Welcome to the Woven Blog https://blog.woven.agency This is where you can find the latest Woven news, our thoughts and musings on the industry and related topics, and everything in-between. Feel free to leave a comment, and if you’ve got a subject you’d like us to cover then please get in touch at hello@woven.agency – we'd love to hear from you. Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:39:19 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 https://blog.woven.agency/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-Favicon-updated-150x150.png Welcome to the Woven Blog https://blog.woven.agency 32 32 138206458 Google puts machine learning into the hands of the advertisers https://blog.woven.agency/2018/07/11/google-puts-machine-learning-into-the-hands-of-the-advertisers/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/07/11/google-puts-machine-learning-into-the-hands-of-the-advertisers/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:29:00 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6622 Following Google’s revamp of its AdWords brand earlier last month, a number of further initiatives have been unveiled during its live-streamed event at Google Marketing Live on 10th July, Tuesday in San Jose, California. Powered […]

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Following Google’s revamp of its AdWords brand earlier last month, a number of further initiatives have been unveiled during its live-streamed event at Google Marketing Live on 10th July, Tuesday in San Jose, California. Powered by machine learning, they aim to help marketers unlock even more opportunities.

We’ve rounded up the announcement from Tuesday here for you, in case you missed out on the keynote event.

Responsive Search Ads

With the rise of mobile, consumers are now more demanding and have higher expectations. This means that ads need to be more personalised and tailored to their specific needs. This new ad type, which combines your creativity with Google’s machine learning, helps deliver more relevant ads that can create better value for your audience.

If you provide Google with 15 headlines and 4 description lines, Google will test out different combinations to see which ad creative performs best for search queries. This means that people searching for the same thing can see different ads based on context. This feature will begin rolling out to advertisers over the next few months.

Maximise Lift For YouTube

With over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube are watched every day, targeting the right audience at the right time has never been more important.

Google’s new smart bidding strategy will help automatically adjust bids on YouTube, in order to maximise the impact of your video ads. This will help deliver your campaign to users who are most likely to consider a brand after seeing the video ad.

Local Campaigns

Google’s “near me” searches have increased drastically over the past two years, with almost 80 percent of shoppers going into a store when there’s an item they immediately want.

This new campaign type, called Local Campaigns, is designed to specifically drive store visits by providing consumers information such as business locations and ad creative.

Smart Shopping Campaigns

This campaign type adds on to the Shopping campaign type that was rolled out earlier this year. You can now select store visits or new customers as goals in addition to maximising conversion value. Smart Shopping Campaigns use machine learning to automatically optimise your campaign by factoring in the likelihood that a click will result in any of your selected goals, and will adjust the bid accordingly.

 

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Why doesn’t my website create any leads? https://blog.woven.agency/2018/07/06/why-doesnt-my-website-create-any-leads/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/07/06/why-doesnt-my-website-create-any-leads/#respond Fri, 06 Jul 2018 09:39:38 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6579 “Online leads don’t happen in my sector. It’s all about who you know.” It’s quite alarming how often we hear the above opinion about lead generation. Not only is it an antiquated way of thinking, […]

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“Online leads don’t happen in my sector. It’s all about who you know.”

It’s quite alarming how often we hear the above opinion about lead generation. Not only is it an antiquated way of thinking, it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy – if you convince yourself it doesn’t work in your sector then of course you won’t get any leads.

It’s equally alarming how this attitude prevails despite the number of business sectors that have been dramatically disrupted by digital transformation:

  • Uber dominate the marketplace for taxis
  • Booking.com have some of the largest hotel groups in the world over a barrel
  • It’s pretty much impossible to buy a car without visiting Autotrader

It is no coincidence that these sectors, which resisted digital adoption, are now dominated by businesses with digital-first business plans. They were sitting ducks, and this was due in large part to a number of stubborn myths that stopped businesses digitally updating their processes – myths that some business decision-makers still cling to.

Here are three of the biggest you need to be aware of and what you can do to bust the myth – for good.

Image of a digital sphere in the palm of a hand symbolising lead generation

Myth 1: Digital marketing doesn’t work in long sales cycles

Large manufacturing businesses often cite this as a reason not to invest in digital marketing. Tenders come around every 5 years or so and that’s how business is won and lost.

The reality is that outside of the official ‘fair and impartial’ decision-making process, buyers are evaluating potential suppliers on an ongoing basis. It’s not as if this is completely new news.

Lots of these organisations have sales teams who knock on doors and pester people endlessly. Marketing teams run an endless number of ‘we just have to be there’ events, too. But this activity seems to ignore that almost everybody who makes B2B purchasing decisions relies to some extent on desk-based digital research to make informed decisions.

Winning the hearts and minds of people when they actually want to interact with your business makes a difference as to whether you start the tender process at the front or back of the pack.

How to bust the myth

Think about the lead-generation long game in terms of your content strategy and design content for all stages of the buying journey. Tools like Lead Forensics, that show you which organisations are reading your content, can indicate which targets are sales-ready and likely to be receptive to an approach.

Image symbolising wireframing and online user experience for lead generation

Myth 2: People have to visit our showroom to buy products

The automotive industry (and specifically car sales) is a great example of how buying habits have changed due to digital disruption.

For example, in the early 2000s, UK car buyers would on average visit six dealerships before making a buying decision. Now, that figure lies between two and three (dipping to just 1.7 visits in 2015).

In this sector, the showroom visit is an important face-to-face sales factor. Customers are obviously aware of this and intentionally do most of their research ‘in stealth mode’ to avoid being hounded by hungry sales people.

