Marketing: Persevere, Persevere, Persevere

Persevering in marketing is a lot like persevering to reach a goal


Marketing: Persevere, Persevere, Persevere

My father once told me “When times get tough, persevere”.

Anecdotally, after having met so many businesses over the years, there are two key numbers that I hear over and over: 11 and 13. These are the years it takes many businesses to find the success many dream of when they first start a business.

Both numbers are fairly big and if your business is just starting out reading that may seem frightening…

But I may have a short cut.


I was in a networking event just this week where this fella said to me “advertising – just doesn’t work. The only way to build your business is word of mouth.” Now, be it driving down the freeway passing billboard after billboard, listening to the radio, watching the TV or looking at the amount of content being produced online I think there is a weight of evidence that may suggest otherwise.

Word of mouth is a beautiful acoustic performance and let’s be honest there are few things better than being in an intimate room with an artist and hearing them play just for you, but it can be equally thrilling listening to your favorited artist belt out the same tune with 100,000 people singing along around you in a stadium.

But to sing to 100,000 you need to amplify the singers voice and this, for me, is a key to growing your business quickly… amplifying your marketing efforts.

That amplification can be scary be it as a singer or as a business takes commitment

  1. Because you need to invest infrastructure to achieve it and,
  2. Because you need to be able to back up your promise of a great show or else you are going to seriously damage your brand…

I think a big part of the reason that many businesses are afraid of implementing marketing initiatives is because they are genuinely afraid of growing. Afraid of the commitment it takes…

So, if you are not afraid read on.

Like business itself, I believe, like my father did, that marketing is about perseverance.

Perseverance in Marketing

How does this apply to marketing?

The big bad world of marketing is massive and the options endless; so how can any business know what is going to work for them and what business can possibly afford to do, or try, them all?

And even if you could, where you find success may ultimately surprise you….

Unfortunately, marketing isn’t an absolute science, moreover one of the greatest challenges of business is differentiation and much like your USP (and you should have one (Have a read about USP’s here) your marketing needs to set you apart from your key competitors. The look, feel, messaging and channels you use may be guided by your competition (note: research is key to standing out) but may take time to make work.

Time…that old chestnut. Yes, great marketing takes time – marketing is a marathon not a sprint and you should prepare for accordingly.

Here are some things to consider

  • Have a genuine goal
  • Have a plan
  • Some will recommend 90 days but we would suggest 180 day to trial and evolve a marketing initiative before abandoning it. Not 2 weeks!!!
  • During that time test and tweak it
  • Understand what the purpose of your marketing is there to achieve. There is a huge difference between marketing for sales vs marketing for brand awareness, so be clear about what it is you are aiming for before you begin.
  • Invest in quality execution. If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.

Marketing success won’t happen overnight. The companies that do it best are those that are willing to roll up their sleeves, get a bit dirty, do the work and stick with it.

A creative director I used to work with many years ago, Paul, once said to me “Ideas a worthless, what makes a great idea is how you execute it” and most businesses abandon them for the next bright object instead of sticking with their plan. Which is one of the greatest challenges we face as an agency, we build plans for businesses and a timeline with which to permeate it, only to have the client change their objectives or be concerned they are not seeing results one or two months in.

Yes, you can always change something if it doesn’t work. But, before you do, make sure you didn’t just abandon great ideas or great plans because the results weren’t instant or because it was more fun to try something new.

Marketing in some ways can be like going to the gym and working with an agency like working with a personal trainer…It is going to be hard. The trainer is going to build you a plan and going to push you to stick to it.


Your muscles will be sore, your diet may be restricted and for a while it may feel like you are getting nowhere, but stick with it and you will come out of it looking and feeling better than ever.



Be patient

Be involved

Be consistent and

Be persistent…


And both your business and your marketing will flourish. And if you need some help, just ask we’re always here.




Photo by Ian Chen on Unsplash



Written By: Rob

This ad was banned in the UK… Why?


This ad was banned in the UK?!

When being banned is good and other tips on how
to go viral.

Something about being told what we are not allowed to watch or do is innately exciting to us. The word elicit enlivens something inside us and emboldens us to act. We are human beings with rational thought and although we might not jump off a bridge if someone else did – unless it’s Chad, I’d do anything that guy would do, he is so cool! But being told we can’t watch something, well, that’s just like seeing a sign that says “keep off the grass.” Don’t tell me what to do.

