Business Networking

The importance of Networking for your business.

Networking can be a very tricky thing to do but it is also one of the most necessary steps you need to take towards a successful promotion of your business; if you ask around, amongst people in sales about the secret behind success, most of them will accurately tell sum it up in one single word: networking.

In previous blogs I flagged out the importance of an accurate digital strategy for your business but this will only distribute your product amongst potential clients, while networking will allow you to explore different markets, via other people in your same line of business, or perhaps generate new ideas for your product by discussing them with your peers, or even generating alliances with a kindred business person. Networking can ultimately prove to be very beneficial for you and for your business, and in this blog I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learnt about this particular marketing strategy.

1. Always carry a business card: This is one of the first things I learnt in my early networking experiences. When trying to get someone’s contact details, you can always take your phone out and take their name and their number but a business card adds a touch of professionalism, especially because it not only has your details but it also includes your brand, which is the very purpose of your business networking efforts. So, try to carry as many calling cards as you can, you never know when you are going to meet the best next person for your business.

2. Make contact: one of the things I learnt from Byron Read is that your business opportunity is a phone call away, so make that call! Once, you have made contact with someone you dimmed interesting then get in touch with him or her, by any means, personally I think a good old fashion call is the way to go, but an email works as well. However, try to do some homework before hand; try to do some research on this person you’ll be meeting, try to find out about their personal tastes and use them to break the ice. This will allow you to find a common ground, other than business, that can create a smooth business when you go into the brass tax of your meeting.

3. Play the long game: Talking about business can be a little uncomfortable, I’m actually terrible at it when I’m not sufficiently comfortable, only because I get very nervous and instead of promoting my product I end up talking nonsense. So, take it easy, talk about something else when you’re trying to establish a business relationship, find about the other person, try to understand where they are coming from, what their tastes in life are, and when you feel aloof enough then talk about your business. You’ll find it to be much easier.
4. Your marketing agency: Limiting your network is not a very thing to do. You may actually find out that people that seem to be outside your kind of market can actually be of great value to your business. If you have a marketing agency behind you, it can be a good idea finding out if they are a Google certified agency in London, this means that they handle different accounts and they can, therefore, put you in touch with many different kinds of people when hosting a networking event. So, remember to meet as many as you can, regardless of their area of expertise.


Advertising the Arts (pt. 2)

If you have been following this blog, then you may know that in my last post I was writing about an experience I had with an international production between Mexico and the UK, in which I participated as both a playwright and a producer. This is the second part of that story and it will also serve me to sum up my own conclusions on how to effectively market your performance.

The last time I was talking about this subject, I summed up some of the strategies we used to advertise our play, i.e. setting a webpage, producing a video, approaching the embassies and other international organisms. After this we organized a party at a well-known venue in London. You may want to consider this for you own show, but I would recommend that you do it as close to the opening as possible, as in our experience, not many people from the party showed up to the play, only because it was done in July when the opening was not until November.

We finally went to an Advertising Agency that set up the final stages of the marketing process. Byron Read, head of this agency, pointed out the many mistakes we were making in our marketing strategies. I can safely say that most of the conclusions that I will now sum up in this blog, I draw from them.

 

  1. Social Media in the Arts: First of all, we were not doing as many posts on our social media as we were supposed to. When you are advertising your play using social media it is of the outmost importance that you make daily posts about anything, a picture, a blog post, a twitter, whatever you can think of, just put is out there using your Social media accounts. Be controversial and it doesn’t even matter if your post is related to your play. Remember that social media is all about interconnecting and interestingly enough the arts are about exactly the same. I’ve known no one in Theatre who has made it without the help of others. So, share other people’s content in your own media and they will do the same for you.
  2. How to Attract the Press: This is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to marketing the arts, especially in London. There is just so much to see in this city that putting another play in the market is like putting yet another needle on the haystack. So, what this London Advertising Agency taught us, is that the only way to do it is by calling them and letting them know you are out there. Since there is so much to see then you want to call as many bloggers, newspapers, magazines, and critics as possible, chances are not many of them will come but if you have enough in your lists then your chances are immediately enhanced. Reviews are of the essence!!
  3. Free theatre in exchange for reviews: If you are seeing that your audiences numbers are not going too well, you may want to try some websites that offer free tickets to their members in exchange for reviews. The Audience club and Play by Play are two attractive options for this purpose; they require from the members to write reviews from the plays they’ve seen in order to get the tickets; this is a useful strategy if you are looking to stack up the house over a day when there’s not many people. We used it on a Tuesday, since it was our weakest day, and it worked wonders!
  4. Arts throughout the time: What we ultimately learned is that, the more time you have doing your show, the more audiences you will ultimately get when you arrive to the big city. Do readings of the play, perform it in cheaper venues outside the city, get early reviews, and so on. The name of the game is BE OUT THERE, as much as you can.

