6 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency

If you have ever been on the fence about whether you need to hire a marketing agency you are not alone. Many small businesses aren't sure when they should hire an agency or if they should hire one at all. So in this podcast we have outlined 6 signs that tell you, you need to hire an agency.

Don't Wait Around! It's Time To Hire A Marketing Agency!

Just leave your name & email below and we will be in touch!

I admit! I do need to hire an agency!


Traditional vs Modern Marketing Methods

In this article we are doing a straight head to head between traditional marketing and modern day marketing. To keep this short and sweet, we have picked two of the best from each generation (or we would be here all day).

To kick things off let's talk about about some modern marketing methods.

PPC

For those of you that don’t know what PPC (Pay Per Click) is, it is essentially like an auction where the highest bidder wins that particular click which will go to their website/offer.

So why is it so great?

Pros- Speed to market and is easily "trackable"

Cons- Can get very expensive. PPC can also get quite complicated which is why so many people just quit doing it.

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is another great modern day marketing channel. SEO is the process of organically ranking your site higher in search engine There are many advantages to it but I will just list a few.

Pros- SEO can send a flood of constant visitors to your website on a daily basis. You will be seen as more trustworthy.

Cons- As mentioned earlier SEO can take a while and there is no guarantee that you will even get ranked. Remember, the search engines have the final say. You may get penalised by Google.

What Is Telemarketing? It was called Telemarketing back in the day…but now 99.9% of people would probably call it ‘cold calling’. Historically it consisted of companies hundreds/thousands of phone calls to potential customers. Technology has aided the calls with video calls, conference calls etc being available. It can also be used to conduct surveys, questionnaire or information gathering (which political campaigners use heavily prior to elections) which some may find slightly less intrusive.

Pros – Get to speak to someone directly

Cons – they are not expecting your call and it might not be the decision maker. You also only have one chance to generally impress/interest them.

Direct Mail

Direct-mail marketing creates awareness of a product through postcards, brochures, letters and flyers sent through mail. Direct-mail marketing can be expensive as a business incurs design and printing costs as well as postage expenses to reach its target.

Pros – It’s still a classic way for Takeaways/Pizza places to get into local house in their area – still works us if we are honest. And some people in this digital age, actually like getting a tangible piece of mail instead of digitally.

Cons – A lot of people mainly throw them away as soon as they come through the mail and a lot of people have a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on their door too – It’s sooooo 10 years ago!

The Verdict

Overall you would have to say that they all have their pros and cons on why you should use them…even cold calling, sorry Telemarketing and it would probably come down to personal preference and budget on what would be best for your business. One of the best things to do is to talk about your business with someone like us and we could advise what strategy to use on your business.

If You Need Advice on What Strategy You Should be Using...Leave Your Name and Email Below!

Sign Up


Why and How to Create a Marketing Plan?

As you may already know this week is all about marketing plans. Why you need them and how to create them. Below is a quick snapshot on how you should actually start to build one out.

Why do i need one?

Well having a marketing plan will allow you to understand what your customers really want and what they are actually willing to pay. You can also find out what it is that your customer wants and what they are willing to pay for it. Having a solid marketing plan will also present you with the tools and tactics you need to use in order to achieve your sales goals. In a nutshell your marketing plan should be like a guide that your company lives by.

Where Should I start?

You need to start by evaluating where you are now right now.

  • How do your customers find you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses
  • What are some of the Issues you might face

 How?

After you’ve figured out where you are now you need to start creating your plan…

  1. Describe your audience- You need to know key things like demographics- age, gender, earnings, location etc. How often do they purchase products/services like yours
  2. Marketing Goals- Write down your specific goals and make them measurable. For example are you looking to increase your sales by 20%                   
  3. Channels and tactics you will use. This is probably the most important part. Once you have identified your prospects and your marketing goals you need to figure out how you will reach out to your prospects and accomplish your goals. You need to figure out what is the best way to reach your audience. Is it online, offline or both. If it’s online you might want to consider using social media (twitter, FB, Linkedin etc). Do you have a website? Where will your customers find you? Do you have an SEO strategy? Will you use a paid marketing strategy to reach your audience- eg PPC, FB ads, linkedin ads etc. If it’s offline (although you might still need a website), will you be handing out leaflets, cold calling, product exhibitions, marketing events and trade shows.

Your Marketing Budget

How much will the marketing tactics outlined in the previous step cost you.

  • For example,  if you are doing a google adwords campaign how much do you need to spend to reach your target audience
  • Will you be outsourcing the marketing to an agency or will you be employing a marketing person. How much will this cost?

Time is passing by

CSS selectors all exist within the same global scope. Anyone who has worked with CSS long enough has had to come to terms with its aggressively global nature — a model clearly designed in the age of documents, now struggling to offer a sane working environment for today’s modern web applications. Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our selectors may even lose out in the global specificity war, ultimately having little or no effect on the page at all.

Any time we make a change to a CSS file, we need to carefully consider the global environment in which our styles will sit. No other front end technology requires so much discipline just to keep the code at a minimum level of maintainability. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to leave the era of global style sheets behind.

It’s time for local CSS.

In other languages, it’s accepted that modifying the global environment is something to be done rarely, if ever.

In the JavaScript community, thanks to tools like Browserify, Webpack and JSPM, it’s now expected that our code will consist of small modules, each encapsulating their explicit dependencies, exporting a minimal API.

Yet, somehow, CSS still seems to be getting a free pass.

Many of us — myself included, until recently — have been working with CSS so long that we don’t see the lack of local scope as a problem that we can solve without significant help from browser vendors. Even then, we’d still need to wait for the majority of our users to be using a browser with proper Shadow DOM support.

We’ve worked around the issues of global scope with a series of naming conventions like OOCSS, SMACSS, BEM and SUIT, each providing a way for us to avoid naming collisions and emulate sane scoping rules.

We no longer need to add lengthy prefixes to all of our selectors to simulate scoping. More components could define their own foo and bar identifiers which — unlike the traditional global selector model—wouldn’t produce any naming collisions.

import styles from './MyComponent.css';
import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class MyComponent extends Component {
 render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div className={styles.foo}>Foo</div>
        <div className={styles.bar}>Bar</div>
      </div>
    );
  }

The benefits of global CSS — style re-use between components via utility classes, etc. — are still achievable with this model. The key difference is that, just like when we work in other technologies, we need to explicitly import the classes that we depend on. Our code can’t make many, if any, assumptions about the global environment.

Writing maintainable CSS is now encouraged, not by careful adherence to a naming convention, but by style encapsulation during development.

Once you’ve tried working with local CSS, there’s really no going back. Experiencing true local scope in our style sheets — in a way that works across all browsers— is not something to be easily ignored.

Introducing local scope has had a significant ripple effect on how we approach our CSS. Naming conventions, patterns of re-use, and the potential extraction of styles into separate packages are all directly affected by this shift, and we’re only at the beginning of this new era of local CSS.

process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development' ?
    '[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]' :
    '[hash:base64:5]'
)

Understanding the ramifications of this shift is something that we’re still working through. With your valuable input and experimentation, I’m hoping that this is a conversation we can have together as a larger community.

Note: Automatically optimising style re-use between components would be an amazing step forward, but it definitely requires help from people a lot smarter than me.


Sounds from the streets

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.