Measuring your marketing efforts, what you need to know

Growing up, Christmas at our house was always chaotic. My mum started early in the kitchen, while my Dad’s one and only job was to cut the tree into its stand. 

Both of my parents were loud and stressed while I was plonked in front of the TV to watch Transformers in my best festive mood.

Falalalala lalalala

For context, in Hungary, Christmas Eve is the big one when we decorate the tree, then celebrate the birth of baby Jesus with a massive feast at dinner time, then give out the presents. Did I mention that I’m from a Jewish family? So, yes, chaos.

Anyway, back to the main event, my Dad. We bought a cut, live tree each year a week before Christmas. Every year on the morning of Christmas Eve, my Dad huffed and puffed out onto the balcony, armed with an axe, a saw, and a hammer.

Jingle bells

Approximately 10 minutes after the real show began. Every year, my Dad inevitably hit a finger, or kicked a toe while being entangled in the sharp and pokey tree branches. Coincidentally, my vocabulary had also expanded with a few colourful words.

Every year, my Dad spent hours on the balcony in the cold, trying to jam the tree into its stand but it was either too thick or (a considerable amount of time later), too thin. You may wonder, why?

According to my Dad, “measuring is just fluffing about'' (not with these words). “It’s for amateurs.” Not long after that he’d usually hit his finger, I’d learn my new words for the holidays and then he was off to the pub for a wee-minute first aid.

Count your blessings

I don’t think I really have to point out what went wrong with my Dad’s Christmas operation, now do I?

It wasn’t his festive blessings he needed to count but the trunk’s circumference in centimetres, along with the stand’s. Could’ve saved him a world of Christmas anguish. (Though one could argue he did have a clear end-game in mind).

The moral of the story

You should never start anything without a clear plan and you should always base all of your marketing efforts on clearly measured data. I sucked you in again with my story, didn’t I?

To get to the boring but necessary part, measuring marketing efforts is important to gauge the success of your marketing campaigns. You need to track your key performance indicators (KPIs). 

They are one of the most important elements of any campaign, and without them, marketing teams wouldn't have a clear picture of whether their marketing strategy is a success.

Ok, but what to measure

This is kinda tricky. It always depends on the overall goal of your campaign. E.g., if you’re running an awareness campaign, you should measure the number of enquiries, growth in your social followers, engagement with your content, website visits, etc.

If you’re running a sales campaign, you should measure your leads, conversion, ROI, your general costs, and really just how you actually acquired that sale. This means that you also need to break down your channels, and measure their individual activities.

Key metrics to measure your marketing strategy

SHOW ME THE MONEY! Let’s be honest, it’s all about those crispies. So, measuring marketing effectiveness will always come down to costs. Here are some of the common KPIs you should measure for each of your campaigns, regardless of the type, channel or medium:

Return on Investment (ROI)

This bad boy measures the sales revenue a campaign brings on every dollarydoo spent. Let’s say you spend $1,000 on a campaign that ends up generating $5,000 in sales. So, your ROI is $4,000, which is 400%. Time to give yourself a pat on the back. 

Honestly, ROI is the best KPI to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because it also measures the quality of the leads your campaigns generate.

Cost per Lead

Cost per Lead measures the cost-effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This time we’re focussing entirely on the leads generated by your marketing campaign (though not measuring the quality of the leads). 

Using my smashing example from above, let's say the $5,000 generated from five sales, so $1,000 profit per sales. With your $1,000 budget, the Cost per Win is $200 per sale. 

Now, the five sales resulted from 10 leads. With the same $1,000 budget, that is a cost of $100 per lead. Now, we’re really getting somewhere.

Conversion Rate

While I’m throwing around some numbers, we best look at the conversion rate as well. It is crucial to measure not just your overall website conversion but your individual marketing campaigns’, too.

For example, if this fabulous campaign brought in 1,000 visitors, from which you got those 10 leads, that means you have a 1% conversion rate. The conversion rate combined with bounce rate and other behaviour information reveals a great deal about the quality of traffic to the website.

Beware of vanity metrics

Are you still with me? Great. So, cool, we're looking at the traffic to your website. You’re getting visitors and leads, the numbers are going up and you’re super happy. “Look, we’re doing so well!”

Are we though? Measuring the number of visitors to your website, or the number of leads your campaign has generated is nothing more than looking at some vanity metrics. They are pretty, but a bit of an airhead. (For my lady readers, he’s a hunk but wipes his nose on his sleeve).

What do these metrics really tell us? Website traffic growth is good but we need to dig deeper. Are you getting the right type of visitors? 

Leads are certainly great, but are you getting the right type of qualified leads? The problem is that these metrics don’t accurately represent the effectiveness of your marketing efforts when it comes to reaching your specific business objectives.

So, say it after me: “Cost-related KPIs are my best friend!”. Or something like that.

Adjust your marketing strategy in real time

I also want to touch-base on something important before I let you go. This is a good one. Digital marketing allows us to measure campaign activities in real time. Meaning, whatever works in your campaign can be duplicated, amplified, sent to space, whatever. 

Similarly, whatever doesn’t work can be adjusted or eliminated for the best results. All you need to do is to set up processes and systems to encourage your marketing team to measure, evaluate and implement smack bang in the middle of your campaign for the greatest marketing outcome.

