British Athletics Photo Shoot Day

Katarina Johnson-Thompson modelling for the 2015 and 2016 Season Material

Katarina Johnson-Thompson modelling for the 2015 and 2016 Season Material

Having worked with British Athletics for many years branding the events arm and designing promotional campaigns leading up to the indoor and outdoor seasons, we were pleased to be commissioned by the athletics governing body UKA in July 2014 for a number of athlete photo shoots.

The objective of the shoots were to capture athletes in specific heroic looking poses to tie in with the new branding style for the 2015/2016 seasons, as well as to help position British Athletics as an inspirational brand and athletics itself as a mainstream sport.

With longevity in mind and factoring in having to work across 4 seasons as well as individual athlete’s schedules, we art directed the photo shoots so that the photographer could replicate the lighting set up easily for future shoots. All shots were taken at shoulder level in a set variety of poses so a consistent style could be maintained and an image library could be built up.

The first shoot began in July last year, taking place in the scenic picturesque Glasgow hotel room, and we had the privilege of being able to shoot athletics stars such as:

– Katarina Johnson-Thompson
– Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
– Chijindu Ujah
– Lynsey Sharp

These images were then used across the 2015 indoor season branding, starting with the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix event at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham city centre on Saturday 21st February.

With the event being held on our doorstep and athletes converging in on Birmingham, it gave us another opportunity for a photo shoot. What’s more, with a certain Mo Farah participating, we had the pleasure of speaking to him and capturing him on the day before the event. Have a look at our time lapse video of Mo’s shoot below!

 

We’d like to believe Mo’s first ever record breaking time for the 2 mile event of 8:03.40 was all down to our pep talk with him and having him envision himself doing the Mobot rehearsal as he crosses the line.

As well as the double World and Olympic champion and now record breaker, we also had the pleasure of snapping some of GB’s best up and coming talent, including:

– Chris Kandu
– David Omoregie
– Jessica Judd
– Charlie Grice
– Emelia Gorecka
– Mukhtar Mohammed

Watch out for them in the future, hopefully they’ll be following in Mo’s footsteps and breaking records themselves one day!

The photos will now be used across print literature and on digital graphics for outdoor media. Here’s a sample of what one of our final pieces of artwork looked like:

In fact, you may have seen one of our adverts already, as the first video graphic of the season for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is currently being used on Transvision screens across London train stations.

We would like to wish all of the athletes the best of luck in the future, thank them for their time and for being amazing models!

Ricco

Posted in Branding, Creative Marketing, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Jask News, Print Media, Printing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

UrtheCast – Space-Aged Marketing and How You Can Use It

UrtheCast - The Next Big Thing in Marketing

UrtheCast – The Next Big Thing in Marketing?

UrtheCast – Have you heard of it? Possibly, possibly not, but whether you have or you haven’t, I implore you to read on as this could be the next big thing to happen to creative marketing.

We first came across UrtheCast through our Head of Digital, Luke. His unquenching thirst for tech, digital marketing and essentially all things geeky led him to attend a conference whereby Scott Larson, CEO of UrtheCast was delivering a talk on what UrtheCast is and what it can do.

So what exactly is UrtheCast?

UrtheCast, (pronounced “Earth-Cast” but so cleverly punned it deserves an award in itself), is a Vancouver based tech company that has been operating for approximately 4-5 years.

They’re goals are to provide affordable images and video to both the public and commercial institutes and grant insights as unseen before to businesses from space.

Its capabilities include:

  • High-resolution photos – Masses of high-res photos of Earth are captured every day and anything as small as 1m in size can be seen and captured.
  • Near real-time video feeds - You’ll be able to stream videos in near real-time, meaning you can watch as the International Space Station passes over various parts of Earth during the day.
  • Dedicated Videos – Videos will be recorded and sent to UrtheCast’s website, available for download and sharing.
  • API Development - Open sourced development allows developers to harness UrtheCast’s technology and utilise it how they see fit.

So how will UrtheCast affect the marketing industry?

