“I was impressed by the attention to detail and delighted that the project was handled both very professionally and within the timeframe required.” Doug Sarney, Kypera

Does punctuation matter? Is spelling important?

Of course, as a copywriter, I will answer both these questions with a resounding ‘Yes’. Correct punctuation and spelling are crucial in understanding the meaning of the written word. Punctuation helps to put the words into context, adding pauses or emphasis that we use when speaking, and helping you to get across your message more effectively. By putting a comma in the wrong place, or missing it out completely, you can change the meaning of the sentence. If the content of your marketing material is open to question, how convincing will it be?

Correct spelling and punctuation are a sign of quality too. If your website, blog, newsletter or even your social media posts contain errors, it will affect the perception of your service. Mistakes indicate a lack of professionalism and attention to detail, so if you promote a quality service then your spelling needs to get top marks!

You could argue that most people won’t notice, but do you want to be part of the lowest common denominator?

Automatic spelling and grammar checks have their uses, but don’t rely on them if you have some important communications to send out. By working with a professional copywriter, you can be sure that the message is clear and to the point, making the right impact on your audience.

By way of illustration, here is a famous quote from Donald Rumsfeld, Former United States Secretary of Defense. Without punctuation, it would make no sense at all!

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

If you’d like some help working out the key messages in your marketing communications, and delivering them concisely and accurately, then please get in touch.

How much time do you need to market your business?

One of the great things about being a business owner is that no two days are the same. But if your plans are often interrupted by unexpected business issues or urgent sales requests, how do you find the time to run effective marketing campaigns?

By outsourcing your marketing activity to a specialist, you can spend as little as half a day a month and still achieve successful ongoing marketing campaigns. By meeting up with our clients for planning and feedback, we can plan their marketing communications campaigns, write their newsletters, blogs and social media content or develop their sales literature or exhibition graphics – whatever they need to achieve their objectives. In delegating marketing communications to a professional, your half day per month is multiplied several times over to achieve effective and consistent marketing campaigns.

Here are some of the other benefits of employing a full service marketing company:

  • They take away the time and hassle of finding good suppliers and dealing with lots of different companies
  • You actually implement the campaigns that you always intended to, but never had the time
  • You have more time to think strategically about your business
  • You can concentrate on your own areas of expertise, knowing that your marketing communications are being handled professionally
  • You work with someone who has a clearer picture of your business from a customer’s point of view because they are not immersed in it
  • You still have control over all of your content and materials because you approve it before it is released.

Call us on 01604 468855 to find out how we can help you to plan and implement your marketing campaigns.

Congratulations to Belmont Press – finalist in Print, Design and Marketing Awards

Belmont Press is one of the largest independent commercial printers in the UK and is a finalist in the Print, Design and Marketing Awards 2014. These national awards reward quality, creativity and innovation and are judged by a panel of industry experts.

Belmont Press entered The Essential Guide to Print, its comprehensive guide for print buyers, which explains all the different aspects of the printing process from paper selection and preparing artwork to printing, binding and special finishes. It also accompanies workshops run by Belmont Press to inform and support clients in the print buying process. The judges were very impressed with the guide, saying: “This is a really useful campaign for print buyers, which promotes education.”

Butterfield Marketing has been working with Belmont Press for about a year, writing content for the company’s in-house newsletter and website as well as assisting with other projects. The Essential Guide is designed and produced in-house but I helped to write the award application and I’m delighted with the company’s success.  This is the first time that Belmont Press had entered the Print, Design and Marketing Awards and the company was in the top six entries in the Best Printed Marketing Collateral award category.

For more information go to www.belmont.co.uk

Social media for business – the Emperor’s new clothes?

Many companies started using social media simply because everybody else was, but how many are actually seeing results? And how many accounts haven’t been updated for months?

In a business to business environment, I think that life is simply too short (and time is too expensive) to be attempting to engage customers on every social media channel. Look at the options as part of your integrated communications strategy and decide which ones are appropriate for your target audiences. For example, your Facebook page may present a friendly face to your audience and focus on your customer service. You may use LinkedIn to demonstrate your expertise and Twitter to drive visitors to your website. There’s also Pinterest, Google + and YouTube, to name a few, but they are not all compulsory! You might just decide to concentrate your efforts on blogging. Using fewer platforms effectively is much better that trying to cover them all at once.

Social media is now part of a company’s PR mix, and a Facebook page or a blog that hasn’t been managed or updated for months could damage a company’s reputation more than not having one at all.

So when engaging in social media:
• Work out a communications strategy that will work for your business
• Set objectives for each media channel – they may not all be appropriate
• Set clear guidelines on who can post information on behalf of the company
• Establish how you will monitor and manage response
• Ensure you have a social media usage policy in place for employees
• Make content relevant and post it regularly
• Don’t neglect other communication channels – social media should integrate with your communications plan and be consistent with your brand values.