This week UK based supermarket chain Iceland shared an ad that was to be part of their TV Christmas advertising campaign, on their social streams. The UK censorship board had something to say about it, namely, that it was too political and was not approved for TV advertising. So it moved to social media and a very positive viral verdict was handed down by the public! It has quickly amassed 3mil (and counting) views in a matter of days.

Check it out:

Apart from being a great ad in general, it has many of the great elements needed to go viral:


Although many may not find it controversial per se – the simple fact is when you are able to use the words “banned in the UK” you are going to generate clicks.


The fact that it is well done cannot be overstated – the animation is excellent and the writing is perfect.


It plays on our emotions and is extremely evocative.


Most people like a whodunit/twist in the tale and this ad is great at slowly revealing its true nature.


Three other great elements of going viral are celebrity, humour and sex, all of which don’t lend itself easily to deforestation!

Here are a few other of our favourite viral ads/campaigns from the past – which elements of going viral can you see in them?











Written By: Rob

How to make sure you are keeping your readers awake!



How to successfully blog and make sure you are keeping
your readers awake!

First thing’s first; are YOU interested in what you are going to be blogging about? If you aren’t, chances are your readers won’t be either! So make sure to pick something fun and interesting, that is relevant for you and your target market and of course, reflects the values of your business.

Have a good headline/title! You will need something short and sweet that truly captures the attention of your audience – whether it is being posted on Facebook, shared on LinkedIn, mentioned on Twitter or Instagram, or just being uploaded to your website, it needs to be simple and grab the reader’s attention.

Pair your blog text with some great visual media. Lots of interesting high resolution imagery or graphics will inspire the reader to keep reading. Use these images to break up your text, so it doesn’t appear as just one big overwhelming lump of words, but rather a flowing blog piece that includes both interesting info and some “wow” imagery and media.

Where relevant, include some cool and interesting stats and facts, which back up what your blog piece is saying. Here is an example:

53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. (HubSpot)

Most people LOVE statistics, and everyone loves a captivating fact! And if you can, use graphics to demonstrate these. Whether you have put he graphic together in-house, or sourced and credited something from the internet, make it POP!

Here us an example of showing the latency of blog content views:

Be consistent, so that your readers know they can count on you for content. Pick specific times that your blog pieces will be uploaded, e.g. every Monday and Thursday mornings. Make sure to regularly block out bits of time on your schedule to create content for your blog and then time to promote it after you have hit that publish button. Writing and publishing the blog is just half of the picture!

Share the blog piece to all your social platforms, and make sure you do this at the right times – e.g. Thursday nights at 8pm might be the best time to share a blog on your Facebook page, but 4pm might be better for your LinkedIn audience! Mention and tag other pages and people where applicable and add relevant hashtags for maximum reach. Feel free to reshare the blog on each social platform a few times, with different imagery and different headlines.

Happy blogging!




Written By: Claudia

Should your business be using Emojis?



Should your business be using Emojis when posting on your social media platforms?

Probably, yes! Whether or not you decide to jump on the bandwagon of the ‘millennial emojis’, you need to think about what type of business you have, and who your target market is. They can definitely make your brand seem more personable, but it is also easy to misuse them, overuse them or use them with the wrong crowd, on the wrong post.

Social media is meant to be fun, and your accounts should be an accurate representation of who you are as a business and the values you hold. It is just another method of communication after all, and nowadays a very important way for a business to connect and communicate with their target market and customers. Emojis have recently become an optional part of that communication (however nowadays, used more often than not), and they add that little bit of spirit, fun and humour. People buy from people, after all, not businesses, so if using emojis makes your brand seem more personable, go for it!

Emojis can definitely make your tone clearer. By their very nature emojis express emotion and tone. I often feel when I am writing an email to a client that they might think my passive voice is too stern, I then either compensate by being overly verbose or overly sycophantic, when a simple smile or thumbs up might do the trick. We lose so much without visual cues or intonation of voice in the written word – but it is still considered, by some, poor form to include an emoji in an email.

Throw some emojis in when you want to make your content a little more relatable, such as when posting a fun photo with a quirky caption. Example: Happy Friday! (insert beer or glass of wine emoji – everyone loves a drink on a Friday night, after all)!

Find a set of emojis which suit your brand the best, and go to town with these! Not on every post though, and only a couple per post – don’t over do it or you might look too casual and silly. As a general rule of thumb, we tend to keep it to 3 or less per post for anything that has target age above 25 – less often depending on the tech savviness of the group you are aiming at. Example; for a travel company, you might use different animals and trees (e.g. fish, sea creatures and palm trees when posting tropical/beach pics), planes, boats and landmark emojis, such as the super cute little island emoji’s or the Statue of Liberty (probably only for pics of New York though…).