Traditionally, space monitoring has been the domain of geo-political issues, government monitoring and agricultural/environmental industries to flag up things such as what North Korea are doing, crop farming, forestry and so on and so forth.

What UrtheCast intends to do though is put a commercial spin on what space can offer and that is through its model of being able to offer these photos, videos and feeds for people who require them for business intelligence.

Utilising this well can mean a significant advantage to future strategies for many companies. We’ve thought of a few ways you can use UrtheCast’s offering to boost your marketing performance.

1. Predicting Market Performance – One of the key usages of UrtheCast is being able to monitor, and in turn predict, areas which could affect market performances.

For instance, if you were in the coffee trade, UrtheCast has the ability to monitor coffee plantations and predict overall output for the year based on it’s imaging of the farms.

Companies can then derive their marketing strategies going forward based on how much coffee will subsequently cost, how they should set pricing strategies per quarter, what they can do on marketing to combat price increases/decreases etc.

2. Social Content - The dedicated videos that UrtheCast will be able to produce allow companies to stage large scale events and capture them via space to provide valuable and interesting content to be shared socially and in turn promote a message.

More interestingly, the near real-time video feeds means you’ll be able to time events for when the cameras pass over your area and stream it live to the public. The capacity for instantaneous, mass participation launch events, flash mob style events, tagging onto and upstaging things like World Cups and the Olympics could become a real viral, creative marketing phenomenon.

Indeed, UrtheCast’s own promotion uses a mock flash mob video that was captured by helicopter in Los Angeles:

To Conclude: Watch this space…

I’m using this most obvious pun here as it is apt to apply it to UrtheCast at the time of writing.

Whilst it has progressed fantastically well and we hear that it should be ready to roll out “very soon”, we still have yet to see what sort of pricing model will be set for the photos and data and so whether it is accessible and commercially viable is yet to be seen.

That said, we can’t wait to see what marketers can use UrtheCast for and how it can be expanded into our every day lives.

To explore more, visit UrtheCast’s website here: www.urthecast.com

 

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Jask Inspire to Achieve with Light Hall School Pupils

Stuart teaching pupils the virtues of a good advert

Stuart teaching pupils the virtues of a good advert

A new year often brings to mind a new outlook, a new perspective and a new leaf- a better you for future.

We’re all for that, so Stuart and I decided to lend a hand to Light Hall School’s Inspire to Achieve event; teaching budding pupils the basis of creative marketing and educating them on how rewarding a career in marketing can be.

The basis for the event was simple – at a young age when we’re in school, we often study without realising where our studies are leading us and what careers we’ll find ourselves in.

Alongside other names such as PwC, Severn Trent Water, The British Army and West Midlands Police, we were invited in to the school to speak to 3 classes of Year 8 students.

Working collaboratively in groups to design adverts

Working collaboratively in groups to design adverts

Talking about our respective industries, what’s involved, what roles you can expect and skill sets you need to do particular jobs, our jobs for the day were to inspire the younger generation to think outside of school, think about their futures and think about what they might like to turn their skills into.

Testing the kids with the idea of creating a new advert for a new handheld games console, we found creatives, marketeers and budding designers, as well as kids who are great at communicating messages effectively, which is of course what marketing is all about!

I think we can safely say that the future of marketing is in good hands, and hopefully we’ll have given some students the stepping stones towards building a marketing career for themselves.

Interested in creative marketing? Want to know more? Just give us a shout and we can answer your questions.

Ricco

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10 of the Best Adverts – Why they worked so well

So it’s a new year. This invariably means it’s a new you. And also a new beginning. And New Year Resolutions.

Essentially, the point I’m making is…things are new, things are good. 2015 HAS ARRIVED! Finally!!!

But let’s not forget that while a new and exciting year lays ahead of us, the old deserves to be commemorated as well. After all, where would we be were it not for the day that had just gone by?

And with that said, we’ve hand picked (by hand picked, a shouting match over office lunch) 10 of the best adverts to have graced us in times gone by.

Picked for the creative marketing, some are funny, some have impact, some are clever, but most of all, they all just work and work so well.

