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Jen Naiff
Marketing supremo by day, musician by night & charity fundraiser extraordinaire. All views expressed are my own.
Marketing supremo by day, musician by night & charity fundraiser extraordinaire. All views expressed are my own.

Jen's posts

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Can you spare five minutes to share some knowledge?
If you’re an expert in Learning & Development, HR, Talent or Procurement we want to hear from you.
Click on the link below and take our short survey regarding budget, content, needs and culture in the Learning and Development industry.

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Grammar Counts on Social Media. Who Woulda Thunk?
A report from Disruptive Communications in the UK shows typos, grammar faux paus & text speak is a turn off for many in social media. Worryingly however it shows that the younger generation, who are growing up in the world of gr8's and brb's don't seem to mind bad grammar. Perhaps businesses should be more accountable and ensure we are setting the right example for our younger generations and hopefully we'll soon start to see the back of cringeworthy updates by major brands as they realise that to be 'human' you can just speak normally! #Marketing #SocialMedia 

Google are on stage at #brightonSEO yet the conversion is going on over on Twitter....

All ready for the #social talk at #brightonseo

Off to BrightonSEO tomorrow. If anyone here is going to be there let me know! 

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A little bit of something light hearted for Friday afternoon that all with cats will relate to!

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Coca-cola takes responsibility and ends up with a banned ad!
I'm really surprised that the new full-fat Coke ad has been banned from the UK. The ad, which sees an attempt to help consumers understand the effect of their food and drink choices has been banned by the ASA after ruling the advert misleading. 

Having viewed the ad I'd say it's perfectly clear as it informs consumers to think before they consume through making the right choice depending on your lifestyle and activity level.

This is surely something that should be welcomed...not shunned.

Perhaps I'm seeing it differently to the 10 people that complained...

What do you think? 

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How do you judge the value of a well-designed brand?
Just last week it was suggested that CEO’s had lost faith in their agency’s ability to drive business results and that marketers were unable to adequately report ROI.  In keeping with this theme, a new article this week suggests that perhaps splitting Marketing and Design could be the answer. 

According to the article, design firms have been frustrated for the best part of a decade because the focus has been all about business results and the bottom line. Yet brand owners now say they want to see an increased respect for the craft as they find the most effective brands are those created to meet customer needs, not industry needs. 

I certainly agree that all brands should focus on a well thought out and relevant design that will appeal to their target market. However I would argue that if in designing products specific to the needs of customers that this should, if they've got it right, increase uptake in their products, which in turn can be linked to return on investment. 

Design is just one element of marketing where it is hard to monitor ROI – think about the enormous amount that is spent on Print/Outdoor/Radio/TV advertising where directly linking spend with uptake is near on impossible without using specific URLs, QR Codes, References etc. Yet advertising remains in the marketing fold because for a truly integrated strategy all elements of marketing need to sit together, of which brand and design are integral.

I can't help but feel that in breaking Marketing and Design up, this will potentially lose focus and insight, so you may have a strong and creative design but it will be off point and not relevant to the needs of customers. 

I would instead argue that rather than splitting Marketing and Design up, perhaps there needs to be more understanding as to what great design will do for your brand. 

Article is attached - but as Marketers/Consumers/Business owners, what are your thoughts? Comment below - I'm interested to hear other's opinions.

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Content Marketing - strategic & valuable insight or wasted waffle?
I frequently discuss the pros and cons of content marketing with clients. "Always ensure its valuable" I find myself saying.  "Make sure it's engaging" is another. Yet in today's world where there is such easy access to a vast amount of content how do we tell the strategic and valuable insight apart from the wasted waffle?

Personally, I have my favourite news and content sites that I trust to provide value to my ever increasing need for knowledge. And I believe trust is really the key - because let's face it, you can't believe everything you read!

Trust works both ways - as a content provider you need to ensure that your insight and content is trusted by your network so that it is viewed, liked, shared, re-tweeted and so on. 

However is it enough to just send content out into the digital sphere? This is a conversation I have had many times and it is surprising how many people think that once they've written a great blog or article they can just post it online and forget about it. Yet surely this is just the start of its journey, just as the article referenced states.
Creating good, valuable and engaging content takes time. Creating a strong, strategic digital journey for it to go on takes even more time. Monitoring its effectiveness is really time-consuming depending on how many channels you use to post. So it is easy to see why many believe, or rather tell themselves, that the buck stops once posted. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have a content marketing plan in place? Or do you, like many believe time is better spent actively selling rather trying to fool your network into believing you’re not really selling to them through a nicely constructed article all about your business area. 

Anyone who has the ability and time to comment, please do – I’m keen to hear other’s views. 

Has the QR Code fad worn off?

I believe the answer is both yes… and no. Confused?

When QR Codes first hit the streets marketing departments all over the world got into a tizz, plastering QR codes on everything from business cards, billboard ads, in magazines, even on things we eat. Everyone in the marketing world was so impressed with this new-fangled technology very few put any real thought into their content and meaningfulness to the customer.

I heard of too many QR Codes failing to inspire potential customers and some even frustrate them. QR Codes that simply take you to a company’s corporate website are disappointing enough for a customer but when said site isn’t even WAP enabled then all you’ve done is annoy them (and wasted their time). Not a great marketing start.

Location also became an issue when companies started placing them in areas where the user has no reception, making the codes unreadable, or in places where it would be too dangerous to start fumbling about with your phone to capture the image – like advertising boards on the side of the motorway.

Due to a lack of real understanding and a sense of ‘rushing the job’ to keep up with everyone else, something that could have been a real additional marketing tool I feel has became somewhat of a joke. And when discussing QR codes with my colleagues, it seems the consensus that if you’re determined to use them, then marketers need to re-address the point of QR codes and what benefit their code will bring to the customer. Using codes as access to discount codes on products, or secret additional content are fantastic marketing concepts and are more creative ways to incorporate QR Codes into marketing campaigns.

Even though QR Codes have someone what stalled in the marketing world, in other areas they are taking the lead. With so many companies now providing e-tickets, whether it be airlines, concerts, theatres etc, QR Codes have become the new paperless ticket. So much so that Apple developed  ‘passbook’ on the new iPhone to store all your QR Code tickets in one place. I even pay for my morning Chai Tea Latte (with extra Chai) with my Starbucks QR code on my iPhone...

Bottom line? It appears that QR codes are increasingly used for smartphone ticketing and other purposes, but so far I've seen that they’ve been largely ineffective as advertising tools.

I would however be very keen to hear what other people think about them as a marketing tool and whether you've had any great success fro them. If you are able to comment, please do below. 
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