Phil is the founder and Managing Director of Elephant Digital. Elephant Digital was founded by Rob Findlay and Phil Birss when they spotted a need for a digital agency that could combine clear-headed commercial thinking with outstanding design and the latest web technologies.
Their purpose is to help you grow your business by delivering world class branding, website and marketing communications.
Phil and Elephant are based in Liverpool’s knowledge quarter at Liverpool Science Park.
Phil also runs Think Big Events, a training and seminars company based in Liverpool providing in-company training on brand, marketing, social media, Linkedin and much more.
Picture the scenario. You have invested a substantial portion of your marketing budget in to a new website. You have set it live and are waiting for the business to come rolling in. Wait there is a Problem! Your new site looks great but your customers still have no idea why they should buy from you. What makes you different? Why should they spend their hard-earned money with you?
In our post-recession price sensitive marketplace the small differences can make a huge difference when it comes to your customers deciding to buy a product from you instead of your competition. Research and consumer psychology provides a valuable insight in to the buying cycle and shows that time after time the mass consumer is more likely to buy from a trusted ‘brand’ even if the price is slightly higher than the after-market alternative.
Developing consumer trust in your brand is one of the key components in developing your overall brand strategy and can be heavily tied in with the long-term success of your business. As your business grows and passes each successful milestone your customer’s requirements are likely to evolve and in simple terms the bigger you get the more your customers will demand from you.
Creating a powerful brand can be a profound and exciting journey which I would encourage all business owners to embark on regardless of your company’s size or offering. Your brand starts with you and the people in your business, it comes from the blood and sweat that you pump in everyday as you cross the threshold. As the leader of a successful business this responsibility must start and finish with you.
The first step is to quantify your personal and professional values and use these a basis to grow your brand. Speak with your customers to find out what they believe you do well and what you do poorly. Then speak to prospective customers who don’t know you and ask them what they want in a preferred service provider/ product supplier. Finally look at your competitors in razor sharp detail to analyse what they do well and what you can take from them.
Use all this insight to help form a vision for how you want to be perceived in your target marketplace and across the wider consumer world. Create a short and simple statement that embodies your company’s vision. This will be your brand essence. For a clear example of a good brand essence take a look EasyJet. Their brand essence is ‘The no frills airline’.
The key now is to ensure that this new ’brand essence’ is rolled out across every aspect of your business from your hiring strategy to your operation processes, and most importantly across your business development and marketing planning. The final part of developing your brand is consistency. You must promote your brand message consistently over a sustained period to ensure that your customers understand why they should choose you over the competition. If the message is not consistent it will quickly become diluted and blurry in today’s ‘connected’ world where brands are fighting for the trust of the consumer.
A good agency will work with you to create a brand that is a genuine reflection of you, your personality and your values. That’s the easy part. The part that takes work is living up to those values, and that is something that must be done consistently by everyone in your business. The best marketing agency in the world (ahem) can’t do this for you, but it is absolutely essential in building your brand. The reason for this can be summed up in one word.
According to the New York Times, up to 65% of new business comes from referrals. That’s not a figure you can ignore. What is more, customers who have been referred to you are more likely to stick around, with a lifetime value that is 25% higher than for other customers.
Referrals are powerful things for your business, and their power comes from their credibility. If a company tells you how effective/efficient/original they are, you might believe them, but chances are you’ll reserve a degree of valid scepticism. Referrals, on the other hand are effective because they come from a credible third party who has nothing to gain from you accepting their advice. A referral that comes from a trusted friend is even more compelling, as we tend to assume our friends are impartial and acting in our best interests.
It gets better. An unexpected consequence of referrals is the effect it has on the person making it. By publicly advocating your brand, they are psychologically tying themselves to you and your company. Having spoken up for you once, people are more likely to endorse their own endorsement by speaking highly of you in the future.
As well as being the most powerful form of advertising, referrals have the enormous advantage of being free to the company being promoted. When 92% of people trust word-of-mouth marketing above all other forms of advertising, that’s value for money that you won’t match elsewhere!
Of course, referrals aren’t the only reason to do your best work and stay consistent with your values; a sense of personal and professional pride probably keeps you on the straight and narrow most of the time. But if you ever find yourself weighing up these intangible benefits against the temptations of time and cost-saving, maybe understanding the power of referrals will sway you in the right direction.
With over 200 million members, LinkedIn is home to one of the largest professional networks of business people in the world. With over 10 million of those users based in the UK LinkedIn has become an invaluable part of the any successful businesses marketing strategy.
The key is to understand how to get the most out of LinkedIn for your business. Fundamental to any successful marketing campaign is developing your own knowledge and experience of the channel, learning how to use it to your advantage.
This talk take delegates through the basics of LinkedIn up to the advanced practices such as how to generate tangible new business enquiries.
Social Media is constantly developing and changing. It has become the most reactive and inclusive way to communicate, to share and more recently, to do business.
Nowadays, most customers expect the companies they interact with to be present and active across a range of social media channels. It marks you out as modern, forward thinking and makes you more accessible, more human and easier for your customers (and potential customers) to communicate with and to recommend to others.
With such compelling reasons to use social media, it can be daunting if you don’t feel up to speed on what social media can do and how to make the most of its enormous potential. But just as social media can be complex, it is also the most exciting, energetic, mobile, and inclusive area of digital communication.
Most businesses now accept that there is need to ‘do’ social media. But with that acceptance can come a host of questions and concerns, like:
- How do I make money from social media?
- How can I generate leads using social media?
- What do I say? When do I say it?
- How do I build a following of relevant people?
- How do I measure the effectiveness of my social media campaign?
- How will I have time for all this?
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
At our Social Media Masterclass you’ll find answers to all the questions above, and many more through a mix of hands-on exercises and practical advice from our session leader. The session will cover:
- How to generate real business from social media
-What your social media profile MUST include
- How to get the most from the features that most people miss
- The hidden benefits of social media, and how to harness them.
- An evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the major social media channels
- How to write a winning social media plan
- How to integrate social media as part of an overall marketing strategy
- How the best companies deal with social media-related PR incidents.
Lindsey Moore - Agnes Marketing
Chris Bayes - Project Lead (University of Liverpool)
Claire Anwyl - Marketing Director (Anwyl Group)
Paul Wright - Henkan