Hospitality

Read Time: 5 Minutes

 

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now in the millions, and with more and more countries going into lockdown, the question on many peoples minds is ‘When will it all be over?’.

Whilst we should spare a thought for those suffering and their loved ones, I don’t think there’s any shame in thinking forwards to what the marketplace will look like when this crisis is over, and I think it’s wise that business owners not only plan their recovery strategy, but be prepared to execute it at short notice.

None of us knows whether this crisis and lockdown are going to last 3 weeks or 3 months. Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer gave the indication that the lockdown could be 6 months, with others suggesting up to 12 or even 18 months.

The uncertainty of the current situation is without a doubt a contributing stress factor to both individuals and businesses alike. For many, the lack of there being a light at the end of the tunnel is troubling. It stifles optimism and drive, and of course, it makes planning for the future difficult.

It’s like being made to go out on a run, but not knowing exactly how far you’re going or for how long you’ll be out. At some point, your motivation is going to wane, but you may only be 100m from the finish line…who knows? Given the number of people who’ve taken up daily marathon-length training sessions on my Strava feed in recent weeks, that was probably a bad analogy.

I think it’s fair to point out right now, we’re marketers here at Invoke Media, not public health experts. We aren’t going to be making any predictions in this article about when this crisis will be over or the impact it’s going to have from a health or political perspective, we’ll leave that to the Facebook warriors looking for a bite.

What we do know about is business, and I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss with you some predictions about how businesses and consumers are likely to act when the lockdown is lifted. Let’s have a look firstly at how consumers may act.

Consumer Behaviour

When will the market return?

Hospitality Manchester

It’s difficult to say how exactly people will react without knowing when the lockdown will be lifted, and what that will look like. There are suggestions that we could go into full lockdown, whilst others say we’re likely to go into a ‘semi-lockdown’ scenario, with most industries returning to work but certain activities and industries being prohibited, such as sporting events and restaurants reopening. The fact is, we don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s essential to note that many people, are experiencing a reduction in wages or income, but that could be offset with reduced costs as they travel less and learn the benefits of cooking meals at home instead of eating out. Again, it’s difficult to quantify the impact on individuals personal financial situations, when there are so many variables at play and people in such different circumstances.

What we do predict, however, is a quick rebound in the market for hospitality & leisure in the days and weeks following the lockdown. After weeks or months stuck inside, we predict Brits will be flowing to restaurants, bars, spas and hotels to enjoy all of the creature comforts and small luxuries that they have missed. As a species, we place high value on resources that are limited. Scarcity as a marketing and sales tactic is one of the most powerful motivators in persuasion, and it is one that has been deployed effectively to the population in recent weeks without any effort from marketers or business owners. We expect a short period of hedonism, as those with expendable income ‘blow off some steam’ after months in the house with their three-year-old on constant repeat. Expect meals out, nights out, weekends away and general ‘treating oneself’ to be one of the first orders of business.

This obviously provides an opportunity for those in the industries affected to recoup some of their losses from an inactive period.

On the flip side of that coin, there is also the possibility that people may be apprehensive about engaging in pursuits that place them around others, as they practice extended social distancing until they are confident the threat has passed. It’s hard to say, these are unprecedented times and there’s no rule book to follow, what we advise is to prepare for both eventualities.

It is also of note to mention that this period of hedonism and spending could be short-lived, as some economists predict a looming recession.

Broken Habits

Let’s quickly take a very simplified look at the habit formation process.

Credit: Blue Oceans. Based on Charles Duhigg’s “Habit Loop” in The Power of Habit.

Reminder: The Trigger or Cue 

Routine: The Behaviour or Action

Reward: The Benefit from the Action

Humans are creatures of habit. We know what we like and when presented with too much choice (or too little!), we’ll often go for the safe option. Let’s use a meal at a restaurant as an example.

Let’s say I go for a meal out every Friday with my girlfriend for ‘date night; (Trigger/Cue). I get to the restaurant(behaviour/action), being greeted with a warm smile from the Maître D and swiftly directed to my table, I have a great meal and on my way out get another glowing smile and farewell as if from a lifelong friend. I’ve had a great experience (benefit/reward).

The chances are that I’m going back. There’s been a positive feedback loop and the habit-forming process has begun.

