The Seven Ad Appeals


To be a successful advertiser you need to make more return than you spend on investment. Which means that your advertisements need to see some kind of value back whether that be goals such as a brand awareness, shifting consumers beliefs about a product or whether it be cold cash through sales. Investment needs to be put back into the business. To do this advertisers need to reach consumers emotions and appeal to them. A way this can be achieved is through the seven ad appeals.

Learn more: The Means-end Advertising Theory 

The seven ad appeals are a set of seven persuasion techniques that tap into consumers thoughts and purchasing decisions. They attract target audiences by relating to consumers every day experiences in hope of tapping into their personal values, beliefs and self identity.

Clow and Baack 2014 7 Ad Appeals


The characteristics of fear ad appeals are that they are used to promote multiple products. They increase interest and persuasiveness they have increased recall as well as an increased chance of processing the message. A moderate level of fear is more effective and usually these appeals are ran by insurance firms and governing bodies.


This ad appeal breaks through the clutter, it is interesting. Increased attention in both male and female, attention greater in opposite sex situations This ad appeal has a Lower brand recall and Sexual appeal distracts from product they can trigger arousal, leading to effective, cognitive responses.

Sexual appeals in different ways

  1. Subliminal approaches
  2. Sensuality

Sexually suggestive

  1. Nudity/ partial nudity – use for products with sexual nature. Popular in print.
  2. Over sexuality – used for sexually orientated products

Sexual criticisms

  1. Perpetuates dissatisfaction with body
  2. Female stereotyping

Level of Sexual Appeal

Advertisers must determine societies view and level of acceptance take into account religion, culture and values in order to determine levels of nudity, sexual references and gender specific issues. In some countries, sexual issues are taboo and are ethically frowned upon.


This Urges an audience to buy due to limitation, it is tied with other promotion tools for example sales, the objective is to take action.


Is Important, catches attention but can also be intrusive as music is linked to emotions, experiences and memories. This appeal is stored in the long term memory part of the brain. Therefore, You can tie a song to a product and this will lead to better recall. This appeal can increase the persuasiveness of the message and can have a primary role or be incidental.


The humour appeal can be used to attract, keep attention and interest viewers. It has higher recall, triggers past emotions and improves moods. The humour should be connected to the product benefits but should not be over powering. However, this appeal is sometime difficult to execute, it can go wrong, hence this snickers super bowl ad.


Create attachment between the brand and the consumer, these advertisements are more creative and visual cues are especially important. Music and a spokesperson go hand in hand, repetition is important and television is the best media for this appeal.


This ad appeal Follows the Hierarchy of effects stages, it leads to stronger conviction about the benefits of the product. It expects customers to process this message, is good for print but it does require high involvement. It is superior to other appeals in changing consumer beliefs and attitudes.

Next time you need to put together advertising collateral whether it be for print, social media, Google AdWords, radio or television think about how you are going to appeal to your audience and test different suitable frameworks to present them in.

3 Kick-ass Women in Code You Should Know This International Women’s Day


2018 marks 100 years since women over 30 and all men over 21 got the vote. The Representation of the People Act 1918 was only partial suffragette, but it was a victory which drove the rest of gender equality.

However, 100 years on and still some of the biggest issues back then, although majorly improved are still very prominent in our culture. For example, the male dominated culture within Hollywood which started the #Metoo campaign this year, along with gender pay gaps being increasingly challenged – yet still happening. As well as a lack of role models in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) industries and unintentional gender bias. Join us as we celebrate our 3 kick-ass women in code that you should know this international women’s day!

Katharine Globe Johnson 1918- Present

Katharine Johnson was one of the leading brains behind the United States aeronautics and space programmes with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. She is best known for being the coder behind Glenn Friendships 7-month mission which was ran by machines who were prone to blackouts and hiccups in code.

Glenn asked engineers to “get the girl”—Katherine Johnson—to run the same numbers through the same equations that had been programmed into the computer, but by hand, on her desktop mechanical calculating machine.  “If she says they’re good,’” Katherine Johnson remembers the astronaut saying, “then I’m ready to go.” Glenn’s flight was a success, and marked a turning point in the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Karly Kloss 1992- Present

Karly Kloss, Victoria’s Secret Model turned coding activist all before the age of 25! ‘KODE WITH KLOSSY‘ empowers girls to learn to code and become leaders in tech.

