Tag Archives: communication

Is your brand surviving in the modern world?


It is probably fear that drives you to read articles / blogs about brands or branding such as this one. If you’re like us, that fear may well be rooted in your own brand surviving in this constantly changing world.

As an SME owner, you might recall the old days when you could have an idea, start a business, design a logo and mass communicate your message better than your competitors. In the current, technologically connected world and changing consumer attitudes towards business, mass messaging etc. won’t work on its own – if at all.

If any message is to break through the noise, it helps if your brand means something to people i.e. how relevant is it? Why? – because relevancy can lead to brand loyalty. Loyalty has always been important for successful brand building. However, these days we believe we need to go one step further and distinguish between emotional loyalty and functional loyalty.

The former is about feelings and experiences which don’t drive the bottom-line, in the short term. The latter does drive the bottom line in the short-term but, it could be argued, is more about ease and habit. Businesses that attempt to achieve both types of customer loyalty will do the best.

Our point is that if brand owners are aware of both types of loyalty and addresses them in their business planning, it should be possible to help the brand surviving into the future and drive the bottom-line. For example, activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), social media as a customer service channel and a customised after sales service are tactics that can help develop a relationship and subsequently, an element of trust. There will be no loyalty without trust.

Put simply, we always say that a brand is the perception that people have of your business based on what you do and say. In other words, your brand is your voice in the marketplace and it is how you tell your story. Effective storytelling addresses emotions and therefore is the key to your success and your brand surviving in the long term.

We meet prospects from time to time who outline their ‘problem’ as people not knowing “who we are & appreciating that we are the best!” Well now, it is quite clear to us that if these prospects can’t, or aren’t telling their story then nobody else will. We advise them that as a business owner it is their job to tell the story including their mission and raison d’etre.

Consistent communication is one element of brand strength.

It is not our intention here to outline a single route for brand survival but there are probably five suggestions we could make, to help along the way.

  1. Find your unique story and tell it repeatedly through different communication mediums
  2. Discover what the perception of your brand is by existing and ideal customers and build on it
  3. Find out where your customers touch your brand, both online and offline, and converse with them there
  4. Analyse your main competitors in every aspect particularly their brand positioning and promise
  5. Ensure all your communications reinforce your brand message and reflect your authenticity

Most of you well attest to the notion that to be conscious of building your brand by retaining customer loyalty is a sound theory. The real challenge, however, is to appreciate that it takes time and effort to do so while at the same time keep the bottom-line ticking over.

Short-term sales won’t ensure your brand success but attention to the managing of what you do and say will contribute to your brand surviving in the long term.

Building a brand that will survive.

As we’ve alluded to already, everything a business does and says, contributes to developing a brand. So, if the power of a brand is one that influences a person’s propensity to purchase and earn loyalty then what we say & do becomes that power.

What we do needs to be different or nobody will care. What and how we say things amplify our actions. The aim is to maintain a simple image of what your brand is – in the minds of the consumer. For example, is there one word that can describe your story?

What is more, if your story is your brand promise, delivering on it is paramount if people are to believe what you say about yourself. People must be convinced that you are more than a profit-making machine. Therefore, how people experience your brand goes a long way to building loyalty.

It’s not just for bricks-and-mortar brands, being available (mobile friendly), handling complaints, advertising messages, and customer service all form part of the experience. Being credible and reliable is all a consumer wants in reality. So, build your brand by building on your credentials.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”61fR_” via=”no” ]Being credible and reliable is all a consumer wants in reality. So, build your brand by building on your credentials. [/ctt]

Tips that will assist with a brand surviving

We’ve all come across brands that have failed. Failed for many reasons such as entering a saturated marketplace, not fully understanding the target market, business inexperience etc.

We cannot offer a panacea for brand survival here, but here are nine practical tips that we have picked up from our experiences to date:

  1. Know your ideal customer and talk to them in their language
  2. Generate value for others before asking for anything in return
  3. Be the best in your niche and align all your messaging for consistency
  4. Use emotive appeal in your communications – most buying decisions are emotional in nature,
  5. Deliver on your brand promise in a consistent way across all touch points – it builds trust
  6. Use word-of-mouth testimonials through influencers in your specific niche
  7. Don’t try to be something you are not. Offline should reflect online activity
  8. Listen to how you explain what you do, to people. This is probably what you really do.
  9. If you love what you do, but others don’t need it – it’s a hobby.


