28 May

Aquila Marketing on the Powers of Staying ‘In Touch with Consumers

The name Aquila Marketing didn’t come out of nowhere as the entire thrust of this hugely successful direct marketing company is just that, staying in touch with the pulse of consumer activity. According to Michelle Uhlhorn, director of Aquila Marketing, “The thing that is sorely missing in many companies’ bid to increase their market share is in actively seeking what it is that the customer truly wants. Once you have a handle on that, you have the ability to outsell the competition and make a real name for yourself within your industry.”

 

Michelle goes on to explain that the true path to success lies in improving the customer experience. She has found over the years that less emphasis should be placed on analysing their behaviour and much more time spent ‘in touch’ with them, face to face. “Measurements are good and have their place,”Michelle explains, “but what is often lacking is a real effort to understand them. Study after study proves that today’s millennial craves engagement with the brands they deal with and that only comes about with dialogue. Less time on measuring their activity and more time spent communicating is what is called for if you truly want to stay in touch as we do.”

 

Each customer is on a journey and many take the same path. However, without talking to them you’ll never know why they are on the road they are on and what it is that urged them to make the purchases they make and refusing others that would have seemed a good match. Top performing companies understand just how important it is to WOW their customers which forms a bond that is prerequisite to true loyalty.

 

Instead of spending time addressing any issues the customer may have had, isn’t it better to allocate that time to finding ways to improve that customer’s experience? What may result is a reduction in cost and enhanced quality of product and service. ‘Fixing’ something that is broken adds to the overall operating cost but finding a smooth customer journey that necessitates no fixes will significantly increase profits accordingly.

 

“We like to use the analogy of an automobile. If you are out to buy a previously owned vehicle and get it for less than the book value but spend twice the amount you saved making repairs, you’ve saved nothing. On the other hand, if you buy a used vehicle that is slightly over priced but needs no repairs and little maintenance you’ve saved a small fortune,” Michelle says. This is analogous to the total customer experience. Why pay customer service reps a hefty salary to ‘fix’ broken relationships when it would be much more cost effective to design ways to improve the customer experience from the outset?

Want to grow your bottom line and increase customer loyalty? Aquila Marketing says that the only road to success is to stay in touch with your audience. Only then will you be able to say you’ve truly given the customer what they want, your loyalty to their needs. Loyalty begets loyalty so it’s time to do something about it. Improve the customer experience and you’re home free.

10 May

Aquila Marketing Review the Value of LinkedIn

Social media is becoming ever more important. It’s not only changing the way people communicate with each other and the outside world, it’s transforming business too. LinkedIn is the premier business social media platform, and can prove an invaluable tool when used correctly. A recent report in Direct Marketing News looked at plans by LinkedIn to revamp its service. Here, Aquila Marketing review the report, and assess the importance of LinkedIn to businesses today.

“LinkedIn has been at the forefront of business social media since 2003, but they realise the need to innovate and improve their services”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, director of Aquila Marketing. “It shows that even well established businesses and market leaders can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Standing still isn’t an option in today’s business world.”

 

The report looks at how LinkedIn is making its Sales Navigator a premium service, rather than being free to all as it previously was. This second generation Sales Navigator will be a stand-alone product, making it accessible to more people than ever. Its use will be dependent upon paying a fee, and will require a separate sign in to that used for an existing LinkedIn account. The service itself has been substantially revamped and improved. It will now feature lead recommendations, and make searches easier and more powerful.

 

The positive response to the announcement made by LinkedIn’s Mike Derezin shows that people are prepared to pay money for online services as long as they trust the brand, and perceive a real benefit from the paid service. LinkedIn is continuing to look for ways to improve revenue streams. Its user base showed a sharp rise in the second quarter of 2014, up to 313 million from 296 million, but overall page views were down from 26.9 billion to 25.4 billion. By innovating its product, LinkedIn hopes to see this figure rise.

