Fitness Fun 2014 Part 1: 5k

January 30th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


The Boutique athletes have completed their first challenge of the year: a 5k run at Motive8 Leeds.

See what happened here!

We’ve Recruited

January 30th, 2014 by Simon Bollon


As a dynamic, full integrated agency, the New Year holds an abundance of business prospects for Boutique, and we anticipate rapid growth in the coming months. Though we have the resource and buying power of some of the biggest agencies, first-rate service levels remain at the top of our list. That’s why we’re delighted to announce the arrival of Tom Selby, our new Client Acquisition Manager.

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Tom joins us from the Business Services Sector, having previously worked within a variety of New Business and Marketing roles. He has knowledge of both small, local businesses and FTSE 200 global giants, bringing the expertise required to help us to achieve our ambitious growth plans. With much experience and unrelenting enthusiasm, he is a welcome addition to the office. He’s also a keen evangelist for his adoptive county; he moved to Leeds for his studies, and is seemingly unable to escape her clutches.

Tom will add even more to our top customer service levels. We are very excited about our rapidly growing office, and can’t wait to assist others with our Boutique strategies, helping to build many more brilliant businesses. Tweet us @boutiquemc to say hello!

Preston Baker VIP Service Campaign

January 29th, 2014 by Simon Bollon


Preston Baker are a Yorkshire-based estate agency chain, founded by cousins Ian Preston and James Baker. After becoming independent in 2011, their business has expanded to six branches, with offices in York, Leeds, Selby and Doncaster.

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This is the first time that Preston Baker have appeared on TV. Creative work was done by our partners Beautiful Minds, and production by MOTUS. The campaign breaks on Thursday 30th January for four weeks. These will be commercials of 10 and 30 seconds length, promoting the Preston Baker ‘VIP Service’ via the YTV Emley Moor transmitter.

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This campaign is supported by bound-in inserts in city editions of the Sunday Times Magazine and the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine. There will also be a geo-targeted online campaign to specific MOSAIC groups, following our full analysis of their existing customer base. Future plans include Cinema, Video on Demand and SMS/MMS messaging, making this a fully integrated and targeted campaign. Watch the full advert here.

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Boutique Highly Rated on the Recommended Agency Register

January 29th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been highly rated on the Recommended Agency Register. The RAR, an online sourcing tool for marketers, uncovers the most recommended agencies in the industry through client ratings.

The register helps marketing and procurement professionals source talent and keep up the best agencies, and we are delighted that our wonderful clients have rated us so highly.

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How to Perfect the Client/Agency Pitching Process

January 27th, 2014 by Elliot Jones


There’s nothing more frustrating than a bad pitch, both for the client that has to endure it, and the agency that sulks home with its tail between its legs. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the principles of pitching, and whether you love or loathe the process, it’s an inevitable part of business. So how do you make the most of the presentation, and avoid the downfalls of the dreaded pitch?

Since the key to any successful relationship is compromise, we’ve put together lists of advice for both sides of the divide, advising clients and agencies on how to perfect the pitch whilst keeping the other party happy.

As a client, you should…

Narrow it down

Agencies don’t want to be one of many. They don’t even want to be one of several. Have a shortlist of no more than three agencies, because any more signals you’re probably not sure what you want. In which case, you’re not ready to be a running a pitch.

Don’t be stingy

A pitch is only as good as the proposal. A stingy brief equals a terrible pitch, so you should be as detailed as possible, and dedicate more than just an hour or so. Don’t be mean when it comes to deadlines, either, and give them more than a week to work on it. Otherwise it’ll be rubbish, and that’ll be of no benefit to anyone.

Appreciate questions

Agencies ask a lot of questions. Some of them will be ingenious, perceptive and consequential. Others will be daft. Either way, every question deserves an answer. If they put forward a corker, don’t share it with other agencies to level the playing field. People should not be punished for their perspicacity, after all.

Don’t dawdle

They don’t expect a decision to be made in minutes, but waiting six weeks for an answer is a bit excessive. You should aim to catch your chosen agency at the right time, when the team will still be geared up about the pitch. Otherwise, your collaboration will begin at a lukewarm level, and lost enthusiasm is difficult to find.

Be honest. Brutally honest

If they’re fantastic, tell them. If there’s anything they need to improve on, tell them. If they suck, TELL THEM. In business, though the truth may hurt, it is essential to future successes. Constructive criticism helps everyone learn from their mistakes and improve, so don’t feel bad about telling someone they’re substandard.

As an agency, you should…

Impress throughout

The final pitch is not the big show. Nowadays, the win begins well before the pitch, so whip your new business team into shape. Nurturing early relationships will work in your favour when it gets close to the end. When it comes to the pitch, get together a diverse team of key people who will all bring something to the table.

Listen and learn

It’s simple really: use your ears and eyes before opening your mouth. By getting to know the client, a successful agency will understand their industry, their market environment, their customers, and their competitors. One of the biggest barriers with agencies is them actually understanding a business, because they can’t be bothered to learn about it.

Go easy on the credentials

Don’t bore the client with the tedious credential slides, and avoid cringe-inducing cred-terminology. Time is precious, so there’s no point in spending thirty minutes relaying what everybody already knows. A good pitch will cut the crap, and be straightforward, succinct and sincere.

Stand out from the crowd

Clients want fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. You should draw attention to your distinctions, highlight your quirks, and make it clear that you’re different to the rest. Think about bringing something to the table that no other agency can replicate, and that adds real value to the project.

What are your tips for the pitching process? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!

 

Fitness Fun 2014

January 27th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


Here at Boutique, we know the importance of having a healthy mind in a healthy body. That’s why our staff are not only media masterminds, analytical geniuses and creative prodigies, but lithe, nimble athletes who enjoy nothing more than pushing their bodies to the limit.

