Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Key Things We Can Learn About Marketing And Social Media From Our New Brownlow Medialist

Winning Ways

The reality is that regardless of what arena we play in, there is a strong direct association between key success factors that are universally shared regardless of market, size or business age. The other night the games most exciting young talent Nat Fyfe won his first Brownlow Medal and again taught us all some key points that we should apply to our business marketing.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Differentiation is one of the most important core elements of marketing and despite this so few businesses actually do effectively differentiate themselves from the rest. In Nat's case: His unmistakable hair style and hair band uniquely mark him as a unique product offering like no other.

Be The Best At What You Do

Brand recognition aside, you need to do what ever you do better than the next guy and be able to consistently demonstrate your skill, knowledge and abilities to the marketplace. In Nat's case: He is an incomparable player with the mobility of a midfielder but with the marking skills and strength of a key position player.

Tell Your Story

One of the real opportunities in modern social media is the ability to effectively tell your story to explain who you are, how you come to be there and essentially through this process, try to more fully humanise the brand. In Nat's case: His speech after winning the medal was memorable in so many ways and gave us a real insight into this individual, his family and other key aspects of his life.

Being Real

Rarely if ever has the market place been so savvy as they are today and in so being able to spot disingenuous content a mile away with the reaction of not using that brand and often telling others about their thoughts. In Nat's case: There was an obvious authenticity to everything we heard from him through the night. Everything from the status of his injuries, fathers and brothers work and his feelings on winning a premiership.

Keep Working On Your Weaknesses

I have little doubt that the most underutilised tool in business is the SWOT analysis that effectively highlights both external market forces and internal strengths and weaknesses and through this presents each business with the opportunity to leverage their strengths and importantly, work to improve their relative areas of development. In Nat's case: Amazingly Fyfe did not go one or two or even three in the 2009 national draft but instead pick twenty.  Incredibly this means that every team passed on him before Freemantle eventually took him as an early second round pick. The embarrassed recruiting managers looking back say that at the time Nat was very slightly built and it was through also that he lacked the stamina to be become a regular midfielder.  Well they were wrong. Over his time in the league, he has developed these and every other area of his game to become the best player in A.F.L football.

So what about you and your business or brand. How can these five key factors be used to propel you to a higher level of performance and success. And if you'd like to learn more about marketing and social media visit our extensive range of nationally accredited courses at:

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Instagram New Ad Formats Soon To Be Available To All

 New Advertising Formats 

In recent months it has been well publicised that Instagram were widening the scope of which businesses could use their new ads. They have now formally announced that by the end of September all businesses will be able to access the new and improved advertising campaign services.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Influencer Networks

Ranking Potential

The question of potential is often raised by businesses looking for better ways to categorise and ultimately rank and prioritise both current customers and also prospects that fall within your target audience that may hopefully one day become valued customers and clients.

Actual Usage

Typically what a lot of businesses tend to focus on is that actual usage of a product category.  For example you sell photocopying paper and one of your current clients buys around a thousand reams a year and a key prospect who uses another well-known, rival brand of photocopying paper also buys around a thousand reams. In both cases these two businesses are both high potential and relating back to a Boston Consulting Group type matrix would be a Star (i.e. high potential and high use for the current customer) and Problem Child (i.e. high potential and no use for the high potential prospect).

In both cases we have businesses that are high potential and so would be focused on with a view to either maintaining and growing the current client and convincing the prospect to switch to the alternative photocopying paper brand. Clearly the adoption of an actual usage criteria to evaluate potential is a simple and effective one that is universally applied however there is also a less apparent and often missed adjunct to this more obvious alternative.


That more subtle aspect of market potential lies in influencer power and influencer network and perhaps the best way to explain this alternative is to provide an example of how it works in a real world situation.

The Kind Professor

Some years ago whist working in the pharmaceutical market I met a gentleman who by this stage had all but stopped seeing patients and for the most part because of this had been all but forgotten by not only my company but also that of every other rival pharmaceutical company. However I had a self-imposed rule that I at least wanted to meet every doctor at least once to introduce myself and provide any support for the right reasons regardless of how great or small their personal prescribing was at the time.

Through this discussion I understood that he himself was taking the very medicine I was charged with promoting to the market. With this I not only provided him some free samples but was pleased to update him on some recent exciting data that provided great comfort to him not only as a prescriber of the brand but also as someone taking it personally. Frankly that gave me a great feeling and I left it at that thinking I had done something nice for a lovely man.

Sometime after this other doctors I met in my travels that before this had been at best non-committal and at worst totally dismissive, had called me wanting samples for their patients and additional information on how to use the medication. What had happened I asked myself?

Influencer Network

Put simply this one doctor who for years had taught so many of the current ‘high potential’ doctors was still in contact with many of them through the divisions of general practice and more informally through social contact and through this ongoing interaction had acted as an advocate for the brand and the data I had shared with him.

