Monday, 6 July 2015

You are advertising, aren't you? Even the Taxman wants to know!

UK Only
One of my clients recently received a letter, shown below, from their Tax Office. Most of the required information is routine information for any business, what worried them was the request highlighted.

Happily, I was able to supply them with a printout of the information, including when and where online adverts had been uploaded. Coming from an ad agency this more than satisfied their Tax Office, that this person had been taking reasonable action to advertise their business. 
Note: the request only asks about advertising, not marketing. 
Which leads me to back my first question. “You are advertising aren’t you?” 
Despite the many commercial benefits that advertising can bring. It now appears to be a necessary requirement in a tax review or investigation. As well as a breakdown of the hours you work, a summary of your bookings and appointments, invoices etc. You are expected to show that you are actively advertising your business. If you are solely relying on marketing, networking and ‘word of mouth’ you may have some difficulties in finding a suitable answer to this question, should it be asked.
If you want to be sure that you have an answer to this. You should call and arrange an appointment, to talk about what you can do to actively advertise your business. While ensuring you have the appropriate records to show that you have done so.
Gavin Bryan-Tansley - Vid-FX+ Advertising

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Is tourism only for holidays?

While in St Andrews the other week, I noticed the vast number tradesmen vans in the town. All the shops that had been closed a few weeks earlier, were being refurbished. 

This was undoubtedly in response to the Open Golf Championship coming to the town. With retailers and hoteliers wanting to make the most out of this event and the visitors who will be coming to their town in during that period. Some of these tradesmen's vans came from Manchester, some 300 miles away!


Tourism is as much about Business as Holidays.

It struck me, that tourism should become a major concern for many businesses and trades that don't currently don't think that it applies to them. If there were plumbers, from Manchester working in St Andrews. Why was there a plumber in from less than a dozen miles away from the town complaining about a lack of work?

The answer? 
From a quick survey, I found that the Manchester plumber is actively advertising in various trade papers and websites, while the local lad relies solely on word of mouth.

The moral of this story is, “if you are not advertising, you are not in business!”

If this strikes a cord with you, I suggest that you contact me at Vid-FX+Advertising. So that, we can discuss how you can make the most of your advertising opportunities.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley - Vid-FX+ Advertising

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Will you be breaking the law?

There is an extremely good chance that before the end of 2017 your business could be breaking the law. This is because most UK businesses are in blissful ignorance of the introduction of a new EU data law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).



Failure to address this issue could lead to fines of hundreds of millions of Euros, or five per cent of turnover. With the possibility of consumers being able to claim damages for misuse of data, heading your way!

To meet coming compliance standards most of the currently advocated practices for data collection will have to be abandoned or at least seriously changed. These new requirements make no provision for the size of the business collecting the data. They will apply to all businesses irrespective of size. Therefore it is essential for businesses to identify the right sources of advice to ensure their future compliance with these new regulations.

There is a solution.

As these regulations are European only, a good rule of thumb is if the advice is in English ensure that it is of British and not of American origin. If it is priced in dollars avoid it!

While it is inherent on all  EU businesses to seek the proper professional advice, appointing an individual or an agency to be responsible for ensuring the new regulations are compiled with. The new EU data laws will require audits of all current data and how it was collected as well as ensuring that all new data collected is fully compliant. The result will leave your data secure, better organised and ensure that you are marketing to people who want to hear your message and not annoying those who do not, thus ensuring a better chance of a positive result.

These regulations may seem onerous, yet they are not much more than the best practice, that already advocated in UK. They can be used to build a bond trust with prospective clients. Ensured confidentiality, can allow you to generate valuable new data, making direct sales calls easier to target.

Instead of looking at this EU data law as a unwelcome burden on your business, look at it as an opportunity to build your businesses reputation for compliance and professionalism. Simply ensure that you are taking your advice from the right source.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley ~ Owner Vid-FX+ Advertising

Friday, 15 May 2015

Why?

Could somebody please tell me what is the point of sending the email above?

Ok 'images generate more clicks'. But only when people can see them!

Somebody has obviously tried to do some email marketing here. They have listened to the why, but not the how.

If you are really into advertising and marketing your business the DIY approach does not really work. Issues such as the above can do your business irreparable harm.

As seen above the images were to big to load and there was noting in the subject line or the header to encourage a recipient to take any further action, except to delete the email.

First impressions count!

Trite but true. What does the message above say about the advertiser?
Simply that if the sender does not care enough about their business to ensure that they get own promotions right. Why would anyone trust them to care about getting it right for their businesses?
Ok, kind of cynical. But lets be honest, with hundreds of marketing emails hitting peoples inboxes everyday. Who are you going to choose, this or the very next email that does have something to say? 
If you are going advertise and market your business, concentrate on what you do best and let others do what they do best. Commercial advertising pays. So talk to the professionals, people who do this everyday. They will stop you wasting your time and everybody else's.
Gavin Bryan-Tansley Vid-FX+ Advertising


Oh, please note. 
That this is far from an isolated instance, I get dozens of these a day. 
Think of the marketing opportunities that are being lost! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

City or Country Businesses


City or country businesses, which are better?




The perceived value is that the city businesses are far superior than locally sourced solutions.

Are they?

Lets see.

