How to Win Trust and Loyalty


CDS will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


How is loyalty changing? What do customers really want? Are consumers genuinely loyal to brands or is it purely habit? How can brands reward their customers to keep them loyal?

Consumers say they feel less loyal, while their behaviour remains as loyal as ever – according to the third edition of this research that has tracker customer loyalty since 2016.

Nearly two-fifths of people (39%) say they feel less loyal to brands and companies than they did a year ago, but this may not translate into a change in their behaviour and needs.

Year-on-year the figures have remained steady with half of consumers (49%) still falling into the ‘Active Loyal’ group and around one in five (22%) as ‘Active Disloyal’ – with the remainder either loyal through habit or in certain situations.

Discussing what businesses can do to increase loyalty, Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said:

“Brands must renew their focus on the most important part of their long-term success, their customers.

Whether marketers decide to offer more personalised experiences, new loyalty schemes or flexible subscription models, successful brands will be those that can put the customer at the heart of everything they do.”

When asked to name their favourite brand or one they were loyal to, consumers were clear that one stood out above the rest: Amazon. Retail stalwarts Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Tesco complete the top five.

Consumers also report feeling genuine loyalty to these top brands, rather than this simply being based on convenience or habit.

Read the full report to find out more, including how:

  • Consumers are still prone to comparing offers and are deal sensitive
  • Different brands and sectors attract different kinds of consumer loyalty
  • Brand social responsibility and good customer service are strong drivers of genuine loyalty
  • Rewards and loyalty schemes in less established sectors are engaging younger consumers
  • The appetite for loyalty and reward points is somewhat saturated, needing to adapt to match consumer needs

Komal Helyer, Marketing Director at Pure360, explains:

“Consumer trust in ‘faceless corporations’ is waning, and in its place is a growing preference for meaningful interactions with brands who are perceived as genuine, transparent and relevant. For marketers, the message remains the same: add value to your customer’s lives and stay relevant to their interests or risk losing their business altogether.”

Source: Above reproduced with the kind permission of the DMA.

Paul Meersman, Head of Marketing at CDS commented:

“Brands need to get every touch point with their customers to deliver a rewarding experience that moves the customer smoothly and quickly through the buying process. To do this they need to get the basics right. Flaky systems and poor communications cause frustration and lose trust. Getting it right requires robust, secure digital and print systems that are intelligently integrated, data driven and provide a seamless multi-channel experience. It’s as important for B2B companies to understand this as it is for household brands.”


 

Why MicroStrategy Usher Is An Industry-leading Enterprise Security Solution


CDS will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


Usher, by MicroStrategy, replaces physical badges, passwords, and security tokens with digital badges delivered via smartphones.

These digital badges lock down logical and physical assets without sacrificing convenience.

Usher provides instant verification, communication and geo-fencing capability for organisations that require an instant ‘answer’ in time-critical situations.

Emergency planning and resilience

CDS have been looking at Usher’s capability around emergency planning and resilience for convergent volunteers and rest centres. We have also been discussing restricted access to buildings across a manufacturing complex.

Convergent volunteers are individuals in the community who appear on-scene to help in the event of a major incident. Although grateful for the help, the emergency services do not have the capacity, tools or available information to assess the credibility, capability and skills of each volunteer.

This is not only a security threat but also a health and safety issue that could draw attention away from the incident itself.

We have also been discussing the Usher capability for use in rest centres. The resilience teams across the West Midlands have a process for ‘activating’ rest centres and registering those that need temporary accommodation. Currently, the registration process works but is slow, using paper-based forms.

Usher comes into its own by speeding up the registration process and includes additional security to include a photograph of the individual. An ID band is also printed to include a unique QR code that is matched to the person’s record within Usher.

Outside of resilience and emergency planning, we have been investigating secure access into and out of restricted buildings across an industrial manufacturing complex. Currently, access to and from buildings is done with badges on the end of lanyards.

The badges can be lost or become overused in a short period of time. Usher badges on mobile devices provide the perfect, unique and secure option with the benefit of the tracking capability sitting behind it. Badges can also be issued to visitors if they are in a time restricted building or a restricted zone.

5 Simple Ways to Enhance your Marketing Strategy with Tech


Data Dwell will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


Implementing a marketing strategy that isn’t supported by technology in today’s digital environment is most likely going to be detrimental to a campaign’s success.