So in light of this anecdote I’d ask you to re-calibrate your thinking. Certainly level of use and selective brand use are important aspects to this equation, but they are not the only important considerations. Influence as described above is a much more powerful and enduring marker of long term sales growth. Please consider.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Comparative Advertising in Marketing

Currently On The Small Screen

This week I was asked by a student about  an advertisement she had seen recently on television which was directly comparing two forms of painkillers. Namely: Panadol (paracetamol) and Nurofen (Ibuprofen).  
These days we tend to see less and less of this type of head to head, comparative advertising for several reasons. Firstly if you're going to use comparative advertising you need to be fairly certain that your brand is either better than a key rival brand in a key area that holds strong significance to the target market audience or at vet least that you are as good as that rival brand and with this established parity, you can then claim some additional edge in another important aspect of the brand's function and usage.

If you can't do this you need to be careful because this type of promotion is certainly interesting and tends to throw a strong spotlight on both brands as people are always looking to gain some additional insight into which brand is better, by how much and why.

Classic Battle

The classic example of comparative advertising that made ripples globally and lead to formal legal action and a prolonged fight within the courts was that of the “Energizer” television commercial which described how the “Energizer” lasted longer than a “Duracell”. 

This is a powerful form of advertising which can build strong, selective demand if a product is perceived as being superior to its opposition. Overall competitive advertising is used after a product class has been established and the general public has become reasonably familiar with it and consequently wants to purchase the product.

The Need For Differentiation

I have always advocated of course that every brand regardless of its origin, market or size, should always to continue to develop its own genuine point of difference that is meaningful, sustainable and relevant to the target markets unmet need.

If as the guiding mind of your business or brand you pursue this goal and develop a reasonably significant point of  difference, you will always be well rewarded by astute use of direct comparative advertising, but I stress that this will only work if your USP is a strong one that has already been established and is valued by the market.

So for now, think about every aspect of your brand and how it differs from the  opposition and consider how each key difference can be best utilised to drive your core promotional messages more effectively.  Let us know what you come up with.

And until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Facebook Beacon for Your Local Business

The Facebook Beacon is Facebook's version of a local, notification system that will alert people who are in the vicinity, as they receive this information logged in to Facebook and have their Bluetooth operating.

This type of prompt can be used  in many ways and can have great impact in raising awareness about your business, positioning it to a specific market segment or promoting specific products and services to those targeted niches.

Many shoppers look favourably on receiving business messages that include key information, pictures, recommendations from their friends that have had experience with the business, a link to  access the site, etc.

The Facebook Beacon is a simple and free way to augment your businesses exposure to mobile users who maybe your perfect customer group.
You may request a Facebook Beacon on:  for your business page

It’s an excellent way to increase the visibility of your business page for any people who are using Facebook nearby.
So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Friday, August 21, 2015

LinkedIn's New Showcase Pages Will Improve The Ability To Sell On LinkedIn

Newly Arrived

Most if not all businesses are perennially searching for better ways to promote their products and services via the world's preeminent, professional  networking site LinkedIn. The release of the new LinkedIn showcase pages is providing exactly that possibility.

Precise Targeting

These new LinkedIn showcase pages enable you to promote certain products or services to specific customer segments.

How Do Showcase Pages Differ From Company Pages

Showcase pages are an advance on the better known Linked company pages that many of you will already have in place and they now make it possible for a business to focus on a specific product or service that they would like to feature.

Starting with a traditional company page, you can now build a Showcase Page which is a separate entity with its own unique criteria, followers, updates and functions.  The way it works is that all your showcase pages are listed in the right column of your company page.

How To Set Up A Showcase Page

1.  Choose a Page Name
Select your page name. At this point you will want to take full advantage of SEO and include any keywords into that page name. For example for Deep Earth Gemstones you may want a page on diamonds so the URL would be:
2. Build a Showcase Page
To build a showcase page, go to your company page and simply click on the down-pointing arrow next to Edit and press Create a Showcase Page from the drop-down menu.

Each LinkedIn company page can have as many as ten Showcase pages linked to that company page. claim up to ten showcase pages for your company.
3. Optimize the Page for Search
As is the case with everything on the internet it is vital to optimise the page for SEO purposes to help Google rank your page as high as possible on their search engine.
Apart from the page title there is an allocation of up to two hundred characters where again you can use the appropriate key words that will help position the page for your target audience.

AS well you should always include live back links to the on the website portion of your page and ensure to upload a logo and header imagewhich can be either a PNG, JPEG or GIF format. The maximum file size for the image is 2MB, and it must be 974 x 330 pixels or larger.

As always LinkedIn are coming up with new and exciting ways to provide additional value and functionality for businesses to better position, promote and commercialise their products to the right audience and in Showcases pages we see another way that smart businesses will do just that.
So until next time, good luck and good marketing.