Category Archives: News

How to improve your marketing ROI

How to improve your marketing ROI

Download the article collection by Epicor’s former International VP of Marketing Our new collection of guest articles explores the stresses and strains of modern marketing, and how to improve your marketing ROI, consistently and systematically. Each article offers a new angle, and a potential solution for marketing teams looking for a way to improve the ROI on marketing without the risk. > View and download PDF

GDPR is coming

GDPR is coming

What you really need to know before 25th May. You need to have been living under a rock to not realise that the GDPR is coming.  The hype is growing – you could be fined up to 4% of your turnover or up to £20 million.  But what does it really mean for you?     Here are nine things that you absolutely need to know:   1.    If you hold any personal data, you must be registered with the ICO This is the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent authority that promotes information rights in the public interest. Don’t delay,

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Marketing support for small charities

Marketing support for small charities

Sophie Davies, BH&P Associate and former head of membership and retention at The National Trust, shares her thoughts on small charity marketing.   Charities – especially smaller ones – are under pressure. Demand is increasing for their services, and yet local and central funding is decreasing.  This in turn puts pressure on resources, with small charity marketing especially affected, with both a financial and skills gap. A recent Local Giving study found that fewer than half of local charities surveyed felt that they would still exist in 5 years’ time*. This could be a disaster for the communities they serve. So

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Our new creative space

Our new creative space

After a crazily busy start to 2018, we’ve moved into some shiny new offices in the centre of Reading! Between getting our heads stuck into GDPR, creating a fire safety campaign for Stayenergysafe and helping client 3GHR launch their new website, we have managed to settle in. The second floor of Spaces Reading is our new home and stands a stone’s throw from the station, which we can see from our sparkly new roof terrace. As we are now settled into to the office we thought we would share our new creative work space. As well as our dedicated offices,

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Creative. It’s good thinking.

Creative. It’s good thinking.

Cannes Lions, touted as the “Oscars” of the marketing industry, is a real showcase for the sort of work every agency would love to do. However, like a fashion-show, it touts the sort of work that – in the real world – not every business or charity would wear. A lack of budget is the most common complaint (or balls, some would say). The reality is that clever ideas, and clever use of media, don’t need to cost the earth. What’s needed, instead, is an understanding that unless an organisation embraces the type of creative solution that makes people think

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If only we were superheroes

If only we were superheroes

Change your Luck blog series – Article 5 Guest author: Martin Hill, former International VP of Marketing, Epicor Until recently, I was in the kind of senior marketing job where time seemed to be the one thing that was impossible to enjoy. It was always moving so fast and there was never enough of it. Straight from meeting to meeting with barely enough time for proper planning before the urgency of execution, rinse and repeat. If only I’d known a superhero with the ability to turn back time. Yes, of course we analysed performance, refined and reviewed tactics, but there

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Can you fix the odds?

Can you fix the odds?

Change your Luck blog series – Article 4 Guest author: Martin Hill, former International VP of Marketing, Epicor I was able to enjoy watching a lot of sport this summer and even though I’m not a betting man, autumn sporting events like the Invictus Games, the UK Masters Golf, a whole host of Rugby Internationals, and of course, the upcoming Ashes, have started me thinking about the similarities between marketing and gambling- and how alike gamblers and marketers sometimes are. However much we attempt to predict outcomes, carefully researching, planning, testing and measuring changes we make to our marketing plans, sometimes

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The joy of the happy accident

The joy of the happy accident

Change your Luck blog series – article 3 Guest author: Martin Hill, former International VP of Marketing, Epicor One of the best parts of my recent career break has been the opportunity to develop my (limited) skills with watercolour. It’s been a long time since I picked up a paintbrush and it isn’t proving easy. Satisfying, yes. Easy, no. With the luxury of time I’ve been able to explore the vast resources of the web, absorbing advice from much more accomplished artists than me. The advice is varied but there are common themes. Don’t just start, first prepare to start.

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Surfing the next wave

Surfing the next wave

Change your Luck blog series – article 2 Guest author: Martin Hill, former International VP of Marketing, Epicor   Lately I’ve had the previously unknown luxury of time – and with this came the opportunity to revisit some of the magnificent coastline, towns and villages in Devon and Dorset. I’ve been able to enjoy great weather and explore new things without the pressure of deadlines and targets to return to. class=”alignleft On my latest trip I was struck by the behaviour of the huge number of surfers also enjoying the conditions. They sit on their boards patiently waiting and watching

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Watching the world go by

Watching the world go by

Change your Luck blog series – article 1 Guest author: Martin Hill, former International VP of Marketing, Epicor   class=”aligncenter This year I decided to take a break from work and bring a bit more life into my work-life balance. I’m getting the time to relax and rediscover my natural curiosity and creativity, and to take a much more objective view of the pressures and practices of marketing that governed my career. I’ve worked through a period of massive change since leaving university in the early 80’s. Watching from the outside magnifies how much the pressure, pace and pervasiveness of