If you need someone to help you work out a social media strategy or write your blog content for you, then we can help.

When was the last time you looked at your company website?

Your company may be a leader in its field, but if your company website or literature look dated, badly designed or the messages are unclear, you could be damaging your reputation and missing out on business. Don’t just compare your website with others in your industry – look at companies you admire or respect. Take inspiration from leaders in other fields.

Effective marketing communication relies on:
• Focusing on the customer
• Planning
• Consistent implementation
• Following best practice principles

External perspective
Sometimes you’re too close to your business to see it from your customers’ point of view. You don’t notice that your marketing materials look tired, or you just don’t have the time to update the blog.  Bringing in an outside expert provides a new perspective, fresh ideas and ensures that your plans are actually put into action.

To rejuvenate your marketing communications and make your sales tools more effective, call us on 01604 468855.

RPC website goes live

We’re very pleased with the new Richardson Partnership for Care website, which has just been launched. The new website is much more informative and gives a much better representation of the high quality of service that The Richardson Partnership for Care offers. And it’s already performing well in the search engines. Butterfield Marketing wrote all the content, co-ordinated the photography and populated the site. We worked in conjunction with The Website Business who designed and built the website.

The client is very pleased with both the new website and the process involved in producing it. This what they said:

“You have made building a website hassle free for us as you’ve chased everyone involved, written the content and ensured a smooth process. We could only spend limited time on it ourselves, as we needed to be free to concentrate on other parts of the business. Having been involved in the making of other versions of the company website I know that this is a real luxury! Thanks Clare for making this website build a pleasure!”

Laura Richardson-Cheater
Managing Partner
The Richardson Partnership for Care

Is branding still important in the digital age?

Yes. In fact, the expansion of digital marketing means that the strength of your brand is more important than ever – it needs to stand out against all the other brands in the marketplace that are competing both online and offline.

Increasing use of digital communications means that people have more choice in the way they receive information and are being more selective in what they pay attention to. This means that your brand needs to act as a differentiator – it’s crucially important if you want people to remember you.

You can use digital marketing to increase your brand awareness. If your digital branding accurately reflects what your company means to its customers and is consistent with all your other marketing channels, then this will help to strengthen your brand.  Digital communications also allow you to target more precisely, reaching even the smallest groups of customers, so your brand matters more to people.

What makes a strong brand?
Your brand should be instantly recognisable, wherever it is seen. This requires a strong design (often very simple) used absolutely consistently. Only a well-established brand can use its different elements separately or in different ways without diluting the brand.

You need to deliver on your promises. Fundamentally a brand is a symbol of consistency – a promise of the quality of a product or service to be delivered.

Your brand’s essence, personality and tone of voice need to reflect your business and be relevant to target sectors.

It’s all about consistency – of identity, message and delivery

How relevant is this to companies in business to business sectors?
Although the world’s biggest brands are consumer brands, in business to business environments branding is still a crucial differentiator. It can:

  • Make your business stand out against the competition
  • Provide a short-cut to processing large amounts of information when making a purchasing decision
  • Be the deciding factor in a closely competitive situation.

For advice on how to make your brand work harder for your business, call Butterfield Marketing on 01604 468855.

Celebrating 10 years

Butterfield Marketing is now 10! I’d like to thank the clients, suppliers and friends who have supported us during the last 10 years and made it so enjoyable. It’s flown by of course, and many things have changed – like the economic climate and the rise of social media. (WordPress is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first release!) But the core principles of communication remain the same – engage the customer and get your message right.

It’s made me reflect on why clients choose Butterfield Marketing and what has contributed to our success over the last 10 years. Here are some comments from our clients, which help to sum it up.

  • “The efficiency of Butterfield Marketing has left me able to concentrate on other areas of our business.” – The Richardson Partnership for Care
  • “Butterfield Marketing has been very effective at distilling down a large amount of information into the key nuggets that our prospects and customers need to know. “ – Kypera Limited
  • “It’s great to deal with someone who is straight-talking and promptly completes exactly what they say they are going to do!” – Ring24 Limited
  • “Clare’s personal involvement with planning, project management and co-ordination was invaluable. She took all the worry off my shoulders and always offered solutions to any problems that arose.”- B2J3 Limited
  • “The service provided by Butterfield Marketing exceeded my expectations. I was delighted with the quality of the finished product, which is by far the best promotional material we have produced to date.” – Nottingham Community Housing Association

Here’s to the next 10 years!

 

Words the internet has given us

This article, and the book by Tom Chatfield, explain the origins of words related to the internet and digital communications. It’s fascinating, and although some of them are in common useage, it’s a good reminder that jargon can exclude readers who aren’t familiar with the terms. Excessive use of internet jargon or any other industry or company specific terms or abbreviations can be an easy way to lose your audience’s interest.

The best ten words the internet has given us