PR Key Calendar Dates March – May 2015

In order for campaigns to remain current, it can often be useful to base your ideas around significant events taking place throughout the year. We advise clients to start preparing for campaigns at least 1 month in advance – so we’ve put together a list of important dates to add to the diary for 2015, to help you stay organised and to ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Please note: this list is not definitive and will be updated as and when new dates are confirmed.

 

March

  • 1st-30th Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal
  • 1st Saint David’s Day
  • 8th International Women’s Day
  • 11th No-Smoking Day
  • 13th Red Nose Day
  • 15th Mothering Sunday
  • 17th St. Patrick’s Day
  • 29th Clocks Go Forward
  • (dates vary)  School Easter Holidays

Sporting Events

  • 14th-29th Cricket World Cup
  • 28th-29th 2015 World Triathlon Series #1

 

April

  • 1st April Fool’s Day
  • 3rd Good Friday / Bank Holiday
  • 5th Easter Sunday
  • 6th Easter Monday / Bank Holiday
  • 23rd St. George’s Day
  • 29th International Dance Day

Sporting Events

  • 6th–12th Golf Masters
  • 11th Grand National
  • 18th–22nd Cycling World Track Championships
  • 26th London Marathon

 

May

  • (date TBC) Exeter Business Games
  • 1st May Day
  • 1st-31st National Walking Month
  • 4th Early May Bank Holiday
  • 4th-10th Screen-free Week
  • 5th World Asthma Day
  • 25th Spring Bank Holiday
  • (dates vary)  Summer Half Term

Sporting Events

  • 2nd European Rugby Champions Cup Final
  • 4th May - 7th June Tennis French Open
  • 14th UEFA Women’s Champions League Final
  • 30th Football FA Cup Final

 

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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Bigwave does RockSolid 2015!

On 21st March, 14 Bigwavers will be running, climbing, crawling and wading around RockSolid’s 10K obstacle race at Escot Park, Exeter. Gallons of mud and buckets of sweat are sure to feature throughout – and since we are all going to be pushing ourselves to the limit, we feel it is only right that a deserving charity benefits from our efforts!

This year, we are fundraising for FORCE Cancer Charity, a brilliant local organisation offering help and support to all those affected by cancer in and around Exeter.

If you would like to donate, please visit our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. Remember to keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter to find out how we get on!

In the meantime, we would like to say a huge thank you in advance for any donations.

#TeamBigwave

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5 Ways to Gain Honest Customer Feedback

Honest customer feedback which can be absorbed, acted on and ultimately used to stay ahead of competition is one of the most powerful devices at an organisation’s disposal. Capture the true ‘voice of the people’ and you’ve struck gold. However, overcoming the obstacles associated with encouraging customers to open up can be challenging. Here are 5 key ways to acquire that all-important customer feedback:

1. Incentives 

Your customers’ time is valuable, so providing them with something in return will maximise interest. Whether you opt for a standalone prize – for example the chance to win a free personal training session, or something for each participant – for example a complimentary hot drink whilst they fill out a survey, both options are likely to sway their willingness to participate. Why not use it to your advantage and hand out company branded sports flasks for additional exposure? Whatever you choose, be creative.

2. Online Monitoring

You don’t always have to ask. The wonders of online conversations on social media platforms and review sites alike create a window of opportunity for a spot of eavesdropping. Do some digging: check up on your company’s Twitter mentions, keywords and relevant hashtags. What are people saying about you? This indirect approach is one of the easiest ways to gain truly honest customer opinions. Listing your organisation on TripAdvisor and using its Review Express email facility to pro-actively encourage visitors to write a review is also a highly effective method of gaining honest feedback.

3. Surveys

Whether your survey is conducted online or using feedback forms in person, timing is key. If you are planning to approach customers face-to-face, pick a moment immediately after a customer has experienced your product or service so that it will be fresh in their mind. If the opportunity to fill out a 10 minute survey arises on their lunch break when they have just walked into your facility, they are likely to be rushed and uninterested. Think about how you ask. Make the questions as clear and concise as possible, whilst also avoiding the use of leading questions such as “How have our personal trainer sessions benefited you?” – opting instead for, “What are your thoughts towards our personal trainer sessions?”