I still have the best Christmas memories

Relax, I’m not going to let you wander off without knowing what happened to our family Christmases.

Every year, our tree got wedged into its stand in a makeshift way, with my Dad standing next to it like the true hero that he was. 

My mum managed to roast the turkey to perfection, and hide the brussel sprouts among the rest of the veggies. I repeatedly impressed my cousins with my newly acquired festive vernacular. 

Most importantly, I’ve graduated into adulthood with the greatest lesson learnt, fake trees come with their own stands. No measuring required, falalalala lalalala.

Struggling with your data analysis and measurement? Don’t know how you should get going with it? Why not comment below with your enquiry or give us a buzz?

Meet the dream team: Email campaigns for your business

My guiltiest pleasure is Friends. I matured with them throughout the ‘noughties’ and I still binge watch the reruns at desperate times, armed to the teeth with snacks and my TV socks.

I always identified with Chandler. He was awkwardly funny with a complicated background, and a job no one could understand.

You say, cool, but how does this relate to email campaigns? Well, my brain works in mysterious ways. The key that immediately connected my dream team with email marketing is segmentation.

However, even before I go down that road, I feel that I need to reconnect you with email marketing. 

Many business owners ask the question, “Email marketing, is it still a thing? It feels like such an ancient method to connect with my customers.” 

Newsflash, according to Statista, the global e-mail marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027. 

Not to mention, it is a cost-effective way to reach a larger target audience while still keeping it personal. 

So, just like those people who keep harping on how Friends is so irrelevant today, you can back off because email marketing is where the big bucks are. You just need to lay down your foundation.

Segmentation

Do you know why Friends was so successful? Well, amongst other things, the show offered some strong personas people loved identifying with. From obsessive-compulsive Monica and goofy Chandler to ditzy Phoebe there was a character segment for everyone.

Same with your database. You need to find those strong characteristics within your contacts, so you can customise and personalise your content with the right key messages and BOOM your revenue can increase by 760%. Yep, that is the correct number.

Remember, some of your contacts may be at the consideration stage, some are at the research and compare phase, while some are ready to purchase. 

Some are local, some are interstate. Some really like a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich… You need to know all of this to make the most of your email marketing.

If you’re still not convinced and think “this is all a moo point”, I’ve got 6 more pretty good reasons why you need to get back on the email marketing bandwagon.

Generates web traffic

A solid email marketing strategy generates a healthy interest for people to click the link and jump over to your website where you can razzle-dazzle them with your products and services. 

Of course, you need to be a Joey. To create those crafty emails, you need a smashing subject line, like “How you doin’?” Then you better make sure you remember their names (automation, phew). 

You should display your natural charm through some captivating content that is consistent with your overall brand voice. 

Nothing gets a better response of ‘I wanna come over’ (click on your website link) than an American Italian with a great smile and… Wait, what? Never mind. Just nurture your audience.

Provides value to your audience 

One of my favourite TV moments is ‘Smelly Cat’. I mean who can forget Phoebe’s quirky delivery about that poor, stinky and mistreated feline?

I laughed countless times, shared memes and sang that ridiculous song. The damn thing provided me with endless entertainment value. It shouldn’t be different with your email campaigns.

Ok, you don’t have to go as far as rustling together a popcultural phenomenon but you do need to provide good value. You can do that through company updates, introducing new products and services.

You can solve problems for your customers. Make them learn something new or provide a case study of your success as a social proof. Just entertain and your audience will come back for more.

Improves SEO

Yes, emails can do this, too. Though this is not for the fainthearted. Just as Monica has 11 categories for her towels (fancy guest, anyone?) boosting your SEO through email marketing does also require a certain obsessive compulsive behaviour.

This kinda links back to my first point but email helps you boost your content and attract more site visitors. Additionally, you can use email to reach out to authority sites to earn backlinks. 

You can also reverse engineer your keywords just like Monica did with Phoebe’s ‘Nestle Toulouse’ cookies (cue my best French accent). Batch 33 definitely needed more cinnamon but if you’re lifting your email game just a little bit your SEO results will thank you for it.

Strengthens customer relationships

No doubt, Rachel (the hot one) was a shitty waitress. Too busy with her friends (and herself), she managed to neglect an entire generation of coffee lovers from series 1 to 3. That’s three years of not remembering a single order at Central Perk, my friends.

Since we don’t all have a Gunther in our lives to save the day (and our jobs), just by using my earth-shattering Friends analogy here, sending a shoddy email once in a blue moon won’t get you lifelong fans. 

You need to make more of an effort. Start that by getting to know them. Once you know which buttons to push, do that on a regular basis to the point your audience will expect your content and eventually respond (as long as you nail that call to action).

Cost effective ROI

While I never met anyone who would steal the decorative bouquet from the hotel lobby to compensate for the mini bar and (questionable) movie charges, Ross certainly understood how to make the most of his money. 

Who can forget his cop out on the furniture delivery charges? Pivot! Pivot! Pivoooot…. It’s my third best scene overall from the entire show.

Laughing aside, there is something to be said about reasonable savings. There are over 4 billion daily email users. 

