Can we LEARN anything from the political marketing machine?

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POLITICAL MARKETING… BORING!
BUT CAN WE LEARN ANYTHING FROM THEM?

This weekend we head to the polls to choose which pol gets pole position for the next few years.

Is there anything more annoying than political ads? We are lucky in this nation that we are only subjected to a month or two leading up to the national elections. In America, their election campaigns start years in advance with their two major parties having their primaries and whatnot. Although, it does make for some truly great/cringey watching over there:

 

It can be over powering the amount of ads you are subjected to especially seeing as the majority have made up their minds.

And, we are all usually in our own bubbles when it comes to news, you watch one news program, get you news from the same few sites and follow the type of publishers on social media that you already have an affinity for.

So, it often turns out that you may not know what others know and vice versa.

I have been inundated with advertising over the past few weeks not least of which from Clive Palmer’s Party – I don’t know why, perhaps I fit a certain demographic or the fact that I searched Clive Palmer Party banana for this pic (you might remember from last month that still makes me laugh:

Make Australia Eat Bananas from r/australia

The political parties fight wars on many different fronts. They see each other at work every day, they duke it out in the press and at debates and they PR and Market the hell out of themselves. So, what can we learn from the politicians campaigns – not about their policies but about marketing. We have identified three areas that they do well:

GO BIG OR GO HOME – MARKETING BUDGETS

Clive Palmer reportedly budgeted 80 million dollars in advertising. When deciding on your marketing budget it is important to be realistic about what you will need to spend you might know that you will never have a spare 80 million lying around like the mining billionaire but figuring out a % of revenue versus your budget is extremely important. It is crucial to follow up after a campaign and make sure your ROI matched your expectations and adjust accordingly.


 

Are your marketing schedules and plans always getting pushed further back by life? Listen to our podcast episode on budgeting here

 


 

DON’T PUT YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET – MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING

Nowadays, omni-channel marketing is everywhere (figuratively and literally), another essential ingredient is of the budgeting process is where you distribute your marketing funds. You will notice that the political parties are across multiple touchpoints from the traditional media of TV, Radio, Press and Billboards to the text messages and digital streams of social, display ads and emails. Let’s not forget the rallying of your base – be it social shares or volunteers doing phone calls, receiving multiple letterbox drops or the tradition of putting a politician’s face in your front yard. We will probably never achieve that level of multi-channel advertising but nether-the-less it’s important to have the touchpoints that fit your strategy and budget. Plus, it will help you get into someone’s digital bubble that may have previously been out of reach.

WHAT MAKES YOU – YOU! USP

Not only do candidates have to differentiate themselves from each other but they need to humanise themselves from the ambivalent and downright anti-political punters – the oft-quoted derisive view of pollies “their all a pack of bastards” comes to mind. Politicians spend countless resources on extolling their differences. Be it focussing on policies of their own or going the ever-tenuous negative route.

It’s important to find your unique selling proposition.

Even though the campaign will be over in a few days’ time it’s worth noting that the outcome may have ramifications for years to come just like any marketing campaign so it’s worth the effort. If you want to discuss your next campaign political or otherwise drop us a line.

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Are ROBOCALLS Good Marketing?

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Robocalls – Should you consider them?

 

Annoying; aggravating; infuriating however you describe robocalls they have become part of our lives unfortunately.

I was watching John Oliver’s segment on robocalls a few weeks back and it got me thinking (you can view it here).

Just so you know, I am not writing this article from the perspective of we should do this but I am interested in the theatrics of it.

Do robocalls work? Are they all scams? Could they even be considered a marketing technique?

Well, it may surprise you to learn that I was a telemarketer when I was much younger – after coming back from a backpacking trip and needed some quick income (ahh the early 20s – a magical and depressing time; equal parts delightful and sobering when I wasn’t drinking, that is).

I was working for a charitable fund selling lottery tickets, being a charity did soften the blow a bit to whoever answered, but still copped my fair share of verbal assaults from the homeowner. I would put my average fail rate at about 95% which in industry averages is about standard.

It wasn’t a complete robocall because last time I checked I am still human; but there was a computer making all the calls and I and the other 100 people in the room had roughly about 5 seconds in between calls.