With this being said, we thought it’d be a great idea to join forces with Motiv8 Leeds and set ourselves a fitness challenge per month. This will ensure that 2014 is year of strength, speed and stamina for Boutique, as well as helping us to raise some money for charity.

The Challenges

January – 5k

February – 10k

March – Yorkshire Three Peaks

April – Tough Mudder

May – Nidderdale Way

June – Duathlon

July – Sprint Triathlon

August – Tour de France Yorkshire Leg

September – Standard Triathlon

October – Half Marathon

November – Swimming Event

December – 10 Cross Fit Challenges

First up is the 5k, which will take place on January 31st at Motiv8. Be sure to place your bets, because we’ll be reporting back with stats and commentary!

Plan the Perfect Social Media Strategy in 6 Simple Steps

January 24th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


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There are endless opportunities for businesses who take the time to master the art of social media. Social marketing continues to flourish, and more professionals are taking notice. However, rather than jumping recklessly into the world of social business campaigns, there are several aspects that must be considered.

 1. Know what you want to achieve

Setting clear goals is a must when it comes to social marketing. Aiming for specific results and setting a timeframe will ensure that your success is measurable. You’ll be able to gage how beneficial social media is to your business, and figure out if you need to be engaging more, engaging differently, or not engaging at all.

 2. Consider your target audience

Once you’ve determined the group of people you want to target, you need to consider where to find them. Choose the right platform for your demographic, and ensure that you’re communicating to them in the correct manner. What’s the point in trying to promote anti-ageing face cream through tweets riddled with abbreviations and emojis?

 3. Utilise your staff

Whether you want to outsource activity, hire a couple of freelancers or create a regular, internal team, make the most of your social media employees. The knowledge, expertise and creativity of your staff will contribute to your company’s social authority, and if you want bigger and quicker results, get in touch with a specialist.

4. Part with cash

Social media is a long-term relationship, and it can take months, if not years, to build up a good following. There are some ways to speed up the process, though, which involve spending money. If you can, get experienced people on-board, invest in ad campaigns and get to grips with optimisation and analysis tools.

5. Try different channels

There’s more to social media than tweets and Facebook feeds. There are so many social networks out there, and it’s worth hunting around to find what’s best suited to your business and audience. If you’re starting from scratch, begin by getting to know some of the simpler, free channels. Once you’re up and running, make sure you keep paying attention to these communities while you continue to discover other outlets.

6. Understand content

Quality content is key. Once you’re aware of your goals, understand your audience and have a good knowledge of your networks, take the time to assess which format is best for you. There are so many different forms of content; blog posts, videos, infographics and illustrations, to name a few; so spend a good while figuring out what your target group is going to want to see. Most importantly, be creative, be engaging, and encourage audience interaction.

A successful social media strategy is more than just setting up and account and updating a status once a day. There’s a lot to consider before you dive into the pool of social networking, and though some of your initial decisions may turn out to be unsuccessful, you will soon know how to adjust your strategy to make it work best for your business.

Did these social media strategies work for you and your company? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!

How to Keep Your Business Safe from Twitter Trolls

January 23rd, 2014 by Sarah Gough


Twitter hit the headlines again this week after its trolls turned their attention to Stan Collymore and Beth Tweddle, hurling racist, sexist, and downright nasty abuse at the sports personalities. Collymore and talkSPORT are facing the issue head on, rallying against the platform’s lack of action and banning any mention of it on air or in print. The police have also intervened and confirmed investigations into the offensive messages. Meanwhile, Tweddle opted to ignore the cruel tweets that were aimed at her during a Sky Sports Q&A session, and then went on to encourage users to report abuse.

This recent focus on Twitter abuse got us thinking: how should businesses deal with negative tweets, and get rid of Twitter trolls? Because of the way that Twitter allows people to interact, there’s more potential for negative comments to spread. At the same time, the pace of the platform and character limit means responding to a complaint is tricky. Overall, Twitter negativity, whether justifiable complaints or downright abuse, creates a lot of challenges.

So what should you do? We’ve put together an action plan, helping you to discover, respond to, and solve negative tweets.

KeepYourBusinessSafeFromTwitterTrollsWhile some irresponsible users will continue to throw unwarranted abuse around Twitter, there are many whose negative tweets are completely reasonable. Maybe they’re disappointed with your company’s customer service levels, or dissatisfied with a product. By recognising the difference between the justifiable and the offensive, you will be able to address customer concerns and manage your online reputation, as well as protecting your business. Being active, positive and willing to help will build customer loyalty and boost your brand, while a no-nonsense approach with the trolls will demonstrate your shrewdness and authority.

How does your business deal with Twitter negativity? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!

Mother & Baby: Baby Skin Special

January 22nd, 2014 by Simon Bollon


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We created this baby skin editorial the February issue of the UK’s number one parenting magazine, Mother & Baby. The integrated sponsorship piece is in association with nappy rash specialists, Metanium. It’s a lovely, visually pleasing, editorially led article, filled with useful hints and tips for new mothers. What do you think? Tweet us @boutiquemc!

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ABC Figures

January 20th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


The latest ABC figures show that national newspaper sales fell 2.4% between November and December. Compared to December last year, the average sales of all national papers fell 7.9%. The Sun was the biggest seller at the end of last year, with an average net circulation of 2,043,810. The Independent brought up the rear with a circulation of 67,266.

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In terms of sector, the quality newspapers did the best, with mid-market titles close behind. The popular papers didn’t do well at all, however, with circulation in December down 3.1% compared to the previous month, and 10.2% compared to the same time in 2012. This was due to both the Sun and the Sun on Sunday losing 200,000 sales year on year.

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