So without further ado, here we go:

10. IKEA – Bookbook

Released: September 2014

We like it for: being so cleverly timed.

Why it works:

At the same time where smartphones, tablets and touch screen devices are all the rage and technical speak is on the tips of our tongues, IKEA have been clever enough to take that and use it in their favour for this viral advert, parodying the Apple Macbook adverts extremely well.

Viral adverts can be very hit and miss, and it is notoriously difficult to know whether they’ll catch on, but this one comes in at the right time with the right messages to get the attention and get people laughing. Plus we love “Chief Design Guru” Jorgen Eghammer to bits.

9. Somersby Cider – The Somersby Store

Released: March 2013

We like it for: being outrageously cheeky to Apple.

Why it works:

Like the IKEA bookbook advert, Somersby jumped on the Apple fun-poking bandwagon with their outrageously cheeky advert depicting an Apple Store, but replaced in a Somersby setting instead.

It’s fun, it’s cheeky, and most importantly, it’s memorable. As an FMCG product, that’s just what you want in a crowded marketplace.

8. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split (feat. Jean Claude Van Damme)

Released: November 2013

We like it for: its pure awe and impact.

Why it works:

Now we’re not lorry drivers, far from it in fact, but we’re certain that this advert speaks to lorry drivers universally.

A live stunt, being stable enough to hold Jean Claude Van Damme in his epic splits pose speaks volumes about the technology within these trucks. In a market where getting your cargo to your destination is paramount, and minimising the possibility of accidents, the overriding message of this ad is simple: buy from Volvo and you’re as safe as can possibly be.

7. Carlsberg – Carlsberg Don’t Do…

Released: April 2006

We like it for: The memorable, playful strapline.

Why it works:

Playing with its existing strapline at the time ‘Probably the best lager in the world’, Carlsberg created some hit TV adverts by tacking on the additional strapline of ‘Carlsberg don’t do… but if they did it would probably be the best … in the world.’, with one of the most celebrated adverts created featuring the England Legends put into a pub team.

Creatively it opened up Carlsberg to a whole host of different ways to use the strapline, and indeed the campaign went into other variations and Carlsberg even covered London in £5,000 worth of £10 and £20 bank notes with a sticker ‘Carlsberg don’t do litter. But if they did it would probably be the best litter in the world.’ as a stunt.

6. THINK! – Don’t use mobile phones while driving

Released: December 2012

Why we like it: Effective emotional messaging that rings home (pun intended)

Why it works:

THINK! are well renowned for their shock adverts and this is just one of many that we could have picked from. THINK!’s adverts work well because they do what they need to do, which is to fundamentally make the audience think hard about what they risk.

This particular advert carries the emotional messaging of losing a loved one and is powerful and long lasting. It’s effect is to say that as soon as you pick up your phone you are endangering not only yourself, but also risking the emotional harm for others involved with you.

5. Guinness – Good things come to those who…………….wait – Surfer

Released: March 1999

Why we like it: Pure raw visual with a phenomenal soundtrack.

Why it works:

At a time when Guinness was seen as a bit of a ‘hassle’ drink and negative associations were being made towards the pouring time, Guinness decided to combat this by releasing new adverts with a new slogan that would put off these concerns.

‘Good things come to those who wait’ is a clever line that gives Guinness a premium feel, and their Surfer TV advert is a classic that resonates power and what you can expect from a great drink. The soundtrack is just a masterstroke in itself.

4. Honda – The Cog

Released: April 2003

Why we like it: Intoxicating, immersive and genius creative.

Why it works:

Now let’s be honest. Honda Accords probably weren’t the most exciting of cars around at the time this advert was released. In fact, at the time, Honda’s ranking in Japan was at a dismal number 3, behind Toyota and Nissan and they were slowly starting to be perceived as being a dull brand of car.

To combat this, a genius idea was to take the actual car itself out of the messaging, and instead to focus on what makes the car and what Honda as a manufacturer are about.

The Cog, an advert that takes most of the parts that make up the Honda Accord and placed them in a chain reaction type video, was considered groundbreaking and successfully puts our attention on Honda’s motto ‘The Power of Dreams’.