 

“Social media is a popular way to interact with consumers, but LinkedIn offers so much more than that”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “Smart businesses use it as a tool to increase their profile, and find the right people that will drive their business forward. By engaging with LinkedIn in this way, a business can see real growth in revenue and awareness.”

 

Aquila Marketing are also renowned for helping businesses grow brand awareness, and increase revenue. Their contemporary twist on traditional marketing techniques is especially helpful for new entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses.

 

29 Apr

Aquila Marketing Review the Importance of Customer Feedback

Successful businesses use a range of metrics to see how their business is performing throughout the year. These can include sales and revenue figures, or hits on a website or social media platform. One of the most important performance indicators of them all, however, is customer feedback. A recent study by Customer First Solutions, reported by DJS Research, showed how important customer feedback is to business success. Here, Aquila Marketing review the study, and look at how to acquire accurate customer feedback.

“Gaining customers is great, but keeping them loyal can be even more important”, said Michelle Uhlhorns, director of Aquila Marketing. “Finding out what a customer thinks, and understanding what they’re looking for, is the key to gaining repeat custom. In our social media age, your business needs customers who are going to sing your praises on Facebook and Twitter, not complain about how their expectations were disappointed.”

Lost custom can be a major drain on the resources of a business, as well as handing an advantage to their competitors. By not seeking their opinion, businesses could be contributing to their own downfall. The study shows that UK consumers like to be asked to give feedback. More than 50% of over 2,000 respondents said that they would be more likely to return to a shop that had given them bad service, if they were asked for their feedback afterwards.

Asking for feedback can also help to alleviate the modern problem of bad reviews being left on social media platforms. Respondents who had placed negative feedback on these sites, to be seen by potentially thousands of people at a time, say that they would have been less likely to do this if they had been given the chance to discuss their grievances with the retailer first. The clear indication of the study is that consumers like to interact directly with the retailers, and that they like to feel that their opinion is valued and listened to.

“This study clearly shows just how vital it is to seek customer feedback, to listen to it, and then act upon it”, said Michelle Uhlhorns. “The best way to do this is through face to face interaction. That’s why direct marketing can be such an effective market research solution, as well as a cost-effective advertising tool.”

Aquila Marketing are direct marketing experts. Their exciting campaigns help businesses gain new customers and grow their brand.

12 Apr

Aquila Marketing Review ‘Demand’ by Adrian J. Slywotzky and Karl Weber

Business has changed much over the last two centuries, but one thing will always remain the same: a successful business must be built upon supply and demand. There’s little point in creating a product that nobody wants, but can demand be created among the public? A recent book showed businesses how to do just that, and it’s called ‘Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It’, written by Adrian J. Slywotzky and Karl Weber, and published by Business Plus. Here, Aquila Marketing review the book, and look at how they manage supply and demand.

“Meeting demand is essential, whether you’re in manufacturing or in the service industry”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, director of Aquila Marketing. “That’s why we always provide a bespoke service for our clients. We take the time to find out exactly what our customer needs, and then take pride in delivering it.”

Most people in business assume that they know what demand is, but how many of them think about it more deeply, and consider where demand comes from and how they can control it? The authors take a fresh and invigorating look at this subject, and show how by making efforts to understand how customer needs occur, you can create products that meet that need as soon as it occurs. The central premise of the book is that there’s a difference between what people buy and what they really want. This allows demand generators to get ahead of the game and create products that become must-buys.

The book also identifies six steps to create this demand. Make sure the product is perfect, not just good. Keep working at it. Make sure that it’s easy to use, and that instructions are clear and easy to follow. Build a backstory, and get consumers interested in how and why the product was created. Overcome indifference and find the triggers that will make your target consumers make a purchase. As soon as the product is launched do all you can to give it a speedy trajectory, never sit back and relax. If possible, vary the product type to suit different audiences. Try to ensure that everyone thinks your product is amazing, rather than average.

