Read Time: 5 Minutes

Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media and Chorley based ‘Just Write By Lucy B’ are calling for business owners to come together to support the local business community under a new initiative spearheaded by the Invoke team.

Invoke Media launched its Coronavirus Business Assistance Scheme at the end of March in response to the current crisis, currently providing free marketing services to over 80 independently-owned businesses. The services are provided without charge, obligation or ulterior motive – a promise backed by a signed guarantee. 

The Invoke Media team were approached by Lucy Bullough of Just Write By Lucy B, with an offer of support for the generous scheme and the two businesses have been working together on a number of projects, supporting the businesses most affected by the crisis.

The scheme has been a great success but is approaching workload capacity and requires assistance from other businesses who may have an in-house team of marketers who can help service those in need of support. 

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“The scheme has been a victim of its own success, with us quickly approaching a point where we can no longer accept any more applications. Whilst there seems to be some sense of normality returning and the light is at the end of the tunnel, the effects of COVID-19 on small and independently-run businesses will last considerably longer.

I would like to continue the great work we’ve been doing and extend that to as many businesses as possible, but in order to do so, we need the support of other businesses. I am simply not in a position to hire more staff at this time and I know there are businesses out there that can help who either have the capacity to do so, or have furloughed members of their marketing team who could help.”

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughed staff can conduct voluntary work or seek alternative employment for their furlough period. Under this local business support initiative, a marketer that is furloughed could conduct work that both helps other local businesses and gives them new skills.

Volunteer marketers are asked to not be currently under the employment of a marketing agency and they must have the consent of their employer before partaking in the support scheme. 

Jack Barron continued:

“The reason we are asking for in-house marketers only is because we can not guarantee that those currently in an agency role would not seek to engage the supported business as a client, an in-house marketer is far less likely to be in a position to do so. As it is myself that is signing a guarantee that there will be no attempt to sell services, it would put us in a very difficult position and could undermine all of the good work we are doing. It just doesn’t seem like a good gamble to me when there are a sufficient number of in-house marketers ready to help.

Aside from protecting my business, I think we can add the most value to an in-house marketer, with the training provided and the insight into alternative industries providing skills they can take back to their employer.”

Lucy Bullough, Director of Just Write By Lucy B said:

“This is a great opportunity for the local business community to come together in difficult times and provide support for those most in need. 

Employers that have furloughed their marketing teams and are willing to participate will benefit from keeping their marketers engaged as well as learning new skills that will be brought back to the business. 

It is important now more than ever to keep your team engaged and their mind’s active. It also has the added benefit of helping the local economy get back on its feet.”

Volunteers can expect to be trained on the Invoke Media developed 250-point marketing health check, a system of diagnosing and triaging areas of concern and opportunity for businesses. They will also be trained on the COSTEM-AP method of developing marketing strategy, a proprietary framework for developing fast and efficient marketing plans. 

Those currently in employment under furlough are asked to seek the consent of their employers before engaging in any voluntary work to ensure there are no misunderstandings or issues. Employers wishing to commit resources should contact Invoke Media to arrange an initial call. 

Commitment to the scheme can be as little as 3 hours per week and all volunteers would be bound under non-disclosure agreements to protect those being supported. Anyone wanting to volunteer or wishing to find out more should email hello@invokemedia.co.uk at the earliest opportunity.

Press Contact

Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive

Invoke Media

Email

Kirsty@invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone

01772 921 109

Read Time: 6 Minutes

 

The current pandemic and associated crisis are understandably causing considerable uncertainty and anxiety. People are struggling with feelings of helplessness and fear, as they try to adjust to the new normal way of life offered by lockdown. 

Of course, the media plays its role in spreading fear and negativity, with selective statistics on infection rates and death tolls, and promoting stories that further a narrative aligned with a Stephen King novel. This combined with the restrictions placed on everyday life and routine, means it can be hard to feel hopeful about the future.

I’d like to pose an alternative view. What if we stopped to look for the positives and opportunities rather than the negatives and fear? We, of course, need to be mindful that there are many who have lost loved ones, have suffered mental ill health or lost businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we should dwell on it. 

I propose an alternative view of tasteful-positivity. Looking for the positives whilst acknowledging the pain of others. Identifying opportunities rather than focusing on the threats. The people that embrace this spirit are the optimistic-adapters that will drive the country, economy and society forward whilst the pessimistic wet-wipes try to hold us back.

In the last two months, we have seen many people reaching out to each other to provide support and reassurance. We’ve seen industries thrive whilst others suffer, and as with any period of adversity, we’ve seen ingenuity defiantly flourish in the face of hardship. 

