Why the ‘ matters

A reader’s letter to my local newspaper caught my eye this week. It came from a 10-year old girl complaining about the incorrect use of an apostrophe in a headline.

Is this just a precocious schoolgirl pointing out a minor error, or does it highlight a deeper lesson for many grown-ups? I ask because just days earlier a senior engineer in a large company was telling me that with the prevalence of so-called text-speak, it doesn’t matter if a company’s communications contains the odd spelling or grammatical error – people will understand the meaning anyway.

But even if that is true, it misses the point. What kind of a professional image does a company convey if it has no eye for detail in its communications? Customers will (rightly) think the same attitude permeates all its operations. Such a lack of rigour can damage a business.

Great B2B marketing content is well-written and well-targeted. It addresses the customer’s needs. It educates and informs. It focuses laser-like on the customer, not on the company doing the marketing. And its meaning must be crystal clear, without errors.

Sometimes the young can teach valuable lessons to the more mature. Well spotted schoolgirl!

Oh and for some insight into how not to use apostrophes, there’s even a website devoted to the topic with hundreds of examples.


Integrated marketing communications: The best party starts with an invite

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If you want your reputation to spread like wildfire, as the greatest party planner of the 21st century, then your invitation needs to extend across multiple platforms.

Therefore, every marketer should be brilliant at throwing social events. Of course, that is if they practice integrated marketing both at home and in the workplace. Here at Armitage Communications, we’re all talented hosts and hostesses. But a recent request from a client set quite a challenge.

Do the locomotion

To organise a seminar encouraging manufacturers to buy industrial robots, and ensure the event was nothing short of a manufacturing party was quite a challenge. But we immediately began planning how we could optimise all the relevant platforms, with the right marketing techniques to maximise PR.

We began with the go-to of communications execs since 1906, the press release. Simple yet effective, a 500-word piece set the tone for the event and ensured that many targeted industry magazines would circulate the news in both print and digital formats. The next stage was to create a landing page, where those who wanted to attend could confirm their booking. A CMS in which this was possible allowed us to integrate the campaign with other websites, social media being the central focus.

The press release almost acts as the anchor for your planning. Once established, social media can be used to make your event go viral. A digital format allows the details to be instantly relayed between invitees, in an era where online communication reigns supreme. I don’t know the last time I saw a paper invite.

Respondez, s’il vous plait

The difference with personal social media invites is that your friends are already invested in you. With B2B marketing, the challenge is to convince the target market to invest their time in your client. For this reason, the landing page we designed included case studies to communicate the client’s ongoing success, just as your own Facebook event probably includes photos from previous rip-roaring parties you’ve hosted.

We also included a sign-up form so that visitors could register directly, but aware that some manufacturers might take longer than others to commit, we ensured the page included many links to our multiple social media platforms, where the message was reiterated through tweets, blogs and LinkedIn posts. As discussed in our earlier blog ‘A courtship with content’, drip-feeding personable, entertaining snippets of information is a great way to lead customers back to the source, and get them nibbling on those corporate vol-au-vents in no time.

We also wanted a landing page which was mobile compatible. As any marketer in the 21st century is aware, much internet browsing now takes place on mobile devices (in fact this year it’s reached almost 40 per cent). This again facilitates sharing over on to social apps, integrating the campaign further still. But we didn’t stop there. Encouraging physical interaction through a QR code on an advert placed in industry publications, we linked manufacturers straight onto the mobile landing page where again, a direct booking could be made.

What’s more, any experienced socialite knows that taking advantage of other successful events is a must. In the B2B marketing world, it’s the same.  Making use of industry functions throughout the year is vital. We ensured our campaign was given as much exposure to the target market as possible by having flyers (including the aforementioned QR code) distributed to delegates who attended a leading processing and packaging event just a few weeks before our seminar was scheduled. Exhibitions, conferences and industry shows should be considered as invite opportunities - have you ever had a group of friends together at dinner, and thought that was an ideal time to ask them if they could make your do? Of course you have. The right audience are present, an audience that likes to be entertained.

Pull them in like Hansel and Gretel

Finally, we took the slightly more traditional approach of emailing invitations in the form of an e-shot to a number of mailing lists, some of which were provided by our client. Others were supplied by target industry magazines and enabled us to reach those who would be most interested in our client’s event. Ultimately, the e-shot wound up in the same place that every other trail of marketing content breadcrumbs we left ended up, the campaign landing page.

Through assembling a collection of communications, we were highly successful in promoting our client’s robo-centric reception. By tying the various delivery tools together, we created an effective integrated marketing campaign that meant the puff pastry tray was stripped bare in no time.

We're hiring...

Are you a cocktail-shaking connoisseur of blending marketing tools? Then you'll be pleased to know we're looking for a talented new executive to join our team. To apply simply email [email protected] and attach your C.V along with 200 words about why you'd like to work in technical PR.