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David Gray
16 followers -
Husband, father, runner, swimmer, cyclist.
Husband, father, runner, swimmer, cyclist.

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3 simple steps for social media promotion

Traditional marketing techniques

The traditional approach to selling products was to apply marketing and advertising techniques that disrupt the customer, challenging the way they think about that product and promoting the advantages it might bring. This technique would be applied as a result of either creating a new product or redesigning an existing one to meet the needs of that customer. Marketing and advertising campaigns would hinge on the product and how it provided benefits to the customer. But marketing techniques have changed.

Over-marketing has had it’s day

Regardless of what you’re selling, customers are way more product-savvy and technologically capable these days with the ability to fact find and evaluate at a moments notice. They are also bombarded with marketing from the moment they flick on their phone, tablet or PC, and many simply don’t want to be marketed to any more. That is, unless they’re being marketed to with relevant, helpful and timely product content which is released on the right channel for them. Of course, this is where understanding your customer is central to the success of any campaign, but businesses must also consider the following critical points:

• Product value proposition - why the product is valuable to the customer
• How you communicate that value - what you say and how you say it
• Which channels you use to go to market - where you say it

Inbound marketing techniques

Technology and the availability of information have changed the way customers think, how they evaluate and how they make a purchase. In response to this, marketers and their techniques have also changed. Well, some have. Rather than ‘disrupt’ a potential customer by pushing a product under their nose via a leaflet or advertising, the modern approach is to provide a helpful resource with valuable, useful content. This content might help a customer experience a ‘eureka’ moment by guiding them to a conclusion, helping them discover that your product is actually the most suitable one for them.

By creating a relevant and beneficial digital resource where those searching for answers in an area where your business operates, companies can generate a loyal following where customers can be gained and reputation built. Activating those resources requires a mix of strategic and tactical marketing blended with creative and copywriting skills. Find out how we can tailor an inbound marketing campaign to suit your audience, budget and expectations, by contacting us.
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LOOK AT ME! The rise of social media

2.43 billion people swiped at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, during the last year, so you won’t be shocked to learn that social media has now become an irreplaceable feature of human life. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were social network users, and these figures are expected to grow. This has resulted in a rise in the number of social media marketers plying their trade. Sure, we all know that ‘expert’ who can help us get us around Facebook or Instagram, but being truly effective across social media channels is a craft.

More complex social media platforms

With so many different social media platforms to choose from coupled with the rate at which we are all bombarded with information, marketers continue to face a struggle when delivering clear and poignant messages to the target audience. The digital landscape is now so complex with ephemeral content (that’s disappearing content that has a restricted lifetime) becoming more mainstream in 2018. This type of limited social media content is another channel technique to add distinction over other channels and tempt a user to engage. Video continues to grow in popularity, as is augmented reality (AR), another technique whereby digital content is overlaid into real world imagery. You can probably recall the Pokemon Go game released in 2016 which gained 28.5 million users at it’s peak, but that figure dwindled to a meagre 5 million in 2017. The company behind the app, Niantic, have recently upgraded their AR package to allow even closer, more detailed engagement with the real world. This technology will undoubtedly filter through onto social media platforms in force over the coming months and years.

How do brands stand out on social media?

The issue faced by businesses looking to make their mark on social media is determining which channels they should utilise and how best to publish content across them to attract the right audience. This is where a social media, or digital, strategy can come into great effect. Regardless of whether you intend to use ephemeral content, video or AR, or whether your operating on a global, national or local stage, understanding your audience - aka the consumer - is central to delivery of high quality messaging that hits the target. Gone are the days of broad brush tactics where the same message is released to the same users across a range of digital channels. Segmentation of your digital consumer market with character profiling will result in a far more defined understanding of the audience trends, making content curation and publication across your designated social media channels more effective. Creating a social media strategy, with a defined activity calendar and success measured by metrics can greatly add to your digital marketing practice.

To find out more about how to create an effective social media strategy, visit www.gregorygray.co.uk
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Here's a sneak peek at the new Ranne website due for release in the next few weeks! Before creating any sort of comms such as a website, it's key to understand who you're marketing to and why, and how best to tailor your messaging too. Being strategic gets more results, better results and directly impacts on your bottom line. It's important to be driven by strategy!
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Understanding customers - why bother?

How well do you know your customers? Since customers are critical to the survival of your business, understanding what they value about your product is essential. Obviously, without customers, the business has no revenue. But how many businesses take the time to make contact with these key stakeholders in order to identify what they value most about what you provide?

Customer segmentation - you’re too busy, right?

If you currently survey your customers then you may already be familiar with customer segmentation. This is the process of defining different groups of customers with individual needs so that you can not only tailor your communications to achieve maximum effect, but also refine the products and services which you provide to them. Whilst customer segmentation is a basic requirement of any marketing strategy, it is a key process in setting the price. Customers vary in their characteristics, and their sensitivity to price too. For some customers, the price is so critical that they will only be prepared to pay up to a certain level, whereas others are more concerned with quality and service, so the price is likely to be less of a deciding factor. Each customer segment will have a different set of needs, considerations, and potentially different applications. Therefore, identifying and understanding these will inform you as to how best to go about the business of marketing to those customers and setting the price.

Knowing your customers is as important as knowing your competitors

It’s commonplace for a business to skip strategy and head straight into tactical promotion, bypassing the critical research and analysis phase of understanding the market they operate within. But a business that takes the time to engage with customers, discovering what they value about that business, is one that benefits from an insightful perspective. This perspective allows firms to tailor an offering in terms of application and price to best match the customer's expectations, delivering maximum value in the process. Central to this approach is understanding how the competition also provides value. If a rival firm is offering an equivalent solution for a similar price, the customer purchasing decision may end up being based on factors such as relationship, operational or location preferences. Therefore, developing a competitive edge over your rivals is a key factor in influencing that purchase decision, so developing that edge depends upon your knowledge of the customer and their needs.

