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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

A/B testing for better marketing campaigns

By Eleanor Murray | Send

One of the most common questions we’re asked in the industry is, should we A/B test? In short, the answer is yes. A/B testing is one of the simplest methods for understanding the effectiveness of a campaign, and reaping the benefits of what you’ve learnt in the next one. It seems one of the main things holding companies back from A/B testing is their belief that it will be complicated, this just isn’t the case, campaigns can be simple to implement and to measure. The simplest tests can look exactly the same with the exception of one element, which is usually the offer. The more complex can test colour, branding, shape, tone of voice or anything else you think your audience may respond to....

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Calculating ROI for dummies

By Eleanor Murray | Send

Calculating the return on investment is essential practice for running and improving direct mail campaigns. We’ve devised five straightforward steps on how to calculate ROI: 1) Create a control group Create a control group within your data to identify background noise (perhaps from other marketing activity), and use this control group to measure the uplift against the target group. 2) Determine which sales are a direct result of the campaign. The easiest way to track the results of your campaign is by uniquely identifying each customer. Promo codes can be forgotten about, skewing the accuracy of your results. By uniquely identifying your customers in your database, rather than relying on...

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Postcard marketing

By Eleanor Murray | Send Marketing

Looking to grow your business? Answers on a postcard… When used correctly, the humble postcard can be a great tool in your marketing arsenal. Looking to create a marketing campaign that brings in results without breaking the bank? Here are six key reasons why you should consider using postcard direct mail: 1) Affordable. Postcards are inexpensive to print and post. A printed and posted card can cost a lot less than the price of a stamp! 2) Highly visible. Because a postcard isn’t hidden inside an envelope, it’s immediately visible to the addressee, making the most of every opportunity to be seen – before, during and after delivery. 3) Advertising inside the home. Postcards are great for...

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A vote for the West Midlands

By David Clarke | Clarke Associates

It’s not long now before the West Midlands gets its first opportunity to vote for a West Midlands Mayor (on May 4 in case you were wondering). It’s a subject that business has been talking about for some time although ironically, business does not get a vote. As a Council member of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, I am delighted that the Chamber has taken the initiative to ensure that the workforce of the West Midlands know about the election – and encourage them to turn out to vote on the day. The Chamber’s 2,600 members employ more than 175,000 people – most of whom will be eligible to vote – and the Chamber is doing its bit to boost awareness and understanding of the importance of...

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Get your life back and achieve business growth

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Coaching Ltd

Jack of all trades Many of the small business owners I coach have a successful business with a busy practice working with the clients they want to work with; earning the kind of money they used to dream of...so where’s the issue? They are working all hours, being the doer and deliverer of their service; they are trying to do the business development, as well as admin and minutiae of the business. They have become the epitome of Jack-of-all-trades, feeling like the master of none, as they know they are losing business and in a feeling of utter overwhelm. Stop the overwhelm Some business owners may even start by thinking I don’t have the time to space in order to focus on what I need to change....

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How to borrow through P2P

By Steve Grice | Ludgate Business Finance Limited

Ludgate Finance are the experts in raising funding in the fast-growing Peer-to-Peer lending market. Ludgate only raise finance for business and concentrate on debt funding rather than equity. Steve Grice has been working in the Peer-to-Peer sector since 2011 raising debt funding across all the main UK platforms; these are his top tips for borrowing through P2P: It’s not about the rate P2P is not (yet) about beating the interest rate you would pay if you went to the bank.  If your bank has agreed to your loan request, snap their hand off – you’re lucky to have got an offer.  Generally, the banks will always be cheaper, even if they have more onerous terms and take longer to agree and then...

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What is The West Midlands Mayor?

By Henrietta Brealey | GBCC

We’re going to be electing a West Midlands Mayor on the 4th May. Despite tireless campaigning from the candidates and big campaigns from the Government and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) there are still a lot of people in the region who are not aware that this election is taking place. And it’s not surprising: there are well over 2.7million people living in the areas taking part in the vote. That’s a lot of doors to knock. At the Chambers, we are proactively doing our part to raise awareness of these elections and champion a pro-business approach with the candidates. This post aims to answer the key questions such as “what is the West Midlands Mayor?” and “why does it matter?” along...

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What's YOUR story?

By Chris Green | Chris Green Media

Here’s a tough question for you. Do you think people really, truly trust you and your business? Why does this matter? Because trust is the most important facet of any business – so building trust should be the No.1 aim of every successful venture. Trust is about credibility, integrity, reliability – possibly even respect - solid character ethics and values that are not easily won or, for that matter, readily rubbed out. So how come trust barely registers a flicker in most management or marketing training? Maybe it seems too ethereal or hard to measure. But maybe, I’d argue, because building trust requires time and effort rather than instant quick win solutions. So that’s precisely why we’re...

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Five tips on choosing your first office

By Jane Erasmus | UBCUK

Choosing the first office for your business is a monumental milestone. It marks a thrilling point in your development where your company is fulfilling its business plan, growing, and proving profitable. Of course, choosing your first office is daunting. But happily, it's not the do-or-die decision it was a decade ago. That's because small firms now have the benefit of flexible rental terms rather than formidable 15-year commercial leases, which cuts out long-term concerns and expensive capital outlay. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to consider when choosing your first office: Is the area a good fit for your market? Location is often the No.1 priority for most businesses. You may want...

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10 ways to use a co-working space

By Jane Erasmus | UBCUK Ltd

Coworking is fast becoming a mainstream workspace solution. It's flexible, collaborative, cost-efficient, and it's taking the world by storm. Having first taken root in large cities and independent spaces, coworking has now become a staple of many serviced office environments too, including all 8 UBC business centres. Our own take on coworking, 'Venture', combines the companionship of shared workspace with private desks, professional on-site receptionist services and flexible memberships. Best of all, UBC clients can use one or all Venture locations under the same membership, enabling business owners to choose the workspace - and the region - that best suits their requirements. In December,...

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