Beach Marketing - b2b marketing agency on Blog

Beach Marketing - b2b marketing agency on Blog

Sep 18, 2020

The Beach, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan and Point Break – all great films, all featuring a beach, but which one is our favourite? During lock-down we’ve had quite a lot of time on our hands and there’s been some debate on whether we should use that time wisely (learning new skills or spending time with family) or use frivolously watching old movies to see how they stack up today. We’re beach marketing so the first quest was to find the best film with a beach.  We started compiling a list, which quickly became a long list with questions like “doesn’t Dr No have a beach in it?”, “does ‘Saving Private Ryan’ count?” and “what the heck is ‘Zorba the Greek’?”. The list DID included Mama Mia!, The talented Mr Ripley, Shirley Valentine, Chariots of Fire, Cast Away and many more films with memorable beach scenes but (after many hours of entertainment and a few duds *cough* Baywatch) we whittled the list down to a few truly great movies. Films that make you feel like you’ve been to the beach but not always enjoyed yourself (imagine pre-booking a trip to Amity Island just a few days before because it was a ‘great deal’!). Our shortlist included some absolute classics so the first thing we did was research, what did everyone else think? RankFilmRotten TomatoesIMDB Score5Jaws (1975)90%84Point Break (1991)79%7.33Saving Private Ryan95%8.62The Beach57%6.7 After getting over the fact the Point Break was seriously underrated and if Saving Private Ryan isn’t a solid 9 I’m not sure what is – we set to work trying to decide which, in our opinion, was best when someone sent a shock wave through our ideas. A short film so mighty we couldn’t believe we’d over looked it. No, it wasn’t the end scene in 2001: A space Odyssey but almost as big! And at Number 1 The Beach Showreel 120 seconds of beach powered awesomeness that could change lives forever!  (editors note – Well, at least it might change your marketing agency partner for the next 5-7 years anyway – I suspect the ‘change lives forever’ is a bit of an exaggeration form the copywriter.  He’s a good sort but there’s probably more to you than just your work ) So, without further ado, strap in for the greatest film ever made about a beach – 2minutes and 1 seconds of absolute, eye popping, thumb stopping, brain melting, heart pumping brilliance from start to finish – our showreel!! Featuring a new brand, new message and new focus. We’re here to help you accelerate your clients buying cycle through for more leads, more sales and better ROI through creative and intelligent marketing. Do you agree or did we miss your favourite beach film? Let us know in the comments below! Regards, The Beach Crew