Surely, being non-robot must have helped the equation, as I took a quick (and rather unscientific) sample of friends and family and found that no one would respond to a robocall. In fact, as the technology to make the calls advances, so do the devices we use to answer them. Most people automatically screen a call that isn’t in their contacts but our phones more often than not now tell us the country of origin and/or whether it is a suspected spam caller which make it doubly hard to get through.

Most salespeople and marketers alike know that it’s a numbers game at the end of the day and if you throw enough mud at the call wall some will stick hence the preponderance of calls being made.

In the same John Oliver story, it was predicted that 45% of mobile calls in 2019 in the US will be robocalls – a staggering amount and with any numbers game someone is bound to lose and someone is bound to win.

So, is being annoying a viable option?


Stop the presses

I literally just received a spam call as I was writing this – I thought I would have a laugh and answer anyway – it was a tele-survey for the upcoming election – no harm no foul right besides everyone knows who I am voting for…

Make Australia Eat Bananas from r/australia


Now on with the show

When I look at it, there are two ways to being annoying – either being present at an inopportune place and time or doing something that antagonises.

The robocall more often than not does both perfectly, you know they are going to call you when you have just sat down for dinner and they are proffering things you do not want or and more likely still suggesting you will go to jail or worse if action is not taken (I’m pretty sure I paid my tax bill).

The sheer volume, zero human resources, relatively cheap software and calls make it a viable option for many scammers but on the whole, it doesn’t work for a reputable brand as trust and connection are two of the most important facets when making purchasing decisions for punters and companies alike. (These two facets are actually why social media is quite a great economical marketing solution – check out our latest podcast which deals with social).

And the flipside to this is of course, talking to a robot when you make the call yourself – like calling a telco, for example, trying to meander through the often-ambiguous automated questions that will hopefully lead you to the right department but invariably does not.

This causes immense annoyance to the average joe or jane and can lead to lost customers. Companies spend millions trying to figure this out. Recently, a friend called up a car insurance and was greeted by a human and then put into the automate call which softened the blow a lot and increased his happiness with the call.

At the end of the day as you might of guessed it letting a robot do the work in what is traditionally a human to human interaction hasn’t really found traction yet but as technology gets better and the robots get more human-like you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be able to get your bottom dollar.

On a side note, and because you’ve made it this far, annoying isn’t just relegated to the domain of our cyborg overlords some of the most annoying marketing techniques are the ads themselves – enjoy….

Coles Down Down camopaign

 

Sometimes people get so annoyed at the annoying ads they take it upon themselves to rally against them

Chevy Malibu

 

Mentos Nipples

 

There’s also jingles that are just so damn catchy that are annoying I am thinking banana make those bodies sing; banana boat and cottees my dad picks the fruit.
And this absolute gem:

Ashley madison

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3 EPIC Digital Marketing Podcasts that everyone involved in Marketing should listen to!

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3 EPIC Digital Marketing Podcasts that everyone involved in Marketing should listen to!

Staying in the know when it comes to digital marketing is hard. If you are looking for some great marketing podcasts to listen to at work or when you are on the go – look no further we have our top 3:

 

MARKETING OVER COFFEE

Marketing Over Coffee is an awesome podcast to keep up with. Every week, hosts John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn record the show, which is 20 minutes long and is shared every Friday. This podcast is designed to be casual, conversational, and not “newsy”. They share tips on social media, SEO, search marketing, copywriting, affiliate marketing, and more – and they take listener questions.

https://www.marketingovercoffee.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PODCAST

Social Media Examiner’s weekly Social Media Marketing podcast is hosted by Michael Stelzner and other members of the Social Media Examiner team. Each podcast focuses on new social media features and strategies, which provides listeners with helpful tips that they can use to improve their social media results. The Social Media Marketing podcast is 45 minutes long and is shared once weekly, on a Friday.

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/shows/

ONLINE MARKETING MADE EASY

Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy was created with small business owners in mind! Most marketing strategies can seem very overwhelming to small businesses first starting out, and it can be difficult to know where to start and how to apply vague strategies like “create an online course.” Sounds much easier said than done! Online Marketing Made Easy breaks down these big strategies into small, manageable step-by-step pieces so that everyone can execute them to get awesome results. Amy shares what will work, and what doesn’t work, in the world of digital marketing.

https://www.amyporterfield.com/amy-porterfield-podcast/

 

There it is – get listening. If you have any favourites let us know here.

