Innovation and enterprise blog

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15 posts categorized "Advertising"

05 March 2014

The A List: A guide to who's who in media, marketing and advertising 2014

The A List coverNew for 2014 in the Business & IP Centre, The A List directory, published annually by Haymarket Media, takes a sideways look at the world of advertising via short interviews with over 300 individuals in the UK advertising industry. The questions range from favourite campaigns and Twitter recommendations to preferred funeral songs, and interviewees are allocated categories including ‘party animal’, ‘intellectual’ and ‘powerful’.

Whilst the style is clearly light-hearted, it can prove a useful way to understand the ethos, atmosphere and focus of different agencies, as well as highlighting some current and future industry trends. Finally, it gives contact details (including Twitter handles) for many of the individuals featured; handy for those researching trends, job-hunting or looking to commission a campaign.  

For more information on advertising resources in the Business & IP Centre, see our Industry Guides.

Sally Jennings on behalf of Business & IP Centre

09 December 2013

Helping to make a success story - Children's Qur'anic Pop-up Book

Elephant_imageCrowdfunding is all the rage these days, as it has proved a real alternative route for funding a new idea or product.

The current top three are Kickstarter, Indiegogo and RocketHub, with new players appearing almost daily.

So I was not surprised to find that one of our customers had taken this approach to get funding for her Children's Qur'anic Pop-up Book and 3D app. Hajera Memon is the Managing Director of Shade 7 Limited and has launched their funding campaign this week on Indiegogo.

I don't really need to tell you too much here about the project to fund their first book Story of The Elephant: Surah Al-Fil, because the funding page is pretty comprehensive. But their aim is to become a global, multilingual publisher of premium pop-up Qur’anic educational story books and digital apps that help children learn about Islam in a fun way.

It was great to hear that Hajera was invited to the Small Business Saturday launch event at No. 11 Downing Street in early December:

I had the amazing opportunity to meet Chancellor George Osborne and show him the pop-up book – which he really liked!

Even nicer was to read her comments about the Business & IP Centre:

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for your extensive time, patience and support with the development of this project and for getting us to this exciting stage!

You’re a really special group of people whom I’m very grateful to know and you make me feel so pleased with the decision to try and join the entrepreneurial world, regardless of how things turn out! You’ve all added your own special contributions to my start-up journey and I really wanted to say thank you.

It is with your encouragement that I have had the strength to continue with each stage of the business and I really appreciate the efforts and invaluable advice you’ve all shared with me throughout. I pray this venture is successful and will be something you can all be proud of!



Neil Infield on behalf of the Business & IP Centre

07 November 2013

The Internet has revolutionised marketing

If, like me, you use the Internet frequently, but still need to improve your understanding of online marketing, I recommend that you attend the Online Marketing Masterclass, taught by Alasdair Inglis of the small business marketing consultancy Grow.

Right from the start of the class, Alasdair made the most of the available time by taking us through the essential elements of online marketing, including:

  1. The importance of thinking about lead generation in terms of inbound marketing
  2. Email marketing – the grandaddy of low-cost marketing
  3. SEO and keyword research
  4. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – the reason why yellow pages is worth pennies
  5. Content marketing
  6. Blogging
  7. Facebook PPC

 Alasdair explained the technical aspects of the above topics with the help of graphics and visual cues, which made everything easy to understand. He also gave us exercises that were good for networking with other workshop attendees – in my case with Rachael from video content company Vividecho.

One of the most useful exercises was the keyword-ideas exercise, which showed us how to do keyword research and set up SEO. This information will be extremely useful in a competitive market, as it will help you make the ‘first page of Google’ and get people responding to your online advertising.

Google records every search people make for phrases and keywords in every country in the world, and makes this data available to everyone.  Alasdair showed us Google AdWords, which allows you to make a list of keywords, so that when someone types one of your keywords into Google, your company will show up above the competition.  To do this effectively requires dedication and persistence, as well as a good business strategy – it’s advisable to have a clear strategy for your search campaigns.

