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The Department of International Trade’s Export Strategy is an initiative aimed at helping British businesses to explore and make the most of opportunities to market themselves globally.  Export Champions have been selected as a crucial part of this strategy to encourage, educate and inspire businesses to begin this journey, and we are proud that Crowd has been chosen as a Champion for the third year running. 

We are one of the 30 champions of the South West region of the UK. There is a program of events and materials available to help businesses to realise their growth potential. As members of the Export Champion community, we are helping to create a movement that inspires more UK companies to grow through international sales and increase their exports.

Crowd is a global company that works closely on a variety of marketing solutions with many successful results. We are proud of the work we do and are honoured to be recognised as being a great candidate for a third year running. 

Take a look at our previous work with the Department of International Trade: Exporting to North America – support available for SMEs in Southern England and Export Champion Panel (Vimeo login required).

Speak to us about taking your business into new countries or global.

Crowd has launched the ‘Put A Dorset Spring in your Step’ social media campaign for Visit Dorset to promote the region and encourage visitors to book staycations this year. 

The campaign was originally planned to launch in early 2020 but had to be put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic began.  We’re excited to be part of this project to help celebrate the home region of our headquarters and all that it has to offer.

The campaign creative route has been adapted to be mindful of the post pandemic landscape and shifts in consumer priorities when travelling.  Each creative execution is tailored for one of three target audiences: Young Professionals, Families and Empty Nesters.  

Our creative strategy uses a collection of impactful photography from across the region to promote different activities and experiences that will appeal to each audience, from long walks along the epic Jurassic Coast, to enjoying fine local cuisine, or a great day out with the kids at Monkey World. 

The campaign is currently active on Facebook and Instagram, directing people to the Visit Dorset website to find out more information and make bookings.

 

 

A metaverse is defined as a network of 3D virtual worlds with a focus on social interactions and connections. It is a fully immersive environment with endless possibilities of what you can do. You have complete control of your avatar’s life. Many virtual worlds have their own digital economy, where users can spend money on items such as clothing, cars, activities and other assets.

11 Metaverse is a brand new gaming space within the metaverse and Crowd have been engaged to launch it to the real world. 

11 Metaverse is a cross-blockchain protocol, providing a host for shared virtual worlds with a range of arcade and metaverse-backed games. The infrastructure is intended for users who want to explore play-to-earn games and game developers who wish to use a cross-blockchain ecosystem and work with crypto-currencies. 

The platform is under development and will include a variety of virtual reality games and worlds for the user to explore and fully immerse themselves into. Along with having their own native token (11META) within the game, 11 Metaverse have a unique approach to how their ecosystem will work. Everything about a user’s character, the user will own and have unique rights to customise their virtual avatar. All NFT assets will be available to trade on the native marketplace or an external marketplace. There will also be play-to-win opportunities, in which you can win in-game tokens from tournaments, races, defeating opponents and many other integrated games. 

The Crowd team began by creating the 11 Metaverse identity, website and brand collateral including the Whitepaper and Investor Presentation.

Crowd has also undertaken the mammoth yet exciting task of creating a global online community of enthusiasts, as well as investors, across various social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord and Telegram. This was created from our research which spanned across a global footprint, consisting of analysis of the biggest metaverse projects in the industry as well as best practices. These learnings were then utilised to plan a launch strategy and an action roadmap, which will be deployed in the foreseeable future.

We are very excited to work on this new project as the metaverse begins to gain momentum.

Speak to us about setting up in the metaverse!

SXSW is an intensive 10 day festival with a multitude of industries coming together to inspire each other and learn. Enterprises including, tech, film, music, education, and culture host many insightful lectures and events on current topics and the latest trends.

Crowd has attended for the past few years as representatives of the Department of International Trade (DIT) who help showcase UK businesses on a global scale. The DIT lead a series of events and roundtable discussions at the UK House venue, which Crowd partook in. This yearly festival was previously held virtually due to the pandemic so it was great to experience the intimate feel and real-life buzz of having the event in person again in Austin, Texas. There was so much to learn and experience so we have collated a few of our favourite key takeaways.

 

NFT’s will continue to grow

SXSW had a lot of information about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) and how they are on the rise with applications for many different industries. We now see that platforms like Instagram are starting to introduce NFT’s and many artists are now turning to them as a way to gain higher profit from their work – as well as a deeper connection and engagement with their fanbase. There is still some work to do to change the perception that many people have about NFT’s (they’ve been called ‘overpriced jpegs’), but we believe that NFT’s will soon become more mainstream and a common part of everyday life.