So, these are my conclusions about advertising the arts. Of course, there is so much more to say but I think this sums it up. I hope this is helpful to you, I wish you the best of luck with your show and remember to invite me!


advertising

Advertising and the Arts: Part 1

Last year I started an adventure with my Mexican theatre company in London. We decided to produce “Faustaff, or the mockery of the soul” a play I wrote two years ago, in both Mexico City and in London, to be staged simultaneously. The purpose of the experiment was to promote a cultural exchange between Mexico and the UK, in the midst of “the year of the UK in Mexico and the year of Mexico in the UK”, an agreement between the two countries, which sought to strengthen the economic, academic and cultural ties between both nations. My company and I, looking to meet the criteria of this agreement, decided to take a British director to Mexico, to direct a Mexican cast, and then bring a Mexican director to London, to direct a British cast. Both artists would be working with the same play but they could do whatever they wanted with it.

Advertising for Faustaff

Crossing the Atlantic was not new to us, as a Mexican theatre company. The year before we did a play in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of the most important theatre fringe festivals in the world and therefore, one of the most competitive. Imagine having a play competing with another 140 a day and a total of 2000 shows (roughly) a month! After an exhausting 8 months of planning everything was set, except for the marketing campaign, a bad move when trying to sell a play amongst 140. The end result was sadly obvious and we therefore understood that, for our next international project, hiring a UK advertising agency needed to be a priority.

The year after, we started with the Faustaff project. Besides finding a theatre and casting the actors, we began our marketing strategy with PRM, a successful London marketing agency, at an early stage of the project. The first step consisted in getting in touch with as many London-based international associations, such as the Mexican embassy in London, The Anglo Mexican foundation, The British Council and others alike. Not all of them were able to participate in the project because their budgets had been allocated the year before. However, some of them did participate by distributing the play amongst their contacts and on their website. The Mexican embassy was particularly helpful in this and they received the project with open arms. They were even kind enough to pay for the flight tickets.

While this was happening, our designer in Mexico started working on a webpage that would shelter both projects. Weekly content was uploaded, with the latest news about the project, photos and videos of our rehearsals amongst other materials to help out with our online advertising. I cannot stress out how important it is for an arts project to have a website, consider it to be your presentation card, as you will be using consumer patterns to direct all of your potential audience to it, therefore, it must be well fed, with enough information about your show and with an attractive layout. Also, it is worth to pay for a domain, even if it’s just temporary, they are quite cheap and they will assure you that your website will be amongst the top results of the search engines, perhaps not at the very top but at least in the first page.

Our second step was setting up a trailer of the play. Needless to say, this is of the utmost importance, especially when trying to promote theatre. A few tips about making a video, though; keep it short and sweet, probably a 5-minute teaser is going to be way too long, so think of a trailer no longer than one minute and don’t reveal too much, you want to create as much suspense as possible. We tried a short bit of the story but we later came to realise that is far more effective to just have vignettes of dialogue and rely on the image as much as possible. Remember, the most important thing in your video is making the audience aware of the dates and times of the performance, information on the venue, and the name of the play, the rest is just to make it attractive.

There is so much more I’d like to write about this particular experience but I shall do so on my next post. I hope that you have found it useful, so far.

 

Contributor: Diego Sosa, Content Writer at PRM

marketing

The Incredible Success Story: Coca-Cola Marketing

Originating as a soda fountain beverage, Coca-Cola began selling for five cents a glass in 1886. Sales growth was very impressive and that was just the beginning of their creative marketing brand. When the business first started, do you believe they ever thought that the Coca-Cola Company would be one of the largest companies still in 2016? I bet they only dreamt of that happening.

What Makes Their Marketing So Good?

Coke, Coca-Cola, Cola, whatever you normally call it, the brand has fascinated all of its consumers throughout the world. Coke has developed to be one of the most popular and most recognized brands of all time. Since the beginning of the company, Coke has maintained competition, along with developing unique strategies to constantly raise the interest of consumers. Positive advertising has always been the goal of their campaigns. Have a Coke and a smile, Open Happiness, or Life tastes good are past promotions that you can find. Upbeat communication has built their identity and personality into a positive image. According to marketers, Coca-Cola’s strategic marketing methods would be viewed as the center foundation of the modern day marketing. Some of the clever and creative slogans that Coca-Cola has marketed throughout the years include:

 

  1. It Had to Be Good to Get Where It Is
    • This advertisement reassures us all that Coke is the soda to choose! Coke is a product that is known throughout the world and clearly is delicious enough to have won over the hearts (and taste buds!) of so many individuals.
  2. What You Want is a Coke
    • No need to fight against this statement! We couldn’t of said it better ourselves!
  3. Have a Coke and a Smile
    • How uplifting is this campaign message! It reminds us to never stop smiling and love every second of life! Brands that put happy thoughts into our minds tend to have happy consumers! Happy consumers will keep coming back for this positive brand!