Read more

May 5, 2020

John Filcher had a problem with Outlook.  He realised that it was running him, not the other way around. “I’d get into the office with the best of intentions, with plans for the day but Outlook had a way of interrupting, I just wasn’t being proactive”. John managed a team of people; his team was a part of a larger organisation and that organisation collaborated with hundreds of partners around the world so eMail was a big part of their day. “It was huge” said John “we’d tried other software like Slack or Teams but given the volume of connections it simply wasn’t possible to migrate everyone. Everyone had eMail”. It wasn’t ideal but it was a fact of life.  eMail was there to stay and each day John and his team were losing time. “The problem with most eMails is that they require you to react and while you’re reacting you’re not being proactive.” Each morning John would head in to the office with a well-rounded plan of action but, by the end of the day, an eMail from the CEO, a support request from a colleague or the re-animation of a project long thought completed would interrupt his day.  The ‘Can you just’ and the ‘It will only take a minute’ would drain his time. Mostly they’d look & sound like they were urgent & important but, in truth, they rarely were.  “I needed to act!” If John was losing time to his eMail then so were his team, “I knew that even an hour a day, per person could make a big difference.” There isn’t a cure all to this, no silver bullet to managing your eMail but it became a discipline in itself. Rules were developed around what would get an immediate response and what could wait (always what, never who).  eMails that waited were graded and coded so they were never lost but entered a burndown list which could be actioned. “It turns out we were using around 15% of what Outlook could do”. There are literally hundreds of features to help and thousands of blogs, videos and tutorials available to demonstrate what it can really do.  “It’s a genuinely impressive piece of software but I think because most of us have grown up with it it’s become part of the furniture the few people notice anymore.” John spent time exploring the best features or Outlook looking for those that would really benefit his team. Shortcuts are great, snippets are really useful but alone they wouldn’t allow John to turn the tables and manage a pro-active inbox where he felt like he was calling the shots.  That’s what he wanted. That’s what we all want so I asked him how he did it “It’s not easy but there are lot of tools to help you, perhaps too many” and he’s not wrong, a quick Google search will yield thousands of results so – he started testing. Each team member would test a feature, determine the benefits and report back on the features worth sharing.  And here are the best of the best, listed in no particular order but all extremely powerful and all proven to help you boss your Outlook and stay pro-active throughout the day. Outlook tip 1: Categorise your eMails Your inbox can be a busy place and when an eMail arrives that isn’t actioned straight away it needs somewhere to go. Categories are the answer. You can set up any number of pre-set categories relating to jobs, clients, colleagues, urgent tasks or whatever you like. The categories appear as a column on your inbox which colour codes your eMail. You can search, sort and group by category too which lets you see all the relevant eMails together and uncluttered. I tend to group by client or by job which allows me to review all the tasks required for that project and quickly schedule the work accordingly. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways of tidying your inbox. I recommend you do it today and, because I don’t make ‘how to videos’ by trade I’ve linked to someone who does, you can see how to do it here. Their version of Outlook is a little older than mine but it’s a good way to see how it works. Outlook tip 2: Subject Lines are your friend My favourite Outlook tip. If you take nothing else from this make sure you remember this. I used to get frustrated with eMail because by the time it bounced between people several times the content of the eMail can bear little to no resemblance to the subject line making searching for it more difficult. A case in point today I had to reply to an eMail about invoices which arrived with the title “Muffins in reception” – no joke. You should update your subject lines regularly or, even better, start new conversations as new topics arise. To be fair, this is a discipline, not a feature of Outlook and as such it’s hard to implement. The people you eMail may not ‘get it’ straight away but if you preserver you’ll find that without fail your team will be more efficient, more effective and ultimately less frustrated. Outlook tip 3: Creating Calendar entries from eMails This one’s easy but it still surprises me how many people don’t know about this cool feature. If you have an eMail that contains information relevant to a meeting or action for next week, simply drag the eMail to the calendar icon (usually in the bottom left of the window) and, hey presto, Outlook will create a calendar appointment including the contents of the eMail so when your meeting comes around, it’s all there waiting for you. No copy, no paste. Outlook tip 4: Thesaurus Words don’t always come easily and shift + F7 is one of my favourite short cuts! If you’re stuck for words then highlight the questionable entry, hit shift + F7 together to get obtain acquire find search see a range of alternatives. Outlook tip 5: Out of Office (absolute Power Move) This is a power move. Controversial, yes but awesome. I was sitting in my office when a colleague received my out of office, she looked over and told me my OOO was on. I said, “Thanks, I know” and she replied, “But you’re in the office?”. The reason was I was busy but, I didn’t want clients thinking I was ignoring them. It seemed obvious to me but after similar conversations with other colleagues it suddenly didn’t seem like it was that obvious. It’s one of my top tips and when you’re in the middle of a deep dive into complex data sets.  It will save you time, focus and help prevent mistakes. Combine it with the Close Outlook & apply headphones option and you’re on to a winner. Just make sure to check in if you’re expecting something urgent! GET IN TOUCH

