Do Marketers have the right skill set for your business?

Vicky Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School


In these uncertain times, with budgets slashed and cost cutting evident, companies may now need to turn to their to their marketers to drive business growth. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), have identified key challenges facing marketers moving forward, each accentuating how important it is to ensure your marketing team are trained and market ready.

In a digitally driven market place, achieving higher sales through SEO and PPC can demonstrate how digital marketing activity can count towards the bottom line. However, a report by the CIM in May of this year (The Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark) warned business about the failure to stay relevant, engaging with their customers, adding value through their digital offer. Too many companies rely heavily on email marketing, viewing it as a win-win tool in the digital age. With the ramifications of correct data management following GDPR, the danger in pursuing this strategy, founded on weak marketing skills & knowledge, can have a detrimental effect on business performance.

Besides digital skills, junior marketers in the UK often lack the strategic marketing knowledge they need to contribute effectively in meeting & understanding how marketing fits with corporate objectives. Paradoxically, senior marketing managers and directors, can often have scant knowledge of key digital sales drivers like SEO and PPC. In an ever changing market with more demanding customers, solving this paradox becomes even more important. In a recent lecture organised by the CIM in Wolverhampton University, Professor Malcolm McDonald stated that the marketer needs to get back into the boardroom. To do that effectively the marketing team needs to support their board, demonstrating a thorough understanding of key strategic marketing issues, whereas senior marketing managers need to upskill to lead their businesses more effectively.

Here at Staffordshire University we have a rich heritage of marketing education for professionals, spanning decades. Working with our partners, CIM and the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) we can off a range of career development opportunities for your business. From the CIM Certificate to the CIM Professional Diploma, we cover key skill sets such as a digital focus along with coverage of marketing strategy and consumer behaviour. For those who want an introduction to the new digital marketing language, we offer a DMI course by blended learning. If you want to take your digital marketing knowledge to the next step we have our MSc Digital Marketing Management.
If you need to chat these options through with one of our marketing team, please drop me an email at v.a.roberts@staffs.ac.uk

Alternatively visit us at our Post Graduate Open Evening on Wednesday 28th November 2018, 4pm-7pm

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Would you like to market to customers when they’re in your area or about to go to a competitor’s location?

Paul Dobson, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School


The ability to market to customers or potential customers by their location has been around for a while. However, in my conversations with local businesses not many are aware of this facility.

The number of mobile users is consistently on the rise and already outnumber PC users for internet access.  Therefore, it is a necessity for businesses to make sure their marketing is working as effectively as possible for mobiles. Geolocation is the ability to show where the mobile device, and the user of the device, are located using the built in GPS.  The best thing about using geolocation data is that it knows where mobile users are in-real-time.  Therefore, it enables businesses to create a tailored and relevant promotion to target these potential customers in a more effective way.  For example, it can be used for presenting coupons or adverts to potential customers when they are in the same street.  Geolocation can target users in a few different ways. However, the three most common are:-

  • Geo-targeting is the act of reaching someone based on their location.
  • Geo-fencing is typically used when targeting small regions like specific streets or towns. These targets are especially useful for apps that want to direct foot traffic to business premises, such as shops and restaurants.
  • Beacons are the narrowest of the three location targeting methods. A beacon is a small, Bluetooth device that receives location data from nearby mobiles, if the mobile Bluetooth is switched on. Often these are deployed in the interior of building such as shops, and airports etc.

Search results on a mobile can also be an effective location based marketing tool, for example if potential customers do a Google search for an Italian restaurant near them.  The search results can display the nearest restaurants and, at the press of an icon, the customers can: call the restaurant, get navigation instructions to the restaurant, or have a look at the website and menu.

Screenshot from Google Maps showing local Italian restaurant

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a single marketing tool that works for everybody all the time, and this is no exception.  The biggest downside of using geolocation data for mobile marketing is that it is easily blocked by mobile users.  Although there are many mobile users that use apps with the GPS location feature enabled, there are also many users that don’t. Also, geolocation-triggered ads may not work on all devices due to ad blockers.