Adding to that, more than 8 out of 10 people (maybe 9 but maybe 8.4, who knows) will open a welcome email, generating 4x as many opens and 10x as many clicks as other email types. 

According to Hubspot, “email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.” So, yes, emails are your cheap but effective friends when it comes to marketing. Just ask Ross.

Improves sales

Of course I saved the best for last. Chandler, my awkward fun buddy. While no one really found out what he was even doing for work throughout the entire show, it was something to do with sales. Or numbers.

He was very good at it, too. After all, he financed Joey for 10 years, and bought a house in a good neighbourhood for Monica and the twins. Not bad for a transponster. (Ok, he was working in the field of statistical analysis and data reconfiguration, but I need to make this blog work). 

Same goes for your email efforts. If you follow the advice from above and segment your list, personalise the content, create added value by adding stuff such as free guides or e-books, and send your emails with good and consistent frequency, your sales figures will definitely improve. You may even purchase that pesky avocado on toast for brekkie. On a regular basis.

To bring it altogether

Just as Friends has entered the ‘evergreen’ status, so has email marketing. It is here to stay because it is a cost-effective and straight communication channel to your audiences. So, get on it.

Not sure how? How about you send me that welcome email? You have an 8.4% chance I’ll open it. Then the rest is email marketing history. 

Anything else you know about email marketing that I missed? Leave me a comment.

Don’t be shy, it’s time to look at your brand to spark that love

I always loved shoes. There, I said it and before you click out of this blog thinking this has nothing to do with you… Just wait.

Know your best features

I love shoes and I love brands. I do believe that quality is important and I love quirkiness. As it happened, a few months ago I scrolled past the most amazing, bright and stylish boots while minding my own business on good ole Facebook. My heart stopped. It was love at first sight.

How did she find me? Not so sure, but I do look at fashion, shoes in particular, quite a lot, so I’m positive, the ad used perfect targeting to connect pretty shoes with needy people (c'est moi).

I loved how the shoes were presented. I IMAGINED myself wearing those boots. The copy was written for me. ME. It implied that if I buy those shoes my life will transform into a series of fun events, and I’ll turn heads wherever I go. Pure magic.

Handcrafted in Melbourne, real leather with quality finish and comfy inner sole in sparkly, summer yellow (yep, my favourite colour). All laid out for me in that one post. Of course, I clicked on Shop Now. Who in their right mind wouldn’t? 

There it was, my newest love selling herself for 350 Dollarydoos. Say what, bucket of icy water? Bye, gurl. I love ya but right now you’re out of my league. Just like that, I closed that window on love.

She made it personal

You know that feeling when you’re being stalked? She was everywhere. In sponsored posts. Banners. Little pop-ups. The bright, shimmery minx. “I want to be with you.” “Please buy me.” “I’ll travel to you for free if you want.” Then other posts about other gorgeous flat shoes for modern women. 

Sign up now and get 10% off on your first order. Come and check out our website, we have new arrivals. Do you know how to choose the perfect shoes for you? You support local designers. Just buy me, you know you want me.

Before going to graphic on this, I let you know I did buy those damn boots. It took me three weeks, and I hummed over the decision at least eight times but I gave in.

Though, here’s the kicker…

We connected

By then I was having a lot of fun. Immediately after the purchase, I received a thank you email, detailing the time and effort that goes into making a pair of boots. Then another email when my love left the warehouse, along with some cute notes on care instructions, and of course tracking details. We were all excited.

When she arrived, she came with a handwritten note, more care instructions, and an extra shoe bag for storage. A week later another email just checking in how the relationship is going, with an extra 20% off thrown in for my next purchase. See? Everything was carefully constructed along the buyer’s journey. I could feel that the connection was real.

The formula is for you to use

What makes this a particularly good story is that it can be translated onto any brand. You can sell anything to people if you connect with them. You need to make it personal. You can do that by finding the right language. You need to know what you’re selling and who your audience is. You need to think strategically to find them at the right places. Then make magic happen. I guarantee those love sparks will go off like the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

P.S.: Our relationship is still going strong and she does turn heads wherever we go.

Do you have a favourite brand because you ‘go way back’ together? Share with us in the comments.

The dos and don’ts of branding

WARNING: When I was brainstorming for this blog, I started with a mistake. I simply misread the topic and read ‘banding’ instead of ‘branding’. I corrected myself in an instant but the damage was already done. So, here’s the story of when I was a singer in a ‘band’.

How to build success

When I was a much younger lady (and I’m using the term loosely here), I did what any self-respecting young woman would do and I moved to London. London is in the heart of every traveller, rightfully so. The place is heaps fun, they have royalty, reasonable weather and warm beer on tap (ugh). 

What I also did, just like many other travellers, I picked up a second job in a pub, The Goldsmith’s Arms, in the middle of East Acton. The money was pitiful but you got tipped in drinks and if you had the right personality you could easily walk away with a six-pack of Bacardi Breezers every night. I knew I was living the dream.

After a few months I made some amazing friends on both sides of the bar. It’s true, once the English open up their heart, you’re in forever. Every work night was guaranteed madness. I also met two Aussie chicks, Kelly and Monique. We shared our love for parties, dancing and singing. We’re known for being fun (and unknowingly, we’re already building the brand).

