It may sound obvious, but before you do any kind of advertising, it’s essential to have very specific target audiences in mind. You may think you have a rough idea of who you’re marketing towards but understanding your audience on a deeper level allows you to speak more clearly and personally to potential customers. Wouldn’t you be more inclined towards a company who truly understood and catered towards your goals and motivations?
Follow our guide to identifying and understanding your target audience – you may be surprised by the results.
1. Familiarise yourself with your business’s mission and features
Truly understanding your business and what it has to offer plays an essential role in being able to identify and speak to your target audience. List the features of your business and the benefits that it brings to people. Later, you’ll be able to match these up to your customer profiles. Consider all the products your business has to offer and identify where customers may be interested in multiple activities.
2. Create your customer profiles
These could take any number of different categories: age groups; interests; family arrangements; fitness levels. If you’re struggling with where to start, look at the customers you’ve already got. Who are they? What are their interests and characteristics? Who are the most loyal customers? Which customers are less committed? Are there any customers you’d like to attract that you’re currently unable to?
3. Step into their shoes
Work through each profile to determine the following:
- What is their goal, the goal that has brought them to your business? e.g. To improve health due to age, to lose weight, or to socialise. They can also have more than one goal.
- Which networks are they using? Examples are Google, Facebook, Instagram, email, local newspaper. This is a quick and easy way to identify which networks you should be advertising on.
- What aspect of your business would be most appealing to them? You can return to your business features for this. Is it the convenience, the price, the range of activities and facilities? Each profile will have different incentives and interests, and it’s important to identify as many as you can.
4. Speak to your audience
You now have all the tools to be able to communicate effectively with your prime audience: you know how to get in touch with them (via the networks they use), what their motivations are, and what extra features of your business will really wow them.
TA6 have a wealth of experience in identifying target audiences, as well as understanding how best to reach them. We’re here to share our knowledge and help you to be able to achieve this for your business.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you and get our FREE customer persona worksheet!
Note: We will only use your details above for getting in touch to share the free worksheet. Details will not be passed to any 3rd party.
Whilst we appreciate the thousands of key workers that are keeping our country running right now we also realise that there are a lot of people suddenly thrust into the situation of working from home. At TA6 many of us are used to home working on a regular basis and so we’ve put some of our top tips together to help you stay focused when working at home.
KEEP YOUR ROUTINE
When suddenly given the opportunity to work from home it can be very tempting to switch off the alarm and take the advantage of some lazy mornings! However, you will find your day will go much better and you will be far more productive if you stick to your regular routine. Get up at the normal time and start your day in the normal way. If you can get up nice and early and start your day with a home workout that will put you in a great mind-set to stay focused during your work day. Save the lie-ins for the weekend!
2. GET DISTRACTIONS OUT OF THE WAY FIRST
If you’ve got a list of jobs that you know need doing in the day whether they be life admin, cleaning or shopping then get them done as early as you can in the day. If you know you’ve got things that need to be done they will be a constant distraction to you as you are trying to work. Set yourself 30 minutes to an hour first thing to get all those niggling jobs done and out of the way, then you’ve got the rest of the day to get on with your work.
3. PLAN YOUR DAY
This might seem like an obvious one but making a ‘To Do’ list can make the difference between a successful and a wasted day. Plan everything you need to get done and then work out at what time you want to do it and schedule it into your day. This way you will be focused on each task and ensure that everything gets done before moving onto the next thing. Even schedule in lunch and breaks!
4. GET OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR
Sitting in front of a computer screen all day long can be soul destroying, especially when you’re not used to it. So schedule in some time to get out of the house and get some fresh air. If you have a dog then that’s a perfect excuse to get out of the house, otherwise maybe go for a short run or a walk just to clear your head. Don’t be tempted to take your phone with you and scroll trough social media at the same time – give your eyes a break!
5. NO TV!
It can be extremely tempting, when you’re working at home, to stick on the TV and catch up on your favourite soaps or start watching a new box set. If you do, before you know it, two hours will have passed and you will know all about what’s happening in Coronation Street but that spreadsheet you were supposed to be doing is completely blank! Save the TV for the end of the day when you can relax knowing you’ve had a super productive day.
6. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Whilst it’s important to stay productive it’s also important to take regular breaks. A good idea is to treat yourself after completing a block of work with a cuppa and an episode of your favourite TV show or a scroll on Instagram. Whatever tickles your fancy it’s important to congratulate yourself after a productive few hours of work. Don’t feel guilty for taking breaks – nobody can be productive all day long!
7. SET AN END TO THE DAY
When we are working from home work can often encroach into your home life. Whilst it’s great to be flexible and work at times to suit you it is equally important to set an end to your day. Don’t be tempted to answer emails into the evening if you started work first thing and have worked all day. Work – Life balance can often be more difficult when you work from home.