The following week we go on date night again, we look online at the vast array of options of where to eat and can’t decide (a very real problem with my girlfriend!), after 20 minutes of trying to make a decision we select the restaurant from the week before (the habit is formed).

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and we won’t want to eat at the same place every time. After a month of eating there, we might decide to try somewhere new, have an experience that isn’t necessarily bad but just isn’t as good, and then go back to our original restaurant the following week.

Let’s break this down to the restaurant example again:

Reminder (Trigger/Cue): Girlfriend/Friday

Routine (Behaviour/action): Visit Favourite Restaurant

Reward (Benefit): Have a Great Meal & Experience

Habit: Return to Restaurant Following Week

How does this affect your business?

Being in lockdown means that many of our habits are broken, not by choice, but circumstance. In my example above, date night itself is now broken as a habit, not just the choice of restaurant.

This means that when the market does return, you may find that many of your customers take the opportunity to try a competitor or alternative solution. They may have been forced to find alternative ways to get the reward that you once provided and in fact now prefer it due to the experience or its cost. They may not even restart ‘date night’ or the habit that brings them to you.

On the flip side of that coin, you may also find that you have a completely new pool of people open to trying your business who were previously loyal to a competitor. We’ll come on to this in a minute.

As I keep saying at the moment…treat adversity as an opportunity.

What can you do to make it work for you?

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to keep the positive feedback loop going if you’ve been forced to close during the lockdown. The restaurant example I gave earlier couldn’t be more apt. Whilst some have opened a delivery service, for most people the actual experience of going to the restaurant is as important as the food itself.

You can, however, do the next best thing…stay front-of-mind and build desire. Front-of-mind (also called top-of-mind) awareness is essentially brand recognition and recall, it’s staying in front of your customers and being the first brand in your industry that they think of. We wrote an article on in recently that you can read HERE. When I talk about building desire I refer to teasing the benefits of what you offer in a tasteful and situationally aware manner. See this post we created for a client as a good example (if we say so ourselves).

By keeping your customers engaged, across multiple channels, you are keeping the embers of their habit cycles burning. You’re staying at the forefront of their minds and maintaining their loyalty. You’re also raising awareness in those who’ve become disengaged with their usual provider, providing an opportunity to capture their loyalty when the market returns.

Clamber for Market Share

Have you ever been paintballing?

As a man with a military past, I normally fare quite well. One of the tactics I employ in the classic capture the flag scenario, one I’ve had to utilise in a real-life scenario, is to dash forward in the opening minutes, to find the best cover and launch my attack or make my decision as to the next best course of action. One thing that is hammered into you when conducting attacks as an Infantryman is to keep the momentum going, and the same principle applies in paintball, as it does business.

It’s about gaining ground and putting yourself in the most favourable position to launch your assault, keeping a rate of fire that puts you on the front foot and the enemy (or competition!) on the back foot.

European empires of bygone centuries used the exact same strategy, albeit on a larger scale. Grabbing land and carving it up amongst themselves, providing them with resources as well as strategic advantage and thrust.

I use the military analogy purposely, as business strategy is directly modelled on military strategy. The words and concepts have been directly brought over from centuries of military knowledge into the corporate and business world.

How does this affect your business?

When the market returns, it will be a ‘land grab’ situation, with businesses clambering for market share. Everyone will be dashing forward to gain ground (the customers!) and put themselves the best position to capture the flag (customer loyalty).

This is why it is essential that you not only invest in engaging with existing and prospective customers but plan an aggressive marketing campaign that can be executed at short notice.

What can you do to make it work for you?

There’s a saying that’s I consider to be a little cliché, but accurate: “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail”. I’m sure you’ve seen it on a boardroom wall somewhere, accompanied by a picture of a soaring eagle or some other ‘motivational’ image…but there’s a lot to be said for it. If your business is unable to trade, then you need to be planning for when it is able to. Use this opportunity to get your plan in place, get prepared to execute it and when the time is right you’ll be ready to pounce.