However, in recent years, visits to dealerships have increased – a result also due to digital disruption, as digital engagement with drivers has created more intelligence and transparency around buying habits.

Take car sales events, for example. Although it might seem like they happen almost at random, the larger dealerships are using intelligence-based online browsing and the stage of previously negotiated finance packages to have sales events at times they know will be most effective.

Having spoken to a number of large dealerships in the past six months, we know many of them are using digital insights to maximise the effectiveness of their sales events, and thus improve their lead generation. Specifically, they are looking at general browsing activity on content designed for users close to making purchasing decisions and running reports on customer finance agreements from their CRM systems.

How to bust the myth

What touchpoints exist on your website where data collection could give you greater insight into buyer behaviour? Interactive calculators, polls and surveys are great ways of getting customers to reveal their propensity to purchase. Blend this with your wider engagement strategy and you’re onto a winner.

Lead generation funnel

Myth 3: People don’t Google search for the things that we sell

If the growth of the search engines has shown us anything it’s that people rely on Google to supplement their knowledge for just about anything.

And this supplementation is increasingly question- and voice-based. According to this Surefire blog, 27% of search queries are question-based – a trend likely to increase in line with the number of Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices.

Question-based search is completely relevant for organisations who previously thought that service or brand keyword searches were not applicable in their sectors. This has been particularly appropriate for niche areas of financial services and the legal industry where consumers know what their problem is but not what the service they require is called.

How to bust the myth

Blindly optimising your website for any questions you can think of is time-consuming and likely to be ineffective. However, there are lots of platforms our team have access to (including social listening tools) which can help to identify future question search trends. These insights can be used with marketing automation software to warm customers up to a point where your service offerings become directly relevant.

Summing up

Even if will-trodden sales cycles and embedded buying habits are set to continue in your sector, there are still lots of ways you can use digital marketing to improve your lead generation. If your website isn’t producing leads it’s probably because it is operating as a marketing brochure rather than an interactive tool that helps users to solve problems, increase their knowledge, and justify buying products and services.

Need help with your digital transformation and lead generation? Then get in touch and let us apply some serious myth-busting to your marketing.

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Google AdWords becomes Google Ads https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/29/google-adwords-becomes-google-ads/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/29/google-adwords-becomes-google-ads/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 11:23:56 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6612 Google AdWords has been around for nearly 18 years with the goal of making it easier for people to connect with businesses. On June 27th, Sridhar Ramaswamy announced that Google is revamping its AdWords brand […]

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Google AdWords has been around for nearly 18 years with the goal of making it easier for people to connect with businesses. On June 27th, Sridhar Ramaswamy announced that Google is revamping its AdWords brand in an effort to make advertising easier for brands to understand.

Google Adwords Rebrands

So, what’s changing exactly?

Aside from the new name and logo, Google is making some key changes to its ad organisation.

Firstly, it is unifying DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under one brand dubbed as Google Marketing Platform. This will become a central platform where marketers can optimise and measure their digital media experiences.

Read more about why you should work with a Google Partner Agency.

Secondly, DoubleClick Bid Manager, Audience Center and Campaign Manager are all merging to become Display & Video 360. This will be available as part of the Google Marketing Platform and will serve as a central platform to managing media campaigns more effectively for creatives.

Finally, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange will combine to become Google Ad Manager, an interface where publishers can manage programmatic ad content more simply.

Google is also launching Smart Campaigns, specifically aimed at small businesses. This brings machine learning into Google Ads to help small businesses create campaigns with more ease so they can prioritise running their business.

What’s next?

While these changes aim to streamline advertising for marketers, Ramaswamy insists that the core functionality of the tool is staying the same. You should expect to start seeing the rebrand roll out in July.

More information and a live demo are expected to be unveiled at Google’s next Marketing Live event on July 10th.

Read more about our media planning and buying services, or if you have any questions get in touch.

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When 2 become 1: what The Spice Girls can teach us about aligning sales and marketing https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/29/spice-girls-teach-sales-and-marketing/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/29/spice-girls-teach-sales-and-marketing/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 09:44:18 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6588 We love a good double act here at Woven. Ant & Dec (pre-drink driving, obviously), Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Chardonnay and Mondays. Chardonnay and any day whatsoever. Things that are good on their own (except Mondays), […]

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We love a good double act here at Woven. Ant & Dec (pre-drink driving, obviously), Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Chardonnay and Mondays. Chardonnay and any day whatsoever. Things that are good on their own (except Mondays), but when they join forces, boy, that’s when the magic really happens.

These dynamic duos exist in the business world, too. Content marketing, for example, doesn’t work half as well without brand strategy. Designers and copywriters are natural-born BFFs. And, when it comes to boosting your bottom line, there are few better bedfellows than sales and marketing.

But how so? Well, as is so often the case, we turn to marketing pioneers, The Spice Girls – and in particular their toe-tapping, and slightly creepy, chart-topping business anthem, 2 Become 1 – to explain things.

Identifying the problem

As a fresh-faced Sporty Spice sang way back in 1996:

“Silly games that you were playing

Empty words we both were saying

Let’s work it out boy, let’s work it out boy.”

Clearly what Sporty is saying here is that the aligning of your sales and marketing functions is not always an easy task. And that, in most cases, it’s the lack of positive communication between sales and marketing teams that is the cause of the problem.