Technology helps streamline processes, expand reach, improve performance and generally make your marketing team’s work a lot easier.

But technology can also be complicated. It can get in the way and cloud the bigger picture.

You need to know which technology can actually support your marketing strategy, rather than just turning to technology for technology’s sake.

By leaving your options open to marketing technology – and by focusing on the right tech for the right reasons – your team will find a number of programs, websites, software and more that can enrich your marketing strategy while simplifying day-to-day responsibilities.

Here are 5 simple ways to enhance your marketing strategy with tech:

  1. Find the best Content Management Systems (CMS)

In order to climb the Google search rankings, one key strategy you need to implement is the consistent generation of content. A variety of valuable and relevant content. But as social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn offer native video, article and image upload systems, it’s easy to see this is as the way forward within digital environments.

You might think you should create content for these platforms, rather than your own website – to get more views and more interest.

However, you have no control of these third-party environments. You don’t know when their systems, their rules or their features will change. Do you really want to put all the effort into something that could easily be lost?

Instead, you should be focusing on building content for yourself, for your own website. And content management systems (CMS) are the helping hand you need from technology.

They offer a guiding light towards building an organised catalogue of digital media that will give you a much better chance of landing at the top of the results page.

These sites can manage the creation and optimisation of digital content, whether it’s short or long-form articles, images, videos, audio, maps or other embedded content. They don’t just make it easy to craft and build your own content; they simplify posting, sharing and organisation too.

In addition, many CMS UIs allow multiple users in a centralised, collaborative online environment, so your whole team can work on the same or several different pieces of content.

And the best content management systems support add-ons that automate SEO. Climbing the SERPs has never been easier!

2. Automate standard marketing processes where possible

21st century marketing is not straightforward. There is no linear process, but rather a handful of media platforms and messaging systems required to build a successful strategy, all requiring time to set-up, load and send.

All the information and messaging that you push out to prospects and customers needs to be coordinated and relevant. There is a lot to handle on a day-to-day basis while juggling new content creation, PR, emails and more.

With so many different platforms, you and your team cannot possibly keep up with regular marketing by constantly going into different systems and posting or sending at various different times throughout the day.

You need to implement marketing automation wherever you can.

Marketing automation can congregate a variety of social media profiles, emails, text messaging and more into one, easy-to-use dashboard. And it can be used for pre-set processes, so once a prospect enters the start of the sequence, all communication is taken care of for you.

This enables the hustle and bustle of marketing to be simplified and easily managed, letting you schedule ahead and saving you and your team valuable time.

3. Use Digital Asset Management to keep files organised

Within the regular tasks that a marketer must tackle daily, file organisation is rarely a priority. It’s very easy for a computer desktop to fall into disorganisation and inefficiency. Files become lost within folders, and content is scattered across multiple locations!

But then when a file is urgently needed – a logo, a photo or the content within a document – finding it becomes a time-consuming, logistical nightmare.

Digital asset management software provides a centralised library where users can store files, images and videos. It gives you quick and easy to access to find exactly what you need in seconds – with smart metadata search and conversion technology – so you always have the necessary file and format on hand. Our DAM can do just that for you.

By implementing this type of program, marketers can retain access to a wealthy platform of their visual or literary content without finding themselves in a digital maze.

4. Make use of Cloud Technology

The management of marketing relationships, campaigns and strategies can be overwhelming. A marketer has to monitor communications that are often scattered across email platforms such as Outlook, CMS platforms like WordPress and data analysis sites like Google Search Console.

The implementation of cloud-based tech to your marketing mix can integrate email, mobile, social media, web personalisation, content creation, data analysis and content management into one network.

In fact, marketing clouds have a positive impact on marketing teams. Fifty-two per-cent of marketers claim to be using this tech, while twenty-seven per-cent are considering the transition.

Not only does it allow teams to work more collaboratively, but it also ensures you always have access to the information you need. Marketing is 24/7, it doesn’t stop. So if you’re on the go – working remotely, travelling on business or attending a conference or trade show – you always need to be able to check in.

Cloud technology lets you do that.

5. Invest in Sales Enablement

Collaboration is an essential part of marketing strategy, and technology can help marketing and sales teams work more closely, more efficiently and more effectively.

Despite being a relatively new concept, Sales Enablement is quickly becoming an essential part of any modern marketers’ toolkit, and a vital piece of technology for business growth.

