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What’s this thing called Marketing about then?

On a nearly daily basis I hear people saying that they need to do more marketing, but in most cases what they actually mean is “I need to do more promotion.”

The current definition of Marketing from the CIM is “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” As you can see from that definition, it covers a lot more than promotion.

This is all a load of P*** isn’t it?

Since the mid 20th Century Marketeers have been using a model called the Marketing Mix to help with marketing decisions which simplifies the marketing definition to “marketing is putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.

The mix is commonly known as the 4 Ps which consist of Product, Place, Price and Promotion. In services marketing this is often expanded to 7 Ps adding Physical evidence, People and Process.

OK, we have a lot of Ps, what do they all mean?

Product refers to an item that satisfies a consumers needs or wants. Products can be tangible such as goods, or intangible such as ideas, experiences or services.

Price refers to the amount a customer pays for the product.

Place refers to how the customer gets access to the product.

Promotion refers to marketing communications – including elements such as social media, advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, etc.

Physical evidence refers to any physical item that is used in the service or reminds customers of the service.

People refers to the the staff who deliver the service and any interactions between them and customers.

Process refers to the mechanisms through which the service is delivered.

That’s all fine, but what do I do with them?

The 4 (or 7) Ps should be used when building a marketing plan. Once you have defined your business objectives it is time to develop a marketing mix that will achieve those objectives. This will ultimately give you your marketing strategy.

I’ve developed my strategy, what next?

Implement, monitor, feedback and modify! It is vital that any organisation keeps an eye on any changing trends and requirements, whether they be internal or external, as the marketing mix needs to stay relevant.

This all looks like common sense to me, but can you help me?

Absolutely ~ we have over 25 years of experience in developing and implementing Marketing Plans for organisations of all sizes. Please contact us for a no obligation first meeting where we can discuss your requirements and help you achieve them.

Is your data backed up in case of disaster?

Disasters can come in many forms, and when the disaster involves the data on your computer, do you have a viable backup to restore from?

We have recently seen a rise in Ransomware attacks, normally from seemingly innocent emails informing the recipient of a failed delivery attempt or an unpaid invoice. These emails can even appear to come from someone that you know, but unless you are 100% certain that the email is genuine, don’t open it.

Why are backups important with Ransomware?

Ransomware is a piece of cleverly crafted software that encrypts all the files on your computer then demands money, usually as bitcoins, to decrypt your files so that you can get back to business. With a recent and viable backup, you don’t have to pay the ransom as you can just remove the software and restore your files from your backup. If you don’t have a viable backup then the only way to get your files back is to pay up!

Backup options

There are many different methods of backing up your data, so we will only cover the more common methods here:

  • Online ‘cloud’ backup
  • Local network attached storage device backup
  • USB device backup

Online ‘cloud’ backup

If you only have a small number of files to backup then this can be the most cost effective as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud all have a free tier that gives a certain amount of online storage, however the backup tools provided with these free services can be somewhat limited.

A ‘true’ online backup service will cost around £30 to £50 per year for a 250Gb (or in some cases unlimited) plan and will come with software to automate the backup process.

Local NAS backup

Network Attached Storage devices are becoming more common in the small office and home environment where they can be used as central file servers / media servers. As these devices are often configured with a RAID, they are an ideal device to become a local backup for all your computers. For Mac users, most NAS devices can be configured as ‘Time Machine’ targets so that you can use OS X’s built in time machine backup software. For Windows users the ‘Windows Backup’ can be used with a NAS, or other backup solutions can be purchased that have additional features.

USB device backup

With the continued reduction in price of portable USB hard drives, this is becoming a favoured backup device for many organisations.  You can have several devices and store them onsite or offsite, BUT you do have to remember to plug them in and perform the backup task regularly to ensure that you have a recent backup.

Summary

We recommend that at the very least any organisation should use one of the above backup solutions. For many of our clients we adopt a dual solution where they have a cloud backup service and an on-site NAS or USB device backup. This gives the advantage of an off-site backup via the cloud service and a very fast retrieval system from the on-site backup.

If you would like more information or a free no obligation check-up of your current backup processes, please contact us.

Google Apps

For several years now, we have been using google apps for business to streamline our workflow. All our email, calendaring, and contact management; and much of our file sharing is handled in the cloud through google’s service. We are please to recommend this service to our clients. If you would like a free trial, please click the link below.

