Friday 23 April 2010

Golf Tourism Video Gets Expo Broadcast

The Edge were delighted to have worked with Golf Tourism Scotland to produce a short corporate video to highlight their raison d'etre, aims and objectives and partnerships.

The video was scripted, story boarded and finally mixed down by The Edge Studios with superb video production from Studio Scotland.

It's not the first video production that we've pulled together over the years and there are a couple of more projects in the offing. However in working through the many stages of the project you can't help but thinking that the use of video will become increasingly important in a whole host of business sectors helping to get clear unambiguous quality and product messages across online.

We've still got some final edits and voiceovers to do for the final DVD version but the Expo version of the GTS video went down quite well on what was one of the shows busiest stands.

Torridon Artwork comes together for Ross County Song

So this time last week we didn't know that there was going to be a Ross County Cup Final song. Now we're just a few days from a live recording of the track at The Ironworks in Inverness, the distribution deal has been arranged with top Scottish record label The Music Kitchen - owned incidentally by Stuart "Woody" Wood of Bay City Rollers fame - and we've now even managed to get the artwork togethe ready for the weekend newspapers!

Torridon already have a pretty cool logo already and almost at first look we had an idea of how we'd take it forward. We had to take the track title "We're on Our Way" and make that prominent as well as building in the team colours, sponsors logos and yet not lose the feel. We also needed to think about the track listing for iTunes as well to ensure that the fans can look back in fifty years time and say that they were named on a top forty chart hit! So the band title for the track quickly became Torridon & The Staggies - Ross County's nickname and now a famous Highland live act!

We took the wee Torries and gave them three Adidas stripes (size 41 Bambas would be nice thanks) the main sponsors logo and away we went.

So that was it. From briefing to logo in about four hours. We hope you like the results.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Tartan Army Greatest Team

Following up on the previous post about the power of email marketing we thought we should bring you the results from the Tartan Army poll to find the greatest team. The email questionnaire created by The Edge for Scottish Television and the Tartan Army resulted in more than 600 responses and the following 4-4-2 team...

Manager: Jock Stein

Craig Gordon

Richard Gough
Danny McGrain,
Willie Miller
Alex McLeish.

Graeme Souness
Jimmy Johnstone.
Jim Baxter
Billy Bremner 

Kenny Dalglish
Denis Law

You can view the full breakdown of the vote on the STV website

Email market research is an immensely powerful and very immediate method of getting customer feedback and opinions. We use email marketing for detailed analysis of guest comments post hotel departures, for analysing market activity and we can even embed topical polls into your homepage.

For more information on how The Edge can assist your online market research give us a cll on 01292 521404

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Ayrshire Hospitality Business Increases Social Media

Just started work today on increasing the social media presence of the businesses of Meridian, Caprice and The Ayrshire and Galloway Hotel.

The Edge revamped the sites of the well known Ayrshire wine bars and hotel a couple of years ago and following an account review with owner and management a refresh of the website and addition of new blog, facebook and ae-mail marketing camapign was decided upon.

At the same time The Edge will undertake a Key Content Builder project which is aimed at improving content and search tags and increasing the traffic through the sites.

The use of social media can undoubtedly build the online profile of any business and fast moving enterprises such as pub groups can both reduce costs and increase sales. The return on investment from a strategic online marketing stratgey can be quite dramatic.

So if you think that having a website designed three or four years ago constitutes an online marketing strategy why not give us a call and we'll explain how we could help your business communicate more effectively.

Plan B on Side With The Staggies

The thing about working at Plan B is you're just never sure what the next phone call is going to bring...

So it shouldn't have been a surprise when we got a phone call late last week from Kenny from Highland band Torridon asking if we could help out with their idea to release a single to mark Ross County's historic Scottish Cup Final appearance at Hampden next month.

Of course when we're asked to do these things the brain tells you to hang up, the heart however tells you that this is why you're in this business and not in banking. It's about taking some time out to smell the roses and just enjoy the project to the full.

So yes it was and since yesterday morning we've been finalising details with the venue - The Ironworks in Inverness; we've sorted out the sound recording with Dingwall based Highland Backline; met with The Sun discuss some promotional opportunities; discussed the lyrics with the band and hopefully have finalised a distribution deal for the proposed launch of the single on 10th of May.