You just simply cannot help watching, admiring and sticking with it to the end. Top marks.

3. Compare the Market – Compare the Meerkat

Released: January 2009

Why we like it: It gives insurance a good feeling. Simples.

Why it works:

Buying insurance is a pain. Everybody loathes it and when it comes round to that time of shopping around, it invariably brings up negative feelings.

Even worse is that insurance is cut throat. Brand loyalty is next to none and price is the overriding factor.

So what Compare the Market have done is simply ingenius. Their Compare the Meerkat campaign has done what others can only dream of, which is to tie ‘feel good’ emotions towards insurance.

Whilst other big players like Go Compare had the fat singing opera man to relentlessly make you remember the jingle (and subsequently turned out to be one of the most annoying characters ever), and Confused.com advocated making buying insurance pain-free and simple, they didn’t understand that the market could be tapped into with cute cuddly characters.

Compare the Market know that buying insurance will always be a pain, and there is only so much negativity that you can dispel before the market goes “so what”. What makes them different to others is that you’re not buying into insurance, you’re buying into a part of the meerkat story.

2. Marks and Spencer – This is not just food. This is M&S Food.

Released: September 2004

Why we like it: It’s a simply great example of how when you know your brand well, you can do great wonders with advertising.

Why it works:

At a time of well-documented decline, due to poor sales and a brand image that was in a less than healthy state (described as being corporate, introspective, masculine, inconsistent), and also in the limelight for being the subject of a takeover bid by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, things were fast going south for one of the nation’s mainstays on the British high street.

So how do you change the public perception amidst the swirling black hole of negativity? What can you do to start turning the tide and get audiences to trust your brand?

Marks and Spencer demonstrated this in 2004 when they launched, amongst their clothing adverts featuring Twiggy, the iconic This is M&S Food adverts.

Shot with extreme close ups of their sumptuous food range, paired with a seductive soundtracks (Groove Armada – At The River, in the above instance) and the voice of Dervla Kirwan to narrate, Marks and Spencer know that the market still trust in their brand and what they value of the brand is that it is quintessentially British through and through, and they are willing to pay for that value.

Viewers come away knowing the food is great, it is sexy, it is what you want to try, what you want to love. The style of the adverts were and are being talked about for years to come. It is what makes these adverts a resounding success.

1. Nike – Take it to the Next Level

Released: April 2008

Why we like it: Because it is just so on brand

Why it works:

Nike positions itself as a premium brand. It associates itself with premium quality and creates premium products, but it still needs to retain a mass market audience and appeal.

So in such a competitive market, how do you carve out a position for yourself as being the best? How do you advocate for premium products against products that potentially do the same job at half the price?

Answer: Aspirational Marketing

The ‘Take It To The Next Level’ advert does this such in a superb way that we cannot place it anywhere else but number 1 on our list.

Featuring an array of top football stars such as Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Ronaldinho, Cesc Fabregas and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this 2 minute, first person point-of-view advert (we’re showing the uncut 3 minute version) gives you a taste of what it would be like if you wore Nike.

The messages are clear. By buying the best, you can become the best. You can live the dream if you wear Nike. It will help you achieve your goals, and you can aspire to be those that you admire so much.

Visually spectacular, aurally inspirational, creatively sublime. That is why Nike tops our list.

Do you agree with our choices? Have we missed any gems? Give us your thoughts @jaskcreative

Ricco

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Moleskine: Our take on the classic notebook

Jask's take on the classic Moleskine notebook

Jask’s take on the classic Moleskine notebook

Few in the creative industries will not have heard the name Moleskine. By its own endorsement, it is a legendary notebook, revered around the world.

Its tagline:

‘Culture, imagination, memory, travel, personal identity.’

Of course, the history of the brand is gloriously rich, just as you’d expect it to be. Used by artists and authors such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin, one cannot deny that it has certainly earned its place among us and the respect that it deserves.

To us in the modern day of creative marketing, a pencil and paper are tools that we cannot do without, no matter how advanced digital methods of note taking and sketching are getting.