Read more

Mar 5, 2020

Loyalty, communication and trust – 3 fundamentals for building a successful remote working team culture  Like most things in life the Covid-19 pandemic will end but, before it does it will go through a number of several phases before we are out the other side.  Phase 1 – Adjustment Phase 2 – Reality Hits Phase 3 – The end is nigh Phase 4 – “Working 9 to 5”  Each phase will require a different set of skills and a different set of activities to be navigated successfully. To navigate successfully at sea there’s many things you have to account for but to help you have charts and a compass. For Covid-19 there’s no such thing, it is literally uncharted territory. Understanding the needs of your employees and your clients will be crucial and timing will be everything. Go too early and you may be profiteering, go too late and you’ll miss the boat.  During this period there will be significant changes throughout our lives, both personally and professionally. We are all going to be affected by this thing, some horrendously so, but there are still benefits.    Phase 1 – Adjusting to a life with Covid-19  When I first started to understand the impact of Covid-19 I noticed ubiquitous disbelief, quickly followed by rising panic. In February 2020 Covid-19 was not a reality for most of us.  It was something happening to somebody else and many people still thought “It’s just a virus, I’ll shake hands, I’ll catch it and it’ll be over in a week”. But then reality hit (most of us anyway) and I saw panic.   Not just in the shops but in offices and businesses throughout the country.  The number one priority was to protect people and it was nice to hear businesses say they put people first and it actually be true; right across the board from the smallest to the largest, people were at the heart of the response. Protect the vulnerable and add ‘social distancing’ to your everyday language.  After people, it was technology. Now that lockdown had arrived, we focused on staying safe and working through it. For most of us technology was the answer but here was the second wave of panic. How? Was it Teams, WebEx, Monday.com, WhatsApp, Zoom? The options are expansive and unless the whole business was on board it was going to be difficult.  Time to turn to the Crisis Management page in the company handbook! Oh dear! Metaphorically most of us probably had to blow the dust off it first because although most businesses have a crisis management policy, few run tests and even fewer make sure employees are kept up to date, it’s just ‘in the handbook’.  Crisis Management & Remote Working So, here’s the first benefit, Crisis Management.  Most companies now know that when the chips are down their business can react and perform well under pressure.  One of the industries that will do well out of this is those that write Crisis Management processes.  Here’s the second benefit: Remote Working. There are so many tasks that benefit from remote working and it didn’t take long for most companies to develop a reasonable Working From Home (WFH) policy. No ‘Can you just’ type interruptions, just the freedom to think deeply about complex subjects and stay pro-active throughout the day. My hope is that many more businesses will see the benefit of remote working, they’ll see their employees do better work and they’ll take that experience forward into a post-Covid-19 work place carefully analysing what worked well – and what didn’t – to create a better work environment for everyone.    Phase 2: Reality’s (actually not) a bitch  This week, as reality continues to get its feet under the table, I’m seeing something else. It started as acceptance but – as people have adjusted to WFH – has grown into enthusiasm and loyalty. In a few short weeks’ businesses have been able support workers in new ways, they’ve been able to give relative certainty at a time when most people were worried about their jobs, families and financial security. And this is benefit number 3: Loyalty.  Loyalty, Communication and Trust Loyalty sits with Communication and Trust as one of the 3 most important things in successfully developing a remote team culture.  It is an unintended consequence of an unprecedented situation. In my generation job swapping is fairly common around the 2-3 year mark, in my father’s generation it was a job for life and in my son’s generation ‘Ghosting’ an employer is a real thing!  Right now, everyone that has employment, appreciates that employment so much more than 12 weeks ago.  January is one of the busiest times of the year on Reed.co.uk or Indeed.com.  Currently though, there’s no ‘Ghosting’ employers or thoughts of job swapping, no sense of ‘them’ and ‘us’ just concern about your colleagues next mortgage payment or your friend’s pregnant wife.  The opportunity is to build on this, to act in a positive way to help and protect those you can and to support people having a hard time. Loyalty is vital to the success of any business and I think this pandemic has forced us to realise what we had it all along.  What happens next is up to us. For some this experience will be life affirming, for others it will horrendous but as WFH becomes business as usual (BAU) it’s good to think about the positives of the experience. What lessons can we learn, what good can we do?    Phase 3: The End is in sight  When we go back to work – and we will go back to work – things will be different.  For a time at least we will have forgotten what makes us different and will focus on what makes us the same. The small siloed approach won’t be as prevalent, and people will push to work together more effectively.  There is also danger.  We’ve learnt a lesson here.  People can work together and deliver across teams and functions. When you start to think like this you realise that there are no silos only 1 business that’s able to help everyone. So, for leaders, manager and employees alike I set a challenge – don’t let silos back into your business, don’t let miniature fiefdoms develop and slow a working business. To illustrate the point, I’ve included an email attributed to Elon Musk, one he reportedly sent round Tesla about communication, management and the chain of command:  Subject: Communication Within Tesla  There are two schools of thought about how information should flow within companies. By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager. The problem with this approach is that, while it serves to enhance the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company.  Instead of a problem getting solved quickly, where a person in one dept talks to a person in another dept and makes the right thing happen, people are forced to talk to their manager who talks to their manager who talks to the manager in the other dept who talks to someone on his team. Then the info has to flow back the other way again. This is incredibly dumb. Any manager who allows this to happen, let alone encourages it, will soon find themselves working at another company. No kidding.  Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company. You can talk to your manager’s manager without his permission, you can talk directly to a VP in another dept, you can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission. Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens. The point here is not random chitchat, but rather ensuring that we execute ultra-fast and well. We obviously cannot compete with the big car companies in size, so we must do so with intelligence and agility.  One final point is that managers should work hard to ensure that they are not creating silos within the company that create an “Us vs. Them” mentality or impede communication in any way. This is unfortunately a natural tendency and needs to be actively fought. How can it possibly help Tesla for depts to erect barriers between themselves or see their success as relative within the company instead of collective? We are all in the same boat. Always view yourself as working for the good of the company and never your dept.  Thanks, Elon”    Phase 4 – Back to work  Well this is a long way off but I’m looking forward to the new way of working and the benefits that we can all get from it. GET IN TOUCH

