Corporate Christmas gifts – find the best presents for your clients

Corporate Christmas gifts need a lot of thought. That’s why we are already thinking about getting Christmas wrapped up – five months before the big day.

Spirus Marketing can take the stress out of your corporate Christmas by sourcing, packaging and sending beautiful branded presents to your valued customers.

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Seven Summer Marketing Tips for Success

Although businesses don’t close during the summer, so much seems to get put on hold. Here are Spirus’ seven top marketing tips for summer success, to ensure your marketing comms are ready to go when we’re all ‘back to school’ in September, while your competitors are still brushing off the sand!

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My week with Spirus Marketing

Hi, I’m Lisa and I am currently studying for my Masters in Advertising, Branding and Communication at the University of West London. One of my modules this year was to obtain an internship with a company within the creative industries. Part of the process was contacting various companies that looked like they worked with integrity, where I could gain new skills and insight into the creative industry.

 

I struck gold with Spirus Marketing, located in Burwell Cambridgeshire. From my first meeting there was a strong and welcoming atmosphere in the office. Directors Jo and Tania took the time to get to know me and consider how I could get the best out of a internship with them. Within an hour of leaving, I was delighted to see an email confirming possible weeks and projects I could work on. I couldn’t wait to start.

 

Now on my last day in the office I am writing this piece with a sinking feeling that the week has gone by too fast and I don’t wish to say goodbye. During my time here I have got to know the rest of the team who are friendly, vivacious and incredibly hard working. I have been able to experience what conversations take place with new and existing clients and been privileged to be see how the team work together to find the best way to promote their clients. Despite only being here for a week, I felt comfortable offering ideas and opinions and that they were taken on board.

 

One of the things I have learned is that every client’s needs are different and Spirus Marketing is all about finding the best hook/story to best showcase their products and services. They promote collaborations and encourage clients to support other businesses in their area.

 

This week has come in thick and fast and I would like to thank Jo, Tania, Alex and Jo for opening their doors and allowing me to spend the week with them. They are a group of very talented individuals and I wish them the best for the future and hope we will stay in touch. I have downloaded the app and I am looking forward to visiting some talented artists this weekend for Cambridge Open Studios.

Cambridge Open Studios announces 2017 summer dates

Cambridge Open Studios has announced the 2017 dates for its month-long summer art event, which will feature an exciting range of exhibitions by 350 artists at 221 locations in the city and surrounding areas.

Artists of many different kinds will open their doors to the public over the first four weekends in July. Among the huge range of specialisms will be: fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture making, and more besides.

Dates for your diary

The weekends are: July 1/2, 8/9, 15/16 and 22/23. However, as not all artists will exhibit every weekend it is important to check the website, or refer to the famous yellow guide. These guides will be widely available in local outlets including libraries, tourist information sites, galleries and selected shops.

New app for 2017

New for 2017 is an app that will make visit planning even easier. The app will be available to download at the end of June for Apple and Android.

Sonia Villiers, board member of Cambridge Open Studios, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for members of the public to see artists at work, discuss their inspirations and techniques, and to browse, purchase or even commission their work. As always, visitors are guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome – and no pressure whatsoever to buy anything. All Cambridge Open Studios are completely free to visitors of all ages.

“Cambridge Open Studios is a rewarding and enriching initiative offering a really entertaining insight into the multi-faceted world of art. We would encourage visitors to call in to as many studios as possible, perhaps planning a route through a particular area incorporating lunch in one of the many local pubs, cafes and restaurants. It would make an inspiring day out for the whole family.”

More than 350 members are exhibiting in 221 different studios. Many of the artists share studios or work in a collective so in some locations visitors may be able to see work from several artists and craftspeople.

A yellow COS flag identifies an “open studio”

The participating studios are spread throughout the whole region, not just in the city centre, and there will be a wonderful variety of talent on show, with some artists collaborating to share their exhibition space on their chosen dates. As usual, the distinctive yellow COS flags will be out to identify participating studios.

Follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @camopenstudios
Download the 2017 guide book from the website or pick one up from galleries, tourist information sites, cafes, shops and park ‘n’ ride sites in and around Cambridge.

With thanks to COS member Andrew Stickland of Andrew Stickland Furniture for use of his photo in this post.

Spirus Marketing Ltd are proud to be the PR and marketing consultants for Cambridge Open Studios.

What makes a good website?

Website design is not just about the look of your website, it includes the chances of your website being found in a Google search, the ability to interest and convert customers and how well the site works for users. A good website is vital to your business success – in many cases a website is your shop front or at least the main source of information about your products, services and values. Here we share six ways to get it right.