Of course, what you will largely see in the press is not the positive feel-good stories of community and adaptability, but the defeatist gloom that gets these fear-peddlers the clicks they so desperately want. It’s toxic, and the media could not have got the tone more wrong and misaligned in this crisis. 

Impact on Business

There isn’t one business that hasn’t been affected by coronavirus. Whether it is decreased revenue (or increased!), changes to procedure and systems or the adoption of new technologies to facilitate remote working. 

If you believe in natural selection, which I do, you will understand that as a race we have survived and thrived by our amazing ability to adapt to circumstances and our environment. There is a popular notion, spread by professional naysayers and peddlers of negativity, that we are a cancer or scourge of the Earth, here to eat away at its resources. We are in fact a product of the Earth and the greatest gift we have been given is our stalwart determination and adaptability in the face of adversity and strife.

Those businesses that are viewing the situation with tasteful-positivity and are looking to create or maximise opportunity, without profiteering or exploiting, are examples of our resilience and adaptability and will be the ones that survive and thrive this difficult period. They are the ones that will evolve and overcome. 

These are the businesses that see the current situation as an exciting problem to solve or challenge to overcome, and are getting creative to turn the current situation to their advantage by figuring out new ways to serve and benefit their customers.

I came across a real example of this today. After having a conversation with the owner of a Fish and Chip Shop (diet doesn’t count in lockdown) I was impressed at how after the initial blow of lockdown, he and his team had bounced back and embraced modern channels to reopen, and in fact, have record days in takings during this period. Having been hesitant in the past to use Facebook or provide a ‘click and collect’ service, he saw an opportunity and grabbed it by the proverbials. This is a great example of someone embracing change and using digital in the least likely of traditional industries. He’s kept his business afloat (pun intended) and provided a much-needed service to his hungry customers. It was also a bloody good meal (The Village Fish Bar, highly recommended!) 

Digital Usage

As someone who has studied an MSc in marketing and is currently studying another in psychology, I’m obviously quite interested in behaviour. Particularly consumer digital behaviour.

An expected and understandable change in behaviour in lockdown is the increase in digital usage. As people stay indoors, lack face-to-face social interaction, and try to keep abreast of current developments, they are quite expectedly going to have changed the way they engage with others, find information and entertain themselves.

Recent statistics from Virgin Media show that internet usage is up 100%, a number echoed and in some cases exceeded by other providers across the globe.

In the absence of speaking to work colleagues at lunch, saying hi to that stranger in the street (only in the North of England obviously) or going out with friends for dinner, we seek to stimulate our social and intellectual needs in the digital world, and of course, social media plays a key role in doing so.

I proposed the idea earlier that there was a group of people who adapted to change, were optimistic and operated with a view of tasteful-positivity. I also posited the idea that there were those who thrive off negativity and were doing nothing to adapt to the current climate. 

I stop for a second to ask you, without prejudice or judgement, which category you feel you fit in?

Adapting to Change

The increased usage of digital channels provides an opportunity for the optimistic-adapter, the true entrepreneur. The Jack Russell Terrier of the business world (nature’s eternal optimists).

Your customers are without a doubt online. In 2019, 91% of all adults and 99% of people aged 16 to 44 in the UK had used the internet (ONS). Those individuals are now using it more than ever, more times in a day, for longer periods. 

There has never been a better time to engage your prospective customers online. As other businesses scale down their ad spend, social presence and marketing efforts, they provide you with an opportunity to tap into a captive audience and secure the market share they were too pessimistic to keep. 

Now is the time to engage your existing customers and more crucially, sweep up those customers that your competitors and other providers have abandoned, provide them with excellent value and service, and come out of this crisis with both fists swinging and a raging hard on at how well you’ve done. Not muddle through whilst your business is chipped away at. It’s time to adapt and invest, because we just don’t know how long this will last for and when it will be back (or something similar!).

What if you can’t sell your goods right now because of the crisis? Then get online, start generating awareness, conversations and leads so you can develop relationships for when you are able to! 

There will be a goldrush (or bloodbath) when the market finally makes its return (in whatever industry you operate in) for a short time at least. People will clamber for market share and it’s going to get noisy. 

If you are waiting until then to gain or resecure market share and customers, you have already lost the race. You will be drowned out amongst all the other people who’ve sat back and waited until it was ‘safe’ to engage and invest in their customers and business. The true winners will be those who have initiated and developed relationships throughout this period, have provided value and are already giving proverbial backrubs to the customers you cared about winning 7 weeks ago. 

What if I said you could get in the living room, bedroom and even toilet of your customers on a daily basis (in lockdown too!) with a highly relevant and engaging message? Would that be an interesting or attractive idea? What if I said there had never been a better time to do it? If the audience was captive and open to your messages? Would you think that sounds like a good plan? It is and you can. 

When are you going to do it? Now or when everyone else is?