According to HubSpot, 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative. Whilst Altify’s Business Performance Benchmark Study found that only 54% of sales respondents agreed that marketing was an effective use of company resources.

E-book download: align your sales and marketing.

Sales and marketing equals smarketing

Turning foes into friends – the road to smarketing

So sings this copywriter’s favourite Spice Girl, Mel B:

“Free your mind of doubt and danger

Be for real don’t be a stranger

We can achieve it, we can achieve it.”

To those of us with a business mind, this is a thinly veiled metaphor for the need for constant communication between your marketing and sales reps.

To achieve this, start by setting up a sales and marketing task force (containing no more than 10 people to keep things streamlined – see here for more details) and build in regular meetings to discuss what problems you need to solve, how to solve them, whether the relationship is yielding fruit, and that there is a positive spirit amongst the two departments by celebrating successes.

Whilst you’re doing this, ensure both teams are using the same language to describe your processes and actions. This will not only clarify your messaging, it will help create a stronger bond between these two traditionally separate groups.

Ask your sales team to feed back on the quality of leads generated by your marketers – not just the number of leads. Are your prospects well-informed of the product or service you offer? Where have they come from? Are they expecting a sales person to contact them?

Essentially, it’s up to marketing to generate quality leads so that your sales force can use their time to close rather than convince. Correspondingly, ask your marketers to sit in on sales calls to help seal the deal.

Integrate your sales and marketing CRM software. Getting everyone on the same system means having everyone on the same page, so you can easily share what’s working, quickly find out where your leads are in their buying journey, and ensure that leads have been well vetted and nurtured by the marketing team before being handed over to their sales colleagues.

Finally, codify this newly forged friendship in a target-based SLA to promote regular communication and hold both teams accountable for turning sales and marketing into smarketing.

Sales funnel showing how aligned sales and marketing teams can generate better leads

2 become 1: it’s the only way to be

Over to Baby Spice:

“Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on

‘Cause tonight is the night when two become one.”

It’s plain to see that Emma Bunton knew, long before the term smarketing was even invented, that to get the most out of your sales and marketing you have to box clever and “put it on” – i.e. show the benefits such an alignment brings.

Which, essentially, is better profit, as companies with stronger sales and marketing achieve 20% annual revenue growth on average. But, more than this, it’s better profit generated by building stronger, happier and more seamless relationships between your sales and marketing functions. And that can only be good for the long-term health of your business.

“It’s the only way to be,” sings Mel B sultrily at the end of their singalong sales and marketing manifesto. And by “it’s” we’re pretty sure she means “aligning your sales and marketing teams into one seamless smarketing function to promote greater internal relationships, more productive sales leads and higher profits for your business.”

Although, in fairness, Mel’s version is a little punchier…

**

Want help achieving smarketing 2-become-1ness? Then download our e-book, give it a darn good read and then get in touch with our smarketing-savvy experts.

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The Woven Take: How to get your rebrand strategy right https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/22/wovens-rebrand-strategy/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/22/wovens-rebrand-strategy/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 13:07:20 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6444 It’s not just about a change of clothes, you know… Although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. After all, the changing of your company’s clothes, skin, packing – whatever metaphor you like – is the […]

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It’s not just about a change of clothes, you know…

Although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. After all, the changing of your company’s clothes, skin, packing – whatever metaphor you like – is the most obvious result of a rebrand. The immediately noticeable thing about Apple’s rebrand strategy in the late nineties? Its sleek, silver new logo. Or what about 2016’s revamp of football’s Old Lady, Juventus? It went through a full identity redesign, but what caught everyone’s attention? The change of its sigil.

But rebrands aren’t just skin-deep. They go much further, requiring systemic changes of company goals, brand values, and ways of thinking.

Put it this way, if you want to make your car faster you don’t just put a new chassis on it. You replace the spark plugs, improve the air intake, reduce the weight. Whack on some nitrous oxide if you have to, Fast & Furious-style.

But even before all that?

You ask why you want the faster car in the first place.

So, Mark, why did Woven want a faster car?

We know a thing or two about the art of a successful rebrand, having transformed from INK Digital to Woven in 2017. So, to get more of an inside track into what a successful rebrand strategy needs, we spoke with Woven’s Client Services Director, Mark Bower.

Woven Client Services Director, Mark Bower, who oversaw Woven's rebranding process

“We changed because, after 14 years as INK, we didn’t fit our skin anymore. So we took a deep dive into what was making our business really tick and where we wanted to go in the future.

“We felt our identity as INK was too parochial, too Yorkshire-focused. And we felt our name – INK Digital – pigeonholed us.

“As INK, our business wasn’t reflective of our geographic reach, the international stature of our clients, or the breadth and range of services we offer. Not to mention what excites us most or where we can best add value. As such, we knew we had to realign our brand and its values to match our ambition and capabilities.

“Obviously, there was an element of attracting new clients, but this felt like something we had to do anyway. We just weren’t INK anymore.”

What’s in a name?

So, if we weren’t INK, who were we? Mark continues:

“We undertook a long – and, at times, painful! – process of gravitating towards a cluster of names thrown up during our brand personality exploration. We did it properly, getting the whole team involved in a series of brainstorming exercises.

“We wanted something that felt warm, approachable – not cold, not digital. We wanted something that recognised the craftsmanship that goes into what we do. We wanted to bring our heritage along with us – Halifax is our home and was built on cloth manufacturing – but we didn’t want this to dominate the brand. We recognise our past but we’re defined by our ambition, our forward-thinking approach.