The campaign started in 2014 when founder Karlie Kloss began her own self-development learning to code. Kode With Klossy ‘hosts girls’ coding summer camps, awards career scholarships to young female developers and helps create a national community changing the role of girls and women in tech’.

The programme breaks the stigma of girls not being suitable for STEM roles and encourages females to take these career paths, providing support as well as a community of women who have similar interests.

Grace Hopper

Often referred to as the Admiral of the Cybersea or ‘Amazing Grace’ for her many computer innovations, Grace Hopper is the reason many of us use the term ‘bug’ to mean a fault in a computer programme or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result.

This term was coined when Hopper found an actual moth stuck behind the screen of her Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator. She then declared that the machine had been ‘de-bugged’ when she removed the moth from behind the screen.

She was also well- known for her suggestion of a new programming language should be developed using entirely English words, by 1952 she had an operational complier which shut down the non- believers. A compiler is computer software that transforms computer code written in one programming language into another programming language for the computer to understand, which is how coders work.

So, there you have it. Three extra-ordinary women that pushed boundaries in our industry to radically change culture and the work that gets done day in, day out.

We’ve became Google Partners


You may have heard that last week we became Google Partners! We’re making no secret about this and you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. It means that now we are recognized for having multiple employees who are fully certified in Google AdWords, have been trained in specialisms and are renowned for our online marketing strategies as well as being up to date with online marketing trends in the PPC world.

If you’re already one of our client’s great news, you have access to the following benefits we now have access to, and if you’re not check out what this could mean for you if you decide to partner with an agency like us who are Google Partners.

What becoming a Google Partner means for our clients

  1. We’ve met performance requirements

Throughout our clients campaigns we have met performance requirements meaning that we’re doing a good job and hitting targets, don’t just take our word for it, check out this case study here.

  1. We deliver outstanding client service and care

We deliver our clients monthly reports on how their campaigns are running to address any new goals or targets our clients wish to hit.

  1. We offer a competitive advantage to clients

By using a Google Partner like ourselves we offer you a competitive advantage against your clients who may be using agencies that don’t have access to the specialist tools we do. They also may not be qualified and won’t be able to get the most out of your AdWords budget.

  1. We have received training to help businesses grow online

As part of our AdWords training we have had gained expansive knowledge on what strategies and campaign types work for our clients. We work with a lot of SME’s and know how to maximise business and hit their KPIs.

  1. We have access to beta features up to a year before the competition

Occasionally Google releases features in BETA mode which gives Google Partners opportunity to use these features up to a year before the competition to make sure features are useful and relevant to clients. We have access to these potentially business transforming features before your competition will.

  1. We have a dedicated member of the Google agency team assigned to our accounts

By being a Google Partner we have a dedicated member of the Google agency team who can help with any problems which usually would take days to fix and use up valuable budget.

So there you have it, six reasons why it will benefit you and your business to use a Google Partner to manage your campaigns. For more information about our PPC/ AdWords services check out this page here, or contact us to find out how we can work together to create a more profitable business for you.

Advertising theory: The Means-end model


Advertising theory

Advertisements, annoying 3 minutes of hell in between your favourite television programme. Radio jingles that get stuck in your head all day, billboards that you pass on the way home showing you Big Macs, or Chinese takeaways from Diliveroo. We’ve all been subject to advertising.

Some of us try to remove them from of our homes, and live a corporate free life, others just make a cup of tea when they’re on. Advertisements are hilarious, some are hard hitting and some are a little dull. You might think that the people who create them have no idea what they’re doing and you’d be half right… but actually there is some sort of theory to all this madness.

Advertisers are the great evil, the story tellers, all the promises in the world offered to you on a plate in form of a fairy-tale before you go to sleep, they create emotions, make us actually want to purchase things, catch our attention and sometimes make us turn over the channel.

