Marketing & Communications Plan

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Know What Your Customers Want and Develop a Content Plan

by Joanne Dolezal on 18th March 2017

The Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers

Knowing what customers really want is a tough nut to crack.

What successful content marketers have learnt, is that you can’t tell them what you want them to hear any more.  They will go out and find the truth elsewhere.

Nowadays, you need to tell them what they want to know, and tell them often. If readers, viewers, listeners or website visitors feel that they’re just getting a strong sales pitch, they’ll soon switch off.

Habit #1: Tell them what THEY want to know.

One of the people I greatly admire in the Content Marketing world is Marcus Sheridan, who has a podcast, Mad Marketing and blog: The Sales Lion. He’s super smart and his content is always really worth reading, watching or listening to.

Marcus has a well-know story of how he got into content creation in the first place: he was running a swimming pool business in the USA. At the height of the last recession was failing, and about to hit the skids. Aware that something dramatic was needed to turn the business around, Marcus got into blogging.

He didn’t know anything about it, but he is a born salesman, so he knew at first hand the questions customers are always asking and what they most want to know. He’d spent hours talking to them and had an intimate knowledge of their needs, objections and aspirations.

His mantra is simple: they ask, you answer.

His new book, They Ask, You Answer is packed full of sound advice.

He started writing articles which he shared on his website, answering people’s questions:

  • what type of pool liner is best?
  • what size and depth should the pool be?
  • is it right for the climate where I live?
  • how do I keep my pool clean?
  • and other maintenance queries.

Over time, he got into the detail of these questions and published a lot of blogs.

Marcus also started experimenting with keywords and search engine optimisation.

He found that even when he was doing comparison posts – comparing his products with others or his business with a competitor’s – his website came top of Google search. Marcus has now gone on to create a consulting business, as well as a career in public speaking and masterclasses (which are superb).

His pool business continues to flourish today.

Bear in mind that with content, it’s not just what you’re publishing and pushing out into the wider world, or publishing on a third-party platform, it’s also what’s on your own website.

How do you currently address the common questions you get from your customers?

If you’re not already doing this, it’s a great starting point for developing your content plan, deciding what to publish on your website and share in social media.

Habit #2: Develop your Content Plan.

Most marketers love to plan.

Whether its a spreadsheet, a tick list, key actions or setting things out on paper, you need to consider what your year looks like.  Not just your business calendar, but also your content calendar: what stories and messages need to be shared at key times?

Start to plan this content in advance, then you’ll know you’ve got the right content at the right time of year, including all the ingredients you need to create them.

Planning is important because it allows you to work out what resources you need and when, both now and in the future.

These ‘ingredients‘ could be:

  • product or service information
  • customer insight from colleagues
  • product or service feedback from customers
  • photos from a trade show
  • audio from a brainstorming session
  • client video testimonials.

Good quality content can take a while to create, but anything original that’s produced (audio or PDF download) is worth having.

So where to start?

First, think about who you’re writing for and the mindset of your customer:

  • how do they feel now and how do you want them to feel?
  • what are their expectations?

Your target customer is always the starting point of any marketing:

  • what are they looking to buy and how well do you ‘fit the bill’?
  • what do they care about?

Carry out some research.

Try using social listening tools, Twitter advanced search and Google search will both help you find out what people search for on your topics and how they talk about them.

What are your customers and your online community discussing – this may become topical. Use keyword research around these themes.

Consider the words your customer uses – how do they describe you? 

What do they think you do?

This research will inform not only the topics you write about, but also the language you use.

Think about the stories that will connect you – beyond your business year, key industry or sector events or what’s going on in the wider world.

Try not to go too far “off the reservation” and express strong personal views; but, we are living in interesting times, and these things will be relevant to your customers.

Acknowledging their concerns is important, because it shows you are human too.

What are the “Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers”?

Tips and real examples from people who’ve inspired me over the last five years. They demonstrate, by using Content Marketing, how it has worked for the businesses they run.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 7 Habits of Successful Content Marketers. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1.  Tell them what they want to know – often
  2.   Follow the plan and pick the right tools
  3.   Be efficient – reduce, re-use, recycle
  4.   Master social media, especially TWITTER
  5.   The 80:20 rule: 80% theirs: 20% yours
  6.   Earn Active Passive Income with RITE content
  7.   Find your niche… the smaller, the better
  8.   Measure your content marketing, often

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.


Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalKnow What Your Customers Want and Develop a Content Plan

How to get your Email Marketing RITE Video

by Joanne Dolezal on 22nd April 2016

Email marketing still gives the best ROI for your marketing spend at 40:1.

But it isn’t always plain sailing.

Even when you’ve picked your Email Marketing Software (EMS) and your mailing lists are set up, you still need to plan what you’re going to write.

In this video we show you new ways to get your email marketing RITE, based on our extensive experience helping clients with content marketing consultancy in Newcastle and North East England.

We want to be able to help business owners and marketers like you who are looking for a digital marketing consultant or sound advice, anywhere in the world.

What does RITE stand for? 

Well, for your email marketing and in fact, any content marketing to be successful, it needs to appeal to your target customer.  If you don’t have customer insight, you’ll struggle to create copy and content that means anything to them.  So, your content needs to Relevant, Interesting, Timely and the all important Engaging. (Thanks to Mark Schaefer for RITE).

There are many different types of email campaign that you can send, so if you’ve run out of steam and need some inspiration we have loads of ideas for you.

