Guerilla Marketing By McCains In Manchester

Spotted a great advert for McCains Jacket Potatoes today. I love guerilla marketing like this, it makes companies stand out from the crowd and get people talking about them. 

The advert had a large jacked potato stuck to the inside of a bus shelter and the surrounding area actually smelt like jacket potatoes! There is no jacket potato stand close by either, it was coming from the item stuck on the bus shelter which must have been sprayed / soaked in some liquid which smells like jacket spuds. 



Great marketing idea. 

Update – Further information from the article Damien spotted;

“New technology will give bus users money-off vouchers and the smell of slow oven-baked potatoes with the push of a button.

The adverts are part of a campaign to launch the new frozen jacket potato product, the biggest launch by McCain Foods since McCain Oven Chips in 1979.

The bus shelter posters contain a hidden heating element which warms the 3D jacket potato picture and releases the scent when a button is pressed.

The company spent three months developing the aroma, in collaboration with a specialist scent laboratory, so that it accurately matched the scent of the product.”


Stop Pushing Customers Down Your Conversion Funnel

It is extremely important to help your customers find the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision. Often I see websites who are extremely focused on pushing customers down the standard conversion funnel that has been set up within an analytics package.

Whilst this is a nice (and essential) thing to have which allows you to benchmark different time periods, it is also important that the majority of people will never run through your conversion funnel step by step in the way that you would like. 



The general approach by many websites is to push people down the standard conversion funnel to increase the amount of people who ultimately buy. Often this includes removing any ‘distracting’ areas on the pages so that a customers focus is purely on making the final purchase. 

I tend to see this in a different light since most customer journeys aren’t quite as straight forward as that and can often look similar to the image below.




Whereby a customer is flicking backwards and forwards between different pages whilst trying to double check things or look for more confirmation that they are doing the right thing by purchasing your product. 

So how can you get more people convert without forcing them down the standard sales funnel? Simple really, help them find the information they need and overcome their fears of purchasing. 

Put yourself in the customers shoes and understand what they really need when purchasing a product. Also understand where they are in the greater purchasing funnel, are they just in the research stage of their purchase or are they ready to purchase immediately? 



An interesting quote from Google recently was that customers who book a hotel room check, on average, 15 other travel websites prior to making a booking. 15 other websites! Try tracking that in a normal conversion funnel. Another quote was that 70% of people who book a hotel view a map of where the hotel is located prior to booking. 

When trying to increase conversion the question should be asked, “Why does someone go to 15 other websites before booking? What information is missing from our website that a customer feels they have to go elsewhere to find?” When you can answer these questions and incorporate the missing content on your website I can guarantee that your conversion will increase

If you have great content that is not available on competitor websites then a customer is going to perceive you as the more knowledgeable brand who will provide a better service. This is going to make people want to order with you



Stop pushing people down your standard conversion funnel. Instead start to create some great content which answers customers queries. When customers see how amazing and detailed you are at providing the answers they need then conversion will increase by default. Why would a customer buy a product from someone else who doesn’t have a great website/detailed information if the cost of the product is the same?

Yes it is important to track everything and I am not saying not to do that, but understand that the buying process does not happen by someone visiting page 1, then page 2 then purchasing. The buying process for any product is complex and you need to be offering information every step along the way. 

Purchasing is a multitude of different browsers, multiple tabs, multiple devices, various research on your site and off your site, then coming to an informed decision that you are the best option for them to purchase from you. Give customers what they need at every step of the process and they will buy. 


How To Create An Embed Code For Your Infographic

Here I am going to show you how easy it is to create your own embed code for either your widgets or infographics you have created. They are an essential tool if you want to help build natural links. 

This is what the final piece of code looks like to a user, with the images / info graphic / widget above and the text to embed this below. 


Click below to embed the above image into your website


So how do you do that? Well it is quite simple really, just a few bits of HTML and JavaScript will enable you to create a box with your embed code in so people can place your images / infographics / widgets on their site with that all important link back to your website as the original source. 

The first step is to include the image on the page you are wanting the embed code to be one. Once you have done that you simply add the code below to your HTML and tweak the relevant bits which will be explained in a moment. 


Complete Embed code:

 <textarea style=”height: 44px; width: 300px; margin: 2px;” onclick=”this.focus();; _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Infographic’, ‘Click’, ‘guerilla-marketing-infographic’]);” rows=”2″>

&lt;img src= width=300 height=300 /&gt;


View full image

&lt;a href= title=”Guerilla Marketing Manchester” style=”color:#0000FF;text-align:left”&gt; Guerilla Marketing Manchester&lt;/a&gt;



So if we take a look through each of the different sections to explain what each part does. 