Website development – looks and functionality

An attractive, streamlined website that reflects your brand personality and clearly showcases your products or services is important. Website design that makes it easy to navigate from a user’s perspective is also key. An experienced web developer will build you a website that delivers a speedy and efficient service for your customers, as well as optimising your chances of being found by search engines. A mini website review can help pinpoint weak areas of your current site, whether that is broken links, slow to load images, a high bounce rate or poor copy.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

If you want to be on the first page of Google results when people search for services and products like yours, you will need help with Search Engine Optimisation. This means the content of your website is clear and easy to read and contains the keywords and phrases that your customers are likely to search for. It also helps attract customers from your local area. Other important aspects for good SEO include correct title tags, lack of duplication, compelling meta descriptions, internal page links and trustworthy external links. All of these help search engines to find your site.

Sharp and accurate web content

Your words need to work hard. They need to be interesting, relevant and spelled correctly! They also need to be persuasive, directing users clearly to locate information and take action. Plenty of design agencies can make a website look beautiful; not all can provide the carefully crafted content as well. Furthermore, your content needs to score well on ‘readability’ for Google to rank your site highly. We offer a full website rewrite service to help address all of these issues.

Blogs and case studies

A regular stream of lively and engaging blogs and case studies will draw visitors to your site and increase your Google search rankings, as well as providing copy that can be shared on social media platforms such as Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Updating content frequently is an important way to get your business seen. Don’t have enough time or inspiration to write blogs for your website? We can help.

Video content

Video content holds visitors’ attention, whether it’s an introduction to your products or services, or helpful “how to” videos to add value and encourage repeat visits. Videos engage people for longer on your website, which means more time spent by them looking at your brand and your business.

Analytics

Website analytics are a powerful tool in monitoring and improving your website. They’re easily available but you need to know what you’re looking for, and analyse the results regularly. Getting loads of traffic on a particular page but 0% conversion rates? Try changing your call to action or product selection, and compare results. Analytics are a huge help, but you need advice on how to act on them.

We offer a wide range of web design and web content services.

Call on 01638 741830 to find out more or drop us an email: hello@spirusmarketing.com

Copywriting coaching and training for your staff

Would you like to improve copywriting skills within your business? How many times have you needed to write a blog, newsletter, annual report, website content or press release and felt no one had the correct training within your business to create the content?

Spirus can help you bring excellent communication skills in-house. If you would like help developing the writing skills of your staff, then you’re in the right place.

Copywriting coaching and clinics that come to you

We now offer training services to businesses that would like to develop employees’ writing talents and optimise their potential. We want to empower organisations to make words work harder. Whether that’s 1-1 coaching, either on a specific project or for ongoing support, or group workshops covering anything from general writing for business to specific purposes like sales, marketing, recruitment, PR or social media, we are here to help. We’re friendly, we’re flexible and we’re confident we can make a real difference – at any and every level of your organisation.

Our coaching and copywriting clinics can be tailor-made to suit your specific needs, or you can choose from a selection of recommended packages. We come to you, so there’s no need for travel, and follow-up sessions can be conducted via phone or Skype to suit you. It’s training on tap, at a pace and level which is pitched just right for each person or group.

Good copywriting gets you noticed

The written word is one of the most powerful tools available to businesses. From internal communications to unite employees behind a common goal, to persuasive sales queries that get results, headline-worthy PR messages which raise your profile or engaging social media content which really connects with people, good writing is something no business can afford to be without.

It’s surprising though, how many people lack confidence when it comes to writing. It’s also surprising how much difference a few simple changes can make, both to individuals and to organisations. Bringing your communication strategy to life while helping your staff to meet their professional development targets could be a lot simpler than you think. And that’s what we’re here to talk about.

Our extensive copywriting experience

Our copywriters have amassed quite a bit of experience over the years, spanning multiple industries, sectors, formats and styles. We know how to write on brand, whatever that brand might be, and to write consistent, compelling content across a range of formats. We know how to craft copy that convinces, to wield words which are fit for their intended purpose. We *get* writing. And the truth is, there’s no real mystery to it. You can learn it too.

We even have a free offer to get you started

As an introduction, we are offering a FREE copywriting and communications assessment. This might be writing from one person who wants to develop their skills, or business communications like customer satisfaction surveys, sales emails or marketing material. We will give honest, constructive feedback, no strings attached. After that, you’ll have the option to just say thanks and carry on your way, or to take up the further benefits of coaching or group workshops.

If you’re interested in a free writing assessment, or want to dive straight in with coaching or a group clinic, just drop us a line at hello@spirusmarketing.com and let’s have a chat.

Networking event supports Alzheimer’s charity

Supporting charities is something close to our hearts at Spirus, so we are delighted to be attending the next B2B Networking event at Mantle Business Centre this week, where proceeds of the ticket sales will go to Alzheimer’s Research.

Most families are affected by Alzheimer’s’ disease at some point so this is a cause that will be important for many of the people attending. When businesses come together for a common cause good things can happen . We will be manning a stall at the event and are looking forward to chatting to the delegates attending. We hope you will drop by to try out our competition, where the prize on offer is a free sample of one of our services.