So if you don’t know your customer, how can you develop an edge?

By systematically approaching your customers you not only build a profile of those users of your products and services, but you also discover detailed insights into how to refine your solutions to deliver superior value to them, and in doing so ensure that your brand remains top-of-mind when they are considering where to place an order. You will also develop a more thorough understanding of those opportunities where marketing can work for you, and how to go about doing it, making your sales effort a slicker and more effective process.

To find out more about how customer segmentation can work for you, contact:

David Gray, Managing Partner, Gregory Gray

www.gregorygray.co.uk

© Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
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Racing strategically...

Unless you've been tucked away in a mountain retreat on holiday, you won't have missed the IAAF athletics taking place in Stratford, London, over the last few weeks. From Bolt losing to Gatlin in the 100m final, to Makwala running solo in the wake of the norovirus outbreak to qualify for the men's 400m, the event has been spectacular.

I couldn't help noticing a recurring theme in the commentary from sports pundits, with numerous authorities describing how athletes have been competing 'strategically' in their events. For example, Michael Jordan commented how Allyson Felix, the USA 200m sprinter, adopted a race strategy to take the curve with her fellow competitors in sight and then chase them down on the straight, taking the lead in the final stages. Sorry Michael, but this is not strategy.

To achieve her objective, she would have to run faster than her rivals

Whilst running the race, Allyson would had have to adopted certain tactics in order to achieve her objective, which was undoubtedly to win and walk away with a gold medal. To win, she would have to run faster than her rivals. Allyson's strategy was to train hard, really hard, making her quicker, stronger and better prepared to take on the world's top 200m runners. Her strategy will likely have included tactics such as training at altitude, up hills, track drills and sprints at various heart rates in different zones, equipping her with the necessary abilities to take the top prize. Allyson then employed these tactics on race day, although not as well as she might have hoped in Stratford as she lost gold to a fellow US competitor.

I think you meant tactics there Michael!

The word 'strategy' is currently used with such carefree abandon to describe clever or innovative approaches to achieve goals that it's true meaning has become lost. As a result of this misunderstanding, it is applied incorrectly by so many who claim to be strategic.

This is true in business too, with managers authoritatively throwing the phrase around to elevate their activities to a more intelligent level. However, few that I've encountered are truly strategic in their approach to achieving objectives, and fail to set a long term vision with a strategy to make that vision a reality. Many opt for short term tactic-only practices with no clear objectives, which increases the likelihood of failure or even knowing if you've achieved that objective! Maybe Allyson's tactics were at fault on the night, or maybe her strategy didn’t utilise those tactics correctly. She may have simply been suffering from the onset of norovirus, who knows, I hear there's a lot of it about…

To find out more or see how strategy can work for you, contact:

David Gray, Managing Partner, Gregory Gray

www.gregorygray.co.uk

© Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
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8/11/17
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Is your business 'stuck in the middle'?

Have you ever noticed how some businesses continually struggle to stay afloat? It's usually those that don’t offer a product or service that stands out above the competition. If you don’t have anything to tempt customers to buy your product over a rivals product, you’re minimising the opportunity of a sale and increasing the likelihood of your business just staying afloat. This occurs when a firm is ‘stuck in the middle’ and fails to understand its strategic position.



A lack of direction

More often than not, being stuck in the middle is due to the absence of a clear set of objectives, or it may be an even bigger issue such as a lack of strategic direction. It is those businesses that possess strategic direction and clear objectives that drive them forwards more quickly than rival firms, achieving successes as they push to notch up specific objectives. Having defined goals gives a business a purpose, a mission, possibly even an advantage as the workforce can become energised to meet the demands set by the leadership. But the problem is that most businesses simply don’t set clear objectives for the firm to drive towards. They are too busy keeping the cogs turning to take a long term view and map out a desired future state for their organisation. This is an all-to-frequent characteristic of the average business that’s just trying to keep the monthly numbers up.

No clear target market

Firms that are stuck in the middle have often taken their eye off the ball and tend not to price competitively, although many will claim to be competitive despite their failure to actually scope out rival pricing policies. Another characteristic is that they don’t understand their target market and fail to market appropriately to them, adopting a broad brush approach to tactical marketing. Sure, the 'scatter gun' technique will bring some return on investment, but imagine if it was done with a more acute focus on the real target audience? Refined messages, tailored specifically to the customer and delivered from a channel that they actually use will clearly have greater impact than the broad brush approach. Yet so many firms just can’t seem to get their heads around this methodology.

So what is the answer?

The first step to avoid getting stuck in the middle is to create a preference for your business over a competitor in the mind of your customers. When a business provides a product or service which clearly has something special that differentiates it from the competition, it becomes the easy choice for selection. Customers will go wherever they can to get the best value. Therefore, seeking out a way to deliver the greatest possible value to your clients will ensure that they select your business over a competitor. The next stage is to identify the most suitable market, or segments, then the customers - the targets. Once you understand what your segments are and the targets within those segments - and I mean really understand them via profiling - you can begin to gain an insight into what they value about your offering and then how you go about marketing to them. Within this process you will probably begin to realise that what you were doing previously was inappropriate and unspecific to your market. You will also start to understand how effectively you can connect with your audience now you know what they value, and how easy is to prevent your business from being stuck in the middle.

To find out more or see how strategy can work for you, contact:

David Gray, Managing Partner, Gregory Gray

www.gregorygray.co.uk

© Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
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Some creative for a dental client, done. From artwork to finished product and a very happy client.
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7/18/17
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New brand, new venture, same company name.
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