FCG Consultancy’s survey explains why delegates attended Destination Growth ’09 and explores their business priorities

November 22, 2009

Over 37% claimed that they took away three or more ‘Business Nuggets’ to provide insight into helping them build the business.

Destination Growth ‘09 was very well received with 74% of those surveyed saying that the event either met or exceeded their expectations. 

When it came to personal importance, nearly 48% of the participants put the Seminars/Workshops top.  This was followed with Keynote Speakers 32% and Networking 24%, with Exhibiting and Meeting the Exhibitors being least important at 8% and 4%.

56% were looking to the event to provide possible solutions to changing customer buying patterns, 44% to find ways to overcome pricing sensitivity and nearly 24% to find ways around shorter sales lead times and 20% to ‘Add Value’. 

The last points are particularly interesting as for some time now we have been helping clients look creatively at ways to build customer loyalty, market these initiatives to their customers and train their staff to embrace the changes required to use them to best effect. 

Where clients meet the entry criteria we are also able to help them access grants to support the training aspect of this package.

If you want a full copy of the survey (available from 30th November), or to discuss how our skills can protect and develop your customer base, call Jonathan Wainwright on 07971 006 446 or email jonathan@fcgconsultancy.co.uk

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Up to £5,000 training contribution to help make YOUR business more competitive

November 16, 2009

Grants are available now, to organisations with fewer than 250 employees based in the EEDA area, to address a wide range of business needs.iStock_000009349745XSmall[1] 

The aim is to support organisations who have identified a critical need get in to shape and beat their competition. 

This programme, which gives access to up to 50% of the cost of the training (from £100, up to £5,000) is running now.  It’s being delivered across 10 sectors, which have been identified as key economic drivers, in the East of England.

If your business in these sectors – you could be eligible:

  1. Automotive and High-Tech manufacture
  2. Creative Sector
  3. Financial Services
  4. Food and Drink Processing
  5. Life Sciences and Healthcare
  6. Low Carbon and Sustainable Technologies
  7. Social Enterprise
  8. Sustainable Communities and the Built Environment
  9. Tourism and Olympics 2012
  10. Transport Gateways.

I can help you:

  1. Identify  the business area where you will get the most benefit
  2. Scope the content and KPI’s of the training required to help you succeed
  3. Provide guidance to apply for the funding
  4. Deliver a training programme to achieve the goals you wish to achieve.

If you want to equip your business with new skills to succeed, call me on 07971 006 446 or email jonathan@fcgconsultancy.co.uk


Blown down

November 14, 2009

There is a wonderful and very special place in Ely, it’s down by the river for all to enjoy and it costs nothing to visit.

The Willow gently weepsIt’s where Mums and Dads congregate and take their Children. 

It’s where Granddads and Grandmothers gather. 

It’s where friends and acquaintances and other people just pass the time of day.

And somewhere people park to eat their fish and chips.

It’s a lovely spot cos Ducks meet there too; under the shade of a lovely Weeping Willow.  And a tale or two that tree can tell I’m sure.

It’s where until today, children used to feed the Ducks.

But the Weeping Willow is crying for real, it’s split clean in two by the wind. 

I truly hope that half can be saved.


Is social media marketing a waste of time or a powerful ally?

November 10, 2009

Unlike traditional sales and marketing, web 2.0 or social media isn’t a simple cause and effect process.  It can’t simply be defined as PR, sales, marketing or customer service as it can be a combination of each.  So just where should SME’s start with this exciting new medium?iStock_000009648196XSmall[1]

To start with you can’t ignore it as another fad or plaything.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter are now well understood and established platforms with major brands trusting what they have to offer. 

And this is backed up by the figures.  For the first time online advertising (£1.75B) has now outstripped TV (£1.64B).

And the results can be impressive too.  Earlier in the year Dell ran a Twitter campaign which generated more than £1.9M worth of sales.

But it’s no use setting up a Twitter, Facebook or any of the other accounts and hope for the best.  You could waste hours of time and introduce mixed messages, which at best will confuse people about your organisation and at worst alienate them.

To avoid this and project manage your entry into social media marketing, you need to create a six point plan, which should cover the following areas:

  1. Strategy and objectives to clearly establish what you wish to achieve (e.g. product awareness, product trial, customer feedback, repeat sales, account reactivation)
  2. Identify which social media sites are best placed to help you achieve your objectives
  3. Establish the tangibles you are trying to effect (e.g. targeted leads, drive more traffic to your website, readership, conversations with prospects and customers)
  4. Creation of a ‘Touch point’ map, identifying where in your organisation, prospects and customers directly experience your brand
  5. Establish how you can measure what you wish to achieve and thus determine the ROI
  6. Check that you have the appropriate resources to manage your social media marketing.  It is real time communication that has a rapid roll-out and very fast response.