Where do you start when building a brand that will survive in today’s business world of distractions, options, outputs and shiny new toys? For long term brand survival, this blog post provided many tips above. The one sentiment that underlies them all is that a brand owner should focus on communicating a real value that can be added to a customer’s life.

Consistent communication is, therefore, an integral part of brand survival. Don’t feel trapped by the brand’s style guide’ – effective communication is what is required for eliciting emotions and understanding. Authenticity is the key so don’t mistake familiarity for a successful brand.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Why Authentic Customer Engagement is the Only Way


I was standing in a local shop queue recently to pay for my ‘takeout’ lunch. It was during lunchtime so it was busy. The server at the till did not appear to be in a good mood as he kept shouting, ‘who’s next?” at the queue. Fair enough you might say – he was trying to move the queue.

No, when I arrived at the till I was greeted with a sigh. I, the customer appeared to be an inconvenience for him. Obviously, I had no idea why he was in a foul mood but surely he’s being paid to smile? Walking back to my office, I wondered whether this guy’s customer engagement was a reflection of the shop owner’s attitude to customers.

Where am I going with this? Well, when I returned to the office, I began wondering how important good customer engagement is to a business. Also, in this day and age of ‘content shock’ whether our communication really engaged with customers in an authentic way?

Satisfied employees make for excellent engagement with customers.

It is an age-old truism that employees are not motivated by salaries / wages alone. If they have purpose, a chance to learn new skills and/or some element of flexibility in how they operate, they will be motivated in general but more so on good customer service delivery.

The challenge for the business owner is to make customer service delivery a purpose for all employees – not just the front-line people. If employees are encouraged to view improved customer service delivery as a new skill they should take training etc. on board more willingly. Also, allowing employees to say ‘yes’ and feel a sense of autonomy in doing so will reinforce the business owners commitment to ‘putting the customer first’.

So here’s my tuppence worth – if your employees aren’t pleasant when communicating with customers and are rude or unhelpful, it doesn’t matter what formal strategy you have in place – customers will switch loyalties

In the rush to obtain leads / sales are we losing focus on what good engagement is or looks like? Content marketing is one route that a lot of businesses now undertake with a view to better engagement with customers.

Can content marketing can drive customer engagement?

Let’s look at some ways that content marketing can work for a business.

  • It can position the business as a thought leader by the sharing of relevant information for free.
  • It can encourage a customer to engage your business by them spending more time on your website.
  • By providing the customer with content that helps their business will help make them feel more appreciative / closer to you.
  • It can provide solutions for customers in advance of them contacting you – which can actually save you money / time on incoming phone calls as well as informing them of your offerings before talking.

Using content marketing for engagement works best when all the tools, channels, and platforms used, form part of an over-arching story. That story must be unique and authentic and it must be told in a high-quality manner.

Customer engagement strategies for businesses.

We are all aware that people’s attention span is reducing. (although it could be argued that this is not a bad thing). The second business fact that we are constantly reminded of is that a growing percentage of a business’s site traffic arrives via mobile devices. As a result, the challenge is to keep customer engagement real while retaining a business focus.

One of the ways of starting this process is to view social media as a tool rather than just an engagement platform. As a tool it can be used to share information, talk to industry influencers, identify questions and for listening to customer feedback. Free trials are another way of building relationships through social media.

Needless to say, a business owner must nurture all customers but one essential piece of information that is a must-know is who their ‘top’ customers are. By knowing this, businesses can provide a more personal touch for them.

Ashish Kalra mentioned in this post that 68% of customers will leave your business if they don’t believe that you care about them. Surely, it is a no brainer to care for your top customers by delivering real value.

Another strategy for good customer engagement is to create customised content for them. If you know what their requirements are then you can be part of the solution. Taking this one step further would be to develop a conference for customers, influencers, and prospects with a particular theme. What better way to provide value and to engage with top customers over a few hours in a mutually suitable environment.

When customers become emotionally charged, through education / helping them grow – they engage more with the provider of that education. Content is definitely the platform but the type of content appreciated is changing.

There is a lot of similar content out there and it seems that only content which is different, authentic and relevant is cutting through the noise. That differentiation, more and more, appears to involve interactive content. Examples would be polls, galleries, quizzes, tests, calculators, contests and automated audit tools.

Interactive content is a great way to engage a user up front and usually provides real time value. So, what are some ways of improving your customer engagement activity?

