It doesn’t happen often, but over the past couple of days, I have ventured out of my home-office cave and headed into the Big Smoke for the inaugural Big Digital Adelaide Conference, held right here at the Science Exchange (pictured) in the city of churches.Read More
Every where I go on Facebook, there seems to be small and micros business people asking opinions on a selection of logos to brand their business. It drives me nuts – the opinions of random strangers on Facebook mean nothing when it comes to your branding.
Sure, you might have “designed” a logo but a brand is so much more than a logo. And the other mistake they often make is not considering how this “logo” will translate across different platforms – print, web, social media, signage, uniforms and more. None of these should be developed in isolation.Read More
As an Australian copywriter, one of the most common questions I field from potential clients is whether I can write their brochure copy and then they can just cut and paste that on to their website (or vice versa).
It seems there is a misconception out that that all copy is equal. But it is not.Read More
If you have ever breathed in the gas from a helium balloon and then spoken (and, let’s face it, who hasn’t?), you will know how weird and jarring it is to hear a different voice than the one you are used to. It’s the same with your business “voice” – if it is not consistent, it can be very jarring to your audience. A bit like you whole organisation has sucked on that balloon. Your business voice is a major ingredient in your marketing success – it’s about the words you use and how you use them and it can make or break your business. Here’s why: 1: It’s unique and authentic: You want people to remember your business, right? Just like you can identify a person through their voice, you should be able to identify a business by their business “voice”. A strong and consistent voice will help your business stand out from its competitors. 2. It helps build relationships: Just like you wouldn’t go on a second date with a person who you did not “gel” with, you would not do business with an organisation that didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength. This is extra important for business-to-business services (such as Black Coffee Communication), because a large part of the success of a project is based on the communication and relationship between the client and the service provider. So having a strong business voice can weed out the clients who would be better suited to someone else. 3. It can help internal morale: If all your employees are aware of company “voice”, it helps them understand how they fit within the organisation, and present a united front to customers. In bigger organisations, it can be very difficult to get everyone in sync. This is where small and medium organisations are at an advantage – right from their recruitment. And a strong, united business voice means that not only will customers hear the unity, so will your people. Your business voice needs to transfer across web content, In blogs, correspondence, email, conversations, marketing material, social media and more. And it needs to speak to your target audience. I try with Black Coffee Communication to keep my business voice chatty, but authoritative – do I hit the mark? And how about you, what’s your business voice? Till next time, Nicole ...Read More
Last week, I brought you a guest post from Lisa Cook of Sweet Pea Marketing. This week, Lisa continues to impress with part 2 of Never Too Small for Strategy. In the last post I shared with you how to complete the first part of a great marketing strategy – the situation analysis. This week we will get into the nitty gritty of the part two – the tactical marketing plan. As mentioned last week, when organisations don’t plan their activities, they tend to be reactive and try everything – or do nothing at all – with their marketing actions. Taking the time to plan means that the marketing that you ultimately end up doing will be more efficient and effective. It will be suited to your business, your current and future clients, your industry, and the greater economic environment in which you operate. The Tactical Marketing Plan To help you use the information and insights gained during your situation analysis, below is a step-by-step process for you to use to determine the marketing activities (or, the ‘how’) you will implement for each selected target market (or, the ‘where’). This part of the plan can be quite detailed and may have implications within the organisation beyond the marketing department. To add context to the decision-making required here, it may be useful to bring in senior staff from across the business. Market target and objectives Articulate each identified target market(s) – explicitly state who it is and who its not. Set objectives you wish to achieve from each target market. Refer back to your information from your research on current and potential marketplaces and customers in the “understanding products and markets” section of your situation analysis. Positioning statement Prepare a statement for each target market detailing how you will position your services (and/or products) against certain aspects of competitors (e.g. service level and cost). The insights from your competitor research, as well as marketplace and internal sales and customer analysis, will be useful here. A positioning graphic may also help you – and others – visualise your service/product offering relative to your competitors. Marketing Mix The marketing mix is the combination of products (or services), price, promotion, placement (or distribution), physical evidence, process, and people that produces an intentional effort in a selected marketplace. Each element of the mix should be designed to reinforce the articulated positioning. This is an opportunity for you to be creative and innovative with your approach to your target market. Service / Product Create a service/product that solves a problem that the target market has, and that has features and benefits (tangible and intangible) that the target market views as positive. Remember, usually there are a number of problems that your service/product solves, and as such, variable features and benefits available, for your identified target market. Price Consider whether the perceived value proposition matches the costs you are charging (the economic value to the customer). Consider also the production cost, competitor price levels, corporate objectives,...Read More
I’m thrilled to present the first of a two-part seeries from guest Lisa Cook, the small business marketing whizz behind Sweat Pea Marketing. If you ever wondered why you need marketing strategy for your small business, then read on. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to set your goals and directions for the year ahead. It helps you remain focused and avoid unnecessary tasks that don’t get you to where you want to go. The idea of strategic business planning is generally well understood; however, the act and art of strategic marketing planning (that supports the overall business plan) seems to get left undone. When this happens, organisations tend to be reactive and try everything – or do nothing at all – with activities that bring in clients (and cash). All businesses – big and small – should undergo some sort of marketing planning exercise before jumping into doing marketing. Taking the time to plan means that the marketing that you ultimately end up doing will be more efficient and effective. It will be suited to your business, your current and future clients, and your industry. Approaching a strategic marketing plan should be in two distinct sections: (1) a situation analysis, and (2) the tactical marketing plan. Today’s post looks at the steps to completing the situation analysis, and next week’s post will look at compiling this data into a workable tactical marketing plan. Situation Analysis I believe that any plan is only as good as the information put into it, and the more work you do upfront in the situation analysis, the easier the process of developing the tactical plan will be. Therefore, the situation analysis requires research and understanding of your business and its products, of your current and potential target markets, and of your competitors and operating environment. This information ensures that the marketing strategy is developed in an informed manner and is given the most likelihood of success. Much of this information may very well already be in your head. To help you articulate and structure this information for practical use, below is a ready-reckoner to help you compile the situation analysis for your organisation. It steps through each element required and where you find the information needed to dictate your tactical plan. Area Details Where to find this information Understanding the organisation Company overview (mission and vision; goals) Core competencies Areas for improvement Marketing assets Business plan Answering why the firm exists, and what drives it Core strategy / goals of organisation (e.g. increasing market expansion, market share, or profitability) The S & W from your SWOT analysis Portfolio analysis Current marketing mix (7 Ps) Understanding products and market Key markets served Solutions – product / services Potential markets Customers: demographics, location, psychographics, behavioural, values Buyer decision process as applicable to each market Sales reports / analysis (where and what people are buying) Service / Product cost analysis Customer acquisition and retention costs reports Internal service / product...Read More