So much so, that one night we jumped out from behind the bar straight up to the stage to sing at the usual Friday night karaoke. Lo and behold, the ‘Crap Sisters’ were born and the crowd went wild. Well, they mostly laughed but enjoyed the show nonetheless.

There was method in the madness

We became regulars on the pub’s (very thin) karaoke circuit. Every Friday night we had one song. We quickly worked out what worked and what didn’t. ‘I will survive’ and ‘Hey, Mickey’ were definite firecrackers. Every now and then we threw in some Madonna. We had a strategy.

We were also fiercely protecting the band/brand (you see how easy it is to make that mistake). It was always the three of us, no guest performances, and we loved being referred to as the ‘Crap Sisters’. After all, we’re acutely aware of our limitations. Which made the whole circus even more hilarious. 

Our terrible singing voices, paired with unrehearsed choreography may put us into the category of absurd but we knew our place and worked it to our advantage. We didn’t have to worry about our outfit because we performed in our maroon work uniform each time, which strongly added to our raw sex appeal. For sure. Anyway, we were consistent

And boy, we were different. Mainly, because we did this sober. We wanted to entertain as much as we wanted to be entertained. The regulars expected us to jump on stage. We were a fun adage to the Friday night shenanigans. We were the Crap Sisters.

The best part? Back then there was no social media, so you just have to take my word. No evidence. Nada. Eventually, we all outgrew our visas, and without a record deal in sight, now we all work in some comms roles back in sunny Queensland. Kelly has her own biz. Mon works in insurance. I teach and I market stuff. What a liberty. So yep, happy ending for all parties concerned.

How to make this nonsense work for you

Essentially, if you haven’t yet clued on, these are the things you should do when it comes to your brand:

Have a clear strategy. Know who you are. Define those boundaries, so it’s clear what you’re selling. Know your audience. Find out what they want and then deliver on it. Hard. They will love you for it. For the love of god, don’t go for wishy-washy. If you don’t commit, your buyer won’t either.

Be consistent. If it walks and talks like a duck… You should sound the same, look the same, have the same messages wherever you pop up. Have a schedule, and be on the same page with all of your staff. Don’t let your guard down and sit back once you get a logo. On its own it really means sh!t. Your voice, and your regular interactions with your tribe is your brand. It’s a myriad of things that you need to reign in.

Dare to be different. Be authentic. Do a song and dance about your brand, dare to poke fun of yourself. Dare to take risks. If you do, the right people will connect with you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Avoid the same old jargon, or scaring away people with some patronising crap and an impenetrable website. Life is serious enough. People want to be entertained at the end of the day. Unless, your business is funeral services. Then, do tone it down.

Is there any song that you’d like me to perform at your kid’s bar mitzvah? Let me know in the comments.

Outsourcing your marketing: Do you need to phone a friend?

Let me tell you the story when that one time I almost turned into a bike mechanic… Yes, emphasis is on ‘almost’. 

The bike that broke my nail

So, four years ago I bought this fabulous, yellow Cruiser bike for my then 6 year-old daughter as a Christmas present. Me, being the super-planner, spent a long time online to find the best deal and fastest delivery. The best deal somewhat turned out to be a projected DIY effort. 

I hit ‘proceed to checkout’ as fast as lightning, throwing all caution to the wind. Just how hard could it be? Fast delivery meant I still had enough time to screw the fancy basket to the front of the bike and adjust the seat. So I thought.

When I opened the giant box hiding in the semi-darkness of my garage that’s when I promptly had a stroke. The ‘some assembly required’ clearly meant something different to me and the company I bought from (who shall remain nameless). There it was, a frame that still needed the handlebars, wheels, seat, bell, pedals, and yes, the damn basket.

The forever optimist in me shrugged, ‘hold my wine’. I pulled out YouTube and got to work. Lots of sweat and tears (and the re-telling of the infamous 2013 incident of the Build your own doll house that surely contributed to my divorce) later I had a bike on wheels, with a handlebar, seat, bells and whistles. Then I got to the brakes. 

Yes, that’s when I realised I know shit about bikes and some things I just can’t solve. I quickly phoned a friend who happened to be a bike mechanic and he turned up and put the damn thing together for a reasonable fee. Christmas and dignity saved, though I needed an emergency appointment with my nail technician. 

Moral of the story? 

You don’t know what you don’t know. Same goes for marketing

Getting all your marketing done in-house can only take you so far. You have two options, you can either go down the DIY road (and yes, there’s YouTube for that stuff, too), or you can hire a marketing specialist, who is more often than not a newbie to the industry, to save on cost.

Now, no offence to that fresh graduate, chances are that you already know way more than your boss, but the job is thankless. Apparently, today’s marketer has to be a copywriter, digital content creator, PR professional, crisis manager, analyst and overall communication professional rolled into one almighty person. 

Sounds as crazy as it reads. I can guarantee that no one can do the job justice under that much pressure, and I’m not even mentioning the forever overhanging cloud of ‘zero budget’.