Step 1 – Create a text box

Create a text box on the screen which is 44 pixels high, 300 pixels wide and has a bit of a margin. This section also has some JavaScript so when a user clicks (onclick section) the text box then the text is highlighted (this.focus(); section) which makes it easier for the user to then right click and copy the text. In addition, the code below also has an event tracking Google Analytics tag which means that when someone clicks the text box an event is fired off to the Google Analytics account you have installed on the page which says “someone has clicked an ‘infographic’ which is called ‘guerilla-marketing-infographic’ “

Below the code is what the code actually creates, the text box (although yours will be empty to begin with until the next step. 


<textarea style=”height: 44px; width: 300px; margin: 2px;” onclick=”this.focus();; _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Infographic’, ‘Click’, ‘guerilla-marketing-infographic’]);” rows=”2″>


If interested, read full details about Google Analytics event tracking, but in summary is _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘category‘, ‘action‘, ‘label‘]); where you can choose the category, action and label you want to use. 


Step 2 – Add the Image

You’ve got something to embed right? Well this is the next step, place the HTML code of your original image / infographic / widget in between the <textarea> and </textarea> tags. One key thing to note though is that you need to replace HTML characters such as < and > with their HTML code equivalent. Take a look through a full list of HTML codes for reference. It can be a bit of a pain to do this, but hopefully you don’t have much to include here! 


&lt;img src= width=300 height=300 /&gt;


Step 3 – Add the Link Back to You

Here is the most important part, adding a link back to your website as the original source of the content. Same rules apply as in step 2 where by you need to replace the HTML characters with their HTML codes. The great thing here is that you can choose the anchor text which is used when people are linking back to you. 


View full image

&lt;a href= title=”Guerilla Marketing Manchester” style=”color:#0000FF;text-align:left”&gt; Guerilla Marketing Manchester&lt;/a&gt;


I have seen some people include cheeky links within this section previously which link back to one of their key pages they want to rank with the best anchor text. Whilst this isn’t a bad idea, personally I would only add it where relevant. A lot of people will likely remove the link anyways, but it is certainly worth a try :-) 


Step 4 – Drive Traffic to Share Your Content

Now comes the easy bit! Go out there and tell people about the great content you have just created. If the content truly is great then it is going to make people want to embed this item in their own websites and tell their friends about it naturally. 

Here is what the final piece will look like when a user embeds the code in their own website:


So there we go, simple as that! Now time to go and create some great content and promote it well. For anyone who is interested in what the massive gorilla is, then have a read of my guerilla marketing Manchester post. 

Here is one we use in our info graphic series for A day out on the District line in London. Great option for promoting some great content. 

Note: You may also need to wrap ” ” quotes around some of the HTML tags within the embed code itself. Strangely when I was creating this post additional quotation marks were being added around the IMG SRC and A HREF attributes causing invalid URLs, so if you come across this then just tweak accordingly. 






Promoting Local Businesses via Social Media

Local businesses in Manchester are taking full advantage of social media to help promote their selves and services. There can be a lot of businesses who try this and fail tragically, but for certain business this makes full sense. I always get a lot of random people following me on twitter purely to get me to follow them back, albeit mainly people promoting their SEO services / blogs etc, but more recently I have noticed a lot of bars begin to follow me on Twitter (@MickCropper). 

I think this is a great idea for bars and events to follow local people on twitter, purely to promote their event since good places and events can be difficult to find when not always mingling in those circles. 

A couple of bars who have started following me are @FabCafeManc and @TheTigerLounge, both of which I haven’t been to before. They are always places on my “to drink at” list but I have just never got around to it, so I may just be going to these places a little sooner than I planned now they are back in the forefront of my mind. 


If you are looking to promote your local business via social media then Twitter can be a good place to start by using Twitter’s Advanced Search and finding tweets for people in your local area. 


In addition to this, another option for finding new customers for your local business is seeing who your competitors are following and who are following them. One thing I certainly noticed with the bars who began following me is that once one started following, others soon followed on so this is already happening. If you aren’t stalking your competitors then you are missing a trick, since they will be doing it with you. 


Guerilla Marketing At It’s Best In Manchester


Guerilla Marketing or should that be Gorilla Marketing. Take a look for yourself below, but I would have loved to be in the meeting where this was decided. “I know – why not just put a massive gorilla outside?”

This is certainly one way to get noticed. Just for a bit of background, this Skoda showroom is on a road full of other car & motorbike showrooms.

Would love to shake the hand of the person who thought this one up, pure genius. I don’t work too far off where this is, so it certainly caught my eye on a normal boring drive home!