Mobile has overtaken desktop for viewing websites. Are you missing out on sales?

Mobile has overtaken desktop for viewing websites

Mobile has overtaken desktop for viewing websites. With today’s mobile workforce, many potential customers are away from desktop computers and accessing your website on their mobile devices. By not having a mobile optimised site, you will be missing out on your key customers and ultimately, missing out on sales.

Common mistakes for websites on mobile

  • The text is too small so users can’t read the website without zooming in. Desktop sites are being squashed into a mobile screens.
  • Calls to action and buttons are in the wrong place or too small, so users can’t move around your website and make purchases.
  • Your company phone number or address is not prominent enough; users on mobile usually need this information so they can get in touch quickly.

If your website is making these mistakes get in touch and we can review your website.

What are the causes of mobile user increase?

  • Social media has been a huge driver; 90% of Facebook’s daily active users access it via mobile and users are clicking links to your website.
  • Email data tell a similar story; 54% of emails are now opened on mobile so customers are clicking to your website on their mobile.
  • People are searching differently; Google announced last year that there are more searches on mobile than tablet and desktop combined

What does that mean for your existing website?

Quite simply, in a World where mobile has overtaken desktop for viewing websites, you could be missing out on sales and revenue. Some argue that customers do not always purchase via mobile, but even so, they will definitely be researching your products and services to make a purchase later. If your website does not supply this product information easily then you may be negatively impacting your sales. An update last year by Google resulted in non-mobile websites falling down search results ranking, so your company website will be harder to find by your customers and competitors will be displayed instead.

Fighting off the sharks. How we do WordPress security.

Keeping the sharks out at Sansfrontiere Marketing

At Sans Frontiere, we don’t use a single generic approach to security for all websites and web applications.

As an example, for WordPress sites, we employ a WordPress specific security policy that involves a WordPress specific firewall and a WordPress-centric approach to security hardening.

Did your eyes just glaze over reading that last sentence? If so, you might prefer a metaphor or an analogue for all this techie stuff.

Boats versus Sharks!

If your WordPress website or application is an ocean liner (or even a modest yacht or a tug boat), imagine it floating on the high seas, surrounded by sharks. The sharks want to get into the boat and wreak havoc so they circle your boat, trying to find a vulnerability.

Now your boat could be ultra modern or a nice old vessel, lovingly looked after to keep it seaworthy. In either case, seaworthiness and the ability to fend off the sharks are two different things. Anti-shark defenses are an essential addition to any boat, if you’re serious about keeping the sharks out.

At Sans Frontiere Marketing, we don’t just build websites and launch them onto the sea with a fanfare, leaving them exposed to the predators that we know wait, just out of sight. We equip each vessel we build with a host of anti-shark devices and build in real-time communications to keep us constantly in-touch with every disturbance, every ripple in the water, that your boat encounters. So we know when something changes or when something is blocked or when something needs our attention.

Exit metaphor

We use endpoint Firewalls – which basically means an Application firewall, built into your website. This cannot be bypassed like a Cloud based Firewall can and, since its hooked into your website, it knows what type of visitor each bit of traffic is. It can make better informed decisions and filter traffic more effectively. Its just a lot better.

We use WordPress specific security hardening, moving and renaming files, changing default WordPress values.

We install and manage real-time website monitoring and are notified as soon as something changes or needs updating.

We keep your WordPress core and all your plugins up to date. This means all security related patches are applied when they become available.


Why WordPress development can be a great option

Wordpress logo

WordPress development enables us.

Its true that WordPress development is one technique among many. So the question is: when to use WordPress.

WordPress is ostensibly a CMS (Content Management System). One among many, but also the World’s most popular CMS by quite a big margin. Not without good cause. WordPress is pretty amazing in many ways, especially given that its Open Source and free. But like any good tool, its as much about how its used as what its capable of. The capabilities only create potential. Not results by themselves.

So what can we do with WordPress and what are the advantages of using this amazing tool?

To see some finished examples of what can be done with the WordPress development approach, just take a look at our Portfolio of Work. Much of it has been achieved using WordPress development. The diversity of the websites in our portfolio, both in terms of design concepts and functionality, should convince you of the power and flexibility of WordPress in the right hands.

Our Portfolio

InstallersMate is a membership application that connects to the GasSafe API, allowing users to create their GasSafe notifications in a simple interface then have every other aspect of this process taken care of for them, including annual reminders, warranty certificates and more.

Cola Stoves is a searchable product database providing a simple interface for potential customers to search, filter and browse these sophisticated products in an intuitive way.

The Ecertsecure website is an attractive and effective online marketing device, showing off their products and services in a contemporary style. The same is true of its sister website, Emergesecure.

As well as a powerful marketing tool, the Ferroli website is doing high transaction ecommerce.

The SEAS website is a huge marketing tool also offering an events system and selling an array of memberships online.

What are the advantages of WordPress development?