This article was a long-winded way of saying…now is the time to reach your customers online, not later. An investment in digital now, will pay in dividends…quite literally.

Jack Barron

Director

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starting his marketing journey at age 15 promoting music events, Jack went on to plan, market and execute his own events before joining the British Army and serving two front-line tours of Helmand Province. Upon returning to ‘civvy street’ he set up Rebel Marketing to provide marketing consultancy services to the events industry. At around the same time, he undertook an Events Management Degree at the University of Central Lancashire, attaining a 1st Class (Hons) Bachelor Degree, before moving to Manchester to work as the digital marketing manager for a city centre agency specialising in financial services marketing, eventually becoming their marketing director.
Whilst there he undertook an MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Unversity before reactivating and rebranding Rebel Marketing as Invoke Media in 2015. After moving Invoke Media to his hometown of Preston in 2018 to support the development and growth of the area, he has since started further studies and is due to complete another MSc in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. His experience working in the fast-moving events industry from a young age, along with a strong drive and discipline fostered by his time on the front line, all contribute to the work ethic and values of the company.

In times of uncertainty, your marketing activity may be the last thing on your mind, but maintaining an active online presence is incredibly important. Now is the time to reassure customers, share positive news and provide company announcements. 

There’s a multitude of things you can be doing to keep your brand/business/organisation front of mind, aside from selling or marketing messages. 

What is Front of Mind Awareness?

First of all, you may be wondering what Front of Mind (FoM) even is. Front of Mind Awareness (also known as Top of Mind Awareness) is defined as the first brand, product or service that comes to mind in a specific category. 

Here’s a quick exercise for you, what’s the first brand that comes to mind when asked the following?

Sofa?

Coffee?

Luxury Cars?

Marketing Agency?

Soft Drink?

I tried this with our marketing assistant Nina and this is what she said:

Sofa? DFS

Coffee? Costa

Luxury car? Ferrari 

Marketing Agency? Invoke Media 

Soft drink? Coke

Chances are many of these answers will be similar, simply because big brands have curated a large mass of relevant and cohesive content, memorable adverts and have spent top dollar on advertising. 

Now, lots of small businesses don’t have multi-million budgets but there are many ways you can stay front of mind with an SME budget and achieve big brand awareness. 

5 Steps to Keep Front of Mind

Be different

Start with what makes you different as a brand. Consider what makes your company special. Is it market niche? High service level? Clearly articulate this message to customers across social media channels and email. If you’re struggling to determine your key USP’s we’d advise on performing a competitor analysis using SWOT as a framework, to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will clearly help you define who you are as a brand and your key unique selling points. A competitor analysis helps you learn the ins and out of how your competition works, and identify what they’re doing wrong and how you can do it better. We regularly run these for our own business and for our clients, and they’re a great way of keeping on top of the market, and understanding what is working (and isn’t!) for others. 

 

Connect emotionally

This is a huge one for all businesses. By doing something small, it proves to your customers that you genuinely care about them, creates memorability and it resonates with the public. If a social media feed is full of negativity, a positive post really can hit home with many consumers. How you do that will depend on your type of business but here’s one that really struck a chord with us: 

Local Preston restaurant The Silk Route delivered free food to frontline health workers. This small gesture will stick at the forefront of many customer’s minds and they’ll likely order from there again. We know where we’ll be getting our next office takeaway from 🙂 

 Of course, it is essential that you act appropriately and any goodwill gestures are genuine, and from the heart. Your customers aren’t daft and they won’t appreciate it if they think you’re taking advantage of the situation to further your own ends. 

Check with someone and see how it looks from an objective eye. We’re more than happy to help you at no cost if you just need us to look at something and give our opinion.

 

Edgar the Dragon: John Lewis…experts at connecting with their audience emotionally.

Build an email list

Building an email list takes time and a solid strategy, but it’s well worth it to be able to market to your customers and stay front of mind, with one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels. 

Here are some ways you can build your list: 

  • Offer value-added material on your site or social to capture email addresses (a free recipe, a discount code)
  • Launch a competition on your social media or website
  • Ask your existing contacts and customers if they’d be okay going on your list
  • Put an exit-intent popup on your site

If you’ve already got a loyal following of newsletter subscribers, you’re halfway there. By emailing your subscribers regularly with fresh and relevant content, you’ll stay front-of-mind and ultimately will keep your customers’ engaged. The inbox is one of the most direct ways to connect with audiences, as long as emails are consistent and packed with value. 

 

Use consistent branding

Use any downtime your teams may have currently to re-evaluate your branding. Look at your brand identity as a whole, your website design, the look and feel of your social media channels, the quality of images, infographics. All of these contribute to brand recall. You may have the best product or service out there but if you have branding that isn’t consistent or looks poor, your business may not be front-of-mind. 

