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Managing change in manufacturing

The Technical Marketing & PR team recently attended an expert panel discussion covering change management in manufacturing, hosted by Darwin Gray. Joined by an audience steeped in experience within the manufacturing sector, the panel evoked constructive discourse around how businesses can capitalise on new opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.

Change is inherent in manufacturing – whether it’s the effect of new legislation on supply chain management, or a generational shift in working patterns. It is, as the old saying goes, inevitable. As the discussion progressed, it became apparent that change is not something to be feared so much as seen as an opportunity to excel.

So, how can manufacturing businesses start managing change?

 

Plan for change

Too often, specialist consultants and industry experts are brought in to oversee change management projects during times of crisis. The first thing that the panel was keen to raise was that things don’t need to be heading south for change management to kick in – in fact, it’s much better to take a proactive approach.

There’s always a lot going on in manufacturing, and keeping your ear to the ground can go a long way to making sure you are ready for any changes that will affect your sector. Failing to plan is planning to fail – there’s a lot of clichés we could lean on here, but it’s safe to say that those who plan are most likely to prosper.

 

Encourage a ‘change mindset’

Change management does not have to mean an overhaul of business procedures. By creating a culture that supports growth and change, manufacturing businesses will be able to change gradually and ensure that they are working effectively and prepared for the future.

It’s important to be open to change. This might sound simple, but it’s crucial to recognise that change is happening every day – it’s normal, and we must accept it in order to make the most of new opportunities. By embracing a change mindset, manufacturing businesses can be flexible and take any developments in-stride.

 

Communicate and collaborate

One of the messages that the panel was keen to impress was that there is a wealth of support available to manufacturing businesses. By surrounding yourself with experts in your field, you can ensure that you have access to all the knowledge you might need to progress.

It’s worth being prudent with anyone who you introduce to your business, but the panel agreed that being trusting and finding the right partners can be invaluable. Whether it is involvement in government schemes or engaging more closely with local professionals, there is a huge ecosystem around the manufacturing industry which can be tapped into.

 

While there is a question around recognising the need for change, it seems more sensible that manufacturing businesses take a proactive approach to change management. With a strong team and a willing attitude to change, you can prepare your brand for the future and ensure that you’re evolving day by day.

For advice on how marketing and PR support can help you manage and effectively communicate changes in your business, contact the Technical Marketing & PR team.

Technical Marketing & PR Celebrates Double Shortlisting in Regional PR Awards

For the second consecutive year, Technical Marketing & PR has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ category at the CIPR Cymru Wales PRide Awards. The awards recognise leading agencies and individuals in Wales, and celebrates the successes of PR in many businesses and organisations. Technical Marketing & PR has continued to deliver outstanding campaigns and services for a diverse range of clients, and the shortlisting acknowledges the exceptional work of the team.

In addition to the shortlisting for ‘Oustanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’, Technical Marketing & PR is also celebrating the recognition of its Account Executive, David Williams, who has been shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’. David joined the team in 2017, and his prowess in communication along with a passion for PR has contributed greatly to much of Technical Marketing & PR’s recent success.

Commenting on the news, David said: “I’m thrilled to be recognised for my achievements in the shortlisting for ‘Young Communicator of the Year’ at the CIPR PRide Cymru Awards.  When I joined the team I was just beginning my career in marketing & PR, and in a short space of time I am extremely proud of the progress I’ve made.”

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing & PR, said: “We are extremely pleased to be shortlisted for ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ again this year. We constantly strive to deliver industry leading marketing and PR services for our clients, and the shortlisting is testament to the commitment of our team. David’s shortlisting as ‘Outstanding Young’ Communicator is indicative of this enthusiasm, and moreso of his remarkable development. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are very proud!”

You can see the full CIPR PRide Awards Cymru shortlist here.  Winners will be announced at the Cymru Wales PRide Awards ceremony on 11th October 2019 at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff.

