Tag Archives: Aardvark Marketing

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Phew – what a year!

In extraordinary times we have been very grateful for the continued support from our clients, suppliers, referrers and wider business network – thank you everyone! On a personal note, I’ve loved helping people unfamiliar with online meetings to get connected and virtual meetings with colleagues, friends and neighbours have been a great way to connect and support each other through this tough year.

New clients this year have included those in Worcestershire’s IT and Tech accelerator, Betaden. We’ve been privileged once again to be recognised as UK’s Best Outsourced Marketing  Company winning a Technology Innovator award for the fifth consecutive year.

We’ve continued to support our chosen charity, the Worcester Foodbank, and I know many of you enjoyed the Business Community Carols from All Saints which supported this essential local service.

Next year will continue to bring fresh challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes, so please get in touch for a free initial consultation if you are contemplating changing course and would appreciate our advice.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and a successful New Year 2021,

Gill and Chris Hutchinson
Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Merry Christmas from the Aardvarks

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Invitation from Rev Rich Johnson to the Business Community carols 2020

Your invitation to the Business Community Carols 2020

Your invitation to the Business Community Carols 2020

Last year over 150 of the local business community came together to enjoy great hospitality and carols at All Saints Church in the heart of Worcester.

This year, we’d like to bring people together again, just in a different format! We’ll be live streaming from All Saints on YouTube at 6pm on Tuesday, 15th December. So we warmly invite you to join us this year from the comfort of your own home or office, crack open some mulled wine or prosecco and sing along to traditional carols (the words will be on the screen!). There will be some light hearted fun with sketches provided by local businesses, a Christmas auction and the winner of the Christmas Quiz will be announced. Here’s a taster from Rev Rich Johnson:

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Invitation from Rev Rich Johnson to the Business Community carols 2020

 

 

 

 

We’ll need to provide you with a specific YouTube link a few days before the 15th so if you’d like to join us email mark.smith5@lloydsbanking.com and we’ll make sure your place is booked!

You’ll be able to download the order of service from the All Saints website soon.

Mindful of the growing needs of those less fortunate in our community at a really important time of year, any donations from this event will be supporting the  Worcester Foodbank.

We’d like to spread a message of hope and happiness at this festive time of year, so please feel welcome to share this message within your organisation and with your wider business connections.

 

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Steatite joins BetaDen as industry partner

Steatite joins BetaDen as an industry expertise partner

Steatite joins BetaDen as an industry expertise partner

Steatite is delighted to announce that it is to work with Worcestershire’s commercial technology accelerator, BetaDen as an industry expertise partner for its fourth cohort of business.

BetaDen is based at Malvern Hills Science Park, midway between Steatite’s computing and communications facilities. Cohort 4 is a nine-month accelerator programme for early stage technology businesses. Successful participants will have access to a programme of support worth around £50,000 including 30 hours of access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed. The application process is now open and the programme will begin in March 2021.

As a global provider of cutting-edge bespoke technology within the computing, communications and power sectors, Steatite has invaluable expertise and will be providing mentoring support to the cohort 4 members for the duration of the programme. The company is particularly looking forward to helping drive forward emerging technology with a particular focus on edge AI systems, remote monitoring and sensing, image processing, robotic automation, and self-organising sensor networks.

Matthew Richards, Managing Director of Steatite comments: “BetaDen has supported 22 early stage technology businesses to date, helping to develop successful routes to market, creating new jobs, and securing hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment. As BetaDen enters its 3rd year, we are proud to be offering our support and experience as an industry expertise partner for the upcoming cohort 4 programme. The objectives of BetaDen, Steatite, and no doubt the successful cohort 4 participants are aligned. New tech ideas today are tomorrow’s SMEs.”

Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “In Steatite, we’re delighted to welcome an industry partner who can offer cohort members the benefit of their unrivalled experience and connections in the field of high-value add manufacturing, in particular computing, secure communication systems and antennas. With our focus on 5G, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics for applications across a range of industrial supply chain markets for Cohort 4, Steatite’s expertise will be invaluable to Cohort members looking to develop their technologies in these areas.”

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

Companies interested in applying for BetaDen cohort 4 can visit www.beta-den.co/apply-now/ and most submit their application by Friday 18 December. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in early 2021, with successful applicants joining BetaDen in March 2021.