Tips for improving your customer engagement activity.interactive content

Make the customer happy.

– listen to them and then talk

– make sure they benefit every time they engage with you

– respect their age, culture, language or background

If the engagement is online – offer a takeaway before they leave

– a pop-up thank you message

– a free download / cheat-sheet

– a link to further relevant information

Surprise them whenever you can

– use personalised emails or create customised webinars

– offer a free consultation (for a limited period)

– share industry information that they might not be aware exists

Be social with them

– choose a social media platform that suits you & them

– say thank you when others have shared your business content

– share your customer’s posts online

– implement a Q & A session on your social networks

Deal with negative feedback

– Never avoid responding and do so ASAP

– If you can, check out the profile of the annoyed person online

– Listen carefully and don’t rush to defend – start with an apology

Always be conscious of your brand reputation

– Don’t always be selling – help people when you can

– Set up online alerts to monitor perceptions (if any)

– Be a storyteller with the customer as the hero

Join online and offline groups relevant to your industry

– join an online group on social media

– join a local association that includes your customer demographics

– create your own group or community


No matter how you look at it – good people engagement is the key to potential conversion of them into customers. No matter what your pricing policy is or how brilliant your offers are – your efforts will be wasted if the customer’s experience isn’t human, pleasant and authentic.

What I hope you got from this post is that customer engagement is not a destination but a journey. Just because you will never get 100% customer satisfaction doesn’t mean that owners and employees shouldn’t strive for it.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K




Getting Lost in the Digital World of Marketing but Staying Real


As a business owner, do you remember the first time you set up a social media account? It was probably a personal one where you exchanged jokes, ideas and pictures with friends and family.

As you grew more familiar with various platforms, you decided to start using social media for your business. Let’s face it everybody was talking about the digital world of marketing and how it enabled the measurement of marketing ROI. So why not?

Then it happened! You were consumed by the digital world and its trappings. As you started to read more and more blogs, they told you how to search for communities, build engagement figures and analyse authenticity scores, you got lost in the traffic (no pun intended).

Yep – managing your online presence became much more immersive all of a sudden. Everybody was caught up focusing on the tools and the numbers. We were all beginning to forget about people – the very people we wanted as customers.

Are you still operating in the real world or have you left us?

How do you know when you’ve become too immersed in the digital world? – score yourself out of 10, on the following scenarios:

  1. You unfollow your friends because they don’t re-post you or follow back
  2. You discuss your various online reputation scores when out socialising
  3. You curate recommendations, but don’t bother with them yourself
  4. You have been annoyed that your LinkedIn connection count stops at 500
  5. You don’t sell anything on social media because that’s not what it’s for
  6. You spend more time on redesigning your profiles than you do on advertising
  7. You spend a lot of time convincing people that they’ll miss the boat without digital
  8. You can quote most of your Google Analytic stats
  9. You love checking out new apps / tools / latest channels – and use them once
  10. You write posts about being immersed in the digital world (whoops)

How many are you guilty of? I have definitely been guilty of 5 of them in the past! However, in the last 8 months or so, we have reduced the number of digital channels we use and aligned the remaining ones with a specific function to reflect the ‘why’ of our business.

For example, we use twitter to keep abreast of all things marketing and share tips and timesavers with followers that may find them useful. Most of the curation is automated, but the sharing and follow-back is still a human decision.

You will notice that after 3 years on twitter, we still have a relatively low follower count but that is on purpose. Helping people (particularly SMEs), we believe, reflects the O’C&K values and builds our reputation. In other words, we want to be real to our clients and prospects. We have learnt that you can only be real if you are relevant, be it online or offline.

Entering the digital world is not the only marketing solution for every situation.

Sometimes when we’re networking at SME meet-ups, people don’t always see us as being real, especially when we start talking about an offline promotional mix (one of the four Ps – remember them?). Quite often people’s eyes become glazed over until we mention SEO, social media, content marketing, link building or growth hacking.

Of course, we have no problem with specialists per say, we use a lot of them ourselves. However, we have encountered many digital marketing gurus that don’t necessarily have a background (education or experience) in traditional marketing and communication. Their only solution is a digital one. Sometimes I just wonder if they are providing the best solution for a client, who might need more comprehensive, marketing communications advice. The ‘why in’ and not just the ‘how of’, the digital world.