 

 

 

 

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Maintaining a tight data cycle

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The ins, outs and roundabouts of the Data Cycle

The Data Cycle in marketing is closely linked to campaign cycle and social strategy but it is a bit more refined in scope in that it only focuses on the data and information gleaned.

PREPARE

You are starting a new campaign, it either started with the boss saying

  1. we need more sales or
  2. why aren’t we getting more sales or
  3. we hit our sales targets but let’s do double this month or
  4. we’ve had a good year so far why don’t you take a week off

Wait… What?… OK – just checking if you were paying attention that last one normally doesn’t happen but if it is usual for your boss to say that sort of stuff I can send you my CV or you can make an introduction… you know what, let’s just play by ear, we’ll figure it out, but seriously don’t forget.

So at this stage you have to prepare your marketing strategy whether it’s print or online, social or search yada yada yada. Then we have to make sure we know what success looks like how we measure it and most importantly for the data cycle – how we collect that data.

PRESS PLAY

Now it’s time to start, press the button – if you have ever run a marketing campaign through mailchimp you’ll know that this gif sums up the trepidation nicely.

 

Let’s make some noise.

INTERPRET

You may think the hard work is over – and ideation and creation is important don’t get me wrong but for a numbers geek like me the fun starts right about… now! It’s time to crunch the numbers.

Collect all your data

Look for meaning in the data

Turn it into information for others to understand

REACT

Some think that the reaction part is at the end of the campaign and inputting your learnings in the next campaign but having fast reactions is good. Seriously, your campaigns are like kids you may have set them up for success but you never know what can happen if you aren’t watching.

 

So, it’s wise to schedule in review times during the marketing campaign itself – it can be the key to a successful strategy.

Once you have obtained the information from the interpretation phase it’s time to implement it on the fly. Be it, finding out that one particular social stream is taking a liking to the campaign and putting money behind that or by tweaking your messaging to generate more action. It can save a campaign.

There you have it the data cycle in four* simple steps.

 

*There can be a fifth step and that is storage – store your data in a well collated way can be the key to saving hours looking for a piece of information or being able to aggregate the data so you can see trends emerging. Luckily in this day and age most of us use analytic programs (google, adobe etc.) that keep the history saved and accessible.

 

 

image credits from giphy except A serious man and hero image from unsplash

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What is Marketing Automation?

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What is Marketing Automation?

At its most basic, marketing automation is software that self-operates your marketing activities for you. When used correctly, these tools perform tasks in an effective and holistic way that helps convert strangers into customers, improve your bottom line and increase your operation’s efficiency based on their interactions with you online (mostly).

Types of Automation

Some people have a very narrow view of what constitutes marketing automation while others have a the more the merrier point of view.

I like to keep it simple with a list of 5 to be honest most of these have some crossover but they also can stand on their own two feet and perform automated tasks:

 

Email Marketing

Example: User action initiated email or series of emails to educate and nurture your potential customer.

 

Site Automation

Example: Live chat prequalifying/chatbots can save time and harvest data for you.

 

Social Automation

Example: Posts curators/sharers or chatbots not only can it save time it can give an answer and provide a nice user experience when your team are away from the desk.

 

CRM Software

Example: Master storer of all lead information that leads to personalisation for each customer interaction.

 

Programmatic Advertising

Example: Automatically display your ads based on data.

Some of the players

As I said above these can be quite intertwined for example your email marketing software being your CRM. There is a plethora of different tools out there to facilitate the various tasks, some of the most popular tools are:

Mailchimp: “Consider us your personal think tank.”

No longer just the worlds biggest email marketing platform they continually add features and they have a forever free plan for the smaller business.

Hubspot: “There’s a better way to grow.”

With a free CRM out of the box Hubspot goes from strength to strength with their inbound marketing and automation software and amazing training.

Marketo: “One Platform, Every Engagement, Any Channel”

Marketo can be expensive and is a true enterprise solution with all the bells and whistles.

Drip: “See your customers in full color.”

A user friendly tool that is a great entry into the automation sphere.

IFTTT: “A world that works for you”

This is for everyone not just marketers a simple computing concept is at the heart of this automation If This, Then That.

Salesforce: “Help your business grow with the world’s #1 CRM.”