You don’t have to add emojis to every post, and typically they are used more on Instagram than they are on Facebook.

BUT, know and understand your demographic. If your brand is trying to communicate with older customers, then emojis might not suit, as they may be uncomfortable with emojis, and may not even know what they mean (or interpret them the wrong way, which can be awkward)!

Anecdotally, my parents use emojis in text now, not often but they are there which is something for two septuagenarians. The usage is often just to convey tone (😊😘😉) rather than to let me know they are at the airport 🛫 or about to get lit🔥.

It’s interesting to note that they will use correct punctuation in text and were never taken in by the acronyms which makes the case for emoji adoption even stronger.

If you are on social media and have a strong presence, chances are you are trying to engage with a young/younger audience, and if they use emojis, you should too!




Written By: Claudia

My Week With Drip


My Week With Drip

Automation Software Review

Drip is one of the many marketing automation platforms out there. I had heard good things so I decided to give it a go and see if the rumours were true.


Initial impressions

Signing up and setting up the account was a breeze, although many in this day and age hate giving away a credit card in the free trial period. I continued.

Choosing an automation platform is a daunting challenge for most people. With so many options, it’s hard to know which one is right for you. Even though you may think when setting up the account, it’s easy optimising it for your company, it’s not. It takes hours, and honestly, if you are time poor you might make excuses not to do it…

But the time poor are the exact ones who should be making the effort. If you can carve out some time to start thinking about your marketing other than a second thought you might realise how, with a little gumption, you can save yourself loads of time in the long run.

Imagine being able to sort the tire kickers from the genuine leads without doing anything.

Oops went on a tangent about martech in general, back to Drip.

It has all the expected options.



Campaigns (with A/B testing options) for all your EDMs.

Broadcasts – one off emails (bonus resend if unopened after a certain amount of days).

Subscribers – upload your database here and new additions nestle nicely into your predefined terms.

Forms – Get information about your users, get more subscribers.

Automation – Broken into Workflows and Rules.

Analytics – Bird’s-eye view and campaign level metrics.


Using it

So, the tools are simple and the design is intuitive, but if you feel out of your depth there are instructional videos for practically everything.


This is where the time churn comes in – setting up all your automations with your new powers.

You want to get your campaigns just right so it will take some time. But you can also set up some very basic flows to get you started or use Drip’s library of templates. There might be a little customisation on your end to make it perfect for your needs, but most of the job is already done for you.


You will have to have a look through to see if it will work seamlessly with your current systems (or work well enough to jettison some). But overall it has a solid amount of integrations for a beginner (e.g. FB lead ads, SumoMe, Eventbrite and Instapage) and will actually help push you in the right direction for other services you might not be using yet.



It is priced fairly compared to competitors in the same space. A bonus is the free starting point for a complete beginner (less than 100 subscribers), but if you are dedicated to using your flows and putting your best foot forward in your other marketing endeavours, you won’t be <100 for long.


Drip is a solid automation tool with a good amount of customisation and, whilst not enterprise level, it does a great job of providing you the tools any SME would need, much like Wishpond, and has many offerings alongside the bigger players like Marketo and Hubspot.

Did you like this review? Let me know if you would like more reviews on automation software? Would you like more detailed information in a review or was this just about right? Hit us up on




Written By: Rob

Spotting Digital Rips – Always Be Testing The Waters


Sink or Swim – Spotting Digital Rips

It’s slowly getting colder and there aren’t many beach days left for me before winter is in full swing. I was dreading this on Sunday when I was unseasonably baking on the sand at the beach. I was snapped out of my contemplation as I saw a surf life saver tearing out on his surfski to help someone, hand in the air, who had gotten themselves in a rip.

It’s scary being caught in a rip. A lot of us in Australia have grown up less than an hour from the beach – so we should know what to do. But if you haven’t spotted it until you’re in it, the fear can cloud your judgement and as Marcellus Wallace will tell you, pride can get in the way of raising your arm and asking for the help of the boys and girls in red and yellow.

On my way into work today, I was taking stock of my weekend and getting into work mode. I started seeing a direct correlation between the swimmer and a client that had recently engaged us.

The swimmer hadn’t spotted the rip before he went in, but he had the presence of mind to stick up his hand and ask for help. By the time he got into shore, you could tell he was still buggered so perhaps he fought the rip a bit longer than he needed to, before raising the alarm.