Read more

Oct 24, 2019

Imagine the scenario… Your Manchester dealer is screaming for 200 new brochures for an exhibition they are attending, in the South West they need some personalised posters for a new customer campaign they are running, and the Birmingham dealer is wondering where their promotional pens have got to…the stress is high and to cap it all your demanding internal colleagues all have urgent marketing requests that are turning your day into a nightmare… Managing the constant stream of orders for brochures, point of sale, email campaigns and promotional items can be a major resource hungry headache for those responsible for marketing. Now there is a solution. Reef – is a custom built platform that enables manufacturers to take control of their channel marketing strategy to emppower their resellers and dealers to personalise pre-designed marketing templates for their own local marketing activity – all from the convenience of their own desktop. There are many benefits to Reef including: Just in time digital print ensures you only order what you need, reducing costs and waste and giving flexibility for future revisions if promotional offers, prices or regulations change. Templates for all printed material are all protected so even a novice can use the system meaning no more s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d logos or different fonts or colours. When you need control and protection of your brand, Reef really can make the difference when allowing non-marketeers access to your marketing materials. Design and artwork costs are substantially lowered as the amended versions aren’t racking up amend costs and lead time is reduced as you sign the job off at the same time saving to-and-fros with your marketing agency. Users also have the opportunity to customise content and create more targeted communications. For example a ‘one size fits all’ welcome pack can be tailored by branches with different contact details to suit local markets. Many companies already benefit from Reef including Hayter Lawnmowers, part of the global Toro Company, SATO a global barcode printer manufacturer and distributor, and Waddington Europea a major European force in thermoformed packaging. However Reef is not just for large companies as a host of other smaller companies in the UK are benefiting by ordering directly online taking advantage of branded templates that can be edited for local needs. For more information on how your marketing could be revolutionised with brand protection and cost savings call us on 01604 239837 for a free demo. GET IN TOUCH