“Having worked all this out, the name came quite naturally: Woven. A nod to the past and a refection of our full-service capabilities on which our future will be built. Warm and evocative, not cold and clinical. And a hinting at the interconnectedness that underpins notions of communication, networks and community.”

Showing the change of Apple's logo and rebrand strategy over time

A new visual wardrobe, a new tone of voice

As we said earlier, the most recognisable facet of a rebrand is the change of aesthetic it inspires. A rebrand is about repositioning yourself, and one of the clearest ways of doing this is through changing your outward appearance, both in terms of how you look and how you sound.

Mark explains Woven’s approach:

“We wanted the new branding to reflect the focus on quality and creativity with which Woven’s work has become synonymous. We wanted the brand to fundamentally focus on simplicity and great design principles, as opposed to using gimmicks or digital trickery. In many ways, we wanted to let our work come to the fore and allow the brand to take a back seat.

“As such, Woven’s look is clean, elegant, and confident in its simplicity.

“To complement our visual transformation our tone of voice has changed, too. As our copywriter, Ben, is always saying, pictures and words must work in harmony, so changing how we talk to the world was essential – if just to keep Ben quiet!

“Just as our new design is less parochial and a little more sophisticated than INK, so, too, is our tone of voice. At the same time, we’ve retained the warmth and personality that seemed to resonate so well with our clients.”

A team effort

Your rebrand may have all these lovely things like redefined brand values, a new aesthetic, and a refreshed tone of voice, but without a fully committed and on-board team backing things up, it won’t succeed. As Mark says:

“A full rebrand is a pretty drastic and fundamental change for any business. As such, it’s something that’s always going to take time to permeate the organisation. That’s why it’s so important to get everyone involved as early as possible.

“Having the Woven team engaged from the first step has helped tremendously. Everyone has a deep understanding of our objectives and how and why we arrived at our chosen solution, making our transition pretty much pain-free and quicker to implement.

“It’s also worth mentioning that the whole team felt ready for the change. I think we all knew it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. That gave us a lot of positive momentum to make this happen.”

Team shot of Woven, a full-service marketing agency

Telling the world

So, you’ve realigned your brand values, given yourself a swish new look, and have a team that’s fully behind the new vision. How, then, to go about telling the world? Of course, you’ll want to shout about your new selves on your (visually updated) social channels and rewrite your online profiles. Sending out a press release to industry magazines and newspapers is a must, too.

But, at least with our rebrand process, the key was remembering that your current clients come first. Back to Mark:

“Apart from the obvious things like building a new website, printing business cards, and amending your social media channels, it’s mostly been a case of talking to our existing customers to explain the rebrand’s rationale and making sure they’re comfortable with the new direction and focus.

“Because it’s not just about attracting new clients, it’s about ensuring your existing clients are happy with your new identity. Reassuring them that it won’t change your ability to deliver and, in fact, will improve your service offering.

“In truth, Woven have been so busy servicing existing accounts and developing the rebrand that we’ve not been particularly proactive in seeking new business. But we do have some interesting things in the pipeline, including launching a couple of new services that will really cement the new positioning in the minds of our target customers.”

**

So, if you’re about to embark on your own rebrand process, remember: it’s not just a change of clothes you’re after, it’s an underlying change of ambitions, values, and processes that are fully understood and championed by all members of the team.

And before all that, don’t forget to ask why you’re rebranding to start with.

After all, you’ll build that faster car all the quicker if you know why you want to build it in the first place.

Need a hand with your rebrand strategy and development? Then you know what to do.

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Template vs custom-made websites https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/13/template-vs-custom-made-websites/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/06/13/template-vs-custom-made-websites/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 12:02:14 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6564 So, you need a website. You’ve had the lightbulb moment and got a great idea. You’ve worked out the watertight business plan and got it past the bank. You’ve got a name. You’ve even got […]

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So, you need a website.

You’ve had the lightbulb moment and got a great idea. You’ve worked out the watertight business plan and got it past the bank. You’ve got a name. You’ve even got the company mascot (Colin the Caterpillar).

Now what you need is a shiny digital shop window from which to tell the world you’re open for business.

But where to turn? Google’s thrown up a thousand different options, from Squarespace to Spotify, Wix to WordPress. Whilst your best mate’s mate who works in marketing has mentioned something about website templates versus custom-build websites.

It’s all a bit of a head-scratcher. But, luckily, your friendly neighbourhood marketing agency is here to help with some Woven website wisdom.

Squarespace template website builder featuring Keanu Reeves

Putting it on a ‘plate’

Well, as it happens, your best mate’s mate who works in marketing was onto something, because when you want to build a new website you have two broad options. One, get a custom-built site that suits you to a tee or, two, explore the wonderful world of website templates.

You’ve heard the GoDaddy adverts, right, as you listen to your podcasts? You’ve seen the Keanu Reeves Squarespace ad as your next YouTube video loads up? Then you’ve already met the website templateers, the guys democratising web development. And, for those after a quick and simple setup, they’re an (increasingly) useful solution.

So, why would you choose a website template? Well, firstly, and to put it bluntly, they’re cheap. You can get started from just a few pounds a month, and should you want a premium package with ecommerce, analytics, and loads of storage, your annual bill should be no more than £150 to £200. This makes them ideal for start-ups where budgets may be a little tight to start with or those who don’t immediately need to commit a lot of money to an all-singing, all-dancing website.