The benefits to outsource your marketing efforts

The good news is, you can find professionals who can solve your problems and may even cost you less in the long run than hiring a new employee. Suddenly for less (or about the same) amount of money you have a team of specialists taking care of all your marketing and advertising needs.

They’re not just good at adding the handlebars to your marketing campaigns, and making sure that the damn thing rides and stops when it needs to. They can also monitor how the marketing efforts perform overall. Even better, they can offer a fresh perspective and will let you know when it’s time to jump to a BMX. Great stuff all around.

More time for you 

Of course, this will save time for you to run your business and focus on the things that you actually know. Over time you may even hire an in-house person to tie all the strings together, so finally you’re in full control.

However, the worst thing you can do is to sit scratching your head wondering why that single FB ad you keep running is not bringing in any business. Wouldn’t you agree, it’s time to phone a friend?

Do you have a story when you needed to bring in the big guns? Comment below. Or call us now (wink-wink).

Seriously though, what is the value of this marketing plan?

Seriously though, what is the value of this marketing plan?

This question was asked by a client not long ago, after slaving away for a number of solid hours on their first marketing plan. Obviously, my inner marketer’s natural reaction was writhing in agony with a poisonous dagger in my heart… the cheek of it!!!

However, once I stopped cursing and calmed down, I started soul-searching. What’s missing? Where am I falling short? Questions were pouring out of me because I needed to know where I was failing to deliver on client expectations. Lo and behold… It turns out the client was hoping to walk away on the spot with some email templates and social media content. On further probing the confession came, they didn’t really know what to expect.

Obviously, this highlighted two points straight up:

  1. I sucked at managing their expectations prior to delivery. Ouch.
  2. When there’s a weakness there’s also an opportunity. In this case, to educate.

So, welcome to my blog, the first of many, about marketing plans and strategic development.

Now this is going to be a long one, please bear with me. However, I promise you’re going to walk away enlightened with a new appreciation towards the mystical world of marketing. (No, actually, it’s not mystical at all. You just need to cut through the bullsh*t).

Let’s start with an analogy. You want a house. Not too fancy but one that provides you and your family with safety and comfort, that is also pleasing on the eye and welcomes visitors into your home. Now you have several options:

The Amateur (AKA No idea but let’s hope for the best)

You can design your own home. You may be a plumber, you may be a dentist. Which means that you know very little about how to plan and build a house, you may manage some parts but overall your expertise lies elsewhere. Unless you learn with dedication and invest time and effort, your house is going to be sh*t. Sorry.

The Renovator (AKA This will do)

You already have a shack and some parts you’re happy with. The rest you want to update. Again, you can do this yourself, which will save on costs but it will take you much longer, with various results. You can engage a reputable builder who will take care of every detail with careful planning to make sure your updates are consistent with the rest of your shack, and quite possibly advise you that you must deal with the rest of the building before it goes tits up. 

Though more often than not, you will engage The Three Little Pigs PTY LTD, who will be happy to do the bare minimum because you asked for it. Planning? What planning? Zero care for consistency and safety but the rest is covered in glitter, so who cares.

The Know It All (AKA The pain in the proverbial backside)

My favourite. 20 years ago you helped Uncle Jono drag some rocks around for a retaining wall, now you know how to build a house from scratch, that is also the biggest and bestest house of the neighbourhood. Planning is for beginners. You have an opinion on everything, and you sure know how to do it better yourself even though the results say otherwise (Uncle Jono’s retaining wall lasted two summers). Nuff said. 

The Planner (AKA The ideal client, also known as the elusive unicorn)

You know that safety, comfort and consistency are basic requirements. You also want a sensible amount of frills but only the ones that excite your visitors enough that they want to feel homely, so they will come back. You know that you will need a blueprint from an architect before even starting to build because planning is everything. You want to make sure your house will stand the test of time because it was planned with care and consideration of the climate, neighbourhood, natural lights, and so on.

By now, you can see where I’m going with all of this, but just in case. Please go back and read this post again, this time substitute the house with your business, the visitors with your customers, the builder with the marketer (or lack of), and the process with marketing. Gotcha.

The marketing plan is your blueprint. It will determine what currently works for your business based on the thorough analysis of your company, your competitors, your audience and the industry itself. It will also tell you what doesn’t work and it will provide you with a framework on what to do next. The value lies in the preparation and understanding of your business. Does the plan come with templates, instant social media content, and an email chain for your cold leads? No. Does a blueprint come with a house? Of course not. 

What the marketing plan is supposed to do is to tell you where to start and offer you areas for improvement. Then you can have those developed into real-life tactics. We can do that together or you can action them on your own. What you must understand, there is no magic pill and instant result. Whoever tells you otherwise is a member of the Advisory Board for the Three Little Pigs PTY LTD.

I haven’t even mentioned how brand strategy, or a solid comms strategy fit into all of this. I’ll deliver on those next week. Until then, you better start planning or give me a call. Any questions? Throw them below and I’ll get back to you.

(TL;DR: we’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t, then after that we throw different tactics at your audience. When one sticks, we rejoice. Why do you pay us? Because of our knowledge and experience we have a way better rate (planning and ideas) of making things stick. At any stage we will look at the bigger picture, more than you would. Simple).