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing is the Technology Marketing mentor at Betaden

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

Applications for BetaDen Cohort 4 are now open

Applications for BetaDen Cohort 4 are now open

BetaDen – Worcestershire’s commercial technology accelerator based at Malvern Hills Science Park – has opened applications for its fourth cohort of businesses.

Early-stage technology businesses joining the nine-month accelerator in March 2021 will have access to a refreshed programme of support worth around £50,000, including 30 hours access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed and guidance from industry partner Steatite, part of Solid State Plc. Cohort 4 members will also benefit from a £10,000 proof of concept grant, mentoring from BetaDen’s handpicked team of commercial and technology experts and office space in Malvern Hills Science Park site.

Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “BetaDen recently celebrated its second birthday and, to date, has supported 22 early stage technology businesses, helping them develop successful routes to market, secure hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment and create news jobs in that time. “Building on that experience, we have honed the programme for Cohort 4, focusing even more on our unique access to Worcestershire’s 5G test bed and making ever greater use of our industry networks. In Steatite, we’re delighted to welcome an industry partner who can offer cohort members the benefit of their unrivalled experience and connections in the field of high-value add manufacturing, in particular computing, secure communication systems and antennas. Its expertise will be invaluable to Cohort members looking to develop their technologies in these areas.”

BetaDen is unique in the technology sector, both in terms of the value of the support package it provides and the fact that cohort businesses do not need to surrender equity in their businesses to access this accelerator. As well as providing support to early-stage businesses, it also creates opportunities for established businesses to develop technology-based ideas within the accelerator, effectively supporting in-house R&D activity.

Linda continued: “As we open applications for cohort 4, we are focusing our attention on companies developing new and emerging technologies in key areas: 5G, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics for emerging applications across a wide range of industrial supply chain market places.”

 

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Betaden Cohort 4 applications now open!

 

 

 

 

Companies interested in applying can visit www.beta-den.com for further information and must submit their application by Friday 18 December. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview with our advisory board in early 2021, with successful applicants joining Cohort 4 in March 2021.”

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing is the Technology Marketing mentor at Betaden

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Technology Innovator awards 2020- Best Outsourced Marketing

Aardvark outsourced marketing service win Technology Innovator award for 5th consecutive year

Aardvark outsourced marketing service win Technology Innovator award for 5th consecutive year

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Technology Innovator awards 2020- Best Outsourced MarketingThe team at Aardvark Marketing have again been recognised for their contribution to the UK marketing industry as outsourced marketing experts. The 2020 Technology Innovator Awards returns for its fifth year, allowing Corporate Vision magazine to reward those talented and dedicated individuals and firms working in this demanding sector for their innovation and excellence in their business practice, as well as their outstanding overall performance.

With all the current economic uncertainty, outsourcing your marketing can be a smart business move” says Gill Hutchinson, Director at Aardvark Marketing. “Our skilled marketers provide a highly effective service for a fraction of the hassle and cost of hiring employees and with maximum flexibility for your business. We have been able to support our customers through the ups and downs of their economic activity in this very difficult year, keeping their customers informed and making sure they are ready to take full advantage of opportunities that arise as we get closer to business as usual.”

According to TechTarget, companies choose outsourcing to lower costs, improve efficiencies and gain speed. Because the third-party provider focuses on that particular task, it is able to do it better, faster and cheaper than the hiring company could. This means they can focus their resources more specifically on their own core competencies, thereby helping them gain competitive advantages in the market. Three other reasons for outsourcing are because they’re unable to hire in-house employees with the specialised skills and experience needed or this allows them to shift regulatory requirements to the third-part provider or to enable them to innovate their systems and processes.

Laura Hunter, awards manager at Corporate Vision says “Our 2020 Technology Innovator Awards are based solely on merit, rather than the number of votes received. We reward businesses based on their excellence in their industry, the quality of their products and their dedication to service.”

If you’d like to know more about how outsourced marketing could provide your business with the competitive advantage it needs, please contact Gill Hutchinson at Aardvark Marketing on 0121 222 5743 or email us here.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | detail of the Red Bull signed shirt

Win a signed Red Bull Formula One shirt!

Win a signed Red Bull Formula One shirt!

The Worcester Foodbank needs you

Foodbanks across the UK have experienced a huge growth in demand. They provide essential support  to families in serious need of practical help. Foodbanks support families with more than just food parcels and can signpost to a wide variety of support services including Mental Health.