With traditional marketing, what you say directly influences the actions of the group targeted.  With social media marketing what you say, influences how the targeted group thinks about you and then provides them with a platform enabling them to communicate this to others. 

This is why the ‘Touch point’ map is vital.  If you have a great product but poor delivery, social media marketing is a great way to improve.  However you must acknowledge what people feel, not try to sweep their views under the carpet.  This is why you need to be scrupulously honest and transparent, otherwise you will be caught out and that can back fire on you. 

It’s all about building relationships and delighting, rather than selling to the people with whom you are communicating.  Get it right and you create a powerful ally, as positive testimonials are arguably one of the most powerful and effective ways to increase sales.  Get it wrong and you can cause confusion and create negative opinion.  However, ignore it and it is quite clear that you are missing a proven opportunity.


‘Found Out’- a thought provoking Exhibition from Fran Crowe

November 9, 2009

Sponsored by AdeC (Arts Development East Cambridgeshire), ‘Found Out’ challenges what we do with our plastic rubbish.  It is a thought-provoking and powerful reminder, from artist Fran Crowe, about why we need to look after the world we all live in. Found Out

According to the UN, there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile of ocean worldwide, leading to the death of over 1,000,000 seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals every year through entanglement or swallowing.  The exhibition explores the relationship between plastics and the environment, which provides a fascinating, yet disturbing insight into how we treat our world. 

Unless burned (which in turn pollutes) plastic it is extremely difficult to get rid of, so nearly all the plastic ever produced still exists in our homes, or in landfills and the oceans today and is growing at an alarming rate.

Fran’s work is 99% recycled, created from locally sourced discarded marine litter, mainly collected from East Anglia’s beaches.  Even nature’s most powerful washing machine can’t tame plastic.  It can take a1000 years or more to degrade in seawater and still continues to pollute with thousands of toxic microscopic fibres.  And Greenpeace recently discovered that there is a vortex of floating pieces of plastic in the southern Pacific which is the size of Texas.

Fran’s exhibition explores our relationship between increasing consumer demands for plastic packaging and materials and the environment.  The images are beautiful yet paradoxically made from waste.  And it all looks harmless enough, yet at the same time shocks, communicated playfully, teasing the viewer, lightening the moment before hitting them with plastic’s deadly message.

Entry is free and ‘Found Out’ runs until Sunday 22nd November at Ely’s Babylon Gallery on Waterside.  The show includes a ‘matchbox gallery’, wildlife traps and an everlasting birdfeeder and is suitable for all ages.

www.adec.org.uk


Every click you make on the web is watched

November 4, 2009

This may seem harmless, but there are now companies springing up whose purpose is to search the web for confidential information for their clients.  So let’s take a quick look at the governance that protects your information and what this means to marketers.

Access key on a laptopFive things you need to be aware of:

  1. In the UK the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 is the overarching legal framework protecting personal data, including the way marketers collect and use the information.
  2. There are 8 principals that anyone processing information must apply.  The most relevant to marketers is that the information is, “adequate, relevant and not excessive” and that it is not kept for “longer than necessary”.
  3. Safe Harbor, which is a self self-regulatory US framework, is to reassure European citizens that there is an adequate level of privacy protection provided by US companies marketing to them, as they are not covered by the DPA.
  4. The grey area of data protection is whether or not your IP address is considered personal data.
  5. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, covers how personal data can be used for online marketing.  Essentially it must be permission based with an opt-out facility. 

If your digital agency hasn’t mentioned this to you, then ask them!


What’s the most important thing you want to get out of EEDA’s Destination Growth ’09?

November 1, 2009

Destination Growth ’09, has the potential be one of the most exciting and innovative business events of the year.  An absolute must to go to if it is anything like the event two years ago and is without doubt, East Anglia’s flagship business event.

Destination Growth 09 V2I asked people going, what they wanted to get out of the day and these were the answers…..

“I want a better understanding of some of the areas of the seminar topics, especially marketing to/from SMEs.  I also want to network.”

“I am interested to find out from delegates how they have coped with the current economic climate and networking for both clients and suppliers.”

“To help with the motivation to take my business up a level, something that happens when you spend a day listening to people with good ideas.”

“To make connections that will become long term strategic alliances, particularly with any business interested in CSR or wishing to embrace a ‘responsible business’ agenda.”

“A combination of fresh thinking and business development is important to me.  By being immersed in an environment where everyone is thinking and talking about business growth is bound to lead to some changes in my perception, and therefore to planned actions for growth.”

“As a proactive and commercial FD, I’m always interested in listening to various business scenarios from various sectors. I am interested in how different businesses have felt the economic climate and how they have dealt with it.”

“Personal development is top of the list for me, which in turn will have a positive impact on my business. I’m also keen to network.”

Brilliant and varied answers – Tuesday 3rd November 2009 promises to be an exciting day.

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