In this article, we’re going to look at advertising theory. The way that people who want to sell something curate different images, sounds and effects to make a viewer feel a certain way and take action. The model we’re going to focus on is the means- end theory/ MECCAs model which is broken down into five parts.

Means-end theory (MECCAS model)

This model states that advertisers require five elements to create an ad.

  1. The product attributes
  2. Consumer benefits
  3. Leverage points
  4. Personal values
  5. The executional framework

The product attributes

The product attributes. What are the features of your product, what makes it up? What is its purpose?

The consumer benefits

What about your product is going to benefit the consumer or target audience? Why should they buy your product what are the pain points your product is solving?

Leverage points

“A leverage point moves the consumer from understanding the products benefits to linking those benefits with personal values.”

A leverage point can be: A message or phrase e.g. a question to a consumer or a combination of visual images and phrases. This is the part where the advertiser hopes to portray the emotional benefits of buying your product instead of something else.

For example, why does a child drink Coke instead of Pepsi? Its deeper than just the taste, is it because all the skater kids are drinking Pepsi and they want to identify with skaters. You need to parallel your target audiences beliefs as well as their self identity to champion this one.

Personal values

Personal values are the way in which your product makes a connection with the viewer. For example, if you are using music in your advert you might emotionally connect with a viewer, however, if the connection they have with a particular song is related to a bad feeling or painful memory it may create those kinds of connections with your product. So, be safe and stay away from Back to Bedlam!

The executional framework

The executional frame work is the manner in which an ad appeal is presented.

  1. Animation – Originally used by small budget firms. Now popular due to the upgrade in PC graphics, they personify products, animal’s humans and are used by companies such as Red Bull who are quite a high-profile brand.
  2. Slice of life– This is a soft sell approach, provides solutions and a scenario in four stages
  1. Testimonials – Testimonials tell the viewer of a positive experience with products offered. These promote services and products, authenticity is key with this framework. Actual customers should be use and enhance imperfections, customers shouldn’t be airbrushed or altered. There is also evidence to suggest that customers with accents are more trust worthy, and northerners are perceived to be friendlier.
  2. Informative – Present information in a straightforward way. This is used lots for radio, its good in high involvement situations and is particularly used within B2B industry.
  3. Authoritative – This shows superiority using expertise. For example, you could use dentists, doctors, engineers, scientific research. The claims made in this framework are powerful and they rely on cognitive process good for print especially magazines.
  4. Demonstrations – shows the product working, its functionality. The product is the core focus. Used in television/ online in flash media- not so much in print.
  5. Fantasy – This can also be realistic, it is used for services and products. Involves romance, love, sex and it targets older audiences. Shows experience of the product and is used in TV.

So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the Means- end advertising theory. Try and put it into practice on your next advertising campaign and measure your results! If you need help with any of your marketing efforts whether it be digital or print get in touch and see where we can help your company succeed.

James Blackman ‘Counting the cost of late payment’ Podcast


Last week Cocoonfxmedia’s James Blackman featured in episode eight of The Chamber Podcast where the focus and topic of conversation was around late payments and the effect they have on SMEs and other businesses.

Full Transcript

Dan: Welcome to episode eight of “The Chamber Podcast.” Late payment is a major issue for small and medium sized businesses across the region. Come to the launch of a campaign by the Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber of Commerce encouraging businesses to pay their suppliers within 30 days. We’ll be finding out more about the pay in 30 days pledge and what businesses can do to encourage prompt payments. I’m Dan Harrison, press and PR executive.

James: I am James Blackman, Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber of Commerce.

Simon: And I’m Simon Chapman, president of Burton & District Chamber of Commerce.

Dan: A survey revealed that on average £200,000 is regularly owed to businesses for late payments. In some cases, companies are made to wait 90 or even 120 days for payments for products or services. James, pay in 30 days has been a big theme of your presidency of the Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber. So could you just kick off by telling us a little bit about the pledge.

James: Yeah, sure. I thought of this pledge with myself as a business owner and having the stress and worry of not being paid on time. And I found that a lot of my clients, and other businesses and small businesses, were having problems with late payment, which in turn affects cash flow, affects your health, affects the local economy, and generally it’s just bad practice not paying within those, sort of, 30 days.