The Power of Live Events

So, you’ve nailed your social media marketing. Your email outreach is second to none, and your direct marketing is drawing potential customers to your website. What else could you possibly do to improve your marketing strategy?

It’s time to put yourself out there. Jump in the car, hop on the train or catch the bus – and make yourself known at live events. Whether your business lies in B2B or B2C, trade events, networking events and expos could be an untapped market worth making the most of. A recent survey of over 1,000 senior marketers found that the most successful businesses spend nearly twice as much on live event marketing as the average business, and the majority of these marketers planned to invest more into live events in the future – both in terms of budget and number of events.*

Here’s a few things to bear in mind before you dive in:

 

Raise your profile

By appearing at events, you can position your brand as active and involved within your industry. Signalling your presence within the industry will raise the profile of your brand and contribute to your credibility, thus underpinning your entire marketing strategy.

You will be able to make valuable new contacts at events and establish relationships. No matter how strong your outreach is, there’s no substitute for face to face communication when it comes to developing relationships – so spending time with all of your visitors whether they’re a prospective client or otherwise will encourage them to seek you out in the future. People love working with people, and by making them feel valuable and worth your time you will build a strong rapport.

 

Think about Return on Investment

As with any element of your marketing strategy, you’ll be looking to measure your success at events. That said, tracking your ROI for this particular activity is rarely an exact science.

You can look at lead generation and conversion, coverage and sign-ups, but it’s important to bear in mind that the benefit of events can go beyond tangible statistics. Be prepared to take a holistic view of your performance at events over a period of time, and remember it’s worth targeting which events you’ll attend with your ideal outcomes in mind.

 

Have the materials to back it up

It’s crucial that you have information to hand for anybody who is interested in your business. You should have high-quality literature available at the event in the form of business cards and flyers for visitors to take away which will link to your website and social media.

The content on your website and social media platforms must, therefore, also be reflective of your brand. Potential customers are likely to look to your website for more information, so ensure that it is readily available and presented in the right tone of voice. Your social media pages should support your message and act as a platform to showcase your successes.

 

Events marketing represents a significant opportunity within a comprehensive marketing strategy. Whether you are looking to raise brand awareness, meet prospective clients or generate leads, attending events is an effective way to gain a foothold in the market.

If you’d like more advice on events marketing, or assistance with your social media activity and website copy in preparation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

 

*Bizzabo’s ‘Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarks and Trends’

Technical Marketing & PR welcomes a new team member

South Wales’ specialist PR agency for construction, technology and engineering, Technical Marketing & PR, has once again invested in personnel. Having seen an upsurge of client activity both in the UK and internationally, Technical Marketing & PR has expanded its team, recruiting Tom Martin as Junior Account Executive.

An English Literature and Language graduate from Cardiff University, Tom Martin initially sharpened his skills working in a start-up environment. Deciding to seek a role focused more specifically on marketing and PR, Tom recognised that Technical Marketing & PR’s Junior Account Executive position would allow him to exercise his existing skills whilst developing towards a career in the marketing sector.

Discussing his appointment, Tom said: “I am hugely pleased to join the Technical Marketing & PR team. Not only is it a brilliant opportunity for my own development, I am confident my skillset can add to the agency’s offering. It can be tough to find a job in the right sector after graduating, so I am thankful to find a supportive agency willing to take me on!”

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing & PR, also commented on the appointment: “In a fast-growing agency such as ours, it’s important to have the right team to tackle new challenges every day. I’m very happy to have taken Tom on as part of the team – here at Technical Marketing & PR we have always been committed to helping graduates develop.”

Technical Marketing & PR is always open to providing work experience opportunities and would encourage anyone who is interested in a career in marketing or public relations to get in touch at, hello@technicalmarketing-pr.com

Post GDPR: Marketing in a regulated world

Post-GDPR: Marketing in a regulated world

Just over a year ago, businesses all over the country were staring down the barrel of the incoming GDPR regulations, wondering how the marketing landscape would change. GDPR seemed set to shake the business world, and it was a clarion call for marketers to review their strategies.

