Thursday, 31 March 2016

The slayer of the Dragons comes to celebrate 30 years of the Kent B2B



Having found success through his appearance on Dragon Den and the subsequent development and popularity of Reggae Reggae Foods life hasn’t always been so easy for Levi Roots. His talk will cover his childhood and learning how to cook with his grandmother in rural Jamaica to his turbulent teenage years in 80's Brixton to his music career to the building of Reggae Reggae Sauce. Looking at the key themes of entrepreneurship, business and enterprise Levi’s warm and engaging style is why he experienced such commercial success. Helping the Kent B2B to celebrate its 30th year after his talk Levi will cut the birthday cake.

The afternoon keynote speaker is the CEO of Chapel Down, Frazer Thompson who will be talking about “The Chapel Down Story – from repossessing photocopiers to regenerating Ashford” -  looking at the importance of people with passion, the need for a plan and how not all money is equal. Chapel Down is proud to supply British icons such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, and you can enjoy their drinks at great institutions such as the Royal Opera House, the Turner Contemporary and at the Kent B2B VIP networking reception at lunchtime. As one of the UK government’s top 50 British food and drink producers and identified as a ‘CoolBrand 2015/16’ the Chapel Down story is certain to be an illuminating talk.

Fresh perspective for the Kent B2B


Held at the Ashford International Hotel on the 26 April the Kent B2B is the longest running free conference and exhibition in Kent and offers a fantastic opportunity to listen to leading business speakers, attend informative workshops and most importantly network with over 80 “Best of Kent Shows” exhibitors and more than 1,000 delegates. Speed networking proved to be a big draw at the recent West Kent B2B show and there will be 2 sessions throughout the day.

Alongside the conference programme and exhibitors there will be the rerun of the “The Winning Bid” workshops. The Kent B2B will also offer a free networking breakfast with Peter Anderton looking at “7 Secrets That Super Successful Managers Know & Do That Most Managers Either Don't Know or Don't Do”.



Jo James, Chief Executive of the Chamber says, “I urge businesses to come along and help us celebrate our 30th anniversary at the Kent B2B. Along with the informative speaker sessions, useful workshops and great business advice this is going to be a brilliantly fun day too. Come along for all or part of the day and enjoy being part of the best B2B event in Kent.”


Friday, 29 January 2016

15 ways to review your marketing success in 2015 and make this your best year yet

By Anwen Cooper, Get Fruitful Marketing

If you want to take your business  and marketing to the next level this year, you need to begin with a review of your efforts from last year. So many people just carry on with a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, without ever taking this critical time to analyse and reflect. But remember – knowledge is power. The more you know about your business and customers – the stronger your position. The chances are that you have most of this information at your fingertips… you just need to dig it out. Here are 15 points to consider when undertaking an annual marketing review and plan:

1.     Resource allocation

How did you spend your marketing budget and allocate your time to generating new business in 2015? What was a good investment of resources? If you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system then this may be easier for you to track. If you don’t have an automated system yet then make this your number one priority for the year ahead.

2. Sales analysis

Again, if you have a CRM system, this may be easier to run reports on. Otherwise, look back over your accounts to see:


  • Where did most of your business come from?
  • Who were your most profitable and least profitable customers?
  • Who were your most loyal repeat customers?
  • What proportion of business came from new v repeat customers?
  • What were your best-selling (and worst-selling) products or services?
  • Were there particular market segments that were easier to reach?

3. Website analysis

Next, take some time to review your website visitor statistics. If you’re using Google Analytics, or you have a custom analytics package – login and pull the reports to see:


  • Where did most of your traffic come from?
  • How many and which pages do visitors look at?
  • How long do people spend on your site?
  • What search terms people are using to find you?
  • What were your most popular blog posts and pages?


If you don’t have access to this information, ask your website provider, or get some help with installing Google Analytics as a priority for the year ahead.

4. Email marketing analysis

Look back over any email campaigns you sent out and find out:


  • Which got best the response?
  • What times of day and days of the week got the best response?
  • Which links got the most clicks?
  • Was your open rate, click-through rate and unsubscribe rate consistent?



5. Social media marketing analysis

Look back at your social media analytics and review:


  • Which of your posts received the most engagement and views?
  • Who were your top followers?
  • What content generated the most click-throughs to your website?
  • Did any of your convert to any actions such as e-list sign-ups, content downloads, direct sales?

6. Direct mail and paid-for advertising

If you ran any direct mail campaigns or paid-for advertising, review which had the best response rate and return on investment.

7. Events, exhibitions, networking

Consider any events, exhibitions and networking you attended and work out the return on investment in terms of lead generation, sales closed, professional development and market research you benefited from as a result.