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It's simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.

Millions of organisations around the world count on Google Apps for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

Watch a video or find out more here.

These are some highlights:

Business email for your domain

Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as you@yourcompany.com. Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.

Access from any location or device

Check emails, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more, whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

Enterprise-level management tools

Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you, if you switch solutions.

Start free trial

Bicester website enabling grants

Is your website responsive?

Responsive websites are designed to operate equally well on hand-held devices, such as phones or tablets, and laptops/desktops.

Cherwell District Council have setup a scheme for Bicester businesses to help fund the cost of either enabling an existing website to be viewed on a hand-held device, or a grant towards the cost of a new ‘enabled’ website.

At Alex Goodey Comunications, all of the websites we create are made with mobile devices in mind from the outset. We develop bespoke responsive themes that detect the type of device being used to browse the site and dynamically adjust the way the content is displayed to optimise it for that device.

If you would like to find out how easy it is to get your existing site modified or a new site created that can be viewed on a hand-held device, please email us now

Details of the CDC grant scheme can be found on this page, and the application form can be downloaded from here.

Photography… It’s not just about owning a camera!

My first recollections of photography are about forty years ago when my father gave me an old 120 format film camera loaded with a film. I cannot remember what make it was, but I think it may have been a voigtländer. I do remember that you opened the front and a set of bellows came out, and on the end of the lens you only had a few settings. It came with a little piece of paper that told you what setting to use for the different light levels.

Continue reading Photography… It’s not just about owning a camera!

New website launched

We are producing more and more WordPress websites for our clients, so we thought that it was about time that our website was updated to use WordPress too!…

Please bear with us as we work on the look and feel of our new site, but I am sure that you will agree it is a big improvement on the old one!

Elderflower Sorbet

Elderflowers

Everything seems to be early this year, and the Elder bushes coming in to bloom are no exception! Elderflowers have a glorious aromatic quality and make great cordials, sorbets and champagne (more of that in a later post…)

I picked up a large bag of lemons at Bicester street market yesterday in preparation for making one of my favourite sorbets – elderflower (although you could leave the elderflowers out and call it lemon sorbet if you wished!)

Continue reading Elderflower Sorbet

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Now that English strawberries are starting to appear in the supermarkets and grocers, it is time to make my favourite Muffins! Along with all muffin recipes, there are a couple of tricks to make them foolproof ~ It is important to measure the baking powder accurately, and even more importantly: once you mix the dry and wet ingredients together, the quicker you are at getting them muffins in the oven, the better they will turn out!

Continue reading Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Deli Style Beef

Deli style beef

This is the first post from a guest author: Jason Ayres.

I have known Jason since I moved to Bicester, he has a local Karaoke & Disco Business and loves his food nearly as much as I do!

Earlier this year he asked me a question: “I like cold roast beef – such as you would buy sliced off a deli. However, no matter what I do I cannot achieve this effect with my left over roast. Whether I slice it after cooking, or keep as a joint, wrap up and slice the next day (as I would a ham), the effect is always the same. My gorgeous Sunday joint becomes dry and chewy, any sinewy bits not in evidence at Sunday lumch suddenly appear too. It’s absolutely useless for sandwiches. It’s impossible to slice to the thinness I require which may be part of the problem.

My response was that I thought Deli Beef was cooked in a Sous Vide which would give the required properties but would be useless as a roast…

As a result of my response Jason came up with this wonderful method (which I have yet to try, but he seems to produce on a regular basis judging by his FaceBook statuses…)

Continue reading Deli Style Beef

Fish Pie

fish pie: done!

If you have a little bit of time on your hands and fancy a great, creamy, fish dish then you can’t beat this fish pie recipe. It has smoked and unsmoked fish along with prawns and anything else that you would like to add. If you have some fresh parsley in the garden you can add that too! This recipe will easily serve four people with fresh minted garden peas.

Continue reading Fish Pie

Seville Orange Marmalade

Marmalade, mmm...

Apologies for the lack of posts, but with the snow, holidays and work I haven’t had time to upload anything recently. I have a large back log of articles so hopefully I will manage to get one up every week from now on.

My Grandmother always made the best marmalade – I don’t think that I ever helped her make it, and the recipe I use is not her’s but at this time of year when the Seville Oranges are in season there is nothing better to do with them than make marmalade.

Continue reading Seville Orange Marmalade