One of the key starting points for many businesses is to consult their Style Guide/Brand Guidelines. If you haven’t got one take a look at some fantastic templates. We’ve created two versions for you to look at, see the corporate style HERE or the more modern style HERE.

The Style Guide will act as your bible for all things branding, take the time to re-evaluate your fonts and colour choices. Are there any colour contrasts? Is the header typeface legible? Something as simple as a colour can really impact your brand, according to Forbes Magazine “Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%”. Take note of some of these questions when you are looking at your branding strategy, if you do require any additional help, please contact us and we’d e happy to help.

By having a clearly defined set of brand guidelines you can ensure consistency across your marketing communications and business as a whole. This becomes all the more important when you hire new staff or outsource elements of your marketing to other businesses.

 

Create freebies

Everyone loves a freebie – either a free trial, free download, free eBook or free advice. It’s a great starting point for brands to connect with a consumer on the buyer journey. Once you have their trust there is a much higher likelihood that they will buy from you or re-engage with your services again. Please do ensure that this tactic is part of an overall marketing strategy, to effectively manage your results. 

Will you be trying any of the tips above? If so let us know, it’d be great to hear some success stories. 

As we like to practice what we preach, we will be providing a series of free guides, articles and resources in the Lancashire area, advising on how best to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on their business. We will be happy to provide you with advice or help in any way that we can assist your business, just get in touch.

 

Kirsty Doyle

Marketing Executive

Invoke Media

01772 921 109

Being successful in business is about more than simply having a great idea and a good business model. It’s also about nurturing your own character so that you, yourself, can be successful in whatever you do. This is especially important when you’re a small or medium-sized business, where you often find that the directors and founders wear multiple ‘hats’, performing a range of job functions within the business.

There’s a reason why so many successful businessmen and women seem somewhat similar to one another: confident, outgoing, and forward-thinking. There are certain character traits that just lend themselves to good business acumen, and topping the list should be optimism. Here are six reasons why optimism is a trait every entrepreneur should seek to possess.

1. Optimism increases productivity

Research has shown that optimistic people work harder, probably because they can more clearly see the goal they’re working towards. Maintaining a positive outlook is proven to increase productivity and therefore make you better at business.

2. Optimism begets optimism

A good mood is contagious, and optimism is largely the same; business is usually people-centric, and when you’re constantly surrounded by clients, colleagues, and staff, the last thing you want to do is put them off with your dreary personality. People around you will enjoy your optimism and probably become more optimistic themselves because of it.

Heard of the law of attraction? Whilst it is widely considered pseudoscientific, there’s something to be said for having a positive mindset. Believing that you can achieve your goals, and conveying that to those around you, is certainly going to be helpful (if not a precondition!) of success.

3. Optimism doesn’t accept failure

Failure is normal; not every business venture succeeds. Those entrepreneurs who succeed overall are the ones who can take failures and get back up again with determination in their eyes. Pessimists fall at the first hurdle; optimists stay in the race. In times of hardship, which in business you will undoubtedly face, the ability to dust off and get back up is essential. The Coronavirus Pandemic, which floored businesses and the economy as a whole, could be viewed as the end, or as an opportunity, lesson or rebirth. How you perceive setback and how you respond to them will have a direct impact on the resilience of your business.

Optimism: An essential attribute of entrepreneurialism

4. Optimism is healthier

Whether you’re in business or not, it’s a good idea to nurture your own sense of optimism if only for your health. A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that optimistic participants were 76% more likely to have an ‘ideal’ health score.

5. Optimism means growth

Optimists are more likely than pessimists to venture outside of their comfort zones and try something new. In business, nothing is more important than this. The old adage rings true: nothing risked, nothing gained. Business is all about innovation, and how can we innovate if we’re afraid to try something new?

6. Optimism just… makes sense

At the end of the day, pessimism is just not going to get you very far. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why are you doing it? You might as well just quit, right? When you realise that optimism really is the only sensible attitude you can have when it comes to business, you’ll realise how important it is to practice thinking positively – even when the chips are down.

For advice and assistance with business strategy and marketing – or even just a friendly pep talk in entrepreneurial optimism – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Local Businesses Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic To Receive Free Support

Preston marketing agency Invoke Media offers free services to local businesses to help them survive the impact of COVID-19

Cotton Court Business Centre based marketing agency Invoke Media, are offering a range of free services to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, to help them survive the difficult economic climate.

The move comes as the future of tens of thousands of businesses in the county is brought into question as a result of the pandemic and the associated measures aimed at curbing its spread.

Free support for Lancashire based SMEs

The services are being offered free of charge, and without a catch, obligation or any attempt by the agency to sell services. The charitable move comes as Invoke themselves suffer in the current climate of uncertainty.