Gill and Chris at Aardvark Marketing are supporting Mark Smith and the Commercial Team at Lloyds Bank, raising money for the local Worcester Foodbank. We’re asking clients and professional contacts to join in a bit of fun  –  a prize draw to win a fabulous signed Red Bull Formula One shirt. This shirt was kindly donated by County Building Supplies and has been signed by drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, Team Principle Christian Horner and Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Image of a Signed Red Bull Formula One shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst the prize draw is free to enter, it’s  our intention to team up with our charitable trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation, who we will ask to double any donations that entrants make to the Worcester Foodbank.

To enter and to make a voluntary donation (suggested amount of at least £10), please:-

  1. Donate to Worcester Foodbank here
  2. Kindly send a copy of your receipt  to info@aardvarkmarketing.co.uk  (only this receipt will enable Lloyds Bank Foundation to double your donation).

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | detail of the Red Bull signed shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

The closing date for the draw is 5pm on Friday 31st July and we’ll be asking Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to draw the winning entry.  With their permission, we’ll publish the winner’s name and their company on LinkedIn by Tuesday 4th August.

You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Thanks in advance for your generous support for this essential charity.

Aardvark Marekting Consultants | The road to recovery

The road to recovery

The road to recovery

How hackneyed the term ‘new normal’ sounds. Yet it is ill-defined.  The economic picture has never been so mixed. Some sectors in healthcare or food & drink are booming, our hospitality industry is in lockdown / survival mode and other business sectors are somewhere on the spectrum in between. Many do not yet have a confirmed date for re-opening, so the ‘new normal’ isn’t yet established. As we emerge from hibernation, most of us are unsure about the future.

If your business is getting started again, there will be many things to think about. Cashflow, grants or loans, staffing and furlough, risk assessments, signage etc may be top of the list. Successful marketing is the only activity that will bring in vital cash. Is it on your to do list?

Marketing was probably the first thing you cut when lockdown started. Those businesses that were able to retrench and reduce marketing activity to keep a presence in their marketplace, will now be better placed to take advantage of the opening process. If you gave up marketing activity altogether, you may well be behind those competitors that had the resources to keep going. Whatever your history, now is the time to review future marketing.

The challenge is balance. How to achieve balance between the need to bring in new business without breaking the bank in the process?  What environmental changes have happened over the lockdown period? Will the increased use of technology make a difference? Will there be legal challenges in terms of keeping everyone Covid-secure? Are your existing or new consumers going to be nervous about spending on your products or services at the same level as they did before?  Lack of business confidence and tight cashflow in your customers’ business could leave your order book looking thinner for several more months. Or it may be that demand is going to be exceptionally high and this may present challenges of shortages of stock or capacity.

Whatever your precise situation, good marketing and clear communication will help you make the most of any opportunities that present themselves. Measuring results quickly will be key to good decision-making. Priorities and the balance of activities may need to change but will only be effective if you’ve already got good communication channels in place. Whilst hoping for a smooth road to recovery, my guess is that there will be bumps ahead for many businesses.

The marketing specialists at Aardvark have a limited number of free hourly sessions when we can discuss your plans and ‘sense check’ them with you. If you would like to take advantage of one of these review sessions and get ahead of your competitors,  call Gill on 07790 341 239 to get your date in the diary.

Not opening just yet? Read our 5 marketing actions for business survival here

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

The third cohort are being welcomed into Worcestershire’s specialist Technology business accelerator, BetaDen, based at the Malvern Hills Science Park. Amongst the new mentors appointed will be Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing. Her brief is to provide support as a Technology Marketing specialist.

Aardvark Marketing | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

 

 

 

 

 

Gill has wide experience of working with tech start-ups having recently clocked up 3 years coaching in the Nat West Entrepreneur Accelerator in Birmingham. In Worcestershire she has coached and mentored entrepreneurs on the Women2Web and the Worcestershire Accelerator programs and  many businesses through the Manufacturing Growth and Growth Accelerator schemes.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with these exciting new entrepreneurs, which are a mixture of small technology and start-up businesses” says Gill.  “The products and services are all developing exciting new uses of Artificial Intelligence and innovative software applications, which mean a variety of marketing challenges to be overcome for them to be successful”.