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Is Live Nation’s market share cause for concern?

Written by Paul Walters, Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School


The global event industry has grown significantly over the past ten years and in part due to the introduction of Live Nation as a concert touring company. The UK has benefited from their strategic alliances, buyouts and ownership with some of the entertainment products in the UK. The company has grown to become more than live music but a one stop-shop for venue management, artist management, ticketing, concert touring and festival management. Some commentators within the industry have aired their views as to the growth and dominance of Live Nation within the UK. The company was investigated by the Competition Commission regulator on the merger with Ticketmaster. Not the first time Live Nation was investigated by the UK regulator. One can debate if Live Nation has a market share of the UK live music industry that warrants concern. It is difficult to disagree on what Live Nation has brought to the global economy for live events. The company is now in more than 40 different countries developing a similar business module taken from the USA. It is therefore accurate to conclude that Live Nation is the largest live concert touring company in the world.

In an article published in Music Business world 2018, The Association for Independent Festival organiser is considering lodging a complaint to the Competition and Marketing Authority. It is claimed by AIF that Live Nation has 25% control over the UK festival industry.        

https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/ticketmaster-entertainment-live-nation-inc-merger-inquiry-cc

Association of Independent Festivals

 


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Harnessing the power of social media for small businesses

Written by June Dennis, Dean of Staffordshire Business School, Chartered Marketer and Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


If you only have a small marketing budget, social media can seem like an ideal way to promote your product or service. Twenty years ago marketers could only dream of having access to such a huge audience so quickly.  However, where does one start?

Here are just four suggestions that could help you get more out of that limited budget:

Know your audience – it’s so obvious, but it’s really easy to make the simple mistake of taking your eye off the ball when it comes to ensuring your communication channels and messages are targeted at the appropriate audience(s).  We can get carried away by all the opportunities open to us that we forget what the purpose of engaging with social media actually was!  For example, why use Facebook if you’re primarily targeting a business-to-business audience?  (Sometimes, there’s good reason to do so, but you need to know why).  Spend time to make sure you know who your intended target audience is and what the key message is that you want to communicate with them.  Only then can you identify and choose the communication methods which best fit your message and audience.

Know your limitations – basically, don’t try to do too much!  Social media may seem very low cost compared to other forms of advertising or sales promotion, but there is still the cost of your time to factor in, at the very least.  It’s also very content hungry and if you commit, say, to writing a daily blog or tweeting several times a day, you may find you crash very soon.  Take note of what other businesses your size manage to do and try, where possible, to plan out your messages in advance.

Know how to create synergy – try to use the same or similar content more than once if you can. So, if you write a blog or post something on LinkedIn, can you direct people to it via Twitter? Could you use the copy for some promotional material or a newsletter? When you put something on YouTube, how can you maximise its use? It’s pretty obvious, but not everyone does it. Encourage customers and staff to send in stories which you can promote. I’ve found that people get a buzz from seeing something they’ve submitted being used or published and it creates a virtuous circle and they submit more material….

And, finally, think of ways you can work with others to create mutual benefit. A while back, I did an interview for a friend who was looking to increase traffic to her website via YouTube. As a result, I also sent links to my contact to her webpage and used the content of the interview to develop this blog. We both benefited and had some fun doing it.

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Jobs of the future

Written by Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean


By 2025 it’s estimated that we will lose over five million jobs to automation. Don’t worry though – jobs are getting more interesting with machines handling the more mundane tasks. Your time will be freed up from performing the repetitive tasks of the past so you can focus on more fun stuff like knowledge creation and innovation. Here are some of the jobs to look out for:

Data Analyst – Data analysts are in high demand across all sectors, such as finance, consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government and education. Data analysts translate numbers into plain English. Every business collects data, whether it’s sales figures, market research, logistics, or transportation costs. A data analyst’s job is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions.

