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Business Victoria is a unit within the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, which provides advice for running a business within Victoria. Each month, Business Victoria holds an informal conversation with a business owner, through its Customers and Cheese session.

This afternoon I introduced Business Victoria to Syneka Marketing, discussing our ethos and the challenges facing marketing agencies.

As a strategic marketing agency, we focus on understanding our clients, by working with them to achieve their goals. Our strategic approach is what distinguishes us from other agencies, ensuring that we deliver results that build on the strengths of our clients.

Our main competition however, tends to be businesses or not-for-profit organisations that have a DIY approach to marketing. When someone needs financial advice they see an accountant, or an electrician for electrical work, and yet far too many times we see businesses attempt their own marketing.

Marketing, unfortunately, does not have the same perception of being a specialized skill and this is often due to the word ‘marketing’ being misapplied. We’ve previously discussed what marketing is, and there is a role for organisations like Business Victoria, to help clarify misconceptions.

Marketing is about understanding the direction of your business and monitoring the steps required to achieve this vision. Marketing tools, like search engine optimization, websites or brochures, should not be considered until you are clear about the purpose of your business and the customers it wishes to reach.

Most organisations are not in the business of marketing, and this is where external advice can be useful. A business owner, who excels at delivering their core business, may not be able to objectively view their business and assess potential opportunities.

We recently encountered a local cafe, who prided themselves on providing a premium product, through the food, coffee beans and fit-out. Despite this premium image, the owner thought that home-printed black and white leaflets, highlighting price rather than quality, would be suitable to promote the cafe. This approach diminished the image of the cafe and encouraged customers to consider price, rather than quality.

Consistency is critical when considering marketing and this means as marketers we need a consistent definition of marketing.

We believe that marketing is about providing value that resonates with customers, clients and other stakeholders. It was insightful to share our strategic approach with Business Victoria and to demonstrate how success starts with strategy.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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