I have been based in two major cities, both creative hubs for my industry. The company that employed me subcontracted to most of the big names in the industry. Allowing me to work on some really major national and international campaigns.

While working in the city our running costs were high. For the average price of our services you would get slightly less than 8 hours. Longer than that and we would start to lose money.

Yet after relocating to an area outside the major conurbations. We have not only achieved a better quality of life. That same average cost will now buy you 40 hours! Same skills, same talent, same experience as when we worked from the city offices. But this time no massive rents on our offices and homes. No long daily commute. No crowded fight to get fed or a seat on the tube, no wasted hours stuck in a traffic jam. Less stress, a better environment and more time to give to our clients.

That’s right we can now give 5x’s the service for the same price. Not bad. So who’s better now, the harassed city business, or the city business in the country? Your choice.

-Gavin Bryan-Tansley Owner Vid-FX+ Advertising

Monday, 23 March 2015

How do you measure success?


At last others are coming around to my way of thinking The Wall Street Journal no less. 
Simply no matter what metrics you choose to use to justify your spend on advertising it comes down to just one thing, does it make you money?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Can you afford to Do It Yourself?



Despite all the top business leaders advocating hiring the best people you can afford. There is still a thriving market for DIY books, webinars and tutorials, for business owners and managers out to save the pennies.

Yes, you can learn how to do almost anyones job if you set your mind to it. It is not that difficult, most college units can be taught in only 40 hours. There is certainly no lack of free advice on how 'I did it' online.

The question is, do you dismiss the years, even decades, of proven professional experience that other people can bring to you business, in order to say a few pounds by doing it yourself? What does it say about your business and your values, when you do it yourself? Will it inspire confidence in your potential customers that you are prepared to settle, for what is essentially an amateur solution, to a commercial problem?

On a more practical side. While you are focused on doing everybody else's job, who is doing yours?

Don't micro manage. Have a vision and use that vision to hire the best people to provide the services you need: They have more experience in what works and what does not. They can do a better job in less time and as a consequence are often cheaper in the long run. Hiring the best, inspires your clients and reassures them that you are not going to cut corners in their work.

Ok, there are times in any business, when cash flow simply prevents you from hiring anyone. But when you rigidly adhere to a DIY policy in every circumstance! Perhaps it is time to look at why you are in business. If you are in business to save money you will soon have neither money nor a business.

To this end Vid-FX+ advertising has set up a consultancy service to help you choose the best advertising and marketing options for your business. Advising you on how to build your business.

In of our experience one of the biggest concerns, is businesses choosing inappropriate advice. In the English speaking world, there are many countries using the same language yet with many different legal systems. It is all to easy to mistake good advice from one country and applying it to another, only to find that the advice is inappropriate for their legal system. For instance I was reading a book last night by a very, very successful businessman. Their advice was fantastic, I loved every word of it. The shame was that much of what was advised as good business practice in the 1960's had been made illegal 20 odd years ago!

As a rule of thumb: If advice uses a different currency, or spoken in a different accent to yours. Or if it is more than a few years old. Seek specific 'Local' advice to ensure that you are doing the right thing. The last thing you need is a letter instructing you that you are under investigation for illegal practices, false, or misleading advertising.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley - Vid-FX+Advertising

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Why is no one looking at your marketing content.

Why is no one looking at your marketing content.
So you've been to all the seminars, been on every course and read all the books. You've done everything that you have been told to do and still your view count is still stubbonly stuck to the bottom of the scale. Why?

There is more to advertising than meets the eye. It is easy to leap right in, create a bit of content, grab a few stock images and make a quick video or two with your web cam and off you go. It doesn't matter if the content and media is good or bad, because your view counter is stuck on zero!

So what's gone wrong? 

Answer, you probally have missed a few keys stages. 

Pre production - Market Research.
 1. Who wants to buy your product?
 2. When and where are they active?
 3. What makes your product different?


Post production - Distribution.
 1. How to get your message out there?
 2. Where to place your message so that it gets noticed?
 3. How to use other peoples marketing to boost your message?

Placing your message is crucial, just sticking it up on social media and waiting for it to be discovered, is rarely successful on its own. It may sound silly but you have to 'advertise your advert'. Trying your advertising to other promotions and events can also be extremely successful, if done correctly.

The reality is, dispute claims to the country, there is no such thing as free advertising, it has to be paid for oneway or another. The measure of success for an advert is the ROI, return on investment. If your investment is zero, don't expect much of a return.

While most people can write about their businesses, they can only do so in reference to their own business. They have little knowledge of what their rivals and competitors are doing, or where others have already tried and failed in these endeavours. Knowing what has been done before, why they have failed and where they have succeeded, can give you a real competitive edge. Knowing why your potential customers prefer another business to theirs is even better.

Your local advertising agency will have done the market research. having worked with other businesses in the local market they have where they have failed and where they have succeeded. Ad agencies know the laws and regulations under which all advertising and marketing must operate. They know where your adverts will get the most views. They will know why potential customers are buying from elsewhere. But you must be ready to listen, be ready to accept that perhaps you have made a mistake or that the advice you were given was not all that it should have been. Above all, let the professionals get on with their job while you do yours. Think on this, 'while you are doing their job, who's doing yours?'

Gavin Bryan-Tansley Owner Vid-FX+

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