The Squirrel has set the challenge again!


Whilst drinking a cup of coffee at the weekend, I was watching a squirrel bury hazel nuts in my lawn and flower beds.  Very cute to watch, but as I have to spend every year digging up numerous sprouting hazelnut trees, I know that I have been set another challenge!

However, it got me thinking and you have to be impressed with his strategy and planning.  Without his planning for the months to come, he may not survive and the same can be said of any business if you do not let your potential customer know you are out there.

To succeed you must plan ahead and marketing is one of the survival tools required to do this.

But before you start remember…

  • Not all marketing will have immediate results, the aim is to drip feed and keep front of mind….
  • You need to be creative but do not ever lie!
  • You need a clear strategy – that ties in with your business plan
  • You need an action plan to work to and to keep you on track

So, like the squirrel, start to plan for your future and create a simple strategy, but remember to be honest with yourself whilst doing this.  In the same way the squirrel has to know where to find his hoard, you need to accurately find and target your potential customer to engage them too.  You need to identify your key target audience and the best ways to capture their attention and only then can you create your action plan – your step by step to do list to make it happen.

You may plan ahead for six months, or for a year but either way, your innovative, creative ideas need planning and targeting for the best cost effective rewards to be reaped.

My plump squirrel does not always find all of his hidden hoards, but looking at it in marketing terms, his planning has got him noticed.  I remember him again and again and again as I pull up shooting trees and buried nuts all summer – unwittingly he has set a drip feed campaign that evokes a response.

Evaluation is also part of the key to success and each of your activities should be assessed as you complete them.  You are then able to see what has or has not worked and you can adjust your plans accordingly to maximise your new knowledge.  My squirrel, well, he finds new hiding places each year  – so perhaps he too evaluates each hiding place  – who knows…….

So are you looking to work smarter with your planning and marketing and need some help to get started?  You may need a full marketing service or just someone to fill in the gaps that you cannot do yourself, if so, I am happy to help.

With over 22 years’ experience in Marketing, Events and Public Relations, JoyStars provide a friendly, highly professional and rigorously fair service, optimising creative, strategic and cost effective marketing to achieve your goals, meet your deadlines and strengthen your company brand.

Check out the website to explore what areas of experience we could bring to your team and if you would like to investigate further, email Heather Joy on or call on 01403 790146.

Image courtesy of arkorn at


What are the benefits to outsourcing your marketing?

What are the benefits to outsourcing your marketing?Image

There are so many advantages to outsourcing all, or some of company’s marketing functions, but these are rarely understood until they are simply clarified either on paper or face to face. 

Provided your agency operates as an extension of your in house team and your primary contact is constant, these benefits can be extensive.  I am therefore going to identify some of the main points below, but there are many more and the rewards will continue to develop as the relationship grows.

One of the initial barriers to people questioning the outsourcing of their marketing activities is the perceived cost.  It is always seen as a cost and not necessarily a cost saving, until the many advantages are spelled out. The cost savings are the first and most critical benefit to outsourced marketing as it ultimately results in reduced overheads.

Outsourced marketing is a cost effective time resource.  It can be adjusted to accommodate increased project or seasonal fluctuations, without over resourcing on quieter periods, which can occur with an in-house team.  A company pays only for the time used and for the resources required.

By outsourcing to an experienced marketing team, that can integrate smoothly into an organisation, you bring in new innovative ideas and added vigour.  You can also ensure that you have the high levels of talent you need to expertly execute and reach the specific goals of your marketing campaign. 

Resourcing from an expanded talent pool with a wider range of skill sets provides access into every area of marketing expertise.   You can appoint an experienced specialist or a team that can be scaled and tailored to suit each of your individual projects.  

It is always possible to become too involved and too close to your business to be able to step back objectively.  An outsourced marketing service can provide that all important outsiders viewpoint.  This fresh, unbiased, outside assessment on your various media and marketing streams, can help to support the evaluation of your strategies from the customer’s perspective. 

Most companies like to believe that they promote their staff’s creativity and innovation, but this is not always as it is perceived ‘on the shop floor’.  An external marketer can bring new concepts to the table and develop them to move forward, without being held back by company culture and traditional ways.  This is a huge advantage when breaking marketing away from the tired company norm. 

Finally, but certainly not last, if a company has its own marketing department, a reliance on some outsourced marketing frees up in-house personnel for certain responsibilities.  This allows them to focus and work well within their core marketing competencies, whilst areas not within their remit are outsourced.

As with all client / agency relationships, the outsourced services can only perform well with the support and information feed from the client.  Look on your outsourced marketer  as a team member and your return on investment should speak for itself.

JoyStars thrives on building good client and supplier relationships alike.  Check out our website to explore what areas of experience we could bring to your team.

If you would like to have an informal chat to see if outsourcing some or all of your marketing could work for you, please email Heather Joy on or call on 01403 790146.


What happens in marketing when one small thing changes…..

We all know what can happen when you change just one thing – whether it be the paint colour in a room – the room seems brighter, bigger, more exclusive or modern, or the different clothes you wear – can make you look professional, scruffy, casual, fat or thin and these are just two examples.

Well this was really brought home to me when chatting to a very dear friend and work colleague. She had been sent a link on YouTube of some guys dancing at a music festival. I’m sure they looked really cool when dancing to the original dance music, but when replaced with the Benny Hill theme tune, well, you just have to laugh.

This got me thinking about how changing one element, can alter the whole message and how true this is in marketing. Your image, tone of voice, perceived customer or placement of marketing material are just a few of the points key to a successful marketing strategy or campaign.  With just one item out of place, incorrectly researched, or not understood, it can all go horribly wrong.  In the same way a perceptive amendment to an existing campaign can make it fly.

The key to a good marketing strategy is understanding who your customers are and why they come to you. But, do you really know them, or do you just think you know who they are, who you would like them to be, or should be. Before you start, find out!

With realistic goals set for your budget, you can take a look at the many different options available, to enable you to reach your audience. Promote one clear idea and remember that different messages and tones of voice will appeal to different demographics, in different media formats. Research shows that you have about 3 seconds to grab the attention of your customer, so your message needs to be concise and cleverly targeted.

I always like to test my ideas on someone not directly involved in the project, to see if they stand up. I also like to see any new creative without having a conceptual explanation from the creative team first. This allows me to see it ‘blind’, without knowing the creative thinking behind it. It allows me to see it as a customer and not have my objective evaluation swayed by the concept.

So, log in to YouTube, type in ‘music festival Benny Hill’ and see what can happen when one contributing factor is changed. If you would then like some help or advice to avoid the many pitfalls associated with creating a marketing strategy or campaign, give JoyStars a call on 01403 790146 or email

With over 22 years’ experience in profile-raising Marketing, Event and Public Relations Experience, JoyStars provide a friendly, highly professional and rigorously fair service, optimising creative, strategic and cost effective marketing to achieve your goals, meet your deadlines and strengthen your company brand.