It’s a technology that lets marketing teams position the content they create directly into the sales pipeline, supporting sales reps with the right information at the right time. It helps those same reps identify hot opportunities and request more relevant content to help convert leads into sales.

And it shows both teams just how valuable content and marketing is to the business.

At DataDwell, we value, create and implement digital solutions for marketing teams. Our expert knowledge in the industry has allowed us to develop efficient solutions and innovate new features for our platform.

 

MarTech 101: Breaking Down Marketing Technology


Data Dwell will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


The field of marketing technology (MarTech) is littered with digital terminology and is full of complexities.

It’s a relatively new term that encompasses a whole host of features and definitions.

We’ve compiled a guide for marketers looking to increase their tech footprint, with all the information you need to understand MarTech.

What is MarTech?

MarTech is a rapidly-emerging and increasingly popular area in the marketing and tech industries.

Simply put, MarTech is the combination of the two. It’s any and every piece of technology employed by a marketer to reach a potential customer.

Typically, this includes social media marketing platforms, email marketing systems, PR databases and much more.

Basically it’s the utilisation of technology to streamline marketing processes and improve results.

What types of MarTech are available?

Marketers need digital tools that help them to reach online customers, automate time-consuming tasks and aid data-driven decisions.

There are 5 primary types of MarTech, though more are constantly being developed and expanded:

  1. Web analytics – these services analyse the behaviour of site visitors and offer data that can be used to attract and retain customers. Many web hosting platforms or marketing software have built-in analytics to help you track the impact of marketing activity. Google analytics can be used to unite all of your marketing efforts into once place, to see big picture results.
  2. Programmatic advertising platforms – automates the process of placing advertisements on websites and apps. It uses algorithmic software to bid and buy advertising space in real time, based on your defined parameters. It helps you reach a wider audience in a more cost-effective way.
  3. Customer Relationship Management – CRM has moved into the digital sphere and benefits users through the power of automation. CRM technology streamlines contacts, interactions and desired outcomes to help companies manage their leads and build customer loyalty. Businesses can see an increase in the efficiency of communication with customers through scheduled social media posts, targeted emails, text messages, and more, with staff saving time and improving their efforts via automated systems.
  4. Content management systems (CMS) – are used to create and manage digital content. They help marketing teams speed-up the publishing of new content and the re-utilisation of older content. Strong CMS systems make it easy for staff to share content across multiple platforms and rank well in search engines.
  5. Digital customer experience platforms – developed from content management systems, these platforms implement many more functionalities to further enhance the customer experience. They may include technology to personalise and focus content more effectively or automate the sharing of relevant content. Sales Enablement plays a key role in helping marketing and sales teams work together to deliver the most useful and most effective content to customers, and thus give them the best possible experience when they interact with a business.

Why is MarTech used?

The field of engagement between businesses and customers is no longer situated in the physical world – buyers are now primarily found online. Reaching them is more difficult, as buying habits change and behaviour shifts to make use of technology at their fingertips.

This means there is a high demand for tech services that help to propel marketing into the digital age, alongside their customers. Technology that helps marketers reach potential customers in the most effective way (ideally saving time and money).

A number of digital marketing services have been recently developed to shave away at the complex layers between the advertiser and the recipient in online spaces. In addition, software can help to cut away repetitive duties such as email marketing and mass communications, reducing the time and effort required by marketing teams.

Is this related to AdTech?

While AdTech concerns itself with placing, buying and selling ads, MarTech solutions build, manage, deliver and optimise campaigns.

The advancement of technology in modern-day marketing is even seeing artificial intelligence (AI) being implemented across products. For example, in 2017, AI was used to help predict and refine the best times to send out marketing emails.  

Can MarTech help my business?

At Data Dwell, we are passionate about innovative strides in content marketing. MarTech is an incredibly essential element to the marketing mix and its necessity will only continue to grow as the new year approaches.

We believe essential marketing technology like Digital Asset Management and Sales Enablement software can be a huge benefit to businesses big and small.

It can help you streamline current processes, improve the efficiency of your team, target leads more precisely, and convert more prospects into paying customers.


Learn more about DAM and Sales Enablement, or get in touch with our team to see exactly how our MarTech could help improve your marketing results.

Unique Exhibition Features You’ve Likely Forgotten About


Imageco will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


Taking your company to an exhibition event is one of the best marketing decisions you can make.

It gives potential clients the chance to see the team behind your business, and along with your incredibly-designed exhibition stand, how serious you are about your branding.