Here are the core things:

  • WordPress is a very powerful CMS, out of the box. This means as well as getting a great website you also get great online tools for managing your site.
  • Its Open Source – this means that not only is the toolset free but there is a huge online community supporting WordPress developers. This has been one of the greatest successes of WordPress – to build such a huge online community. Its a big reason why WordPress has become ubiquitous.
  • WordPress is flexible and customisable. Unlike some CMS systems, the WordPress templating system is powerful and flexible. It means there are almost no limits imposed on the scope of what can be achieved in a creative sense. As well as this, the underlying logic of WordPress is flexible too, meaning that in the right hands, the application becomes almost a framework that facilitates development of bespoke functionality.
  • Its is continually evolving.
  • WordPress has an extensible architecture. In short, there are many thousands of very good 3rd party plugins available via the curated WordPress repository – many free and some paid, that add modules of functionality to the WordPress core, extending the scope of what can be achieved beyond almost all limits.

The bottom line however is that, in the right hands, leveraging the power of WordPress can mean huge savings getting an idea or a product off the ground. It means faster, more effective routes from concept to production. A modern marketing agency like ours would be crazy not to be taking advantage of this for our clients.

Examples of solutions that can be built using WordPress plus customisation.

  • Ecommerce
  • Events systems
  • Ticketing systems
  • Directories
  • Bespoke online applications and services
  • Multi-platform apps
  • Membership sites and community portals

If you would like to talk to us about leveraging the power of WordPress, please get in touch

Make Your Brand Accessible With User Experience

Your brand needs to be accessible. Today’s consumers have a wealth of resources at their fingertips that will influence their purchasing decision. That means you need to provide a positive user experience from the start so what’s the key to making brands accessible?

Younger consumers especially are very savvy and have high expectations for a smooth user experience when they are doing their research. User experience usually refers to the design of websites and apps, but your brand isn’t separate from the experience they have with your communications in all formats– your website, brochures, stores, social media. Their experiences with all these channels will influence their perception of you and your products.

For example, say a user lands on your website on their mobile phone and find that the text is too small for them to read and it’s slow to load. In those few seconds that they get frustrated and they navigate away from your site, you’ve lost that potential customer.

Or, they Tweet you a question about your product and you fail to answer. They feel ignored, and move on.

Let us also not forget that the first taste is always with the eyes: the presentation of your product is often just as important as the product itself. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and humans gravitate towards the aesthetically pleasing. Do not underestimate the value of a well-designed brochure, a beautiful showroom, and an attractive website.

Remember, you don’t have a second chance at a first impression.

Consider Apple – the master of marketing and branding. Sure, they make great products, but it’s the user experience as a whole that really makes them outstanding and aspirational.

Take their showrooms: sophisticated, airy, creative and modern. They create an atmosphere where their product can thrive. Imagine if Apple showrooms looked like the inside of Poundland – it wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

Plus, their showrooms have highly knowledgeable and helpful staff. Apple has an excellent reputation for customer service. Interaction with representatives of Apple contributes to a positive brand and product perception.

And finally their careful branding that from the start had clear differentiators to make them the hip choice of creative and innovators. Their price points and trendy appeal make their products aspirational.

At each touch point they ensure that their first impression is a positive one that’s on brand and provides an excellent user experience.

Evaluate your own brand from first impressions of your website and showroom through to customer service that’s offered post-purchase. How does the experience measure up?

We think there’s always room for improvement!

Social media is ONE important part of your marketing strategy

A recent article featured on MarketingWeek questions the effectiveness of social media usage in marketing campaigns in terms of ROI. Does investment in social media marketing really lead to increased profits and higher company performance? How do you measure the success of a social media campaign? Are marketers wise to invest time, money and resources into social media advertising without a guarantee of success?

This has long been up for debate.

Social media advertising alone may not be sufficient to produce lucrative results for a business, but it is a key part of an integrated marketing campaign. Here’s why.

More than a logo

The benefits of social media marketing go way beyond potential financial gains for a company – increased brand recognition, accessibility and loyalty, and better search engine rankings are just a few of the potential positive outcomes.

Social media creates opportunities for action and engagement with your existing and potential customers. Having an active social presence demonstrates to your customers that you are transparent, open to dialogue and willing to offer customer service where they find it easy to access. It humanizes your business.


Engaging with your audience also provides you with insight. Monitoring social media behaviours and responses helps businesses understand customers’ needs and interests. Do they respond better to cute cats or cute dogs? This is so valuable when you are planning campaign messaging and targeting.

Plus, if you play it right, it’s a great way to get honest feedback (good or bad!) that can help you improve your service and business as a whole.

It’s expected

Most B2C and many B2B brands have embraced, to varying degrees of enthusiasm, social media as part of their marketing and customer service strategies. You don’t want to lose out to competitors who undermine your legitimacy because they are happily active on Twitter and you are not. Give the people what they want.

Developing a social media presence is crucial to a business for relationship building and growing your audience, as well as improving the overall customer experience. The amount of time required to invest in social media marketing, set up and maintain profiles is minimal compared to the potential benefits your company is likely to gain in the long run.