Invoke moved their business to Preston from Manchester in June of 2018, in part, to support and be a part of the growth and development of the Central Lancashire area; a move that Invoke Media director says has been massively beneficial to the business.

 

 

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“We moved the business to my home town nearly 2 years ago to be a part of its growth. Financially it was the best move we could have made, and we have been working with some amazing clients from the local area. There’s a great business community around here and we have a lot to be grateful to Preston and Lancashire for.

I think now is an opportunity for us to pay back into the local business community and local economy when it needs it most. We’re here for the long haul, that’s got to be through the tough times as well as the good ones. Now is the time to get stuck in and help others in the area who find themselves struggling or set back because of recent events”.

Many businesses have found themselves without cash flow, and have therefore stopped marketing or disengaged with their agencies. Invoke Media intend to provide an alternative option, that allows businesses to stay at the forefront of their customer’s minds without any financial burden.

Their ability to provide these services free of charge is owed largely to a comprehensive business continuity and resilience plan written earlier in the year. Key members of the team will not be furloughed, instead, any additional capacity created as a result of COVID-19 will be put to use helping the local business community.

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron

Jack Barron added:
“We aren’t expecting to onboard any new clients over the next three months at the very least, and we ourselves have been hit hard by recent events, with 80% of our revenue disappearing within a week. What better way to use the capacity generated over the coming months than to help others and build bridges in the local community.

We have been humbled by the kind acts of other businesses and we’d like to pass that goodwill forward”.

Services include group conference calls with local business owners, one-to-one support and consultancy, social media management, marketing health checks and much more.

The services are available immediately with monthly reviews. Some services are expected to be in high demand, so you are advised to enquire as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

To take advantage of the offer visit: http://www.invokemedia.co.uk/coronavirus-business-assistance/

Press Contact
Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive
Invoke Media

Email
Kirsty@invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone
01772 921 109

The threat of disruption comes in many forms for the modern organisation. Things like viruses, earthquakes and cyber attacks are bigger threats than ever. With technology playing an ever-increasing role in business processes and consumer expectations, there are more things that can go wrong. You’ll rarely be given any advance warning when a disruption occurs, so the only way to be prepared is to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). But what is a BCP, how does it work and how do you create one?

What is a BCP?

A BCP gives comprehensive guidance on the procedures and processes that must be followed in the event an organisation experiences a significant disruption. It must identify the risks that could cause issues for the organisation, such as:

– Economic issues
– Civil unrest
– Internal vulnerabilities
– Cyberattacks/Cybercrime
– Technological problems
– Extreme weather events
– Public health issues

Business disruption can come in many forms.

Every identified risk should be followed by a set of temporary measures and/or quick fixes to keep as many important business operations as functional as possible. Most organisations will prioritise their technologies, as things like online systems, network connections, phone lines, servers, business applications and network drives are all vulnerable to disruption. Furthermore, if something goes wrong with any of these technologies, it can cause serious problems across the entire business.

That said, business continuity planning is about more than just protecting IT functions. It centres around the critical activities that could instantly jeopardise your services and productivity if disrupted. Thus, IT is one of several resources that are essential for the preservation of those activities.

Restoring your IT could take some time, so it’s important to have plans in place for how business can keep going in the meantime. Temporary solutions can be low-tech ones, like carrying out processes with good old pen and paper. Whatever solutions you plan, they should be thoroughly documented in a BCP to inform employees of how to proceed.

What should be included in a BCP?

There are certain things any good BCP should cover. These are:

Purpose and scope:

You must establish the purpose of the plan and what it covers, particularly if your organisation includes subsidiaries and/or multiple locations. You may want to consider making separate plans for each subsidiary/location.

Responsibilities:

You must identify the employees who will be responsible for enacting the plan. Smaller organisations might only need a single leader, while larger organisations may need to nominate a group. You may also need to give authority to anyone who needs to handle the financial costs of disruption.

Plan invocation:

When and how will the plan come into effect? It’s not always clear whether a disruption meets the criteria, so you will need to document who starts the process and how to mobilise the response teams.

Development of the BCP:

This is where you put the meat onto the bones; the actions needed to recover from the disruptions you identify. You will need to carry out a risk assessment and a Business Impact Assessment (BIA) to identify threats and the impact they will have on your organisation. With this information to hand, you can outline the steps required for each disruption to protect people, contain the disruption and prevent further disturbance to priority activities.

Communication:

Plan for how internal and external communications will be maintained. This might include how to notify next of kin if your employees’ wellbeing is at risk. You will also want to plan for communications with the media.

Stakeholders: Your BCP should contain contact details of stakeholders, as they will need to be notified immediately following a disruption.