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You make your own luck

You make your own luck

Guest blog post by our good friend, Dr Mark Mason MBE. Originally posted on LinkedIn, September 2014   Dr Mark Mason​, lately CEO of Mubaloo, received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017 for services to the Digital Economy.   In July, I was honoured to receive an honorary degree from the University of the West of England. Now, I am officially a doctorate of technology. As with those bestowed the privilege of delivering a speech at graduation ceremonies, I spent a long time considering the best thing to say to inspire a new group of people going

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Marketing for non-profits

Marketing for non-profits

 The rules of engagement have changed The key challenge for charity marketing today lies in balancing the need stand out from the pack, whilst complying with ever more strict data protection and fundraising rules.   In recent years, members of the public have expressed frustration over the lack of control many feel over how, and how often, they are approached with fundraising requests. We’ve all heard the story of the Olive Cooke, the 92 year old who committed suicide because of charities pursuing her for money. Charity marketing is implicated, with organisations such as Amnesty International, Save the Children and the Alzheimer’s Society insisting

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Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

A short Christmas message from all the team at BH&P We’ve had a fantastic year, with lots to be thankful for. This year, as well as running lots of successful campaigns for clients, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know lots of fantastic people in the Reading business and arts community, as well as helping several charities and not-for-profit organisations. We also ran in the Reading Rotary Santa run a few weeks ago. We hope to do lots more of that this year! Highlights of the year, work-wise, include the very successful launches of stayenergysafe for the national charity Crimestoppers,

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We’ve moved office!

We’ve moved office!

The BH&P team have recently moved into a new office in Reading We’re still in a great location in central Reading close to Reading train station, Broad Street, the Oracle shopping centre and the River Kennet. It’s a great office space with a good view over the River too. We’re all settled in now so it’s business as usual, but do pop in and say hello! We’d love to have a chat with you over a coffee (or tea), or feel free to contact us anytime. If you’re looking for our new address it’s: Dukesbridge House, 23 Duke Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4SA.

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Launching energy theft reporting service on behalf of Crimestoppers

Launching energy theft reporting service on behalf of Crimestoppers

We’ve worked with the national charity, Crimestoppers, to launch the ground-breaking new service to reduce energy crime in the UK.   The stayenergysafe service is a first of its kind and allows the public to come forward and anonymously report any suspicions or evidence of energy theft, either through the website or the dedicated number, 0800 023 2777. An integrated campaign We’ve worked with Crimestoppers throughout the project, offering a fully integrated creative service to launch the new stayenergysafe identity. We’ve created executions to target consumer and professional audiences, built a responsive website with its own secure portal, created a campaign

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Challenging the norm

Challenging the norm

Our commentary on the Cannes Lions 2016 By Creative Director Jim Thomas, Summer 2016   A creative idea exists for one reason and one reason alone: to out think your competition. Creativity isn’t something that comes from the sort of books that break things down into a formula. The 8 truths, or the 12 principles, or the 10 essential thoughts. It comes from a different place. Understanding customers’ thinking. Then changing their behaviour. It’s thinking that comes from art schools and salesmen. Both know they have to stand out. Award winning creative should do just this. There’s simply no point in being

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Why does a lot of small business marketing not work quite the way you’d like it to?

Why does a lot of small business marketing not work quite the way you’d like it to?

And how can you change it? (First presented to Reading’s RG1 group at Artigiano Reading on Thursday 24th September 2015) To answer these questions, we need to go back to the start of a business. When the business owner – let’s call him Nick – sets up the business, he has a number of things, but the two that I want to focus on here are that he has a really clever, unique idea, and a “little black book” of contacts. When the business starts, it is likely to go through a period of rapid growth, as Nick really works

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The impact of brand on business growth and marketing ROI

The impact of brand on business growth and marketing ROI

You could probably write a whole book on the subject of brands. But as it’s a Friday afternoon, I thought I’d keep this short and sweet. “Brand” means different things to different people. To many, it’s all about logos, colours and typefaces. For others it’s about reputation. But a great brand is much more than that. After all, how many established market leaders do you know, that don’t have a strong sense of their own identity. Something that people can relate to,  and that they will choose to interact with (and buy from) almost regardless of the product? Brand: in a

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Can marketing automation help learning and development firms win new clients?

Can marketing automation help learning and development firms win new clients?