4. Customer-facing staff 

Your greatest source of information about day-to-day customer reactions, personal conversations and first hand experiences of situations involving customer satisfaction comes from the people who deal with them first-hand. By addressing the subject of customer feedback at regular staff meetings or keeping a record which can be updated as events occur, you are able to keep track of situations as they arise – straight from the front line.

5. Mystery Shoppers

If you can’t gain feedback from ‘em, join ‘em. Mystery shoppers provide a professional, impartial service, putting themselves in the customer’s shoes to experience the overall customer journey for themselves. This is the crème de la crème of customer satisfaction methods. The mystery shopper will operate as a critical friend and deliver thorough reports that will enable your company to find out exactly what you want to know, whilst bypassing any potential issues related to gaining feedback from real customers.

And don’t forget…

Combined Effort

All five of these methods carry great benefits for gaining invaluable customer insight. By varying your approach to include a combination of channels, feedback facilities and timings, you are more likely to gain a representative feedback sample – ultimately strengthening its credibility.

 

Here at Bigwave media we offer a range of services to help you gain customer insight and illicit that all important customer feedback including mystery shopping, design and business development.

To find out more get in touch, or tweet us @bigwavemedia. This year we are also launching Insight 2015, a new series of marketing and customer insight seminars, designed to provide attendees with the tools needed to enhance the customer experience decisions they make. Find out more here.

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Are QR Codes Dead? Yes – If You Are Using Them Wrong!

Bigwave-QR-CodeThe honest answer? Almost. They have been dying a slow death because of the unpopular way advertisers have been using them. QR Codes are a smart technology so they have to be used in a smart way.

When we first saw this new way of targeting a young tech-based audience digital marketers went mad and crammed a scan code onto everything in a 10 mile radius of anyone under 30! But it was too much. It wasn’t how these small pieces of printed technology were supposed to work.

This is a specific medium for a specific audience. Some may think this niche reach is a bad thing but it gives you a chance to really hone in on who is going to be looking at your content. Not everyone has a smartphone and not all of those who do have an app to read QR codes. Are QR codes the right thing for a nursing home? Probably not. An electronics convention? Probably yes!

QR codes can often over-complicate a simple thing. Don’t have a clunky QR code that sends someone to your homepage. They are called Quick Response codes for a reason. That’s lame and a waste of time. Do something cool with it. Have it add an event to a calendar, send an email, download an app, phone a number. A QR code can command a smart phone to do almost anything. Impress your modern, tech-savvy audience with your actual knowledge of QR codes instead of just trying to fit in.

Places to use them: Business cards, magazines, products, flyers, things you can hold in your hand.

Places we’ve seen them where they just don’t belong: Billboards, Buses (seriously?), basically any public space or moving object where users don’t want people to see them trying to scan a QR Code. And of course websites, I’m already online!

So now you know QR codes are still a viable option for your business. See what you can do with them in our guide to using QR codes.

Bigwave media can create QR codes for all of the above purposes and more. We also have access to detailed analytics which tell you how often the code has been scanned, what devices were used to scan and the location of where it was scanned. If you’re interested in using QR codes for your business get in touch with simonbeer@bigwavemedia.co.uk

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5 Steps to Effective Email Marketing

Despite a surge in new methods of delivering B2B and B2C marketing messages, email campaigning remains a strong contender in the line-up for the most favoured marketing communication channel, with 68% of marketers agreeing that email marketing is core to their business. However, creating an email campaign which overcomes the hurdles of bouncing, being left unopened and failing to entice the recipient to click content links can be difficult to achieve.

We’ve put together an infographic explaining five vital steps to consider that will help your email campaigns stand the best chance of success amongst the 123 billion emails that are sent each hour:

Here at Bigwave media, we offer a fully incorporated email marketing system that lets you send, track and report on your own email campaigns. Our bespoke, eye-catching template designs can be filled with your own content and used again and again.

To find out more, get in touch or tweet us @bigwavemedia.

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, The Board by subscribing via our homepage.