Another incredibly powerful enterprise CRM with the mostest. It can build a complete customer journey for you and more.

Is marketing automation the death of the marketer?

You might be thinking with all this set and forget business that people will be losing their jobs to technology. And marketing is no different. These tools can very well take many of the labourious tasks that, as a marketer, can eat up a lot of your time.

This doesn’t mean you will be out of a job however, in fact in many ways this sort of technology can bring great advertising outcomes to ANYONE perhaps the greater the challenge for marketers is to apply their skills and push even harder for the attention of consumers and inspiring action.

But it also means that as a base line, your marketing can be “produced” more effectively and your time will be used by doing what you do best – that’s thinking of new ways to showcase the great work your company does.

The average automation flow still falls down in other areas like the ability to have a meaningful conversation with another human or keeping content fresh although AI is getting crazy good. CHECK THIS OUT

images credit unsplash 1 , 2, 3.

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Oscars – What are they really about?

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OSCARS – WHAT ARE THEY REALLY ABOUT?

I was watching the Oscars… well I didn’t watch the actual Oscars, I was streaming the funny bits of the Oscars (eg the hilarious triumvirate of Tina, Amy and Maya); and some of the acceptance speeches: Olivia Colman’s and Spike Lee’s, most notably.

And I was thinking, the TV audience of the awards is currently trending down year on year but does that meant the advertising strength of the awards is also down?

If we look at the numbers, it would appear the Oscars hasn’t lost any of its relevancy – as the cultural zeitgeist is still very much aware, and the streaming and social media mentions number in their millions. Last year after the La La Land/Moonlight there were “635,000 social engagements in the minutes following the fiasco

Not only is streaming and mentions are still going strong but many do not realise that advertising and marketing is so entrenched in the Oscars telecast.

From the self-promotion of actors/auteurs delivering their own personal brand from clothing like Trey and Matt…

or political/social awareness see Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon or Richard Gere:

There’s fashion designers and jewellers calling in favours from A-Listers to wear their wares. Sarah Paulson fell into the Maria Von Trapp with this dress that was formerly a curtain.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Christopher Polk/REX/Shutterstock (10113255jq) Sarah Paulson 91st Annual Academy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 24 Feb 2019

This was linda cardelini.

The women aren’t alone either – Pharell I’m not sure the designer listened when he said clean cut like a military man:

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (10112734kp) Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh 91st Annual Academy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 24 Feb 2019

The nominated people, producers and movies get free advertising
a) To the public to go see the film
b) To their peers when they are going for their next job.
If it wasn’t the case studios wouldn’t resort to paid advertising “in for your consideration” ads in digital, print and billboards among others – Harvey Weinstein was notorious for just this (among other things).

Poehler, Rudolph and Fey mentioned the advertising in the actual speeches jokingly although it hasn’t got that far just yet, there is still many smart ways to align yourself throughout the broadcast whether it is social media pouncing on #tags or buying media on the telecast, but not only buying but showcasing your product in a very Oscars way.

Google killed it this year

Walmart last year was on point as well

You can also blitz digital media for the week after the Oscars if your spokeperson was lucky enough to win a gold statuette. I saw this ad pop up quite a few times after Rami’s big win:

The above approach really works for any major moment in the social calendar and whilst the Oscars are a HUGE event, every industry, and often even local areas will have some sort of nod to themselves or the businesses in that region. So you can use these tactics to similar effect in 2 main ways:

Preparation – thinking and executing before the event like Google, Walmart and this amazingly pre-planned bit from Seth Myers’ show

(but on a tinier scale)

or

On The Ball – observing the live event and being quick and prescient to post and give your followers some cheer.

I dunno something like “Rami would have preferred our trips” for a travel company.

 

The Oscars are a publicity behemoth for any and every one. Self-promotion isn’t a naughty word. There ‘s the old adage about going to everything – even the opening of an envelope. Once upon a time that would have been a very tactile concept, and yet remember, today you can “be there” and connect with these events even without an invitation.

 

 

Featured image Prayitno

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What businesses often fail to understand about social

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What businesses often fail to understand about social

Finding the true worth of social

 

Have you ever sat back and said “I don’t get how social works for my business” or are you doing social and thinking “This is pointless” only to read every second day how people are building empires from social media exposure for their business?