The next plus point is that they’re easy to set up, so even if you don’t know your computer code from your Da Vinci code you should be okay. Website templates come with a large amount of built-in functionality, widgets, fonts, and design options, which means the task of setting up your website is much easier. All that tricky front- and back-end web development and user experience work has been done for you, so all you have to do is select your layout, write your copy, and choose your images. Easy! And because all that difficult work has been done for you, you can have a fully populated and tested website live in just a couple of weeks – as opposed to the months it can take for a bespoke option. It’s a bit like buying a ready meal instead of cooking from scratch.

And, just like your supermarket’s ready meal aisle, there are tons of options to choose from. So, depending on your desired aesthetic and the type of business you’re running, you should find a template that works for you. In fact, there are so many that choosing your desired ‘skin’ is one of the more daunting aspects of using a template website.

Tailored suit to symbolise the difference between template and custom websites

Or does the tailor-made approach suit you?

Website templates are ideal for those who want a quick and easy website, but sometimes the best way to meet your business requirements is through a custom-built site.

The first thing you should know about them is that they cost more than the template approach. Quite a bit more, in fact. Those needing a fully bespoke website should expect a starting cost of around £5,000, which, depending on how much content you need, whether you need it to integrate into existing computer systems, and if you’re after any one-off functionality, could grow into a six- or seven-figure sum.

But, of course, there’s a reason for the added expense.

Firstly, a custom website delivers a unique result, so your website won’t look like anyone else’s. This will help you further define your brand and stand out from the competition. It should also look highly professional and enhance your credibility with potential customers, unlike the more identikit (although still pretty) website templates.

A well-made bespoke website has the advantage of being built with customers in mind. Rather than employing a one-size-fits-all user journey, a custom site allows you to plan out a detailed roadmap to purchase – from piquing interest to encouraging repeat custom – that suits your customer base.

A custom website is also more reactive and agile than a template, and can better respond to the changing demands of your business. So, as your business and customers expands and changes, so too does your website, providing the visitor a better user, more inclusive experience.

Image showing a construction site and the words 'WWW', symbolising a website under development

In conclusion

So, which will suit you best: template or tailor-made? As ever, a good old-fashioned metaphor should shine a light.

You’ve got a wedding coming up (don’t worry, it’s not yours) and you need a suit or dress for the occasion – what route do you go down? An off-the-peg effort that will look great, not cost the earth, and stop you turning up to the wedding naked?

Or do you really dress to impress with a tailored option? One that wows all the other guests, fits you like a glove, won’t look like anyone else’s, and that makes the bride and groom look like they’ve turned up in sackcloths?

We think template options are great for smaller start-ups and one-man/woman-bands who don’t have the time or money to spend on developing a custom-made site – and who probably don’t need the detailed options that a bespoke site offers.

But for medium-to-large enterprises, ones who can commit larger budgets to their online abode, we recommend the tailor-made approach. It will provide a solution that’s unique to you, sets you apart from the crowd, offers you almost unlimited functionality, and gives your online guests a more memorable user experience.

Essentially, it comes down to two things: the size of your business and your available budget. Make your decision according to these two criteria and you won’t go far wrong.

 

Do you need a custom-built website that will suit all your digital demands? Then get in touch and our web development dynamos will see you right.

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How to become a black belt in brand development https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/31/black-belt-in-brand-development/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/31/black-belt-in-brand-development/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 09:39:17 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6519 In our previous branding blog, we explored the good ol’ Kapferer Brand Identity Prism. If you’ve had a read of that, you’ll no doubt agree it’s crucial in crafting a strong brand identity. And if […]

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In our previous branding blog, we explored the good ol’ Kapferer Brand Identity Prism. If you’ve had a read of that, you’ll no doubt agree it’s crucial in crafting a strong brand identity. And if you don’t agree, read it again.

So, now you know how crucial a killer brand identity is to your success, the next question is: how do we develop yours? This may seem like a daunting task – and that’s because it can be. Successful brand development strategy requires deep reflection, an honest appraisal of your current situation versus where you want to be, and even a little bit of predatory thinking.

Oh, and as you’ll discover as we take you through our 5-step brand development process, it also requires the patience of renowned marketing expert, Mr Miyagi.

Image of Mr Miyagi symbolising how to be a brand development black belt.

Step 1: Vision statement

Put simply, your vision statement declares where your business is heading and what it will look like when it’s arrived. Ask yourself this: “What impact do you see your business having on the world once you’ve achieved your vision?”

Woven’s advice: Make it compelling and aspirational and don’t worry about explaining how the vision will be met.

Mr Miyagi’s advice: If come from inside you, always right one.

Here’s an example of a great vision statement – written by Kodak founder, George Eastman, way back in 1880 (when Kapferer wasn’t even a twinkle in his parents’ eyes):

To make photography as simple as using a pencil.

And here’s an example of a not-so-great vision statement – written by Dell, a modern-day giant with all the modern-day marketing tools at their fingertips:

To be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.

Wordy, generic, and not exactly inspiring. Dell: must try harder!

Step 2: Mission statement

Your mission statement is the purpose of your existence. Determine what specific market needs you seek to address, how you will do it, and why your customers should buy from you and not your competition.

Woven’s advice: Your mission statement doesn’t have to be clever or catchy. Instead, focus on it being bold, memorable, and accurate.

Here’s a great vision statement, courtesy of Nike:

To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

And now a not-so-great example:

McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion.

Everything in that second sentence is corporate claptrap. Hey, McDonald’s, if you’re reading this, ditch it.

