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"In a crowded marketplace fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace not standing out is being invisible."

Seth Godin

GDPR. Four letters with a big impact.

GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. This regulation has a big impact on how companies should treat data : as from May 25th, 2018 they should be able to prove how their private data are gathered, how they are used and how they are protected (whether in their own data centers or in a ‘cloud’ outside of the EU).

Open working spaces. As productive as predicted?

Taking history into account, the typical office lay-out has evolved from small family-like surfaces, over a chicken battery approach, to a ‘no-spot-for-you, dear‘ concept.
For years, this evolution was stated as a win-win : more heads per surface, and in return non-seclusion for employees. But it turns out to be a win-lose.
This of course is no problem from the winner’s point of view. A first sight, that is.
Because unhappy and distracted employees produce less. It’s a fact.
It’s not only psychology, it has become irrefutable reality. Some companies already grasped this reality and are taking measures.

Email marketing : Old doesn’t mean worn out.

Email marketing is far from a new trend, but even if it’s considered to be an old skool approach, it still has a lot of advantages. Especially in these mobile times. Data show that it is still one of the most efficient strategies to obtain a healthy ROI. So those that say that email marketing doesn’t work, just aren’t using it as should. This communication technique is designed to offer relevant, valuable and useful information (think DIY guides, links to blogs, industry relevant news, etc). It is not designed to shove sales talk through consumers’ throats…

Design : Is cheap truly cheap?

It is of all times. Whether it’s about music, literature, industrial or graphic design, people tend to literally ‘borrow’ from what inspires them. Sometimes they do it on purpose, sometimes they don’t. But when others discover this copycat behaviour, it’s rarely appreciated, leading to lawsuits in the worst case.
This happens in today’s ‘parallel’ universe, too. Online applications, programs and designs are available at no or at minimal cost and creating analyses and dashboards has become dead simple. You don’t have to be a computer nerd to do so and almost everything is SEO optimised, drag&drop and WYSIWYG. Same thing for your blog, by the way.

Social Media Marketing. A must?

The days when buyers would just open a newspaper to find properties for sale or to look up real estate agents in a phonebook are long gone. Today, everybody is looking online. It’s as simple as that. That’s why the use of social media has become so important. Each and every social media channel has its own pros and cons, and while opening a Facebook or Instagram account might seem easy, it’s not that easy to use them as a tool to send the right message to the right people at the right time. Here’s how we do it.

Print media : Cash burners or smart investment?

Once, there was only paper.
It might surprise you, but today, the printing media are more alive than ever. Despite all rumours about the unavoidable reign of digital, it’s still around, offering a number of advantages that online media just can’t compete with.
Yes, cynics might claim that print advertising has only relevance for a small group of people that are interested in very specific products or services. Or that newspapers and magazines are becoming obsolete because there is just no competing with the ease of use of news on desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones. But make no mistake : print is a supplementary media channel at least, and a lot more than that for certain age groups.

Mission and vision : The shortcut to long term success?

There are at least 2 reasons (and some say more) why somebody starts or has started his own business : to market and to commercialise a personal passion, or to fill a gap in the market, thus taking advantage of a market opportunity.
Both are of course valid. In the first case because passion is a powerful driver, and in the latter case because the business idea harvests on a market need by definition.
One question arises though : what happens on the long term? Will that passion last. Won’t it be outgrown by the effort? Did others discover that opportunity you spotted?

Concepts and ideas : who needs them?

Chances are big that you’ve worked with a communication agency before, and if not, time to get in action. Of course you give them good briefings to put them on the right track. Of course they return after some time to entertain you with a live presentation including a proposal. Hopefully that brings you that Columbus’ egg feeling or a Vicky The Viking moment.
During that pitch presentation sentences like ‘The concept is…’ or ‘We present you a number of groundbreaking ideas that will…’ will be inevitably used. Nothing wrong with that, but reality teaches us that both words are regularly used without really knowing what they mean. The difference is important, though.