Read more

Oct 17, 2019

Marketing Automation is a hot topic right now. It’s being heralded as the future of marketing, the link between sales & marketing and the tool to deliver personalised journeys at scale… But what is Marketing Automation? How does it work? I work with our marketing automation tool – “Sonar” – on a daily basis and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to actually explain what marketing automation is to people. There’s a lot of ways to describe the outputs of marketing automation, but I want to explain, at a core level, is how it actually works. Once you understand how it works, you can really start to appreciate what it can do. To fully understand marketing automation we need to define it and as marketing is too broad a term for this blog will focus on the smart bit, automation. Automation is a broad term, but it defines the core of every Marketing Automation system. The ability to automate actions based on triggers Automation in this sense means being able to automate an action in response to a trigger. Simply put: If this happens, then do that. This can be expanded so you can start to understand how this might work in the context of a website. If a user does this, then do that. If a user fills in a form, then send a thank you e-mail. If a user visits a product, then add them to the interested in product list. If a user is on the interested in product list, then personalise the homepage with that product. And so on. The power of Marketing Automation com es together when you start to build a web of these triggers and actions. You can map out entire user journeys and ensure that every touch point is covered, and all usable data is captured. The complexity and effectiveness develop even further when you introduce filters which work as an extra layer on top of the “if this, then that” scenario. If this and this, then that. E.g. if a user visits the homepage, and they’re a returning visitor, then personalise the content. Any number of filters can be added to an action to create extremely specific automations. To control the vast number of triggers and actions that are created when building a campaign, Marketing Automation systems use workflows to handle the data. Workflows allow for multiple actions to be strung together and include “gated triggers” – triggers that can only be activated if all previous actions in the work flow have been completed. Now hopefully you have an understanding of how Marketing Automation tools can automate actions, the next thing to understand is how these actions are targeted to individuals. People not visitors The biggest benefit Marketing Automation platforms have over say personalisation tools, is the ability to target individuals, not visitors When a user firsts visits a website with Sonar system you’re given a cookie, a small piece of information stored on your browser that will collect information as you browse. In Sonar, and all marketing automation systems, the information collected is then passed back to a CRM and collected as you browse. Pages visited, downloads, time on site, forms, data etc. All this is collected and added to your profile. (Ed note: Sonar comes with a built in CRM but can be integrated with 100s of other applications). However… how do we know who your customers are? There’s three proven methods: Your customer identifies themselves in a form They visit the website from an e-mail sent through the system We use reverse IP lookup Reverse IP lookup is one of the fun little benefits that some Marketing Automation systems have. If you have an anonymous visitor on your site then Sonar might still able to deduce information about them which will help you identify their business needs. The system will use their IP address along with third party services to build a complete picture of the prospect. Once identified all the information that’s been gathered about them is aggregated into a single entry, what Sonar calls “Life of lead”. The Life of Lead is essentially a time line of all the events that you (the lead) have done since you first visited the website. This gives a holistic view of the complete user journey. Allowing you to understand at glance, where a lead is in their buying journey and what steps they’ve taken to get there. Points mean prizes! Which leads us onto one of the most valuable elements of any Marketing Automation system. Lead scoring. Depending on what system is being used this is known by different names but essentially it equates to a leads intent to buy. Points are added or subtracted based on actions made and then assigned to individual leads. Actions can be weighted with more points depending on their significance. For example, viewing a single page may be worth point. Downloading a brochure could be worth 10 points. Teamed with the life of lead, you know exactly how far an individual is down the buying cycle based on their score. Then using a workflow that’s triggered by a lead score, you can automate actions with the goal of increasing their score. Just scratching the surface This covers the basics of Marketing Automation, well done if you made it this far, but Marketing Automation is capable of so much more. They integrate into third party systems and allow you to track and automate based through platforms like social, webinars, forms, adwords, direct mail… the list goes on. To find out more about Marketing Automation why not get in touch with us or discover more about our Marketing Automation platform, Sonar. Marketing Automation is a big subject to understand, if you’d like a little help why not download our Marketing Automation Glossary? Find out more Take the demo WANT TO MAKE WAVES?GET IN TOUCH [contact-form-7] PRIVACY POLICY | COOKIE POLICY var wpcf7Elm = jQuery('#wpcf7-f4-p3725-o1').closest('.wpcf7')[0]; wpcf7Elm.addEventListener( 'wpcf7submit', function( event ) { __ss_noform.push(['form', 'wpcf7-f4-p3725-o1', '0b195757-db6c-4349-a931-a243bb4d6206']); __ss_noform.push(['submitType', 'manual']); }, false ); var __ss_noform = __ss_noform || []; __ss_noform.push(['baseURI', 'https://app-3QN8TFE9MC.marketingautomation.services/webforms/receivePostback/MzawMDE1NzcxAQA/']); __ss_noform.push(['form', 'footer-form-1', '0b195757-db6c-4349-a931-a243bb4d6206']); WHERE WE WORKNORTHAMPTON HEAD OFFICE The East Wing, Burlington House, Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN1 4EU Tel: 01604 239 837 Email: nn@beachmarketing.co.uk MILTON KEYNES SALES OFFICE Luminous House, 300 South Row, Milton Keynes MK9 2FR Tel: 01908 933 775 Email: mk@beachmarketing.co.uk LONDON SALES OFFICE 10 Brick Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7HQ Tel: 0203 457 1190 Email: w1@beachmarketing.co.uk ABOUT US We are a highly creative, specialist b2b marketing, design and digital agency working in partnership with ambitious businesses based in Northampton, Milton Keynes and London who have a global footprint. Find out more. CONNECT WITH US & BE SOCIAL .hovericon{ position: absolute; opacity: 0; width:20px!important; height:20px!important; } .hovericon:hover{ opacity: 1; } .sicon{ width:20px!important; height:20px!important;} GOT A LARGE FILE YOU WANT TO SEND US? WE'RE MEMBERS OF: _linkedin_partner_id = "1720500"; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids = window._linkedin_data_partner_ids || []; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids.push(_linkedin_partner_id); (function(){var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; var b = document.createElement("script"); b.type = "text/javascript";b.async = true; b.src = "https://snap.licdn.com/li.lms-analytics/insight.min.js"; s.parentNode.insertBefore(b, s);})();

