Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lecture 4 - Understanding Customers

How To Promote Yourself In 6 Easy Steps

The advertising world is crammed full of people advertising, shouting, persuading, talking, singing, telling us, showing us how things will improve our lives, making offers, offering bundles of products, making things faster, cheaper, more luxurious, more famous, celebrity endorsed, 15 minutes of fames, league tables, charts, price comparisons, two for one, BOGOF, lifestyle, environment, diet, save the polar bears, latest information, new tour, limited edition, must have, high quality, on time, internet discount, easy payments. 0% interest, group bookings, interactive, designer, fashion, experience, mind-bending, local, global, faster, better, full service, guaranteed, contract, budget, premium, cash only.
How are you supposed to be heard when you are just one small voice, you are new to the market and have no money...
You need to understand the difference between the different maarketing methods. You need to know their streghts and weaknesses and how they will relate to your audience.

Many small businesses look at their marketing in terms of their own viewpoint of their own business, practice or service. So, in order to announce that they are new, they do something introductory, as they grow, they do something more mature and assured and as they become famous they reckon that they probably don’t have to promote themselves any more because everyone knows them and they will pick up business by word of mouth. Then their relationship with you develops but, rather like personal relationships, before they commit to you for the long term, they will need reassurances and encouragement, reciprocity and signs that they are valued by you.

This ongoing introduction of new customers bring an on going need to meet your customers needs and therefore an ever changing and moulding company. Different types of marketing strategies will attract different customers. You can see these different activities happening in TV advertising with businesses like O2, Honda, Morrissons and so on. Their messages are mulit-layered because the communications are complex.

Here are the ten basic marketing methods which could make up your Marketing Communication Mix.
The Internet
Some people believe that using solely the internet for advertisement will work, however the internet is only a medium not a promotional method. You need to work out who your work will appeal to...

• Advertise using banners
• Will you draw people into your practice and ask them to engage with your work through a blog
•Will you simply exhibit your work on a community web site
•Will you employ’ personalised selling’ in the way that Amazon does by allowing customers to have ‘accounts’ on your selling site.
•Will you pick up new customers through web site maximisation
•Will you encourage use of your website by offering online discounts that are not available from your workshop or your market stall
•Maybe you will use your web site, bog or Twitter as a public relations tool to change people’s perceptions of you
•Perhaps you will build relationships with people by inviting them to interact with you in some kind of forum such as Facebook.

Do Nothing

Whatever you do, DON'T do nothing. Nothing will bring you NO results. No one will know you exist. Imagine if Tesco or Morrissons had never opened a second store nor advertised their low prices to a wide audience.

Get Their Attention
•Memorable business card
•Radio interviews
•Write articles
•Run a blog
•Exploit social media

Raising awareness in people who have not heard of you before. Relationships with customers are the same as with new friends. First they need to be interested in what you do, then they need to get to know you, thirdly they must trust you. But how do they get to meet you in the first place?..

• You have to be visible.
• Attend events, introduce yourself to people and, if there is some interest, take and give a business card.
• Network, as they say
• Write articles in a magazine about your specialist subject. This will attract people who share your point of view
• Run a meaningful blog that will attract like-minded people
• Most importantly – CONTIBUTE TO THE BLOGS OF OTHERS. Don’t be passive.

Build Their Interest
•Web site
•Information packs

Make your self readily available, keep your work with you electronically. make your work easily accessible and network.

Convince Them

  • Artist statement 
  • Recommendations 
  • Testimonials
  • Awards 
  • Community engagement 
  • Professional bodies 
  • Charity events
As interest grows about your company people will want to know more about what you do and what the benefits would be to them if they were to do business with you. They will want to know about your reputation because if you have a bad reputation doing business with you could damage theirs.

You need to make them aware of our values, sell yourself, you need to engage with the world around you.

Make your offer irresistible 

  • Value proposition
  • Pricing strategies
  • Packaging
  • Try before you buy
  • Recommendations
  • Differentiation
So now they like and trust you, now you must persuade them that you are the best that they can get and that you will be there to support them in the long term.

