Marketing Matters awarded West Lothian Council tender

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Marketing Matters is delighted to advise that it was the successful bidder in a recent tender for West Lothian Council – to provide specialist marketing communications support to Business Gateway clients, as well as  deliver individual marcoms workshops – starting next week!

The first three workshops are: ‘If you’re in business, marketing matters’, ‘It’s all about the brand!’  and ‘Consistency – the key to marketing success’. For more information, call Janice on 07810 341196.

And just to support the last entry….

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‘Marketing Matters helped us with our initial rebrand and provided us with the necessary focus and insight required to take this forward.  The support and knowledge was invaluable and we benefited enormously from our time working with Janice and her team.’

William C MacLean, Chief Executive, Richard Irvin Energy Solutions

Richard Irvin Energy Solutions

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Working with Aberdeen-based Richard Irvin Energy Solutions, from April 2014-January 2015, Marketing Matters provided marketing communications and design support on a range of projects inluding content development and design input to their new website, internal communications initiatives including the development of the staff newsletter – Connect – support for a brand refresh, photography and videography services, development of case studies and customer communications support.

And again….some of the recent months highlights

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Marketing Matters continues to work with – and support – existing clients such as Oceaneering, Trichem Scotland and Livingston Chiropody & Podiatry (and the new branch – Shawlands Chiropody & Podiatry- in Glasgow) but we are also now working with a number of new clients and are delighted to provide marketing communications and design support to Highway Barrier Solutions, Shelter and Edinburgh Instruments, to name a few.

Here are just some of the projects we have been working on for our clients:

Highway Barrier Solutions (Scotland)

Exhibition design and project management, collateral copywriting and design development, web design and implementation and sales development and promotional support. We are delighted to have HBS Scotland on board and wish them every sucess in their future business growth.

Shelter Scotland

We were delighted to be asked to provide support on a recent campaign for Shelter Scotland and to establish positive relationships with what is, one of the largest housing and homeless charities in the UK.

Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions

Marketing Matters has been providing marketing and design support to Rosyth-based Oceaneering for nearly five years and in that time, have covered events and exhibitions, media and PR support, internal communications initiatives, web development support, Reception refurbishment and graphic production, as well as powerpoints, photography, videography and collateral. It has been a great experience working with the local arm of what is a global organisation.  The latest projects include the latest issue of the staff newsletter – The Cross Section – and a special supplement to mark Oceaneering’s 50 Year anniversary.

Not to mention the annual calendar competition, which provides the children and grandchildren of staff members to provide their drawings on a specific theme, which are then judged, selected and produced as desk and/or wall calendars for customers and staff alike.

A website with a difference…The Securus Group

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Although an extensive and challenging project – the development of a new, parent group brand and website for an existing customer, Goldshield – the end result is really quite stunnning.

A bit different from a normal website, this is very much about showcasing the parent company – The Securus Group – and providing a reference point for stakeholders, investors and the business development team. From the development of initial logo concepts to the project management and completion of stationery, livery and collateral – including this impressive website – Marketing Matters welcomed the opportunity to work with an old client and help support the development of The Securus Group brand.

Check out the full website here.

It’s becoming a habit….these 6 monthly updates

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Here’s a quick summary of what Marketing Matters has been doing for the last 6 months….

A new client – Highway Barrier Solutions – was opening up a Scottish depot in Blackburm, West Lothian and wanted to let all their customers know that they were here, they were operational and ready to do business. So we created this concept, had it designed and managed a full postal mailing to all existing and prospective customers.

photo-1 photo-2

Health Rewards – what a great concept…

Private medical insurance that protects your family should you fall ill (or worse!) but that provides huge discounts (and rewards) on health-related initiatives such as gym membership, Weightwatchers classes, healthchecks and screenings, sportswear and equipment, as well as helping you get the most out of life with reduced price travel and holidays, family days out and attractions and FREE Vue cinema tickets every week, for every member of your household. What an amazing product…check it out on the amazing website (designed by Marketing Matters of course), at

Collateral, collateral….lots going on

We have designed, written and printed lots of collateral for clients in recent months, here’s just a few for you to check out….

optoscribeOptoscribe – designs and develops 3D waveguide technology for optical communications. They wanted a re-brand and collateral for US trade shows they attend regularly and we also designed and developed their new website.



cleantechCleantech Civils – looking for collateral and case studies to support the business development for their new Scottish base, in Livingston, we produced a corporate folder with key service offering  messaging and a range of case studies relating to their wide range of civil engineering capabilities.