 

Hologram selfies and the unavoidable Metaverse

SXSW is at the cutting edge of technology and augmented reality but this year there was even more buzz about the future of the virtual world. We walked into many rooms with people wearing virtual reality headsets experiencing a range of different realities and games. There was also a big emphasis on the Metaverse coming our way, whether society felt ready or not. We need to try and use it for good, for people to connect and experience things they may not be able to within the real world.

We saw some of the best applications of this technology for healthcare, working more closely with professional teams and education. This year’s winner of the SXSW Extended Reality and Immersive Technology competition was Matsuko who promises to allow users to “experience true holographic presence using just a smartphone.” This is an exciting game-changer for the technology world. Who knows what it may mean if the average person can create holograms of themselves and share in the digital world. We also expect to see a shift in how people value, and increasingly invest in, their digital avatars over their physical selves.

The exclusive industry of space tourism

Demand for space tourism is on the rise and within the next few years, we should see the first commercial space travel beginning. However, this industry is extremely exclusive at the moment. SXSW hosted a range of startups and new technologies that are starting to make this sci-fi dream happen – along with a hefty price tag. For $50K you can take a 7-8 hour long journey up into the stratosphere and see Earth from above. More affordable approaches or the next best thing are impressive simulations with excellent videography but minus the zero gravity and carbon emissions!

Brand authenticity and truth-telling

This year’s event had a lot of focus and discussion around the importance of brands communicating and operating with clear authenticity and a meaningful purpose, which especially appeals to the Gen Z audience. This audience will seek out businesses that align with their own values, and hold the buying power.

Therefore, how a brand delivers itself to market and its values around sustainability, equality and diversity are key in achieving that audience cut through. Brands that are not considering their environmental and societal impact, or not staying true to their messaging, will be called out very quickly.

Re-shuffling of the 9 to 5 working lifestyle

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a global mindset shift about the way we work and support employees. Many white collared roles experienced new flexibility that remote working offers and businesses have had to listen to their employee’s experiences from this.

It is now not about just tracking employees by hours spent but tracking the work achieved. Supporting employee development is absolutely critical. There has been much debate as to whether it is better to let the employees customise their working style to their individual needs and how they know they work best, while still ensuring people work effectively and cohesively as teams.

 

Crowd are always at the forefront of industry thinking and can use these insights to help promote your product or brand internationally. Get in touch today to discuss your project.

CROWD INSPIRE YOUTH WITH MARKETING CAREERS GUIDANCE

On 17th March, Crowd attended The Careers and Apprenticeship Show at the BIC in Bournemouth, hosted by Silicon South with fellow agencies April6, Adido and BBD Boom.

This event showcased businesses and opportunities for careers and apprenticeships for young adults in the South West area. Our Web Developer Intern, Alex Veats, represented Crowd and educated GCSE and Sixth Form students about exciting careers in marketing and the work of Silicon South and marketing agencies in the South.

Alex said “A lot of students were very interested in the front end development work and the social media marketing that Crowd does. Most of the young adults didn’t know what an agency was before talking to us but by the end, a lot of them said they were very interested in pursuing a career.”

Crowd have always maintained a strong relationship with academic centres offering both careers guidance and lecturing on courses at local universities. We are proud that some of our brightest stars were recruited directly from the university and we’ve seen them flourish as part of our global team.

We look forward to seeing what talent may join the Crowd team after these events and hope to inspire many more young adults in the future.

 

REACHING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FOR RALSA

RALSA (Regional Accredited Language Schools Association) connects international students with quality English language tuition in safe, secure and professionally-accredited institutes, all located within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the UK.

Crowd has been working with RALSA to show that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are the best places in the UK for foreign students to learn English. These areas are not only beautiful but are very student-friendly and the language schools associated with RALSA are excellent.

We have created a new website with pages that profile the member schools, making it easier for visitors to compare the different schools.

Over the next few weeks, we will be creating a global marketing campaign with geo-targeted ads, specifically on Instagram and Facebook. We aim to drive traffic to the website and connect with talented students worldwide. Crowd’s design team will be creating graphics for the social media posts to excite students and showcase the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch areas.