Forensic Accountant – As a forensic accountant, you’ll utilise your accountancy skills to investigate financial discrepancies and inaccuracies such as fraudulent activity, financial misrepresentation or misconduct and disputes. The role involves an integration of accounting, auditing and investigative skills. You will carry out meticulous investigations to uncover information, identify specific irregularities in financial documents and reports, quantify the exact losses and trace and recover illegitimate funds.

UX Analyst – User Experience (UX) roles involve delivering the best possible experience for the user of a website, with the aim of making the website as straightforward to use as possible. The term UX analyst arises as the role involves a lot of analysis of users’ behaviours and preferences in order to create the best experience for the user. As a UX analyst you will look at the content of websites, and also the design elements, such as colours and images. Within some companies you’ll focus on research skills and psychology, in others you’ll concentrate on design and in some you’ll fulfil a more technical IT role.

Content Creator – A content creator is someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media. They usually target a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts. Facebook hires thousands of content creators and editors every year to not only provide content but also to monitor what is happening on-line.

Talent Manager – A talent manager’s responsibilities include designing employee training programs, building succession plans and crafting an internal promotion process. To be successful in this role, you should have a solid understanding of full-cycle recruiting along with a strategic mind-set in order to develop a skilled workforce. Ultimately, you will build a talent pipeline that aligns with our hiring needs and business objectives.

Customer Experience Manager – Customer Experience Managers can be in any industry, here are responsibilities for a manager in the leisure and Theme Park Business. You’ll propose and implement strategies to constantly improve customer satisfaction and park development. Additionally, you may also oversee or take sole responsibility for the marketing of the park in order to generate business. You’ll be involved in all areas of the park, including rides, retail and food and beverages. Theme park managers may also be known as guest experience managers, rides and operations managers or attractions managers.

 

If you’re interested in a job of the future our Business and Accounting Degrees prepare you for these roles.

If you’re interested in a career in Leisure why not try the FdA in Visitor Attraction and Resort Management in partnership with Alton Towers.

Leaders versus Leadership

Professor Rune Todnem By, MBA and Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship course leader

r.t.by@staffs.ac.uk   @Prof_RuneTBy


Leadership is often defined as “something leaders do”, and this common (mis)understanding is the cause of much confusion, conflict, and under-utilisation of resources in both organisations and the wider society. Finding themselves somewhat pre-occupied developing superhero Teflon-shoulders, flip-flopping around meeting short-term targets in support of their own survival, bonuses, the next step up the career-ladder, and a golden pension others can only dream of, too many formal leaders simply don’t have any time left to provide leadership. However, many who don’t perceive themselves as leaders do provide leadership. Tons of it – every day (that is if we could measure it in metrics). When cheering on your child, supporting a colleague, taking your grandparent to a doctor’s appointment, picking up some litter, or volunteering in a club or society, you are in fact undertaking acts of leadership through actively contributing to a better society.

To live in a society which we like to refer to as highly advanced and developed, we are rather backwards.  Many of our institutions and organisations are still operating under the Great Man concept, with one all-powerful, strong and macho leader whose word is law. This is often a person we all tip-toe around and tell what they want to hear. Well, this reflects power – not leadership. Leadership is the activity of undertaking a journey together in order to deliver on a common good. As with migrating geese, it is less important who is flying first. What is important is where we are going and going first is something we all need to take in turn.

Although we are somewhat obsessed with titles, power, status and salaries, leadership is something we do – not who we are. The activity of leadership is not the prerogative of a small, exclusive group of ordained individuals. It is a shared responsibility none of us can abdicate from. Unfortunately, we are living in a country where class still defines us. Who our parents are, the post code we live at, and where we receive our education all matters, when it shouldn’t. As a result, many of our formal leaders are made from the same mould with the same notion of privilege. As a result, many who could provide leadership are never given the opportunity. Such a status quo is holding us back. Simples.

