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13Nov 2015
Ajg Direct - Social Media

By this point in time, it is no secret just how important the effective use of social media can be to your bottom line as a business concern. The phrase “People are social creatures” is plastered all over the internet, making it a sort of mantra in the marketing industry. Yes, people are social in nature and need interaction within their lives, but AJG Direct know that all company based social media advertising must be well thought through. Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct, looks at using social media effectively to grow your bottom line.

“It’s all about engagement,” Paul says. “If you have any hopes of growing your business through social media you need to understand what it’s all about. The first thing we tell our clients is that today’s consumer wants a relationship with the brands they buy from. However, it is important to understand what they are looking for when seeking engagement with your brand, your product line. Research is a key point here because you need to analyse what products they are looking at and also which social sites get the most interest.”

This, according to Paul, means doing a thorough analysis of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see which of those social sites have the most active users within your industry. Next, it is important to tally what those users are looking at before sending out posts to draw them in. Most businesses simply don’t have the manpower to engage full-time with social networks so well-chosen topics are of vital importance. “See what your followers are looking at and then put out short posts that draw them into active conversations.”

Paul explains that social sites require posts that are short and to the point so it is important to get to the matter quickly and concisely. Answer any questions your followers might ask in regards to your product line and offer advice on the best use of specific products so that they know you really care. “Today’s consumer is tired of the super-sized corporations that care little about their customers,” he explains. “They want to know that they are more than a statistic and by giving them helpful hints and pertinent information they can’t get elsewhere, those customers know you care about them.”

In the end, the effective use of social media requires knowing where your target audience might be at any given time, which sites they frequent, and to post interesting and engaging content to draw them in. “If you are going to go social,” Paul states, “you need to be social and that means actually conversing with them in real time. Don’t spin your wheels. Do the research first. Determine where you will find them, then draw them in with engaging content.” That’s what today’s consumer needs and wants and AJG Direct is all about engagement. They are, after all, one of the UK’s leading direct marketing firms that engage face-to-face daily with thousands of consumers. If you need one single take-away from all this, it’s all about engagement.

20Oct 2015
AJG Direct - entrepreneur

Every entrepreneur wants to succeed but their ambitions may vary. Some look forward to achieving great wealth whilst others seek to do something amazing for the good of society. However, no matter what their chief ambition is, there are important insights that every entrepreneur encounters at some point on his or her journey. AJG Direct examine those important entrepreneurial insights in an effort to help make the journey a bit smoother for those just starting out.

Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct, says that “One of the biggest insights that every entrepreneur arrives at is the fact that decisions need to be made. It may be easier to avoid making them, or to put them off for a later date, but that can be a huge error in judgement. Procrastination slows down progress so entrepreneurs learn early on that it is better to simply make a decision and then act on it.”

He also states that the second-most important insight that every entrepreneur eventually arrives at is in learning not to fear making mistakes. Quite often the reason an entrepreneur fears making a decision is due to the fear of making a mistake. “You will make mistakes, that is a given. You are human after all. The key is to learn not to fear them,” he says. Most mistakes are not as bad as you think and can often be fixed. If not, you can always go back to the drawing board. In other words, according to Paul, there are few mistakes you can make that can’t be fixed and if you make the ‘big one’ you can usually just start over again!

Most entrepreneurs have started over more times than they can count but having this insight is an invaluable lesson. It all ties into a fear of risk. If you look at all the most successful entrepreneurs you will learn that they risked the most. Many quit their jobs without knowing how they will survive. They took a leap of faith. The insight that risk comes along with the territory is huge to a budding entrepreneur and one that every successful entrepreneur soon learns.

Perhaps the hardest insight to digest is the fact that you don’t know everything. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who admit there are others smarter or more experienced than themselves. These are the ones who sought out ‘experts’ to round out the office, propelling them almost instantly towards success. Paul says that just because you gain an insight doesn’t mean you are going to internalise it.

AJG Direct know that you can ‘see’ something in your mind but unless you are willing to ‘feel’ it, you will never act on it. “That’s the key right there in a nutshell,” Paul explains. “Learn to go with your gut level feelings and ignore what your mind is telling you. The successful entrepreneur is one who learns to trust instinct.” And, with the huge amount of success Paul and AJG Direct have seen, it is obvious that this is one instinct they internalised.