Some of the same specialists argue that ‘traditional advertising is dead’, ‘inbound marketing is the only future’ or ‘social media is the only way to engage people’. Well, here’s our opinion on that – marketing hasn’t changed that much, mainly because people haven’t changed that much and the function of marketing in the future won’t change much either.

The agency (or guru) that does not provide you with a customised strategy, linked to your business objectives and supported by a range of marketing tactics – is probably just trying to sell you something. Depending on the business objective, product, brand or industry, different elements of the promotional mix will apply.

The real relationship is between marketing, communications and promotion.

Allow me to elaborate by way of background. One way of looking at marketing communications is through the prism of relationships. In marketing, the focus is on customer relations and in communications, the focus is on influencer relations, media relations, community relations and government relations.

Bear with me just a little longer – of the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion) – promotion comprises Direct marketing; Personal selling; Sales promotion; Advertising and Publicity. In the digital world, these elements of promotion don’t change.

It’s just the tools and channels that are available right now, allow us to engage with people in a more relevant way. The challenge remains to choose which promotional tools to use, that will build the various relationships.

When using a mix of tools to engage an identified audience, professional marketing communications will ensure efficient and consistent messaging across all audiences and all channels. All that remains is to allocate different weights to each part of the promotional mix, based on business objectives.

Ask yourself, can our audience be best reached offline or online (or a little bit of both)? Based on your answer, you can then start to decide which promotional elements to use to engage them. To finish off this segment of the post, here are some examples of combined online and offline promotional activity.

  • Direct marketing: producing brochures / online newsletters to engage prospects directly
  • Advertising: creating PPC and AdWords campaigns to support offline ads
  • Personal selling: designing presentations, webinars and podcasts
  • Sales promotion: creating coupons, landing pages, lead magnets
  • Publicity: blogging and writing guest articles or capturing a publicity stunt on video

Tips and Timesavers

As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats, some of which are a better fit than others. It’s not unusual for business owners to feel uncomfortable with marketing. The growth of digital marketing has definitely added complexity and import, but also power to small business marketing.

Succeeding in the digital world means providing content that your audience wants, where and when they want it. Here are some tips in relation to content creation and its distribution.

Content creation addresses your messaging and the best way to communicate it:

  • Blog post
  • Video
  • Email
  • Audio
  • Whitepaper
  • Infographic
  • Presentation

Content distribution determines how you are going to reach your target audience:

  • Newsletter
  • RSS subscribers
  • Social networks
  • Email campaigns
  • Community groups
  • Forums / offline meet-ups
  • Live streaming / Podcasts
  • Print / promotional items
  • Workshops


There are many powerful tools and channels for communicating with people and building your business. Sticking to online or offline only, however, isn’t going to get the job done. Whether it’s traditional offline marketing or the use of digital, you need to do each well and ensure you’re using them both in your promotional mix.

Marketing is a type of communication – communication is one person talking to another

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K



12 Ways To Stay Popular In The Brand Loyalty World.

brand loyalty-forever-oc&k

There seems to be a lot of debate in recent times about loyalty towards brands. Have a look at this U.S. research, undertaken earlier this year, which outlines a gradual decline over the years. Needless to say that we business people, all strive to have loyal customers because usually, they buy more and refer more. So how do we address the problem of decline?

In our opinion, there have been two developments that businesses need to accept in this digital age. Firstly, that technology has raised the customer’s expectation of a two-way street with regard to loyalty. Reciprocal loyalty is becoming the norm not the exception. Secondly, it should be appreciated that loyalty is about emotions in the first instance and behaviour in the second.

Often, businesses use loyalty programmes to measure success, which are based on behaviour. The trouble is that these can’t measure any emotional factor involved. And we know that it is the emotions that drive the purchase decision and repeat business.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that I, as a consumer, consider loyalty programmes to be a reward for my loyalty. I’m sure there are marketing directors out there that think the opposite.

We outline some tips below that might help address the emotional side of a customer’s loyalty to your brand. At this point, though, we would like to make the distinction between brand loyalty and customer loyalty.

Brand Loyalty vs Customer Loyalty.

In our minds, brand loyalty is where customers return to buy the same product but will also try other products/services proffered, because of their positive experience.

Customer loyalty, on the other hand, is achieved through special offers, rebates and other incentives to increase the volume/frequency of purchases. This usually equates to an increase in footfall but also to short-term profitability.