8. PR

Review any free media coverage you generated, and consider what this would have cost if you had paid for the same amount of advertising space. The value of editorial is often calculated as being around three to six times the equivalent cost of paying for the same space in advertising – though there are many who question the validity of this method – it might give you a guideline to assess its contribution to your bottom line.

9. Campaign comparison

Compare different campaigns you ran throughout the year, and assess which yielded the best responses and ROI. Were there particular channels or messages that worked better than others? Were there promotions at particular times that proved more effective?

10. Overall effectiveness

To conclude your review, take into account the way in which all the different elements of the marketing mix contributed towards the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

11. Market research

Consider where there are gaps in your knowledge about your target market. Perhaps you need to undertake a survey, user testing or focus groups to get more feedback before making any key decisions.

12. Set your objectives for 2016

Once your review of 2015 is complete, you need to clarify your marketing objectives for the year ahead. Make sure they are SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Bound, and can be Evaluated and Reviewed).

13. Make a plan

Now is the time to plan out the activity you need to implement to achieve your goals, and set a realistic budget and time allocation. Make the plan as detailed as you need, giving thought to quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.

14. Step up

Consider if you need to step up your investment this year to allow you to test out new ways of doing things, to implement new tools and resources, or to get some extra help on board to develop your strategy or to support the implementation.

15. Get some free fresh insight on your marketing strategy

Want to check if you’re heading in the right direction and get some more inspiration and support? Then join my workshop at the West Kent B2B on 10th March. 



Click here to book at West Kent B2B.

Monday, 18 January 2016

How to use an Exhibition to Market Your Business




Exhibitions are an excellent way of meeting new customers and marketing your business, your products and services to ultimately get more sales and increase profits.

Exhibiting does not need to be costly, so how do you keep costs down and maximise your return on investment?

It's all in the preparation


In order to maximise your results on your stand you will need to:
  • Identify your goals and objectives -Work out what you want to achieve from the exhibition and beyond, who you want to target and how you will measure your success (e.g. number of leads, number of converted leads).
  • Exhibition stand design - When designing your exhibition stand, ensure that it conveys your marketing aim, brand values and product or service capabilities and is geared towards your target audience. Think of ways that you can entice people to engage with you. Create a special show offer on your product or services pricing or perhaps deliver a pertinent give away – a white paper or some new research.

Text


Remembering the basics of design will help your stand make an impact. The text you use is an important element of this and less is definitely more. Try to convey your key sales/marketing message as succinctly as possible - a single word is great, as long as it still gets your message across. Also, place your text at the top of the stand so that your message isn’t obstructed by other stands and ensure the font is large enough to be seen from a distance.

Graphics


Choose graphics and images that will appeal to your target audience, keep them big so that they can be seen from afar, and once again, place them in the top two thirds of the space.

Lighting


Finally, the lighting you use can make or break your exhibition stand. At the very least, you need to ensure that there is enough lighting so that delegates can read your text and displays.

Your stand staff

  • Carefully brief your exhibition stand staff, ensure that your staff are trained and briefed on the overall aims, who to target, the kind of questions that may arise and how to interact with prospects and customers.
  • Contact your contacts - Make sure that as many prospects and customers as possible know that you will be attending the exhibition. Send e-shots, use social media, add a signature block toy our emails and add it toy our web site if possible.

On the day of the exhibition

  • Remember why you're there - make sure you and your staff remain focused on their goals. Reinforce your aims to the team just before the doors open and the day begins 
  • Make the most of the exhibitions and remember that networking can happen anywhere at the show – when you’re at the coffee bar, attending a workshop or listening to speakers. Walk around the exhibition and talk with other exhibitors – increasing your engagement with delegates and exhibitors will hugely increase your positive leads from the day. 

Big No-Nos

  • Body language and behaviour - Your staff are your brand, that means no crossed arms, mobile phones, or eating on the stand. Welcoming smiles, making eye contact and open questions will make a big difference to your success
  • Keep it short - Keep your conversations with prospects short and concise. You have a limited amount of time, so ensure that you spend enough time to get all the details you need and then move on

Post-exhibition

  • Evaluate the day - After the event, it's important to assess how well the day went and discuss any feedback you received from customers so that you can improve for next time.
  • Follow up on leads - Immediately after the event, you should either call or mail every contact that you spoke to on the exhibition stand, even if it's just a simple thank you for visiting you at the stand
  • Measure your successes - Ensure that you follow up on all leads and track whether or not these convert into sales. This the only way you will know whether or not the exhibition was a success enabling you to accurately calculate your return on investment. 

If you require any further information or we can help in any way, please give us a ring on 01732 758530. We run free training sessions on exhibiting and making the most of social media so why not book onto one now? Click here to find out more.