But even with high-quality graphics on your banners and branded pens, there are other ways to impress clients and ensure your exhibition ticket goes to good use.

First and foremost, you’ll want to cover more area than you might think is possible. With the little amount of space given to your brand, it’s worth utilising every last centimetre. Besides, it’s the small things that astound people. By investing in floor graphics, you can immerse intrigued clients in the aesthetic of your brand and cover up any potentially unappealing carpets.

Alternatively, there are a number of materials on offer that can spruce-up your corner. Rather than using standard designs, it might be worth investing in textile or canvas prints to bring opulence to your brand. Sixty-four per-cent of trade show attendees are not customers of the exhibitors’ companies – this gives you one chance at a first impression.

Once you’ve hooked the attention of a passer-by, you want to have good enough merchandise that it doesn’t end up at the bottom of their desk drawer. So, no pens, no stress balls. When an exhibition attendee looks for freebies, they’re actually searching for value. It’s essential to provide items that prove useful in their day-to-day life. Nice notebooks and quality post-it note pads will normally do the trick to impress them. As a bonus, whenever they put these items to good use, they’ll be reminded of your brand, staff and visual appeal.

People tend to prefer visual stimulation. In the digital age, this means preparing a presentation or a slideshow to display on a monitor at your stand. Adding this to your to do list already means you’ve made a massive effort.

Overall, you want to give visitors a unique experience. At Imageco, we use specialist frameworks that are bespoke to your needs. Our creative team can help you to step outside of the box and engage with your brand design in an immersive and exciting way that will put you way ahead of your competitors and fellow exhibitioners.

The Importance of Internal Communications to Your Marketing Strategy


Halston Marketing will be returning to Marketing Show North for their second year next February.


Sixty-four per-cent of internal communication (IC) professionals across twelve EU countries believe IC will “gain greater importance in the coming three years”, according to a study by FEIEA.

This is because B2C and B2B marketing agencies are noticing how valuable an effective employee communication platform can be to growing a company’s brand.

Brand longevity

The bridges of communication built between employees and employers through IC allow brands to communicate their “vision and direction”, according to Ilana Como, Head of Marketing and Communications at Alexander Mann Solutions in an interview with UKTN.

“Brands with longevity are built from the inside out, and employee engagement should never be overlooked as a vital element of an overarching brand and marketing strategy.”

Ilana Como, Head of Marketing and Communications at Alexander Mann Solutions

 

This internal conversation is “crucial to enhancing customer brand perception” because every employee is “effectively a spokesperson” – in the age of social media, every employee has access to a metaphorical, digital megaphone.

Digital technologies

Social media has given employees an active voice in the media – when things are going strong, the public will inevitably get their hands on the good news.

Therefore, IC is vital because it keeps your closest army of spokespeople in the loop: your employees. In addition, employee communications are important because dissatisfied or unknowledgeable staff can potentially damage brand reputation through either negative customer experiences or the megaphone itself being used to your detriment.

Essentially, through word-of-mouth, employees’ own personal networks and social media followers become aware of every internal happening within the company they work for. It’s vital to stay on top of this with an IC strategy.

Share-ability

By implementing IC platforms, employees are made aware of changes, important progression opportunities and how important their experience is within the company at large.

In turn, brand news, employee successes and positive experiences become sharable social media topics, marketing the brand effortlessly through simple human interaction.

When it Comes to Ads, Size Matters


Adroll will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North next February. The below article originally appeared on their Blog, DareToGrow.IO, a resource for ambitious brands looking to grow their business.


Using and making the most of an advertising space, regardless of its dimensions, is vital. Ads must be well designed and attractive, and they should give viewers a reason to click.

However, it’s also reasonable to say that the larger the ad, the more likely it is to grab attention and get in front of your target audiences. It’s hard to ignore an ad that takes up most of your screen.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should disregard other ad sizes. Ad unit sizes impact and influence audiences differently, and over the last few years, we’ve changed our recommended ad sizes to help businesses increase their reach and enhance their performance.

We’ve picked apart data from our network of more than 37,000 advertisers to explore how recommended ad sizes perform, and now we’re passing on those insights to you.

Conversions and cost

The larger the ad, the more it’s going to cost. That’s a given. As a consequence, you’ll need to be able to allocate a significant sum to ensure a large ad gets in front of as many people as possible.