Simon: I think payment, agreed payment terms and sticking to them is absolutely vital.

James: Yeah, totally. And it’s staggering how many businesses seem to think that 60, 90 days is actually okay. I’ve been on financial training courses where financial controllers are actually encouraged to withhold payment to suppliers to increase their own cash flow. But that has a nothing effect over the sub-economy.

Dan: Although the pledge isn’t legally binding. I mean, you just mentioned not being good for your health and the health of the local economy. I mean, that shared understanding between businesses, that’s so important, working together really for the benefit of the local economy, isn’t it?

James: It is, and it’s having a think about really what impact it has paying someone late on their payment terms, even if it’s 45 days, 60 days. Because what tends to happen with smaller micro-businesses is that they wait to get paid, then they pay their suppliers, and then it just has a trickle-down effect all the way through the economy. That overall affects even the high street, because if there’s less cash flow in small businesses, there’s less chance of having higher wages, which means there’s less disposable income to spend, and then the shops suffer from that, and then the wider economy suffers from that as well.

Simon: I think it’s quite interesting, James. They, you know, just mentioned a point now with shops. There is no pay in 30 days when you go shopping, it’s pay now.

James: Exactly.

Simon: And I think businesses need to ensure that they manage their cash flow well. We as a business here at Yee Group, we will ask clients for payments upfront if, a, if they don’t have payment history with us, good, you know? And so we’ll ask them for a…certainly a contribution towards a project that we might be undertaking for them and that certainly assists with our cash flow. And we are quite strict with our payment terms. And I think businesses are frightened to actually say to somebody, “I can’t do work for you unless you pay me on time.” And they then spiral and do more work. You’ve go to be very careful you don’t self yourself down a rabbit hole where you just get deeper and deeper into debt with a customer. So you’ve got to have that confidence to say, “Enough is enough actually. I need paying.”

James: Yeah, and it’s…I mean, particularly in the creative industry, which is where Cocoonfxmedia is from, is that often the value isn’t seen on what we do and we’re often put to the back of the pile. And some of the projects can be tens of thousands of pounds, and for a small business that’s…it could be 80% of their turnover, maybe more. And if they are not paid on time or they’re just not seen as important, then it just is bad business. And I think it’s also ethical as well that if businesses have a good payment plan and policy, it just makes better business, a better…a level playing field.

Dan: But also, for small businesses, I mean, it really can be the difference between success and failure.

James: Yeah, I’ve got a good example of one of my clients. He basically went under where he was asked to supply a big multinational with some hardware. He went and purchased that on credit, on a 30, 45-day payment terms. He supplied the goods to his supplier. Because the supplier gave him the wrong PO number, it meant that then his payment got delayed from originally 60 days, to 90 days, to 120 days. And then…

Simon: Totally unacceptable.

James: It is totally unacceptable. They have the goods. His suppliers called in their debt, and it was a substantial amount of money, which meant he had to go into liquidation. They still had the products and technically it was theft. And this is a big multinational company. I’ve had other friends who own businesses who refuse to work with big household names because he is basically bankrolling their business.

Simon: Absolutely.

James: And that’s, I think, where that needs to change.

Dan: Simon, I know you’ve got a practical example of where you’ve been able to negotiate the term of payment with a major company.

Simon: Yeah, absolutely. We worked for one of the national brewers and we did our quotation. Our quotation’s standard are 30 days payment terms. We were successful in winning the work. So yes, we’re really pleased, we rung the bell in the office. And then the purchase order came through, payment terms 93 days plus.

James: Plus, that’s just so wrong.

Simon: It is just wrong absolutely, James, you’re absolutely right. And so pick the phone up to the person we placed a purchase order, the place of purchase and said, “I’m really sorry. We can’t work under those terms,” you know. And he said, “Why?” I said, our purchase terms are 30 days.” I said, “We simply cannot do the work.” “Let me go away and have a look at it.” And they came back and said, “Well, we can do it. We can pay you in 45 days.” Massive difference, and it’s just being confident enough to say, “No, it’s still not 30 days.” But actually, they did pay in 45 days and we are confident about that.