Capture The Flag

The game has already begun, it’s time to make your advance forward and gain ground. It’s up to you to execute some of your own positive habits to give your business the best chance of survival and success post COVID-19. To summarise, we recommend you adopt the following strategy:

  • Keep your current customers engaged with regular (and appropriate) communications across multiple channels. Agitate the problem and build desire. Remind them why you are the best at what you do, and what a great experience you provide. If you can spare a budget for ad spend, then do so. Investing in keeping your business in front of as many people as possible is a wise move.
  • Mitigate the loss of loyal customers and those who have ‘broken the habit’ by staying front-of-mind, positioning yourself as the caring, responsible business that you are, and treat your customers well in uncertain times. How you treat your customers and staff now will be how you are remembered in 3 or 6 months time.
  • Be prepared. Get your recovery plan in place, make it aggressive and bold. Be prepared to invest in advertisements and get in front of as many of your target audience members as possible, in as short of a time as possible. Develop offers and provide them with the cue/trigger to undertake the action/behaviour so they can receive the benefit/reward that your business provides. Use the adversity you are presented with, as an opportunity to win loyal, habit-driven customers, and put yourself in a better position than you were before any of this happened.

If you’d like us to help you do this, or to ask any questions about the article above & business in general, please get in touch.

Email us at: hello@invokemedia.co.uk and myself or one of the team will be happy to help.

Read Time: 2 Minutes

 

We are extremely pleased to announce the promotion of Invoke Media team member Kirsty to Marketing Executive.

Joining us in October 2019, Kirsty instantly made a great impression with her ‘can do’ attitude and ability to work autonomously to a high standard. 

Kirsty, our newly appointed Marketing Executive

She has successfully managed key accounts and conceived, executed and managed several high-quality campaigns for our clients, proving her to be a valuable asset to the team. Aside from her work with clients, in her role as a Marketing Assistant, she’s successfully managed work experience students and interns and is highly regarded by both the team and clients for her personable approach and strong work ethic.

In these uncertain times, every business needs a Kirsty.

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“Kirsty made a great impression at her interview and that impression has only been reinforced with her skills, expertise and work ethic ever since. She’s been acting in the marketing executive role for some time, and it is only right that she be promoted formally to this position as soon as possible.

She’s acted as support for other team members, cracks on with her work and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when needed. Exactly what we need, especially in these uncertain times. She’s been a great hire and a pleasure to have on the team”.

Kirsty has worked on campaigns across hospitality, events, recruitment and e-commerce and has consistently performed to a high standard. Her promotion takes effect as of 1st April 2020.

Jack jokingly adds:

“Hiring Kirsty just proves how good I am at making decisions, now can all other employers reading this please back off and stay away. She’s going nowhere”.

As a marketing executive, Kirsty will be given additional responsibilities and will now actively be involved in the recruitment and training of team members, with a view to growing and managing her own team by the end of the year.

Do you think you could be a Kirsty? We’re currently not actively recruiting, but are accepting speculative CVs. Please email Hello@invokemedia.co.uk

 

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.

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

Invoke Media Retires Flagship Virtual Marketing Service

Preston based marketing agency retires its successful consultancy service 

Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media have announced that they are retiring two popular services to make way for strategic growth. 

The Virtual Marketing Director and Virtual Marketing Manager services provided businesses in the North of England with marketing director or manager level support at a fraction of the cost of hiring; embedding a member of the Invoke staff with an existing business marketing team for a set number of days each month to support campaigns or upskill existing talent.

The service which has proven extremely successful has been running for two years, servicing clients across multiple industries, but is now being retired to make way for new services and to react to market demand.

Invoke Media director Jack Barron explained:

Invoke Director Jack Barron Consults with Client

“We’ve been running the virtual marketing services for a couple of years now and they’ve been a great way for us to support businesses across the region. We have recently undertaken a strategic review and assessed the needs of the market, culminating in our ‘Invoke 2020’ initiative. 

It’s an exciting initiative for us with some great opportunities for local business, making Artificial Intelligence, Messenger Marketing and Lead Generation available to businesses of all sizes. 

Unfortunately, in order to bring in the new, we need to do away with the old and retire some of our legacy services. This isn’t just to free up capacity, but also to account for the changing nature of the market, and where we sit as a business within that market”.

In recent years Invoke has led the way with innovative messenger marketing campaigns across multiple industries, and have recently delivered a campaign that utilises artificial intelligence to handle customer service enquiries and secure bookings. 

Existing users of the virtual marketing services being retired will not be affected, with the option being provided to switch to a new service when their agreement is due for renewal. 

A press release to mark the launch of a new suite of services is expected soon.

