Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded coworker?

This time last year if you’d been asked if you’d like to spend more time at home with your other half you probably would have said, of course, it will be wonderful. And for a lucky some it will have been, but for many others, it will have been a mixed bag as we have had to fulfil the dual roles of loving partner and workmate.

In a recent survey by ServiceTeamIT 89% of businesses said they will be working from home, far more of them in the future. Up until this year, it was commonplace for one half of a couple to work from home, but this year has thrust many of us into a situation far from ideal and with little opportunity to escape. So just how can get the balance right when your own kitchen kettle becomes the water cooler and home and work frustrations happen under one roof.

I am going to start by sharing my experience of working with my wife at home. My desk is upstairs in one of the bedrooms, my wife works from the kitchen table. For most of the time, this is fine but if I decide to chop some vegetables for lunch while she is struggling to finish a report, it allows her to demonstrate your command of colourful but less commonly used words for genitals. I now know to WhatsApp her before entering her place of work uninvited and that being called a Venus honeypot is not a term of endearment.

As your living space starts to take on new roles, establishing physical boundaries during set times can help, however, rooms serving multiple purposes, especially bedrooms, can cause other problems but more of that later.

During the 9-5, we all strive to put work first and focus, as much as possible, on the task at hand. But what happens when both of you have a video call simultaneously, is one person is very loud, do you have enough bandwidth, and if you add children into the mix, who gets priority to have the call in peace and quiet.

David, a director of a 200 site retail business, explains more. “We got three teenage kids at home, all of them well-behaved and lovely, but there are times when both myself and my wife need to do video calls. This can mean asking the kids to stop streaming Netflix or chatting to friends online. And then dealing with the fallout of this needs to be dealt with by one person who should be on a call. My wife works in public health so ultimately her calls are more important than mine, so she gets priority every time even if that is frustrating.”

And that leads nicely onto the subsequent point, how do you successfully create a buffer between your work and your home? Yes, it’s wonderful to stick in a load of washing between Zoom calls but it’s hard to rant about your unreasonable co-worker when that co-worker is your husband. Don’t moan to your real work colleagues, they don’t want to become marriage councillors.

For many, the commute home was time to unwind and clear the head, some personal time between work and home to reset. Alex, a management consultant, has created her own buffer. “At 5.30 I down tools put on my coat and take the dog out. Barney must hear about all the ups and downs of my day, but he never seems to mind much and by the time we get home I am ready to be the person who my partner chose to be with, and not Alex the boss. Get a dog!”

Balancing being a husband/wife, a good employee and a good parent has proven exhausting for many. Those of us who are used to giving 100% to work and to our families will naturally be tough on ourselves. Carl, a director at a large advertising agency, sums it up well. “I constantly feel like I am letting everyone down. I can’t be an outstanding employee while looking after my kids, I can’t be an awesome dad when I have to keep checking my phone, and being a superb husband has slipped down the priorities, and I still need to carve some time out to be myself”

And before we end a though from the bedroom office of a friend who will remain nameless, “lunch breaks have become a time to reconnect with my wife, wonderful hours of un children interrupting intimacy… I just have to make sure I have ended my last video call…”

But we will all find a way through it, we’ll take lunch together, we’ll find our rhythms, and remember our loved ones will be sharing our lives with us far longer than our jobs will so working out who should take priority should be simple.

Doogheno selected as one on 17 global Lemlist partners

Doogheno has been selected as one of just 17 companies globally to become a partner of Lemlist.

Lemlist is the first email outreach platform that allows you to automatically generate personalized images and videos. 

Doogheno has been successfully using Lemlist for client campaigns for a number of years.

As well as high levels of innovative customisation, Lemlist also enables exceptional delivery for targeted email campaigns.

ICO Registration

Every business or sole trader that processes personal data – emails and the like – need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office ICO.
The cost starts at £40 per year and goes up depending on the size of the business.
Some businesses are exempt from assigning a Data Protection Officer but it’s good practice to do so.
Here is a link https://ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/Entry/ZA792395 to our registration.