Ultimately, whilst GDPR did change the way we look at data, it didn’t completely change the world. Keen-eyed marketing professionals have recognised opportunities in the post-GDPR landscape, so here are a few insights on how you can reap the rewards for your brand.

 

Consider changing your marketing focus

Email marketing had been growing in popularity in the years leading up to GDPR, and it certainly still has a place. Although contacts lists will be looking a little shorter in the wake of new legislation, email marketing has not been killed off completely.

That said, it may be worth integrating – or perhaps reintegrating – traditional direct marketing activities into your strategy. Direct marketing falls outside of GDPR regulations, meaning you can send marketing material to potential customers.

Direct marketing often requires a little more leg-work than email marketing, but it can pay dividends. To make the most of your efforts, put a framework in place for following up with those you reached out to. Telemarketing can be effective, in this instance – even if a recipient is interested, they might not take the time to pick up the phone. In this way, you can build rapport with a potential customer over the phone whilst having a head start over a completely ‘cold’ call.

 

Reinvigorating your marketing strategy

Be it direct, by email or otherwise, any individual marketing activity is just a piece in a larger puzzle. In this post-GDPR world, it’s worth taking some time to review all aspects of your marketing strategy and see how other areas can make up for any shortfalls.

You might want to consider:

  1. Events: are you putting your brand out there at industry events? Not only can this increase brand awareness and perform a lead generation function, but face-to-face networking is often the most effective way of building a relationship with a potential client. If people can talk to you and learn about your brand that way, they are more likely to remember and pick up the phone.
  2. Social media: your social media platforms are an invaluable tool for sharing brand news, products, and engaging with industry news. Managing your social media profiles shows both existing and potential customers that the brand is switched-on, interested, and present within the industry.
  3. Public Relations: building positive relationships with journalists in your field can ensure that your business news hits the headlines in a timely and effective fashion. Once you have established a good relationship with the press, you will have a platform for sharing success stories and more, thus raising brand awareness.

 

Perhaps the most important exercise in the wake of GDPR is to re-consider who your target audience really is, re-focus your strategy to approach them, and re-imagine how you are putting your brand out there in a wider sense.

If you’re looking for guidance on marketing or PR activity for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Technical Marketing & PR team to see how we can help.

 

*Data & Marketing Association

Reaching a new audience with podcast marketing

Podcasting has seen a huge growth in popularity in the last five years, with weekly listeners in the UK having increased from 3.2m in 2013 to 5.9m in 2018.1 Although the majority of podcast listeners tune in to entertainment genres, many businesses are reaping the rewards of on-demand audio. Podcasting is non-disruptive media boasting high engagement rates compared to radio and television.

Whether you are completely new to podcasting or considering setting up a podcast for your business, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

 

Invest in equipment

Your podcast will be representing your business, so it’s important that the quality is up to scratch. You don’t need a professional studio set-up, but the right gear will set you off in the right direction.

A dynamic microphone (with a pop-shield), an audio interface, a pair of headphones and any modern PC or laptop to run an audio recording software will give you what you need to introduce your podcast to the world.

 

Have a goal in mind

Before you sit down to record anything, take the time to consider who your audience is and what they are looking for in a podcast. Bear your audience and their motivation for listening in mind when planning your topics and booking guests.

It’s usually a good idea to produce a continual podcast with regular releases, whether it be weekly, monthly or even quarterly. In this way, you can work consistently towards your goal and establish a regular listener-base.

 

How will you present your podcast?

There are a few formats your podcast can take, and it is often best to have an interactive element to the discussion rather than relying on a single host. One way to achieve this is to use an interview format, where the host speaks to a different guest each episode. Bringing guests onto your broadcast fosters engaging discussion and can also bring credibility.