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, paid social advertisements & lead generation, they serve 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

 

For Immediate Distribution

Date: 28th August 2019

Preston Boutique Marketing Agency Grows Team After Major Client Wins

Preston based Invoke Media launch recruitment campaign to support rapid growth

Cotton Court Business Centre based Invoke Media have launched a recruitment campaign to find new marketing assistants after a series of major client wins that has seen them approach their workload capacity.

The agency moved from Manchester in June of 2018, and has gone from strength to strength in a booming Central Lancashire economy.

Invoke Media director Jack Barron

Preston born director Jack Barron said:

“It’s been an absolutely amazing 18 months for Invoke Media, and the last 12 months specifically have been a game changer. The outdated negative view of Preston as a ‘grim northern town’ that simply feeds commuters to major hubs like Manchester is gone.

We’re a vibrant city with our own thriving economy that is growing by the day. We’ve got massive amounts of investment going into the city, we’ve recently ranked 60 in the UK for digital influence and we’re seeing more and more businesses startup and succeed.

Bringing Invoke to Preston was a bold move, but by far the best move we’ve made in our 6 years of trading. We’ve quadrupled our turnover and we’re playing our part in the development of an upcoming city.”

This year Invoke has announced client wins with local hospitality heavyweights The San Marco Group, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s BID Preston brand and local success story GetStaffed UK to name but a few.

Successful candidates will be provided with a structured training package and gradual workload, regardless of experience. They can expect to work on campaigns for local clients as well as national names in numerous industries. 

The business has a real focus on the hospitality, recruitment and personal finance industries however. Carving a very defined path of success with innovative techniques such as messenger marketing and automated lead generation through paid social ads.

Invoke Media celebrating San Marco Group contract win earlier in 2019. Pictured is Jack Barron (left) and Carlo Bragagnini (right)

Jack Barron continued:

“This is a great opportunity for someone to come into the business at our time of growth. Learn the techniques that are making us stand out to national clients and help define the future of Invoke Media. We’re recruiting someone who very much integral to our growth, and hopefully that will excite them as much as it does us.”

Press Contact:

Evie Mrkalj, Marketing Executive

Email:

Evie@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

One of the main benefits of digital marketing in comparison with traditional marketing & media channels is readily available & accurate data on performance.

Many forms of traditional marketing rely heavily on assumptions, presumptions or sample data.

How many customers not only saw, but took action from your last newspaper or magazine advert? How many people screwed up your latest flyer and how many took notice? It’s not impossible to gauge, but it’s certainly very difficult and not very accurate.

The rise of digital mediums provided marketers and business owners alike, with rich actionable data in realtime. It’s an absolute dream for gauging success, tracking return on investment & gaining customer insight.

 

The Benefits

  • Insight into customer behaviour
  • Understand who your customers actually are
  • Track R.O.I. from different campaigns
  • Understand the value of each customer
  • Establish the cost of winning new customers
  • Make informed business decisions

 

The Problem

As digital marketing platforms evolve and become more complex, so too can the data they provide.

It’s very easy to be blinded by science, overwhelmed with insights or just not know which of the thousands of tools out there are best suited for your needs.

Even if you’re an experienced marketer, it can be hard to make sense of the data in front of you. Even more so if you’re the owner or operator of an SME with limited experience in analytics or marketing reporting. 

The Solution

Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and reporting metrics are an important first step. They help you filter out the noise of data overload and concentrate on the information that matters to your business.

Work out what matters to you, whether it’s how people people view your website each month, the number of enquiry forms you receive or calls received from your website; establish the criteria that you’re going to measure your success from.

Once you’ve established what it is you want to track, set the parameters to gauge your success and have filtered out the noise, it’s time to get to it.

Set the time frame that you want to measure your marketing performance from and start reporting! We usually find that monthly report (from the 1st day of the month to the final day of the month) is more than sufficient for most businesses we work with.

 

How To Go About It

If you’re pulling data from different sources you’re going to want to use one common means of storing it, for ease of accessing and comparison. Traditionally we used to use an Excel Spreadsheet, but we’d highly recommend you consider using Google Sheets if you’re a small business.

Not only does this allow you the ability to share an editable document with other members of the team, you’ll be able to create visually appealing charts and graphs to make the data easier to understand and translate.