Close the sale 

  • Convenience
  • Buy it now
  • Right place, right time
  • Delivery
  • Personal selling
  • Interactive website
To close the sale you need to summarise what you have offered to them..
Is there anything I have missed?

Is there anything else you need?

Does the offer suit your needs?

Can I help you to sell the idea to your colleagues by making a further presentation?

Does the price fit your budget?

Can you tell me who I will be liaising with in your organisation as I execute this project?

Can I help you with Marketing to your customers?

Is there any reason why we should not proceed?

Are you ready to sign the contract now?

Shall we put some dates in our diaries for progress meetings now?

  • After sales service
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Longevity
  • Merchandising
  • Maintaining contact
  • Building relationships

Make sure this relationship is a long term commitment. 

Keep up your public relations activities to give your customers something to talk to others about.
Give them new reasons to do business with you by introducing new ideas from time to time. 
Ask them to help you develop new ideas
Work together with them to explore mutually beneficial opportunities 
Make your customer your business partner. 

AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

The steps of the sales cycle

Target your market

Defining your customers... to save money you need to advertise effectively to the right places, so they will be seen by the right people.

Publications that sell advertising give you all the right information you need to decide weather it is the right place to advertise in and to reduce the risk on your part. 

You need to think and know about things such as...
  • How many copies they sell
  • If they sell it nationally or globally
  • What their readers are like.
It is also useful to know what the focus of the magazine that month might be. Most monthly magazines publish their monthly themes about 12 months in advance of publication. Picking the right month with the right theme can help to maximise sales and publicity.

People are very diverse, they may seem simple on the outside, but look at the above diagram at all the different things about this woman. How would you go about attracting a customer like this? 

Let's say she reads things such as, gardening, nature, ecologist, gardeners world, the guardian, novels


listens to things such as, BBC radio 2, BBC Leeds, opera, theatre.

There is a wide range of advertising methods that you could apply to reach out to such people, you just have to know as much as possible about your target audience to reach out to them in as many ways as possible.

Media usage
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Radio/ TV
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • Trade magazines
  • Public space advertising
  • Parish magazine
You need to capture your audiences attention on an area in their lives in which you can contribute to.

B2B - Business to business

Business to business marketing is a lot easier. The focus of the business interest is much clearer. The biggest consumers of creative output is the Public Sector. Free lance work appeals to a lot of businesses, for example, looking through the yellow pages as all the different departments in the Leeds City Council that could use your skills of outputs is staggering:
  • Museums
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Care for the elderly
  • Parks and gardens
  • Highways
  • Public health and sanitation
  • Libraries
  • Art galleries
  • Public events and festivals
  • Housing
Consumer segmentation
  • Demographics
  • Geographical factors
  • Lifestyle
  • Media usage
Putting yourself in your audiences shoes can help you relate to them better, ask yourself these questions:
  1. What kind of people are they; what business sector are they in?
  2. Whereabouts are they located at the time you want to communicate with them?... at home, in the office, in the car, walking in the street?
  3. What is their lifestyle or what are their values?
  4. What is their media usage with regards to my kind of work?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

7 Things To Know About Print

This example will be based on a model for lithography printing, however litho is the most common form of printing and most of what is discussed here is applicable to all printing.

I will be looking at the practical, technical and economical aspects of printing and the four main areas of commercial print production.

Colour Models
The way colour is generated in print is completely different from what you see on screen. If you don’t grasp this you will never be in control of what you design.

CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
RGB - Red, Green and Blue
Hexachrome - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black also including 2 extra colours; two different shades of Cyan and Magenta. Adding two extra colour increases the gamut.
Spot colour - The colour to be printed is the colour in the tin. 
PMS - Pantone Matching System

Understanding format options and limitations will help you to be more creative and economical when necessary.

Standard ISO paper sizes - A4, A3, A2 etc.
A & SRA - A is normal size and SRA is the paper size printers work to. Because of bleed ad cut marks the paper needs to be slightly bigger so the paper can be trimmed after printing.
Tabloid, Broadsheet and Berliner - Small, medium and large (e.g newspaper sizes).
Envelope 'C' sizes - Envelopes are measure in 'C's for example C1, C2, C3...