So, don’t be like McDonald’s, craft a pithy mission statement that connects not just with your customers but also with your employees. After all, they’re the ones who will be ensuring its success.

Image of McDonald's unhappy meal to symbolise their company mission statement and how they could improve their brand development strategy

Step 3: Essence

Brand essence is the “heart and soul” of your brand. Branding expert, Kirk Phillips, eloquently describes it as “the single intangible attribute that differentiates your brand from competitive brands as perceived by the audience.”

Woven’s advice: Brevity matters. Be as succinct as possible when trying to capture the soul of your brand.

Mr Miyagi’s advice: Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.

HubSpot have put together a useful blog on establishing your brand’s essence, which you can read here.

Step 4: Personality

Brand personality is the set of human traits and characteristics assigned to a brand and expressed through its tone of voice, its design and its copywriting.  Refer back to the Kapferer Brand Identity Prism to understand how brand personality interacts with other elements of your brand.

Woven’s advice: Although written in 1997, Jennifer Aaker’s paper Dimensions of Brand Personality will help you understand the five key dimensions of brand personality.

Step 5: Value proposition and positioning

An entire blog could be dedicated to understanding these two terms (and how they are not interchangeable, definitely not interchangeable). But, let’s leave that for another day. For now, let’s just say:

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the main reason why someone should do business with you (and not your competitor).

In their bestseller, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Reis and Trout describe the objective of positioning as “an organised system for finding a window in [a consumer’s] mind.”

Both value proposition and positioning statements need to be directed towards a specific target market, be customer-focused, identify unique points of differentiation, and declare key benefits.

As Mr Miyagi would say: Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.

Woven’s advice: Value propositions should focus on marketing strategies whilst positioning statements should focus on product strategies. And we also have no idea why Mr Miyagi is going on about wax.

Mr Miyagi, wax on wax off

Last words of wisdom

Well, that’s our 5-step guide to getting your brand development process off to a flying kick-start. Let us know what you think. And if you need a hand with your brand development and strategy, drop us a line and we’ll be all too happy to help.

In the meantime, we’re off to practice our roundhouse kick tekkers – but we’ll leave you with a final piece of Woven Wisdom, courtesy of Mr Miyagi.

“We make sacred pact. I promise teach marketing to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.”

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How CRM can improve your business, not just your sales https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/24/how-crm-can-improve-your-business/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/24/how-crm-can-improve-your-business/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 16:37:47 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6500 CRM? Blimey, not another acronym! We know. And we’re sorry. You can’t move in the marketing world for acronyms – but, if you haven’t already, you really should commit this one to memory. Because, at […]

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CRM? Blimey, not another acronym!

We know. And we’re sorry. You can’t move in the marketing world for acronyms – but, if you haven’t already, you really should commit this one to memory. Because, at its heart, Customer Relationship Management is all the strategies, activities, and systems used to manage interactions with your current and future customers. And it’s not just a sales tool, either. It can drive your entire business and change the way you work. In fact, that’s exactly what it should do. CRM marketing, for example, is a great way to better understand your audience and target your messaging more effectively. But more on that later.

In the meantime, let’s find out how CRM can be used across all kinds of touchpoints to help drive your business to new heights:

A sailing vessel used to symbolise how CRM can put the wind in your business' sales

CRM as… the wind in your sales

It’s simple: a well-utilised CRM boosts your bottom line. According to this HubSpot infographic, every pound spent on CRM returns over £4 in revenue (at current exchange rates to the dollar). What’s more, when a company engages a customer using CRM, the customer is likely to spend 20-40% more money the next time they make a purchase with that company.

CRM platforms help sales forces in a number of ways: they optimise daily schedules to ensure important calls aren’t missed or prospects aren’t ignored. They make creating weekly or monthly management reports a doddle. They help sales people understand precisely when customers need to be contacted for time-sensitive reasons, such as contract renewals or product replacements. They cut back on all those repetitive admin tasks that typically drive sales people mad. And they highlight your best performers so you can extrapolate their methods across your sales force.

Not bad, right? But, if used the right way, the benefits of a CRM platform go much further.

E-book download: maximise your inbound strategy.

CRM as… the ultimate storage solution

CRM doesn’t just bring in more revenue, it gives you more of that vital resource: time. No more wasting hours trawling emails or Post-it paper trails to decode a client’s communication history. Instead, CRM is a storage unit for client information, correspondence, and customer feedback.

And because you can store all kinds of client data in one platform, CRM improves company-wide communication. Got a prospect you haven’t spoken to in a while? Or a sales rep who’s about to leave the business and take all their knowledge with them? No problem, because everything you need is stored away in one centralised place that all stakeholders can access.

CRM as… a scalable tool for growth

You might only be a small business with a handful of clients. If so, you’re probably thinking you don’t need a CRM platform. But what if a lack of a CRM system was stopping you growing? What if implementing one could free up time to better use elsewhere (i.e. generating new leads)? And what happens if you grow in size – if those two or three clients become ten, fifteen or fifty? You’ll need more than just a spreadsheet to keep them happy!

CRM both stimulates and manages growth. Without it, you will struggle to realise your growth ambitions and your sales team will become glorified administrators, spending hours a week recording prospect and customer data instead of an automated system doing it for them.

Image symbolising CRM as a tool for growth

CRM as… a marketer’s best friend

Do you know how many customers you have and where they live? How many prospects you have in your sales pipeline? Can you track how people found out about your latest product or sales promotion? Do you need an easier way to send out marketing emails?