Our research has found that the larger the ad, the more likely it is a viewer will click on it and subsequently become a customer, so the cost can often be entirely justified. But is a large ad exactly what your business needs?

AdRoll recommends advertisers upload multiple versions of each of our six recommended ad sizes, as that allows our ad placement algorithm to test them and give priority to the ones that get the most clicks and conversions. This means that AdRoll advertisers can see the benefits of each ad size without manually tracking its performance.

Variety is the spice of life

While large ads are undeniably effective, incorporating a mix of ad sizes into your ongoing marketing efforts can be incredibly helpful.

Ad inventory—the amount and type of ad space that’s up for grabs in online ad auctions—is a competitive business. There is only a certain number of high-quality ad placements available, so there just aren’t enough to ensure your message reaches everyone you’re targeting. You know that saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket? That’s what we’re getting at.

Websites tend to have more inventory available in the smaller sizes because these are easier to build into most web pages. Having a range of popular ad sizes guarantees you’ll get more opportunities to show off your ad and means you’ll be able to achieve more while spending less.

Our six recommendations

1. Billboard

Dimensions: 970×250 pixels
Click-through rate (CTR) over medium rectangle: 105%
CTCR over medium rectangle: 78%

2. Half page

Dimensions: 300×600 pixels
CTR over medium rectangle: 253%
CTCR over medium rectangle: 37%

3. Medium rectangle

Dimensions: 300×250 pixels
Share of Google AdX inventory: 34%

4. Leaderboard

Dimensions: 728×90 pixels
Share of Google AdX inventory: 14.8%

5. Wide skyscraper

Dimensions: 160×600 pixels
Share of Google AdX inventory: 6.9%

6. Mobile leaderboard

Dimensions: 320×50 pixels
Share of Google AdX inventory: 29%

Ad news travels fast

When it comes to communicating your messages via advertisements, it makes sense to formulate a bespoke strategy that works in your best interests. All companies have different goals and objectives, so what works for one won’t necessarily work for another.

Developing and launching ad campaigns can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to ensuring all of your marketing collateral aligns, and that’s where AdRoll can help. 

Improve Brand Control and Reduce Print Expenditure


CDS will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North. The below article originally appeared on their website.


The solution lies in centralising core print expenditure with an experienced and expert print management company. Moving to a print management solution is easily accomplished for universities if they choose to procure via a compliant framework, such as lot 11 – Neutral Vendor, NWUPC Print Solutions Framework (PRI30370).

At CDS, we know from our experience of working with Universities, like Middlesex University, Queen’s University Belfast, the Open University and Higher Education bodies, that printing requirements are diverse and wide ranging, from business cards to prospectuses.

We recognise that marketing, communication and procurement functions within universities experience daily challenges when it comes to buying print and ensuring brand compliance.

Using a print management company, like CDS, will make life much easier, less stressful and at the same time deliver numerous benefits. 

All sensible organisations need to evaluate which channels are best to use, print or digital. CDS provides both print and digital services, and without the need to feed our own printing presses, we can provide transparent and objective advice. The final choice on channel and media remains yours, of course, but at least we can make you aware of your options.

How to beat brand dilution

Developing a brand, identity and persona for a University is time consuming and costly. Once created, the challenge is to ensure that it is applied consistently across all the university’s printed collateral and communication touch points.

Universities with many faculties, internal departments and print users can find it difficult to get true visibility and a central view point on how their brand is used, especially when print is originated and sourced by many different personnel and output through an ‘uncontrolled’ group of print companies.

A print management company will act as your ‘Brand Guardian’ and offer a range of innovative online technologies to assist with the accessibility, control, compliance and delivery of your brand across all users.

Also, by working closely with marketing and procurement teams, print management experts develop a clear understanding of how the brand should be used and applied to each piece of printed collateral. This ensures consistency across all items sourced and produced.

Beware of fragmented purchasing

Different buyers, from different departments, purchasing from different suppliers is a high risk strategy.

How can a Print Management company mitigate the risks:

  • You have a single point of contact for all print related communication
  • You ensure control, approval and consistent monitoring of suppliers
  • You ensure brand consistency and compliance with quality standards
  • You receive transparent and accurate financial reporting of print spend across all departments
  • You gain accurate stock control and timely replenishment of collateral, minimising capital tie-up and waste

Inexperienced and ineffective purchasing

Often print is seen as a low priority with ordering delegated to junior personnel who may have little to no print knowledge. The result can be inefficient purchasing. Print is a technical subject and requires specific knowledge of the optimum production processes in order to deliver best value.