Keeping on top of HSE – at Oceaneering

ehsenewsIssue 3 of EHSE News was produced towards the end of last year and the latest one is now in production. Internal and external newsletters are still a great way to communicate and keep in touch with your staff, and your customers.



And finally…..a client with a sense of humour – Trichem Scotland

trichemLook what this client had us add to the back of their business card…..what a great conversation starter for their sales team!

“No I can’t be bothered to see any crazy salesman right now, I’ve got a battle to fight!”

Said the king, to his Knight (with the machine gun salesman standing by…)

I’m going to put it on the line here and say, it won’t be six months before the next update – only because I know how much we have going on right now, some fab projects with great new clients and they will start to go live, very soon….

Top Ten Tips on Maximising Your PR Investment

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You are looking to bring a PR Consultancy in to build your brandenhance or protect your reputationand to create a plethora of media opportunities for you. But have you done your research on what it is you actually want a PR consultancy to do? If you set about carrying out come simple desk research by giving your chosen consultancy an initial ‘plan of action’, then it helps them devise and create the most appropriate methodology from the outset which is specifically tailored to your requirements.

Some early groundwork carried out internally, will help set the scene.

For example:

  1. What are you hoping to achieve from hiring a PR consultancy? Define you objectives, audiences and messages
  2. What ‘calibre’ of information can the PR consultancy expect to receive?
  3. Think ‘So What’? Put yourself in the mind-set of the journalist receiving your information. Your PR consultancy needs to take ‘hard news’ to a journalists for consideration. Get an understanding of what journalists want and how best to appeal to them
  4. Ensure you give your PR consultancy a good time framework in which to deliver your objectives. You want a strong relationship with the media through your PR consultancy, so ensure this is done on a ‘retained’ basis, rather than in a fragmented ‘ad-hoc’ way. ‘Loose’ association does not deliver the consistency you need to maximise. You want to engage your PR Consultancy to raise and sustain your profile over a minimum period of, say six months – one year. Remember, month-on month engagement will be for more cost effective in the longer term
  5. Don’t ever think your PR Consultancy can ‘guarantee’ coverage. They can’t. If you want guaranteed coverage – take an Advert.. but you’ll soon realise the return on investment is negligible.
  6. Present your PR Consultancy with some form of internal communications audit and analysis. What have you done thus far? What worked for your previously and, just as important, what didn’t ?
  7. Be serious about the engagement with your PR Consultancy. Have you apportioned a PR budget?  Too many companies fall into the bracket of knowing the ‘cost of everything/value of nothing’. If you have that mind-set, don’t hire a PR Consultancy. PR is a recognised professional service and should not be considered a ‘luxury bolt-on’. Like all professional services, there is a ‘day rate’ for engagement and this will vary dependent on size, experience and possibly location – London rates are at the higher end of the scale, for example – so it pays to shop around or go on recommendation from others.
  8. Don’t expect your PR Consultancy to solely focus on social media. Social Media is simply another communications channel, like the print and broadcast mediums. Too much is made of Social Media as ‘stand-alone’ media presence. It isn’t. It should be integrated and absorbed within the entire communications mix
  9. Keep a morning free every month to meet with your PR Consultancy to review the previous month’s activity and plan the forthcoming month’s activity. Again show consistency in your ‘engagement’ strategy. Your PR consultancy should produce a regular contact report so all the activity can be reported on and actioned.
  10. Finally, in most cases, by hiring a PR Consultancy you wish to  grow the bottom line, engage with new customers and clients to create awareness and generate a strong level of enquiries and increase the sales channel. A good PR Consultancy will do this…and much more besides.

Acumen PR is a PR Agency in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK). Good PR is all about building and maintaining a positive image of your business in front of the key audiences you wish to influence. Speak to Marketing Matters or our partner Acumen PR Consultancy in Edinburgh directly: 0131 661 7027.

Business Excellence Award

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At the recent West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, Marketing Matters took first place in the Women in Business Shona Sibbald Award 2012.

We were also delighted to be Highly Commended in the Entrepreneur & New Business Award 2012.

Having completed submissions for clients in previous years and see them win or be placed in the top 3, it’s good to be recognised for our own business growth and success.