Prospecting in Uncertain Times – what we learned in the credit crunch that we can apply now

COVID-19 coronavirus, finance and crisis concept, US president Franklin`s eyes and face mask on 100 dollar money bill. Corona virus affects global stock market. World economy hit by pandemic fears.

Business hasn’t stopped, it never does but we are all exposed to the disruption to business as a result of Covid-19. 

The question which has come up the most in conversations I’ve had over the last two weeks is “should be marketing or prospecting at all during this time?”. To answer that I’m gonna draw parallels to the disruption in 2008 was the start of the credit crunch as this was the last major disruption to businesses.

And this will be where we will be in the coming next 3 to 6 months. Take a look at what you can do to change your sales and marketing during this time to ensure that the exit this crisis in the best possible position.

You have to accept that the deals in your pipeline at the beginning of March may never bear fruit when this crisis is over. And it will be over. Do not let yourself find yourself in a position of zero when the rest of your sector has maintained activity and have a healthy pipeline.

What Should We Do?

I will start by recognising that many businesses are not only surviving during this time but thriving. These industries include logistics, e-commerce and IT. Using IT is an example, companies need new connectivity, unified communications tools such as video conferencing, remote working solutions, devices and security to cover the new homeworkers. For IT companies now is the time that they can help their customers and speed up digital transformation programs. But even they will need to adjust how they market and sell.

Outbound 

Outbound marketing and sales prospecting will be harder and your expectations of outcomes should be tempered. It’s unlikely that people will be ready to make decisions as fast as before, going in for a quick close is likely to result in disappointment. People are worried about their own jobs and the jobs of their team, for many of them this is a number one priority and an unsolicited cold approach will be ignored. 

If you are continuing cold calling the remember a lot of your target will be at home and even if I have the phone redirected to them they may not be in the position to welcome the call as they possibly juggling childcare and work. Your call could well be a real imposition on their work/home balance so expect to get the cold shoulder. A better approach would be to use other methods such as email and connecting over social media to arrange a more convenient time to call. 

If you are using email then you should be aware of the current situation and again not looking for a hard sell. Anything that you do should be tied into some high-value content that will help your prospect. Don’t try to present your sales pitch as help, offering an extra 14 days on a trial isn’t helping anyone. Either offer real help or talk about what will be at the end of this. And at this time when we’re all thinking about our family and friends make sure that your emails are highly personalised and showing a human side to your business, don’t ever send out non targeted spammy emails this is a waste of your time and can ruin the reputation of you and your company.

Digital Marketing

It is time to embrace and expand your digital marketing strategies. These will be essential for growing your pipeline during this time. If you haven’t ever focused on these then now is the time to start doing so. Many companies are panicking and cutting back spending, so this means less competition, we are seeing the cost of acquisition dropping by 75% in some industries, which makes it an ideal time to be prospecting even if you have a lower budget. It is a good way to repurpose the budget that had been put-aside for trade shows and physical events. This is an area which when done well can produce a low-cost lead but when done badly can burn cash. Don’t rush into this if you are not experienced without speaking to someone who can help you plan and execute this properly

That is my only sales pitch in this article! 

Inbound Marketing 

People who are continuing to work with often have more time as they are not travelling or in as many meetings. Many are using this time to educate themselves and research products and services for when their businesses are back running at full speed.

Your marketing strategy should be aligned to this increased awareness phase. If you are not using inbound marketing techniques then you really should be adopting them immediately. They take a while to bear fruit but this is the time to be doubling down on your content, working on relevant keywords to boost you SEO, in the knowledge that acting during this time will give you a lead over your competitors. 