Every day, professional service companies such as training or coaching firms, lawyers, architects, HR businesses and recruitment agencies are becoming more attuned to the power of marketing automation platforms like ActOn and Marketo. Automation is starting to be looked at as the pinnacle of marketing effort – the thing that’s going to make campaigns work much harder – more targeted, more timely, and ultimately driving up response rates. It’s all in the name. Automation. It implies that you put stuff in, churn it through the mill (a bit like a marketing sausage machine) – and at the other end, out come

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Abseiling the Blade – Sunday 28th June 2015

Abseiling the Blade – Sunday 28th June 2015

Whilst I’m not afraid of heights, I’m definitely no adrenaline junkie. And so the decision to abseil down Reading’s Blade should have felt like a risky one. I have surprised myself about how easy it was to make the decision. Yes, The Blade is 86 metres high, and I’ve never abseiled before. But it is all for a very worthy cause – Naomi House and Jacksplace. And that has made the decision very easy. Please sponsor me – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BeckyHolland Naomi House and Jacksplace Naomi House and Jacksplace are hospices that support families from seven counties in southern England – Hampshire, Berkshire,

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The art of the “not-a-newsletter”

The art of the “not-a-newsletter”

Here’s the thing. People like to read about good news, especially if it will benefit them directly. They like to read bad news even better. It’s just more interesting. But they don’t like receiving newsletters, for the most part. Why? Well, often they are boring, even more often they are irrelevant, and fairly regularly, they are simply a sales pitch dressed up as news. Shock news! (not really) Many so-called newsletters have no news in them whatsoever. Here are our top 7 tips for creating a “not-a-newsletter” (Q: Why “not-a-newsletter”? A: To distance your updates from news items about new team members, company

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Immediacy, “omnichannel”, creativity and brands

Immediacy, “omnichannel”, creativity and brands

Highlights from the Festival of Marketing #FoM14 Last week, we spent two action-packed days at Tobacco Dock, and my mind is buzzing. There were some strong themes that came out, and so I thought I’d share some of what we found out. Theme 1 – Immediacy I blew it. I admit it. I meant to publish this blog last Thursday, but work got in the way. The only person that’s really bothered about this (if I’m honest) is me. But for brands, the ability to respond quickly and appropriately is never more important than now. Alastair Campbell (and other speakers, such as Mike

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Copy vs. Content – a guide for brands

Copy vs. Content – a guide for brands

These days, everyone is a copywriter. It started with the invention of the email. All of a sudden instead of scribbling a memo, popping your head around a corner, or picking up the phone, everyone was writing more. With the rise of blogging, and social media, it has become a natural part of peoples’ lives for them to write, sometimes daily. When you have a written dialogue with a person you know, that’s great, and fine and appropriate. But what happens when you need to write an account of an event, or create a newsletter? At what point does writing

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Using Twitter to build trust and brand awareness …

Using Twitter to build trust and brand awareness …

… and to get people closer to actually reading your content. In an ideal world you’d write a brilliant and insightful piece of content or thought-leadership, add it it to your website or blog, and wait for all your hundreds of follows to read it, share it, like it – and then as a result come to you later when they need to buy your product or service. Unfortunately, back in the real world of b2b marketing, it isn’t enough for your content to be brilliant. If you don’t have anyone reading your work and sharing it then you may as well

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The Brave & Bold Awards  – the winners!

The Brave & Bold Awards – the winners!

As a marketing and strategy coach that’s new to Growth Accelerator, I was delighted to be offered a golden ticket for last night’s Brave & Bold Award ceremony. And it was a real treat! OneMayfair is a fantastic venue for an awards ceremony, and last night it was full of glitz and glamour, as coaches and award nominees gathered to drink champagne, watch some fabulous acts, and most importantly, to find out from the stunning host Natasha Kaplinski who were the winners. The judging panel had sifted through hundreds of entries looking for businesses that represented growth and success in eight key categories. In addition to recognising

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How to create compelling content:  without bringing fee earners to a standstill

How to create compelling content: without bringing fee earners to a standstill

(this article was first published in PM Forum Magazine, April 2014) Content-driven marketing is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways to improve the reputation and visibility of a professional services firm. With a content-led strategy, you give your clients and prospects something that they will value, and find immediately useful. But how can you create compelling content without bringing your top earners to a standstill? And how can you make certain that the content you create is fit-for-purpose? The trouble is that there is a lot of content out there and 90% of it is mediocre at

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Brand fit with Daniel Eley

Brand fit with Daniel Eley

On Thursday March 27th, I was delighted to be the invited guest at handle’s “Brand fit for recruitment” event. The venue: Portman Square’s stunning Home House, with guest speakers Daniel Eley from Jamie Oliver, Andrea Pattico from ASOS, and Carrie Bedingfield. Brand fit at Jamie Oliver “There are people in the room who are far more qualified than me… but I know more than you about Jamie Oliver, so that’s what I’m going to talk about” Daniel was keynote speaker, and took the mic like a seasoned pro. One sentiment underpinned 30 mins of witty chat about what employer brand means to him

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The future of work: business reimagined

The future of work: business reimagined

Ever since I began talking to Ben Betts from HT2 about the Curatr Social Learning Platform, I’ve had a nagging thought. It has been just a niggling feeling until now, and I haven’t been quite able to put my finger on what it is. And then, on Thursday last week, I had a eureka moment at #SMI13 (The Social Media Influence Conference) which has crystalised the problem in my mind. So what’s the problem? There is a lot of talk in L&D and talent management circles recently about social learning, and why it is so important. There’s talk about user experience, about reusing resources, and about the needs

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