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PR Key Calendar Dates February – April 2015

In order for campaigns to remain current, it can often be useful to base your ideas around significant events taking place throughout the year. We advise clients to start preparing for campaigns at least 1 month in advance – so we’ve put together a list of important dates to add to the diary for 2015, to help you stay organised and to ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Please note: this list is not definitive and will be updated as and when new dates are confirmed.

 

February

  • 4th World Cancer Day
  • 14th Valentine’s Day
  • (dates vary)  Spring Half Term
  • 17th Shrove Tuesday
  • 18th Ash Wednesday

Sporting Events:

  • 1st Superbowl
  • 2nd Skiing World Championships
  • 14th February-29th March Cricket World Cup

March

  • 1st-30th Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal
  • 1st Saint David’s Day
  • 8th International Women’s Day
  • 11th No-Smoking Day
  • 13th Red Nose Day
  • 15th Mothering Sunday
  • 29th Clocks Go Forward
  • (dates vary)  School Easter Holidays

Sporting Events

  • 14th-29th Cricket World Cup
  • 28th-29th 2015 World Triathlon Series #1

 

April

  • 1st April Fool’s Day
  • 3rd Good Friday / Bank Holiday
  • 5th Easter Sunday
  • 6th Easter Monday / Bank Holiday
  • 23rd St. George’s Day
  • 29th International Dance Day

Sporting Events

  • 6th–12th Golf Masters
  • 11th Grand National
  • 18th-22nd Cycling World Track Championships
  • 26th London Marathon

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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Get customer experience right first time

marketing and customer insight seminars

Bigwave Media and Leisure-net Solutions are launching Insight 2015, a new series of marketing and customer insight seminars.

Designed to provide attendees with the tools needed to enhance the marketing, customer experience and business decisions they make, the seminars will take place on 10th March 2015 at Orford Park in Warrington, and 11th March at K2 in Crawley.

Insight 2015 is aimed at customer insight specialists and strategic marketers, as well as senior managers, decision makers and directors working in the active leisure sector. The seminars will be endorsed by CIMSPA to Level 7 standard, and will be delivered to their Professional Qualifications Framework – ‘Manage the development of products and services’.

The Insight seminars will cover everything marketers and managers need to know to dramatically improve their customer insight and turn customer data into intelligence. We will focus on performance-based data and research techniques, social media insight and web analytics.

The one-day seminars will also look into markets & ROI, from socio-demographics & benchmarking to sales & attrition targets, and drill down into how exactly organisations can make their customers’ experience a great one.

Tickets cost £50 per person, £40 for CIMSPA members. For place availability and registration please contact Kirstyreed@leisure-net.org.

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Exeter Business Games

It’s that time of year again when we are preparing for the launch of this year’s Exeter Business Games – the annual team-building event for Exeter-based businesses, held every summer throughout May and June.  Each year, the Games plays host to a number of employees who compete in 8 events including Tag Rugby, Clip ‘N’ Climb and Pub Quiz, in a battle to push their company to the top of the leaderboard.

Whilst raising funds for The Exeter Foundation is a fundamental feature of the increasingly popular Games, the series of events also provides key opportunities for participants to network, develop positive team relationships and experience a great sense of morale as they enjoy participating in fun activities outside of the workplace.

Having grown in success year-on-year (the Games have raised nearly £20,000 for The Exeter Foundation in the past 3 years), a new initiative sees the Games becoming nationwide in the near future, with events taking place all over the country. The UK Business Games will follow Exeter’s approach, proudly welcoming Jo Pavey – Olympic runner and recent runner-up of the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Award – as its ambassador.

The launch of this year’s Exeter Business Games will take place on 29th January 2015 at The Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel.

 

To register your company’s interest in the 2015 Exeter Business Games, please email  debbimoore@bigwavemedia.co.uk or call 0845 643 2385.

To register your interest in the UK Business Games, visit the official website and complete the contact form.

 

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Bigwave Media recognised by recommended agency register

Recommended Agency Register

We are delighted to have achieved Recommended Agency status for the second year running with national body the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

Our clients have rated us highly and we now appear on the online Register; which collates client recommended marketing agencies from across the UK. The ratings are decided from a score out of one hundred for each service provided and a score out of one hundred for seven key criteria: client service; creativity/innovation; effectiveness; strategic thinking; value for money; on time; on Budget.