“The thing I love most about this book is that it’s full of good and practical ideas”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “The authors emphasise the importance of wowing customers, and not being satisfied with things that are average or even good. That’s why direct marketing can be so important. There’s no better way to find out what consumers want, rather than what you think they want.”

Aquila Marketing are experts in direct marketing. Their tailor made campaigns help businesses acquire new customers as well as increasing their brand awareness, and giving a real return on investment.

21 Mar

Aquila Marketing Review the Advantages of Mobile Marketing

Modern technology is revolutionising the way that marketing works. Traditional forms of advertising are becoming outdated and costly. Content marketing is becoming increasingly important as technology changes the way we live our lives. A Direct Marketing Association study looks at the growth of mobile phone usage, and how it relates to the evolution of marketing. Here, Aquila Marketing review this study, and assess how important mobile marketing is now and for the future.

“Mobile phone usage is growing on both sides of the Atlantic, and it’s essential that marketing campaigns realise this”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, manager of Aquila Marketing. “Too many businesses in the United Kingdom focus mainly on emails, direct mail, or internet advertising, but investing in high quality mobile marketing can reap dividends.”

The study by the DMA looks at mobile phone usage, and mobile marketing, in the United States, but surveys paint a similar picture for the United Kingdom as well. Mobile phone ownership is still rising, particularly among the prestige brands. Mobile phone sales in the USA in 2014 are expected to be around $57 billion. These users spend an average of 2 hours 22 minutes a day on their smartphone. One thing becoming increasingly popular is the use of mobile vouchers. Nearly 77 million US consumers will use a mobile phone coupon this year.

It’s not only smartphones that consumers use to keep in the loop while on the move, tablets are becoming increasingly popular too. Mobile devices are used to check prices, find reviews, contact suppliers and find retailers. This makes the shopping experience more of a two way street than it’s ever been, but it also makes it more exciting to the modern consumer.

“It’s vital that your marketing strategy is relevant to people on mobile devices such as phones and tablets”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “The use of incentives such as coupons that can be redeemed through their mobile device is just one of the ways that you can acquire new young customers, and increase your brand awareness.”

As mobile technology continues to grow and adapt, it’s important that your mobile marketing strategy remains flexible enough to cope with any future changes. Larger screens and faster processes, for example, are making video content more accessible on smartphones. Aquila  Marketing can ensure that your direct marketing campaign remains relevant, whatever the future may bring.

05 Mar

Aquila Marketing Review the Changing Demographic of the Global Population

Business is becoming increasingly global, so it’s important that we keep up to date with changes in the global demographic. The world’s population is rising, and the impact on business can be profound. A 2011 study by the United Nations looked at how social demographics were changing as the world population rose above 7 billion for the first time. Here, Aquila Marketing review this study and assess how change can impact on the way that businesses operate in 2016 and what has changed since the study was fist conducted.

“A changing demographic will lead to changes in the products that are bought, as well as in the areas that people buy them”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, manager of Aquila Marketing. “By understanding the changes that are happening now, as well as understanding the likelihood of future change, globally operating businesses can target their marketing campaigns more effectively.”

There are many positives to be found in the UN survey. The median average age has risen from 28.0 to 29.2 in just five years. Better healthcare, improved education and greater standards of living have all contributed to this rise, and there is no sign of this figure slowing down. It could, however, cause problems in the future as more countries have to deal with an increasingly elderly population. The greatest growths in population were in Africa, the Middle East, and India. India’s population alone increased by nearly 82 million in the five years to 2010. Even though China is considering ending its official one child policy, India is poised to overtake China as the world’s most populous country.

The changing world demographic is having an impact on consumer spending across the globe. Traditional economic powerhouses such as Japan, USA and Europe are still suffering as a result of the economic slowdown. Countries such as China and India, however are seeing a rapid rise in an affluent middle class. Countries experiencing population booms are also experiencing increased urbanisation, and a move away from traditional ways of living.