Read more

Oct 10, 2019

If you’ve browsed the web recently, you may have noticed a little padlock in your search bar: And chances are at some point you’ve visited a website only to be presented with a scary looking message like this: This is all related to something called a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, a little bit of information that helps keep people safe online. If you manage a website and you haven’t got an SSL or unsure what it all means then fear not. We’ve pulled together a simple walkthrough of the what, why and how of SSL certificates.   What is an SSL?  First things first. What is an SSL certificate? Well without getting too technical an SSL is a digital certificate which is used to authenticate the identity of the website, ensuring the website isn’t a fake mascaraing as something else. An SSL also encrypts any information sent to that website, meaning that the information can only be read with the correct decryption key. Helping to prevent information being stolen or hacked in transit.   Why do I need an SSL? So why do you need one? Well as mentioned above an SSL makes your website more trustworthy to your visitors as they can be sure you are who you say you are and it increases the security of information being sent to your servers. If that wasn’t reason enough Google has been actively promoting SSL secure websites over non secure ones since 2015. But as of July 2018 Google Chrome – The world’s most popular browser, making up over 60% of the market share as of May 2018 – will start actively flagging websites without an SSL as non-secure. Any flagged website will be given a nice red warning in the visitors address bar. Which you can be pretty certain will put off a majority of visitors to your website, especially if your website has any transactional or data inputs.   How do I get an SSL? If you haven’t got an SSL it’s time to act now. Getting a SSL is relatively simple, they can often be purchased for a small fee from your hosting provider. Having one will keep your visitor’s safe, keep their data secure and build brand trust.  Without one you can expect to see a decline in visitors over the coming months as google continues to penalise those without one and you run the potential risk of exposing customer data. If you need any advice on SSL’s or would like help obtaining any installing one, why not get in touch with us today?   GET IN TOUCH

Read more

Oct 7, 2019

How well are CMS’s being utilised? The performance of your website comes down to many factors, but a large proportion of its performance is a result of how well you’ve optimised your website. In today’s market, most of the optimisations necessary are handled via your CMS (content management system) and most modern CMS’ are on a fairly level playing field in regards to what can be implemented. But when we look at our clients websites we’re always surprised to see how differently their websites are optimised. That got us thinking, is there a trend based on the CMS they’re using? We compiled data for some of the most popular CMS’s and how well they perform for websites in the UK to see how well best practices have been implemented and compare key areas such as; mobile responsiveness, search engine optimisation, social media presence, SSL security, presence of custom 404s, meta data etc. All scores are out of 100. Drupal Joomla Squarespace Wix WordPress Average overall score 62 55.9 74.2 64.8 67.9 Mobile reposonsive 66 63 92 77 84 Backlinks Score 37 14 4 7 12 Has a Robots.txt 91 89 96 64 89 Has a Sitemap.xml 44 23 90 95 59 WWW Redirection 45 28 94 94 87 Use an Analytics Tool 78 53 39 78 61 Has Metadata 57 39 97 44 82 Is SSL Secured 27 18 50 2 27 Has Custom 404 83 56 95 23 83 By looking at the data you can see that the implementation of best practices has been adopted far better on some CMSs compared to others. For example, Squarespace websites score highly across most the board whereas sites built in Joomla trail in a lot of areas. This implies that some CMSs have been designed to implement optimisations straight out of the box and others take more manual action. Why does this matter?  All these factors are taken into account when a search engine crawls your website. They use this information to inform your search rankings. By ensuring your website is optimised against all of these areas you ensure you’ve got the best chance of ranking highest against your competitors. Do you know where your website would score? If you want to know how your website scores in comparison to your top three competitors then sign up today for a free audit. We’ll score you out of 100 and show you exactly where your website needs optimising and where it’s performing well. #whatsyourscore SIGN UP FOR A FREE WEB AUDIT jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery(".comments-section").prependTo(".templatera_shortcode"); });

Read more

Sep 21, 2019

An inside look at the dark web. If you have an interest in all things digital you may have heard of the dark web, well since my last blog ‘A hacker’s playground’ I thought it would be interesting to experiment. The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you know what’s lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? This is nothing but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web looms in much shadier corners. The birth. In 1969 a university student, Charley Kline, sends a message to a computer through the ARPANET, an internet platform created and developed by the Pentagon. This platform was to be anonymous amongst users to share confidential and classified data. As years went by more users latched on to APARNET to share copyrighted files and illegal goods. Bitcoin an online currency was introduced in 2009 making it possible for users to trade within the dark web unknown.  How it works… The dark web functions on an encrypted network that is not searchable with normal search engines, in fact, you must download a specific browser to view the dark web. The browser called The Onion Router (or ‘Tor’ for short) was developed by the U.S naval research lab in 2002 allows users to hide their IP address. A dark experiment I downloaded the browser to find out what all the fuss was about, a little nervous I started up the browser, Tor indicated 3 options of security and protection, I went with the safest. Tor runs within the browser a virtual private network (VPN) add-on so you are unknown to whoever is lurking in the darkness. At first, the default search engine is displayed, not Google or Yahoo but Duck Duck Go. What do you search for on the dark web? I had heard you can buy anything on the dark web so I started to search for illegal drugs but nothing came up in the results. It seemed the dark web mirrored the normal web? Until I researched further and found that there are specific URL’s dedicated to shady sites – these are called onion links and can be found via a site called Hidden Wiki. Instantly I had access to merchant sites selling a cocktail of drugs, large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and other contraband. I scrolled further down to reveal weaponry from AK-47’s to M16’s and began to realise how easy it was to trade on the dark web.  Payment is made through a cryptocurrency that keeps the your identity and transactions under wraps and I was amazed you can hire anyone to do just about anything. (As a side note, cryptocurrencies are worth a blog post on their own.  I won’t go into the detail here but you can find out more on wikipedia.) In the UK alone thousands now rely on the dark web to buy drugs which are posted through the various British postal services daily, making it even easier for the drug trade to flourish. I felt like a character out of Alice in Wonderland as I delved through the dark web, and various online markets available. I only scratched the surface but I am sure – like everything – there is a deeper underworld that only a few know of. Staying safe… Knowing the dark web and the other malicious activities that can occur online makes us extra vigilant to the dangers the web can hold. To help our clients keep their websites and digital properties safe we offer a robust security packages that works tirelessly to ward of attacks and monitor activity to prevent the worst from happening. Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.   GET IN TOUCH