It's great fun, not perhaps a day to day occurence but it's great to be involved in, absorbing, challenging and requires us to be able to think quickly, adapt, adopt and decide at on the spot. We'll keep you up to date with the progress of the song which is being recorded live in Inverness on Tuesday 27th April.

Good luck all involved

Highland Heroes Ready for Hampden Chart Success

“Torridon and The Staggies” getting ready to sing their way to Hampden 

Ross County supporters are getting ready to lend their vocal support to a potential chart topper! Having already played their way to the top into next month’s Active Nation Scottish Cup Final against Dundee United at Hampden Park, supporters of the Dingwall based football club – and Scotland’s most northerly professional team – have the chance on Tuesday 27th of April to be heard on the official club song.

The track is an adaptation of The Proclaimers, “I’m On My Way” and is going to be recorded live on Tuesday at The Ironworks by popular Highland band Torridon.

Kenny Smith of Torridon explained, "It’s been in the pipeline to record a Ross County song for a while now, and beating Celtic in the semi-final has offered the perfect inspiration. Having been at Hampden when Runrig recorded Loch Lomond with the Tartan Army, we felt it was so important to have the Ross County fans provide backing vocals on such a rousing song."

Kenny then made contact with The Proclaimers to get their approval, the club gave their support and he then booked The Ironworks, live music venue in Inverness for the night.

He continues, “It will be a free gig at The Ironworks and we’re hoping as many Staggies will come in with strips, scarves and semi final flags and sing the roof off the place!” We’ve made some changes to the words to make the song theirs but they’ll quickly get the hang of it we’re sure. It is hoped that the track will be released as Torridon & The Staggies!”

“We’re On Our Way” as the new version will be called, will hopefully be released exclusively on iTunes on the 10th of May and it is hoped that every fan heading to Hampden (and indeed a few neutrals) will buy a copy – if they did it could easily chart in the UK Top Twenty!

All those involved are working around the clock to get the single online in time for Cup Final with the track being mixed during the night after the gig and then sent to top Scottish record company The Music Kitchen in Edinburgh. Former Bay City Roller, Stuart Wood from the Edinburgh record label explained, “With such a short period of time to the release date, we’ll all just have to pull out the stops in the hope that we can get the track online in plenty of time so unfortunately if an all nighter is required then it’ll have to be!”

Torridon and Ross County were also both keen that any proceeds from the single would go to a good cause and they quickly decided that the charity to benefit would be Highland Disability Sport, an organisation focussed on providing opportunities for less-abled sportspersons across The Highlands.

Charlie Munro from Highland Disability Sport was delighted with the news, “Like the rest of the Highland population, we were delighted when Ross County got to the final but it’s even better news now that we may benefit from the release of the single. It’s great for us that Torridon and the football club have recognised what we’re trying to achieve in The Highlands. We can’t way to hear the final version!”

Ross County themselves are just taking it in their stride it would seem!

Douglas Fairley, Commercial Executive at the club explained, “The interest generated by the Final is simply fantastic, the Club has been absolutely inundated with offers, people and businesses desperate to be involved, not surprising really as this could be a once in a lifetime experience for the Highlands. Kenny and Matthew have been indirectly involved with Ross County for a number of years and when they approached us with this concept we were delighted to give it our approval, it could be a great weekend with a Cup Final and a Top Forty Chart Hit the following day!”

The Ironworks in Inverness will be able to hold up to 600 Staggies on Tuesday night and while there are likely to be tickets on the door the organisers recommend visiting for up to date information on reserving tickets

For Further Information Contact

Ian McCaig | Plan B

Office: 01292 521404

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Social Media with Purpose...

We're always banging on about Social Media requiring purpose or it's not worth doing. It must achieve an objective, develop brand, create revenue, reduce costs.
Something other than finding pink animals in a neighbour's farm or sitting down for another glass of wine!
Anyway, the ability of social media to communicate quickly is truly amazing.
As part of our management on online marketing for The Tartan Army, we are always dealing with media requests for something or another about The Tartan Army's opinions or actions; so it was no real surprise to be approached by Scottish Television this morning with a request for a Tartan Army spin on Scotland's Greatest Team - a programme finishing this week with votes on who should play in a 4-4-2 team.
So rather than giving them a single opinion we've put together a ConstantContact Questionnaire online and driven it through the Tartan Army facebook page which The Edge set up for them.
The results will be collated real time online and sent in spreadhseet form to STV pre broadcast.
Now you can imagine how online polls could benefit your business' customer care.
Give us a call.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

The Old Course Brand Ticks On

We noted with some interest that Jaermann & Stübi has become the official clock supplier and timekeeper of Scottish golf course St Andrews Links, and has created a limited-edition to watch to mark the occasion.