I am pro-leadership with a view full of hope. Just imagine what we can achieve as a city and society by releasing the leadership ability and energy in us all. Imagine the potential! Once upon a time not too long-ago, women were perceived as less able than men, and ethnic minorities less able than white people. These things have thankfully changed, and not a minute too soon. However, what hasn’t changed yet, is an equally outdated view that leadership can only be provided by a small group of all too often, white, middle-aged, privileged men. Because surely, no one else can provide leadership…

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

Why not take a look at the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Level 7 that we offer!

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Accounting and Finance achieve 98 per cent satisfaction in National Student Survey

Written by Karl McCormack, Course Leader in Accounting and Finance


We are proud to announce that the Staffordshire Business School’s suite of Accounting and Finance courses are in the top 5% of institutions for overall student satisfaction according to the recent National Student Survey results.

The suite of courses achieved 98% satisfaction in the overall quality of the courses, ranking 6th out of 107 institutions teaching Accounting and Finance. The two-year accelerated award achieved 100% overall satisfaction rating for the second year running.

The breakdown of key results for the suit of courses is as follows (all rankings are out of 107 institutions teaching Accounting and Finance):

  • Staff are good at explaining things – 98%
  • Staff have made the subject interesting – 90%
  • The course is intellectually stimulating – 98% (3rd)
  • I have received sufficient advice and guidance in relation to my course – 93% (3rd)
  • I have been able to contact staff when I needed to – 93%
  • I have been able to access course specific resources when I need to – 98%
  • The course is well organised and is running smoothly – 93% (9th)

Karl McCormack, Course Leader for the Accounting and Finance degrees, said:

“It is really good to see that our accounting students are having such a great experience on their course and at the university. Our strong personal tutoring programme, staff enthusiasm and promotion of the Staffordshire Graduate attributes all play a crucial role in these results. It must not be forgotten though that the dedication of staff, both academic and support, shapes the overall experience.”

Dean of the Staffordshire Business School, June Dennis, added:

“These results are testament to the great work that our Accountancy and Finance team does in producing a fantastic student experience. To be in the top 10 in the UK is a real achievement.”

More information on our Accounting and Finance courses.

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

Five things you didn’t know about Staffordshire Business School!

Written by Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean Recruitment


1.    We are one of the leading Business Schools in the world for Social Media. We’ve won the Edurank ‘Best Twitter Performance’ award twice in the Business School category (beating Harvard into second place) and we’ve also come in the top 20 Business School blogs in the Top 20 Business Education Blogs And Websites To Follow in 2018

2.    Our Marketing Management course includes exemptions from The Chartered Institute of Marketing and also Google Garage Exams, covering SEO, PPC and loads of other practical skills so you can start to build your own digital marketing campaign straight away.

3.    The Events Management Degree is a top ten course* according to The Complete University Guide League Tables 2019. We’ve also added some new modules this year like ‘experiential marketing’ and ‘managing the visitor experience’ which mean you get out and about straight away and start working with companies to design their systems.  You’ll also get to go on an overseas residential in your second year – last year we went to Iceland.


4.   
Business degrees are the same wherever you go – right? Wrong! Our Business Degree covers topics you won’t find anywhere else, we worked with employers to come up with them.  You’ll study Business Agility, Big Data, Authentic leadership and Customer Experience Strategy (CX) – don’t know what these are? Google them – these are vital topics for 21st Century leaders.

5.    Accounting and Finance degrees at Staffordshire Business School offer more than just a degree.  You will also gain exemptions from three professional bodies meaning you can fast-track to professional qualifications when you’ve finished you’re degree. Plus we were ranked 1st for ‘Students Satisfied with Teaching’ in the Guardian League Tables 2018.