Enter our competition

We want to show you that Spirus Marketing is ‘Where ideas hatch,’ so we have come up with a fun egg-themed lucky dip. We will have a large jar of plastic eggs – each containing a scrumptious chocolate treat – and inside three of them will also be a winning ticket.

Winners will be able to choose from a prize of a free press release, a sales calls package, a blog or a sample social media package.

Mantles Business Centre is one of our favourite networking locations because we managed their launch event when the centre opened last year. We hope to see you there!

5 ways a CRM will improve your sales calls

CRM systems can turn your sales calls from so-so to memorable and meaningful. The CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and in order to build better relationships with your customers it is well worth investing in this software.

Used properly by your team, the CRM will be a brilliant tool for storing every scrap of information you have about clients and potential leads. Of course a CRM system is only effective if everyone uses it. If you do take the plunge, you will:

Never forget a call with a CRM

Can you always remember to make an important call – even if it is several weeks down the line? A potential client may say they can’t decide on a piece of work until after their AGM next month. How do you ensure you call back on the right day? Yes, you could put it on your calendar, but your CRM will help you remember the finer details that could clinch the deal including notes from previous calls and emails.

If you schedule the appointment in your CRM you will be reminded and have all that data to hand. This method gives you the confidence that no opportunities will be missed.  Your telesales department will be more efficient as a result.

Improve your success rate with a CRM

Being organised when you collect your data is one of the key markers for success in sales, even more so than an extrovert personality, as Mercedes found out with their top sales people.

Integrate all of your information

If you feel overwhelmed by your database, using a CRM system can organise it into a much more manageable format. A CRM system is interactive and simple to use compared with hundreds of spreadsheets with no meaningful links between them. All of the information about your clients, projects, suppliers, etc. is kept in one database which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Make your clients feel valued

A great use of your CRM is to add little notes about your conversation onto the lead’s file every time you chat to them. Are they planning a major holiday or do they have a special birthday coming up? A note will help you remember this information next time you call them and can add depth to your conversation. The customer will appreciate your attention to detail and you won’t have to rely on memory alone to support your conversations.

Keep continuity when a staff member leaves

Never again will you face the nightmare of trying to pick up a project when a staff member is sick or leaves. All of the information about the project, the emails and the notes about telephone conversations should be stored in one place in your CRM. That means you can pick up where they left off without the need for a long hand over note.

We work with various CRM systems and can help you find the right fit for your company. If you want to kick start your sales calls and are looking for an unbiased view as to which CRM will work for you, please get in touch via email: hello@spirusmarketing.com or phone 01638 741830. We would love to have that conversation with you.

Single Parents Wanted for Cambridge Uni Research – can you help?

Can you help with a Cambridge University survey in return for a £20 Love2shop voucher?

Cambridge University wants to speak to single parents, aged 35 or under, who live with their children less than half of the time. The researchers need to speak to parents who have their child to stay with them for at least one night a fortnight, or would if they had suitable accommodation.

Participants must have children under 18 and must not be living with a partner to qualify. A researcher will call you to conduct a short telephone survey – that’s all you need to do. All of your answers would be confidential and data kept anonymous.

Single parents be quick!

We only need 20 participants, based anywhere in the UK, so please get in touch quickly as it will be first come first serve. Please feel free to share this information if it might be of interest to someone you know.

If you can help with this research project, please get in touch on 01638 741830 or tania@spirusmarketing.com

Spirus Marketing celebrates 4th birthday with exciting new client

This month we celebrate our fourth birthday and share our birthday cake with an exciting new client.

Launched by Tania Verdonk and Jo Riches, Spirus has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and is excited to announce it is now working with recycling and waste management company Ellgia.

Joe Rudd, sales director of Ellgia, joined us for a slice of birthday cake, which was supplied by Regency Cakes in Exning. It was also the perfect ocassion to talk about their new strategies for targeting specific opportunities through all marketing channels.

Tania said: “We love what we do and I think that our passion for growing businesses shines through all of our work. We have steadily expanded our customer base over the last four years and I’m so happy that we can celebrate our journey this month with our latest client.

“Profile building and brand awareness will always be a part of our marketing strategy for any business, but our ultimate focus is growing sales for our clients.”

Based in East Anglia, Ellgia provides commercial waste management and recycling solutions for businesses across the East of England. Using innovative technology, they are able to build high-quality, tailored and cost-effective solutions for their customers’ waste management needs.

Joe Rudd, sales director of Ellgia, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Spirus on the next stage of our marketing strategy as we are at an exciting stage with our business and want to partner with an agency who will help us to maximise our opportunities. Spirus have a great team of creative and passionate marketing professionals and we believe that working together will take Ellgia to the next level in terms of reach and sales.

“I want to wish them a happy fourth birthday and to say thank you for sharing their delicious cake.”