In action: Deliveroo

The London based start-up and upmarket takeaway service, Deliveroo, has recently raised a huge amount of venture funding and is rapidly expanding its services to cities across the world.

Does Deliveroo have an established social media presence? An unequivocal YES, with Facebook and Twitter pages maintained and updated regularly, often multiple times a day.

However the key thing to ‘takeaway’ (couldn’t resist, sorry) is that while they’re making great headway with new audiences on social, this is only ONE part of Deliveroo’s marketing campaign.

They’re an internet business! You order on an app! Surely all their advertising is online? Wrong.

Recently I’ve seen a huge push in Brighton, where I live, with distribution of direct mail flyers, advertising on buses and uniformed Deliveroo staff out and about across town, highly visible and engaging directly with the public. They are still embracing traditional channels and as a whole, it’s working. They’re in the real world.

Social media is a huge part of their strategy that drives those conversions after initial awareness and offers a way to interact with customers.

But you can’t stop there.

Social media alone is not enough of marketing strategy on it’s own, but even though ROI can be less tangible than cold hard cash, social activity and advertising are key ingredients to a marketing campaign heading for success – make sure you’re on board!

For information on how Sans Frontiere can assist you with implementing and managing a social media presence and advertising campaign for your company, please do get in touch for a free consultation.

What is Rankbrain and does it affect your SEO?

What is Rankbrain

Last week, Bloomberg revealed that a “very large fraction” of the countless search queries that Google receives every hour, minute and second are now being interpreted by Artificial Intelligence, reinforcing Google’s position at the very cutting edge of search.

Nicknamed Rankbrain, this AI now handles some 15% of all search queries – specifically it helps to handle those that are longer and complicated or ambiguous in wording. Reports show that Rankbrain has been more effective at ranking pages correctly than Google engineers.


Now for some people, who possible binge watched too many Terminator movies over the Halloween weekend, this may conjur images of AI taking over the world. Rankbrain may not quite have the same sense of eerieness that a Skynet or HAL 2000 creates but it may still raise some questions.

However for marketers and those handling their own marketing, there’s an equally scary (and much more real) range of questions out there. Namely, What is Rankbrain and does it affect your SEO?


Keywords as we may understand them are becoming less and less important, kind of.


In SEO, the usage of keywords is always developing. It used to be that you could succeed by plugging away keywords all over your website, and odds are you would rank.

As time went on, this led to the development of long-tail keywords, and changed how we viewed on page and domain keyword optimisation.

A large piece of RankBrain’s remit appears to be in ‘gut feeling’ and interpreting search in a context specific manner. Essentially it’s about knowing what you mean, even if you aren’t saying it. This varies from location specifics such as searching for ‘best fitness trainer’ in the UK vs the US to terminology variance like supplying the right data where somebody uses a colloquialism as opposed to a ‘correct’ term.


So how does this affect you?


Oddly enough, the personal injury lawyer market is nearly always at the cutting edge of search.  Staying ahead of the competition can be utterly dependent on SEO, much more than many other industries as that number one spot on search is key.

So how will they adapt?

If your website is optimised for a few keywords like ‘liability lawyer’ you may suffer, due to a lack of broadness or nuance. People are going to be searching for terms like “I fell, can I sue?”. Adapting to Rankbrain relies on adapting your content to answer these queries with unique and quality content.

And this carries over to whatever industry you’re working in. Your SEO isn’t about gaming keywords to ‘trick’ Google. It’s about answering your customer’s questions – if Google sees you as an ‘answer’ to a query they’ll bring the customer to you. This means that focused keyword optimisation may be less important, whereas context indicators and a broader range of keywords will become more important.


Don’t panic


Google have come out and said that Rankbrain is the 3rd most important ranking factor in their query algorithms. And they’ve said that as part of its rollout it may have been here for months, and may be affecting search for your website already.

Should you be scared? Running for the hills as you try to redesign your entire SEO strategy?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is no, because this isn’t anything new.

Google isn’t trying to ‘trick’ search marketers with new updates. It’s constantly trying to create a more effective search engine. So all the same rules apply. If your website is ticking the foundational boxes of modern, ‘good’ SEO then you have nothing to worry about.

If you’re providing great content, great user experience, great web design and answering your customer’s questions in ways then Google will see you as an authority on your subject and help you rank.

As you may have realised if you’re a small or medium company handling your own marketing that it’s a fast changing world – and your ability to succeed can rely on adapting. At Sans Frontiere we’re able to bring all the skill and knowledge of a full marketing department to your company, including digital and SEO expertise.

If you’re looking for a new strategy for 2015, need to update your SEO to reflect Rankbrain, or just want to find out what a marketing agency can do for you contact us to arrange a free consultation today.

The Essential Tip For Your Blog – Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content

So you’ve set up your blog or content resource. Now what do you write about?