We have also created a customised reporting dashboard to help RALSA understand where their traffic is coming from allowing them to optimise future marketing activity and boost enquiries for their member schools. We also track which schools are proving popular which will help RALSA understand what international students are looking for in a language school.

If you’d like to reach a global audience with your marketing, get in touch with one of our marketing experts today.

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS!

Last week Google finally gave notice that support for the current Universal Analytics (UA) version of Google Analytics will be retired on 1st July 2023.

This will be replaced by the new GA4 giving all users a year to get used to the new system which is completely different from the current version. For anyone who has played with GA4, outwardly it appears to offer a similar, but less comprehensive set of data than we’re used to.

However, it uses a completely new way of recording and processing data which means that there is no migration between the current Universal Analytics and the new platform. This means that historical data collected in UA will not be transferable to GA4. There will be no way to compare data between GA4 and UA within the GA4 environment.

The key drivers for the new GA4 platform are to try and provide a more accurate picture of web data using AI to ‘fill in the blanks’ which are an issue of widespread ad blocker use and the phasing out of third party cookies which impact the amount of data collected by UA.

Crowd are working on an upgrade path for our clients to ensure continuity of data collection over the transition period and suggests running both properties simultaneously for a time to compare differences in data. This may help us to provide that link between old and new and produce dashboards that provide an accurate continuity over time.

We’ll be in touch with our clients soon about upgrade strategies, but if you’d like to discuss how this may affect your data, please do get in touch.

 

 EXPORT MONTH REPORT DELIVERS INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

As part of this year’s Export Month, UKAEG has released their Fourth Annual Export Report. It shares many interesting insights and important information including the very first data on how exports responded to the global Covid-19 lockdowns and Crowd has been featured.

The world was heavily affected by the pandemic with many industries in the UK struggling. However, the Export report revealed that in 2020, international trade in the UK advertising and market research services was worth £11.7bn, which has sustained at the same level since before the pandemic began in 2019.

With the difficulties of a global lockdown and the prohibition of face to face visits, UK exporters in the advertising industry were expected to be challenged but the balance of payments remained steady and still received excellent results, bringing the UK a stable £5 billion trade plus surplus.

Data has been collected from an analysis by the advertising industry think tank of data (Credos) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data revealed the success of the Advertising and market research services has resulted in being in third place beside comparable industries in 2020, following after insurance and pension services and computer services.

The US remains the largest recipient of UK exports, receiving £1.2bn worth of advertising and market research services, followed by Spain and then Germany. “The advertising industry deserves recognition for its effort and hard work to maintain £11.7bn export revenue in 2020,” said Mike Freer MP, Minister for Exports, calling it a “tremendous performance during such a challenging period”.

Courtesy of the Advertising Association, you can download the full UK Advertising Export Report here (we’re on page 33)

Looking to take your business overseas in a challenging climate? Speak to us today.

2U WIN FOR CROWD SPAIN

2U is an organisation that partners with top universities around the globe to transform digital higher education through a combination of industry-leading online education technology and brand stewardship.

They partner with universities and corporate partners using their online learning platform, edX, for online education and to ‘unlock human potential’ utilising the global reach that technology can provide.

Launching their coding Bootcamp with IE University in Madrid, 2U called on Crowd for help. We were asked to create a marketing strategy that included local efforts to build their presence in Spain and drive enrolments for their online classes.

Crowd’s main focuses to boost 2U’s marketing includes:

  • A social media audit and strategy
  • An SEO audit and strategy
  • A local keyword analysis for paid search

We are also currently running a 3-month paid campaign on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, focusing on awareness, consideration and conversion to ultimately drive enrolments for their classes.

If you’d like to speak to us about marketing your services, then get in touch!

HELPING MYAKO GLOW WITH CONFIDENCE

 Crowd has recently created a new proposition for its long-standing client myAko, an online learning platform. We first started working with the brand in 2018 when we created their name, brand identity and accompanying brand guidelines, as well as designing their website and marketing assets which launched them successfully to market.

myAko allows people to study and complete courses, programs or accreditations that are required to maintain the appropriate compliance levels at work, as well as supporting other staff management functionality such as performance reviews, career development, staff rotas, holidays and a library of reference and training materials.

Until recently, myAko has been focused on the health and social care sector, but in 2021 the business started to expand into new sectors, including education, transport and logistics.

