Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

How much has the Isle of Man Government spent on the Freedom to Flourish campaign or whatever they call it?

I think they should invest more time in a robust email policy!

Need I say more…….?

Actual screen shot from an email I received today! Believe me, I have seen far worse, but is this the freedom flourish?

Freedom to Flourish email

Freedom to Flourish

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Half-brightness on iPhone 3G vs. BB Bold 

Image by Quang Minh (YILKA) via Flickr

I popped in to the Manx Telecom mobile shop along Strand Street on the Saturday before last just to have a look at the latest Blackberry Bold and what a nice piece of kit it is too.

I have been looking for a phone with wifi capability for a little while now plus I really liked my current Blackberry.

It’s also a toss up between a new Blackberry and Apples iphone, so I would regard myself as a reasonably warm to hot customer in terms of selling too.

So here is the scenario.

I walked in to the Manx Telecom shop on Strand Street.

The sales lady came over and asked if I needed any help, to which I answered ” I am an exisitng cusotmer who is interested in the new Blackberry Bold and what were the terms on my contract?”

She went away and checked for me.

I was told that my current contract has several months to expire and if I wanted to have one I would need to pay the full price. I was fine with that and didn’t have an issue with it at all.

I then asked if I could purchase a iPhone at the Manx Telecom shop to which the reply was “we are working on it.” So I replied, “that’s a no then?” At this point the sales person got very uptight and went on the defensive saying that I was wrong to say that! So I asked the question again, “could I purchase an IPhone at the store?” She again repeated the same answer  “we are working on it.” At which point I replied “so that means I can’t buy one now then?”

The person then got all hot and bothered and admitted correctly that I couldn’t buy one but they were working on it in a rather abrubt and aggresive tone. By this time I was rather taken a back by both the level of service and the behaviour of the person in question – I left the store.

Now to me if this situation was to be replayed and I was the sales person I might have done things a little different.

Firstly, I wouldnt have assumed that the because the customer owned a Blackberry already that the IPhone was for them! It might have been a gift?

Next, I would have replied honestly and truthfully and not tried to be clever and simply replied “No they are not on sale at the moment, but we are hoping to get some soon.”

And finally, I would have asked if the customer would like to give me there email address or contact details so that when the Iphones did come into the store they could contact the customer and let them know.

How easy is that, and how pleased would I be with that level of service – pretty chuffed if you ask me!

Sorry Manx Telecom, but you still have a lot to learn… and thats just the basics!

I went for a look in the Sure shop after that.

Since then the Iphone is on sale at Manx Telecom.

Sorry but they won’t be getting my custom after that experience!

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Manx flag  

Image by burge5000 via Flickr

I was reading a recent article by Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY about the brands that Barack Obama and his family are associated with by using, wearing or consuming. If Barack happens to wear a type of trainer or eat a certain make of food this can mean amazing increases in awareness and sales of the associated brands. It also got me thinking what MIGHT BE the case for the Manx equivalent here on the island for potential Isle of Man branding opportunities. So here goes with a bit of light hearted fun with the first attempt.



President of the USA v The Chief Minister of the Isle of Man

1. Clothing/Suits

Barack Obama

Apparently he is a big fan of Hart Schaffner Marx suits — the Gold Trumpeter line, which is 97% worsted wool and 3% cashmere. The suits are made USA, sell for about $1,300 custom-made (his are) or less than $1,000 off-the-rack. Obama is said to have three gray and three navy blue. “He’s certainly generated a lot of interest,” says Hartmarx CEO Homi Patel.

Our Tony

I reckon he is a big fan of the Manx Tarten (well he should be!). Before Tynwald day and special government functions I expect you might find Tony in the Celtic Gold shop in Peel getting fitted out if he hasn’t got one hanging up in his wardrobe already! Before Tony was Chief Minister he would probably have been seen sporting a Browns Electrics polo shirt whilst either serving happy customers in his shop or rewiring a local Manx house or Castletown office. Definatley more exciting than the boring old suit worn by the US president – well in our Tony!

2. Snacks.


He likes to eat and snack healthy. He likes Planters Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds and Raisins. Planters has White House links dating to former president (and peanut farmer) Carter, as a sponsor of the Plains, Ga., Peanut Festival, says Laurie Guzzinati, a Kraft Foods spokeswoman.

Our Tony

It has to be that Manx traditional dish of chips, cheese and gravy from either the Terrace Chippy or the Islander. It could even be a tasty Kipper Bap with Manx Kippers from Devereau’s with the fresh white bap from Ramsey Bakery. It sure beats nuts, grains and rabbit food and is much more in tune with the culture and heritage of the Isle of Man!

3. Sweets


The Obamas are said to eat Fran’s Chocolates, an artisan chocolate brand from Seattle. Barack prefers Fran’s Smoked Sea Salt Caramel in Milk Chocolate ($24 for a 16-piece box) whilst his wife Michelle prefers dark chocolate, says Sean Seedlock, Fran’s marketing chief.