Of all the supporting testimonials we received from customers, suppliers and charities we have supported, I have picked out a few of which we are particularly proud. They are:

“What Marketing Matters provides is high end service backed by professional level skill, when we worked together it was as if your office was just down the hallway even though we are  5,000 miles apart.” T Newell, Business Transformation Director, Oceaneering, Houston, Texas

“The core strength of design creativity backed by an unwavering proactivity in getting the job done and going beyond what you would perceive as ‘the norm’, is second nature to Marketing Matters. They are innovative, dynamic, cost effective and above all, a delight to do business with. Moreover, they are with you every step of the way to ensure you get the benefit of their expertise and you are never left with anything other than a believe this this is a company who know how to deliver on time and within budget.” K Dorrian, Acumen

“Marketing Matters offered our new organisation, the Livingston Youth Foundation, one year of free support and advice as their Charity of the Year 2012. At the time, I did not fully appreciate what this would mean to our new Foundation. I had planned to launch the Foundation, a football charity for all West Lothian boys and girls, at an event in January 2012. It was in preparing for this launch, that I realised what a wonderful resource we had in Janice and just how valuable she could become to our Foundation. Janice and her team produced our logo and slogan that has become so critical to the marketing of the charity. The launch, at which Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison and SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan were the principal speakers, was coordinated by Janice. We received excellent publicity as a result of this event and the Foundation is well on the way to becoming fully embedded in the West Lothian health and sport infrastructure. I cannot overstate Janice’s role in making this happen ….and all at no cost to the Foundation.

I fully realise how busy Janice is running a small business. To find time to successfully support a young Charity says so much about her commitment to the West Lothian community. She continues to meet, advise and produce material on behalf of the Youth Foundation, as we expand our support of young people across the County. We receive speedy responses to emails and phone calls, and I have never been in any doubt that despite her busy schedule, Janice is personally committed to ensuring that the Livingston Youth Foundation goes into 2013 as a strong, successful local Charity. We would not have managed this without the support of Janice Meikle.’  Gordon Ford OBE, Chief Executive Officer, The Livingston Youth Foundation Ltd

If you have time, check out the video produced for the Awards event.

Developing Win:Win Partnerships

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As self-employed professionals, we know that the best way to get clients is by referral. 80% of Marketing Matters client base has come through referrals but how can you make sure that it’s the right kind of referral, the right kind of business?

Surely its about quality, not quantity – and it’s a two way process.

Would you ever refer business if you don’t know the quality of work of the provider and the same applies in reverse? Why would you expect a contact to refer business to you unless they know, understand and value the service you provide or the products you offer?

But there is another way to look at this – a way in which you can generate a ‘win:win’ strategy – by generating the right kind of business AND adding value to your own customer offering.

Target your referral partners – just as you would your customers. Consider what other needs your customers have which you can’t help them with but which are a natural extension to, or are associated with, your own business. For example, consider the often antagonistic ‘sales v marketing divide!

The truth is, a successful business will have achieved a synergy between both, where sales and marketing strategies are integrated to achieve the results the business needs. But they each represent individual skills and expertise.

Marketing Matters has, in the past, been called in to discuss providing marketing advice and support, only to find that what that business really needs, is specialist PR or sales coaching and development. We certainly wouldn’t profess to be able to support this but with the right business partner in place, we can make that introduction and not only generate business for that partner, but add value to our customers by making sure their needs are met.

And the same applies in reverse. Our business partners have very specific areas of expertise and service offerings but they do not profess to be able to provide the marketing and design services that we specialise in so they, in turn, refer to us in the knowledge that we will look after their clients and deliver for them.

You will only achieve this if people know, like, and trust you.

So consider your market, your customers, their needs and build your business based on developing successful contributive relationships with people and businesses that provide products or services which are aligned with your own, whose business approach and ethos mirrors the values your business represents.

Identify the types of businesses which you would naturally work in partnership with – for example, our business partnerships include photography, videography, signage services, sales coaching & development, public relations, web development and so on.

Once you have your contact list, set up meetings to find out more about their business, familiarise yourself with their expertise, look at work they have completed, the type of client base they have, look at their recommendations or referrals – make use of Linked in, if they have a profile – check the quality of their website and ideally test them out. Then consider whether or not their business fits with your own level of service provision. Ask yourself, would you be 100% confident recommending them to your clients?

It’s a ‘Win Win’ approach that will reap rewards for any business, as long as you have the right business partners.