It’s not just us either who hold Moleskine in such high regard. Creative Overflow have found 30 of their most inspired Moleskine’s and listed them here – sheer amazing quality.

So we felt that we should pay homage to this great brand in some way, and have created our own version for ourselves, and if you’re lucky, for you too.

Jask Moleskine

We wanted to create an interpretation and design that is based upon Moleskine’s values and heritage, with a particular focus on personal identity.

To carry these values across we used plain white as our cover, and a simple, clean colourless de-boss of our logo. Nothing else.

With that, we feel that we’ve given our own take on a classic, which will be yours to do with what you will.

No frills, no spills, just every day extraordinary.

We hope you like it.

Ricco

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3 Reasons to use HD Lithographic Printing

The letter C as created by HD lithographic printing dots...

The letter C as created by HD lithographic printing dots…

Over the next couple of blog posts I’m going to talk about print, and to those seasoned in marketing, you’ll know that print is still an important arm to the creative marketing mix…

… if done right.

Having taken a heavy hit to its popularity over the last few years, with marketers preferring the more measurable and cost effective routes to market available, print is once again finding its place in the marketing manager’s toolkit.

For us creative agency folk, printed communications represent a challenge – how to give them more impact, how to produce them more competitively and crucially how to ensure we deliver a viable method of communication that provides a good ROI.

With this in mind we are always on the lookout for advancements in the industry which can prove beneficial to our clients. Today I’m going to bring your attention to HD Lithographic Printing.

HD Lithographic Printing is a printing process that is subjected to a second generation FM screening, making dots appear finer and overall presswork smoother.

Put simply it brings pictures to life. Consider the difference between watching a film on a standard setting to watching it in HD. HD Printing gives the same added definition to your printed collateral.

Here are 3 reasons to make your print project HD:

1. Sharper Linework

Texts and lines are reproduced sharper, curves are smoother and variations in print are reduced. Vital for industries that require high tech, accurate illustrations.

2. Reliable Picture Reproduction

HD printing utilises a technology known as ‘Squarespot’, which essentially allows printers to reach a high level of stability, accuracy and reliability during the printing process. This in turn means your picture is reproduced in the finest, most accurate details.

3. Intense Colours

HD printing gives vivid, intense colours. The stability that the technology offers means there is less white paper not covered with ink, light is better absorbed and the reflection from the ink is more effective. This helps give your audience a more accurate colour representation of your products which can be particularly important in product-led industries such as the clothing, textiles, soft furnishings and kitchen markets.

When it comes to positioning your product against the competition, you can be sure that printing in HD will give you the edge over those that don’t print HD.

Want to see the difference for yourself? Click here and I’ll post you some samples. You’ll be amazed at the definition.

Ricco

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A look into the world of a future creative – Jennifer Kate

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Jennifer learning the ropes from Kristen, Phil and Matt

It’s that time of year again, Autumn.

For most of us, we’re thinking of cold nights, comfort food (pies, pies, and yet more pies) and everybody is on the run down to Christmas (our Shelley is anyway, and come to think of it, she started counting down the sleeps in June). Generally, it’s the time to start winding down and seeing the year out.

And yet, whilst I am busy wolfing down steak and ale encased in deliciously crispy puff pastry, Autumn does also mark the return of University.

For budding students, that means being one step closer to the world of work, and needing that invaluable experience that will stand you in good stead once launched into the working wilderness.

Jennifer Kate is one such student, from the University of Worcester.

Studying the Creative Digital Media course, Jennifer is required to complete a minimum of 60 hours on a work placement for her Art & Design module and she came to us for help.

Needless to say, being the wonderful bunch that we are, we’ve taken Jennifer on, and she has even taken on the hallowed seat next to our Creative Director Matt Ansell. Yoda-like teachings are soon to begin and we’ll be bestowing Jennifer with all things to do with creative marketing.

Jennifer herself is most interested in print design and typography. Living, breathing and dreaming in fonts and our current favourite Helvetica, she’s even chosen typography as the topic for her dissertation.