If you’re a small or medium sized team it’s unlikely that you’ll have somebody dedicated to managing your content output full-time.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t maximise the potential of your content though. Evergreen Content is the most efficient way for you to use your content marketing.

What is evergreen content?


Evergreen takes its name from evergreen trees. Trees which are full of life the whole year around. Like those trees, evergreen content is sustainable and long lasting. It doesn’t fade away.

“Of course it doesn’t disappear.” You may be thinking. Your articles or blog will be there as long as your website exists. But many articles quickly loose relevance, nobody is searching for them. Your article is resigned to the Google graveyard never to be read again.

Sometimes it’s easier to visualise these things with an example.

You notice that everyone’s talking about the Rugby World Cup, so you theme an article around this (“What the Rugby World Cup tells us about _____”). Which is fine and good. Plenty of people will be searching for the Rugby World Cup, and you may pick up some website views and some leads.

But a week later, and you’re getting no more views, and no more leads. This is because nobody is searching for anything related to the RWC. And the same goes for any other news/fad/time specific piece of content. It will inevitably become obsolete and stop generating any leads – and stop being a resource for your business.

Why does evergreen content work?

Evergreen content works because it will generate sustainable views and leads long into the future.

Let’s use the Rugby World Cup example, in its first week that article may have gained 5000 views. In its second week that drops to 2500. And then after that it never gets another view. Your evergreen content will generate those views month on month on month.

Evergreen Content

This doesn’t just make evergreen content an effective content technique, it’s an effective marketing technique. Let’s say that you decide to purchase a call list. Once you’ve exhausted that list, how do you get more leads? You have to pay for another.

With Evergreen content once you’ve paid for the set up of that article, it’s a constant resource that will generate more and more leads as time goes on – without requiring constant reinvestment.


Examples of evergreen content

There are a huge range of formats that fall under evergreen. Below we’ve put some of the most popular.

  • Lists
  • Top tips
  • ‘How to’ guides

These are formats that lend themselves to long-lasting content. Obviously it’s important that there is a focus on your business. That could be ’10 ways to check your boiler is working properly’ for a boiler company or ‘How to get the cheapest deals on flights’ for a money-saving website.

An easy way to come up with evergreen content ideas is to think of questions that people will be searching for. The more niche the better – as if you’re answering a question that nobody else has answered, you’ll be the first resource your customer comes to.

There will always be beginners. There will always be people who are new to your field and need to know the basics. And if they find an answer through you, it’s likely that next time they have a question they’ll come to you again. For these new customers, you become an authority on your subject, and you’ve built up a trust and brand loyalty. And all you needed to do was answer simple questions in an effective way.

In short:- Taking the time to create high quality evergreen content will go a long way towards bringing in new leads, boosting your website’s authority and changing your overall perception as a leader within your industry.


Working with Sans Frontiere

If you want to leave your content in safe hands. We can set up your blog with bespoke web design, create content for your business, and then ensure through paid search and display and organic SEO – that your content gets out to your audience.

Evergreen content is only one method that Sans Frontiere can use to deliver marketing solutions to your business. We also provide a range of services including design and branding and will work with you to find the right strategy for your company.

For a free consultation regarding your business, and the benefits of working with a marketing agency, contact us today.

The Signs That You Should Be Working with a Marketing Agency

The signs that you should be working with a marketing agency

For many small or medium sized businesses, when you start out it makes sense to ‘do it yourself’ for a while across a variety of roles. It cuts costs, and maybe you find it easier to work that way. But inevitably that will change with time. You might find yourself hiring a dedicated sales person, or someone to handle admin.

This is part of the natural life of business. Changes like this can be essential to promoting growth for your organisation.

And much as you wondered about hiring a sales team or support team, you may start to wonder if doing your marketing yourself isn’t the best approach.

Below are a few of the signs that it’s time for you to start looking at getting someone else to handle your marketing needs.

You aren’t doing it yourself


It’s easy to understand why this happens. You’re a busy person doing the things that busy people do. So every time you’re looking at your workload it’s easy to move marketing to the bottom of your ‘to do’ list.

If this happens more than a few times, your marketing may start to become a fixture on the ‘to do’ list. And one that’s never going to end up on the ‘done’ list.

Because Marketing is often a slow process that requires a certain amount of planning and strategy, it’s never going to be top of your priority list. You’ll find yourself making an excuse to bump it down the list while you put out fires elsewhere. And longterm this is damaging.

However, for a marketing agency – it’s the only thing we do. And is always top of the priority list.

You are doing it yourself (but not well)

marketing for dummies

Let’s say that you have taken all the responsibilities of the marketing department onto your shoulders. You’ve read (or at least thumbed through) a copy of ‘Marketing for Dummies’, you think you’ve got a good grasp on this whole SEO thingy, so you give it all a go.

Cut to several months down the line. The leads aren’t coming in. That big re-brand project you thought about took too long so you rushed and now half of your materials have the old logo on and half have the new one. You log in to Twitter for the first time in weeks, take to your keyboard like the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey and get confused when #pleasebuymy[insertproduct]pleaseamidoingthisright doesn’t immediately trend worldwide.