Perhaps a simpler way of distinguishing these terms is that customers who are brand loyal are loyal to you, the business. Those in loyalty programmes are loyal to their own wallet.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with the latter, from a sustainable business point of view, brand loyalty is usually the better of the two.

It is, of course, perfectly acceptable to concentrate on both, but in the absence of brand loyalty – competitors such as a low-cost producer can easily attract your wallet loyal customers.

For the purpose of this post – we are going to talk about brand loyalty. The research, mentioned above, inferred that in this connected world, brands have the increasingly difficult challenge of changing from broadcasting messages to building relationships.

More than ever, people have many options and many ways of connecting with brands. As a method of choosing one over the other, they seem to be siding with companies that share their own beliefs and/or priorities. Accordingly, it really is imperative that businesses communicate their own brand values to an audience that shows an affiliation to same.

As the socio-economic environment continues to evolve, it appears that sustainable business will be built on brands that provide meaning to customers. Here’s the hard (?) bit – brands have to genuinely like their customers i.e. treat them as humans rather than wallets.

Why does this seem to be so difficult? We think it is because 1) not only does there have to be a change in the business mindset but 2) brands have to ensure that they can connect wherever, whenever and however their customers want to and 3) do so in a relevant way.

As a result, marketing must move away from asking, ‘what will our company say to our customers’ – and get to, ‘what is our company to customers.’

Some people think brand loyalty is for suckers.

We could not write this post about brand loyalty without reference to lifehacker.com’s great read – ‘Brand Loyalty is for Suckers’. In it they discuss headings such as:

Brand Loyalty Locks You Into Willful, Lazy Monopolies

Brand Loyalty Encourages Fan Worship

Brand Loyalty Makes Products Worse

Brand Loyalty Uses You as a Weapon and Encourages Blind Consumption

It really is well worth a read and poses food for thought on the subject. In this post, however, we are approaching the topic from a business point of view. And as such, we believe that to succeed, brands must strive to be ‘more popular’ and relevant than their competitors. In the next section, we outline some ways that we think might help better your company’s popularity in the brand loyalty world, but not to make suckers out of customers.

Tips and Timesavers.

We can safely assume that all marketers, and indeed business people, will accept that it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. In both instances, however, the earlier you start to work on earning their loyalty, the better.

Such loyalty can often manifest itself through a gratitude and appreciation of what a company stands for.

What can you do to earn this gratitude?

  1. Live your values to the full and communicate them.
  2. Over-deliver on customer experience and use testimonials / social proof.
  3. Create a community of like-minded people and help them as an expert.
  4. Offer incentives but don’t forget your existing customers.
  5. Admit your mistakes.
  6. Get personal and stay in touch – remind them of the value you offer.
  7. Create something that they want to be a part of – inspire them to live a better life.
  8. Have the right employees (fully trained etc.).
  9. Ask customers for their feedback (especially after a sale).
  10. Be reliable and make their life easier by anticipating their problems.
  11. Make it easy for them to communicate with you / a real person.
  12. Remember it’s the little things that matter – surprise them.


Most businesses would believe that brand loyalty is something that happens after you acquire a new customer. The reality is beginning to show that people are aligning themselves with brand values rather than products/services.

Surely, therefore, it makes sense to address this in advance. As a start-up business, you should know your brand values. Thereafter, communicating these values at every brand touch-point will facilitate such activity as referral marketing programmes. This activity can do a lot of the spadework in advance of the actual prospect conversion activity.

There are many tools and channels available for brands to engage and create positive experiences (e.g.social media, networking, traditional marketing). There should be no excuses for not making prospects and existing customers feel connected to your company.

The real challenge going forward is to be authentic when demonstrating that you have their best interests at heart. Loyalty IS a two-way street.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Why Marketing Magic is The New Black For StartUp Businesses

marketing-magic-for-startup-businesses - OC&K

Last week I attended a networking event organised by IBEC in partnership with Bank of Ireland and sponsored by Skillnets in support of the StartUp Gathering 2015.

As one might expect, I bumped into a number of people who had recently started up a business venture. At one stage while I was explaining what we in O’C&K do (outsourced marketing), I realised that it is must be hard for a non-marketing person to grasp the importance of marketing, especially if they don’t understand it.

To ensure that marketing can deliver its magic for a business, it needs to be planned for properly, in advance. That is why I thought I’d put pen to paper (so to speak) and provide some tips on startup marketing below.