 

Nowadays, Coca-Cola has the opportunity to market its brand through Internet based marketing and mass media. Marketing trends show that Coca-Cola has always followed consumer patterns in the most positive ways. The brand has maintained a certain level of positive customer satisfaction that continues to contribute to its successful company. They are constantly seeking innovative ways to drive the business forward and connect and respond to the people who love their brand.


3 Digital Marketing Trends For 2016

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already over. Kind of seems like a repeating statement every year. But, as we all know, time slows down for no one. If anything, it feels like it speeds up.

Let’s discuss what digital marketing trends we should come to expect in 2016. Of course, you can never fully predict what is going to happen with internet based marketing in 2016, but you can make an educated guess.

Marketing Trends to look for this year

Creativity and Originality Will Take Over

Getting noticed on the worldwide web used to be so easy. Slap together something, post it and watch people gobble it up. Unfortunately, the internet is now completely flooded with content. We’re like sardines stuck in a can that only want out. But how do you get out?

Simple: you have to think creatively and out of the box. A simple article or social media post isn’t going to cut it anymore. People today are already using unique strategies with podcasts, videos, etc. Basically anything interactive is what will explode in 2016. No longer do people on the internet simply want to digest information and leave it at that. Now they want to interact and have a say in what your marketing plan or contests or whatever it may be is about. So look for unique ways to get your audience involved.

 

Increase in Digital Marketing Agencies

You are going to start seeing companies knocking on the doors of digital marketing agencies. Running a SUCCESSFUL digital marketing plan takes time, effort and many resources. Instead of hiring new employees, taking the time to devise a plan and updating it, companies will instead outsource to a UK marketing agency to handle their digital marketing efforts.

 

Social is No Longer a Free Resource

Social media plays a huge role in digital marketing, and companies are starting to see the benefit of using it. Which, again, means more businesses using it and more competition. So we’re back to the sardines stuck in a can. How do we get out?

It’s time to put a budget to your social media campaign. Now, you don’t have to spend money on your social media marketing, but it’s a safe bet that you’re just going to blend in with the noise, or not be seen at all if, you don’t. And it really doesn’t take much at all. By just boosting a few posts here and there for a few bucks a day makes a big difference. So spending more money on social media is certainly something I see in 2016.
Again, you can never really predict exactly what to expect with the new year in the digital world, butit’s a safe bet that the three marketing trends mentioned above are going to happen this new year. So get ready, think about how you can apply these 3 trends to your digital marketing plan and be prepared for the new year!


facebook twitter internet marketing

Facebook vs. Twitter: Who Do You Believe is Better for Internet Marketing?

There are two types of people in the social media world today. There are individuals who love to post pictures and update their status on Facebook and there are people who would so much rather get as much of their rant out in the allowed 140 characters on Twitter. Even though most of us that use social media have accounts for both Facebook and Twitter (along with every other form of social media known to man), everyone generally has a favorite. Internet marketing is performed on each of the two social media networks mentioned, every single day. Some may notice it and others may not, but companies use mass media to market their companies and products, to the best of their abilities.

Listed below are a few ways how companies use Facebook and Twitter to promote their brands.

Internet Marketing 101: Facebook or Twitter?

  • Facebook
  • You can use Facebook to create a page about your company
  • Facebook has been around for over a decade
  • There are many different generations using Facebook daily
  • Consumers have the option of clicking “Like” or “Follow” to continuously get notifications from the companies page
  •  It is much easier to spread the knowledge of your company throughout the world
  • Companies can promote products or special offers through posts on their Facebook page
    • Companies can promote giveaways to the consumers
  • It is easy to display your products by posting photos
  • It is easy for consumers to contact you
  • Twitter
  • Keeping an active Twitter page will gain more followers
  •  Twitter was launched in July of 2006
  • Search for hashtags and keywords that prospective customers may use regularly
  • Make sure to add the webpage link and location to your profile
  • Tweet about special events or promotions
    • Request that followers retweet about the events to gain a greater following
  •  You may like to inform the followers about the “special of the day” at your restaurant
  • Considered more on a personal level when contacting with consumers
    • Make sure to respond to customers individual
  • Twitter is a great way to see what customers think about their products or what they can do better to cater to consumers wants

There are obvious ways that Facebook and Twitter are dissimilar, but both make it possible for companies to promote their brands using internet based marketing. Social media is more of a personal way to connect with consumers, making them even more reliable to the brand. Marketing trends will continuously change from year to year, but using social media to keep in contact with consumers will never get old.