Where marketing buzzwords should go to die

Where marketing buzzwords should go to die

Is it just me who’s totally exhausted by the words passionate, people-person or driven? Not to mention the sight of new normal, authentic or dynamic. Working in marketing, I see and hear these words every single day.

These same words also make me run for the hills, repeatedly calling out for Beetlejuice, with the hope of disappearing in a Tim Burton-esque parallel reality where being dead is simply more fun.

If I may put in an honest word, marketing is hard as it is. Sales don’t care about the weather, as they say (well, at least I say that, you can quote me). Running marketing activities of any kind requires careful research, execution and evaluation because you deal with other people’s businesses after all. No joke about that.

Then the industry is purposely stuffed with jargon like Core Competence, Key Performance Indicator (KPI), sales funnel, and Application Programming Interface (API), and you need to be passionate and cutting edge to shift the paradigm, whatever that means.  

No wonder the average business owner gets confused at a marketing meeting when they only want to know if their stuff is selling or not. Not happy, Jan! No one should be required to eat a dictionary before any meeting or feel intimidated because their impact is not robust enough to take it to the next level. Yawn.

Newsflash. Your customers and audiences are also not interested in too complicated or overused language. If you’re trying to describe yourself with words that have been chewed down to the bone, you have another thing coming, and that’s not an increase in sales.

So, what can you do instead?

Firstly, retire your jargon. No fancy words or phrases, please. Dig a hole in your backyard and put those marketing buzzwords where the sun don’t shine.

Keep your eyes on the prize, right? The real goal here is to create content that attracts, educates and delights your audience. You can achieve this by remembering these tips:

Be specific

Don’t overthink it. You can explain what you do with straight to the point language.

  • We sell chairs. They’re comfortable and are made from 100% recycled material. Easy to clean and store when not used.
  • Our chairs are uniquely designed with cutting edge, innovative technology, moulded to your body for comfort. We’re passionate about the environment, so our chairs are strictly made from 100% recycled material. (Now let’s chuck another 300 bucks on the price, and let’s hope no one notices that… it’s a chair).
Show, don’t tell

Instead of telling your customers how authentic you are, just show it, by creating product and service features that are honest and great value. For example, you can demonstrate in the purchase process that you don’t have any hidden charges, the price ‘as is’, or you can offer free shipping (always a winner). These features will sing better than any copywriting canary.

Solve a problem

On that note, displaying how your product and service functions through videos, images, infographics, and blogs will beat any next level humbug. Your customers appreciate nothing more than truthful representation of value, and problem-solving. You should pair that with everyday language. If your customers don’t understand you and your instructions they won’t buy your products. Then all your KPIs are out the proverbial window.

Finally 

Let’s just all agree, we don’t need jargon to champion brands. Common sense tied with transparency, and above all, GOOD products and services will do the work just fine. So, I’m ready to throw a funeral for all the buzz. With a passion. 

Do you have your set of words that irk you beyond belief? Share them with me below.

PR or not to PR, that is the question

PR or not to PR,

that is the question

Very philosophical indeed, but before I reveal the answer, let’s just work out what the difference between PR and marketing is.

Short Answer

The primary difference between the two is that marketing covers promotional activities, advertising and direct marketing to increase sales, and yes it generally comes with a price tag. 

Enter public relations activities. The sole purpose of PR is reputation management through generating positive media coverage and stakeholder communication. When I mean stakeholder, it’s not a bunch of angry vampire hunters but any persons who have a stake in your organisation (obvs, this includes your employees, suppliers, customers, social audience, etc.).

Long Answer

While both PR and marketing are to improve your brand positioning, their strategies and tactics, focus and measurements of success are very different.

Let me break it down. 

Primary focus

Marketing: to amp up sales activities through advertising and promotional stuff because there is a bottom line and that is to bring home the bacon.

PR: to manage your intra and inter-communication channels for consistency. It’s all about building and maintaining positive brand awareness and relationships with those folks with the stakes.

Target audience

Marketing: Current and potential customers.

PR: Well, kinda everybody. ALL your stakeholders, the media and the general public. Point is, people love great stories, so if you have one, you need to get it out for all to know. Downside? People also like scandals, so reputation management is a 24-hour business with lots of social listening and proactive exercises.

Tactics

Marketing: Plain and simple, mostly items you need to pay for either directly or indirectly in terms of tools or resources, like comprehensive CRM systems for your EDM campaigns, Association Memberships for your networking activities, trade shows or expos where you can exhibit your awesomeness, ads on TV, billboards, in print or online (cue the algorithm conundrums of social ads). The list goes on.

PR: writing media releases and alerts, securing speaking opportunities at industry conferences, writing speeches, generating award nominations, managing your relations with media (love thy journalist they’re your BFF), overall controlling the consistency of your brand personality. All of this to get the public talking about you in a nice way. Stuff money can’t buy, really.

Measuring success

Marketing: Success is generally measured by increases in sales revenue or in specific actions you want your customers to take, like the number of downloads of your lead magnet, the number of subscriptions to your YouTube channel, and so on.

PR: It’s all about gaining positive media exposure and influencing a positive change in perception. Generally focused on more long term results and is measured in a qualitative manner.