This might seem a deliberately ridiculous scenario created for the purpose of blog articles. But it isn’t far from the truth. There’s a lot that can go wrong.

Marketing with poor results can be worse than not marketing at all. As well as wasting your time on fruitless campaigns, there’s a very real chance that you could be doing long-term damage to your brand.

And there’s nothing wrong with not being able to do it yourself. Nobody is expected to be an expert on everything, and knowing when you need to find outside help or delegate is a key.

In working with an agency, you have much more of a guarantee of quality. After all, if we did bad work – we wouldn’t exist anymore!

You don’t know how (or why) you’re doing well

Shooting Blind

This is somewhat related to the above points. Although it may not seem that bad – if, for example – you see a sudden boost in views to your website. In fact that might seem like a good thing. But how did they get there? Was it that eshot you sent out? Or a radio ad promotion?

If you aren’t able to monitor your own marketing efforts, it’s likely that you’re not being efficient in your output. And you might be getting the wrong idea. You might be sending out Facebook Updates at three am and when no-one sees them coming to the conclusion that Social Media doesn’t work.

An agency will look at your sector, your business and your goals. And the strategy we come up with will prevent you from squandering any potential opportunities, as well as monitoring your successes to show why they’re working.

This approach is, obviously, more effective that the shot in the dark approach to your marketing.

You wish you had a marketing department, but don’t have the budget

Marketing Budget

Perhaps you have looked into it. You realise that you need a dedicated marketing team. But then you’ve done the math. And you probably didn’t like what you found. Hiring a marketing department is expensive. Below are the average salaries for several marketing roles as based on the Hayes Salary Guide 2015 (based on a typical salary for a role in the South East).

Digital Marketing Manager – £50,000

Campaigns Manager – £32,000

Press Officer – £30,000

Marketing Executive – £28,000

Marketing Asssistant – £20,000

And that is a minimal marketing department. Adding in SEO specialists, Graphic designers, web developers and more means that a full service marketing department can be costly.

In addition to this is the upkeep of marketing tools. To increase efficiency, productivity, performance and keeping up with industry best practice – we use tools such as Hootsuite, Raven Tools and more. And all of these have monthly fees.

As you can see the benefit of working with a marketing agency isn’t just that we’ll do the job better than you can, it’s also a cost-effective measure. You can hire a complete marketing team from the cost of one employee.

If you’ve seen the signs that you should be working with a marketing agency, then Sans Frontiere are here to help. We bring 18 years of experience in marketing to your business. Offering you all the benefits of your own full-service marketing department, from design to digital, without the cost.

For a free consultation, our team can be reached at 01273 487 800 today.

Why Website Security Should Be A Priority

Website security was, for a long time, a problem for the webmasters of big corporate sites, ecommerce sites or other mission critical sites to solve. Today it affects every website from the smallest blog to the biggest retailer.

In the last few years the Internet has seen an exponential rise in malicious activity against websites. This can range from a crude attempt to brute force user accounts or FTP accounts to sophisticated exploitation of cross-domain scripting vulnerabilities or poor code. Primarily it is about the monetization of other people’s property and resources but it can also be just maverick behavior, a bit of fun or simply showing off!

Hacked websites can be often used to advertise questionable content or recruited into a cluster of zombie sites and simply used as resources. They can have malicious content posted into them or simply ‘taken down’. None of these scenarios are going to be in any way beneficial to the owner of the site and can often destroy the reputation or trust that a site has. In real terms, all SEO with Google can be lost when the search engine detects that a site has been compromised.

Because of the number of malicious attempts we see against the sites we host, we recommend as a minimum, every website now needs the following:

  • A web application firewall
  • A strong password policy
  • Strict permissions for key files

Additionally and ideally, also:

  • Failed username / password lockout
  • Regular scans for malicious code or core changes
  • Real-time alerts for logins, changes or suspicious activity
  • Weekly monitoring for upgrades
  • Daily backups
  • Disaster recovery

At Sans Frontiere we take website security very seriously and treat every site we build with the same level of protection, as standard. We also have options for additional layers of security should one of our clients wish to extend their protection even further.

To find out more about our in-house security policy, please get in touch.

It’s OK To Be Emotional: Why You Can’t Ignore Brand Strategy

It’s ok to be emotional.

In fact, it’s completely necessary.

That brands play on the emotions of potential customers is nothing new (hello, John Lewis Christmas adverts!).

Ever since advertising went from purely functional to emotional rationales, consumer choices are increasingly influenced by brand perception.

After all, a pair of shoes isn’t just a pair of shoes. Our choices communicate to the world who we are.

But sometimes we forget why emotional values are so important. For example, we can lose sight when we want to run a sale, or we just want to ‘get something out there’ in a rush to try and grab people’s attention. We think the discount will be enough to do the trick or that putting up enough billboards up will solve a problem.

