With a population of around 1.4billion, over 21 times that of the UK, China offers incredible potential for any successful British business seeking to spread its wings internationally. And as business begins to confront the reality of Brexit, many businesses are looking further afield to export their products and services. China is a fascinating opportunity, possibly very rewarding but with significant cultural challenges. At Fruit, we have some experience of marketing in China and taking Western brands into the world’s biggest marketplace and working with Chinese offices.
Before even considering entering China, it is critical to nail down your intellectual property, your value lies in your brand and your credibility. If you have not secured it – or worse still an opportunist in China has already trademarked it – then you could be in for an uphill struggle. The good news if that British brands are held in high esteem – if pitched as a premium offering. Britain has luxurious connotations for the Chinese consumer. Remarkably, some British brands have had success selling tea to China. Far from being a mess of red tape, as some perceive, the barriers are not as big as you might initially fear.
However, what works in the UK and other Western markets will not simply translate to China. Indeed, translation itself is misleading. Forget translation, think localisation. Simply translating a brand can lead to clunky, misleading representations of the brand.
Instead, it needs to be adapted. One of the worst pieces of advice we ever received was to translate a brand’s marketing collateral in Hong Kong. “The gateway to China” we were advised. The result was poorly executed work in Cantonese, rather the national language of Mandarin. With such mistakes, brand can waste money and tank their brand before its even got going.
In localisation, it is also important to build themed marketing activity around prominent Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Summer Holiday, and Golden Week to connect with the Chinese consumer. To go into business in China is also virtually impossible without WeChat, the ubiquitous platform that is a unique amalgamation of features we might recognise from Facebook, WhatsApp, Spotify, Uber, Tinder, Apple Pay and others. It is where the Chinese find entertainment, message friends, buy goods and even book a doctor’s appointment. It is integral to Chinese life.
If it is a move you are considering or need some trusted advice on the way for your Chinese venture, please contact us. We are even open on Chinese New Year.
The transition to the virtual world has been accelerated through the pandemic with event organisers forced to adapt to the realities of lockdown life. But there are indications that rather than a return to normal service after the pandemic, many virtual innovations will be here to stay and for those organisations who have developed their digital delivery through 2020 and 2021, great rewards ahead.
On the face of it, the events industry has been devasted by the pandemic.
Yet, for those who persevered against the odds by pivoting to virtual delivery, there is a blueprint for lowering organisational overheads, reaching, and engaging wider audiences and fresh and lucrative revenue streams. The Virgin Money London Marathon is one such example. As the mass participation market ground to a halt, they postponed their traditional April staging and considered their options. They eventual came up with a model in October that saw an elite-only in-person event taking place in tandem with a virtual event for runners to be part of in their own communities.
It was not without its teething troubles. But they pulled it off with 38,000 ‘virtual’ runners. The brand stayed relevant and with runners peppered across the UK in their London Marathon race bibs, the event had – arguably – a wider reach. They delivered value for sponsors and generated revenue through the virtual delivery. Pre-pandemic, the event was consistently oversubscribed way above its 40,000-runner limit. This year, they have publicly stated they are aiming for 100,000 participants – both in person and virtually, more than doubling participation in a fell swoop.
Other hits (literally) of lockdown have been Gary Barlow’s Crooner Sessions, where has teamed up with the likes of Robbie Williams, Cliff Richard, Jessie J, and many others, striking a chord with millions across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Of course, the Take That national treasure has been delivering the sessions as a pep-up to the nation. But it has provided another indication of the new possibilities of the virtual delivery in all entertainment industries. It is a model that offers theatre and live music huge potential in the future.
In the corporate world, conferences have taken a hit with the traditional trade show and conferences model and their flesh-pressing culture impossible to deliver.
Yet with crisis comes creativity and platforms like GoToWebinar, Hopin and Big Marker have brought the in-person experience into the home. With interactive presentations with Q&A and audience polling features, breakout rooms, digital handouts, and recorded sessions – to ensure that you do not miss a minute, the model in many ways exceeds the in-person experience and is markedly cheaper too.