Online activity can make marketing accurate.  Be it art or skill, your company can use these techniques to ensure a good Return on Investment and a good success rate. 

Trance party

Trance Party

Photo Source: WikiMedia

Another exercise we carried out was searching for keywords related to trance music, and ads based on the fact that one of the attendees, William, runs the trance- party business, Sydiom.  It was a revelation to me that by using this technique alone, we found out not only the number of searches for ‘Trance Parties in London’ but also that people were searching using the term ‘Progressive Trance’. This information was right on track (pardon the pun) to help William promote his work.  

One interesting but strangely challenging exercise was creating an AdWords and AdGroup example.  It was more difficult than I expected trying to fit the right words into limited space to get the highest impact!

 Another tip from Alasdair when setting up your PPC campaign was to use keywords that target locations relevant to your business. For example, you could target phrases such as ‘Bicycles in London’.

Personally, I found there were only a few technical things you need to understand to optimise your online campaigns. This workshop explains how to use the various techniques and provides a good introduction.  It might also help you decide whether you want to outsource this aspect of marketing to an SEO expert! Either way, you should definitely be doing this for your business and if you get it right - you will benefit.

Content marketing, such as books, podcasts and video are other forms of online marketing that can be effective. You can use the Content Marketing Matrix to ensure that your strategy and marketing remains effective.  It was also suggested that you look at what content your competitors are sharing – since your ‘competitors are your best friends’!

Blogging and Facebook PPC were tools mentioned, with the latter targeting customers by location, town, city, gender, connections etc.  I think most of us will be used to these ads by now. However, you’ll learn to be on the other side, pushing them out to potential customers. 

The Online Marketing Masterclass was very detailed, so I am unable to put everything in this post. Do attend the workshop if you want to get that competitive advantage. Doing the right research the right way will always lead to better results.

Seema Rampersad on behalf of Business & IP Centre

15 August 2013

China’s top 20 western brands

Yum KFC China logoLast week the BBC published a fascinating report on the progress US companies have made in the rapidly growing Chinese market for consumer goods and services. Western brands 'more popular' in China.

The number one brand in China is fast food chicken restaurant chain KFC from Yum! Brands. The Chinese market contributes about half of Yum! Brands' overall profits. The company has about 4,400 KFC units in about 850 cities in China. It first entered the market in 1987. But in banking and telecoms Chinese companies still dominate.

The BBC asked global brand research company Millward Brown to find the 20 most powerful foreign brands in China, the ones that have gone in and succeeded where many others have failed.

A discussion on the Today Programme between presenter John Humpries and Peter Walshe Global Director of Brands at Millward Brown, produced a great definition of what makes a succesful brand:

Peter Walshe
Products that are delivering great quality in a meaningful way to consumers, are the ones that are bought again and again, by those very discerning consumers.

John Humphries - The assumption has been that in the West, you can sell anything to anybody if the advertising is good enough, and the marketing is good enough.

Peter - I certainly wouldn’t agree with that at all. You can announce something , and providing your advertising clearly annunciates what it is that is special, good and interesting about that product or brand, people will listen, and they may well try it. But when they try it and it doesn’t live up to that promise, you’re in big trouble.

One of the reasons Omo is doing so well is that it has listened and adapted to its consumers locally. The way that you wash clothes is quite different in China, compared to some other markets. They have very carefully listened to consumers and created products that are relevant.


Here are some success tips from some of the top brands via Millward Brown:

Get in early
All of the brands have been pioneers in China, entering before 2000.

Understand your market
The Chinese market is changing quickly and many of the companies are learning to keep up.

Be bold
Having got in early, many of the companies are building on that advantage. Some of the numbers are staggering.

City strategy
Many of the brands that spoke to us stressed the importance of looking beyond the coastal cities of Shanghai and Beijing to the staggering growth and new consumers in cities across the country.