Meeting as many business people as I do, especially men and women in their late 40s through to their mid 60s I often see and hear how they just don’t think social is doing anything for their business.

Sometimes, we will be engaged by a client for social whom we know will leave us after 6 months and question our role and the role of social at all in their business.

We have a wide array of processes in place to try and educate customers on the role of social, the realities of undertaking it, the commitment required to do it well and the potential outcomes for their businesses over time, but often despite all this our customers (a certain, small percentage, mind you) will leave and feel they got nothing out of their investment.

You may be thinking it is unusual for one to be so honest about a failed business relationship, but it is this approach that typifies how social works: being genuine and informative and I think there are lessons to be shared and learned by showcasing failure not merely success.

And as Henry Ford says failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Which is why each time we have a disappointing or failed experience with a client we further refine our offering to offer and even better service to our current an future customers.

So our success on any project often comes down to a combination of factors, some as an agency we can influence, others we can’t. But here are some are three key factors to consider when looking to find success sin social:

  1. Content
  2. Time
  3. Tracking

 

Content – MAKE IT GREAT – CREATE MOMENTS

One of the greatest mistakes brands/businesses make with social is they merely take their approach to promoting their products/services and plonk them on a social platform.

Social media is NOT an advertising medium in the traditional sense. Yes, people advertise there, but what really gets followers engaged is thoughtful and interesting content.

People in the social environment want to be entertained, intrigued and delighted but above all followers want genuineness… and it is that aspect of social, businesses fail to understand.

Successful brands in the social space don’t just “Brand” content, their content exemplifies their brand, its values, its approach and therefore it speaks clearly not merely about the products or services they sell, but why the brand exists and whom they exist for.

If you take a look at Red Bull for instance their content richly reflects their brand and appeals to those who identify with the more extreme… and if not those who necessarily live that life, at least those who aspire to add a little more excitement to their day. It isn’t about the product itself but the “lifestyle” the drink fits into.

A brand I have worked on – Maccona also has a hugely successful social following, and their content is all driven around the core idea that Maccona (the product) provides its drinkers with a moment of escape, through the taste, through the ritual of having a coffee. So, their content is formulated to provide a similar and simple moment of escape online.

Now these are both beverage brands and when I showcase these examples to customers (not in the Fast-Moving Consumer Good Space – FMCG) they often refute their ability to achieve this when their product or service is so much more utilitarian or generic.

And my argument is simple That is Bullshit.

Sure, your business won’t produce content that emulates Red Bull or Moccona, but there is no good reason why your brand/business can’t make content in the social space that is authentic to your brand and provides genuine engagement for your customers.

So, what is an example. Well if you haven’t followed the NSW police – check it out. Now I reckon the cops have a pretty tough sell on their hand with enforcing the law…. And let’s face it the “constabulary” don’t always have the easiest brand position either. But some of their stuff is pure gold.

Or what about mailchimp. Let’s face it mailchimp sells the ability to send emails to customers and its one of hundreds of similar products. It’s far from sexy, and as a facilitator who exists in a highly price sensitive environment – what could this brand really do to be “social”.

Mailchimp have done three things that I think are very clever for such a pragmatic product.

  1. In the social space they have taken a very pragmatic approach, their content is typically designed to give real working examples of how to maximise the effectiveness of your communications and in turn they seek to showcase the ease of use, not to mention how to maximise the outcomes using their platform.
  2. They have been consistent in their approach with regular posts across platforms both in terms of frequency and content.
  3. They have spent time and continue to invest in a brand identity (visual style) that goes beyond their logo and underpins the way they present their social communications.

 

This visual style is clever and recognisable and something that not many brands bother investing in. This isn’t just content it is content that is branded both in terms of the strategic approach as well as the ongoing content presentation.

There’s a lot we can learn from these brands, these are not funky products, not emotive brands and yet they have found a way to show their personality despite having boring businesses. They’ve produced genuine content that reflect their brand on social media which keep users alert to their future posts but also keeps their brand front of mind which will allow you to get more followers, build engagement, and grow your business, but let’s be honest to make all of this happen and build a solid following will take…..

 

TIME – ROME AND A SOCIAL FOLLOWING – BOTH WEREN’T BUILT IN A DAY

Building a social following for a retail fashion brand like Boohoo or The Iconic can be rapid and the numbers of followers, sharers and buyers – massive. Again, not every business will have this same ability. So, understanding your business and your customer is vital in determining how many followers you want and having a plan for how long it might take to reach them is just as important.