Also, using inexperienced personnel distracts them from other work as they face the challenges associated with selecting suppliers, securing print quotes and negotiating production schedules.

Print Management companies employ highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced print buyers who can identify the key characteristics of any print job. They know the correct print equipment required. They can decide, in CDS’ case, which of their vetted 150+ suppliers to request a quote from, to ensure the job is produced in the most cost-efficient way. This is the only way to deliver best value and consistent high quality, within the timescales required.

They also offer advice and an agnostic approach to reducing a University’s print spendby recommending alternative materials, different specifications or even in some cases, transferring the collateral from print to a digital alternative.

Resolving non-conformities or wrongly printed work is also much easier with a print management company since the onus is on the print management company to put the job right. Using their knowledge, they can effectively diagnose the cause and implement the necessary remedial action to resolve issues quickly with the minimum amount of fuss and delay.

Lack of purchasing power

If a university is working with a wide number of suppliers, as is often the case, then the ability for that university to achieve best value through economies of scale or leverage of spend is dramatically reduced.

By using the consolidated print purchasing power of a print management company, suppliers are attracted by the opportunity to increase sales volumes, and fill their presses so they become more commercially focused when presenting prices. Essentially, this means that print management companies are able to generate savings that are then passed back to the customer.

Absence of common goals and objectives

With university departments and faculties often working in isolation and not sharing common objectives, achieving best value may be a challenge.

A print management company like CDS on the other hand will provide a list of specific and agreed objectives to a university in the form of a Service Level Agreement.

Cost reduction, performance and service related goals, environmental and sustainability targets, are typical KPIs for print management companies against which they are measured and held accountable.

Innovation Myopia

Busy people in busy university departments with heavy workloads become isolated from technological advancements and innovation resulting in missed opportunities to add value and increase positive outcomes.

It’s a real challenge to keep up with the best available production processes and equipment, new materials or advanced marketing solutions to drive improved student engagement, acquisition and retention.

A print management company like CDS is continually studying new technologies which will not only assist their own business but drive improved benefits to their customers and potential customers as well.

To summarise

Unlike individual printing companies working on a ‘job by job’ basis with a focus on the ‘here and now’, a print management company takes a more strategic view point, operating to achieve a clear set of defined and agreed objectives and goals with their university client.

They seek to become more of a working partner and an extension of a university’s marketing and procurement departments rather than just another supplier. A great print management company to work with, like CDS, will focus on developing a long a term relationship, with a passion to become a ‘trusted advisor’ utilising their wide ranging expertise, experience, industry knowledge, skilled staff and a robust and supportive supplier base.

They truly want to make your life easier, reduce your print hassle and ensure your print spend is effective.

We trust this overview will provide a positive insight into the many benefits CDS as a print management company and an approved supplier on Lot 11 of the NWUPC Framework can provide.

It makes sense to put your printing requirements in ‘safe and trusted’ hands!

Trust, Transparency and Traditional Media


72Point will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North 2019. The below article originally appeared on their website.


Although the advent of digital news was supposed to – and to some extent has – heralded an end to the finite number of pages that once restricted the profession, it has also given birth to new challenges as brands go in search of meaningful metrics in a landscape where the demand for column inches has seldom been so great.

Last month a new readership measurement standard for the news publishing industry was launched to give a single, “de-duplicated” view across all platforms to publishers and advertisers.

Compared to the NRS, which is a print-focused survey with digital figures taken in addition, Pamco offers a breakdown by platform across print, phone (mobile), tablet and desktop, giving a “total brand reach” that is more robust than the measurements used to date which are subject to generous interpretation and easily corrupted by cookies and bots.

As NMA chairman David Dinsmore said, the measurement keeps news brands in “top position when it comes to transparency” in an age when the measurement of some media is “highly questionable”.

The results of the survey will make for daunting reading for some, because at their heart they show a renewed reliance from consumers on traditional publishers. The Sun was revealed to be the most read news brand in the UK, followed by the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, all of which boast more than 25 million monthly readers.

It means that an increasing number of brands will consider the success of a campaign based on its ability to make a splash in the national press, but with a tsunami of content blocking the way a splash can easily become a drip if due care isn’t taken, which can be a hard pill to swallow after countless hours of creative work and client liaisons.