12Oct 2015
AJG DIRECT - companies

Most businesses have fairly uniform goals, in addition to some unique objectives specific to a particular company. One of the most common goals for businesses is to be in a situation in which high-growth is present. Even with large amounts of success along these lines, it can be difficult to navigate the challenges that such conditions present. The maintenance of large amounts of growth is not solely contingent upon initial intelligence and action, but also persistent actions that help encourage its continuance. AJG Direct announced to its clients recently some findings that were gleaned from an important and informative book titled “Mastering the 7 Essentials of High-Growth Companies”.

The Director of AJG Direct, Paul Gillett, recently explained how many businesses wish for large amounts of growth but are often shocked with the consequences. “There are many ‘negative’ elements that come with a sudden expansion of a business or brand. Most notably, the growing pains affect hiring decisions, physical expansion, and whether or not the conditions merit over-working existing workers or hiring new individuals before a long-term trend has been established”, he said. In many cases, sudden growth creates chaos in offices and firms, making it very difficult on those who have set working routines.

In “Mastering the 7 Essentials…”, the author lays out the requirements in order to generate additional growth. The first component required in this capacity relates to demonstrating a value-based proposition between the brand and consumers. Marketing agencies like AJG Direct inherently understand the need to demonstrate value to consumers and work hard in order to deliver that result to clients. The book explains that the best way in order to accomplish this is to either deliver a product that performs in a faster, better and cheaper capacity, or to completely shake up the market by delivering a product that fills a previously-unfilled niche.

Finding the best way forward is every business’ mission, but building the foundations for large amounts of growth may create unintended consequences. In the book “Mastering the 7 Essentials…”, the author outlines the recipe for success – as well as the potential pit-falls that await such success – in order to give businesses more opportunities to succeed. AJG Direct and other top-notch marketing firms will continue to work with clients in order to deliver effective marketing solutions at the same time that professional advice for internal operations is provided.

23Sep 2015
AJG Direct | R&R

What could be better than spending a little time fishing, golfing, playing tennis and eating at some of the best restaurants in the USA? Recently AJG Direct sent director Paul Gillett to Bald Head Island in North Carolina for an industry R&R.

Paul Gillett says that marketing is a fast paced industry and during the normal course of a work week there is really very little time to sit back and relax. This is the lifestyle of the leading entrepreneurs, so when it comes to networking with some industry greats whilst also taking time away from life in the fast lane, “Really, nothing could be better,” he says.

Paul feels that this is the best time to catch up on industry news because everyone is relaxed and willing to share their insights. “I find that sitting in a relaxed setting makes dialogue so much easier. I absolutely love workshops and R&R where I can mingle with the best of the best. It is exciting hearing about what others in the business have been doing and sharing some of my own triumphs at the same time. ”

Actually, it has been proven that networking R&R’s like this are more productive than a series of lectures. A study conducted by the California Institute of Technology in 2010 showed that a relaxed brain is able to remember much better than a brain that is under stress. What the study indicated is that there is a very particular time, a very particular brain state, in which memorisation takes place. When attending a workshop with loads of fun activities that aren’t exactly work-related, attendees can actually internalise so much more than if they sat in conference rooms all day long for the three day period.

“I know that I learn better when my mind isn’t on a million other things but that isn’t the best part of the weekend. Yes, there were talks about ‘current affairs’ in marketing around the globe and yes, there were new insights presented by some phenomenal speakers. However, I have to say that time away simply to do nothing other than fish or knock a ball around the green was truly the highlight of my weekend.”

Having been re-charged, AJG Direct anticipates a great quarter ahead for Paul and his office. After all, who would not be invigorated by the beauty of Bald Head Island in North Carolina? AJG Direct welcomes Paul back from his conference and is eagerly anticipating what he has to share.

10Sep 2015
AJG Direct | Brand Love

Many different emotions can flow across the mind of a shopper or consumer when perusing the aisles at the local supermarket or digging through search results online. These emotions help determine what people are and are not drawn to with respect to shopping decisions, which is why so many brands make large investments into various marketing efforts. The ability to create brand loyalty is crucial to overall marketing success, but the term “brand loyalty” may not be the best way to describe the ideal end-result for brands when it comes to the impressions that shoppers have. Here, AJG Direct examine why “brand love” should be the overall goal for any brand or business.

Brand loyalty is a common term in the world of marketing, but it is not necessarily the overall goal for marketers or brands. The Director of AJG Direct, Paul Gillett, explained this little-known phenomenon. “Brand loyalty is often confused with what some call ‘brand love’, which is the inevitable goal of any marketer. In a world in which so many people proclaim that they ‘love’ this or don’t love that, the end-all, be-all aim for people like us is to associate that sense of love with the brands we represent”, he was quoted as saying.