To enable myAko to expand into new areas and sectors, we were tasked with creating a new future-proof proposition. After intensive audience and landscape research, we developed ‘Learning with Purpose’ which aims to empower people by showing the real-life benefits that learning new skills can have on your work and personal life. With the proposition in place, the next step was a new launch video.

Inspired by the warm glow of achievement that people can feel after learning something new, we developed the ‘myAko glow’, illustrated by the brand colours creating an aurora around people. This positive, and eye-catching visual will be seen in both the video, the website, and other marketing materials, and proudly shows the emotive benefits of learning, as opposed to the logical, technical approach that myAko’s competitors normally use.

We will now be working closely with myAko to develop and execute marketing campaigns to keep on supporting its business growth.

If you’d like to give your branding a boost, why not get in touch?

​​Stirling Ackroyd has been a Crowd client for many years and briefed us to help them become the market leader within London and the South East.

Inspired by Stirling Ackroyd’s 149 years of experience, we created the proposition: It pays to have experience behind you. This simple idea combined the brand’s unarguable knowledge with the consumer benefit of enjoying a higher return.

This new creative route was brought to life with powerful imagery utilising the brand’s iconic logo – the legendary London griffin. This visual approach separated the brand from other estate agents who lacked the same level of respectability and heritage.

To ensure brand awareness Crowd produced an omni-channel campaign including radio, out of home, video, social, and a complete redesign and rebuild of the company website.

Crowd’s ground-up rebuild using the WordPress platform, focussed on usability and provides the visitor with easy access to a range of tools designed to make it as easy possible to find that perfect home to buy or rent.

The build involved producing a customised integration of WP Property Hive plugin that connects to the Reapit property data. This included customised search and property detail templates, and contact forms linked to the property’s assigned branch in a manner not native to the base plugin. The functions include flexible page builder within the CMS and an array of alternative layout options and configurations to meet the client’s varying types of content. The form actions also include dynamic event tracking.

Stirling Ackroyd offer a range of property services and these are covered through a simple and clear navigation system with key activities highlighted with calls to action that leap from the page.

We look forward to continue working with this fantastic brand and if you’re in London and Surrey, keep a look out for the Stirling Ackroyd out of home campaign launching soon!

Crowd offer a full suite of marketing services, why not give your brand a boost and get in touch?

 

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) is a multilateral development financial institution founded in 1975 by the ten Arab oil-exporting countries, providing corporate banking and investment solutions in the energy sector across the Middle-East.

When Crowd were first introduced in August 2021, APICORP were going through an important transition in business operations with green-energy initiatives and required a creative agency with experience in sustainability to tackle the challenge of revamping their new website, capture their value proposition and drive key messaging to stakeholders through an interactive online experience.

Whilst also supporting their corporate communication department with creative services including the launch of their ESG and Green Bond Framework reports, Investor presentations and other comms collateral, our strategy team started the website process by conducting a landscape review and competitor analysis. Through data gathering, we were able to identify and define a keyword strategy that would shape our SEO approach when planning content requirements for the new website. 

The new multilingual platform is built in WordPress and caters for both English and Arabic users, providing complete flexibility for internal teams to control future page updates and new page creations.

Since APICORP’s core audiences are targeting global investors, bankers, researchers and journalists, another important requirement was to develop a dynamic media centre that would feature both new and archived media including webinars, interviews, podcasts and press releases. We worked with the client to categorise these resources with filtering functions which would support the positioning of APICORP as thought leaders and industry experts.

Encouraging personal development and career growth plays an important role at APICORP. To capture this core value in the most authentic way, we worked with a Saudi-based production company to produce five short videos that delivered employee work culture benefits and featured these on both the Home and Career sections of the new site.

Overall, the website has been very well received both internally and externally with positive feedback on both usability and creativity. We delivered a best-in-breed website combining subtle animations and micro-interactions to make the content feel dynamic and interactive. 

To visit the website, go to https://www.apicorp.org/.

Why not take a look at our sustainability ebook which includes insights on how you can bring your environmental efforts to life through your marketing? You can download the ebook here.

If you need help in creating a world class website for your brand or organisation, get in touch!

 

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) is a multilateral development financial institution founded in 1975 by the ten Arab oil-exporting countries, providing corporate banking and investment solutions in the energy sector across the Middle East.