Why, you ask, when many say print design is a dying trade? Well number one, you’re wrong, print is not dying out, far from it in fact, and number two, Jennifer says that there are always going to be people who require print, and if we lose print, which is where design practically started, then it will be “like losing a piece of history.”

We admire Jennifer for being a champion for the traditionalists and above that, a real romanticist towards one of the long standing pillars of creative expression.

One word. Profound.

Want to learn about creative marketing? Need a placement? Want to make me a cup of tea? Give us a shout and we’ll see what we can do.

Ricco

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Finishers of the Great Birmingham Run 2014!

20141019_101442

Birmingham Half Marathon Race Day! Raising money for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

Hi all, Ricco here reporting on the Great Birmingham Run of Sunday 19th October 2014…

You may have thought we creative marketing folk here at Jask aren’t much for sports and running…

…and on the whole, you were probably right. We are avid armchair enthusiasts at best and it was a big surprise to me when we put our names into the hat for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run half a year ago in March 2014.

Our sole motivation? To raise money for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and their fantastic services to the community around Birmingham and Sandwell.

So cometh the hour, cometh the day, and yesterday, on Sunday 19th October 2014, me, Craig, Kevin and Stu took to the second biggest half marathon in the country, the race where 20,000+ people congregate in the centre of Birmingham to tackle a gruelling 13.1 mile course.

Our first stop? Well, it actually wasn’t on the run itself, but a lucky stumble across none other than our friends at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice stand. Here’s us (minus Stu, late on the train!) with CEO Tina Swani at the stand. Cheers for the water, safety pins and looking after our bags!

20141019_101442

Jask Team (less Stu, stuck on trains!) with Tina Swani, CEO of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

The atmosphere was, as cliche as it sounds, electric. The sun was out, people lined the streets, ready to cheer the runners on, and the race start at Sandpits Parade was absolutely jammed. Here’s us doing a selfie just before the race began (apologies about the bad photography, yours truly is not a great snapper):

20141019_105218

Boyband Selfie on Race Day

At the stroke of precisely 11:20AM, we were off! As I knew it would happen, Craig and Kevin bolted first, leaving me and Stu to eat dust, and then soon enough Stu left me in his wake as well…deserters!

They completed it easily enough, but for me it was a very tough run indeed. Being a half marathon virgin, by mile 7 of 13 I had hit the wall and running (or mainly walking) on pure determination alone.

Thankfully I got through it in the end and it was a great feeling running down the home stretch on Broad Street. I even had the energy to take a cheeky selfie of me and my finisher medal, boom!

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Finisher!

The best feeling of all though? Smashing our target for the hospice. Check out our JustGiving page here, and keep donating!

Plans to do it all again next year! Come and join us! #RunJaskRun

Ricco

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New website created for St Philips Chambers

New responsive website created for St Philips Chambers

New responsive website created for St Philips Chambers

St Philips Chambers (follow them here @stphilips) are widely recognised as the leading chambers of barristers in the UK and required a new website to help reflect their primary status.

Market research showed that specialism within specific areas of law was the key deciding factor in solicitors selecting a barrister. With this in mind we designed the user experience around our primary objective – to allow solicitors to make an easy and informed selection of the barrister best suited for their case.

With multiple filters, solicitors can quickly search and drill down results in order to find barristers with the specialist knowledge and skill set required to best represent their client.

Through a hand coded brochure builder, suitable barristers can then be added into a bespoke PDF brochure for presenting to their client. The brochure builder adds a cover and contents page, and pulls live data from the site ensuring the CVs presented are the most up to date available.

With analytics from the existing website showing an increasing number of site visitors viewing the site on mobile devices, we based the website around a responsive design with content optimised for mobile, tablet or desktop, removing the need for a separate mobile site or app.

Received with much accolade, the website now forms the primary resource tool for solicitors looking to select a barrister and has quickly become the centrepiece of St Philips’ marketing.

