Top Takeaways from Lincolnshire Business Expo 2016 – Fantastic Event!!

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Reading Time: 10 minutes

The 20 events and speakers gave people an insight into how to gain success in the industry and we attended as many as possible to bring the key takeaways to you in this roundup blog. There was lots of top speakers giving insight into their industries and sharing their expertise with all of the event attendees.
Here we wanted to bring all of those top nuggets from the sessions our team managed to attend on the day. Across the board we found the speakers engaging and it really showcased what Lincolnshire and other areas (some came from much further afield) had to offer small to medium sized businesses. Huge congratulations to the show organisers Lincolnshire Business Magazine- part of Stonebow Media Ltd, we look forward to a repeat of it all next year (or sooner!).
So without further ado here are what we took from the seminars attended. We are not offering opinions – we just wanted to report directly what we took from them so full credit goes to the individual presenters.

Content Marketing Trends for 2016

Jodie King of SEO Traffic Lab @JodieKing595 @seotrafficlab

E-commerce without boundaries

Charlie Ruigrok of UK Trade & Investment @ukti_emids @charlie_ukti
a - charlieUK Trade & Investment have developed an e-Exporting Programme to help encourage UK retailers and brands to increase and expand their international online sales. An e-marketplace is an online location that allows retailers of all sizes to do business through e-commerce, including, Amazon, Tmall and Ebay. UKTI have identified over 400 e-marketplaces worldwide. Selling online through an e-marketplace allows UK retailers to find new customers, analyse data on what consumers are searching for and build awareness of their brands.
In the E-commerce without boundaries seminar we have found out more about UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme and how it can help our business.
• The world is shrinking day by day, borders are no longer a hindrance to shopping
• Expand your markets by becoming a multi-channel business with e-marketplaces such as Amazon, and La Redoute
• Be visible, Build trust, Deliver great individual customer service, have a great product
• Britain have been known to be the “Jewel in the crown” in Europe for having a total of $82 billion in ecommerce spend.
• Expanding into other market areas opens up new horizons
• For example, Singles Day is a consumer holiday in China and the world’s biggest online shopping day of the year. Last year, Chinese consumers spent almost £6bn online through Alibaba stores alone in just 24 hours.
• On business alone did $24 Billion in a single 24 hour period
• There are hundreds of eMarketplaces available for all different areas, including, food, drink, brands and digital services.

Planning Your Digital Strategy

Aimee Holland
A - AimeeIn this seminar Aimee Holland touched on what you need for digital success. She explained the importance of building a relationship with your audience and top tips on how to attract people to look at your copy, images and videos. Aimee has showed us how her strategy lead her to success through her clients. Some of her key points include:
• Know your avatar. Who your idea client is and what they are looking for. Research your client and finding out what motivates them and what their desires are will allow you to ensure your business will be right for them and what specific aspects are important to that particular person.
• Find your avatar’s audience. By knowing the top three places your client will be will guarantee you can interact with them personally and can choose which aspects of your business will suit them.
• Focus on one action and encourage it. Have one action that will allow the client to still find out more about your business without being bombarded and pushed away. By allowing people to add their email on your website for example, they will then be signed up for an email list and receive a constant stream of information about your business but they won’t be overwhelmed and felt as if they’re just being sold something.
• Build a relationship. As well as there being less of a business-client divide, you will also know what drives your client and how you can help them by fine tuning your methods to suit them.
• Analyse your evidence. Learn as you move towards your goal. Test and evolve. Tools such as Google analytics goal tracking are very useful to judge your success digitally.