Read more

Sep 13, 2019

What not to do when choosing your marketing agency I know that clients have to choose a marketing agency somehow, but is it just me, or is the old fashioned pitch process just about the worst way of doing it? Agencies are put through a beauty parade which might be a great showcase for creative, but has very little to do with the day to day essentials of actually getting the job done and delivered intelligently. If you’re in the process of choosing a marketing agency for your business, here are five of the more common pitfalls that you’d be wise to avoid… 1. Not researching the market Clients often don’t seem to research which agencies they put onto their list, which is strange when you consider that any good marketing agency works hard to create a unique identity and branding. If you’re going to be spending hours of your time evaluating the agency after they’ve pitched, at least spend some time on their website to get a good initial feel for the company and their areas of expertise beforehand. 2. Giving an unclear briefing What do you want the marketing agency to do for you? Have you told them? Give them a clear brief with objectives and budget. So often clients don’t give an indication of budget, but agencies aren’t mind-readers and even the best marketing agency in the world is unlikely to come up with a great pitch at the perfect price with little or no brief. Share as much knowledge as you can and you’re more likely get a feel for how the agency can work in your world, and build a proposal which is aligned to your needs. 3. Taking too many pitches You don’t need to see eight agencies pitch. Meet a few in the early stages to get an idea of what’s out there by all means, but sitting through eight presentations is going to be a slog by anyone’s standards; as well as not being fair on the last ones to go. Three or four unique agencies will be enough to give you a good comparison. 4. Not saying ‘hello’ to your marketing agency Yes, I know it’s easier for the agency to come to you, but if all you’re seeing is a team of three people what does that tell you about the marketing agency as a whole? Go and see them. You’ll learn more about their size and get a feel for the agency, and it should also give you an opportunity to meet more of the senior team to give you a feel for the resources you’re going to be able to draw on. Meet the MD if they’re not already involved in the pitch. 5. Not taking up references Any agency should be delighted to supply you with client references. Speak to at least a couple of other clients to find out how the agency actually perform; and not just in the first six months but long term – otherwise, how will you know if on-time and on-budget frequently becomes late and expensive? There are thousands of pounds at stake with your marketing, and the worst thing is that if you choose the wrong agency, you’ll have to go through the whole process again next year! Don’t make these mistakes! If you’d like Beach to pitch for your business take a look at our services at beachmarketing.co.uk, and give Steve Bishop, New Business Director, a call on 01604 239837. jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery(".comments-section").prependTo(".templatera_shortcode"); }); WANT TO MAKE WAVES?GET IN TOUCH [contact-form-7] PRIVACY POLICY | COOKIE POLICY var wpcf7Elm = jQuery('#wpcf7-f4-p3725-o1').closest('.wpcf7')[0]; wpcf7Elm.addEventListener( 'wpcf7submit', function( event ) { __ss_noform.push(['form', 'wpcf7-f4-p3725-o1', '0b195757-db6c-4349-a931-a243bb4d6206']); __ss_noform.push(['submitType', 'manual']); }, false ); var __ss_noform = __ss_noform || []; __ss_noform.push(['baseURI', 'https://app-3QN8TFE9MC.marketingautomation.services/webforms/receivePostback/MzawMDE1NzcxAQA/']); __ss_noform.push(['form', 'footer-form-1', '0b195757-db6c-4349-a931-a243bb4d6206']); WHERE WE WORKNORTHAMPTON HEAD OFFICE The East Wing, Burlington House, Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN1 4EU Tel: 01604 239 837 Email: nn@beachmarketing.co.uk MILTON KEYNES SALES OFFICE Luminous House, 300 South Row, Milton Keynes MK9 2FR Tel: 01908 933 775 Email: mk@beachmarketing.co.uk LONDON SALES OFFICE 10 Brick Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7HQ Tel: 0203 457 1190 Email: w1@beachmarketing.co.uk ABOUT US We are a highly creative, specialist b2b marketing, design and digital agency working in partnership with ambitious businesses based in Northampton, Milton Keynes and London who have a global footprint. Find out more. CONNECT WITH US & BE SOCIAL .hovericon{ position: absolute; opacity: 0; width:20px!important; height:20px!important; } .hovericon:hover{ opacity: 1; } .sicon{ width:20px!important; height:20px!important;} GOT A LARGE FILE YOU WANT TO SEND US? WE'RE MEMBERS OF: _linkedin_partner_id = "1720500"; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids = window._linkedin_data_partner_ids || []; window._linkedin_data_partner_ids.push(_linkedin_partner_id); (function(){var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; var b = document.createElement("script"); b.type = "text/javascript";b.async = true; b.src = "https://snap.licdn.com/li.lms-analytics/insight.min.js"; s.parentNode.insertBefore(b, s);})();