8. DRESS FOR WORK
When there’s no reason to leave the house it can sometimes seem pointless to bother getting out of your PJs! However, you will find yourself so much more productive if you get up and get dressed for your day’s work. There’s obviously no need to get suited and booted but getting showered and dressed will definitely give you more focus.
9. MAKE A WORK AREA
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office, especially if you’re not usually required to work from home. If you don’t, then it is a great idea to make yourself a specific work area. Make it comfortable and in an area away from distractions. If you work from a laptop then make sure it’s on a suitable table with a chair so you’re not hunched over sat on your sofa. Prolonged bad posture can cause back and neck pain so a risk assessment of your work space is a good idea and look at how you can raise the height of your screen or chair if needed.
10. INTERACT WITH OTHERS REGULARLY
There’s no doubt, working at home can be very isolating. Contact colleagues regularly via the telephone or online platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Skype. Set up a WhatsApp group for daily interaction and why not set up some fun challenges your teams can get involved in. If you can’t meet people in person then these things are so important, it can be very demotivating to have no interaction at all for weeks on end.
We hope you found these tips useful. If you have any tips of your own please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Please also share this post with your friends and colleagues who might need help with focusing when working at home.
Who do you listen to most when it comes to purchasing a new product or service? The brand or the happy customer? It has become so simple for customers to share their experiences on multiple online platforms and there is a wealth of information out there for us to see when it comes to buying that new TV, car, latest gadget or joining a local gym. Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business?
Long gone are the days when we just go to our nearest shop and buy what we need – research is key, and online reviews often come top of the list in that research. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of customer reviews and here are a few reasons why they can be so great for your business…
Trust in a brand is of utmost importance when it comes to purchasing from a new company so how does a new customer know they can trust you? You can tell them how great you are until you’re blue in the face, but if your happy customers tell everyone how great you are then that means so much more! In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation and 77% of consumers say that a positive review makes them trust a business more.
2. SOCIAL PROOF
There is no doubt that a business with a lot of positive or 5* reviews will get more sales than a business with less or no reviews. If you see that lots of people think that buying from a particular business is a good idea then you are far more likely to go along with the crowd and buy from them too.
Without going into the depths of SEO (we’ll leave that for another day) regular positive reviews are looked on favourably by search engines and will help your business appear higher in rankings. Not only does this help people see your business they are more likely to click because they will see that your website is a leader in your area and therefore more trustworthy. More reviews will also help with keyword content, another thing that will help your SEO and improve your online visibility.
4. INCREASED SALES
We can’t 100% promise that you will suddenly start hitting all your targets if you get some good online reviews, however, studies have shown that improving your star rating and getting more online reviews can have a positive effect on your bottom line. In fact, customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
5. BETTER CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Having lots of online reviews is one thing but what you do with them is another entirely. They are, in fact, a great opportunity for you, as businesses, to get great interaction with your happiest and most loyal customers…the ones that are so important to you and your biggest raving fans! You can comment on and thank people for great reviews, you can even treat them to a freebie from time to time. Let other people see that there is a lot to be gained from saying nice things about you! Similarly, for those that might not be so happy, it gives you a great opportunity to deal with a poor review and a negative experience that a customer may have had. To show people that you care about your customers and take note and act on their concerns.
6. SPREAD THE LOVE
Increasing positive reviews on your own websites or Facebook pages is important but spreading that love and getting people talking about your business far and wide is what you need. Big review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp are hugely influential in expanding your company’s online reach and getting more people finding out about the great things you are doing. Make sure your customers are aware that they can leave reviews about you in multiple places.
7. REVIEWS BREED REVIEWS
It appears that when a business has some reviews already, people are more encouraged to leave their own reviews. Almost like a crowd mentality people feel confident to leave positive feedback when others have left similar comments before them.
TA6 have a wealth of experience in interpreting and acting on the data created from our clients’ digital marketing campaigns, and we’d love to share our knowledge with you. To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please fill in your details below.
Among the many positives of the insurgence of digital marketing is, without a doubt, the invaluable data that it provides us with. We all know that data is invaluable – why else would people be so fiercely protective over it? – but do you know why? How can we use the data left in the wake of people’s virtual actions to enhance both our digital advertising activities and the success of our businesses? We’d like to share with you 5 crucial pieces of data used by marketers to analyse the performance of digital adverts.
1. Click-through rate / CTR
Arguably the most important piece of data of them all, this little number represents the percentage of people who clicked on the advert having seen it. When you know how to use it, the CTR can tell you how well your advert is being received, whether it’s aimed at the right audience, and how tantalising your call-to-action is.
