Sunday, 24 June 2012

Brighton and Hove Actually

In a break from my usual subject of content strategy, here follows a blog about my life rather than my work...

So after 8 years, I have just left Brighton and Hove Actually. Goodbye London-by-the-sea and hello London. Originally from London, it's not too much of a leap going back. And I'm only renting, so I could return to by lovely flat by the cricket ground if I can't hack the pace. But this isn't a post about London and my 'new life' this is a post about Brighton and Hove Actually.

I keep saying 'and Hove Actually' because inevitably when you live there, that's what you end up saying. 


Q. Do you live in Brighton? 

A. No I live in Hove actually.

Ah hilarious, the wit of Brighton-ians and Hove-ites... something I'll miss. Which got me thinking, what will I miss about my home for the past 8 years? And what will I be glad to see the back of.

The Goodbye, Good Riddance List


The first thing I shall
not miss about Brighton and Hove is the rubbish and recycling. In my life so far I have lived in London, Manchester and a small seaside town in Kent called Herne Bay, so granted this isn't an observation based on a huge range of life experience or scientific fact, but I'm going to throw it out there all the same (and you can leave a comment below if you disagree). Brighton and Hove has a problem with rubbish. People seem to think it is perfectly okay to dump whatever item they no longer want in the street outside their house and somehow it will miraculously disappear. Sofas, cupboards, ironing boards, kitchen sinks, entire kitchens, cuddly toys (this list is beginning to sound a bit like the Generation Game!) PLEASE take the stuff you don't want to the tip, use Freecycle, or pay someone to take it away. Do not just dump it in the street, you anti-social fly-tipping idiots. *deep breath* "Ah... That feels better."



And as for the recycling boxes?! Brighton and Hove Council, what were you thinking? They are filthy, strewn around the streets and often full of rubbish dumped by passers-by. In the same way you introduced communal bins, you need to introduce communal recycling. Oh and anyone living in a purpose built block is exempt from having a recycling box, so ends up with more limited recycling options while paying the same council tax.



Now I've been on enough Hen parties in my time... and reeked havoc in York, Cork and London... so I recognise this makes me a total hypocrite... but the rubbish rant has got me started now... so I'm going to throw this one out there too. Hen groups in matching outfits with matching high pitched shrieks. 



I'm afraid this picture doesn't really capture the full horror of a hen-do in action. But I was too much of a wimp to get any closer to photograph a group of shrieking chicks and hen. One Saturday night in Brighton I decided to count hen and stag parties, I got to 23 before I got bored. Seriously, how special would you feel as a hen seeing another 20 or so brides-to-be also out celebrating.

The third thing I will not miss about Brighton and Hove Actually is possibly a bit controversial, I am prepared to be subjected to cyber bullying. The thing I am referring to I call 'Brighton smug-ness'. I am taking about all those painfully clever and smug people who think they are SO special for 'discovering' and moving to Brighton and Hove Actually.

This is not a syndrome I've observed in born-and-raised Brighton-ians and Hove-ites; though granted I've not met an enormous number of that species. No this is something unique to some people who have moved to Brighton either as a student or later as a young adult and believe as a consequence they've discovered the secret to life.


These people can be observed smugly drinking Tuaca on the seafront or buying organic chestnut flour from Taj. They can be seen dropping their children off at nursery while wearing harem pants and riding a scooter. 

Now, I'm not saying living in Brighton isn't a super smart and fabulous thing to do, of course it is, I did it for 8 years. But do you have to go round telling everyone how super smart and fabulous you are because you live in Brighton?

Okay, enough... I don't want to dwell on what I won't miss. Because the truth is, I've LOVED lived in Brighton and Hove for the past 8 years.

The Miss List

Firstly and foremost I shall miss all the wonderful friends I have made in Brighton over the years. I have been really blessed to meet so many funny, talented and kind people and although I intend to be friends with them forever, I will miss seeing them regularly. 


This is a picture of Claudia and Tom, who rock! I met Claudia through the medium of Pilates. To anyone new to Brighton and Hove Actually, I would like to recommend exercise as a great way to meet people. I also have a great bunch of friends from Brighton and Hove Women's Running Club.