What is also important in determining the time investment required for your social presence is the latency of your sales funnel/process. For example, if you sell cheap holidays the time between posting via your social channels and seeing a sales response may be a mere matter of days, but if you are selling large mining equipment it may take an extended and ongoing effort to see conversions from social.

In some respects, however your regular sales process should give you some indication around this, so if you do sell heavy machinery don’t expect to put up a post on Linked In once and sell a 1000. Expect it to take some time to build, we suggest that to properly target and build an engaged social following will take a minimum of nine months and up to 18 months before certain business types will see results begin to flow.

But how do you know?

 

TRACKING – SOCIAL SHOULD BE TRACKED – IT’S NOT JUST FOR FUN

This is a big one – And socially savvy businesses consider this often long before they even make a post. How you track success and how you track sales through your social media initiatives are vital to the process and how you seek to measure this will vary business to business and product to product.

Ultimately, investing in systems that track sales and the channel from which they were derived is one thing, but if your business doesn’t have robust digital systems in place, then try simple things like unique URLs, pricing or promotional codes that can help your sales teams track sales coming from your social channels specifically.

This really is very important because, as an example, we worked with a client once who saw a 15% uptick in sales in six months after investing in social with us. We asked them if they could see the correlation between our social campaign and their sales increase. And their response was “no one has specifically said they found us through social, so we are no sure this is working”.

As an agency, there was only so much we could track the performance (within the scope of the brief), so whilst we could see and share from the analytic data showing the increased traffic to the website, see the increase in online enquiries and they reported the subsequent increase in sales Without the client actually finding out where customers found them, we couldn’t close the loop in regard to the effectiveness of the work.

Which brings me back to the crux of this article. Why do some of our clients fail to see value in social?

I think it is often a lack of understanding of one or each the above key factors and the effort that each takes in tandem to find success. Whether you are executing your social in-house, by yourself or with an agency partner you really do have to be invested; invested in the idea of creating meaningful content, invested in the idea of being patient and giving your social initiatives time to work and invested in the systems and processes to track its performance.

As an agency who helps business with social, what I can tell you is whilst our talent at producing great content and managing the complex nuances of each platform is what we pride ourselves in, what makes a truly great relationship and delivers the best outcomes in social is when the client is truly invested in the outcome and knows why social is important for their business.

Give us your feedback – Why is social important or not important to your business?

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Written By: Michael Menzies

6 things to do to get your business out of a funk

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6 things to do to get your business out of a funk.

Bring your business back to life

 

We are a marketing business, and when you think about that concept, essentially, we have to find the positive aspects of a product or service and we have to use that to showcase the most positive effect your product, business or service can have on the life your desired customer.

We often get called in when there’s a problem (although you should be marketing even when everything is going well) whether it is a dip in sales or completely rethinking tried and tested strategies because the market has changed. And naturally, with all this extra stress at work, they can find themselves in a funk and that’s when we meet them.

Now, I’m not a psychologist (not that you needed to be told that) but being in the “finding the positives” business and the fact that we regularly meet business owners and account managers who are stressed and in a funk at work, we often find ourselves in mock counselling session with a client – before they have even signed on the dotted line.

So, if you need to make some changes in mentality at work (and beyond) here are my tips on telling the FUNK to F-off and in doing so prepare your business to better sell itself.

 

1. Wake up earlier…

This is not one of those work longer or work harder concepts. No. Wake up earlier and make some more time for yourself.

One of the worst things about being a business professional is that you devote so much of your time to the business and in the end, you grow tired and resentful because it takes up all your time.

But this advice goes beyond just giving yourself back a bit of time for you. This down time where you lift some weights, go for a run, or have a latte at the café, gives your brain some downtime. And believe it or not this is when the best ideas will manifest themselves.

 

2. Get out there and meet people.

If you find yourself constantly engaging a certain type of client and they are draining (physically and time), not profitable or not really fulfilling to service, the likelihood is (by virtue of your current marketing activities, referrals etc.) you will continue to attract more of these types of clients.