Build your team
Running a business in China is difficult to do from outside the country, and many of these multinationals tell us that their success is built on finding the best Chinese talent and joint venture partners.

Neil Infield on behalf of the Business & IP Centre

Chloé Titcomb on behalf of the Business & IP Centre - See more at:
Chloé Titcomb on behalf of the Business & IP Centre - See more at:
Chloé Titcomb on behalf of the Business & IP Centre - See more at:
Chloé Titcomb on behalf of the Business & IP Centre - See more at:

14 August 2013

Innovating for Growth Branding Workshop - Maximising Your Brand

ABA_logoLast week I attended an Innovating for Growth (I4G) project workshop on Maximising Your Brand. It was presented by Alistair Bullen and Rory Muldoon from ABA | The Business Brand Agency, in a very chatty and informal style.

The idea was to introduce some of the key elements of branding, and to indicate how they will be able to help companies on the I4G program in one to one meetings.

After introducing ourselves and delivering our thirty second elevator pitch, Alistair and Rory  explained the difference between a corporate identity and building a brand.

They used the analogy of a car to explain the role of branding. Until you lift the bonnet you can’t fix the car, and until you know what the other cars are on the road are, you can’t start the race. Also you need to be clear on what kind of car you want to be.

The first stage for ABA is to get under the skin of the company - not straight into ‘fixing the logo’.

They asked us all to write down our ethos, and our competitors. This is what I put for the Business & IP Centre.

Ethos - To use our collection of business information to help start-ups and small companies

Competitors - Other libraries with business information (City Business Library), London Enterprise Agencies, University business support services.

Then they introduced the concept of how each companies Raw Ingredients feed into the Blend of Positioning, Personality and Brand architecture) which helps to define the Brand Essence.

Without working out what your Brand Essence is, you can’t progress successfully.

There are four vectors of your brand:

  1. Products and services - How people feel about the things you produce
  2. Environment - The way people feel when they enter your office
  3. Behaviour - The way that you answer the telephone
  4. Communication - How you speak to your audience




You should find out what your customers think about your service by asking them using a straw poll using Survey Monkey etc, but don’t be defensive about the results.

We then spent  some time reviewing a set of brand personalities to see which two or three most closely matched our brand essence. I chose Sage and Explorer for the Business & IP Centre.

Next we watched an interesting TED talk from Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action. He said great brands start with the Why, not the What. For example Apple aim to make products that challenge the status quo, they believe in thinking differently. Because of this they make great products.

You should always start with Why you exist, then follow with How you operate and then What you produce.

The why is always much more compelling than the what, so make sure you use it in all your brand communications.

We then looked at models of brand architecture:

  • Monolithic - a single name that is master on all products or services in a range - products are identified by alpha or numeric signifiers - e.g. BMW
  • Endorsed - individual brands supported by a corporate master - working in tandem e.g. Kellogg’s Cornflakes
  • Branded - product name is king e.g. Persil from Unilever

Alistair and Rory recommended a book called Fascinate - Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead.

Why are you captivated by some people but not by others? Why do you recall some brands yet forget the rest? In a distracted, overcrowded world, how do certain leaders, friends, and family members convince you to change your behavior? Fascination: the most powerful way to influence decision making. It’s more persuasive than marketing, advertising, or any other form of communication. And it all starts with seven universal triggers: Passion, Mystique, Prestige, Power, Rebellion, Alarm, and Trust.

TEDxAtlanta - Sally Hogshead - How to Fascinate


Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders by Adam Morgan.

I found the workshop challenging, but also engaging and fun, and I could hear the attendees animated discussions about their brand values as they left the session.

If you want to apply for £10,000 worth of bespoke advice and support for your business, have a look at our Innovating for Growth programme and see if you qualify. 

ERDF_logoInnovating for Growth is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 




Neil Infield on behalf of the Business & IP Centre

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