Read more

Jul 10, 2019

The evolution of technology has maximised to the degree in which our cyber-culture relies on it. Daily, we use the computer-generated network for communications, entertainment and business needs. We ‘trust’ the internet to look after our bank accounts and personal information securely. Therefore, at Beach Marketing, we take online protection very seriously. We recently became aware of an attempted attack on a site we manage. On entering the URL I was presented with a page that displayed statements such as ‘We are back once again knocking snicks and snitches doors cause your crimes is something we don’t forgive’. The hackers tag was gracefully called Fallag Kill3r. The main aim was to share their message as many people as possible, regardless of belief or religion. Hacking is executed for a variety of reason, sometimes it’s executed by vigilante groups who are trying to raise awareness about a political issue and sometimes an individual just to cause disruption.  At it’s worst it’s in the form of international threats such as foreign governments or militaries aiming to undermine their enemies. As a digital minded person, this interested me in how the hack was carried out, on looking behind the website I could see files that were placed in the root folder, filenames that stood out as unusual. Somehow the hacker had created a gateway, a back-door entrance to the website. Looking the hacker in the eye I wanted to get inside a hacker’s mind set to determine and understand the procedures and knowledge of how the programmer can find avenues to contaminate and destroy online platforms. After researching on the internet, I started to have some understanding, there are thousands of videos on YouTube that discuss hacking, even ‘how to’ tutorials in all the scenarios you can think of. For instance, if you wanted to hack into a Facebook profile you are inundated with videos that teach a step by step process to accomplish this. I wasn’t about to waste time trying them out so whether they work is another matter. I started to focus on WordPress hacking, it seems there are hundreds, even thousands of after dark computer nerds from the ages of 9 to 60 years old sitting down in front of a laptop trying to find the next WordPress loop hole.  It was clear that one of the main threats to WordPress sites are out of date plugins. It’s a simple process to index the internet searching for weak or out of date plugins, written commands are executed to send parasite files which embed themselves to re-configure the site and allow unauthorised access. I couldn’t believe Firefox has an add-on which can auto process 100 passwords a second. You can easily download a file that contains hundreds of the most common passwords, the add-on then sifts through and auto fills the password field until a match is found. If your password is weak I would recommend changing it to something obscure or hard to guess. But it’s not just the password, in a lot of cases I have seen WordPress admins leave the user name as ‘admin’ which is 50% of the hacking process.At Beach we felt it was vital to come together and focus on securing our digital services for our clients. Creating peace of mind knowing whilst under our management all files and information are safe and protected, particularly in light of the GDPR. Defence is key Our security service works by mirroring the website and all the contents therefore making it impossible for the site to be infected. It also uses an intelligent IP address recognition where any admin user must be whitelisted to access the sites core files. Backups of the site are scheduled daily so data is always stored safely to encompass previous online purchases and any changes to content. One vital add-on is a Domain Name System (DNS) reporter which detects when data is changed without authorisation. Whatever is threats are lurking, be sure that Beach has you protected. Our top 5 tips to keep yourself protected online: Choose strong passwords. Control access to your machine. Use secure connections. Use desktop firewalls. Most importantly, stay informed of the latest online safety news. To find out more please call us on 01604 239837 or email james@beachmarketing.co.uk. Look out for my article on the deep web coming soon.

Read more

How does this agency match to your business needs? Create a free account to find out

Save to favorites