“The global market is undergoing a revolution, so it’s important that UK businesses are in a position to target these growing new markets”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “As traditional export markets continue to contract, there’s a wealth of new opportunities for those companies who are brave enough to take their marketing in an innovative new direction.”

Megacities are one of the results of the worldwide population growth. The UN study estimates that there will be 26 cities with a population in excess of 10 million by 2025. There is huge potential in these cities, and Aquila Marketing can help ensure that your brand is ready to meet the ever growing demand.

18 Feb

Aquila Marketing Discuss the Use of Multimedia Advertising in Business

Advertising has changed a lot over the past couple of decades, and this is mainly due to the increased use of the internet in business. There are many more ways in which to advertise than there used to be, and choosing the right ones for you can be a minefield. When it comes to your advertising, the Managing Director of Aquila Marketing Michelle Uhlhorn, recommends thinking creatively. She says, ‘It has never been more important to choose the right advertising platforms for your needs. A while ago I identified that a lot of my clients and future clients would respond well to a promotional marketing video. Recently I set about making this happen, and I am proud to announce that it has just been released. The video has been made to focus on attracting new business and it really helps to explain what we at Aquila Marketing are offering in terms of services. The video is really clear and easy to follow and it has received a very warm reception from clients. The beauty of video advertising is that it is really easy to share on social media platforms, so I stand to reach a lot more viewers because of it.’

Michelle Uhlhorn also said, ‘I also have a second video in the pipeline and this is more focused towards the benefits of direct marketing. I think it is important to keep your message simple in your video advertising and not bombard people with too much information too soon. This is why I decided to divide the information between two separate videos. I am looking forward to releasing this second video soon.’

There are so many ways to advertise these days and it is worth throwing loads of ideas around before you decide on the right method for you. Have a look at what similar companies are doing in terms of advertising and ask yourself if they are getting it right. Take inspiration from people who seem to be attracting a lot of business as the chances are that they have got their advertising spot on. It’s important to set a budget for your advertising so that you know exactly what you have to play with – and try to stick to it too.

Aquila Markerting have been inundated with new work since the release of their video so it is clearly working for them. Michelle Uhlhorn is extremely heartened by her recent sales figures and she looks forward to helping even more new clients with their marketing strategies.

01 Feb

Aquila Marketing Talk About Their Ever Evolving Strategy

Starting up a new company requires a lot of strategic thinking. You need to decide on the market you want to play in, how you will win business in that market, how to fund your business, and where to find the talent. Much has been said about the kind of questions a start up should ask themselves, and the kind of decisions that need to be made at the inception stage of a new enterprise. However, what should you be doing when you aren’t a start up any more? Aquila Marketing is now a leading UK marketing consultancy, specialising in face to face promotions, however a year ago managing director Michelle Uhlhorn was still in the start up phase. Now her business is established, she still believes strategy is the most important thing when it comes to driving the business forward and building on her success. Here, she talks about why.

‘Strategy is what gives the actions we take as a business coherence and purpose.’Michelle Uhlhorn, managing director at Aquila Marketing began. ‘When we first went into business, my strategy was all about introducing ourselves to the market effectively and finding the right people to target as clients. Picking the right areas, sectors and businesses to try and win was crucial, as was our approach to our own marketing and internal processes.’

‘Now, a year in, we have found our feet and are working with some great people. We stuck to our original strategies and this paid off, however that doesn’t mean the strategising is over – quite the contrary in fact. Now we are thinking about how to make our operations more efficient, our sales plan more effective, and lots of other strategic areas that will help us perform even better as we go into the next year.’

Aquila Marketing have found that while strong strategies at the start of a venture are very important, continuing to work to a strategic mind set is essential if you want to grow and really leverage your initial successes.

‘I would advise anyone who is going into business or even those who have been in business for a while now to think of their various strategies as an ever improving work in progress.’ Michelle Uhlhorn concluded.

