NEWS

WE’LL FIND THE RIGHT WORDS (so you don’t have to)

You may have an inkling that your website copy needs some attention or your brochure content is now woefully out of date. You might wistfully watch as your competitors appear in glossy editorial features and vow that after Christmas / your summer holiday / the cat’s birthday, you’ll settle down and get it all sorted. Copy writing is usually a constant feature on your never-ending to-do list along with filing your expenses and defrosting the freezer. But, the prospect of sitting at your desk, staring at a blank screen, waiting for the right words to come, fills you with utter dread.

So why not strike a blow for free time and let us do the hard work for you? We regularly write magazine columns, editorial pieces, blogs, brochure copy, web copy, status updates and tweets for an array of sectors. Often, all we’ll need are some key bullet points or a short phone conversation to cover off the main issues and we’ll take it from there. You’ll see a full draft before anything is published and have the opportunity to amend and redraft before a piece goes live.

Sound like a plan? Give us a call or email studio@thinkcreative.co.uk to find out more. Who knows, you may just find time to defrost your freezer!

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ANOTHER HAPPY CLIENT

We’ve just had some great feedback from client Blacks Vets, on their new look, streamlined website which launched at the weekend www.blacksvets.co.uk. Importantly, we’ve also had excellent feedback from their users too! With a thriving five branch network to their name, Blacks have a great story to tell which was getting lost in the old structure of their site and the time had come for a fresh pair of eyes to review what the business now needed from its main digital presence.

Something that our clients tell us we’re great at is editing and polishing, so that the real gems of a business story are unearthed and the less important content is minimised. We achieve this by starting with a clear definition of what the user experience needs to be, which allows for clear planning in site structure. From there we can shape navigation so that users arrive at their destination with minimal clicks. This exercise provides a really good framework for deciding what the important messages are and what can afford to be stripped out.

For a truly effective marketing tool, easy sharing of content is key as is mobile compatibility. Most sites can expect at least 60% of their traffic to come from a mobile phone or tablet, with the figure being much higher in some sectors. Thorough testing across many different platforms and browsers is essential to ensure that your users are experiencing your brand as actually intended. What looks great on a laptop screen may not translate quite as well to mobile phone dimensions.

Your website is often the hub, a point of convergence for all of your marketing communication. Driving traffic to your site via advertising, social media and well planned SEO will only prove fruitful if your content is interesting, frequently refreshed and gives users a reason to repeatedly visit. Blogs, news releases, special offers and top tips can provide exactly this kind of impetus, which when combined with strong calls to action, impact positively on business success.

If your site isn’t delivering the results you need for your company, why not drop us a line and find out how we can help? Studio@thinkcreative.co.uk

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ITS LAUNCH DAY!

Busy, busy here at Think Creative Studio with three projects launching simultaneously today! First up its Briar Associates with their new look brand and website launch. The site http://www.briarassociates.co.uk represents a bold move forward for the energy and environmental consultancy and features a private client log-in area. With 60% of web traffic typically now coming from phone or tablet, the site is also fully mobile responsive. A simplified and elegant update of their well established brand also makes its debut with a fresh green and soft purple colour way.

Next we have The Stourport High School & VIth Form College going live with their new look and easy to navigate site http://www.shs.worcs.sch.uk. Merging the content of three sites into one called for significant streamlining and navigational planning and co-ordination of the school’s communication channels including social media feeds, newsletters and existing portals. New photography and copy writing have been introduced and will be complemented by the delivery of new prospectuses for both the main school and VIth form college.

And finally we have clients, Blacks Vets, making their TV debut tonight on Channel 4’s hit show The Job Interview. With media management handled by us, we’re looking forward to a busy evening! Tune in tonight at 9pm.

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The Big Debate (No, not Brexit)

Catching up recently with an old colleague, we were chewing the fat about the industry and work in general, when the topic of print came up. ‘But really, who prints anything these days anyway?’ they opined. ‘Its all about digital’.

Hmmmm….whilst its true that digital content accounts for a significant proportion of most marketing plans, printed material also features heavily for many brands from across the spectrum. In todays’ tech savvy society, it got us thinking, why should that be? After all, in the age of the e-reader and declining printed newspaper sales, aren’t we surely becoming accustomed to consuming media from a tablet screen or a mobile phone?