Heading up the project from St Philips was Chief Clerk Joe Wilson, and he gave us a great testimonial:

“Phil and the team at JASK were tasked with creating our new website. From the outset they were engaging and got the brief straightaway. They guided us through the process seamlessly and made a potentially daunting task, an enjoyable experience. We could not be more happy with the results; they have delivered exactly what they said they would and then some. I would have no hesitation in recommending JASK and indeed have just recently.”

You can view the website at:
www.st-philips.com

Posted in Design, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Jask News, Mobile Design, Responsive Web Design, Web Design | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

The Wolf of Cold Call Street – 4 Ways to Improve your Cold Call with Creative Marketing

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Some of you may have caught the film The Wolf of Wall Street (if you haven’t, well worth a watch!). It is a true story starring the charismatic Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who makes his millions in fraud and corruption on the stock market.

I personally saw the film only 2 weeks ago, and there was this one particular scene that inspired me to write this subsequent blog.

SPOILERS ALERT! AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FILM!

It is the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio walks into the firm brokering penny stocks, he picks up the phone to make his first call of the day, and says the lines:

Jordan Belfort: “Hello John, how you doing today? You mailed in my company a postcard a few weeks back requesting further information on penny stocks that had huge upside potential with very little downside risk, does that ring a bell?”

John: “Oh yeah, I may have sent something in.”

Belfort then goes on to sucker John in to buying lots of shares into a dud company.

What captured me about this scene was not the sublime way in which DiCaprio can reel off an incredible sales pitch over the phone in just 60 seconds (although I do so wish I was THAT good), but the fact that the cold call started by DiCaprio asking the client about a mailer which he had been sent and acted on, which is how the lead came about.

Now just think. What if DiCaprio, or Belfort at the time, opened up that sales call to John and John did not have any idea of who Belfort was or why he was getting the call? What would have been the outcome?

Probably a very quick thanks, but no thanks and goodbye.

And that’s the point. Your cold call is only as good as the creative marketing that precedes it.

Now, that scene was played out in an era where the internet was just starting up, where digital and content marketing had not even been heard or perhaps even dreamed of, and mailing and cold calling was still the norm.

Today the sales and marketing landscape is much different. The contingent that argues for digital and content marketing is ever growing and the cold call is now treated as a dinosaur sales tactic.

In my opinion though, the cold call is just as relevant to today’s market as it was in Belfort’s time.

It is still the first port of call where you as a company can find out the client’s needs, the requirements they seek, how we can solve their problems, and how to build rapport. Nothing can replace that confidence someone can portray by speaking over the phone, or even face-to-face for that matter.

Here are 4 ways to improve your cold calling.

1. Do send out information first so the client knows who you are

Be it a mailer, brochure, leaflet, e-shot, personal email etc. it will always pay dividends to send out some information to your potential client prior to calling.

At the very least, it will make them aware of you. At the very most, if your initial marketing is up to scratch, it will engage the client and create interest.

2. Use the Call-to-Action

Always give the client a reason to contact you. Whether it is by incentive, a no obligation quote, a voucher, a tear off and return form, never forget to include a call to action on your communications materials.

Whatever incarnation your call-to-action takes, it is the driver that allows clients to take their interest further.

3. Follow up with more marketing

Following up to your initial piece of marketing with even more marketing is another good way to make sure the message has hit home.

The benefits of doing more marketing prior to the call is that if the initial information had not been seen or had been lost in transition, then it gives another chance for the information to make its way to the customer. On the other hand, if it has been seen already, then it just helps reinforces the message.

For us personally, it can be anything from a simple e-shot, to some samples or a case studies portfolio.

4. The Call

By now, your cold call shouldn’t be so much as cold, but more of a lukewarm state if your marketing has done what it has set out to achieve.

I’m not going to teach how to do a cold call here as there are many many different ways you can approach this topic, but Susan Ward has given a detailed approach here if you want a read.

I personally prefer the soft sell, the reference back to marketing materials we’ve sent before and the sell on benefits. Certainly I wouldn’t be a fan of the DiCaprio/Belfort high pressure sales tactics, but some can make it work for them, albeit in a not so ethical manner.

If you want to know more about how creative marketing can help with other areas of your business just give me a shout.

Until next time!

Ricco

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