18 Jan

Aquila Marketing Review the Neuroscience Behind Motivation

Motivation is vitally important to us, in our personal lives and in business. The way we talk and think can have a huge impact on our motivation. A recent study by management coach John Pratlett looked at the neuroscience behind motivation, and how we can control it. Here, Aquila Marketing review this study, and look at how businesses can use it to increase their levels of motivation.

“The brain is the most powerful tool that we have, and it reacts in predictable ways when subjected to certain stimuli”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, director of Aquila Marketing. “By understanding what these stimuli are, we can engage in brain training that will make us more motivated. Business is a creative activity, but science such as this can also be highly useful.”

The study shows that when you say or think ‘I am’, for example ‘I am angry’ or ‘I am scared’, the brain’s fight or flight mechanism is activated. This is because ‘I am’ has a sense of permanence to it. In contrast, ‘I feel’ has a much more fleeting and manageable aspect to it, as in ‘I feel sad’, or ‘I feel overwhelmed’. Neurological research has shown that when people say ‘I feel’ there is a flow of blood away from the central area of the brain, where fight/flight receptors are located, and towards the pre-frontal cortex associated with problem-solving and empathy.

This can be taken to another level when the verb ‘I’m doing’ is used. By saying ‘I’m doing frustration’ for example, rather than ‘I am frustrated’ or ‘I feel frustrated’, you’re telling your brain that you’re in control. It will react accordingly. By contrast, the strong and permanent ‘I am’ is better for positive emotions, such as ‘I am motivated’, as opposed to ‘I feel motivated’ or ‘I’m doing motivation’.

“This fascinating study can prove invaluable for entrepreneurs”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “We all recognise how important motivation is, but many people don’t realise how much impact their choice of words has upon it. Neuroscience has shown us how to increase our own levels of motivation. By saying ‘I am’ we can heighten positive emotions, and by saying ‘I feel’ or ‘I’m doing’ we can control and dispel negative emotions.”

Aquila Marketing brings a positive approach to all of their marketing campaigns. They have a track record of success in helping businesses expand their horizons, acquire customers, reach new markets, and increase their brand awareness.

04 Jan

Aquila Marketing Review the Importance of Technology

Technology is changing by the day, and making a dramatic difference to both our domestic and business lives. One of the factors behind this revolution is the growth of smart phone apps. They are making the internet more accessible, and more useful, than ever. A report in Direct Marketing News looked at the latest app for the world of business, Refresh. Here, Aquila Marketing review this report, and consider the importance of technology to businesses today.

“The latest apps are making business easier than ever, but it’s important to find the right app for your needs”, said Michelle Uhlhorn, director of Aquila Marketing. “There are so many apps out there, that they can end up using time that could have been used more productively. Nevertheless, some apps, such as Refresh, can become an essential business tool.”

The report named Refresh as its app of the week. The primary aim of the app is to provide relevant information before you go into a meeting or presentation. Prior research is essential if you want to make a success of a business pitch, but it can be time consuming. With so much to remember going into a meeting, it can be easy to forget the information that you were looking at the night before. That’s where this app comes into its own. It scours the internet, including social media networks, to provide relevant information about the person that you’re about to speak to. This not only saves time that would be spent on research, it helps you become better informed.

Knowledge is power in business. The information provided by the Refresh app can help you tailor your pitch to the individual. Refresh users won’t have to worry about forgetting information or, even worse, getting one potential client mixed up with another, because they can consult the app just before they enter the meeting. It’s a modern day aide de memoire with a myriad of uses.

“Refresh is a highly useful app to business people across all sectors”, said Michelle Uhlhorn. “It’s fascinating to see how inventive app designers are becoming, as they keep finding ideas that hadn’t been thought of before. That’s why it’s so important to keep up to date with advances in technology. By using the latest invaluable apps, you can stay one step ahead of your opposition. This is especially useful within the sales and marketing industry.”

The innovative sales campaigns run by Aquila Marketing are another way for businesses to keep ahead of their competitors. Their customer acquisition and brand growing skills can help companies expand nationally and internationally.