Our Tony

Being a true manx man I reckon Tony likes the clean crisp taste of Manx Knobs and probably pops in to The Port Erin Gaslight & Aerated Waters Company shop in Castletown square to purchase a tin or two to suck on whilst in sitting in the House of Key’s. Other snacks he might like could include a whippy 99 from Davisons ice cream parlour in Peel, probably on a Sunday aftnoon when he has nothing exciting to do!

4. Drinks.


He is said to be a fan of Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. “It raises the profile of our brand and all organic products,” says Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea. “We’d love for it to be the official drink of the new administration.”

Our Tony

Having sold a few kettles in his time I would think Tony would be a real connoisseur of Manx Tea tea, so it would have to be the Fairy bridge blend or on special occasions the Glen Helen blend. When he is out socialising or winding down after a hard day leading the country I would expect him to have the odd pint of Okells bitter or even a crafty shot of ManX spirit if its been a particulary challenging week!

5. Transport & Vehicles


The Obama family owns a $34,000 Ford Escape hybrid. Ford is “delighted” the family chose the SUV, “but we won’t be out there actively promoting that,” says Ford spokesman Jay Ward. Once he is settled in to the White House he will of course be flying in Airforce One private jet to the US president.

Our Tony

I really don’t know what vehicle Tony might drive. I reckon something like a Jaguar or even a Peel car? When he has to travel off the island then I don’t think it stretches to a private jet so it could even be a cabin on the Isle of Man Steampacket’s flagship vessel the Ben My Chree.

6. Sports.


Barack Obama lovesbasketball. Adam Silver, deputy commissioner of the National Basketball Association, says he expects the baseball field on the White House south lawn will be replaced with a hoops court. “Maybe they will pass a law that makes basketball the nation’s official pastime.”

Our Tony

High speed motorcycle road racing would be pretty high up the agenda I reckon followed secondly by the Southern 100 road races around his home circuit of Billown. Football and supporting Castletown FC could also feature fairly high on the agenda?

So you see, there could be some real opportunities for local Manx brands to do well off the back of endorsements and product placement by the Isle of Man Chief Minister.

If anyone does really know what brands Tony wears or endorses or if Tony himself wants to let us know then I am sure we could come up with the real manx equivalent instead of just my take on things!

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Top webmaster resource

A friend of mine found a great website for any webmasters out there webmasterradiofm. It gives really helpful advice, opinions and insights into Search Engines, Marketing and Optimisation. It has top industry gurus on some of the broadcasts like Danny Sullivan (Daggle.com), Greg Boser (WebGuerrilla), Jennifer Slegg (JenSense), Dave Naylor (DaveN), Mikkel deMib Svendsen all of whom are well worth tuning in too.

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Another event to I headed off to after a busy day on the Isle of Man was the Chartered Institute of Marketing event being held at the Hilton hotel Douglas. This evenings event was focused on the Isle of Man’s branding initiative ‘Freedom to Flourish’. The event was well supported by around fifty of the Isle of Mans marketing fraternity where they viewed a presentation by Alistar Audsley on the progress of the Isle of Man’s ‘Freedom to Flourish’ campaign. (more…)

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I see that the new marketing website Create has been updated with a new Business Resources section. Looks like more marketing developments will follow. Good news for new business’s on the Isle of Man that require marketing assistance amongst other help.

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New innovative marketing website for the Isle of Man called Create looks just in design at the moment, but its what the Isle of Man needs! New ideas!

Talking of new ideas, I just love Springwise

Wicked site!

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The Isle of Man forms part of the British Isles and is a separate jurisdiction with its own Parliament, called Tynwald, dating back over a thousand years to Viking times. Tynwald is believed to be the oldest continuously held democratic parliament in the world. The Isle of Man is located between England and Ireland in the Irish Sea, and measures approximately 33 miles long, with the current population of the Isle of Man around 80,000. (more…)

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If you work in a Marketing department and rely heavily on an ad/creative agency, dont assume that they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to delivering the most effective campaigns to promote your products especially online.
I recently attended a Centaur conference in London in conjunction with Marketing Week focusing on the subject of Search Engine Optimisation. Attending the conference were specialists from wide sectors of the UK retail sector including Virgin Games, Yahoo, ITV.com and Hugh MacLeod who writes one of the biggest blogs in the UK gapingvoid.com. Not only did the conference inspire me to make changes at my work in terms of our online strategy, it highlighted the inefficiencies of our agency and how ‘out of the real world arena’ they really were!
My advice would be to attend a similar conference on a regular basis, ask ‘big’, ‘uncomfortable’ questions of key people at your agency, read and research on the latest marketing developements as they happen, see Matt Cutts, and finally, dont be afraid to experiment and make changes yourself ‘in house’! Small acorns grow into huge Oak trees!

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