Are You Barking Up The Wrong Tree?

Toffee the Jack Russell

The picture to the left is of our latest recruit, Toffee, a deaf Jack Russell, from the Last Chance rescue centre in Edenbridge, Kent. She's a funny thing, preferring company and someone's lap to chasing a ball in the park!

Having had her 3 weeks now and getting used to her needs we've adapted our style of communication to compensate for her lack of hearing, although sometimes I get the feeling she's only playing deaf so she can ignore us!

This got me thinking about how your website should not just be designed to help the visually impaired, by for instance making sure your images have alternative or ALT text to describe the image to be read by screen readers. But also for those people who think in a different way. What do I mean by this?

Marketing A Lifestyle To Drive Sales

Marketing a lifestyle

I read a great article over the weekend in The Guardian, Are probiotics really that good for your health?, which went on to detail the rise and rise in probiotic drink sales.

It struck me as a prime example of how marketing a lifestyle can bypass any benefits the product claims to have (in this case, benefits yet to be verified by the European Food Standards Agency) !

Why wait for confirmation that your product actually improves people's health when you can persuade them with adverts and brain wash them in to thinking so.

Yakult is widely known in the UK and was the first to market with their probiotic drink in 1996.

Service With A Smile: The Ticket Time Bomb

Service with a smile

How important is service to you? Even if you don't work in the service industry you have to deal with customers and suppliers, so being approachable and contactable is important.

Now I'm not going to name the company I'm referring to, I can see a few frowns on your faces, but safe to say the system of customer support this relates to is a common one.

If you deal with a large company there are usually many different channels to contact support, most common being telephone, email, support ticket or live online chat. Now if you provide these methods it's normally good practice to actually be on the other end to respond!

When supplying a phone number it's good that someone, especially between the hours of 9 and 5, picks up the darn thing or you have the ability to leave a voicemail! What's the point of a support number if there's no support?!

Naturally your next port of call is live online chat, except when you go to use it there's never anyone there to chat to! Live offline chat would be more appropriate!

Marketing on a Budget in an Economic Downturn

Marketing on a Budget in an Economic Downturn

Everyone the world over is aware of the poor state of the economy at the moment and the restrictions this places on your income and subsequently your marketing budget.

Those in marketing will tell you that now is the time to actually make a concerted effort to further promote your business ahead of the competition. Getting the message across to businesses suffering from a dramatic slow down in trade is a difficult proposition though.

Bearing this in mind how can a business promote themselves on a limited budget or nothing at all?

5 Great Twitter Tools

5 Great Twitter Tools

Twitter is a powerful micro blogging platform but how do you find people interested in your niche market?

How do you find out what a particular hash tag represents?

How else can you get the most out of Twitter and maximise the time you put into social media?

I've gathered just 5 of a plethora of tools out there to help you answer those questions.

There are many more out there but here are 5 great tools I use regularly.

5 Great Twitter Tools

Twitter Search

Twitter search lets you search twitter!


Discover what's behind a particular hash tag, which are popular or the latest tags out there in the twitterverse.


Twellow is a Twitter Directory, a great way to find other people to follow on Twitter from your industry or who share the same interests as you.


Follow Friday: How To Find Great People To Follow on Twitter

Follow Friday on Twitter

Follow Friday is a great way to share top people to follow on Twitter. The brainchild of @micah who also has a blog on Startups and Entrepreneurship.

Instead of searching for people interested in the same topics as yourself #followfriday gives you the chance to find recommendations from friends who they think deserve your attention.

You can waste time following some people who from first glance looked like good tweeple.

Recommendations take away the pain and gives everyone the chance to give their friends a chance to interact with more people.

Follow Friday is a great addition to give everyone a way to find valuable people to follow.

The first follow friday

Give a short description of what someone tweets or if they're just a great member of the community simply big them up!

An Introduction to Twitter - Don't Be Afraid of The Birds

Introduction to Twitter

So you've been looking at ways to promote your business, gain new customers and someone suggested Twitter! What the tubular bells is Twitter I hear some of you say.

Twitter is a micro blogging service that is free to use either online or via downloadable applications to your desktop or mobile. You're allowed up to 140 characters to tweet away to your heart's content about anything you see fit. The smart people keep it on topic (your niche market) and insightful, minimum fluff!

Friends on Twitter are called followers, the more followers you have the more you can socialise and enjoy tweeting.

Now if you're not one for airing your views in the public domain you might be a little afraid of all the tweets flying around the wide world of the web! The great thing with Twitter is that the community is a welcoming and friendly place.

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