How To Maximise The Return On Your Marketing Investment

Jo Wilson and Tracy Millar from Fill the Gap Marketing @FTGmarketing @JoFilltheGap @TracyMillar
A - Jo-1Second seminar of the day and we attended a really interesting seminar with two experienced marketing professionals with some rather interesting takeaways and a fun game of Bingo to win chocolate that sadly we didn’t win 🙁
Some of the key takeaways from Jo and Tracy’s talk are well worthy of mentioning here but I really liked the emphasis they put on seeing the marketplace in a different light with one of Jo’s first pointers being ‘marketing today is so much more than just fancy adverts’ there are so many different streams and channels that we can now focus on as digital marketers or business owners.
• Do your research, what are the trends in your industry? What is the technology you can use to stay ahead of the curve?
• Understand your business really well internally, understand your products, where are your higher profit products and are these what you should be promoting
• Ask yourselves – What can you deliver successfully
• Be aware of who your competitors are and see where you fit in the marketplace
• Be distinctive rather than different, just being different could make you end up selling into to niche a market
• Good marketing always has the customer at heart, understand your customer and ask who is your ideal customer and target market
• Afford, Think, See, Relevancy – this is how a business grows
I loved Jo and Tracy’s take on the old marketing 4 P’s with their version 4P+ and we can see a little more about them below.
• Product – is your product fit for purpose and does it fill a space in the market
• Place – how do you get your product or service to market
• Promotion – (remiss of me I missed this one, sorry Jo)
• People – does everyone that works for the business understand the brand and the companies ethos, and we mean everybody even the cleaner 
• Physical Environment – make sure that premises and any paperwork that are in the business reflect the brand
• Process – how easy is it for people to buy your products from you
• Price – can you be strategically different, for example Lidl are currently selling lower price but maintaining quality
A key element that was discussed by Tracy was that of Cost Benefit Analysis:
• How much will it cost
• How may will it reach
• What is the likely response rate
• Does it justify the investment
Finally the team summarised with the following points which I hope we have covered verbatim.
• Understand your customer who are they where are they
• Use messages that are going to attract them
• Put the messages in the right places
• Track
• Measure
• Refine
• Innovate and keep relevant

Email Marketing for 2016 and Beyond

Lee Callender  Mail Magic  @MailMagic
a - email marketingLee Callender gave a great seminar on email and I think everyone left with some thorough notes on what he shared. There were lots of top tips and it was presented in a way that really delivered value to everyone in the room. It is always nice to attend a seminar where they are talking about a niche – as you know they are going to be living and breathing that niche everyday and this certainly proved the case here. Lots of case studies to back up everything he said and I am sure everyone’s email will be that little bit clicker after attending.

  • It is getting harder – it is tough
  • Best practice: unsubscribe is a legal requirement
  • Don’t call it a newsletter – Call it what we are up to
  • You have to have an opt in six email sequence: First is the opt in box and then 1) download our report/whitepaper/guide (content of value) – this is the reason they are giving you their email 2) As a question about that content that means they have to go back in and look at it (put another link in the PS) 3) Give them a testimonial 4) Introduce a full range of services to them – what you do 5) Call to Action – get in touch
  • Don’t be afraid to use pop-ups – they really work
  • Always send a thank you for giving you their email and downloading your content
  • Send an email two days after an event to the people you connected with while it is fresh in their minds – this means mega open rates (around 70%) speed wins
  • If buying databases be specific and focus on a niche that you can target intuitively
  • Always segment your data either geographically or industry sectors
  • Know – Like – Trust | They wont buy if they don’t know, like and trust you
  • If people buy one product what else have they typically bought – follow up sales with those you may be interested in items
  • Long form emails definitely work – One example where I used five sides of A4 brought us a big return.
  • There are five compelling ingredients to emails: 1) Headline 2) Sub-header 3) Compelling reason for them to get in touch 4) Social proof 5) PS and put a link in it but also have a PS
  • Don’t fill long form emails with images as they do not load quickly and some browsers wont upload then, neither will all mobiles
  • Email should be 80% text and 20& images for B2B – with B2C you have to be image text and button led
  • Videos inserted in emails work really well. Take them back to your website to play – Got the click through but didn’t convert as well as the long format email
  • Show some personality – People buy the person before the product
  • Calls to Action must be compelling – what would make you take action?
  • Google Analytics – drop the code into email to trigger remarketing you can credit sales back to emails
  • Never send an email out from No-Reply@
  • Call tracking numbers make it simple to see who has rung directly from one email – very specific remarketing tracking
  • PS – the second most clicked link with be in your PS at the end
  • How often should you send email? Every 2 weeks – 1 a month is the minimum
  • Do a shot term deadline campaign – three emails in one day 1) honest upfront email while they were doing it – lost a big client and business is slow coming up to Christmas 2) 3 of the 5 slots taken – get booked in today – so make it even more time sensitive and tell them that people have signed up already – builds trust and urgency 3) Final email stating deadline
  • Best time to send emails is still lunchtime Tue and Thur. For B2C Wednesdays are good, lunchtime again and between 4-5pm during weekdays and at weekends. Sunday mornings are a good time to catch B2C.
  • Follow up with direct mail (so send a nice letter through the post) – Hand write the envelope and the letter itself, use a real stamp as it is more personable, use a coloured envelope, mark it private and confidential in the top left corner, scribblemail will do the written envelope and letter for you relatively cheaply
  • B2B – the last and biggest tip: if you first email gets 1000 sends, 20% open rate and 3% click through. Send the same email with a different subject line to the remaining 800 who didn’t open. You will get a 15% open rate but another 2% clicks and they all add up. Make the list work to its fullest.