Provide your future prospects with high-quality content that is relevant for the awareness stage of the buyers’ journey. This isn’t about selling your product at this stage, it’s about building authority and trust. During this time you should be attracting a lot of interest in your content. This will result in an increased pipeline but because of companies being risk-averse you will not be able to progress the sales at the rate that you are used to. So, it is more important than ever to make sure you have set up a lead nurturing sequence to move these sales through your pipeline. Don’t leave it to the sales guys who will jump on the lead and try to close it there and then – you will lose good opportunities gained during this time by overeagerness and only for them to be forgotten over the coming months. Create a lead nurturing sequences with relevant content and use marketing automation to take care of this and never lose an opportunity through the inevitable forgetting distant prospects. 

Think about what stage in the buyers’ journey your prospect is at and expect them to spend longer in the awareness and consideration phase than they normally would. 

You need to directly address the prospects in your existing pipeline. Aim for pipeline clarity even if this means removing unrealistic opportunities that were looking great a month ago. Pipeline vanity will not result in sales, it will just hide the problem. Be there to answer difficult questions for your prospects; the initial problems you may have been helping your customers with might have changed. Don’t be frightened of hearing projects are being pulled because right now you’re better to know where you stand than to falsely think you’re in a good position.

Decision making will be put on hold. People are going to be incredibly risk-averse. Now is not the time to go in for a hard close. Be sensitive to the situation, there is a lot of uncertainty, people maybe have family members who are under threat of losing their job or unwell.

It Will End So Be Ready

The landscape will change over the coming months, people are planning about what they’re doing when they come out of the other side and when we do come out it will happen quickly. We can’t ignore the situation but we must not get caught up in it and end up doing nothing. If a business is to survive it we need to continue prospecting and build a pipeline. How we do that needs to change. The results that we are expecting need to be more realistic. But to stop prospecting and marking right now is a surefire way to damage the longer-term success of your business. Your marketing mix will need to change and it needs to reflect the environment we are operating but now it’s time to increase your efforts in the right areas to ensure your business survives or even thrives during this period. 

Busy busy busy

It’s been a busy time here at Doogheno, so busy that we have found ourselves almost at the end of August, how did that happen?

We have been working with some more new customers. One is a biopharma start-up that is looking to raise £25 million for expansion into the Americas. We have produced their pitch material including a detailed Information Memorandum.

We are working with another start-up that is looking to raise £350k and we are working on their pitch deck at the moment.

And we have started working with a cloud service provider, which is right up my street and we are creating content for them.

Also we have just completed the third annual survey of UK technology adoption for ServiceteamIT and the results of that will be published shortly.

Update

The biopharma company is now getting their first factory into production and are in discussions about raising funds and licencing their product across the globe. We are very pleased to have been able to get them to them to this stage. As a side project we also created their branding.

The startup looking to raise got into to an incubator and is going great guns. we are still working with them and look forward to providing them with more services going forward. We support their business and probably do a little too much without charging them but we are nice people and so are they!

The new cloud service provider is based in Ghana and targeting the UK market. Ghana has a fantastic untapped talent pool. They are now providing data engineers working on UK projects. They can provide two for the price of one UK based data engineers and they have access to candidates who will go on to work for the likes of Facebook and Google.

And we have been engaged again this year for the fourth annual survey for ServiceTeam IT. This year the focus is around the impact of COVID-19 on digital transformation for UK business.

Doogheno growth marketing combines digital marketing best practice, content driven inbound marketing to inform and shape the conversation across all platforms, growth hacking to increase your close rate and solid sales principles updated for the way your customers buy today.
Doogheno has experience across the board of working with technology companies. Set up to bridge the gap between sales and marketing so that you win more business and keep more customers. Many of our team have carried their own sales targets so know the value of great creative marketing. Doogheno isn’t just about making things look good, it’s about filling the sales funnel and driving sales through to a close. We are passionate about growing your business so we don’t mince words, we don’t bluff and guess, we work with you to achieve your strategic business goal. We have opened up opportunities in EMC, Lidl, Legal and General, GSK, Ticketmaster and Vodafone amongst many others for our clients in the past 12 months. 