CRM marketing lets you do all this and more. Through it, you can understand where your customers come from, what inspires them to interact with you, and contact them quickly, easily, and at the right time.

You can use your collected data to sift through prospects and target those that are potentially more profitable or more appropriate for certain products or campaigns. And you can use it to create personalised messaging that feels more relevant and relatable to your targets.

When it comes to marketing, knowledge is power – and through CRM you can give your marketers plenty of it.

**

So, there you have it: an efficient, integrated CRM platform is much more than just a sales app. By finding efficiencies, aiding growth, and improving your customer targeting, it can drive productivity, improve your CRM marketing, encourage digital transformation, and boost revenue across your entire business.

Not bad for just another acronym.

Are you out of touch with inbound? Never fear. Download our sales & marketing e-book to find the best way to be the honey, not the bee.

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What is inbound marketing? Being the honey, not the bee https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/18/what-is-inbound-marketing/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/18/what-is-inbound-marketing/#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 13:00:04 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6455 Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating relevant, engaging content to bring qualified prospects and customers to you rather than pushing out content that competes for the market’s attention. Or, as Gary Vaynerchuk […]

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Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating relevant, engaging content to bring qualified prospects and customers to you rather than pushing out content that competes for the market’s attention.

Or, as Gary Vaynerchuk puts it:

“I’m a big fan of becoming the honey and letting the bees come to you.”

So, why go inbound?

Well, partly because traditional, outbound forms of media are becoming less effective in today’s technological world. Cold calling can be countered by caller-ID, spam filters can block mass emails and TV advertising is suffering as more people tune in through subscription networks like Netflix. Traditional marketing is also interruptive – it takes you out of the user experience to get its message to you, serving to frustrate as much as educate.

E-book download: maximise your inbound strategy.

Inbound marketing turns the traditional marketing model on its head by giving control to the user, not the marketer. Inbound empowers potential customers by offering them content marketing they want to see rather than interrupting them with messages that probably don’t want to see. And should that content be sufficiently interesting, useful or entertaining (or, hopefully, all three), the decision to carry on the customer relationship is in their hands, not the marketers’.

Magnet used to show the benefits of inbound marketing and answer the question 'What is inbound marketing?'

The law of attraction: putting your customers first

Unlike most forms of traditional marketing, inbound is purely customer-focused. It puts your customers’ needs first and does it in a non-intrusive manner.

Essentially, inbound marketing is helpful content that people want in their lives and actively go looking for. And by supplying it, you become the go-to, trusted authority in your field, putting you at the forefront of customers’ minds and one step ahead of the competition.

What does inbound marketing look like?

Well, chances are you’re already using it. It’s that problem-solving blog instead of a billboard ad; it’s a killer bit of video content on a Facebook group instead of a winter-time radio slot advertising sun glasses; it’s a product review on Facebook or Amazon instead of a magazine editorial; it’s your shiny website with an engaging UX instead of a glossy brochure.

And it’s all underpinned by best SEO practice and analysis that puts you at the top of the digital pile.

By creating relevant content that taps into the needs of your users, inbound marketing attracts potential consumers, converts prospects into brand believers, closes the deal by generating sales and delights customers with post-sales services.

Graphic showing the difference between outbound and inbound marketing and explaining What is inbound marketing?

But if you’re going to be the honey…

…make sure you taste sweet.

That means creating expertly produced content your audience will actually want to see. It means understanding your audience – their demographics, social preferences, economic outlook, etc. – so you can solve their problems, provide interest or keep them entertained.

Once you know your audience, you can get to work producing that 2-minute video on how to cook the perfect fillet steak, that in-depth thought piece on the impact of social media on today’s political landscape (ahem), or that social media feed that’s not only educational but more entertaining than the latest Netflix series.

So, what is inbound marketing? It’s putting the customers’ needs first through engaging, relevant, and educational content. It’s being the magnet, not the megaphone. The honey, not the bee.

**

Are you out of touch with inbound? Never fear. Download our sales & marketing e-book to find the best way to be the honey, not the bee.

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Vacancy Alert – Office Manager Wanted https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/15/officemanagervacancy/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/15/officemanagervacancy/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 16:26:36 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=5834 Fantastic opportunity for a talented, energetic, super-organised, multi-tasking in-house recruiter/office ninja. (Flexible hours available). Are you looking for an exciting new challenge? Are you experienced in the HR/agency/marketing sector, have excellent organisational skills, a positive, people-oriented […]

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Fantastic opportunity for a talented, energetic, super-organised, multi-tasking in-house recruiter/office ninja. (Flexible hours available).

Are you looking for an exciting new challenge? Are you experienced in the HR/agency/marketing sector, have excellent organisational skills, a positive, people-oriented personality and bags of energy? Then we’ve got a very exciting opportunity for you!

We’re on the lookout for an energetic Office Manager to join our fantastic UK team in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Duties include:

  • Talent acquisition – proactively identifying, making contact with and shortlisting great potential candidates to join the Woven team (via LinkedIn, networking etc.)
  • Financial admin/credit control (Xero accounting system)
  • Updating key company systems/databases (HubSpot / CRM)
  • Day-to-day office admin support
  • Arranging travel/accommodation for offsite meetings
  • Organising various social activities and team events
  • Contributing to our social media and other in-house marketing efforts
  • General reception duties/answering the telephone
  • Greeting and making welcome our various visitors
  • Meeting prep – including room setup, organising drinks and sourcing snacks and refreshments
  • Essentially keeping the wheels on the wagon and helping us be even better at keeping our clients super happy!