James: I think that’s…what Simon is saying there is totally right just that you as a business owner and a small business have the right to choose who you work with and demand your own terms. If companies are going to pay in 90 days and you’re willing to accept that, that technically could be your, sort of, not death bed, but nail in a coffin in the business if your other suppliers don’t pay on time.

Simon: Look at Carillion. Carillion is just the example of the time where suppliers were having to wait over 120 days. Local, lots and lots of local businesses have gone under. And that’s livelihoods affected, families, you know, it’s tragic. And it is vital that the government do their inquiry, understand what’s going on, and ensure that we don’t find ourselves in this position again. And I applaud you, James, and your chamber for pushing the pay in 30 days. Out there to people are listening to this, you know, make sure that you don’t leave yourself too exposed. You’re better to walk away from the work than take work under payment terms that aren’t acceptable because we do not want more Carillion. So that would be my advice.

James: Thank you, Simon. And just on one thing, it’s these larger companies, if their executives were paid in 120 days, they would actually walk out of their business. So from an ethical point of view, would you pay your staff in 90 days, 120 days? You wouldn’t. You wouldn’t have a workforce. And that’s where micro-businesses and small businesses actually shore up the economy. And if they’re paid on time, it means everyone gets paid on time and it’s better for the economy.

Local late payers

Dan: On a more local level though, there’s the obvious need for cashflow, but there’s also the trust factor as well.

James: Yes. If, I mean, if you enter with an agreement with a company and you say, “Okay, my invoice terms are 30 days,” and they come back and on the 30th day, you still haven’t been paid. It sort of…it feels like they have upset you personally.

Simon: It breaks up trust personally. And I think when you’ve gone and done a really good job for a customer it is ethically right and it is professional to pay on the agreed payment terms. And, you know, we have got to push that message out there to the people and say, “You know, it’s not acceptable. And actually, you are not a good business to work for.” And in my role as president, if I have companies that haven’t paid in the right time, I will tell other people that we don’t work for them anymore.

James: And it’s…I feel that’s perfectly good point and I agree with that totally. And it’s…technically, I see it as theft. They’re taking your services for free.

Simon: It’s only theft if you don’t pay, James. It’s the, you know, and I think most…a lot of these companies do pay. But they’re just using us to be a banker and we are not a financial institution. We would have to, if we weren’t paid on time, you know, we might have to go and borrow that money and I don’t want to be doing that for bankrolling another business. So I think it’s really important that we push out this pledge that you’ve got out there, James, and we ensure that we push it out to all businesses. Whether that’s a local council, the larger organizations, because I think it’s the large organizations that are creating a lot of this payment issue.

James: They are, and it’s mostly protecting the shareholders. Everyone wants good profit, everyone wants a good balance sheet. But it’s good ethics. There is the delayed payment legislation where you can charge per day afterwards. But actually trying to get paid for an invoice and then stick an extra eight percent a day on top, it’s just not going to work. So I think there needs to be a change at government and they need to start pushing out for it. And know that there, for larger companies you have to note in your annual returns why you are late on payments and want your payment terms up. But I think now is the time, with the likes of Carillion and these larger businesses, that they can make a massive impact in the economy by just reducing their payment terms.

Simon: I think that’s what this is about, isn’t it? It’s improving. We’ve got a great country. We’ve got some fantastic businesses out there. Let’s work more together, let’s help each other, let’s not make it painful. Because spending time chasing money is not good use of resource, it’s not a pleasant thing to do, and we can all make our daily lives a lot more pleasant if we got paid on time.

James: And I totally agree. I’ve got one good example with us. We reduced our payment terms of bad debt from 54 days down to 34 days and that actually allowed us to employ two extra staff. So having that extra 20 days better in your cashflow has a massive impact on small businesses.

Dan: So there’s plenty here to ponder for businesses who’ve been affected by late payment. For more information on the pay in 30 days pledge, contact James or the executive committee at the Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber of Commerce. James, Simon, thank you very much for joining us on the latest episode of the Chamber Podcast.