The correct weight and finish of a paper or substrate are crucial to the feel of a job. If your knowledge only goes as far as 80 gsm photocopy paper you’re no serious about design.

Weights (gsm) - Grams per square meter.
Finish (gloss/silk/matt/coated/uncoated) - Coated is thicker and stronger then uncoated.
Laid/Wove - how the stock is made and put together, the grain.
Plastics and Acetates 

Preparing artwork correctly for print is the sign of a professional. It will save you an the printer a lot of grief if you know what needs doing and check it twice. Get the client to sign-off the proof, it offeres some insurance if things go wrong.

Document set up - Right colours, paper size
File formats & Fonts - If you chose to use your own font for a job and the computer you print from doesn't have it the printer will substitute it for another font.
Spellcheck - Get your work to be signed off by the client so that if anything has been miss spelt it has already been checked through and therefore it is not your fault.
Colour Specification - RGB, CMYK etc.
Pre-Flight Check - Before you print check everything is as it should be.
Printer Marks - To show where the paper should be cut and what colours have been used.
Mock-ups - Ideas should be printed out at a low cost on low standard paper to see what they look like at a glance before printing the final design.
Proof - Of your work.
Sign-off - Client will sign off the work and say that it is fine to print therefore it is their fault if things don't print properly or are incorrect. 

Print Processes
You should know very early on in your design which print process and finishing is appropriate for your job. There are nuances in artwork specification that you may need to be aware of… find out before you’ve gone too far.






Six Colour

Laminate - gloss/matt

Foil Blocking


Spot UV Varnish

This is very closely linked with the print process and should always be discussed with your printer as they are likely to do this In-House. If not they will still commission and manage it as part of the job.

Binding - what type?
Folding and Creasing
Die Stamping/Drilling

Get 3 quotes and check the the specification is the same on each one otherwise it’s impossible to see who’s providing the best deal. 
Be aware of the impact special sizes, finishes etc have on the overall cost. Sometimes a ‘finish’ can cost nearly as much as the the rest of the print. 

  • Get a quote very early on, before you start the job in earnest in possible
  • Identical specification for three print estimators to work to.
  • Learn roughly what things cost (unit cost).
  • Understand viable minimum quantities.
  • Extras/Authors/Corrections.
  • Delivery?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Lecture 3 - What Are You Worth?

How do people create successful products today when everything seems like it has already been done before? How can you convince your target audience to buy your product over someone else's?

If you do things the way that everyone else is doing it chances are you won't get noticed or get very far. There are a lot of products that are very uninteresting and that don't attract customers, because they don't know what customers want.

What is the value of your creativity?

Drucker (1985) argued that innovation is the tool of entrepreneurship. In addition, both innovation and entrepreneurship demand creativity. Creativity is a process by which culture is changed. New songs, new ideas, new machines are what creativity is about. We don't have ownership of creativity. Creativity should be taken in a more holistic way.

Mihaly(1997) said that creativity is the ability to make or otherwise bring into existences something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. Creativity is the act of seeing things that everyone around us sees while making connections that no one else has made.

Professor Kotler's book, Marketing Management, is the world's most widely used graduate level textbook in marketing.

C – Creating

C – Communicating

D – Delivering

V – Value

T – To a Target Market

P – for profit

Creating value is about product management;

this used to be done internally, secretly but now they have people all over the world developing products with them. This is called Open innovation.

Pringles wanted to make a range for kids and thought that printing funny images on the Pringles would be a good idea but they didn’t have the technology. They heard about a biscuit maker in Italy who was printing images on food. So they collaborated to create new products. This is open technology or open innovation. Design so you know it will respond to what people want instead of hoping they will like you product once it is already made.

Communicating value is about brand management.

This used to be a name, a logo packaging. Now it is everything you are about. It’s about the way you act, the way you approach customers. It is everything you do. It used it be about mind and ‘heart’ but now we are after people’s spirits. It is about showing you care and even nurturing your customer’s ego. If they care about the planet or the environment; you must show the way in which you care.