 

In return for your amazing talent and skill you can expect:

  • A competitive salary of up to £25k + bonuses (pro rata), dependent on skills and experience
  • Performance-related bonus for finding us candidates that pass probation and become permanent members of the team
  • A free Friday fry-up
  • Copious cups of fancy coffee (from the fancy coffee machines)
  • An exciting and oh-so-friendly workplace that helps nurture and develop the skills of everyone involved
  • Team outings
  • The latest piece of kit you need to get the job done
  • Subscriptions to learning material and magazines
  • Tuition and support to help progress your development
  • Use of the studio’s table football, ping pong and pool tables – we’re a competitive bunch
  • Award dos and nights out
  • Free parking
  • Workplace pension

 

Woven is very well connected: we’re just a 10-minute stroll from Halifax train station with direct links from Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, Huddersfield and further afield.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of and you’re ready to amaze us with your talent then drop us a line at the email address below and let’s arrange a get-together.

Please include your CV and any other bits of info that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Please email us at hello@wovenagency.com

** Please note, all applicants must be eligible to work within the UK **

** Please no agencies unless you are on our PSL **

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Listen up: the benefits of social listening https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/11/the-benefits-of-social-listening/ https://blog.woven.agency/2018/05/11/the-benefits-of-social-listening/#respond Fri, 11 May 2018 14:44:45 +0000 https://blog.woven.agency/?p=6402 ‘On the battleground of business, those who don’t listen are lost.’ Mark Bower, Woven Client Services Director. Being a good conversationalist Successful brands don’t just talk to their customers, they have conversations with them. And, […]

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‘On the battleground of business, those who don’t listen are lost.’

Mark Bower, Woven Client Services Director.

Being a good conversationalist

Successful brands don’t just talk to their customers, they have conversations with them.

And, just like in any other walk of life, to have a meaningful conversation with an audience brands can’t just talk, they need to listen.

After all, the main point of saying something is to elicit a desired response from the people you’re speaking to. And if you’re not listening to the response, how do you know you’re saying the right things in the first place?

Sure, feedback can be tracked via sales but that’s a delayed metric. By the time you start seeing the results on the bottom line, the conversation may already be over, the battle already lost.

Moral of this particular story? Brands need to be good conversationalists – and they need to fall in love with listening.

A pair of headphones and a heart, symbolising the need for companies to love social listening

Controlling the conversation

Bad PR can do untold damage – just ask United Airlines or Pepsi. And if PR disasters can happen to the biggest of us, they can happen to anyone.

Of course, mistakes happen. Bad decisions get made all the time and sometimes they sneak through into the big bad world.

And when they do, you need to know immediately, respond quickly, and limit the damage. Even better, find a way to turn a negative into a positive, just as KFC did with #chickengate.

But how do you go about reversing a negative situation if you don’t even know it’s happening? How do you respond to the voices that matter most – those of your customers – if you can’t even hear them?

The same goes for tracking positive responses. After all, you want to know what you’re doing right, right? You want to know what works, what you should be doing more of.

There’s no better way of working out what’s going wrong or right than by listening and responding to real-time feedback from your customers and clients.

The problem is, conversations are more fragmented than ever. They’ve shifted from face-to-face chinwags and phone calls to social media interactions, blog posts, online forums and product reviews.

And by this, we don’t just mean Twitter and Reddit, which are far from representative in today’s diffuse internet landscape. (Just 15% of Twitter accounts make up 85% of the total number of tweets.) Social listening isn’t just a case of following a trending hashtag or two: you need to understand the full picture, to see the entire landscape.

Basically, you need to need to monitor the entire internet. And that’s no easy task.

Fortunately, that’s where we step in.

How we can help

These days, controlling the conversation means being an integral part of it, and this goes way beyond just updating your RSS feed or following a few influencers on Instagram. It’s something you need to integrate into your entire content marketing and brand strategy & development strategies.

Want to know how many people have shared your latest piece of content? Or who’s talking about you online? Or what impact you’re having in a particular country or place?

What about the competition? Perhaps you want to track their mentions, too, and find out what share of the conversation they have. What are their customers – who you want to turn into your customers – saying about them? Anything negative you can turn to your advantage? Anything positive you can learn from?

A hashtag can’t give you that information. Google Analytics can’t, either.

But we can.

Listen and learn slogan showing the benefits of social listening

Woven: your social listening agency

Here at Woven we keep our ears firmly to the ground. Utilising powerful, AI-led social listening software, we monitor and crawl over 80 million websites, forums and social networks, and present our findings and recommendations in regular reports.

So that no matter what people are saying about you, and no matter where they’re saying it*, we put you front and centre of your brand conversation.

(*So long as it’s on a public forum, of course. We’re not the NSA…)

We can paint a detailed, real-time picture of who’s talking about you, why they’re talking about you and where they’re talking about you.

We can find out who the most important brand and industry influencers are, and provide you with detailed information about them so you can use their influence to improve your message and reach more people.

We can monitor the success of your content and PR activity through keyword analysis – and suggest keywords to use in future content that you may not have considered.

We can find ways to improve your brand perception by uncovering and countering any negative commentary surrounding your brand, whilst discovering new opportunities for growth that you may not have even considered.

By bringing you the benefits of social listening, we put you in control of your narrative, so you do less of what is wrong and more of what is right.

**

Contact Woven to find out how we can enhance your business through the benefits of social listening.

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