Small business

Mum’s the Word for Business Success

It may only be in its first trimester, but 2019 is already a boom year for ex-radio presenter and mum-of-two, Kiesha Humphreys who is celebrating her fourth year at the helm of Icon Marketing Communications Ltd. In that time, Icon, a specialist marketing consultancy based in Wilmslow, has been responsible for a number of SME business success stories across Cheshire and Manchester.

Kiesha Humphreys  Photo credit: Senem Peace Photography

Kiesha Humphreys

Photo credit: Senem Peace Photography

Kiesha explains; “I set up the business after the birth of my first son, and Icon is an anagram of his name, Nico. I’d been working at a senior level at a large advertising agency in Manchester, and while I was on maternity leave it struck me that there is a gap in the market for a reasonably priced and flexible marketing resource, in the area.”

Kiesha has first-hand experience of smaller businesses approaching large agencies and being put off by the cost. She says, “Bigger organisations can be a bit intimidating to smaller businesses – especially when they only need a one-off marketing facility or a bespoke marketing service.”

While larger organisations often don’t see the immediate potential in helping businesses when they’re starting out or are at the ‘expansion phase’, Kiesha seizes the opportunity to put her big agency knowledge and international marketing expertise to the test.

“For the past 15 years I’ve worked in the UK and South East Asia. In this time, I’ve seen the communications climate change dramatically – and it still is changing, year on year”.

In tandem with her ‘day’ job as a Business Development Manager for upmarket restaurant chain, Gusto, Kiesha honed her communications skills as a regular Radio Presenter for Cheshire’s Silk 106.9, BBC Radio Manchester and Capital (formerly Galaxy 102). It meant she had her finger on the pulse of all kinds of media. “I’m a natural-born communicator,” she says, “I was increasingly drawn to digital channels and I could see that the major draw of digital is its level of accountability and significant ROI”.

Photo credit: Jonathan Farber

Photo credit: Jonathan Farber

As well as running Icon, Kiesha has spent the last year completing her Google Ads certifications and working on SEO projects with a number of clients.

Kiesha continues; “There is still a need for an integrated marketing communications strategy to support and strengthen the digital aspect, including PR, events and traditional print and radio advertising”.

Kiesha says; “While we’re based in Wilmslow, we often work from The Workspace in Handforth, a beautiful co-worker environment that has flexible terms – it’s great for businesses who want to collaborate. We work with businesses of all sizes to provide one-off support or ongoing marketing management (across the mix) in and around Manchester and Cheshire. We create tailor made packages in line with our clients’ budgets or we can offer bespoke solutions to suit their needs.”

The Workspace Handforth Meeting Room  Photo credit: Compton Harry Photography

The Workspace Handforth Meeting Room

Photo credit: Compton Harry Photography

It’s not every day a company can benefit from marketing experience of the kind Icon can deliver, without the international agency price tag. With so many success stories under her belt – and plenty more waiting to happen, Kiesha is more than happy to spread the good news.

For more information visit www.iconmarketingcommunications.co.uk .

To celebrate its fourth year. Icon Marketing Communications Ltd is offering all readers a 1 hour complimentary marketing consultation. For more details, please contact Kiesha on kiesha@iconmarketingcommunications.co.uk or call 07979940526.

The Workspace can be contacted on 01625 522209 or via email info@theworkspace.uk

For more information visit www.theworkspace.uk.

Hello! Is anyone listening? The magic of Radio and its similarities to running successful Social Media campaigns

It’s a while since I last wrote a blog, the truth is working in marketing you tend to neglect your own promotion in favour of your clients. But that’s no excuse it is important to be consistent. So today I wanted to talk a little about the wonderful world of social media. I remember being one of the first of my friends to sign up to Facebook in April 2007. Back then there was no Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter was only in its first year.

How far social media has come since then? Facebook now has in the region of 2.23 billion users. They’ve recently had a ‘rough’ time losing £90.8 billion of their share value following the Cambridge Analytica scandal (I must hasten to add the company is still valued at nearly £400 billion – yes billion).

facebook.jpg

What is true is that businesses of all sizes are looking to harness the power of social media. Just like any other media there are different channels which may be more suited to your target audience. Instagram users for example are predominantly aged between 18 and 29 and there is a greater tendency for them to be female over male. Whereas Twitter and LinkedIn users, tend to be older and more business orientated. Effectively utilising social media reminds me a lot of my time as a Radio Presenter. Different stations appeal to different audiences.

But the similarities don’t stop there. Just like the world of radio particularly commercial radio;

You need to plan

Before each show I’d spend at least an hour prepping. My prep would include reading the local and national papers, checking on upcoming events, researching in to any new music that was added to the playlist, creating topics to encourage listener interaction. Planning was imperative to an enjoyable show (for me and the listener).  The same can be said for social media, making the time to produce a fortnightly or monthly social media plan will make the process of generating regular content a far less onerous task.

You’re promoting…

 In radio this is usually the station you work for, other presenter’s shows, local events or special guests. But equally as a business owner utilising social media to promote your business is a wise choice. What other media gives you the opportunity to directly promote your product/service to your customer?

You’re conversing…

Encouraging listener participation brings the show to life. One of my favourite features was my topical themed final song of the show, during this feature I would get listeners to get in touch suggesting a song themed around a news story from that day. People love to receive a direct response from a company, favourite brand or business . I once tweeted Screwfix about a great experience I’d had with their Cheadle store. They passed the message on to the store who responded to my tweet with a thank-you – I was touched. Conversing with your social media supporters encourages brand loyalty and sets you ahead of your competition.

Screwfix tweet.PNG

You’re sharing…

 I remember a few years ago whilst I was working for Cheshire Silk 106.9 there were a number of school closures due to excessive snowfall. Silk became the go to station to find out whether your local school was closed. That’s one of the things I loved most about radio was its speed. If you were on air when a big story broke you could share it with you listeners instantaneously. That speed still puts radio ahead of other media such as print. You can utilise your brands social media to share something relevant in your industry or to your followers.

Sharing, conversing and promoting is the holy trinity as far as establishing a successful social media presence. But I would encourage you to exercise caution when utilising social media. Unlike the world of radio which is regulated by Ofcom anyone can get online through social media and share news, views, pictures and videos. Without the necessarily having the knowledge on what you should or shouldn’t share. I once received a piece of advice whilst working in radio which I still reflect on today ‘If in doubt, leave it out’.

Also avoid the temptation to sell too much. I once took a call from an irate listener during one of my shows for a commercial radio station following a particularly long ad break who asked ‘Are you running an advertising agency or a radio station?’ the truth was a little bit of both. But they raised a good point effective selling should blend in to overall content and be informative not overpowering,  if you ‘sell’ too much people will switch off or in the case of social media at a click of a button they have unliked/unfollowed your page.

Radio is a medium which will always remain special to me, my five years working for stations in Manchester and Cheshire has taught me so much. If you’d like to have a friendly chat about your social media or broader marketing strategy  feel free to get in touch kiesha@iconmarketingcommunications.co.uk