Well, yes and no. Digital marketing appeals to our sense of urgency – our desire to have information at our fingertips 24/7 and sates our appetite for immediate answers. In the era of information overload, digital marketing grasps our attention for a vital few seconds and aims to engage us enough to consume or interact with the brand or product it serves. It is ultimately expendable and therein lies its limitation.

Though immediacy is sometimes exactly what is required, there are times that call for longevity and durability to be the order of the day and this can be much trickier to achieve on a digital platform. Put simply, printed material can often engage the senses in a way that digital media may struggle to. Touch, smell, weight, tone and shade are the nuances of experience that help shape opinion. Special ideas merit a physical form and for this reason, when considering ways to communicate the value of a product, print usually forms part of our recommendation.

So, by all means, embrace the digital world in your marketing strategy. It is a fundamental part of any well planned programme and touches virtually every conceivable audience and product. But when it comes to the extraordinary, the valued and the enduring, consider your mix carefully. Print will be providing us with tangible expressions of ideas for many years to come.
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All Sweetness & Light

Its always a pleasure to start working with a new client, but we can’t always say that its delicious! But hey, when the goods taste this good, we figure all these extreme sporting events we keep chucking ourselves into will counterbalance the calories consumed. Well that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

Anyway, on with the blog. Step forward, Flower & White, culinary innovators behind the Merangz and Muffinz brands. These delicious delicacies are made by hand in Shropshire with free-range eggs and can be found in Selfridges as well as fine food shops and delicatessens across the country.

Starting life on a market stall in Shropshire, the company began by selling its now famous Tweeners – mini layer cakes – to local clients. This quickly expanded into flavoured custards, meringues and muffins all made with local, natural, ingredients.

At a point where packaging needed to be reviewed, Flower & White approached us to work with them on their Muffinz brand. We provided a complete design and print solution including launch materials and logo development. We have also developed promotional material for Merrangz and the Flower & White core brand.H

As projects go, this has certainly been one of the tastiest and fits in well with our expanding portfolio of clients from the food and drink industry.

For all packaging enquiries please contact studio@thinkcreative.co.uk or call 01384 877844

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Why engage is all the rage

Without doubt, the marketing landscape has changed beyond recognition in the last 5 years. A supersonic rise in social media use across all demographics and a general rise in digital media consumption across the board, means that its simply no longer enough to just ‘be online’.  Facebook recently tipped the 1billion user mark, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform with over 300 million users and business favourites Twitter and Linked-in weigh in with a hefty 230million and 400million active daily users respectively. Guys, its busy out there. And that’s just some of the main players!

So, with a plethora of choices for promoting your business at your fingertips and endless choices as a consumer, how DO you go about making sure your message is heard? How do you penetrate the white noise of posts about your ex-colleague’s dinner plans and news of your cousin’s old uni mate’s new baby? The answer, dear reader, is to engage.

At a time where consumers face information overload, it has never been more important to cultivate a personal approach to marketing. Identifying your audience, establishing their needs, interests and trigger points, fosters authentic and tailored communication, that really resonates. Like all good relationships, this takes work.

Don’t rely on your social media platforms to simply sell. Nobody wants to sit and listen to sales pitches all day long. Instead, ask questions and start conversations. Post tips and share information. Show passion and enthusiasm for your business. Be the authority on whatever it is that your company does and offer comment and insight on the big issues that affect your industry. Consider sponsoring causes that are close to your audience’s heart. Stage events or partner with like minded businesses to host roadshows. Take your product out into communities and strive to add value where your competitors aren’t. In short, give your customers a whole host of reasons to trust you, be interested in you and check in with you regularly.

We are currently helping a whole range of clients identify and meaningfully engage with their audiences. If you’d like to discuss ways in which you can increase your reach and create greater customer loyalty, drop us a line. We’d love to help.

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Hanging with our WOLF Pack

It seems that lately, it just wouldn’t be a Sunday without hauling ourselves around a gruelling course in the pursuit of extreme sporting endeavour.

