0 comments on “The Benefits of a Placement with a PR & Digital Marketing Agency”

The Benefits of a Placement with a PR & Digital Marketing Agency

Looking for a career in PR & Digital Marketing? Our current Junior PR and Marketing Expert Aaron Jackson discusses how a placement with brookscomm has benefited him.

A foot on the career ladder

Often, when I tell people that I’m studying a degree in Media Studies with Film Studies, questions are raised about the employability that accompanies this type of qualification. The connotations with subjects associated with ‘the arts’ are that opportunities following graduation are few and far between thanks to the extremely competitive nature of the industry.

While it may be true that the bright lights of Hollywood are reserved for that select few, studying media equips you with a broad range of skills that can be applied to a number of professional disciplines.

I was introduced to brookscomm through the online recruitment portal that University of Surrey has in place to help students secure a placement in fulfilment of a ‘sandwich’ course (3 years study, 1-year work placement).

The role brookscomm offered was that of a Junior PR and Marketing Executive. A handful of the modules that I had studied covered areas of marketing directly, but PR was more or less uncharted territory from an academic perspective. However, having dabbled in music journalism for the last couple of years, I had been working with PR agencies to some degree.

What attracted me particularly to the role that brookscomm were advertising was the opportunity to dip my toe into not one, but two areas of knowledge that I had a prior interest in. The marketing element would allow me to break away from a lecture theatre and put theory into practice. The PR element would afford me invaluable insight into a world that I had to thank for affording me so many fantastic opportunities as a music journalist.

Moreover, I recognised the role as a rare chance to take another step on the career ladder. As I mentioned, I was already recognising how competitive the media industry is – particularly for students fresh out of university with very little experience.

Research “show(s) that almost two thirds (69%) of hiring employers believe experience is the most important asset when recruiting with 72% of employers also admitting that too much emphasis is placed on qualifications and not enough on experience”.

Now, with nearly a year of experience as an industry professional at brookscomm, I feel well equipped to finish my degree and have a go at that ‘real life’ thing that my parents kept going on about…

The importance of integrated approach

One of the most crucial lessons from this placement that I will take away with me is how important it is for companies to manage their communications with an integrated approach.

In an industry that moves as fast as this one, it’s not enough to focus attention on PR or marketing. The average consumer won’t be thinking about a brand in terms of PR, marketing or social media – they will recognise a brand and their message as one whole entity.

The different areas that contribute to a company’s communication strategy will naturally overlap and cross over into one another to produce the message received by the customer. In light of this, communication professionals should be observing a brand’s messaging strategy through the same lens as a consumer would.

In practice, this involves being flexible and adopting a skillset that spans across the likes of social media, PR, traditional marketing and digital marketing. It has been a massive learning curve to become familiar with all of these variables and, as is often the case, it has taken a bit of time to comfortably work with this mindset.

However, the induction process at brookscomm ensured that, from the start of my placement, I was given a wealth of knowledge and resources with which I could get to grips with this industry.

Within the space of a week, I was contributing to crucial work in the office and was already beginning to feel like an important member of the team. At the point of writing this, I can confidently say that brookscomm has helped me reach a professional standard that has allowed me to work in a way that is integral to the team’s day to day success.

Now is your time

At brookscomm, I have learned things that books could have never taught me. If you’re keen to learn what it takes to work in a professional environment and further progress yourself towards being a top candidate for your dream job in the media industry, then look no further than a work placement.

Our MD Mandy Brooks says: “The placements we offer bring young energy into the office, which is a great way to share experience, generate new ideas and keep the business fresh and exciting.  With the original founders, myself and Chaz, still an integral part of the company, we have established a wide and diverse, knowledgeable, productive results-based team. Each team member is hugely valued and in turn adds particular value to brookscomm.”

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “Lush quits social media: smart or a stunt?”

Lush quits social media: smart or a stunt?

On Monday, the popular British cosmetics brand Lush announced on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that they would be “switching up social”. The brand will be shutting down its LushUK accounts as well as Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla. This dramatic shift comes from the brand being “tired of fighting with algorithms” and that it does “not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.”

Lush concluded its announcement by stating “This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new. #LushCommunity – see you there.”

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the brand’s digital presence. Could this announcement simply be a headline grabbing tactic, or does it speak into the future power of influencer and community marketing over corporate messaging?

Controversial marketing

Lush hasn’t been a stranger to causing a stir with publicity tactics that push boundaries and provoke conflicting reactions in the past.

The particularly divisive “Live Demonstration” from 2012, where a performance artiste was subjected to animal laboratory tests in the shop window of Lush’s Regent Street branch, was a provocative move. Most would agree that the overall message of the campaign was positive, however, this graphic approach to the issue certainly ruffled a few feathers and had a memorable impact. Much like this move away from social media, it certainly goes against the grain.

Maintaining online influence

The term “#LushCommunity” appears to hint towards a new way for Lush customers to engage with one another and the brand itself. Through which platform is unclear, but maybe that’s the point – that the community isn’t confined by a platform, or indeed by role.