But over the long term, investing money in marketing without a clear brand strategy can be like chucking cash into the wind. You won’t find the loyalty from customers that keeps businesses thriving and overall adds value to your efforts. You might as well just do coupons.

Of course, we can’t all be Apple (who doesn’t actually do sales, because they don’t have to) who has meticulously built incredible value into their brand; they have a $1billion advertising budget. One can only dream!

But even small retailers should understand the importance of brand value and how it can have a significant impact on their sales.

There’s a difference between ‘cheap and cheerful’ and just plain cheap; vintage and outdated; luxurious and ostentatious. It can often be a fine line.

So how do you create a brand that reflects you in away that’s positive and meaningful?

Determine what defines your business: your core values and unique selling points. Those definitions, or brand values, need to be consistent across all your communications; visually, in your copywriting, your customer service, etc. They will help you build your mission statement, which should drive all your activity.

Why? Your brand strategy will help you justify the right marketing investments and provide a path for your overall marketing and business strategy, helping you define your target audience and establishing a clear consistent voice.

Do you want to learn more about how a strong brand can improve your business? Get in touch and we would be happy to provide a free of charge, no obligations consultation.

Collaboration is Key for Campaign Success

We have recently been hard at work promoting the upcoming South of England Show with the South of England Agricultural Society (SEAS). So far, online ticket sales are up 350% from last year, so we must be doing something right.

As the campaign has taken shape we have really noticed how the key to success has been close collaboration with the SEAS in-house team.

Relationships between in-house marketing teams (even if it’s a one-person team!) can sometimes get hectic when everyone is busy, but it’s so important to retain open and clear communication channels so that both client and agency can deliver to the highest standard in their respective roles.

Agencies should invite their clients to offer their insight and ideas; their input is invaluable as, after all, they know their business best. This can often really help clarify expectations and when they feel more comfortable sharing with you, can provide much more detailed briefs.

Having previously been on the client, I know it doesn’t feel nice when you’re not sure what’s happening, as it’s happening, and feeling like you have no control or your opinions aren’t valued.

Our recent experience with SEAS has resulted in great work, a happy client and a happy agency. Collaborating with them closely has truly made it feel like everyone’s success when the numbers come in.

Client insight and agency expertise is a potent combination – it has often resulted in the most innovative and successful projects that we have done with our clients.


Chantal Yeung Dresner is the Digital Marketing Manager at Sans Frontiere. You can contact her at or call 01273 487800.

New videos for the South of England Show

Summer time is fast upon us and that means… we’re getting ready for the South of England Show! We’ve just put up these fab new videos that highlight how wonderful the show is.

We were also thrilled to get the news today that online ticket sales are up 350% from last year! We’ve been working with the South of England Agricultural Society on an Earlybird tickets campaign and getting the word out online through social media and digital advertising – and it seems to be working!

Google Update: Now It’s REALLY Important Your Website Is Mobile-friendly

Starting April 21st, mobile-friendliness will become an increasingly significant Google ranking factor with the roll out of a new Google Update to search algorithms. Search is the most common starting point for mobile research – we know how important search and mobile are, and have for some time. Why are there still some people out there dragging their feet?

Mobile is close to surpassing desktop usage. Marketers need to address that consumers are “multiscreening”, accessing retail sites on mobile or desktop.

Back to Google. They release a lot of updates. Is this one a big deal? Yes. “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results” – straight from the horses’ mouth.

What should you do? Check if your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, you’ll need to make improvements. Or you may even need to completely re-think your website, if it hasn’t been updated for a while. For example, is it responsive? Would you benefit from having an app?

These are things that need to be seriously considered, and merit investment.

Here’s some food for thought…

Mobile websites turn visitors into customers

Whilst nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered site that were clearly not designed for mobile devices. This is big opportunity for companies seeking to engage with mobile users.

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future.
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a product or service from that site.

About responsive design

Responsive design is a “write once, run everywhere” style of designing websites. Rather than building separate sites for each web and mobile device, responsive design creates a single website that intelligently adjusts its layout and features based on how it’s being viewed.

Chantal Yeung Dresner is the Digital Marketing Manager at Sans Frontiere. You can contact her at or call 01273 487800. 

UK Brands Need To Up Their Customer Experience Game

Today I read in Marketing Week that US brands are outperforming their UK counterparts on customer experience in nearly every industry.


You may not be in immediate danger of losing customers to US brands – it would be hard to eat in a restaurant in New York instead – but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to sit up and take notice.

Brand loyalty is incredible important in a highly competitive marketplace. We all know that it’s a lot easier to sell something to one of your existing customers than it is to sell to a brand-new one. Customer experience is an integral part to building loyalty and trust, and of course, for repeat business.

Apparently, UK customers don’t seem to expect as much in terms of customer experience, but when times are tough and disposable income is harder to come by, it becomes increasingly important that brands treat their customers well and reinforce that they made the right purchase decision.

