Get in Touch

Exclusive : Susan Perolls reports back on The Business Show 2017 … Warren Knight, Simon Coulson, Linzi Boyd, Clare Groombridge

by on May 22, 2017 in Business, Events, Events & Awards, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets

Exclusive : Susan Perolls reports back on The Business Show 2017 … Warren Knight, Simon Coulson, Linzi Boyd, Clare Groombridge

By Susan Perolls, Director, Loudmouth PR

To paraphrase Dickens, for SME marketers it is the best of times, it is the worst of times! There is a dizzying array of strategies, tools and techniques on the market to help them reach the increasingly fickle consumer and that’s amazing.

However, the flip side of that is how on earth do you identify what is a ‘must have’ versus a waste of time and money? Who do you turn to to find out?

Well, that’s one of the reasons why thousands of people converged on The Business Show 2017 in Excel last week – seeking advice from successful marketers and entrepreneurs on their own industry-busting marketing strategies.

Not only were two specific conference streams dedicated to marketing and design, the majority of other topic streams featured many marketing-led talks too.  Marketing, it seems, is now recognised by most company departments for its importance in building a profitable business.

I talked to four marketing, social media and branding experts who were speakers at the Show and asked them what one piece of advice they hoped people would take from their talks and also got the lowdown from them on what’s hot in terms of the best new marketing tools and top tips that every SME should know about:

Warren Knight, CEO at Think Digital First and Top 100 Global Influencer: Stay focused on one social network and make it really work for you, then expand your offer to multiple social networks.  This way it helps a “busy” person stay focused and get a good ROI.  But the most important thing is to get going, give it a try and make mistakes. It’s the only way you’ll learn what really works for you and your business.”

Simon Coulson, serial entrepreneur, multi-millionaire and founder of the Internet Business School: Grow your business online. It is the number one source of customers for most businesses and everyone should be using it.  It used to be easy.  My dad was an accountant and he just used the Yellow Pages to promote his business. Today, whether it’s YouTube, SEO or any of the other many tools and channels out there, you need to know about them.  Spend time researching and sorting out the good from the bad on an ongoing basis as things are changing constantly – or get an agency to do it for you.”

Linzi Boyd, Founding Partner at the BoB Group and author of ‘Brand Famous’: Brands need to build themselves from the top down, not the bottom up. Instead of thinking what your brand is now, think about what you want it to be in three years, and the biggest asset that you have that will help you to get there. By understanding what it is you are building, you will reach your goal much quicker. Otherwise, all you are doing is driving incremental value and that is a slow process.

Clare Groombridge, Director at South Coast Social: Be authentic when you use social media. You need to make sure your tone of voice is a true reflection of the brand personality. If you’re open and honest in everything you say and do, then everything else stems from that. If a consumer slates you on social media acknowledge the issue and move the conversation offline. Once you have sorted the problem you can follow it up online with positive interactions about how it was solved.

What’s hot? is a great free tool

What are your competitors up to? There are now some great tools out there that will help you look at what your competitors are doing so you can either avoid their mistakes or beat them at their own game. Tools like,,, will all lift the lid on what the competition is up to.

Which words? Using the right words can have a huge impact on results. For instance, adding a ‘month’ to a headline (e.g. May Giveaway) will pull much higher response than simply Giveaway. And Giveaway itself is a much more powerful word than promotion. is a great free tool that will help you find the best headlines to attract attention.

It’s not about apps anymore. Apps have had their day now with 49% of people in the US not downloading them these days, and 72% using less than six apps. So what is the alternative? It’s now all about personal messaging, with Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp being at the forefront. Campaigns via messaging services create much higher open rates and click throughs and they’re getting clever too. is a way of running live chats on your website and, once you’ve connected with someone, you can carry on chatting to them through Facebook Messenger as they are connected to you. makes it possible for customers to have conversations with messenger bots in real time that are driven by smart artificial intelligence (AI) rules. The customer won’t realise it’s a bot and it costs £0 apart from the software.

Google and Pinterest love each other. Pinterest in useful anyway as it’s the only social network that people can search by image. However, you will also find that Pinterest images appear high up the ranking on Google so it’s a good way to get on the front page.

What’s Google+ good for? It’s not a priority for creating social communities, but there is a good reason for using it – it helps to drive organic search.  If you have a Google+ account then you can appear twice in search results – once for the search term and once for having content in Google+.


Print article