Of course, when the time comes, there is likely to be a resurgence in the event industry with people desperate for a level of human interaction that has been missing from their lives. But virtual delivery is here to stay with obvious potential in efficiencies, audience reach and the generation of new revenue streams. We expect hybrids model to be the core of event delivery post-pandemic.
Forget all you have heard from other marketing companies. Ignore everything you have been told. We have one guaranteed technique that will turbo-charge leads for your business and drive conversions….is something you will never, ever hear from us. You won’t see us on your social media feed offering simplistic solutions.
Sorry, but there is no silver bullet to marketing. We wish it were that simple.
What you will get from us is solid, honest advice and guidance from our experts with decades of experience. Where we do have a consistent mantra, it is in a multi-channel bespoke approach from client to client. No single marketing technique can work alone if a business is to reach its full potential. Nor will a multi-platform approach that we recommend for one client work as a winning template for a different client.
We will work with you to reach the right people, with the right message, on the right channels at the right time.
We work on a case-by-case basis to fully understand a business, its objectives, its market before plotting a tailor-made approach. It is estimated, according to Forbes (2019), that it requires an average of 7 to 10 touchpoints with a consumer before a sale is made. Which kind of throws that “one simple technique” notion under the bus.
Getting the customer journey right to ensure that your businesses delivers touchpoints in the spaces your target market inhabits is key to prospect marketing. When it comes to delivering your messaging and visual branding, its critical that there is strong consistency across all platforms to reinforce brand recognition and – with effective messaging – nurture positive sentiment among your target customers.
We won’t find you one answer…because there isn’t one. But we will work with you to find solutions that work for your business.
We define it as promoting your products or services to your target market in an engaging way, that defines, differentiates, and converts.
Effective marketing boils down to the very simple principle of “right message – right time – right channel – right audience.” Actually, you can add an ‘s’ to all of those.
At Fruit, we believe in a multi-channel approach and a rule of seven; that means that people will typically respond to a marketing message when they have seen or heard it seven times.
Of course, one size does not fit all. The same message at the same time on the same channel to the same audience will not reap the same rewards across business and across brands. There is no silver bullet for marketing. We wish it were that simple.
Marketing must be tailored specifically to each business, their objectives, a particular product or service and their customer profiles. A simple example is the Unilever brands Dove and Lynx, which utilise very contrasting approaches. One is softer, subtle with body positive content, the other is cheekier and more overtly sexual. We do not need to explain which is which.
If you need some support and guidance on crafting your marketing strategy and operations, please contact Fruit for a no-obligations consultation. We can help you get it right too.
From their low-key base in South Devon, it might not be immediately obvious the national and international level of expertise that lies behind the boat house doors of SeaSports Southwest.
Little more than a stone skim away from the back beach in Teignmouth, this small enterprise is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) certified water sports training centre.
They are one of UK’s premier Water Sports Centres, specialising in water-based experiences and training courses for beginners through to advanced and instructor level, covering power, sail and paddle water sports.
They are also the foremost training base for one of the world’s greatest endurance challenges. Billed as “The World’s Toughest Row”, the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge takes place every year with dozens of teams attempting to complete an arduous 3000-mile journey from the Canary Island to Antigua.
To ensure a safe and successful crossing, SeaSports Southwest is the centre that more teams entrust their training to than any other centre in the world. From 2013-2019, they have trained 61% of all race participants from 16 countries, including 15 who have won the race or broke a world record.
SeaSports Southwest have trained more ocean rowing teams than anyone else in the world and are the only recommended training centre from race organisers Atlantic Campaigns
Fruit Marketing have been proud to work with husband-and-wife team Sue and Tim, ably supported by Sam and not forgetting Bradley the dog, who have led operations at SeaSports Southwest since 2017.
It has been a time when the website and brand have been refreshed and relaunched and new communications, marketing and advertising plans have been activated. It has resulted in an increase in social media following of 212%, off-season sales growth of 200% and an overall revenue growth of 35% whilst reducing previous adverting and marketing costs.
Sue Cox, Owner & Managing Director at SeaSports Southwest said: “What really makes Jo (Fruit Co-founder) stand out is that she has worked tirelessly to understand our business inside out. She listens to us and consequently her advice to us is sound and her marketing campaigns are successful.”