Document owner, approver and record of changes:

The BCP is owned by the business continuity manager, who takes responsibility for reviewing and testing the procedures.

Managing changes:

The plan should be available in both hard copy and digital formats, and all staff should have access. If changes are made, the digital and hard copy forms must be updated.

Doing it right

If you include everything listed above, the other key consideration is to test, or ‘validate’, it. You should test it at least twice a year to ensure it is still relevant. Having a business plan for preserving continuity following a disruption will help protect your organisation’s reputation, boost employee morale and strengthen relationships with third parties and subsidiaries. Every organisation should have a BCP – you will be glad of it if/when something happens. If you don’t have a BCP in place already, you should address that immediately to ensure your organisation can remain productive at all times.

Preston Marketing Agency Invoke Media Invest In Expert Sleep Consultation For Staff & Clients.

Cotton Court Business Centre based Invoke Media has commissioned sleep experts Sleephubs to undertake an assessment of their team and clients. Participants will conduct an online sleep checkup and a week-long sleeping habits evaluation, before undertaking the scientifically-backed Somnify course to improve the quality of their sleep.

The move comes as Invoke Media takes a more proactive approach to the wellbeing of their team and clients, as part of their new wellness initiative. Employees already benefit from free gym memberships, and there are future plans to expand the support provided to staff and acknowledge the link between physical and mental health.

Lack of sleep can cause serious health issues and reduce productivity

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron said:

“The health benefits of sleep can not be underestimated, both physical and mental. Employers have a legal and moral obligation to the health and wellbeing of their team, and with the direction that legislation is taking, that obligation will only increase. Sleep is however often overlooked when it comes to company wellbeing and health policies.

Sleep is crucial to our mental health, physical recovery, memory formation, productivity and overall health and wellbeing. It should be at the top of every employer’s agenda, if not out of the goodness of their heart, for the benefit of their bottom line.

Tired people make mistakes, take more days off and produce less work at a lower quality than those who are properly rested. It’s time we acknowledged sleep and the impact it can have on business, big or small”.

Economists predict that poor sleep accounts for 200,000 lost working days each year. That, combined with the negative impact on productivity, amounts to an estimated annual loss of £40bn to the UK economy, that’s around 2% of GDP. 

The impact on business is clear, but the impact on individual health and wellbeing is staggering. Sleep is a biological necessity and short sleep predicts a short life according to neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker. Along with increased mortality, there is an increased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s, negative effects on the immune system and poor mood regulation. With the World Health Organisation classing night-time shift work as a probable carcinogen, the problem is clear. 

Invoke director Jack, who is currently studying for a Masters in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire has a personal interest in the topic. He said:

Invoke Director Jack Barron

“I’ve undertaken my latest masters degree with a keen interest in cognition, memory, habits, sleep and productivity. As someone that generally gets no more than 5 hours sleep a night, I know I am doing myself and my business a disservice and I’d like to lead the way locally in putting sleep and positive foundational habits at the top of the business agenda.

After visiting the Sante Group, a health, wellness and employee benefits business based in Fulwood, and seeing their attitude to wellbeing, I’ve decided to make proactive movements with my own business. I don’t just want it to stop at our team, I’m opening this up to our family of clients and I’d like to offer two spare spaces to Lancashire business owners and entrepreneurs free of charge, to hopefully help them and their businesses too”. 

The course, which is fully funded by Invoke Media costs around £150 per person, leverages the knowledge and experience of an international team of sleep experts. 

Participants will attend a one-hour event at Cotton Court on the 3rd of March, where they will be briefed by Sleephubs founder Charlie Oulton. They will then track their sleep habits for a week, before submitting their results and receiving an online consultation with the Sleephubs experts. Finally, they will undertake a bespoke course over a number of weeks, which experiences success rates of over 80%.

If you would like to apply for one of the two places, you must be a Lancashire based business or entrepreneur and be available to attend the event on the afternoon of 3rd March. 

You will first need to undertake the free Sleephubs checkup at sleephubs.com/checkup-about and then send a screenshot of your results to hello@invokemedia.co.uk 

Further Information

Invoke Media is a marketing agency based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre after moving from Manchester in 2018. The boutique agency boasts local clients such as the San Marco Group of restaurants, healthcare insurance provider Nugent Sante and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Press Contact:

Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive

Email:

Kirsty@Invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone:

01772  921 109

We’re looking for a dedicated individual to join our small team to support a period of rapid growth and major client wins.

Marketing experience is definitely preferred, but not essential as training will be given. However an excellent grasp of the English language is essential.

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron said:

“We’re looking for the right person to compliment our team. We’ve had some great customer wins since coming back to Preston and we’re approaching workload capacity. The successful candidate or candidates will be crucial in our growth over the coming months and we’re looking for someone who’s excited by the prospect of being the driving force behind it.