More Customer Wins

In the last month or so we have started working with some exciting new customers.

They include:

Resilience Energy – a solar energy company that just went through a successful CrowdCube fund raising.

Resilience Energy are releasing and AI platform that helps consumers make the most of their green energy generation services. The innovative platform connects their storage device (battery) and allows them to charge it efficiently and to sell excess power back top the grid.

Reslience Energy are not the first energy company we have worked with but their focus on the renewable energy sector fits firmly with our own ethos.

The Difference Engine – a recruitment company for the tech sector, run by people who have been there and done it themselves.

Their clients are looking for highly specialist skills from their candidates. Machine learning and AI feature high on their list of requirements. Doogheno will be building their audience with these clients by providing highly relevant social media engagement. It might stretch our understanding of Python but we are always up for a challenge.

Woodalls – they supply appliances to the trade.

Woodalls are a long established white goods supplier to the trade and are looking to increase their order volume and win new customers. To us this is a classic B2B sale, where its about the relationship and service but ulimately the commercials have to work.

we are leading with an email campaign to get the opportunity to do the first quote for each customer. Early indcations show a 55% email open rate from cold so we are certain that this will deliver results for them.

SCC – a two billion Euro MSP who has flown under the radar for far too long.

We have been engaged to run a number of campaigns including one for HPE and Veritas. The focus in new logo sales and focuses on social selling. This includes ghost writing LinkedIn articles, social media engagement and a LinkedIn outreach campaign.

Doogheno growth marketing combines digital marketing best practice, content driven inbound marketing to inform and shape the conversation across all platforms, growth hacking to increase your close rate and solid sales principles updated for the way your customers buy today.
Doogheno has experience across the board of working with technology companies. Set up to bridge the gap between sales and marketing so that you win more business and keep more customers. Many of our team have carried their own sales targets so know the value of great creative marketing. Doogheno isn’t just about making things look good, it’s about filling the sales funnel and driving sales through to a close. We are passionate about growing your business so we don’t mince words, we don’t bluff and guess, we work with you to achieve your strategic business goal. We have opened up opportunities in EMC, Lidl, Legal and General, GSK, Ticketmaster and Vodafone amongst many others for our clients in the past 12 months. 

ManyChat Agency Partner

ManyChat Agency Partner

Doogheno are pleased to announce that they are now an ManyChat Agency Partner. We use ManyChat mainly with our Facebook advertising clients to add chatbots which help close more customers for a lower cost.

Messenger marketing is quickly changing the way people connect with companies online. Our mission is to help businesses grow by building meaningful relationships with their customers. ManyChat makes it easy to grow your Messenger audience by providing a complete set of tools to convert anyone into a subscriber. Whether you already have an audience or are just starting out – we’ve got you covered. Messenger is the most engaging channel with average 80% open rates and 4 to 10 times higher CTRs compared to email.

We have experienced some fantastic success with customers using chatbots.

Now more then ever being able to service customers online whenever they want to communicate and buy is essential. You and your team cannot be available around the clock but a chatbot can.

You can use your chatbot to:

Provide out of hours support

Let prospects book appointments and meetings directly with you

Qualify prospects

When you are reviewing how you go to market and service your customers in this post COVID-19 world you should look at how chatbots can make your business more efficient and how you can win more business.

Doogheno provide multiple chatbot platforms for our customer.

We provide chatbots built on Manychat for Facebook Messenger, IBM Watson based Chatbots, Hubspot chatbots and can build full custom bots for clients.

Our chatbot building process includes understanding your brand communication style, building the logic, building the messaging and deploying the chatbot. We will then manage the chatbot service.

To find out more contact our team.