Lush has collaborated a lot with online influencers in the past and in distancing itself from social media in one sense, it’s likely the brand will put more time, money and effort into working with lifestyle influencers and online ambassadors to keep the brand alive online.

The brand has already been successful in this arena, largely via reciprocated content. There are large numbers of videos on YouTube of popular beauty, fashion and even family vloggers testing Lush products. Some of the most successful videos are Lush factory tours which have come about as a result of Lush inviting influencers to come down to its factory for a tour. The success of these videos may be a sign of content yet to come for the brand.

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Redefining community

The future of Lush’s communications strategy is unclear, other than the fact that it appears the brand is moving its engagement with consumers into a ‘community’, which will likely include vloggers and influential online ambassadors.

What is clear, however, is that Lush is on the front foot when it comes to making bold decisions in its marketing and communications strategy. This decision has already given them a lot of exposure, but it’s hard to tell whether this short-term win will translate into a long-term gamechanger. The bottom line is that Lush’s attempt to reshape the structure of online communications is relatively uncharted territory and worth keeping a close eye on.

#LushCommunity – see you…where?

Aaron Jackson – PR & Marketing Executive

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “Tips to improve your marketing”

Tips to improve your marketing

Businesses invest a huge amount of capital on manufacturing, shipping, and research & development but often overlook marketing.

Marketing is at its most powerful when it is integrated. Consolidating your strategy with a cohesive, tailored message can produce stellar, demonstrable results.

To help you understand what’s needed for successful marketing, here’s some tips:

 Know your audience

Know who you’re trying to target, whether it’s a new audience or existing customers.

Develop your brand

Develop your branding and stick to it, adding consistency to your content and enabling people to develop brand recognition.

Have a defined strategy

Trying to get more engagement? Work out a way and try it. Trying to get more visits to your website? Start including more links with call to actions and after a month see whether it’s working.

Stick to your plan

If your plan is to post three times a week, make sure you stick to it. Not sticking to a plan will make your analytics a lot harder to analyse.

Give your audience what they want

Do you know from previous experience that your audience reacted well to a certain type of content? Duplicate it. Try and create this content as much as possible as this will be your trophy content.

Listen to the analytics

After a month of trialling your new strategy and plan, look at your analytics, see what worked best and keep creating it. Analytics is the best way to see what’s working, saving time and money.

Consistency

Once you know what’s working, stick to your plan and keep pushing out content. With time and consistency your following will build up and will pay dividends to your marketing analytics.

Get help if you need it

Not having any success? It could be time to consult with an agency which can help develop your strategy and run campaigns for you, leaving you to do what you do best, run your business.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email michael@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Follow us: Twitter @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook: brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “How to get the most out of Amazon’s mega sales events”

How to get the most out of Amazon’s mega sales events

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In 2015, Amazon told Black Friday to step aside and make way for their own brand new sales event. By offering exclusive discounts to Prime members only and holding the event during a traditionally quiet time of year for shoppers, Amazon were about to disrupt the retail industry once more.

Amazon Prime Day has been a staggering success so far. Each year the event has grown by over 60% in terms of sales and Amazon prime membership uptake.  Last month’s Prime Day was the biggest ever online shopping event. It took place in 17 different countries, where over 100 million products were bought by Amazon’s 100 million Prime customers.

The cost of success

Prime Day 2018 was a bittersweet affair for many sellers on Amazon.  Reports of a years’ worth of sales in a few hours were not uncommon, with some discounted product lines selling out in just a matter of minutes.

This left some to question what if they had more stock available and for those who don’t sell on Amazon what they are missing out on.

If you can’t beat them…

If you aren’t selling on Amazon it might be worth reconsidering your strategy to include it as a sales channel. The margins might be less than selling directly via your website or via another reseller, but the sheer volume of sales made possible by Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday make it hard to exclude.

We have worked with several clients over the last two years, helping them to achieve record sales on Amazon, especially during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are our tips to any business looking to sell on Amazon:

Test the water with Amazon FBA

If you are already trading on Amazon, compare selling as a trader with selling directly from Amazon. “Fulfilled by Amazon” (FBA) means Amazon hold the stock and handle the delivery themselves. FBA listings are favoured over non-FBA in search results and generate more sales as Prime customers can get the products via next-day delivery. FBA also provides you with easy access to other countries with Amazon shopping portals, such as France and Germany, helping support your business growth aspirations.

Use Lightning Deals and Deal of the Day to measure demand

If your product earns good reviews then you can qualify for time-limited exclusive Amazon promotions. Lightning Deals are flash sales of limited quantities of products, Deal of the Day, as its name suggests, is an all-day unlimited quantity sale. Both promotions are very useful to gauge how popular your products are, which is essential when trying to predict sales during Amazon’s three major annual sales events. They’re also very effective in selling off surplus stock at discount (typically 25% off RRP).

Use Enhanced Brand Content to maximise appeal

Registering your brand with Amazon and meeting certain seller criteria unlocks a range of marketing features for your brand and your product listings. Visual aids, video and other media can all be used to make your listing stand out from the competition, appearing slicker and more attractive to buyers.

