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WELCOME TO THE LEEDS HERALD - Heralding the change for marketing your business in Leeds.

We aim to bring you up to date and concise information about how best to go about using the latest cutting-edge marketing techniques to promote your business in Leeds.

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Careers in marketing - a how to guide

We should think of marketing as guiding consumers to the products and services that they need. Sometimes marketing just 'happens' when a customer is so happy with how their interaction with a company's service or product went, that they tweet, facebook and email their experience to the whole world (or at least their part of it).

This 'authentic' marketing is clearly the way that really good messages spread, because there's no way to fake it. 'Fake' marketing techniques have multiplied with the advent of the internet 20 odd years ago, though they were around before that as well.

Whereas nowadays marketing companies use all sorts of dubious techniques, like falsly optimising a website, automatic tweeting, false facebook likes and more, the marketing companies of yesteryear relied on snakeoil ads which promised a whole lot more than they delivered. Nothing changes really!

Almost all businesses and not-for-profit organizations need marketers on their staff.

All huge companies have marketing departments which figure out the best way to get their messages out to the public. Just look at the huge TV, newspaper and online advertising campaigns that big companies like IBM, Virgin and Disney run. They spend £millions marketing themselves, and surely they think that they get a return on their advertising buck?

Consider other organisations, like political parties, charities, educational institutes, national broadcasters and sports bodies. They all need marketing as well.

Sales and marketing

In a broader sense, sales is an essential part of the marketing mix. High salaries are paid to sales people who successfully bring in regular sales for their companies. It's not for everyone, but big money can be made in a sales and marketing role for a business to business company.

Nowadays, if you mention you work for a marketing agency, it's more likely that people will assume that you're in some way involved in digital marketing, as this is in vogue at the moment, and there is lots of press about Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and all of the other social networks. Bear in mind though, that these are just tools of the trade, and marketing should be about showing an authentic voice for a company, and allowing that to spread (by whatever means neccessary) so that the company prospers.

Chartered Institute of Marketing

If you're serious about a career in marketing, then you would be well advised to visit the Chartered Institute of Marketing and getting to know how they can help you.

 

Small Business Marketing

If you're a small business, take a look at this fab marketing workshop that the Guardian website ran a while back - still very good information today!

 

 

Leeds in the Export Market - Packaging goods for export

Posted 17/9/2015

Packaging goods for export

Sourcing product packaging can seem fraught with difficulty even at the best of times but finding packaging robust enough to cope with overseas export provides a whole range of new problems!

Products which are exported by air freight need to be adequately protected if they are to withstand the rigours of air travel.  Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that their carefully packaged products, destined to be exported by air, will be handled with care.  Sadly this doesn’t happen and the average package is estimated to be loaded, stowed and re-loaded again at least 50 times during an average international journey.  With this in mind, the quality of product packaging is absolutely vital.

Packaging your products for overseas export needs careful consideration and there are a number of issues to consider.  Firstly, you’ll need to think about whether the way your products are packaged will enable them to withstand being stacked or stored underneath bigger, heavier items.  When products are being stowed into the hold of a plane, little consideration is given to what’s inside and it’s not uncommon for products to be crushed by the weight of bulkier packages so the outer packaging you use will need to be tough and secure enough to withstand pretty much anything.

Once you’ve found outer packaging that’s up to the job, you’ll need to think how to package your products inside.  Your goods need to be stable in transit so you’ll need to use a protective filling material such as bubble wrap or polystyrene beads.  Remember that the filling needs to fulfil a number of roles: it should stop the packages inside from moving around and damaging each other, and to offer protection from exterior damage.

Co packing specialists such as www.marsdenpackaging.com, based in Yorkshire, are a great place to start.

Small packages can be very easily lost during transit so it’s sensible to consider grouping small consignments together into one large package.  This is a great way to reduce the risk of damage to individual items whilst also minimising the risk of losses during export.  Again, the packaging you use needs to be robust enough to cope with being loaded, unloaded, stowed and re-loaded.

You’ll also need to consider whether your usual product packaging is able to withstand export.  We’re not talking about exterior packaging here but the packaging that protects and displays your products on the shelves and if it’s prone to damage at the best of times, you’ll need to have a re-think if you’re considering exporting overseas.

Last and by no means least, don’t forget to check the rules and regulations for the destination country you’re exporting to.  Some countries ask for wood packaging (wood chips) to be treated for infestation and you’re packaging will need to be labelled to show this.   Remember that wood packaging covers any kind of wood used anywhere in the packaging, including crates, pallets, sawdust and wooden drums.    Import requirements will vary from country to country and you’ll need to check that your packaging complies.

 

What is contract packing?

If you’re in the early stages of setting up your own business the chances are that you’ll have started to put some thought to how you’re going to package your products.  The world of packaging can prove to be a minefield for the uninitiated and if you’re feeling a little daunted, hopefully this article will shed some light on the world of contract packing and packaging services.

Contract packing is simply a cover-all term used to describe a range of packaging services, from gift packing for special events, through to hand packing and the assembly of packaged goods into point of sale displays.  Contract packing services are offered by a range of professional packing companies based throughout the UK and by knowing which types of packaging services are available; you’ll be well on the way to finding the best packaging for your product.

The services offered by contract packing companies vary hugely according to the size and scope of their operation.  However, bagging services are widely offered and involve filling and then sealing pre-printed or clear bags with products such as sweets, crisps or snacks.  Bagging can also be used to package a number of smaller items such as toys, safety razors or household items. 

You might come across contract packing companies who offer a multi-head weighing service, designed to be used in combination with a bagging service.  Highly controllable computerised weighing machines are used to fill and then weigh bags to ensure complete consistency across each bagging ‘run’.

Flow wrapping is a highly cost effective way to pack multiple products together and is often used contain and protect items for insertion in a box or rigid outer-packaging.   Flow wrapping is also ideal for wrapping small items for inclusion with larger items - think of the free gifts you often find in boxes of breakfast cereals - and can also be used to package food products or cosmetics.

Shrink wrapping is a way to wrap several items together, either for display or to reduce the risk of damage in transit or from tampering.  Shrink wrapping products can also be used to attach a promotional item or a free gift to another item.  Overwrapping is used to protect an inner package -usually cardboard - and can help to extend the shelf-life of the product within, whilst also being an effective way to contain the smell of highly scented products or perfume.

Point of sale assembly is a service which can be used to group items together for display, either at a supermarket checkout, on the end of an aisle or mid-shelf, behind a bar or on a counter or customer-service desk.  The most widely used form of point of sale packaging is clip-stripping where bagged items are suspended from a plastic strip, ready for sale.

This article covers just some of the wide range of contract packing services available in the UK.  If you would like further advice on the most appropriate packaging for your product, why not get in touch with a contract packing company near you?