We’d love to know what you think about late payments, what you do to combat your late payers and if they have effected your business in anyway. We are in full support of the Pay in 30 days campaign and you can join it here. Get in touch with us via twitter or Facebook and let us know your thoughts!

Google AdWords Case Study


The marketing industry is constantly changing as new technologies are innovated and later become available to the general public. As marketers we have seen it all when it comes to trends so it is no surprise that companies are always trying out new technologies, after all, marketing is a test of what works and what doesn’t right?

However, what was unforeseen was the rising demand for Google AdWord campaigns which launched at the start of the millennium. Eighteen years on and today still proving fruitful, more than a million advertisers generate tens of billions in revenue for Google as well as their own companies.

Google AdWords Management

Google AdWords is first and foremost an online advertising service developed by Google which guarantees to get your product on the first page of google by the user curating a list of positive and negative key words. You then set a budget and pay a certain amount of money per click, where the aim is as always with any marketing activity to receive the maximum amount of value at the lowest possible cost.

Return on investment can be tracked with ease and is one of the perks that our latest AdWords client, Rainbow Play Systems, enjoyed the most.

Rainbow Play Systems Ltd are a specialist “Wooden Climbing Frame company” who sell bespoke luxury climbing frames. Recently we were approached by our strategic marketing partner Haywood Sener who asked us to manage this particular AdWords campaign.

The initial campaign was targeted at Black Friday shoppers which converted 1050 click-through and leads to the website. Pleased with the results, the next campaign was a Christmas campaign which started after Black Friday in November, where we increased the reach of the advert by over 430% and click-through rate by over 143% and reduced the cost per click by a staggering 71%.  Leading to 2 high value orders and more in the pipeline.

Read more: Services, Google AdWords

Return on investment

The click-through also complemented our client in another way. As well as creating potential leads the campaign doubled traffic to their website and created brand awareness for the company.

On the back of the campaign we generated Rainbow Play Systems Ltd a massive return on investment of over 30%

Cara Bradney UK Marketing Manager at Rainbow Play said, “We are delighted with the performance from the Adwords campaigns and we’ve just commission Cocoonfxmedia Ltd to manage another 2 campaigns going forward with more on the horizons.”

If you want to create leads, be on the first page of google, double your site traffic whilst making a huge return on investment all at the same time, get in touch and see how AdWords can help your company succeed.

Three tips to help students combat the social-media ‘cliff-edge’


Key stage 2 is arguably one of the most stressful times before GCSE’s that school children will face, in their academic career.

Having had the stress of sats and mock exams before the transition to high school they are faced with losing friends and being anxious about the move.

The new commissioners report suggest that along with this, social media becomes imperative to their everyday lives and children are constantly anxious to get the most likes on Instagram or Facebook and not understanding that these social platforms are just ‘high light’ reels of their friends lives.

Read more: 5 tips on what makes a good school website

Three tips to combat to teach your students about social media

To combat this we are sharing with you 3 tips to include into your lessons so your pupils don’t experience a social media ‘cliff-edge’ before graduating from primary to high school.

1. Incorporate lessons about social media algorithms so children understand why they see what they do on their news feeds on social media networks, and that the posts they see are targeted through different types of paid advertisement. (This information is freely available through the social networks themselves)

2. Try and encourage children to be themselves online, and still have the safety element such as never showing their house number or their school uniform in posts. Teach them about safety options operated by social media networks, what different privacy settings mean and how they can protect themselves online.  These same basic principles and lessons can be transferred to online situations students might find themselves in very easily.

Read more: Important lessons to be learnt by generation Z 

3. Encourage children to recognise that the things posted by their peers on social media are highlights and they should believe everything that they see is authentic as some images are digitally edited. For example, Kim Kardashian doesn’t really look like Kim Kardashian. Try showing images of digitally edited photos and the un altered image and ask children to decide which is authentic and which is not.

Also show children social media influencers who do not support digitally edited images online or in print.

Tell us how you’re keeping your students clued up!