Which is why we include national media exposure as a guarantee with all our packages at 72Point. Thanks to our heritage as part of the SWNS Media Group and our ability to work content so that it has mainstream media appeal we have an unrivalled money-back pledge on our projects, which is underpinned by our confidence in our creative.

We are compelled by design to put integrity at the heart of everything we do, as our content is used by the vast majority of national publications, making up for a significant percentage of “front of the book” stories. We don’t publish overtly branded stories and have to pass rigorous controls carried out by news editors to get the story filed, and the media trust us as a result.

But we would be nothing if it was not for the ingenuity of the team to deliver content that works across publications and across channels. 72Point is made up of top flight media experts and PR professionals who make up an enviable hub of creativity. We have former print news editors, a current online news editor and a range of ex-media talent that ensures we deliver projects that are stitched up from both sides, with the best creative being delivered with unrivalled access to the media.

It’s a combination that couldn’t be more apt in today’s media environment. According to this year’s State of the Media survey by Cision, which polled 1,355 journalists from across six countries on their perceptions of the media and communications industries, journalists rely on public relations partners now more than ever, with the traditional press release being the most trusted piece of content.

In an age where budgets are thin and brands are increasingly being relied on to fund content generation, the results are hardly surprising. Out of all the issues the industry is facing, 28 per cent of the journalists surveyed said staffing and resources were the biggest challenges in the industry over the last 12 months.

But before we start popping the champagne corks it is worth considering what this actually means for the PR industry. For a start, this isn’t a call to start bombarding hacks with every piece of ill-conceived content you can get your hands on. It doesn’t mean we should pick up the phone every two minutes and busy the already chaotic desks with more queries. Rather, we should pick out the warnings in this report to unveil where we can really make a difference, and at the top of the list for journalists is sending stories with a “clearly stated news hook” and content that’s “accurate, newsworthy and can be used to enhance their coverage”.

As a result of renewed scrutiny of the sea of content that surrounds us – successful PR needs a more robust benchmark. The smoke and mirrors of digital reach is no longer giving brands the ROI they need. Trusted content in trusted media outlets is what’s important now as brands demand more transparency with their campaigns.

This is our USP, and it is why, increasingly, 72Point is been seen as a direct line to the news desk.

Exhibition Fright Show!


Imageco will be exhibiting at next February’s Marketing Show North.


As marketing teams and trade show attendees are aware, it’s undeniably important to have a visually engaging, informative and intriguing exhibition stand as an integral part of your marketing mix.

They’re invaluable for exhibitions, events and other places to showcase your brand. On the other hand, there’s nothing more unappealing than an exhibition stand gone-wrong. It’s vital to understand what not to do in preparing for your debut or return visit to an exhibition to avoid giving your clientele a fright this October.

While it’s tempting to try to save a few pounds on your exhibition stand, it can work to your detriment to go for cheaper options. There’s nothing that can turn away a potential client like a cheap exhibition stand that slowly begins to dismantle itself over the course of the day. There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t print your banners and posters on A4 paper, stuck to the wall with clear tape, but poor taste is the main one.

By leaning towards bespoke, expertly designed and built banners or other stand equipment, you can solidify your brand’s aesthetic and stylishness. In addition, your purchases are completely sustainable because of their reusability. It’s a solid investment to make that has plenty of pay-offs. The time, money and energy that is funnelled into these investments is visible on the final product. However, even with a professionally-made stand on show, those that have had no obvious planning put into their visuals can appear even worse.

Signage crammed full of information has the potential to send a messy message – when littered with contact details, copy about the business and other superfluous type, it’s possible buyers won’t stick around for long.

The solution? Be bold. Make relevant cuts and only give the most simplistic, straightforward information its spotlight on your stand. Once you’ve selected the essential information to be put on your banners, ensure you haven’t sent it to the printers without a good proof-reading. Disorganisation really shows through in other aspects of your exhibition, too.  For example, never assume an event organiser will provide what you need. Pre-emptively organise your stand’s necessities down to the minor details.

Lastly, treading away from the design and preparation elements of your stand, it’s important to lead with your best foot forward. Never leave an exhibition stand without a number of your best employees manning the fort.

Buyers and executives don’t want to be lured by a perfect stand to find a ghost town. You’ll need your most alert, enthusiastic and motivated staff in the field – quality staff will collaborate well with a quality stand.