Is this you or someone you know?”

Responsibilities & Tasks:

  • Social Media Management
  • Reporting
  • Writing Blog Posts
  • Critiquing Other Blog Posts
  • Email Marketing
  • Messenger Marketing
  • Account Management
  • Supporting Business Admin

Please don’t be put off if you don’t have experience in these areas at the moment. We have put together a structured training package to bring you up to speed over the next 6 months and you will learn progressively on the job, with an experienced director helping you along the way.

The job role will initially be heavily focused on social media scheduling and management at a very manageable level, with additional responsibilities being added (and skills developed) over a period of time.

Working Hours

  • 8 hours per day (inc. 1 hour unpaid lunch)
  • 2 days per week

We believe in flexible and off-site working. As long as the work gets done and to a good standard, we’re happy!

After your probation, you will be allowed to work from home one of your two days but will be required for face-to-face team meetings as least once a week.

Health & Mental Wellbeing

We acknowledge the connection between physical and mental wellbeing. As such we have a health & mental wellbeing policy in place, which includes perks such as membership to a nearby gym.

We work with a wide variety of clients including & not limited to:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Financial Services
  • Recruitment Agencies

Working with a number of high profile local and national clients.

 

Desired/ Preferred:

  • Degree educated
  • Marketing experience
  • Commercial awareness
  • Love of reading/writing/English
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Tech Savvy
  • Creative

Essential:

  • Excellent
  • Sense of humour
  • Reliable
  • Able to work autonomously
  • Personable
  • Committed – We’re after a long term team member.

Benefits:

  • Flexible/remote working (after probation)
  • Learn on the job from an experienced marketer
  • Good rate of pay – increases incrementally with time and skills learned
  • Learn cutting edge marketing skills & tactics

Deadline

All CV’s and applications must be received by end of play 16th September 2019.

Who is it for?:

This job would be ideally suited for an experienced marketer on a career break, a post-grad student or someone who has recently started/looking to start their own business but needs secure income*

We will consider students, however we are looking for a long-term team member. Students would have to demonstrate their commitment to staying in the area (year round) and with the business long term.

About us:

We’re a small business that believes in staying lean. We have a unique structure and agreements with other businesses that keep our overheads low, but there is an urgent need to bring more people onboard to manage major client wins and keep us providing the best service to our customers.

We are a marketing agency based at Cotton Court Business Centre in Preston city centre, dealing with high profile clients in the local hospitality and recruitment industries, as well as national level clients in various fields.

Based in the centre of Preston at Cotton Court Business Centre.

 

Finally

This is a great opportunity for someone to join a successful company on its growth journey. We have a great laugh in the office but we knuckle down and get things done.

The director is an experience marketer with a masters degree in marketing, who is willing to teach techniques and tactics to a willing and eager applicant.

We can’t reiterate enough the need for someone who is looking to commit to us. We’ve had our fingers burnt by people using us for a one-time pay day in the past and want to avoid this again. As a small business it is not only time consuming but comes with considerable financial cost.

*We believe in supporting small business and are in a position to provide marketing support to anyone who fits this description.

Interested?

Email: Hello@InvokeMedia.co.uk with an up to date CV and cover letter. All applicants will receive a reply whether successful or not.

Invoke Media: A Brief History

Today we are celebrating 6 years of Invoke Media…kind of. 

Much like the queen, we’ve actually got two birthdays. The day we started trading, and the day we became incorporated as a limited company, which as it happens was the 1st August 2013.

Our story has previously been untold, and to be honest there’s probably not that many people interested…but allow us to be self indulgent for a day. It is our birthday after all.

2009-2010: The Planning Years

The idea for the business came way back early in 2010, in a remote patrol base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. An unusual starting for the business to say the least, but our director was serving and in his down time came up with the ideas and plans for the business & the events that it was to organise and market. 

Having been involved in the planning and promotion of events before and during his service, he made the decision to return to ‘civvy street’, attend university and concurrently set up business to organise and consult on events marketing. A prospectus was sent out and ideas for successful events to come were thrashed out in the sweltering heat of Southern Afghanistan.

2011 – 2013: The Early Years

The first 18 months were spent working closely with local licensed trade, UCLan Student’s Union and numerous small businesses in the Preston area. There were many successes, many more failures but things generally were going well.

It was on 1st August 2013 that the business was incorporated on the advice of our accountants (who we still work with to this day) Woodville Accountancy. Being a limited company gave us more legitimacy and our client base grew. Rebel Marketing & Promotions Ltd. was born.

Rebel Marketing (Invoke) organised, marketed & sold out many successful events. Including a 2000 capacity festival.