Middle ground brands are the brands struggling the most to make improvements. How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

The first thing that comes to mind is increasing your level of interaction in a way that’s beneficial and appropriate to your customer – often, through digital channels. Marketers can make a huge difference to how your brand is perceived by existing customers through messaging, optimising each interaction. This also means that your strategy needs to be integrated in a way that appears seamless and offers clarity for your customer.

It’s worrying that UK brands scored lower in areas like Integrity, Empathy and Problem Resolution – this is well within our control to improve by examining how, what, where and why brands are expressing themselves.


Chantal Yeung Dresner is the Digital Marketing Manager at Sans Frontiere. You can contact her at or call 01273 487800. 

Small businesses shouldn’t be afraid to get help with their marketing

Due to time and budget constraints, small businesses often overlook the significance of marketing. Here’s why we think you shouldn’t, especially now that the government has launched the Growth Vouchers programme.

Why ask for marketing advice?

A marketing plan helps make sense of your business environment – understanding your customers, your competitors, how to operate, and sell your product and services effectively. In today’s crowded marketplace how you position your brand and communicate, and on what platforms, is critical to success.

Too often, marketing is overlooked or left to someone who has little marketing experience. Increasingly, operations need to be lean and efficient, particularly for starts ups and small businesses. However, considering marketing as an area that does not merit investment can be detrimental. You wouldn’t leave your accounting to someone with no finance experience (we hope!).

Time and time again we have been approached by businesses that have realised they need a marketing intervention. Often, they have spent time and money inefficiently trying to do their marketing themselves with little knowledge or experience. Often, they realise that they need to backtrack and start from scratch, clarifying what it is that they want to achieve. Marketers can help you realise your goals without the pain of trying to struggle through it on your own, optimising your investment.

Effective marketing isn’t achieved through ad hoc actions or a cowboy approach. There’s deep thought and well-researched planning that backs up a smart strategy or successful campaign. Hopefully, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it pertains to every other area of running a business.

How can we help?

We will work with you and advise on how to develop an effective, sustainable marketing strategy. With 18 years of experience, our team can provide invaluable expertise, such as PR & media planning; branding & identity; social media and digital advertising.

As a small business you can benefit from the resources of a full-service agency with precise, targeted campaigns and strategy. You’ll be able to draw on the knowledge of all our team members, each with years of experience in their fields. And as a Growth Voucher Adviser, you can receive excellent value for your investment with Sans Frontiere with government subsidies.

About the Growth Vouchers programme

The government’s £30m Growth Vouchers programme delivers support to small businesses in England through the use of subsidised business advice. You could get a voucher to help pay for business support in Marketing & Customer Services.

As an approved Growth Voucher Adviser you can solicit the services of Sans Frontiere and receive 50%, up to £2000, back from the government. You will have to be able to match the amount with your own funds.

The Growth Vouchers programme is available to small businesses in England who are actively selling goods and/or services, have a turnover no greater than £45m, own 75% or more of their business, and have 250 employees or less.

Learn more about the Growth Vouchers programme

Business Advice on Marketing, attracting and keeping customers


Chantal Yeung Dresner is the Digital Marketing Manager at Sans Frontiere. You can contact her at or call 01273 487800. 

Don’t ignore the value of PPC

If you’re launching a new website this year, chances are you want people to find it straight away. However, Google’s indexing and algorithms mean it can be difficult for new sites to compete for traffic.

Think about it like this – if you open a restaurant on a street that gets no foot traffic, and there are many popular restaurants already on the high street, you’re going to need to get people’s attention on the high street to get them into your new place.

Recently, Sans Frontiere launched a new game site for a long-standing client for a short-term competition they were running. Because the site was set up as a game that is mostly functional, there was minimal text content, making it less ‘crawlable’.

We quickly discovered that despite promoting the URL in all campaign messaging and materials, hopeful entrants were simply searching the competition name in Google. Often this is because Google search bars are set as address bars in browsers, or plain old user habit.

What does this mean? The new website, despite having the competition name as the URL, was not coming up in Google’s search results. Entrants were quick to point this out.

Our client was keen to get people entering their competition as quickly as possible, as it was only running for 6 weeks. They asked us to ‘fix’ it – but unfortunately there’s no magical solution that will get your brand new website instantly ranking number one on Google.

So, we recommended using a Google AdWords campaign to ensure entrants would immediately find their new site when searching in Google. They only needed a very small budget and it worked a charm.

Some think that people never actually click on Google Ads at the top of their search results. However, in our experience, no matter how big or small, the budget gets used up because people are clicking on the ads. There’s no shortage of Internet traffic and searches, and people like to be signposted to relevant pages. If campaigns are costing money – then people are obviously not ignoring the ads.

Many people seem to think of PPC as cheating somehow. To us, PPC isn’t ‘cheating’; it’s a quick win and a vital part of our digital marketing strategies that go hand-in-hand with other activities. It’s particularly essential for new websites or new product launches. Also, it can be key if it is impossible for you to highly rank organically for a search term.

SEO is a slow, long game. It shouldn’t be discounted, because in the end, you will want your website to rank as highly as possible in organic search results. But it doesn’t get immediate results.