So, take a moment, have a think about who your perfect client might be and then try and figure out where they are, what networking groups they are in, what events they go to, where they have a beer after work and get there. This is not the promotion of stalking. It is the targeting environments where customers you want to work with are.

And if you can hone in on this, the marketing initiatives we help you with will be greatly improved by your understanding of these customers, where they are and their pain points.

 

3. Shake it up a bit

Most jobs are repetitive, we become good at them the longer we do them because we become more effective and efficient at doing the same task repeatedly.

But over time, for some, this repetition can be quite monotonous. So, shake it up. Change meeting times. Only respond to emails at certain time during the day so you remain more focussed, vary your hours.

Changing little things can alter the way we perceive even what we have grown tired of.

This could be setting aside some time to really work on your thinking around marketing. Be hands on with your agency and inject some new energy into an otherwise repetitive scenario.

 

4. Declutter

Maria Kondo’s is a smash hit on Netflix (great watch if you haven’t seen it) and her show is all about decluttering your home.

Decluttering can go beyond the physical. Declutter your schedule, if you do 4 meetings a day do 3 and take that additional time to focus in on improving one aspect of your work life.

Don’t eat lunch at your desk – go out and have a walk.

Set a time each day to pack up your desk, clean your desk top and be ready for the next day so you can approach it with a clear mind.

Decluttering your time and mind will have a dramatic impact on your performance.

You can also declutter your products, seek out the highest performing products, declutter your messaging – work with an agency like us to make your marketing approach more streamlined and direct.

 

5. Stop focussing on money.

Money, ah, that old chestnut! – We all work or own a business to make it. It’s a prerequisite of life to some degree. Hell, even not for profit doesn’t mean not for money, look at the balance sheets of some major charities and you will see what I mean.

But if you think about the dollars and cents every minute of every day you may overlook the simple joy of service.

Now this isn’t some spiritual humdrum, nor is it overlooking the need to make money. But I sometimes think it’s like this: If you never take your eyes off the GPS whilst driving, there is no doubt you will have a very clear picture of the destination but I highly doubt you will get there.

Your marketing I think could benefit from similar thinking. People often think of marketing as a chore, an expense.

If you change your focus and become part of the process, own it and find joy in it. Make it part of your service delivery as opposed to an external function, I think you will find your marketing will improve greatly. This doesn’t mean you need to become a marketing expert, or do it all yourself, rather it suggests working with trusted marketing partners and together making great things happen

 

6. Be positive.

You know on a personal level, my business has taken some big hits over the years, we’ve been screwed a few times, we’ve made mistakes and we haven’t always been where we want to be.

It can be quite painful at times when things don’t go right.

But, I think you must be positive. After all everything that is wonderful in this world can have a dark side. And so too can your career or your business.

Take stock of the things that have gone wrong and assess the lessons that can be learned, there is so much we can take from tough times.

And this is a key lesson for marketing your business too, SH!T happens, but when you present your business, present the best it can be. Take the learnings, take the bits that aren’t perfect and use your marketing to make a public commitment that as a business you will do things better… customers respond to positive words, even more so positive action.

This little list has helped me manage the pitfalls of having my own business, they keep me sane and in the long run help my business run smoothly. They also help me focus on how I externally promote our business. Many of these personal activities can be reflected in the way you market both yourself and your business.

Give them a go and tell me what you think?

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Written By: Michael Menzies

Marketing is not a chore!

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Marketing isn’t a chore!

On the weekend my friends were discussing house cleaners; of the group, 3 people had cleaners (two fortnightly and one had hers come weekly).

 

 

I don’t have a cleaner – that’s not to say I am better than them, far from it: I don’t have kids nor do I have as big a house (apartment, in my case) and I have a terrible confession to make I don’t hate cleaning – shocking I know – but nearly every Sunday morning I put on some music or a podcast and get to it: vacuuming, mopping, clothes, bathroom, bedroom, windows. kitchen gets wiped down every night after dishes are done. And then during the week I will do some spot cleans here and there to keep it all spick and span. It’s just not a big deal.

My friends clearly still have to do a lot of the things on my cleaning list (e.g. wiping down the kitchen bench for example) but the nitty gritty is done by the cleaners – and that’s fine! They choose to use their hours on the weekend (which are precious and all too few) doing other things and pay someone to clean – and that’s fine.

It got me thinking that there seems to be direct correlations with marketing.