In this video we take you through:

  • crafting killer subject lines
  • how to generate great content ideas
  • examples of different types of campaigns
  • B2B versus B2C mailing lists
  • how and when to personalise your campaigns by using merge tags
  • why it is important for your templates to be mobile friendly

Check out the blog series that accompanies this video.

Questions answered include:

  1. do you have any tips on writing subject lines that will catch peoples’ attention?
  2. is it okay to sell my products or services via email?
  3. I struggle to come up with ideas for things to include in my emails – do you have any tips?
  4. how can we create simple email content for complex services?

If you enjoy our video, “How to Get Your Email Marketing RITE” why not download our free guide:

The RITE Email Marketing Checklist

Look our for our online courses, starting Spring 2018. 

Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to know.

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Joanne DolezalHow to get your Email Marketing RITE Video

Content Marketing – Conquered

by Joanne Dolezal on 27th March 2016

Content Marketing ~ Conquered is a highly interactive full-day workshop designed to kick-start your Content Marketing journey.  Whether you’re an absolute beginner or have made a few false starts, learn how to get the ‘Content’ habit.

Content Marketing is fast becoming an essential skill for any business and with recent changes in Google, the question is no longer ‘if’ but ‘when’ are you going to start.

You will learn:

  1. why Content Marketing is now essential for your business
  2. how to create great content that works
  3. what Content Marketing can do for your website traffic, clicks and sales

Included in this 6 hour session:

  • the different types of content for B2B and B2C marketing
  • how each type of content works to promote you and your business
  • buyer personas v. customer segmentation
  • how to find your perfect ‘blogger’ type and get comfortable with creating content
  • essential copywriting skills – Expert Q&A (see below)
  • how to define your online value proposition or USP
  • how to use podcasts, webinars and video to promote your brand
  • Content Marketing for SEO – Expert Q&A (see below)
  • when to ‘buy in’ and when to ‘DIY’ content
  • ‘Paid, Owned and Earned’ Media – where to invest time and money
  • best content for different Social Media and Mobile Marketing
  • how to generate great content ideas every day

By the end of the workshop, you will have gained a clear understanding of how Content Marketing works and how to apply to your business immediately.

For more information or to find out if this workshop is ‘for you’ and your team, please call Joanne Dolezal on 07767 810 126 or email

This workshop can be delivered at your premises or a venue of your choosing.

This workshop will be delivered by Dolezal Consulting with support from Arttia Creative and Haydn Grey.

Joanne Dolezal is an experienced marketer who has presented on Content Marketing at NECC, ISMM, Cumbria, and North East Expo events and regularly applies it to clients’ marketing – to great effect. Joanne holds an MA Marketing and teaches Digital Marketing at NESMA.

Belinda White, Arttia Creative will be on hand to answer questions on SEO and Content for the web; Katherine Wildman, Haydn Grey will guide you through the fundamentals of copywriting for online content.


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Joanne DolezalContent Marketing – Conquered

Northern Secrets Ltd.

by Joanne Dolezal on 5th April 2014

Northern Secrets Ltd. was founded by Alex Jacobs in 2007 to serve incoming groups to North East England.  Alex was the youngest person to ever qualify as a Blue Badge Guide and along with a Tourism Marketing degree and hands on experience in the hotel industry, is well-placed to understand and serve this market.

Alex is half-German, half-Geordie and Northern Secrets ALSO has a major client based in Germany and Northern Europe.

The agency has grown from strength-to-strength over the past few years and needed an enhanced web presence and communications tools to support the next stage of expansion.  It was essential that all software and communications tools could be managed in-house and ideally, from anywhere, as Alex travels regularly on business.

Our brief was to help Northern Secrets rationalise and streamline customer communications and CRM, source a web developer/designer, support the website development, ensure integration and ‘user-friendliness’ of all software platforms and web-based tools with any offline marketing.

The project included Database Cleansing and Segmentation, selection of communications and CRM software, CRM and e-communications set-up and ‘launch’, new website with CMS (WordPress) and refreshed brand, and a comprehensive Marketing Strategy and Plan.

The brand refresh, new bi-lingual website design and build were provided by Arttia Creative.

Northern Secrets Ltd., Clavering House, Clavering Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3NG

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Joanne DolezalNorthern Secrets Ltd.

Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd

by Joanne Dolezal on 29th October 2013

Elizabeth Harding-Massey has always loved cooking!

Her years in the Middle East, as well as her many travels have resulted in an eclectic cuisine and educated palate.  In 2011 Elisabeth decided to leave her career in education and turn her passion into a business and Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd was born.

Offering a range of catering services for small events, but facing stiff competition from well-established local competitors, the business had some steep barriers to entry.  Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd needed to look at diversification into other markets and products, in order to select the best mix to meet their objectives.

Our brief was to explore the other food and drink products and services that Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd was considering offering.  We were then tasked with assessing viability in terms of revenue and routes to market, and deliver the marketing and communications launch for the options chosen.

Elizabeth chose to offer a mixture of small, specialist catering services (including gluten-free buffets) and to develop a range of seasonal, original fine foods.  Eliza Pepperpot Fine Foods range includes jams, preserves, chutneys, patisserie, bakery, confectionery and savoury biscuits.  These are sold online via Taste Club HQ and at food fairs and discerning stockists throughout North East England.

The PR for Eliza Pepperpot’s & Co Ltd launch was managed by Deb Sharratt Communications, as was the microsite Eliza Pepperpot Fine Foods.

Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd website was built by Pulse Creative Marketing.

Eliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd, Unit 18, Blaydon Business Centre, Cowen Road, Blaydon on Tyne, NE21 5TW

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Joanne DolezalEliza Pepperpot & Co Ltd