Overall superpowers

Marketing: The power to sell. You need to be good at this and you also need a budget because this is your shortest route to increased sales. On that note, beware, marketing is a walk in the park - on LEGO. 

PR: The power to change attitude and behaviour. This is the heavy stuff. Your key messages are way more effective when they are not coming from you but from the people around you. Positively influencing your brand image through your PR is priceless.

So, to get back to our very Shakespearean dilemma of PR or not to PR? It’s a definite YES from me. We live in a socially-connected world where consumers want ethical brands with transparency and a commitment to their communities. If you are that brand and your people know it, you’re definitely onto a winner. If you need to lift the curtain on your greatness, but not sure how, just give us a shout.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to know more? Please comment below.

Essential marketing glossary for smart businesses - the 7Ps

Essential marketing glossary for smart businesses - the 7Ps

In Marketing Land, we like to keep it mysterious, with jargon, phrases and formulas, so you get really scared and look for the first exit. Today, I’m breaking down the 7Ps into easy chunks, so you can go ‘hey, I know this’. Quick win for the day. Let’s get started.

Product 

The 7Ps begins with ‘product’. This could refer to your physical product, a service or an experience. Basically... anything that’s being sold. Whatever your product or service is, it’s important that it meets the demands of the market and satisfies, or exceeds, the expectations of the customer. We all need toilet paper (hello 2020) but you have to make sure that yours holds together through thick and thin. You can also scent it, very middle-class, or print pictures on it, that can go either way. Either or, now you exceeded the expectations of your average user.

Place

‘Place’ signifies where you choose to distribute or allow access to your product or service. It could refer to anything from a warehouse or a high-street store to an e-commerce shop or cloud-based platform.

Where you choose to distribute your products can be dictated by many things, such as your product type or your budget. The best way to determine the perfect place to sell your product is by really knowing your audience; their wants, needs and requirements. Now, if you’re selling novelty loo rolls chances are you are doing that on your own website or socials, straight B2C. Clearly, you have a niche audience and you need to talk to them in a very specific way. Manufacturing toilet paper? Obviously, you want to sell big, in a B2B environment. Your voice is now corporate and you use terms like KPIs, ROIs, lead nurturing, bottom of the funnel...yawn.

Price

How much does your product or service cost? The price you set should reflect your customers’ perceived value of your product and should correlate with your budget. If your customers think your price is too high, you jeopardise losing a market that’s in it for a bargain, if your price is too low then you run the risk of losing that all-important profit. Some people are happy to pay extra for toilet paper with Donald’s face on it, I’m more of a conservative user. However, if your price is on the cheap end, I’ll assume that it is made out of see-through paper and will steer clear. For top dollars, I expect silk and a litter of puppies for entertainment. Get it?

Promotion

Promotion refers to your advertising, marketing, and other sales techniques. This could mean traditional advertising via TV, radio, billboards, etc., or more modern methods, like ads within web content, ads on a podcast, email marketing or even push notifications. See how we can work in the influencers to sing stories about our precious toilet paper… You may roll your eyes at this point but my example stands. Toilet paper is a necessity, a basic product where one can assume it does not require advertising. Cue in recycled loo rolls where the audience perception is sandpaper. Our product now needs all the help it can get.

Market segmentation allows you to learn the wants, needs, values, and motivations of your audience. Once you have discovered and analysed this data, you will be confident that your product is being promoted to the right people, in the right place and at the right time. 

Physical Environment

When we get down to basics, it’s important for consumers to know that the brand they’re purchasing from or interacting with, are legitimate and, well, actually exist in real life. 

Physical evidence often takes two forms: evidence that a service or purchase took place and proof or confirmation of the existence of your brand. After all, I do like to walk out of the shops with my new batch of handy toilet paper under my arms. Simples.

People

The ‘people’ element of the 7Ps involves anyone directly, or indirectly, involved in the business-side of the enterprise. Employing and retaining the right people is imperative in both the long and short term success of your business. Essentially, every single person who is involved in manufacturing, selling, promoting and distributing your prize-winning toilet paper, is your ‘people’. Word of advice, value your people, they are your brand just as much as your product is. Today’s consumer is savvy and they don’t take any crap from brands who are shady. (I can’t believe I worked this into my blog at the end, ha).

Processes

Process. The final ingredient in your marketing mix glossary - ‘process’ describes a series of actions that are taken in delivering the product/service to the customer. Examining the process means assessing aspects, such as the sales funnel, the payment systems, distribution procedures and managing customer relationships. You see, all those big words. I’ll deal with those in another blog. What your takeaway from this point is, to make sure your customer can put their hands on your toilet rolls the easiest way possible. 

Overall, a streamlined strategy effectively engages and retains your consumers, meets and achieves your goals and evolves your brand to the fullest extent. You sell, they buy and we are all happy.

Do you find this a bit too much, overwhelming and time-consuming? Why not give Your Brand Crew a call? With YBC your marketing strategy can outgrow your expectations to finish 2021 with a bang. Pun intended even if you don’t deal with sanitary products. Share your thoughts below.