As if five wasn’t enough, did you know we are the first Business School in the UK to launch an Esports degree…don’t know what this is? Find out here.

*ranked 7th in the ‘Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism’ category

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

 

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Exciting news for Esports students at Staffordshire University

Written by Stuart Kosters, Lecturer in Esports at Staffordshire Business School


Staffordshire Business School launches the brand new Esports Hub – a customised esports lab for showcase and learning.

Esports Hub Room

We strive for excellence and have spoken to many esports industries to deliver the very best training; in delivery and presentation.

Computer equipment is top of the range industry standard, featuring tournament level hardware and software, allowing for ease of use and the best in quality assurance.

  • Razer Naga Chroma Professional Grade Ergonomic MMO Gaming Mouse
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 – Gaming USB Headset and 7.1 Surround Sound with 50 mm Drivers, Retractable Digital Microphone
  • Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, Linear and Silent Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Razer Goliathus Chroma RGB Gaming Mouse Mat

Stylish graphics surrounding the room showcasing your home of Esports Hub, stems from extensive research and design prototypes, to be unique and current in the world of competitive gaming and learning. This esports lab strives to be one of a kind.

State of the art broadcasting area for your training experience and exhibition pleasure featuring an incredible range of the best equipment from sound editing, to vision mixing and full 360% camera rotations to capture every moment and showcase the very best in esports event exhibitions:

  • 360 degrees camera
  • vision mixing unit
  • soundboard
  • and full streaming training unit

Custom made interview area with a backdrop and modern esports furniture for viewing pleasure allows for extensive use of training in casting and interview skills, building soft skill management and providing the best experiences to share with online and local viewership.

Want to find out more? Visit us on one of our Open Days to have a look around and speak to our expert staff!

Details of our Esports Hub Launch Event on 18 August 2018!

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

 

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Culture and Ethics In The Workplace

Dr Bharati Singh, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School


I knew when I was joining Staffs last year that I was going to be part of a connected University. During the various inductions and trainings that I had, it was obvious that being active on social media was expected. So, I opened an official FB page and a Twitter account. I already had a profile on LinkedIn and other academic research sites.

However, almost a year down, one of the things that I have procrastinated on is writing a blog. I did not know what to do and where to start from. I am struggling to write articles out of my own thesis so a ‘blog’ about something that interests me was hard coming by.

I googled on ‘how to write a blog?’ and there were suggestions galore. The list of dos and don’ts was long. I pondered and contemplated and deliberated on what interests me and what could I write to draw the attention of readers.

I had worked for many years in the corporate world which included traveling and working with various multinationals and different nationalities before changing directions towards a full-time academic role.

In this role, having just attended the Business Staffs graduation ceremony, an idea for a blog started to take form in my mind. This emanated from the general conversations I had with the graduands and the pride for some to have already secured a job and the primary aim of others to secure a job as quickly as possible.

I knew then that I had to share my experiences of having worked with large multinational companies and banks and to provide some insight about work culture and ethics to my students and anyone in general.

One can face both success and failure at work. It is part of life as much as is birth and death. I am not trying to be macabre here but just dishing out some hard facts. You will not like some people at work and some people may not like you. So where is it that you can make a difference?

Integrity, honesty and being true to your job are first and foremost. Sometimes job descriptions can be misleading but never despair. Give it your all because you will need that recommendation letter when you do move on to your dream job.

 

The other important fact to remember is: what goes around comes around; so maintaining relationships is very important with people you like or don’t like. You never know who you will meet at any given point of life: the world is round.

Words can never be retracted so be careful what you say, to whom you say and when you say. Be mindful of the external environment (and I don’t mean the weather here).

Finally, never be afraid to own up to your mistakes. A very important lesson that I had learnt at a very young age (courtesy Reader’s Digest): the least important one word is ‘I’ and the most important six words are ‘I admit I made a mistake.’

Dr Bharati Singh, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School

Twitter: @BharatiCSingh

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