Whilst it is, of course, important for people to see your advert, a high amount of people having seen it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been successful. If your overall objective is for people to sign up for a free day pass to your gym, the number of impressions that your advert has received is almost irrelevant. Of most importance is the number of clicks and the click-through rate.Read More
Marina Thomas, Head of Training and Development at TA6, has delivered training and education to all levels of the public and private sector workforce for more than 25 years. Passionate about empowering others to realise their full potential, while meeting organisational goals, she is one of the most inspiring trainers in the sector. Here she explains her role with TA6 and why she believes education at all levels of business is vital for commercial success.
Education is key to success. That’s the bottom line. I’m not just talking about the practical skills needed to satisfy a job specification; I mean the education needed to embed a brand’s vision, mission and values into the DNA of every person working within the organisation, regardless of role. The aim has to be to create a team of advocates who truly believe in their cause and who outperform the requirement of their roles, every minute of every day, not because their manager tells them to, but because they have the personal passion, desire and drive to do so.
Working in partnership with leisure providers, instilling this cultural allegiance to the organisation’s vision, mission and values is what TA6 does best. Yes, we can (and do) deliver individual courses to segments of the workforce and yes, this does drive success but where we see the most profoundly positive commercial results is where we involve the whole workforce, involving everyone in the team.
TA6 is not about investment for short term gains; we work with organisations to create a long term sustainable future. We rally individuals at all levels of the business to stand behind the values of the organisation and empower them to act on their own initiative, in line with those values. Once everyone is pulling in the same direction, striving for the same goals, driven by a personal desire to achieve, it’s amazing how the business will flourish.
The role of the TA6 education team is not to directly deliver operational or commercial outcomes. It is to empower all team members to play their part and perform to the best of their ability. To achieve this, everyone must understand the objectives of the organisation as well as their personal value and the impact they make to the bigger picture.
When we deliver our training and education, we often have the CEO and senior management team in the same sessions as those who are delivering front line services. This is because a receptionist, gym instructor or swimming teacher is arguably more influential when it comes to the day to day delivery of brand vision, mission and values. Everyone plays a part and every part is valuable.
Recognising that leisure remains a transient industry, especially in consumer-facing roles, we also work with senior teams to provide the skills and confidence needed to enable them to pass our teaching on to other team members. This ensures the allegiance to vision, mission and values remains intrinsic at all levels of the business, creating cultural sustainability.
Instilling loyalty among all team members and getting them truly behind an organisation’s cultural values is no easy task. It requires long term investment and commitment to education and training. My experience has taught me that a commitment to training and empowerment gives back far more than it takes.
If you would like to talk to TA6 about how we could empower your workforce to drive your business, contact us here.
In this short article I’ll be introducing the concept of advertising on social media channels using a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. I find the majority of advertising in leisure revolves around fitness memberships with some marketing also directed towards swimming lessons, courses and a few other activities. I’ll be using memberships as an example to show how you can start to use PPC advertising for your facilities.
Traditional, or offline, marketing focuses on leaflet distribution, newspaper adverts, outreach events, posters, roadside banners, radio advertising, etc. Many leisure operators find it difficult to track the effectiveness of these advertising channels but continue to invest in them year after year. What’s your go-to channel of choice? What has always given you guaranteed returns for your investment? Tricky to answer isn’t it? Because we often rely on a inefficient tracking methods and anecdotal evidence from years of experience.
So what if there were ways to monitor the effectiveness of your advertising AND guarantee returns? As you’re reading an article on digital advertising you can probably guess where this is going!
Digital advertising opportunities exist on many channels including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to name a few. We’ll focus on Facebook for now and I’m sure you can read about Google advertising in another of my articles in the future.
Facebook has been around since 2004, generates over $40billion of revenue each year and has 30,000 employees worldwide. It offers advertising through its Facebook Ads platform and as it also owns Instagram you can schedule adverts on that channel too.
Facebook Ads are shown to a user in a variety of ways, the most common being the mobile newsfeed, i.e. when you’re on Facebook on your phone and you’re scrolling through the newsfeed you will see ‘sponsored’ posts appearing.
One of the huge benefits of digital advertising is the targeting options available to marketeers when placing their adverts. Facebook allows you to target users based on location, gender, age, interests and a few other demographic traits. For example, if you want to promote a new class membership you might want to target 25-50yr old females living within 5km of a centre who have “gym, fitness, dance and exercise” interests. Your adverts would then only be displayed to this group of individuals when they’re on Facebook, regardless of whether they follow your page or not.
The next benefit of Facebook Ads is that most advertisers will probably use a pay-per-click strategy. This is exactly what it says on the tin – you only pay Facebook when someone clicks on your advert. So if you’re advert to female class users gets zero interactions, you won’t pay Facebook a penny and yet your advert will have been seen by lots of potential customers. However, don’t go celebrating the free advertising yet as there must be a reason why nobody clicked on your advert – wrong image, no specific call-to-action, poor offer, wrong audience?