Top 10 marketing tips for the rest of this spectacular 2021

Top 10 marketing tips for the rest of this spectacular 2021

As last year proved to be a mind-boggling example, marketing is one of those landscapes that changes so quickly. Let’s be honest here for a moment, it’s challenging to keep up with the best practices as it is, a pandemic is just another hurdle in the mix. Now, we’re halfway through 2021 which is weird because yesterday it was Christmas Day. Anyway not all is lost, you can still make this year count. Here are 10 tips to optimise your strategy for the second half of this year’s ride, so it appears that you know what you’re doing (wink-wink):

  • Look for Opportunities to Diversify
  • Chances are, your budget won’t allow you to chase every communication channel at once. You need to carefully select platforms that are most likely to bring strong returns from your investment (in human speak, find out where the best online place is to sell your stuff). So, first research your audience. Identify niche channels where you’re able to cut through the marketing noise, such as on YouTube, social media groups, etc. Then you can diversify your strategy knowing the payoff will be worth the investment (again, make sure to talk to the right folks at the right place at the right time, so they will know about you and will buy your stuff).

  • Embrace Paid Social
  • The majority of social marketers already use Facebook ads, and the platform’s advertising revenue continues to grow. To keep us on our toes, the rules tend to change a lot, and those pesky consumers now also have an opportunity to opt out from targeting and the lot (the audacity). Meanwhile, there is TikTok (more than just the Floss, peeps), Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. These platforms are making it clear to brands that paid promotion is a must if you want to get visibility. Organic growth is now officially black and white cinema. If you want your social strategy to maintain or gain momentum, then you really should embrace paid socials.

  • Focus On Your Existing Content
  • Most marketers today understand they need to produce an incredible amount of content to build a traffic base. They often focus on creating new content (an absolute nightmare), overlooking the value in repurposing their existing content. TIP: if you want to keep up with today’s competitive markets, it’s important to use your current content to its fullest potential. Trust me, this blog is going to Linkedin, it’s already scheduled in our calendar.

  • Nurture Brand Advocates
  • Today’s audience looks for recommendations from their peers before purchasing. E-word of mouth and reviews are the golden ticket to the marketing chocolate factory. Your own consumers are a powerful resource to help you reach new audiences. To make the most of your brand advocates (true fans), create campaigns to incentivise them to spread your brand message. Create and nurture an online community and offer rewards for referrals. You can also create a branded hashtag and encourage audiences to use it. Beware, tides can turn quickly, so you need to spend a lot of energy here to be proactive, social listening is a must.

  • Constantly Optimise User Experience
  • Creating a message that speaks to your audience is only the first step to success in online marketing. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, it won’t drive conversions without an excellent website user experience. This includes improving site speed and navigation, ensuring your content is easy to consume on mobile devices, and more. If a customer needs to jump hurdles to buy your products, well, they won’t. Unless you’re selling 2 for 1 Margaritas. Where do I sign up?

  • Connect Online and Offline Strategies
  • Creating a consistent and excellent customer experience online and off is an important aspect of effective marketing. More and more businesses are using in-person events to influence audiences and get those much-wanted sales, but they often think of them as a separate marketing activity. To get the most out of in-person marketing, first identify what steps you want your audience to take after the event (e.g. engage with your emails, sign up for a free product demo, etc). Then create an online experience that nurtures them on this journey. The one good thing about the pandemic (from an evil marketing-y perspective) is that people now turn up at the opening of a letter just to get out of the house. Ride that trend, my friend. 

  • Prioritise Authenticity
  • This one is one of our most important marketing tips. Customers are steering clear of sales-y content, so brands need to develop better strategies to build authentic relationships with their audiences. One of the best ways to show authenticity with your marketing is by creating live content. Host a live podcast, stream Facebook Live videos, etc. Make mistakes and just go with the flow — you’ll be surprised how positively your audience will respond to it all. Use your voice, after all people want to buy from a real person. On that note, always find the right person on your team to shine. If you’re the boss but freeze in front of the camera like deer in a headlight, let someone else take one for the team.

  • Create a Strong and Memorable Message
  • Storytelling is the future of marketing. Customers see through the marketing agenda. They probably checked you out already, asked their friends and read the reviews. They know what you’re selling, warts and all. They want personality, emotions and entertainment, and above all, honesty. The more creative you get with storytelling, the more likely you’ll stand out and improve your brand image. 

  • Build Partnerships
  • Collabs with niche influencers, and much-loved and respected social media figures is a great way to advertise. Collaborate with other major players in your industry to reach a new audience and gain some social proof for your business. You can also enlist the help of micro-influencers to serve as your brand advocates on social media. Research is critical with this one, you should know who your audience wants to see, and your collab target should fit like a glove with your brand.

  • Make Performance Analysis an Ongoing Strategy
  • Any content without a sound strategy is just wasted. Ongoing audits and content analysis are your best friends to know just how well your socials are performing. The best part? You can make immediate improvements to optimise your content performance. Your marketing automation platform should offer you tons of ways to analyse and report the performance of your marketing efforts. Remember, numbers are your friend.

    There you have it. Our top 10 marketing tips to tackle the rest of 2021. Feels like an overwhelming list? Why not give us a quick call to see how we can make your brand stand out.

    Do you think this is an extensive list? Would you like to add more to it? Please leave us a comment.