It is fully understandable that many startups cannot see the ‘forest’ because they are so focused on the trees. Focusing on the immediacy of the trees is also understandable because they are tangible and provide short-term results.

Such items as planning revenue, sorting out premises, legal and compliance procedures, cash flow and IT items are usually the front-of-mind concerns, but marketing should be there as well.

A startup that doesn’t take the time to plan for customers and how to communicate with them is bound to fail. The truth is that you must look on marketing as an investment, just like all the other elements of a startup. Then it just might perform some magic for your bottom line.

Unfortunately, many founders don’t see that marketing should be an integral part of their overall strategy from day one. As a result, they only embrace it after they’ve launched, which is often too little too late and really lessens the communication’s impact.

Another condition that we encounter quite a lot is that everybody considers themselves to be a marketer. The number of times that I have heard – ‘oh my partner / friend / family / neighbour had some great ideas for publicity so we don’t need to hire anybody’ – is staggering.

When these ‘ideas’ don’t work people then consider marketing a time-suck and a waste of money. So they put it further down the to-do list or worse still, ignore it altogether. They start relying on the features of the product / service for marketing purposes. The ‘build it and they will come’ mentality.

The only advice that I can give, if you’re not employing a marketing professional, is to consider (or better still – involve), your potential audience at each development stage and start thinking about a marketing strategy from the moment you have that great idea.

Initial tactics that startups can use to bring in customers.

In fairness, most startups appreciate that they will need marketing at some stage, but as mentioned above it can end up low on the ‘to-do’ list, for all sorts of reasons. The main reasons appear to be time, money and lack of experience. Here are some thoughts that might help overcome those challenges, initially.

  • Despite what some bloggers say – email is not dead. It is a very effective method of engaging an audience in a direct and measurable way. There are many free services available (such as MailChimp), with which you can automate newsletters etc.
  • Social media is another way of attracting customers. If possible, allocate even half an hour a day on a channel where your prospects are conversing. Many communities on social media form free local networking groups (e.g. dubnet). These can work to collect leads, build awareness and learn from peers.
  • See our post here, about good networking habits.
  • How about looking around for marketing opportunities by creating a joint campaign with a complimentary business e.g. hotel / sports club, gym / spa, theatre / media outlet, beautician / hairdresser, SEO / web design, recruitment / printer etc.
  • This one goes without saying – it is imperative that you have a user-friendly website.
  • Finally, you could look at doing a small direct mail campaign in your area, sponsor an element of a local event or advertise in community newsletters.

If you don’t have time for any of these elements, you really should get help from the ‘outside’, as early as possible. Have a look at some services listed on our website, to get an idea of what areas you should be thinking about.

Tips and Timesavers.

There are no magic bullets of course but in order to avoid being a startup casualty, try and plan for the following from the get-go:

  • Use a revenue goal to measure your business – over a two year period.
  • Go after the small and easy prospects first – generate up-front cash.
  • Decide how you will be different from any competitor – avoid sameness.
  • Don’t undertake new things that aren’t on your to-do list (plan) – stay focused.
  • Be willing to change based on customer experience – be flexible.

To use a rugby analogy – earn the right to go wide i.e. don’t be distracted by long-term prospects – focus on the first two years and earn the right to survive.

Now that your business is up and running and you want to move your startup to the next level of business communication, consider formalising these 7 elements:

  1. Branding – your brand identity says a lot about you. Your name, logo, a tagline should back-up your brand promise, remember – first impressions count.
  2. Marketing communication – fliers, brochures, business cards, packaging, signs (including online) etc. all reflect your business professionalism.
  3. Channels of communication – can your customer contact you in a way that they prefer? e.g. mobile phone, email, postal address, skype, google hangouts and face-to-face.
  4. Online presence – your website is often the only place that a customer engages with your brand. They should have an excellent user experience at all times.
  5. Social Media – work is required to find out where your actual prospects are, when they are there and what’s important to them.
  6. Blogging – helps SEO, delivery of value to customers / prospects and is a way of embedding your brand story in people’s lives.
  7. Marketing campaign – a short, flexible and simple campaign using online and offline channels for promoting your business should always be measurable Professional help will probably be required with this element.


When it comes to using magic to bring your ‘wonderful idea’ into reality you need to start by determining exactly who your audience is and what matters to them. Thereafter, effective marketing will build a structure for relationships to be created and nurtured in order to ensure business opportunities in due course. And that would be magic.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K