Doogheno growth marketing combines digital marketing best practice, content driven inbound marketing to inform and shape the conversation across all platforms, growth hacking to increase your close rate and solid sales principles updated for the way your customers buy today.
Doogheno has experience across the board of working with technology companies. Set up to bridge the gap between sales and marketing so that you win more business and keep more customers. Many of our team have carried their own sales targets so know the value of great creative marketing. Doogheno isn’t just about making things look good, it’s about filling the sales funnel and driving sales through to a close. We are passionate about growing your business so we don’t mince words, we don’t bluff and guess, we work with you to achieve your strategic business goal. We have opened up opportunities in EMC, Lidl, Legal and General, GSK, Ticketmaster and Vodafone amongst many others for our clients in the past 12 months. 

Remember ASPs anyone?

Having worked in the world of cloud before it was called cloud (remember ASPs anyone?) I am still excited to see the continual developments that cloud computing enables. 

Platforms such as Microsoft Azure and AWS provide so many additional services built on their core cloud technology.  Here we think nothing of spinning up a virtual desktop on AWS to run testing or  building Chatbots that use multiple cloud services to deliver a great end user experience. 

And this week’s CloudExpo Europe at Excel in London is a very real example of where the cloud market has gone.  Under the CloudExpo banner are colocated shows including Cloud and Cyber Security Expo, Smart IOT, Big Data and AI World.  All demonstrating how cloud has enabled all businesses access to technology that if it had existed 15 years ago would have required large dedicated in-house infrastructure and crucially expensive and hard to come by technical expertise to set it all up. 

When I was involved in early desktop virtualisation projects companies had 10-20 or so applications to virtualise.

We host no services internally and use over 75 cloud based services to deliver services to our customers. 

We use Google, Microsoft and Amazon AWS and services for core applications and then what seems a never ending list of applications like Coda.io and Slack. 

Running a business like ours would not have been possible 10 years ago.  Our infrastructure costs would have crippled up. 

Not that the cloud isn’t without its own issues and businesses are acutely aware of the death by a thousand cuts that the small monthly bills inflict when they are totalled up.  When you move out of the free tier of these services the $30 a user a month bills rack up quickly. 

We have created a stack for marketing automation for small business which we use for our customers.  It does 95% of what something like Hubspot delivers but for a fraction of the price and integrates with more third party platforms.  This is something we couldn’t have achieved even 5 years ago. 

So as I walk round CloudExpo Europe this week I will be looking for more ways to bring this technology to our customers.  

And I’ll be popping into the Blockchain Expo, too early for most of our customers but the future is now and we help our customers access the future. 

Possible Brexit Outcomes and What They Mean to Your Business

In recent research of over 1,000 British companies, it was found that just 20 per cent of businesses said they have started planning for multiple possible outcomes from the Brexit negotiations. The research, Beyond the Cloud: UK Technology Research 2018 carried out by ServiceteamIT and Doogheno also showed that 45 per cent had no plan to make adjustments, with 35 per cent saying they now recognise the need to start planning.

For all that has been written about Brexit, and the ongoing debate whether its right or wrong reality is that the Government has already triggered Article 50 and the end of March 2019 we will leave the EU. And this will impact business. This may be with a long transition period or it may be an abrupt break. Potentially we will still have frictionless trade with the EU and have access to new trade deals around the world, however, it is highly likely that whatever the outcome it will be disruptive to business. While only 10 per cent of survey respondents felt that Brexit has already had an impact on their business so far 31 per cent believe it will be the biggest signal external cause facing their business in the next year.

No one can be clear at this point of what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be, from the wildly optimistic to the doomsayers predicting food shortages and planes being grounded. But businesses need to cut through the conjecture and look at the possible realities they could be facing.

Norway Style Brexit – the UK effectively remaining a member of the EU without influence and voting rights, still working to EU law, accepting freedom of movement and having frictionless trade with the rest of Europe. While technically this would be delivering Brexit based on the terms of the referendum it would be very unpopular with many leave voters and it is unlikely that the Government will pursue this approach as it crosses multiple of the red lines set out for negotiation.