If you want maximum impact and are on a limited timescale, or you want fast results for a launch, then PPC should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

Chantal Yeung Dresner is a Digital Marketer at Sans Frontiere. If you would like to learn more about PPC, you can contact her here

Make friends & influence people with a Sans Frontiere online loyalty club

Ferroli’s brand new online loyalty club is now open for business and signing up members, thanks to Sans Frontiere’s digital design and development expertise.

Installersmate is much more than just a website; as well as a range of benefits for plumbing & heating engineers who install Ferroli boilers, the key offering of the site required Sans Frontiere to utilise the web services of a third party organisation by using their API.

This complex back-end development work allows installers to make their boiler installation notifications with Gas Safe Register – something they are required to do by law – via Installersmate with Ferroli paying the £2.20 fee for them. The success of this project involved precise adherence to Gas Safe Register’s requirements, which we achieved thanks to our digital expert knowledge and dedicated account management.

Building brand loyalty is achieved by giving the customer what they want; Sans Frontiere’s experience of marketing within the energy sector meant that we knew what Ferroli’s customers would be looking for, and it didn’t need to be over-complicated.

As well as free Gas Safe notifications, Installersmate provides installers with a secure place to keep a record of all their Ferroli boiler installations, a quick and simple way of registering their customers’ valuable warranties and regular competitions, plus a points-per-purchase rewards scheme planned for 2015.

Installersmate also comes with a great business-building tool – an email reminder service that tells both the customer and the installer that the boiler’s annual service is due. By programming the system to trigger an email to both parties six weeks before the anniversary of the installation, Installersmate helps to build loyalty between the installer and customer and protects the reputation of the brand by encouraging best practice.

The creative design of the website reflects Ferroli’s branding, which is both striking and familiar to installers, and has a friendly ‘face’ that was meticulously selected to appeal to our target market.

If you would like a loyalty club that helps you connect with your customers and develop your brand, contact Sans Frontiere today – we’re always happy to chat.

Sans Frontiere invited record numbers of visitors to “Tuck into the Best of British”

To promote the three glorious days of the 2014 South of England Show, Sans Frontiere delivered a basket of goodies encouraging visitors to “Tuck into the Best of British Countryside” and enjoy the best of British agriculture, equestrianism, horticulture, food and drink, country crafts, sports and many other activities.

Our creative was rolled out across press, radio, TV, online and social media and attracted over 70,000 people to the Showground, a record number of visitors to the region’s largest event of its kind.

Plans for the Autumn Show & Game Fair on 4th & 5th October are now underway and we look forward to delivering a similarly successful campaign.

The Autumn Show & Game Fair is a great day out for fans of hunting, shooting and fishing, with lots of attractions to entertain the whole family.

Sans Frontiere dazzles with a multi-platform campaign for fashion and health brand

When Eyesite asked us to promote their new range of sunglasses to existing customers, Sans Frontiere Marketing knew a multimedia campaign would hit the mark in terms of both impact and budget. Our marketing strategists have used their strong experience of direct mail, email communication, retail display and social media to reach a wide demographic audience with high style values.

Our design team began by brainstorming ideas for a creative piece of direct mail that would prove virtually irresistible when it landed on customers’ doormats. The winning idea was to create a wallet that emulates a leather sunglasses case which opens to reveal an 8-sided DL flyer showing a range of fabulous sunglasses for men and women.

Our creative director developed the visual to feature a map of the world with a spotlight on seven sunny, glamorous destinations and images of selected stunning frames. The call to action invites customers to pop into their Eyesite branch to try on as many frames as they like and, importantly, to book an eye test if needed.

To reflect the high value of the products we are promoting for Eyesite, this two-piece multi-folded item needed to be a superior quality item and thanks to Sans Frontiere’s experience of print buying and long-standing relationships with our suppliers, we were able to deliver an excellent product at an affordable price. We also designed a bespoke envelope and accompanying letter.

The creative concept was developed by our digital studio to create an email that also contains a link to Gucci’s promotional You Tube video so that customers can see the frames in more detail. We created four versions of the eshot tailored for each of the four branches with an inviting subject line that was personalised to their location.

To spread the message to the wider communities of the four Eyesite practices, Sans Frontiere’s PR department delivered pitches to the regional newspapers and magazines showing tempting high res images of selected sunglasses that would make perfect content for features on spring and summer fashion & accessories. Through our established network of contacts with our media targets, editors’ interest was piqued and coverage is set to roll in.

New customers will also be attracted to come in-store by the dazzling poster designs for A-boards that now command attention in the shopping districts of Brighton, Reading, Winchester and Oxford.

Sans Frontiere Marketing has been creating multi-platform communications designed to increase sales since 1997. We present marketing initiatives to support your sales division and help you to achieve your business goals. We will make sure that your brand and your brand communication channels, your website and online presence, your brochures and advertising, are kept up to speed with the latest technologies and creative trends.