BetaDen applicants must get through a rigorous selection process to attain a place on the 9-month program, with over 100 entries made for this intake of just 8 coveted places. Linda Smith, Founder and CEO of BetaDen said: “We were thrilled with the quality and aspiration of applicants that applied to join our third Cohort program. It was clear when sifting through the applications that Worcestershire’s network is fast becoming a hotbed for emerging technology talent.”

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing appointed BetaDen Mentor

 

 

 

 

The arrangements at BetaDen have had to undergo some alterations to make the site Covid-19 secure, however the start of the program hasn’t been delayed and both businesses and mentors are keen to get started.

If your business could benefit from specialist marketing support call Aardvark Marketing on 0121 222 5743 or contact us .

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | We've left teh EU - now get ready fro importing and exporting

We’ve left the EU – now get ready for importing and exporting

We’ve left the EU – now get ready for importing and exporting

Worcestershire business owners can access free advice to help them prepare to leave the EU. Business owners need to know and plan for changes that will happen to the way they do business at the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020. Businesses can book a free individual appointment in February or March 2020 with a specialist advisor from Aardvark Marketing Consultants on https://brexitready.me/

Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship are only just beginning and we’re already seeing what’s set to be a major sticking point come to the fore – regulatory divergence. Many businesses want to see as frictionless trade as possible. However comprehensive any final trade deal is, it will be a trade deal – not membership of the EU. As a result, it is important for businesses to remain vigilant as the way they do business with the EU is going to change.”

The most recent survey of West Midlands businesses revealed that 40% of local firms export goods and 27% export services to the EU. 47% import goods from the EU. These individual coaching sessions are designed to make sure each business owner is fully aware of the changes and how they can affect their business so they can plan accordingly.

Kevin Aisbitt, Growth Hub Manager for Worcestershire Business Central, said: “It is paramount for us to support local businesses through the practicalities of the UK leaving the European Union. I urge all businesses to attend to ensure that their business is prepared for any eventuality of Brexit.”

If your business could benefit act now and book your appointment on https://brexitready.me/  . Please share this link with other businesses on your social networks

 

This program is sponsored by Worcestershire Business Central and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Marketing 2020 style - keep it simple!

Marketing 2020 style – keep it simple!

Marketing 2020 style – keep it simple!

As we approach the beginning of a new decade, many people will be reflecting on the last 10 years and speculating what the 2020s will bring.  In terms of marketing, I think we can be fairly confident that there will be further advances in technology, and more fragmentation of media, making it yet more complicated to reach target audiences with the “right message at the right time”.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | 2020's will see more fragmentation of media channelsIn recent years, the growth in numbers and sophistication of CRM systems, Marketing Automation software, Social Media platforms, click funnels, re-marketing, etc. have provided a dazzling array of tools for marketers, but also increasing pressure to adopt the latest advances, with all the associated time and financial investment required to execute them properly.

My question to business owners is “do you need them yet?”.

Or are there more conventional (old fashioned) activities that can still deliver the results you need in a simpler way?

In the last quarter of 2019, we have created a programme of simple SMS promotions for one of our clients.  We identified that many of their customers while happy with the service purchased were not repeat purchasing, so we send a promotional offer to customers whose last purchase was between 2 and 12 months ago.  We could undoubtedly run more sophisticated offers, more tailored to their previous purchases, we could set up follow up communications based on responses and we could probably tie in at least 3 social media platforms.

Is it working?  In a word, yes!  We began with a small test and have then gradually increased the scale of the activity targeting a bigger pool of customers each time.  We have also tried different promotional offers.  Across all the promotions run so far we have seen an average return of £7 of gross profit for every £1 of spend and sales from the last promotion were worth 9% of total revenue during the promotional period.

Aardvark Marekting Consultants | SMS delivers £7 gross profit for every £1 spentTo return to the earlier point, we could have set out to do something more leading edge, with bigger potential returns.  But we were able to implement this activity quickly, test it on a small scale (the first promotion cost around £250) and if we want to go for something more complex we can do it while the current promotions are running and use the profits they are generating to pay for the IT, training and other upfront costs.

Alternatively, we might just keep going, keeping it simple.  They won’t win any marketing awards or get lots of great PR, but the bank balance looks great!

If you would like some simple, practical advice to improve the marketing of your business in 2020, give us a call on 0121 222 5743 , email us  or send us an enquiry .

Happy Marketing,in 2020!

Chris