 

Promoting your podcast

Last but not least, make sure your podcast is promoted on your website and that you’re telling people about it wherever you go. You might even consider putting together some business cards to hand which point people in the right direction!

 

For some inspiration, check out some of our favourite podcasts:

  • Not Another Marketing Podcast, by Jon Tromans
  • Marketing Over Coffee, by John Wall and Christopher Penn
  • The Science of Social Media, from Buffer

 

If you think podcast marketing could be a good option for your business, feel free to get in touch with the Technical Marketing & PR team for more information on how to get started.


1Ofcom, 2018

Technical Marketing & PR sends Fraser Bear to the TRIC Awards

Here at Technical Marketing & PR, we understand the importance of supporting local charities and causes.  In March, we were delighted to donate tickets for the TRIC awards to the Believe charity.  The Television and Radio Industries Club Awards were established to celebrate the networking of technological industries and raise money for causes nominated by TRIC.  The awards play host to crowds of well-known celebrities every year.

Believe Organ Donor Support (ODS) is a charity founded by Anna-Louise Bates who tragically lost her son, Fraser and husband, Stuart in a collision in December 2015, but saved a number of lives by donating Fraser’s organs.  She set up the charity to raise awareness of talking about and participating in organ donation and supporting donor families who have been affected by organ donation.

Believe is based in Wales and partners with many other cause-based charities such as Kidney Wales, Donor Family Network and a number of bereavement charities. The charity visits schools to educate children on the importance of organ donation and to encourage people to get involved by purchasing a Fraser Bear to take on their adventures and pose for pictures to raise awareness of the charity and the work it does.

The awards were the perfect opportunity for Fraser Bear to meet celebrities such as Michael McIntyre and Freddie Flintoff at the event. Leila Castell from the Donor Family Network was able to talk to the celebrities about the work the charity does and the importance of organ donation. Having recently become finalists in the Charity Film Awards and relying on votes to secure a win, Believe were also able to promote the video it had produced at the TRIC Awards and encourage celebrities to support and raise awareness for the film.

Anna-Louise Bates, Founder of Believe ODS, said: “We were so excited to take Fraser Bear to the TRIC Awards this year and want to say a huge thank you to Technical Marketing & PR for donating the tickets and supporting Believe. We have had an incredibly positive response on social media, especially from Alan Shearer and Connie Hyde (Gina from Coronation Street) in relation to our film, which will be extremely beneficial in the run-up to the forthcoming Charity Film Awards. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness for Believe as a charity and the animation.”

Louise Matthews, Director at Technical Marketing & PR, commented: “As a marketing and PR company, we regularly develop marketing strategies that best align with our clients’ messages and ambitions. Understanding the importance of Fraser Bear to Believe’s strategy of raising awareness and encouraging discussions around organ donation, donating our tickets for the TRIC Awards to the charity was a no-brainer. At Technical Marketing & PR, we believe in giving something back to charities, and it isn’t always about money – in this case, we saw an opportunity for the TRIC Awards tickets to be put to better use and that was to help raise awareness for such a wonderful cause.”

If you would like to find out more about Believe ODS, please visit www.believe-ods.org.uk.

 

Fraser Bear and Michael McIntyre

Fraser Bear met cricket legend Freddie Flintoff

Fraser Bear meets the ladies of the Cobbles!

Fraser Bear with Alan Shearer

 

My Marketing and PR Insight

I am currently a second-year Business Management student at Cardiff University who has just finished a Marketing and PR insight with Technical Marketing & PR.  I worked alongside the team for one day a week over four weeks and learnt vast amounts about the marketing and PR industry, an area I have a vested interest in pursuing a career in.

Within a few minutes of my first day at Technical Marketing & PR, I was being shown how to create a media list on a media database and distributed a press release for a client, something I can now take away with me.  I then looked at how to complete forward features research for clients to find opportunities in trade magazines.  I also took responsibility for the Technical Marketing & PR Twitter over the course of the insight and learned how to schedule social media posts using various platforms.