The quality of your advert is obviously important when planning a digital campaign, but the real effectiveness of your advertising is probably based more on the outcome from where people are directed. I should say at this point that there is an alternative to PPC which is CPM (cost-per-thousand) and is based on displaying your adverts to an audience and charging you for every 1,000 impressions. This is useful for awareness advertising when you have no obvious destination to send people to. However, if you do have a landing page to send ‘clicks’ to then make sure it is mobile-friendly (over 85% of advert traffic tends to be on mobile devices), provides information on the subject that caused the user to click, captures data if appropriate and uses video and images to be attractive yet informative.
So how much does a ‘click’ cost then? In our experience a typical click is around 30p. But this can fluctuate from a few pence to over £1 depending on a range of factors. The size of your target audience, the quality of your advert, your budget and the length of the campaign can all have an effect on your spend. However, when setting up an advert Facebook does give an indication of how many clicks you are likely to receive based on your targeting criteria. And you are always in control of your budget so you can set a daily limit of say £5 so once your advert has received enough clicks to spend your £5 then the adverts won’t be displayed any more.
Alongside setting a daily limit you can also limit the length of time your campaign runs for. So you can setup an advert that runs for a week with a daily limit of £5 per day. At the end of the week you should have gained approximately 115 clicks to your website of choice (£5 x 7 days / 30p average cost-per-click). If the campaign is working well then at any time you can extend the duration or daily spend, or alternatively if you are not getting the results then you can pause or stop the campaign.
Through years of experience and regular contact with our Facebook account manager we have developed an expertise within TA6 that is hard to match in the leisure industry. Our adverts have been seen by almost 20% of the UK adult population and we have created over 1500 Facebook campaigns to date.
To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please complete your details below.
How passionate are your staff towards your brand? Is there energy and drive from most of your team to deliver amazing customer experiences and exceed expectations? Do your managers inspire their teams to want to perform, for the brand, for their colleagues?
Creating a brand that lives, breathes and is embedded in all you do is an essential ingredient for survival and growth in 2016 and beyond. Here are five essential elements in creating a brand that is alive and pumping through the veins of all you do:
1. Have vision and values that get your team excited
Too many organisations have a set of vision, mission and values that are just plain boring. They are generally the same as any other organisation in their sector, and sit in a folder. Be brave, bold and differentiate yourself from the competition by creating something your staff are proud to be part of. Install a set of core values that form the basis of everything you do. These values should define your business, the experience you create and the atmosphere amongst your staff.
2. Create alignment at all levels.
If you truly want your front-line staff to deliver customer service excellence in a highly effective way then they have to feel aligned to all levels of management and other business units within the organisation. From the CEO down, the brand values and company ethos have to be lived and embraced. Just expecting your staff to deliver to a set of rules that you’re not prepared to do yourself is destructive and eats away at the soul of a business. Leaders show their team how to behave not tell them, and if I feel aligned to my manager and colleagues I feel involved and engaged. This creates pride in what I do and brings the brand alive!
3. Blow them away at their induction.
If we videoed a new employee being inducted in your organisation and played it to you, would you be blown away or would you cringe? Would you see an induction where the line manager creates energy and passion towards your brand, explaining the minimum expectations of working for the organisation and why we expect those standards? Do they relate these expectations to your values, showing the new member of staff how much they believe in them? Most inductions in our sector are truly terrible and are often just a tick box exercise to get someone set up in their new role. Most people leave their induction feeling flat and bored, but you can change this to show them your company’s true culture.
4. Focus on your brand delivery every day.
Brand standards in a top organisation are never compromised, whereby the management team are the ‘brand police’. Every manager in your organisation has to live the brand every day, every customer interaction, every team meeting, every training session, every team member appraisal, every marketing message, everything you do has to deliver on your vision, mission and values – they are the heartbeat of everything you do. Every team within the organisation needs to be clear on the minimum delivery level and be focused on surpassing it.
5. Mystery shop every month.
Make sure you check and challenge the actual delivery of your brand on a monthly basis. Don’t take your teams’ word for great performance. Video mystery shopping is an essential part off the toolkit of a service provider in 2016. Be passionate about excellence and install a culture of not accepting mediocracy. Watch your brand in action through a proactive and focused mystery shopper programme.
You cannot make your team bring your brand to life, they have to want to do it. Your staff at all levels need to be proud of their employer, the brand they represent and be clear on what the brand expects. When your teams feel aligned to each other and senior management it creates buy-in and loyalty. Your leaders should lead by example, setting the tone for service excellence. Is your brand alive in all you do?
Written by Paul Woodford Director for Marketing & Development