When Crowd were first introduced in August 2021, APICORP were going through an important transition in business operations with green-energy initiatives and required a creative agency with experience in sustainability to tackle the challenge of revamping their new website, capture their value proposition and drive key messaging to stakeholders through an interactive online experience.

Whilst also supporting their corporate communication department with creative services including the launch of their ESG and Green Bond Framework reports, Investor presentations and other comms collateral, our strategy team started the website process by conducting a landscape review and competitor analysis. Through data gathering, we were able to identify and define a keyword strategy that would shape our SEO approach when planning content requirements for the new website. 

The new multilingual platform is built in WordPress and caters for both English and Arabic users, providing complete flexibility for internal teams to control future page updates and new page creations.

Since APICORP’s core audiences are targeting global investors, bankers, researchers and journalists, another important requirement was to develop a dynamic media centre that would feature both new and archived media including webinars, interviews, podcasts and press releases. We worked with the client to categorise these resources with filtering functions that would support the positioning of APICORP as thought leaders and industry experts.

Encouraging personal development and career growth plays an important role at APICORP. To capture this core value most authentically, we worked with a Saudi-based production company to produce five short videos that delivered employee work culture benefits and featured these on both the Home and Career sections of the new site.

Overall, the website has been very well received both internally and externally with positive feedback on both usability and creativity. We delivered a best-in-breed website combining subtle animations and micro-interactions to make the content feel dynamic and interactive. 

To visit the website, go to https://www.apicorp.org/.

Why not take a look at our sustainability ebook which includes insights on how you can bring your environmental efforts to life through your marketing? You can download the ebook here.

If you need help in creating a world-class website for your brand or organisation, get in touch!

 

Colour is a powerful communication tool and can signal action, influence consumer behaviour, mood and mental reactions. For example, did you know specific colours are associated with increased blood pressure and induce anxiety?

How does colour psychology play into your social media performance and marketing strategy?

One thing to keep in mind, users tend to revert to the online world to pursue an informal retreat from reality. Although their goals and preferences may vary, they tend to opt for channels that are not cluttered and speak to them personally which in turn also affects their buying decision process.

That being said, we at Crowd have noticed an ongoing trend among top brands today.

For instance, take a look at Pottery Barn MenaLego, and Namshi. Even though there is a lot of action on all three Instagram pages, the colours selected are used to give off a calming, minimalist, and energetic feeling. It would not have been possible to evoke these emotions if the colours used were not carefully chosen. White, beige, and a wide range of pastel colours are carefully paired with powerful and influential colours like yellow, red, and blue which in turn are one of the main factors influencing the success of their brands online.

One easy way to put this theory to the test is for you to visit your favourite Instagram feed; you’ll notice colour compatible look or a similar feel. After conducting marketing research, we learned that up to 90% of the first impressions are based on colour.

Let’s talk about colours and how they impact your brand identity to transform a potential customer into adopting a habitual buying behaviour.

 

colour-psychology

 

Black, for example, makes your brand look powerful, whereas Blue brings a more pleasant and calming feeling to your brand. However, yellow is a great way to attract attention while also being cheerful, and the colour red sends out a bold message that can place you at the top of the food chain in terms of confidence, leadership, and power.

When you consider how different colours affect us, you can curate your Instagram feed to meet your desired effects. Our decision to purchase something has more to do with how it looks than we may realise, especially when we try it out for the first time.

We all encounter and interact with the world through colour, and it has an even more significant impact on our consumption of that world. Your brand’s colours help to communicate the moods and emotions that define it. For example, a company that sells sugary candy should avoid using yellow and green on their packaging instead of red, the colour associated with sweetness.

At Crowd, we strategically curate our client’s feeds to consider all the social factors we believe will impact the consumer’s purchasing behaviour and perception of the brand.

As part of our marketing plan, one of our initial steps is to identify our target audience and pinpoint their likes and dislikes. This way, we can gather the upper hand in presenting online users with content that captures their attention. Colour, tone of voice, topics, and imagery are all factors we believe influence how we assist our clients in expressing themselves successfully online.

It’s all about trying out what works for you and your brand. By taking the time to understand what colours your audience will respond to, you will be able to create a compelling and powerful feel that goes beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, for example, making your brand look strong.

Crowd’s international team of creatives have a deep understanding of colour psychology and use it to develop brands that create the right impression for new and existing businesses alike. Why not get in touch to see how we can help you?