Similarly, the aforementioned client had jumped into a marketing campaign without proper caution and quickly found themselves in trouble. They realised that the outcome they had promised their stakeholders was not looking probable and asked around for help, not before getting a little deeper in trouble by trying to do the same thing, but with more money. The client was recommended to us by someone who had previously worked with us and we have put them on our surfski, and the early signs look good.

I don’t think the sunk cost fallacy directly relates to sinking swimmers (and digital campaigns) but it might as well. We need to constantly appraise our situation – to see if we are wasting time and energy in waters that don’t suit us, and if so, look for the calm blue ocean.

We can all get stuck in a digital rip and a thorough strategy can help, but it’s always wise to be able to spot the warning signs as early as possible. Whether it’s a low click through rate on an EDM, no conversions on your landing page, or limited brand awareness among your targets, make sure you examine what the next steps are. It might be to call for reinforcements, or pivot a little to more peaceful waters.

So, if you’re in trouble, ask for help!
If you are going to the beach – read this first.
If you are struggling with your current digital comms, or need help trying to spot a digital rip before you jump into the water, or you are just digging this thinly veiled metaphor, drop us a line –




Written By: Rob

How to market to meh-lennials


How to market to meh-lennials

Like it or lump, the screen addicted group that us oldies call millennials are getting older and their purchasing power is growing. A lot has been said about the younger generation that has grown up with the internet and how they need instant gratification like the dopamine hit they receive when they get another ‘like’. Or the want it now mentality having grown up with ‘on demand’ TV. Or never having to search the Dewey Decimal system and wait for someone to return the book they want – psh, just Google it already.

Millennials put up a lot of road blocks for marketers

They are consuming most of their media on the internet … ATL advertising has taken a huge hit1 when it comes to this.

It presents a problem for business owners when considering ways to engage with a group who would rather give up sex, than the internet2 – well, 43% of them anyway. This automatically makes one assume that you have to be on the Internet to get their attention. But how do you do that successfully?

Beware the use of ad blockers

With over 25% of Australians3 using ad blockers (and a much higher percentage among millennials) display ads are not as effective as they once were. Older people rely on face-to-face referrals more than millennials, and surprisingly a study showed that 51% of millennials prefer a review from someone they don’t know4 (perhaps because they don’t like being told what to do). And this strikes at the chord of marketing to millennials.

Make something they want – don’t make them want something. In times past, advertisers often generated a problem so that people would want something.

So what’s the secret sauce?

If we can’t use display ads and traditional methods don’t work as readily, what can we do?

Create content because millennials consume content insatiably. Distribute it to your channels, start a conversation (user generated content is more compelling)5 but also focus on native advertising and sponsored marketing via influencers, which can be your biggest ally. Basically, make the advertisement look nothing like an advertisement.

Remember they are savvy, don’t treat them like this – as this tongue-in-cheek video suggests:





Written By: Rob

Stella Artois Dabbles in Murky Water: Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?


Stella Artois Dabbles in Murky Water – Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?

Last week we were treated to a glorious stream of Super Bowl ads, some better the than others, but nonetheless all costing over $5 million each, just to be featured!

Among the contestants for hundreds of millions of eyeballs was this piece from Stella Artois &


Among the plethora of celebrities endorsing products during the Super Bowl, this 30 second commercial stars Hollywood favourite and co-founder Matt Damon, who urges us to purchase a Stella Artois Chalice to help provide five years of clean water for one person in the developing world. With over 663 million people affected by the global water crisis, it seems like a thoughtful idea, right? Well, not everyone was buying it …

John Zavinski took to Twitter questioning, “Why does my city water cost 30 bucks a month when the price of a beer mug will buy 5 y(ea)rs worth?”

And when scratching around on the Stella Artois website, you’ll discover that of the $13 paid for each chalice, only $3.13 goes to Damon’s charity. So how does $3.13 provide 5 years’ worth of water?

We’re not sure either.

From the outset, this scheme appears to be an altruistic exercise taken by Stella Artois to address a significant issue facing portions of the developing world. But when you consider the numbers, it just doesn’t add up.

Consumers are generally willing to participate in campaigns initiated by corporate giants if they believe their purchase will have an impact. But when companies like Stella Artois appear to be the party profiting the most from these initiatives, it’s interpreted by the public as a multi-billion-dollar company passing the buck onto consumers. So much for corporate social responsibility.

Even though the numbers don’t look great, the alternative of not drawing attention to, and not donating money to is certainly the worst of the two options. Especially when considering that over the four years of this campaign, Stella Artois has reportedly helped more than one million people around the world gain access to clean water.