According to the press copy, "Jaermann & Stübi has created 18 platinum watches as part of The Old Course collection; each watch is dedicated to a hole on the famous golf course and is inscribed with statistics about the hole it represents."

Unfortunately we're unable to advise you on how much the watches may be but may be more expensive than an Old Course Experience four ball but cheaper than an apartment overlooking the eighteenth!

Kind of expensive looking watches which we're sure will sell to a target niche. Some would wish that The Links Trust could be just a little more of that time to the Scottish Travel Trade...

Monday 12 April 2010

Interesting Partnership Strategy for Hotel Rate Negotiating

While reading the article on hoteliers being pressured by OTA's to screw their prices down I came across the advert below on Priceline. I have to say that somehwere along the line the balance of power has to change. Can it really be good for anyone to be forced into a pricing strategy by sheer brute force? However you have to say the blame must lie at the feet of the hotel (chains?) who have let it happen.

Any thoughts?

Another Article on Why You need to Focus on Direct Sales

Sometimes when you're publishing articles on online marketing fro the hospitality industry generally and online reservations specifically, the articales can sometimes be seen as lacking independance through vested interests. Our view has always been that the arguments for focussing on improving any hotel's direct distribution is not only important but critical and cannot be argued against in any circumstances.

In saying that however when a third party comes in and supports the argument so strongly (even if it is using US statistics) we don't ignore that reinforcement.

An article from does just that emphasising in a series of strong arguments and financial case studies just why the independant hotelier should be concentrating and investing in their own online distribution channels

The article is clear and totally unambiguous. Dependance on OTA's must be reduced and quickly.

So the next time you're doorstepped by an online marketing distributor ask them how they view the balance between direct and indirect online business.

Ask them where the online business will be coming from and what the cost of that business is really going to be. And make sure you understand fully what it is that they are going to do in partnership with you to develop your own website sales.

Are they more interested in sales through their own channels? Is the booking page going to link out of your own website?  Does the landing page look like it belongs to another website? If so do you think your customers are going to close the new window down? Worse does it offer availability to your competitors if you don't have any availability for the dates shown?

You know if the answer to anyone of these questions was yes you should start asking questions. If the answer to them all is yes then you really have to question your online marketing strategy.

The article may make you think twice about your approach. If you need some advice on turning your online marketing and distrobution around drop us an email.

Saturday 10 April 2010

Happy Tartan Day Parade New Yorkers!

Now I could be wrong but it does look as though politics may yet have got in the way of a good idea? Is it just me again or has the traditional Tartan Day celebrations that normally got high profile coverage vanished off the press pages? I know there's a wee election just rolling but there doesn't seem to be much profile around as there has been before.

I picked up a press clipping this morning saying the Jim Mather is over in The States promoting business links but so far haven't found anything about tourism promotions going on anywhere and when you Google "visitscotland scotland week 2010" there's nothing from the national tourism agency. A press release on Scotland week  from the government site is singularly low key.

So what has happened? Well it has everything to do with the renaming of Tartan Week to Scotland Week a couple of years back by the Scottish bodies involved? (See The Scotsman article at the time)

Has it been a good thing? I can't be sure having not been there but the fact that the profile has dropped so dramatically can hardly be a great thing and again reinforces the argument put by some that whilst the heater, kilt and whisky profile is not entirely accepted by all as the way forward it does provide a unique selling point (which captrures attention) that other countries cannot compete with. Scotland Week just doesn't do it on a PR level.

Anyway today, 10th of April in just a couple of hours the 12th Annual Tartan Week parade will commence in New York - without Scottish governement support - and we're sure it will bethe success it always is.

Good luck to the guys in New York looking after Tartan Week and have a great parade. Join them on Facebook as well.