2013 – 2015: The Formative Years

Our client base diversified and we cut our teeth in new industries, with the business moving away from events and licensed trade (for the most part). We honed our skills in lead generation, paid social and PPC. Our reputation grew and after a successful consultancy project disaster struck!

Our director was headhunted by an agency in Manchester. He became a director in that business and for a short period, Rebel Marketing as it was then known, became dormant.

2015 – 2018: The Birth of Invoke Media

The current Invoke Media brand was born in Manchester, servicing clients in the city and across the North of England.

Whilst working in a busy Manchester agency was exciting, the clients considerably larger and well known, and the Manchester lifestyle extremely appealing; our director decided to return to his passion and reignite the entrepreneurial freedom of working for himself.

He left the agency and reactivated Rebel Marketing, with several key clients moving over to the business. 

Rebel Marketing was born in and branded for a different client base and in a different time, it was time for something new. So in 2015 Invoke Media was born.

Over the next 3 years the business went through highs and lows, expanding and contracting, moving with the market and developing its offering. 

Old skills were honed to perfection, new skills were learned and new strategies and tactics were innovated.

In this period over 6 million pounds of customer ad spend was spent, new industries explored and a solid reputation was developed.

2018 – 2019: The Return & Rapid Growth

Once again our director was offered a directorship in another business, a business centre located in Preston, his home town. Learning from the mistakes of previous years, the role was time limited and the focus was clear…Invoke was to be the priority.

In the immediate 6 months after taking up this role, something became clear…Preston had changed. 

The development and investment in the city was impressive, the attitudes & success of local businesses was positive and entrepreneurial spirit plentiful.

In summer of 2018 Invoke Media streamlined its operations, closed up shop in Manchester and moved to Cotton Court Business Centre in Preston. 

Becoming an active player in the local business landscape, expanding & developing networks and securing multiple key accounts, revenue has nearly quadrupled. A testament to the thriving business ecosystem, positive attitudes and support being provided in the Central Lancashire area.

The addition of hospitality and recruitment wings of the business is well underway after a series of high profile wins and successful campaigns. With the team growing and 2020 looking to be another record year for the business.

So today we celebrate 6 years of being a legal entity, highs, lows, successes & failures. We look forward to another 6 years of marketing excellence in a city that is going from strength to strength.

Invoke Media announces a major client win, securing the digital marketing contract for The San Marco Group of restaurants.

The family owned and operated group of Italian restaurants have a footprint across the Central Lancashire area, operating five highly successful established restaurants and bars.

Since late January, Invoke have been providing marketing consultancy services to the group and each establishment individually, as well as implementing a social media and email marketing strategy.

Understanding the importance of maintaining a clear & engaging online presence, the group approached Invoke to pitch a proposal for the future marketing of each restaurant and the group as a whole; with Invoke revelling at the opportunity to work with such a respected brand.

 

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron says…

“This is a great opportunity for both businesses. We’ve had some interesting discussions on how to progress the brand online and we’re excited at the results of those conversations.

The strategy is sound, aligned with the prestige of the San Marco brand and is aimed at engaging an already loyal customer base, as well as attracting new customers who haven’t had the pleasure of dining with them yet.

I have personally been eating at restaurants from across the group since I was knee-high, so I fully buy into what they stand for and am already a strong brand advocate. I’m also looking forward to passing off regular meals out as market research that’s for sure. I really didn’t need any more excuse to go to Angelo’s or Stratos after work.”

 

Invoke Media’s Jack Barron (left) and San Marco Director Carlo Bragagnini (right)

 

San Marco Director Carlo Bragagnini says…

“We’ve tried numerous approaches to our digital marketing over the years and understand the importance of not only maintaining our online presence, but driving forward with new tactics and techniques.

We’ve had some great success at doing this over the years but it’s hard work keeping on top of the latest developments and implementing them effectively. We felt that it was time to bring in the experts, and had contact with a number of marketing agencies.

Invoke came highly recommended by a number of close contacts and we felt that their proposal was by far the most aligned with where we want to be and the brand overall.”

The partnership comes amid a series of high profile local client wins for Invoke, having only moved their operation back to Preston from Manchester earlier on in 2018.

 

All online marketing for the group will now be managed by Invoke, with brands coming under their remit including:

The San Marco Group

Trattoria San Marco

Angelo’s

Pinocchio’s

The Italian Orchard

Stratos

Services Provided:

Marketing Consultancy

Paid Social Advertisements

Social Media Management

Email Marketing

 

Further Information

Invoke Media are a marketing consultancy based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre, having moved from their Manchester base in 2018.

Specialising in consultative strategy and paid social advertisements, they service a range of local and national clients across both B2B and B2C markets.

 

Press Contact:

Jack Barron, Director

Email:

Jack@Invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone:

01772  921 109