  1. Many people view marketing as a chore.
  2. Some people do theirs in-house and some outsource their marketing.
  3. Cleaning and Marketing make you look good.

On the weekend – they were actually having a laugh about the old trope of cleaning the house before the cleaner gets there to make it look respectable enough for them.

It’s often true that when you hire an agency you will still have to do some of the work. Whether it is provide a brief for us to work to or give some insight into an article we are writing or simply give feedback.

Most clients are great but sometimes we get some push back from clients or they drag their heels on answers. They view approvals or reviewing the stats from the last campaign as a chore.

But it shouldn’t be seen as a chore because it can be fun creating plans to get people excited about your company. And just like cleaning it makes you look good!

There are simple ways to change the perception of a chore

Treat yourself:

Mary Poppins had it right a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down; reward yourself when you do it on time.

Make it fun:

She’s at it again

 

Allot the time:

We are all busy and you have to prioritise – so choose the time each week/month/campaign when you will sit down and a) do the tasks required b) discuss upcoming opportunities. It will make it easier.

Positive reinforcement

Whilst you have allotted the time review how far you’ve come – it will make it all worthwhile.

And of course, even if you are a little messy doesn’t mean you can’t pretend (we are all messy sometimes)

 

 

If you have a mess that even you can’t clean – call in the professionals

 

 

give us a buzz sometime

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Written By: Rob

The client always comes first… but isn’t always right.

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Customer Isn't always right - providing great service in the digital industy

 

The client always comes first…
but isn’t always right.

Our job is often to create something new almost every day. I am not always sure that customers or even those around us appreciate how difficult it can be to create something from nothing nearly every hour of every day of your life.

For us, as artists, that can be both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time, and it can also be draining.

One thing is certain is that designers, writers, videographers and producers all inherently attempt to make something great each time. And that too can be as much trouble as it is worth sometimes.

Especially when those for which you are making things for (we’ll call them clients) are often not necessarily trained nor geared to think or do what we do.

Now this article is not to place us on some pedestal, nor to belittle clients, after all what we do exists 99% of the time solely for you, but it is an article designed to offer some perspective and perhaps seek to help clients better understand the process we go through for you.

So let’s role play here a little:

  • You’re a client and you need a logo, a brochure, a video or something…
  • You brief your designer, now there are a few key phrases we hear almost daily:
    • “I’m not looking for anything fancy”
    • “Don’t spend too much time on it”
    • “I need it quickly”

Each of these phrases is the beginning of the exact same process, effort and compromise as someone saying, “really make it awesome, invest as much time as you can in getting the right result, but the deadline is X”… You see the only real difference is the mentality the client brings to brief, because from this point on a client’s expectation is generally the same, but ironically, the one who suggests any of those first phrases I mentioned, are likely to be the most difficult client to deal with.

Why?

There are a couple of key reasons, the phrases themselves reflect a lack of appreciation of the time, effort and inherent skill the designer and design process entails. It also generally shows a lack of genuine personal investment in the achievement of the outcome which is distinctly different from their desire for the outcome itself.

When a designer (or, a design firm, or agency) present a client with something or a range of options, one of the most difficult aspects of our job is the flippancy for which customers either dismiss ideas, overlook the thinking that went into the work or again underestimate the skill that went into its creation.

Now, I am not insinuating that we are always right, but at the same time I am insulating that customers aren’t either.

If we have selected a certain image, or left s p a c e in a design it’s generally a considered approach to a design problem, it has been worked on and tested in all matter of ways to get to the end result – a result that attempts to blend the aesthetic requirements of the task with the need to showcase and clearly display or convey information.

Now all the words in the world can succinctly showcase my point so I thought these short videos might help.

Don’t get me wrong, you are the client and your opinion matters, but if the logo is a certain size, or the designer has left space for words to breath, it is not some sort of attempt to frustrate you, but rather it is years of education, thousands of hours working at their craft and an eye for aesthetics that make them specialists in their field being provided to you as part of their service to you.

As a designer, they will always put you first, a business we will always do the same, but the creation of all the work we do, we are always open to suggestions, but before you make them, take some time and consider if your feedback reflects the best interests of the project and if it may go against the approach your design or agency partner has put forwards with the best interests of your project, your message and your audience.

Enjoy the videos.

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Written By: Michael Menzies