Brand love constitutes much more than mere repeat business or engagement. For brands that successfully tap into the concept of “love” with their shoppers and subscribers, the ability to unlock additional marketing objectives becomes possible. For instance, brand love creates conditions in which “super-followers” on social media will proactively share brand content across one or multiple mediums, alerting their followers and friends. In addition, brand emails and announcements for events can be more easily spread across various audiences when brand love exists, even among just a sliver of the targeted audience, according to AJG Direct.

Inevitably, brand love can be generated through solid marketing efforts that combine the tenets of brand loyalty with a personality imbued into the brand. Once brand love becomes present in the minds of a shopper or customer, it is easier both to continue generating repeat business and engagements, and to generate additional attention for brands via the individuals’ actions. As more brands and businesses continue to seek ways in which to amplify existing marketing efforts, notable firms and agencies such as AJG Direct will continue to advise them on methods that deliver such results.

21Aug 2015
Banking - AJG Direct

All too many consumers in today’s busy world must rely upon technology in order to get everything done. The days in which consumers, shoppers and clients could afford to spend the time hopping from one physical establishment to another in order to take care of finances, bills and other issues is no longer a reality. This has created the conditions in which more and more people have to rely upon technology for that added boost of efficiency to handle all of life’s daily tasks. AJG Direct announced findings to its clients recently on the prevalence of online and mobile banking, and how this trend may impact clients’ overall marketing strategies.

Despite the fact that most activities have been taken over by the mobile craze, the act of banking still remains slightly favoured through traditional online sources. AJG Direct’s Managing Director Paul Gillett reported that roughly four in ten people prefer to use online banking, as opposed to three in ten who prefer mobile banking solutions. “This trend is strong and we do expect a plurality of users to be in favour of mobile banking at some point in the near future”, he said. “What makes traditional online banking favoured by more at this point likely relates to the need for a complex series of available functions and actions that just aren’t yet feasible on mobile devices”, he elaborated.

Banking and financial institutions report a surge in online and mobile banking usage, in large part due to the effects that technology has had on the need for autonomy. Users of technological products and services no longer have the need to rely upon other human beings for a variety of services, making person-to-person interaction inefficient and obsolete in many areas. AJG Direct has provided its clients with a detailed assessment of this situation in order to outline how such disruptive trends might impact their bottom lines in the coming years.

Inevitably, the effects that mobile and online financial services will have on the broader market remain to be seen. It will, however, be a disruptive force much like every element of technology. AJG Direct and other top-tier marketing agencies remain dedicated to their clients and the need to analyse the changing financial currents in order to ensure winning strategies remain a part of their arsenals. Brands that wish to be in this position would be well-advised to enlist the services of a qualified marketing agency that can assist in all endeavours.

13Aug 2015
Habits - AJG Direct

Anywhere you look you will find advice on the ‘good habits’ needed for business success. Directors and entrepreneurs are told that they need to get in the habit of planning, getting organised and learning to delegate. AJG Direct marketing firm understands that building good habits takes energy so here they share some insight into where (and how!) to find the energy it will take to build those good habits.

Looking at some of the habits necessary to business success, Director Paul Gillett finds that “Building good habits takes some amount of energy. You need to be aware of the fact that the bigger the habit you are trying to build, the more energy you will need to expend. I recently read an article written by Brian Tracey for Entrepreneur in which he used an analogy from science called ‘activation energy.’ This is the amount of energy needed to get a chemical reaction going and the bigger the reaction, a greater amount of energy will be needed.”

Paul has spent a good deal of time thinking about this concept of activation energy as it refers to developing good business habits. For example, he knows that planning and organisation are critical to business success. “We all know that planning is a huge part of what we do as administrators or directors and if we are not organised when it comes to setting out and following plans, our goals and ambitions can quickly fall apart.”

He suggests that you find ways to conserve energy when planning and one way is to find tools that make planning that much easier. Paul likes to use planning apps for his mobile phone such as digital software and calendars that take little energy to run. Instead of spinning your wheels daily to update your plans, the software can tick off steps as they are taken.

In other words, no matter what you do you will be expending energy as you plan and carry out that plan. Finding ways to minimise your efforts will reduce the ‘activation energy’ needed. The energy you save can be used to accomplish other tasks. “It’s like the old adage we all live by here at AJG Direct,” Paul concludes, “Work smarter, not harder.”

Yes, you need activation energy to form good habits but if you can find tools to reduce the physical energy you need to expend, you will find those good habits much easier to build. The point is, good habits are a must so find ways to activate the energy needed to develop them and you will be so much more effective for your efforts.