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Thursday, 29 November 2012

What's Your Earliest Memory of Stationery?

Howard Forton - Blog writer and customer services manager -Irongate

Mine dates back to Christmas morning 1963. I have a reel-to-reel audio tape of the moment I opened a stocking filler and exclaimed, "Look! A pencil with a rubber on the top!  Just like Charlie's! If I make a mistake I can rub it out."  

What's your earliest memory?  Share it with a comment.

Now I help sell them! Did you see what I did with the price?

Customers Don't Get Special Treatment at Christmas!

Really? Well they do at Irongate!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

There are Lies, Flaming Lies and then Statistics?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Seth's Blog

Seth's Blog

The Environment. Who Cares?

We do with these Environmental Initiatives

As a major supplier of business products and services to organisations throughout the UK, Irongate Group is fully aware of the impact we have on the environment and are committed to reducing it. We are ISO 14001:2004 certified and actively pursue a programme of targets and objectives to reduce our own carbon footprint.
·         Our route analysis technology enables us to plot the most efficient delivery routes, leading to optimum efficiency and reduction of mileage and emissions
·         Our delivery boxes are made from recycled materials and whenever possible, bags and envelopes are used for small deliveries
·         We re-use, recover and recycle as much packaging as possible.
We also work closely with our customers to help make their office a greener and more sustainable place to work including:
·         Single source supply – reduced admin, fewer invoices and payments
·         Order consolidation – fewer deliveries
·         On line ordering & proofing – quick, easy and paperless
·         Switch to email invoicing
·         Switch to alternative products with environmental credentials in our ‘Happy Planet’ range
·         Free printer cartridge recycling scheme
·         Convert to digital print on demand – reduces obsolescence and waste
·         Target your marketing – reduced print runs, page counts and waste
·         Document re-engineering to maximise the press sheet and reduce wasted space
ISO 14001:2004 signifies a genuine commitment to environmental matters
How do you and your suppliers demonstrate a commitment to the environment?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Join a Successful internal Sales team Now

Do you have recent Internal Sales/Telesales experience and want to progress, or are you a highly self-motivated hard working individual who wants to get into the dynamic and challenging world of Telesales?

If so, the Irongate Group needs you! As a multi-million pound office products and furniture supplier we are looking for an Internal Account Manager/Telesales to take over and grow an established territory. 2 hours a day cold calling – the rest of your time will be spent servicing and developing your customers.

Based in Derby we offer a competitive salary and will provide all the relevant training required.

If you think you’re the passionate driving force we need, please request an electronic application form and further details by emailing:

For SMEs' - Social Media is Nothing but a Waste of Time!

Is it Really? 

The World’s Top 20 Social Brands 
Post Source:
If brands won social awards, then National Amusements, Inc., a Viacom company, would own the title of most powerful social business. The index ranking, according to Dachis Group, “Analyzes the effectiveness of strategies and tactics organizations employ to engage the market through social channels.”
I’m surprised by some of the companies on the top 20 list as I haven’t personally seen much from L’Oreal, Nestle or the Discovery Channel, but then again, I’m not tuned in those areas. The rest seem plausible to me.
So why is this important?
The standard answer is that we need to recognize brands that are leading the way in social business. The real answer is that business leaders need better corporate role models. We need organizations who will convey to those leaders that becoming a social business is the smarter path. That the old playbook will not work in the new social age, and that becoming a social business will increase the company’s ability to adapt to market changes and take advantage of new revenue opportunities.
A business that only uses traditional marketing will produce suboptimal results, and will, in time, fade from being a great business – no matter how much of a lead it has now.
That’s something a lot of companies are learning –even today.

Thanks to Best Masters Degrees for visualizing this information. Thanks to Dachis Group for providing the data.

Friday, 16 November 2012

In Out Shake it All About

The Okekokey of Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects (and others!) making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers, potential customers and others value.  This is where Social media activity comes in; Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, YouTube and indeed this Blog.

This goes hand in hand with building Social Media Authority in the eyes of Google and visitors. Klout and Peerindex give a relative measure of Social Authority.  Some say getting a high Peerindex rating is nothing more than an Ego driven game and leads to following people who will NEVER EVER become customers.  Is that a problem? Not for Google search it isn't. And not for me as engaging and sharing with a wide universe can only help give me/us greater insight, leading to competitive advantage and a view "outside the box". I guess its a matter of percentages and moving the odds in our favour and away from the competition.

Anyway ... to my point.  Traditional Outbound Marketing involving direct mail, advertising and cold calling is  very different to Inbound Marketing.   Never the twain should meet but in my view there is some cross-over and value in using social media to, errr ... "sell" occasionally. The impact is more immediate, but short term and if over done will irritate and alienate.  You know who you are!

That's my excuse for not using social media to try and sell all the time, we have internal and external sales for that and a Marketing Department to take care of traditional Outbound Marketing.  But perhaps I try to sell a little too much via social media? Please scroll through the blog and let me know.

Maybe I am doing nothing more than recognising and using all the OPPORTUNITIES that social media offers.  In the old days we would have called it Public Relations.


Friday, 2 November 2012

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard
Pinterest lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favourite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
Irongate's new but growing Pinterest collection includes boards on;
sharing stuff to help businesses
cats (the most popular images shared via social media are .... cats!)
and more ...  

Pinboards which we hope might enrich your Irongate experience.  If you'd like us to research some other topics and create a Pinboard you'd like to see, please ask Irongate via a comment, tweet or Facebook post.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Peerindex, Klout and Kred Scores Mean Nothing

To some, not us though because ... 

... Officethingy values social and loves to share, so we are pleased to have earned a score that puts us, according to PeerIndex, in the top 1%.  Not bad eh?  But what, in the social media world, could we do better? Please let us know.

Officethingy is Irongate Group's (Peerindex score of 57) humble office supplies web-store.  Our original goal with social media was to explore and share.  Job done, award won, and job ongoing. You can also find Irongate here - its a relatively new board but we like where it takes us! Recommended.

We use Pinterest to discover and share. How about you? 

If we can score 60 - you can too if you engage.  And we did it in house with zero cost, other than a little experimentation, time and INTERACTION (sorry for shouting).  Oh yes and thanks to these people who gave great advice in the early days: ebusiness club.  

Now to get Irongate Group from PeerIndex 57 to PeerIndex 60 .... 

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