Ah food... one of favourite things in all the world. I shall miss the amazing quality and variety of food available in Brighton and Hove Actually. Yes I know I've moved to London and they'll be plenty of fantabulous eateries on offer here. But Brighton does have an exceptionally high number of yummy restaurants in a conveniently small area. 

This is a picture of fish and chips from Bankers, it is making me hungry. It is not a picture from my favourite restaurant in Brighton because it is hard enough to get a table there, without telling you lot about it. 

Ah booze... Yes, yes I know... there is plenty of alcohol readily available in London and in glasses bigger than the one pictured below. But what I am really going to miss about Brighton and Hove Actually is the price of booze. Gosh London is expensive. 


Of course I couldn't write a post of things to miss about Brighton without mentioning the beach. I shall I miss those gorgeous random sunny days in the middle of winter when the beach is beautiful, bracing and deserted.


This picture is taken from the end of my road facing towards Brighton. No one but me and my shadow.

Now I know this is another thing I'll miss that I'll find plenty of in London. But the live music, comedy and open houses available in Brighton are special. You often end up seeing someone random, who goes on to be someone big. And Brighton has some fantastic venues and festivals.


This is a picture from The Dome. Where I have seen Natalie Merchant, the Zutons and (pictured here) The Temper Trap. LOVE seeing live music.

My flat in Hove over looks the cricket ground and I shall really miss the sound of leather on willow. I shall also miss the sound of the crazy Twenty20 matches, the Elton John concerts and the amazing 5th November firework display. Brilliant.


Brighton and Hove Actually, you've been very good to me and I will visit often.


If you're thinking of visiting Brighton and Hove, here are some things I'd recommend:

And if you're moving to Brighton and Hove Actually I would recommend:

Friday, 18 May 2012

How Eloqua Uses Content & Automation to Advance the Buyer's Journey

How to use content to advance the buyer's journey, is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. So it was fortuitous timing that I was invited to hear Elle Woulfe, Senior Marketing Programs Manager at Elquoa, talk about that very subject.

She gave an excellent presentation on how Elquoa uses content and how they score and nurture through the funnel.

The concept of nurturing potential clients is a relatively new one to me. No that's a lie, the concept is not new to me at all... I've been doing it for years, I just didn't have a name for it until recently.


For the less keen, I took some notes, which now follow...

Elle talked about the need to understand whether someone is just interested in the content? Or whether there is any buying intent.

She explained the Eloqua funnel:
  • Suspect: everyone in your target market
  • Prospect: anyone who has taken an action
  • Lead: right person (in terms of action and fit)
  • Opportunity: ready person (fit and need)


Suspect:

These aren't just people who might buy your product, but also everyone who may consume or share your content. Elle said: "We market to marketers, so we need to be interesting" - that really struck a cord with me.

Suspects want to know what you know, not what you sell.

Prospect:

A Prospect has actually supplied personal information. They want content that relates to their professional interests. Often at this stage the best content assuages fears.

Lead:

A prospect that fits behaviour, interest, intent, as determined by sales and marketing. This is content that addresses the business pain. Leads ask: "how is your product going to solve my problem?"

Opportunity:

Looking for content that helps them make the right buying decision, such as ROI calendars or pricing sheets.

So keeping these particular stages of the funnel in mind, you can then create content which helps to "nurture" people through the stages, until they reach the ultimate goal: closed won!

You can follow Elle Woulfe on Twitter here.
You can follow me on Twitter here.
And on Google+ here.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Missing In Action

I've not written this blog for a while, so I was going to introduce this post with an apology for having been missing in action for the past 3 months. But that assumes that someone, anyone, has actually been reading this, or cares?!
Anyway - the reason I've not written is my new job. And here are some things 
that happen to you when you get a new job:
  • You can no longer take basic things for granted, like: the location of the toilets or how to use the email system
  • You attend meetings and don't have the first clue what anyone is talking about. The whole company is speaking another language full of TLIs (three letter initialisations)
  • You wonder whether you'll ever fit-in, make friends, understand what you're supposed to be doing?! And you feel so exhausted and overwhelmed that you don't have time for blog posts
So, as part of my quest to fit-in and function in my new role, I've neglected (read completely ignored) my blog. It has occurred to me, that I have been doing a lot these past few months and I should share some of it with you. The bits I can share with you...

I have been:

So this is me, back in the world of blogging... perhaps not the most inspired post... sorry about that, I'm a bit rusty!