Last Sunday proved no different with Daz and Si joining in a team building session with clients, SnowDome, as they tackled ‘wild running’ in the WOLF Run. The 10K outdoor assault course includes Woods, Obstacles, Lakes and Fields and as you’ll see from our picture, a lot of mud. The plucky team of 14 swam fully clothed through a lake, scrambled over walls and slid down epic water slides as part of the Warwickshire event. Yes, there’s a good reason as to why you write your entry number on your head!

Tamworth based SnowDome, are of course no strangers to sport and exercise, with their landmark indoor ski and fitness facilities offering year round snow sport and leisure opportunities, all under one roof. It was a full team turn out with owners, instructors, marketing team and managers all pitching in to produce a great result with everyone finishing.

All in all it was a brilliant day with a top team that we’re really proud to be part of.

But this Sunday, we’re definitely having a lie-in.

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Well hello SEO . . .

SEO. Its the thing every one is talking about. Its what all business should be doing. Its allegedly the magic key to everything. Its…its….its…er.. what is it exactly?
If SEO leaves you feeling a little like this; that you’re the last one to the party, that its something your company should be doing but you’re not sure why, then you’re not alone. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation to use its full name, is simply the name given to the process of increasing your website’s visibility when someone searches on the internet via a search engine, such as Google.

Good SEO means that your website can be easily found and can be part of the solution that helps you appear ahead of your competitors in internet searches. Bad SEO means that you could have the most amazing product and incredible website, but very few people actually know about it.

Most businesses will certainly benefit from SEO, but how you approach your campaign is critical to its success. As with most marketing, integration is the key and SEO should form part of a multi stranded approach and not be treated as a standalone component. Be wary of the cold caller who tells you that they can get your business to be the first listing on page one of a Google search! There are no magic wands and good SEO takes time and planning to get right. You may well achieve number one ranking in time, but this won’t happen overnight.

If you’d like to have a chat about how SEO could form part of your strategy, or would like a review of your current programme, then give us a call. The kettle is on and who knows, we may even break out the Hobnobs.

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Hooray! Spring has officially sprung!

By now, you’ve probably been outside without your coat on and then gone back in sharpish to fetch it, you’re on the countdown for the Easter bank holiday and at least one person you know has mentioned ‘beer garden’.

Here at Think Creative we’ve joined forces with the Easter Bunny and will be scattering chocolate treats far and wide to our clients across the country and overseas. Showcasing our ‘marketing eggcellence’ (see what we did there?) our bespoke boxes are an ideal way to say hello to customers and put a smile on their faces. Well, why should the kids have all the fun?

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter and a chocolate filled bank holiday weekend 🙂

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Read All About it

We know what its like – you’re busy, busy, busy the whole year round, beavering away in your business, growing, changing and delivering your product with barely a pause to catch your breath. Before you know it, a year has slipped by and your company will undoubtedly have gone through some significant developments. But do your customers actually know about them? You may think they do, but do they really understand that new service you’ve brought in or that new product now available on a faster lead time? An existing client base provides a golden business opportunity as they are generally, already sold on experience. How many times has a customer said to you ‘Well I never knew you offered that…’?

There are many channels now available for communicating with your client base and the best solution normally combines a couple of different options. Social media is undoubtedly the king of customer communication and is an invaluable tool, not only for creating sales leads, but also building brand equity and awareness. There are very few businesses that would not benefit from a social media presence and the art to getting it right is in developing appropriate strategy and tone.

E-shot campaigns are another excellent comms tool. A regular programme of e-shots sent out to your database with a mix of sales and wider interest messages, helps build an ongoing dialogue with customers and keeps you at the forefront of their minds. Constructed with links back to your website to drive traffic to your core offering, makes it easy for clients to peruse your services and engage with your brand. Comprehensive reporting systems also enable you to track who has opened your message, what parts of your site they have visited and for how long, enabling more efficient targeting in the long run.

Similarly, monthly or quarterly newsletters can be a great way to tell the story of your business. With more space to elaborate and an opportunity to broaden the breadth of features, newsletters can also be printed, hosted on websites or dispatched electronically making them incredibly flexible marketing tools.

For advice on your communication strategy including social media, e-shots and newsletters, contact Think Creative on studio@thinkcreative.co.uk

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