If you have any other ideas we’d be really interested to know how you plan to combat social media cliff edging! Get in touch, leave us a comment or share to a friend that needs to see this!

James Blackman Awards Ruth Forster The Lichfield and Tamworth Presidents award


Last week we attended the annual Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce awards dinner at The Belfry, where our very own James Blackman was there to present the Lichfield and Tamworth Presidents award to Ruth Forster.

Ruth Forster awarded Lichfield and Tamworth Presidents Award

Ruth commenced a career in recruitment in 1993 starting as an administrator and working her way up into a trainee recruitment role and then a full recruitment consultant position.

17 years later in 2010, she started her own company starting by working from home and then going on to employ 5 members of staff.

Since then she has Joined The Southern Staffordshire Employment and Skills Board in 2013, became TEAM Specialist Director in 2014, joined the APPG for women and enterprise in 2016 and was appointed director of skills for the Stephen Sutton Academy Trust in 2017.

James Blackman said;

“Ruth Forster from Wagstaff Recruitment based in Lichfield hit 2 of the main policies the Lichfield and Tamworth Chamber of Commerce and stud out as a glowing example, the two policies she hit were, skills and education and diversity and equality.

She has been unbelievably instrumental with all of the massive hard work she has being doing across the whole district of Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth . This has been with both businesses and schools and she has honestly given up so much of her personal time to address careers and the skills and employment gaps for young people.

She is also very proactive with enterprise and empowering young women. She has made a big difference to our area and I know other schools and businesses would provide testimonials to support this. In addition as Chair of the SSEB , she has been driving this agenda back to the Greater Birmingham LEP to shape further work which can be done”

Lichfield & Tamworth President’s Award
(Sponsored by Greater Birmingham International Business Hub)

About Cocoonfxmedia

With four employees based in the county of Staffordshire, Cocoonfxmedia is one of the midlands leading digital marketing agencies. With web design at its core, its strong market position lies in the digital marketing industry, with a clear focus on providing measurable marketing solutions. Further information can be found at or by getting in touch with one of our friendly members of staff today!

5 Sources of competitive advantage


Competitive advantage is a set of circumstances or conditions (such as being first to take a product to market) that puts one company in a more favorable position than the other. Here are the 5 sources of competitive advantage that you can identify and build upon in your company every day.

Sources of Competitive Advantage:

  1. Superior Skills

“The distinctive capabilities of key personnel that set them apart from the personnel of competing firms”
“The benefit of superior skills is the resulting ability to perform functions more effectively than other firms” – Chadwick and Jobber

       2. Superior Resources

“The tangible requirements for advantage that enable a firm to exercise its skills” Such as;

  • The number of salespeople in a market
  • Expenditure on advertisement and sales promotion
  • Distribution infrastructure
  • Expenditure on R&D
  • Scale and type of production facilities
  • Brand equity
  • Knowledge

       3. Core Competencies

The distinctive nature of these skills and resources make up a company’s core competencies. Capabilities that are critical to a business achieving competitive advantage. “Core competencies are the most important sources of uniqueness” 1990 Prahalad and Hamel. They are a “harmonised combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in the market place”.


Are they Core Competencies?
         1. Relevance; they must give something that strongly influences the               consumer to choose the product/ service.

  1. Difficult to imitate; the competence must be difficult to imitate
  2. Breadth of Application; Something that opens new markets. If it only opens a few small niche markets then success in these markets will not be enough to sustain significant growth.


      4. Value Chain

The value chain is a high level model developed by Porter. It is use to describe the process by which businesses receive raw materials, add value through various processes to create a finished product, ready to sell to customers. The overall goal of the value chain is to deliver maximum value for the least possible cost to create a competitive advantage.


       5. Differential Advantage

Unique benefits/ selling points/ characteristics that set the product/ service apart and above its competitors in the customer’s viewpoint.

Avoid ‘me too’, syndrome otherwise price is the only thing you can be different about and the market is damaged.