I feel like I have learnt lots of new skills and accomplished a variety of tasks, and that was after just one day! Over the next three days, I was able to work on an article for an education magazine, continue researching PR opportunities and manage the social media output.

I am most proud of the article I produced as that was the primary task I worked on during my time at Technical Marketing & PR which will eventually be published on behalf of the client.  I can now add this to my portfolio to show future employers.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Technical Marketing & PR – the team are so friendly which made it easy to ask for advice and guidance if needed.  I would like to thank Louise and David for taking me on and teaching me such an array of skills and increasing my knowledge about all things marketing and PR.

Sophie Williams

 

The Greatest (Marketing) Story Ever Told…

As it’s Valentine’s Day, the hopeless romantic in me began thinking of the greatest love story ever told. As one of the most renowned names in the literary world, Shakespeare seemed to know a thing or two about love. And his story of a love so deep has travelled through the centuries from generation to generation – I am of course talking about the star cross’d lovers – Juliet, and her Romeo.

This got me thinking, storytelling is an essential human activity and has become a crucial component in most successful marketing strategies. But, many marketeers tend to lose sight of this.

So, using the greatest love story ever told, we have looked at the fundamentals of a good story and how you can relate this to your marketing strategy.

 

Theme

“Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

It is clear that in Romeo and Juliet, the overarching theme is love. Making sure you cement the theme of your marketing strategy in the very beginning is essential. Creating a content calendar using this as a basis will help you tick off the key messages you want to push to audiences – playing a fundamental role in ensuring you go into the year ahead prepared.

 

Narrative

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.”

The prologue of Romeo and Juliet sets the scene for the rest of the play. Similarly, in marketing your narrative must look at the ethos behind everything you do, introduce the persona, and sell the story of you as a brand.

 

Structure

“A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

A robust structure in your marketing strategy will not only assist with effective planning, but it will help provide the business with a clear focus and direction which can pull through to themes in tactical campaigns.

 

Characters

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Every good story has a character or subject of focus. In this sense, ensuring you have characters who can be ambassadors for your brand will not only help humanise you but will also make you more personable. In a digital world where a lot of marketing is turning to automation, being personable is more important than ever.

 

Style/Tone

‘O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?’

Finally, the style of your marketing material should be consistent with what you are offering. Knowing your audience and being able to translate your USP into suitable content is essential.

 

Looking at your marketing strategy by using the fundamentals of a good story will help you to engage audiences, remain personable and will help you keep a consistent rhythm of material going through your marketing channels that highlights the essentials.

[Exeunt.

TMPR at Bett

Last month, the TMPR team took a trip to London to attend the Bett (British Educational Training and Technology) Show. For one of our clients Promethean, it is an event that is 365 days in planning, every year. This was my first time at Bett, so I was keen to explore the new and existing products on the education market as well as see the year-long plan come together for Promethean.

In the ExCel in London, the Bett Show showcases everything that is new and exciting in the world of EdTech, so this year I went to see what Promethean had to offer and to explore the new innovations coming to market!

From robots, to entirely interactive lessons – the technology wasn’t like this when I was in school! It was interesting to see how technology is being embraced in the classroom and used to better enhance the learning materials available to students.

On stand, Promethean were looking to teachers and students to share their #ClassroomStories in their video booth. In a hunt for inspiring, funny or motivational memories, a Promethean ActivPanel was up for grabs for the winning story!

Also, I was lucky enough to have a chat with Sergey Karjakin, the youngest ever chess Grandmaster, who has been working with Promethean to promote chess in the classroom. Recently made compulsory in Moscow, Sergey was talking about the benefits of chess and how it can help children improve their logic.

Exclusively, for VIPs, Promethean also had preview demonstrations available in the Platinum Suite of the next version of ActivPanel that is currently in development – so watch this space!