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Inbound Marketing Blog

Robert Ellis

Inbound and HubSpot Certified, Rob uses his previous experience as a teacher to introduce people to the delights of Inbound Marketing without using all the complicated technical jargon. He speaks in plain English so everyone can understand and, being relatively new to the industry, he asks basic questions that other marketers may have forgotten. Rob is also responsible for the systems and processes at Lollipop.

Recent Posts

Why Customer Service and CRM Software Make A Great Double Act

Imagine you get a call from an angry customer explaining that the product you sold them has malfunctioned in some way. You send an employee to fix it or ask them to return the product for a replacement. Sorted.

But what happens if the same customer rings back with the same problem?

It might not happen often but, if it does, that customer is  going to be understandably frustrated.

And when they realise the call handler has no recollection of the previous incident because either they are a different employee or they have dealt with hundreds of enquiries since then, the caller gets even more annoyed.

It doesn't look good.

Even though it stands for customer relationship management, many businesses don't often use the words customer service and CRM in the same sentence...

Customer & Lead Databases - Minus The Annoying Spreadsheets

Have you ever had a spreadsheet with your customer and lead data on it?

Unfortunately, they can be huge, intimidating things that rarely get updated or even looked at.

Yes, your business coach told you it was a good idea to keep track of your customers and leads, but it can quickly get out of hand and you're probably not entirely sure what data to collect either.

Wouldn't it be nice if most of this could be automated?

Marketing At Halloween - How Dynamic Security Companies Can Sell More Burglar Alarms

When was the last time you sat down and thought, "I'm going to do a blog post about Halloween to help my business!" Never? Probably... 

But tailoring the content you produce around public holidays such as Halloween and Christmas is something you should be doing to promote your business. 

I'm not suggesting you bring out a range of bat-shaped CCTV cameras... but instead, you need to think about what problems these different holidays and events can bring to your target audience and utilise this in one of Inbound Marketing's favourite tactics - blog writing.

How To Work Out Your Digital Marketing Budget

For every business that wants to be found online there needs to be a digital marketing budget, but how much should that budget be?

It's generally advised that your total marketing budget should be around 5% to 10% of turnover - it's up to you how that's split between online and offline activities.

Yet, this is just a general rule of thumb, and in all honesty isn't very helpful if you don't know what the potential return will be. Without this I can't see many Financial Directors eager to spend 10% of revenue on marketing!

This post will make it easier for you to twist your FD's arm by revealing the compound effect when you invest in Digital Marketing - done the Inbound way!

New LinkedIn Comment Likes

I just had an argument about using LinkedIn, with the Queen of LinkedIn, Jo Shaer.

I expect you can guess who won. 

However, you probably won't be able to  guess what we argued about.

It turns out that LinkedIn have introduced a new feature - without telling anybody. 

Jo seemed convinced and, being as she's on LinkedIn all the time, I should have listened to her. Yet I was sure that LinkedIn wouldn't bring out a new feature without shouting their greatness to the heavens. What's the point in making a really great update and then not telling anybody?

I checked the LinkedIn help, but apparently there has been no update to the feature in 6 months.

Jo's argument?   -  'Well they have'. 

Free Advertising For Your Business

Advertising budgets are largely spent on getting new customers to buy a product or service. Globally, millions are spent every single day to achieve this target. 

Some of the advertising they are doing is hard to measure, most of it has a short shelf life and all of it is intruding on the lives of the very people they are trying to win over.

So if companies are willing to spend millions on advertisements that have so many negative qualities then why aren't they willing to do something that costs them a lot less and achieves the same end - getting new customers.

The answer?

4 Benefits Of Social Media For Manufacturers

Social media for manufacturers is an underused asset.

For example, as a manufacturer, some of your priorities may currently include:

  • Finding a solution to the skills shortage
  • Increasing reach and finding new markets
  • Building brand strength
  • Increasing sales

...and more.

You guessed it, I’m about to advocate social media as part of a wider strategy to help tackle each of these problems.

20th Century Innovation Tactics Don't Work For Manufacturers


It's a bit of a buzz word in the Manufacturing world, yet most businesses only innovate in one part of their company, and it's usually their machinery.

However, being innovative isn't about being able to churn out somebody else's new products, it's about introducing new ideas that are original and creative to your business.

So why not be creative and look to innovate in a new area of your business - your website?

Strategy Over Tactics - Why The Innovation Process Alone Won't Work

OK, so this isn't new information. Strategy has always worked far better than individual tactics. 

Wars are not won using just tactics. Nor markets conquered with single ideas. A well thought out strategy is the answer to all of your marketing problems. 

For example, do you remember the last thing you ate?

What was the tactic behind eating that food?

Put it in your mouth, chew and swallow? Or was it part of a broader healthly lifestyle choice?

Now look at your stomach, is there a rippling six pack there?

If there is, I'm willing to bet you have a strategy for your diet.

If there isn't, this could be an awkwardly personal metaphor for your business. 

A Guide For Your First Networking Event

There comes a time in a person's life that they have to attend the dreaded networking event for the first time. 

It's a scary prospect, as you imagine the hordes of people you don't know but who seem to all know each other, gathering around chatting like social interaction isn't one of the hardest things on the planet to master.

And that's just it. I'm not a master of social interaction, nor will I pretend to be.

So before I share what I learned, let's walk you through my event.