Life is not always plain sailing, but together, SeaSports Southwest and Fruit Marketing are safely on an even keel.
Social media has such a huge presence in our lives. You are probably reading this article after seeing it on social media first! For businesses, it can seem overwhelming and it is easy to fall into a scattergun approach. Instead, it requires a clear content strategy, on the most appropriate platforms. A sound strategy will support your business objectives, by reaching your target market, channelling them into a pipeline of prospects and ultimately, towards conversion. To help you decipher what platform and approach will work for your business, here’s a quick overview of the big players in social media in the UK today.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 45m
MAIN DEMOGRAPHIC: 25-34 year olds (26%)
CONTENT: Videos are the best performing content on the platform. Content that is either inspirational, funny or practical consistently performs well.
NOTES: Keep up to date with the ever-evolving functionality. With video a key driver of engagement, the “Facebook Live” function and the ability to generate captions on pre-recorded videos are great features to lift engagement.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 27m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 25-34year olds
CONTENT: High quality images. BUT, make them authentic, take people into your world. Don’t just share stock images. The audience is savvy. Tell visual stories, make use of the story option to multiply engagement.
NOTES: Go crazy with hashtags to get discovered by people looking for the content you serve, ie. content relevant to prospects!
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 9m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 35-54 year olds (an estimated 23% of the UK workforce are on LinkedIn)
CONTENT: Blog pieces of up to 2000 words that demonstrate thought leadership perform well. So too do quick tips
NOTES: Proving that every platform has a personality of its own, videos perform poorly on LinkedIn in stark contrast to almost all other social media platforms.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 18m
DEMORAPHICS: Female 18-24
CONTENT: Images led content that inspires lifestyle decisions, such as recipes or home-making, even DIY
NOTES: It’s a platform remarkably devoid of negativity in relation to its social media cousins. It’s an opportunity for businesses working in lifestyle to bring their skills and expertise to a receptive audience.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 3.7m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 18-24 year olds (42% of users)
CONTENT: All video, popular content includes music or dance re-enacting and viral challenges:
NOTES: A major new player, but limited scope for brands yet.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 15.2m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 18-29 year olds
CONTENT: Images outperform videos on Twitter. “How to” content works well. It can be a very confrontational platform, but there’s room for irreverence.
NOTES: Twitter needs time and commitment as content is fleeting with a short shelf life.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 35m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 15-25 year olds
CONTENT: Vlogs from influencers are popular, so too are gaming videos, best-of videos and educational videos (how-to videos).
NOTES: YouTube is also a great depository to host videos that you can easily and embed on websites. Try not to hyperlink from other social platforms to YouTube. Upload videos direct to other social platforms where they will autoplay and save the user the torturous agony of another click and a visit to another site. Yes, we are that lazy!
If you want to talk to Fruit Marketing over your social media strategy and delivery, please get in contact today.
Community life is practically on pause through the pandemic. And yet, there is a feeling of a stronger sense of community being engendered.
People are finding new and creative ways to connect with friends and family using video calls with online quizzes and zoom nights in. And the public displays of solidarity from children’s rainbows adorning the nation’s windows to the now-weekly ritual of clapping for carers bring a strong sense of societal fabric.
The situation the masses now find themselves is identical to that of minorities did before the growth of the internet, reaching out to find connections with people with a common purpose, interest or need.
The internet enabled minorities, based on sexuality, race, religion, medical conditions or niche hobbies, to better connect with those with a common interest or the like-minded.
At the advent of the internet, there was an explosion of online communities to overcome the barriers of geography, isolation, and a need for anonymity in a less tolerant time – in some cases.
With no sign of social distancing being brought to a conclusion, we now all find ourselves in this situation. We are social creatures and have had our social lives severely curtailed. And so, online communities are where many of us are turning.
There are several brands, who either organically or even strategically have established online communities. Lego, Apple and Starbucks quickly come to mind. There are others whose product is the community itself, such as Mumsnet.
Those brands who effectively enable consumers to connect are making themselves an indispensable service to a public who are craving a sense of community during the coronavirus crisis.
As ever, Fruit Marketing are available to talk with brands interested in developing an online community.