Bespoke – The Government’s preferred Chequers solution is to have a deal like no other country given our unique history and relationship with the European Union. This outcome is the hardest to negotiate and while there has been some agreement there has been frustratingly slow progress in the negotiations, with both sides feeling that the other is being unreasonable. It is highly complex having to untangle decades of legislation and even if a broad stroke agreement is reached it will take years of additional negotiation to define and agree on all the elements. The Government is under considerable pressure to not have an extended transition period from within its own ranks but an extended period would be needed to minimise the possible impact on business and citizens of both the UK and the EU. It is becoming increasingly likely that not all the terms could be agreed before the end of March 2019 so there may be an extended transition period where the UK would abide by EU law even though Britain would not be a part of the EU. This would free the UK to open trade deal talks with other countries while having space to plan an orderly exit without it being likened to falling off a cliff. For business, this would mean a smoother transition but it would also extend the period of uncertainty about what rules and regulations they would need to operate under and hamper planning for the coming years.

Canada plus plus plus deal – (modelled on the 2016 deal EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that took 7 years to negotiate)
Favoured by the Brexitiers as it achieves most of their wishes; it removes 99% of the trade barriers but it is not built around the single market and require additional regulation. But there are many exclusions still making it hard to trade with the EU. And it doesn’t resolve the Irish border issue.

No Deal Brexit – If the UK and the EU fail to come to any agreement, then there is a high possibility of a no deal Brexit or hard Brexit. In this worst-case scenario, the UK would have no access to the EU market, there would be no recognition of mutual laws and regulations, the UK would fall back on World Trade Organisation tariffs and the UK would be the only country in the world without a single trade deal. If a no deal Brexit is looking likely then it is possible that the UK and the EU may agree to extend the negotiation time. As no deal would impact both parties, and negotiations are moving in the right direction all be it slowly, this is becoming an increasingly likely scenario. While it will ultimately allow for a better outcome it does also mean an extension to the period of uncertainty which will result in a decision making paralysis for many businesses.

Restart the whole process
– There are growing calls for a second referendum, or a people’s vote, on the final deal. It is possible that parliament may not have the stomach to pass a deal which they know is not in the best interest of the country and defer their decision making again to the people of the country. This could be in the form of a second referendum or a general election. At the time of writing this outcome is highly unlikely but if voting changed in line with the current projections it could result in business as usual with Europe, although the political fallout would undoubtedly be disruptive.

As the final outcome is unknown businesses should now be planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

Not all companies have shied away from being public about their planning Airbus, for example, have said they are starting to stockpile parts which are normally just in time, 50 London-based banks have approached Eurozone banking regulators about relocating key services and BMW have said they may have to stop production entirely in the UK. While some of the statements by business have been politically motived, such as Amazons warning about civil unrest within 2 weeks of Brexit, much of it is industry experts understanding the full impact of the disruption to their businesses.

To provide some clarity the UK Government is releasing guidance to business and citizens about the possible impact of a no deal Brexit. The EU has already issued 60 preparedness notices that layout its position if the negotiations result in no deal. The effect of the no deal positions is far-reaching, covering aviation, agriculture and industry sectors including technology. Every industry should be preparing for each outcome. The impact on technology used across all industries goes from the fairly trivial such as revoking .eu domain names too far more complex, such as the transfer of EU citizens data to a third country. In the event of a hard no deal Brexit the UK would become a third country at the end of March 2019. And while GDPR would be incorporated into UK law the European Commission would need to make an Adequacy Decision for data to be transferred to and from the UK, meaning that it considers that the third country in question ensures an ‘adequate’ level of data protection. This would not be guaranteed and it certainly would be instant.

Understanding the potential impact of such rulings is the responsibility of business both in the UK and the EU and it should be undertaken immediately.

I am a Brexit Advisor for Enterprise Nation covering marketing, so if you want to discuss this let me know.