Delivering value is about customer management. Customer management used to be about a data base, but is this customer management or managing a data base? The brand needs to know the customer beyond the data base. Knowing a lot about the customer enables companies to somewhat make the customers design their own advertisement.

Insight comes from experience you are not born with it.

The market is changing fast and we spend money differently from the way we spent it 20 years ago. We are very wealthy. There is not much that we actually need. As a result, we have started buying goods and services based on emotional needs and impulse.

We want to be entertained by the shopping experience and by the novelty factor of new technology. We also want to learn and for learning to be fun. We want to engage with Creative and Cultural pursuits but in an easy way; not in some highbrow way. Understanding these changes can give us an insight into the motivators behind people’s spending, If we understand that, we can learn which are the most lucrative sectors to work in and how to get customers and businesses to part with their money.

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist who wanted to find out more about the things that motivate people to buy stuff studied human beings in as objective a fashion as he possibly could. He took years of research into animal behaviour and tried to apply it to humans to see if there were correlations. He found that, actually, our needs have not changed much in millennia right from being cave dwellers to becoming modern humans. He named it ‘A hierarchy of need’.

Ancient man’s prime need was to breathe, eat, drink, stay warm and dry and to procreate.

He needed to stay safe from bears and marauding tribes. He needed to sleep safe in his bed and know that his children could be raised before they were killed or stolen.

The needs of an ancient family group were to be collaborative, to engender mutual respect and to look out for each other. Rather like a pack of lions which develops strategies for hunting together or a mob of meercats which posts sentries for the benefit of the entire group.

In the animal world, many animals recognise hierarchies, establish and maintain relationships and live in supportive social groups. We also have similar ways of organising and supporting each other but we achieve these goals by different means. Organised family occasions help to bond family ties and give us opportunities to celebrate, to affirm achievements and to establish the family’s position in, and publicise its values to society.

Social groups almost naturally develop hierarchies of different sorts. We have a Queen at the top of our social and political hierarchy. Those who would abolish the monarchy realise that if it were to go; it would be replaced with some other kind of hierarchy. That is the way of all animal and social groups. The lions have their alpha male; meercats and wolves have their matriarch, companies have a chairman and republics have presidents. Even street gangs have a leader; an alpha male who determines policy and strategy of sorts. Human leaders must command respect or admiration from those they lead and they will do this be demonstrating higher levels of knowledge or learning or, simplistically, they will acquire status symbols to demonstrate greater wealth or success.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Need

Maslow put these needs into a hierarchy that demonstrates which are our greatest needs and how they build on each other. For instance, in the least developed countries, social structures quickly break down if there is not enough food to eat or security systems have been destroyed by invading forces. In these instances, the first needs to be addressed are those of food, shelter and restoring some kind of security for children and vulnerable members of society. People lose the urgency to acquire status symbols if they have no food or water as you might imagine.

Where is The Money?..

Greatest human needs = greatest market potential

Food industry








New Technologies

Reduced human needs = Lower market potential

Organic farming

Holiday cottages

Home insulation

Health spas

Luxury sports cars



Swimming pools

Alternative technology

This chart and Maslow's heirarchy don't exactly match however, the hierarchy does not account for transport and therefore isn't a solid system today. By

looking carefully at the human needs of your product, practice or service may be satisfying in order to understand the potential market. Herein, lies your potential for understanding the value proposition within your business. This is what can start to give real insight into what motivates people to buy thing.

What is a value proposition?

It is a crystal clear statement of how your product, service or practice benefits the customer or the public.

Steve Rankel - Former Senior Product Manager at Dictaphone says value propositions should be...



Customer language

Make it short and concise – a value statement should take 6 seconds form start to finish.

Be specific about the benefits to people – try to see your service or product from their point of view. Ask your customers how your work will improve their lives / businesses

Use your customer’s language – don’t confuse them with big words

Make them sit up in their chairs and take notice – make them want to do business with you.

A Value Proposition

You aims should always be outward looking and should talk more specifically about the ways in which you are going to improve people’s lives by making things more beautiful, convenient, faster, more efficient, more deeply meaningful or by enhancing their experience of life.