Technology 21

Rosa Glover – Capital Enterprise North @rosaglover6
Daniel Westlake – Artsgraphica @danwestlake
Neil Gray – Streets Chartered Accountants @StreetsAcc
a - tech 21There were three speakers for technology 21 Neil Gray, Rosa Glover, and Daniel Westlake each speaker had a different topic but all provided information and guidance on building a successful technology led business for the 21st century.
Neil Gray, gave information on how to value the intellectual property and how to increase the value of a business. Some key points he spoke about were;

  • Increase market share. Strengthen customer relationships and through innovation. A company’s market share is the percentage it controls of the total market of its products and or services.
  • Outperform the sector and improve margins, you need to stand out in your sector, you want to be the one people think of when they think of a specific sector. The way to do that is to over perform be memorable.
  • Spread of customers, you want to have a spread of customers not just a few loyal ones. Loyal ones are good but you need to get your products out there have a wide range of audience.

Rosa Glover, gave information on getting financial backing for a digital/technology led business which can be very difficult to say the least, Rosa discussed that when you give a pitch about your business that you need to be clear, precise and make sure you say what your product is and if possible take something for them to look at or maybe hold and have a little play with.
Here’s some key points discussed;

  • Precise and to the point. When you’re giving a pitch on your company you need to get to the point quickly to insure they don’t get bored.
  • What is your product. Don’t only discuss what you want and what they will get, you need to make sure you tell them what you do and what the product is. Rosa discussed how many people beat around the bush and overlook what their product is and some even forget to mention it as they’re nervous.
  • What’s your market and be realistic, don’t go in saying you’ll sell your product all over the world and everyone wants it as that is not correct, tell them what they need to know who your market really is.

Daniel Westlake, spoke about how he first started and how his company changed with the flow, yes he had an idea in mind he went with it but businesses change to the demand of people. Here’s a few key points;

  • Technology changes fast. Technology changes incredibly fast and businesses within the technology segment need to adapt to these changes quickly and efficiently.
  • Learn to change quickly, look at blockbuster for example they knew what was happening they knew everything was going online and they plunged into it but was very unlucky with who they partnered with, but the fact is they knew how the game was changing and how to adapt to these changes.
  • Be clear on your message, Daniel discussed how his business Cursor was originally known as Artsgraphica but he did web development, app development, online software and design, it didn’t make sense for it to just be called Artsgraphica, he did a little experiment and asked members of the public what they think Artsgrphica do, people who knew the business said the above but people who wasn’t familiar said “A design company” or a “Arts and craft sales company” the name was not getting the message across on what they do and causing people to be unsure.

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