Lots of people say they like our branding and communications, from our business card to our website and sales presenter.

At Vicki Stone Marketing our communication tools and are clear and simple, with a traditional twist.

Are you one of those people who apologises about your out of date website or how you don’t keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis?

Remember, the marketing tools you use every day, big or small, can have a massive impact on gaining (or losing) potential business.

I meet lots of people who represent their own businesses and I’ve run out of how many times I’ve heard the comments “Sorry about my business card, it’s a bit out of date”. I’ve even taken cards with email addresses crossed out with a new address in biro over the top.

I also come across many people who say “I’m too busy to do any marketing”. Well, what happens if one of their key customers suddenly goes out of business or takes their business elsewhere? They are back to square 1. And I’m tell you now, it’s a lot harder to find new business when you’ve not got any and that’s when desperation kicks in.

The number 1 rule I’ve taken with me since my old advertising days is, if the consumer doesn’t get it first time, then the communication has failed.

So my main advice if you’re looking at creative concepts for an advert for the first time, or if you’re working on the layout of the home page of your website – would someone whose never heard of you or what you do understand what it is you’re trying to communicate? If it’s a no, then you or the creative team will need to go back to the drawing board, or tweak what you’ve done. Any doubt, throw it out and start again. If you continue with something you don’t fully ‘get’, you’ll run the campaign or make the site go live, not get the results you want to achieve and it’ll be a waste of time and money.

If you’re embarrassed or unsure about any element of your marketing or communications, come and talk to us. We’ll give you some honest answers and suggest some new ideas.

And after having worked in huge agency teams looking at and presenting fresh ideas and concepts to big multinational brands in our past – we really know our stuff.

We’re not afraid to challenge your existing marketing thinking and that’s why we’ve continued working with lots of our clients for many years.