The recognition comes at an exciting time for us. We recently acquired local Exeter based agency, Digibug; building on our strategy to expand our service delivery teams and offer our clients the very best service.

A BIG thank you to all clients whom rated us, we’re really pleased to be included in the register – thank you!

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The Changing Face of Christmas Campaigns

With the first televised John Lewis Christmas advert being broadcast only 6 years ago, it’s hard to believe that what is now considered to be one of the UK’s most anticipated Christmas ad campaigns is actually little more than a modern phenomenon. But with increasing popularity, media hype and campaign spending (often exceeding £7m each year), the iconic Christmas ad campaign is fast becoming as much of a festive tradition as opening the first window of the advent calendar.

In the wake of this year’s biggest Christmas ad campaign launches from the likes of John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Coca-Cola, we explore the latest campaign staples that are allowing marketers to successfully evolve and get it right – time and time again.

Emotional appeal:

Marketers have gradually mastered the art of harnessing raw emotions associated with the festive season – from joy and excitement to nostalgia and gratitude – and conveying them in commercials with the intention to create maximum emotional impact amongst viewers. Watch Sainsbury’s 2014 Great War themed “Christmas is for Sharing” ad and it becomes clear that – as hard-hitting and tear-jerking as it may be, the overriding message is that humanity can exist even during the toughest of times. For many viewers, this converts into a lasting reaction of immense pride and gratitude.

By frequently snubbing the “glitz and glamour” approach which often involves celebrity endorsement, marketers are instead opting to appeal to the masses with stripped-back, meaningful stories that everyone can relate to. 2013’s M&S ad featuring British fashion models Rosie Huntington-Whitely and David Gandy is thought to have lost the battle of the Christmas campaigns due to viewers struggling to believe that such celebrities would really shop at the high street store. Big brands are instead getting back to basics and saying, “Hey, we’re all the same”. The result? A warm fuzzy feeling towards the brand, perfectly in keeping with Christmas spirits of goodwill and cheer. It seems to be working for John Lewis, with 14,500 people reportedly shedding a tear over this year’s “Monty the Penguin” Christmas advert.

“Guess the brand”:

Whilst advertising campaigns traditionally involve promoting products/services in a generally explicit nature, Christmas campaigns are becoming a common exception to the rule. The festive season often sees big high street and supermarket brands adopting an alternative approach, focussing on an unrelated story using an unbranded creative to promote the “feel-good factor”. This is then associated with the brand, rather than the other way round.  John Lewis for example has gradually weaned itself off brand name-dropping throughout its Christmas ads in recent the years, keeping viewers speculating over who is responsible for the campaign until the big reveal during the last second.

Integrated presence:

A significant step up in the world of Christmas ad campaigns – and arguably the main reason behind the growing hype – is the digital environment that so many Christmas campaigns are thriving in. In recent times, brands behind the most eagerly awaited Christmas campaigns have bucked yet another tradition of debuting their ads on TV, instead choosing to release their latest seasonal campaign for the first time via online platforms. This year M&S did just that, launching its “Magic and Sparkle” Christmas ad via its YouTube channel with Twitter and Facebook users waiting on tenterhooks to share their thoughts.

For truly integrative campaigns, brands have utilised every possible channel to maximise exposure. From in-store interactive technology to featuring in an episode of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, John Lewis has once again trumped expectations. Dropping hints via clever PR stunts months before the launch of its Monty the Penguin campaign, the high street chain delivered unexplained penguin toys to journalists and scattered “#MontythePenguin” billboard clues throughout London Underground stations. Confusion and curiosity created the urge to tweet, post, Instagram and blog about the events, fuelling the pre-launch fire. So, have all the multi-platform efforts been worth it? It may be too early to say, but if the reported £96m sales figure during the week of the campaign launch (a 5% increase on last year) and the 18.5 million YouTube views one month post-release are anything to go by, the answer is yes.

Bigwave media offers a range of campaign management services including planning, execution and analysis. To find out more get in touch, or tweet us @bigwavemedia.

Image source: iStock.com

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