                                                                                              e.g. TkMaxx ‘big labels                                                                                                         small prices’

  • Promotion
  • Price
  • Distribution
  • Product

Read more: The extended marketing 3ps 

Apply this model when drawing up competitive strategies for market and explore what your companies sources of competitive advantage are and how you can leverage them in marketing plans.

The 17 elements of a school website


Elements to make sure your school website meets its criteria and maximise functionality

Schools have various different obstacles to face when deciding to get their institution online. Some of the challenges posed by deciding to take the virtual step are things such as the general rules that the Government and Ofsted recommend having online and the management of users and time to get the website up, running and constantly updated.

The key thing to remember with a school’s website is that it needs to be fit for purpose, it should let stakeholders, governors, parents, students and staff find out information easily. If your school website isn’t running as fast as you’d like it to we offer a variety of web hosting options.

Government recommendations of the 16 sections of a School website

Following, is the information that schools maintained by their local authority must publish on their websites.

School contact details

This includes: your school’s name, postal address, telephone number, the name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public and the name and contact details of your special educational needs (SEN) coordinator (SENCO) if you’re a mainstream school.

Admission arrangements

If the school’s governing body decides your admissions, you must publish your school’s admission arrangements each year and keep them up for the whole school year.

Explain how you’ll decide on applicants for each age group, what parents should do if they want to apply for their child to attend your school and your arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply and your ‘over subscription criteria’.

Ofsted reports

Publish your most recent Ofsted report or a link to the report on the Ofsted website. Remember that Ofsted check your schools website before they carry out inspection! This means that although your school is top of the class in most departments, your website could be holding you back from reaching that ‘outstanding’ status.

Exam & assessment result

Exam and assessment results from Key stage 2, KS4 and KS5 must be published in the form of average progress, average scaled scores and percentage

Performance tables

You must include a link to the school and college performance tables service.


You must publish the content of your school curriculum in each academic year for every subject. The names of any phonics or reading schemes you’re using in KS1, a list of the courses available at KS4 including GCSEs and how parents or other members of the public can find out more about the curriculum your school is following.

Behavior policy

Your school’s behavior policy needs to be publishes in detail on your school’s website and this should be compliant with Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

Schools complaints procedure

You must publish details of your school’s complaints procedure, which must comply with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002

Pupil premium

You must publish a strategy for the school’s use of the pupil premium.

For the current academic year, you must include:

Your school’s pupil premium grant allocation amount

A summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school, how you’ll spend the pupil premium in order to overcome those barriers described and the reasons. How this plan will be measured and the date of the next review on the pupil premium strategy.

Year 7 literacy and numeracy premium for primary schools

If your school has received year 7 literacy and numeracy catch – up premium funding you must publish: your funding for the current year, how you intend to spend your allocation, how last year’s allocation was spent and how it made a difference to those granted the funding.

PE and Sport premium for primary schools

If your school receives PE and sport premium funding you must publish, how much you received, a full breakdown on how or how you will spend the funding. The effect of the premium on pupils PE and sport participation and attainment. How you’ll make sure these improvements are sustainable.

SEN and disability information

You must publish an SEN information report on your school’s policy for pupils with SEN and should update this annually.

Equality objectives

Public bodies, including local – authority – maintained schools, are covered by the public-sector duty in the Equality Act 2010. This means you have to publish:

Details of how your school is complying with the public-sector equality duty – you should update this every year.

Your school’s equality objectives- you should update this at least once every 4 years.

Governors information and duties

You must publish details of the structure and responsibilities of the governing body and its committees, information about each governor’s business interests, financial interests and governance roles in other schools.

Charging and remissions policies

You must publish your schools charging and ‘remissions’ policies (this means when you cancel fees). The policies must include details of:

The activities or cases where your school will charge pupils parents.

The circumstances where your school will make an exception on a payment you would normally expect to receive under your charging policy.

Values and ethos

Your website should include a statement of your school’s ethos and values.

Requests for paper copies

If a parent requests a paper copy of the information on your school’s website you must provide this free of charge.

(Read further: What should academies, free schools and colleges should publish online.)

If your website is looking more Miss Trunchbull than Miss Honey, get in touch today to see how we can partner with you and get your schools website fit for purpose once again.