Include the KPI’s and metrics you established earlier on, and get inputting that data!

 

Finally

Inputting your marketing metrics can be time consuming but it’s an important part of any marketing campaign or overall strategy.

If you don’t know how well (or badly!) you’re doing, you can’t test, adjust and pivot accordingly. How will you know if your Google Ads are worth the money you’re investing, or whether the time spent on writing your blogs is having a positive effect?

We’ve included monthly reporting as one of the key services in our marketing support packages for small businesses.

We’ll provide you with a monthly marketing report that brings together all of the data from across your marketing channels and put it into a visually appealing, easy to understand report so you can measure the R.O.I. of your financial and time investment.

For those that don’t want all of the benefits that our marketing support packages offer, we also offer the monthly reporting as a separate low-cost service for SME’s! Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Jack Barron

Managing Director – Invoke Media

 

interim head of marketing

Interim Head of Marketing

 

If you’re looking for an interim head of marketing you’ve either had a recent and unexpected departure, or have identified the need to expand your senior management team. Either way, you’re looking for an experienced marketing professional with the ability to drive your business forward and direct your team.

 

Hiring an interim head of marketing is an excellent way to plug a skills gap in your company and keep things moving forward, but it also comes with several considerations.

 

Recruitment Cost

 

The UK recruitment industry is worth in the region of £34bn per annum with temporary placements making up the lion’s share of that figure. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation estimate that agencies operating in the temporary and contract market averaged £380,792 in sales per employee, with margins around the 20% mark.

 

In other words, business is booming for temporary and contract recruiters, and in addition to the cost of employing your interim head of marketing, you’re going to have to pick up the tab on the cost of recruitment.

 

When you’re looking into hiring an interim head of marketing, make sure you take into consideration the additional costs of recruitment and beware of what you agree to, even in casual email correspondence. Agencies often have complicated terms that tie you in at an early stage.

interim head of marketing recruitment

Time

 

Another consideration when hiring your interim head of marketing is of course time. Both the time it takes to recruit your new team member, and the time you are looking to hire them for.

 

If you’re using a recruitment agency they can usually source you a suitable candidate pretty quickly. They’ve got access to large databases of professionals and dedicated teams of headhunters, but if you’re looking yourself then it may take considerably longer.

 

Another time factor to consider is the length of the contract or agreement. If you’re only hiring for a short time, then you may find that both using agencies and sourcing yourself will have inherent issues attached.

 

The Right ‘Fit’

 

CV’s and experience aside, often the most important factor is ensuring that your interim head of marketing is the right ‘fit’ for your team and organisational culture. Because of the temporary nature of interim roles and the high cost of recruitment, replacing your new hire just might not be an option. You’re likely going to be tied in to keeping your interim hire until the end of the agreement, so it’s important that they are the right fit, you can work with them and most importantly, that your team can work with them.

 

Always ensure you get a face-to-face meeting with candidates, even if this delays the hiring process. Some agencies may try to rush through the placement, but ensure you get enough face-time with your potential candidates and get to know them before committing to a decision.

 

Recruiting from Within

 

Another consideration is to recruit your interim head of marketing from within the team. Whilst there are obvious benefits, such as them already knowing your business and industry, it does also come with potential problems.

 

If you remove them from their existing role you’re going to need to fill the space left beneath them. You’re just robbing Peter to pay Paul, but could have some significant cost saving as a result. If you ask them to dual hat, you’re likely going to see it affect the level of work in one or both roles.

 

The main issue with this solution is that at the end of the interim arrangement they will likely be a bit deflated if they have to step back down and someone else comes in to fill the role, even if this was always on the cards and made clear. Other team members will also likely feel some level of resentment towards them. It could be a short-term solution but have long lasting issues in the effectiveness of your team.

 

An Alternative Solution

 

A solution you’ve possibly not thought of is hiring a virtual marketing director or manager as your interim head of marketing.

 

We’ve created two services specifically for filling the marketing capacity at senior management level, placing highly experienced marketing professionals into local SME’s, with a focus on flexibility, cost-effectiveness and low commitment for the business.

 

Our virtual marketing director and manager services can be placed in less than a week, with minimum commitment on length of agreement and without the high costs associated with using recruitment agencies.

 

You can read more about our virtual marketing services and if they’re a good fit for you by clicking HERE.