Use Amazon Sponsored search to refine your listing

The main difference between Google and Amazon is that people on Amazon are searching in relation to making a purchasing decision. In the same way a Google ad works, you can sponsor certain keywords, phrases or even other products, so that your listing appears before your competitors.

In addition to boosting sales, sponsored search provides rich insight into buyer search behaviour, which you can use to further optimise your listing, helping boost the organic performance of your listing.

Sponsored search also includes the option to run Dynamic ads, where Amazon uses its own algorithms and keyword ideas to target shoppers it thinks would be likely customers.

Plan your integrated PR, Social and Digital Marketing around Amazon major sales events

Assuming your participation in these events, where you need to agree with Amazon’s discount (circa 30% off the RRP) and FBA stock availability, its vital to augment Amazon’s marketing with your own comms plan.

In the build up to Prime Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday get in-touch with the online and traditional retail press and let them know about what products and discounts are available. You can embargo the news so that it’s only released just before the start of the sale. If you have a customer mailing list, let them know they could buy more of your products via this special sale. Perhaps they make an ideal gift?

Promote the sale on your social media platforms using yours and Amazon’s branding to show your association. If you advertise on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Google, target likely buyers with messages during the promotion.

If you work with an integrated PR, social and digital marketing agency, ask them about taking responsibility for this.

Remember that Black Friday and Cyber Monday soon follow

With three consecutive years of 60% growth its very likely Amazon Prime Day 2019 will be bigger than 2018. Sales forecasting will be challenging, but if you use your sales data from the other Amazon promotions and understand what an average week or month’s sales looks like you’ll be in a better position to predict. Bear in mind that there is five months of regular sales activity to meet after Prime Day and that you could run an additional Deal of the Day to help clear stock. Finally, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Xmas build-up coming just five months later, there will be more opportunities to sell large quantities.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email michael@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Follow us: Twitter @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook: brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “Why integrating business communications matters”

Why integrating business communications matters

Customers don’t think of brands in terms of digital marketing, advertising, PR or social media, so neither should you.  Successfully integrating these communication disciplines makes sure your brand messaging is consistently more effective.

Integrated comms is not easy though. It’s especially hard for smaller organisations where there’s less resource or expertise. At first glance it may seem that it requires four times the effort or budget to get results, but that’s not the case. Here’s how you can make your business comms strategy more effective:

Align goals

Find out from the senior management what the business objectives are for the year. Then plan how your marketing strategy can help achieve these goals. For instance, if the business wants to grow by 20%, understand if this is likely to happen by up selling, acquisition, market diversification or launching a new product etc. Visualise what business communication activities are most likely to support this desired goal in the year ahead.

Aligning the marketing strategy with business objectives may sound obvious, but its surprising how often the previous year’s marketing strategy gets repeated. Aligning goals brings clarity and focus to the marketing strategy.

Profile the customer 

Build a profile of your ideal customer. Speak with your customer service and sales staff to find out what your customers goals and challenges are and how your product/service solves them. If you’re unsure what challenges your customers face, then create a survey and ask them. Include in the profile demographic information so that you know what media and whose opinions your customers value. Use the customer challenges as topics or themes for your business communications plan for the year ahead.

Build an integrated content map

Customers transition through three phases before buying: awareness, consideration and decision-making. Using the customer challenges you have identified, envisage what content you can produce for each phase. For the awareness phase try to come up with ideas for content that are eye-catching, short and informative. For instance, an infographic, tips articles, a short advert or quote. The goal here is to reach your customer and impressive on them that your product/service is a possible solution to their problem.

For the consideration and decision-making phases you are looking to convert leads. This is where you can use elements of the marketing mix (price,product, promotion, placement) to communicate what is special and unique about your product/service. This type of content is typically longer to consume, more detailed and authoritative than the first phase, its vital that you provide evidence of the benefits that other customers have found from your brand.  Content formats include case studies, white papers, and survey findings, with special offers, discounts to help turn prospects into customers.

Overlay the 2018 calendar to spot seasonal opportunities and finalise your plan to product content that can be repurposed in terms of length and style for PR, digital, social, and advertising formats. If it can’t be used across the four disciplines, seriously consider the value of the exercise.

Use Automation to improve efficiency

The best integrated marketing strategies utilise automation tools to make sure they are regularly communicating with their stakeholders, not just when they publish fresh content.

Automation isn’t expensive or overly complex. Platforms like mailchimp offer basic automation for free. Consider setting up a series of emails which regularly talk to customers who have opted into your comms over a three-month period. Plot the emails and the content they deliver to mirror the buying life cycle. Older content could be quickly repurposed and added to email workstreams. Integrating email automation with opt-in leads captured from e-advertising on Facebook or from Gleam competitions can be a highly effective and constant stream of new business.

Automation doesn’t just apply to digital marketing. Set up Google trend and publication alerts to be kept informed on developments in your market. Understanding what and when journalists publish in your sector help you fine tune your PR outputs so that your business communications remain aligned and integrated.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com