be a deal breaker. Be immaculately dressed; firmly shake hands and pay attention to how you sit or stand. Strategically plan your coffee breaks; don’t leave your stand five minutes before your next meeting – they may be five minutes early! Inevitably, first impressions always count, so talk to them like you mean it. Be enthusiastic about the things you are talking about; listen to what they say and ask as many questions as you can.

Forum News: 10 ways to succeed at networking events…

Walking into an event room full of people you don’t know can be a scary experience. However, there are proven ways to conquer this fear and make networking an enjoyable and a useful process to do business. Here, we share 10 of the best practices to eradicate those networking nerves.

1. Plan ahead: Try to obtain the attendee list in advance and highlight the people you would like to meet. On arrival, contact the event organiser and say who you are trying to connect with. If they get the chance, an introduction between yourself and the other party will be made upon arrival. It might also be beneficial to go to the registration area to ask if one of your selected visitors has arrived.

2. Get there early: If you are one of the first to arrive, it is much easier to strike up a conversation with a small group of people.

3. Most people are in the same position: If you do not know anyone else attending, it’s good to prepare a few opening questions: ‘Any particular presentation you’re looking forward to hearing today?’; ‘What brought you to this event?’

4. Join a group: Approaching a group of attendees already in full conversation is a daunting prospect. So be bold, confident, and simply ask: “May I join the conversation? I’ve just arrived and I’m keen to learn what’s going on.”

5. Build interesting conversation: Ask topical and relevant questions to the specific event. Be a good listener and don’t dominate the conversation with your own stories and business ideas.

6. Be helpful: Share your knowledge of the industry, your contacts and sources of information. If people perceive you as an experienced and knowledgeable professional, they will want to keep in contact and maintain a relationship.

7. Use your business card as a tactical weapon: I have a friend who renovates old wooden floors, so his business card is made of a thin piece of wood and has proven to be a guaranteed conversation starter. Be imaginative with the design and the job title displayed. Anything that says ‘sales’ or ‘business development’ could cause people to fear a sales pitch is on the way. So try and think of a job title that encourages a productive conversation.

8. Receiving business cards: Be sure to make notes on the back to remind you of the conversation and the person. This could become much use in future interactions.

9. Following up: If you engaged in constructive conversation with an attendee and have agreed to follow up after the event, then set a preferred method of contact and make sure to do so promptly.

10. What not to do: Sales pitches, even if you’re asked ‘what does your company do’, keep your answer to a very brief explanation. Don’t ‘work the room’ rushing from group to group as this is not the way to form business relationships. It’s better to have had four good conversations than a dozen meaningless chats.

 

Words by Paul Rowney, Director at Forum Events Ltd.