While this is an extraordinary achievement that surely provides Stella Artois’ stakeholders with abundant amounts of warmth and fuzziness, many have been left wondering, wouldn’t it have been easier and more efficient if, instead of spending $5 million on the Super Bowl spot, they just donated the money to

A donation of this size could have had an incredible and immediate impact, but Stella Artois would have run an ad in the Super Bowl anyway, and so by sharing the stage with the charity, they both benefit in terms of donations, publicity, access to a powerful celebrity and hundreds of thousands of branded glasses in American households.

Buying our way out of the global water crisis is certainly not a solution, and the beverage giant could afford to donate millions more, but ultimately Stella Artois doesn’t have to donate a cent to anyone.

So for these reasons, this week, it’s a Marketing Masterstroke.

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Written By: Rob

How to Keyword Research for SEO?



Part of any SEO marketing plan will be keyword research and by extension your content marketing plan…

… You might say to yourself: “We are already producing content for our audience and naturally the topics we cover will have some great organic keywords without even researching.” It’s a no brainer that this will be the case, BUT doing a little research will help you immensely, because a) as much as we’d like to think we know EVERYTHING, we don’t, and b) although you might be writing some great content with strong keywords, perhaps there are new keywords that might be easier to rank for, that you haven’t thought of.

Step One – The search for the right keywords – Who’s that in the mirror?

Think about it

So basically, your first thought above is not a bad thought and a great place to start. You are an expert in your industry so think about the topics, areas, keywords, trends, latest news that you think are interesting and important – chances are others will as well.

Compile this list and save it.


Step Two – What are my customers typing? – Walk a mile in their shoes.

Think like a customer - Keyword Research

Next cab off the rank will be putting yourself in your customers and associates shoes – What MATTERS to your audience? What are they searching for and what language do they use? How many types of customers do you have? Some will be using sophisticated terminology. For example, a kitchenware store might have one customer using “wine glasses” while another might use “Reidel stemless wine glasses”. This terminology is not only an indicator of a prospective customer’s knowledge, but it can also suggest where they are in the buying cycle.


Step Three – Google auto suggest and search parameters.


For more thoughts, type in one of your keywords, or ‘customer words’, into the Google search for their auto suggestions. Or search competitors websites with advanced parameters, especially if they have their blogs catergorised or in tags.

Some other neat Google-fu tricks can be found here.


Step Four – Research, Research, Research.

Key Word Research

By this stage you will have a solid list. Now it’s time for suggestions from the bots.

Which tools are good?

Google’s keyword planner is the main go-to when it comes to research (for a good how to click here). But don’t discount the other big search engine Bing, and their keyword researcher toolbox. There are a billion other non-search engine built keyword helpers: Moz always has many tools available (paid and free), including explorer and moz bar; another software builder WordStream has great tools including keywords; and an indie developer built the rather nifty (learn how to use it here).



Step 5 The hard work – start writing.

Empty pages are scary but by now you already have your content plan, some awesome keywords/phrases… so get to it… time to create some killer creative content that is shareable, but will also get you noticed in the search engines.




Written By: Rob

Gorton’s Fishy Campaign: Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?


Gorton’s Fishy Campaign – Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?

When was the last time you had a fish finger? Years ago, right? Same here. And that’s because fish fingers are usually eaten by ravenous children who refuse to eat actual food.

Until now!



So, if Gorton’s target market is children, why have they cast two gym junkies, drenched in spray tan, to be their merman ambassadors? Well, we’re not entirely sure, but the decision probably went a bit like this …

“Kids don’t buy groceries. Mums do. How do we get mums to notice us? Hot dudes.”

*End scene*

And this strategy could very well work… the sales will speak for themselves.

…Or it could not, which is most probably why 99% of fish finger brands aim their marketing efforts towards children.

But there’s something fishier than Chad and Brody’s shimmering tails in this ad, and that’s the notion of ‘trust’.

The “merbros” tell us that they have developed their rippling muscles from doing a lot of push-ups and eating right… which is definitely true. But the suggestion that Gorton’s Fish Sandwiches make up part of their diet, is one tall tail.

They assure us that Gorton’s products contain protein (most foods do) and there’s “nothing weird added”, apart from POTENTIAL RELATIVES OF THEIRS FROM UNDER THE SEA.

But despite this act of sheer cannibalism, we’re told to trust “those who know.”

Ahh, no.

Back in the ocean fellas.


So for these reasons, this week, it’s a Marketing Mistake.

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Written By: Joshua Britt