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All Posts By

Alex Makin

ANZMAC Doctoral Colloquium: Award for Social Impact

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News No Comments

ANZMAC (the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy) is the pinnacle organisation for educators and practitioners interested in marketing theory and research. Each year ANZMAC hosts its Annual Conference, with the 2017 event being hosted by RMIT University.

The ANZMAC Annual Conference provides a forum to advance marketing theory with its Doctoral Colloquium bringing together PhD students with the opportunity to discuss their work and research.

Syneka Marketing, being at the forefront of marketing governance, is a proud sponsor of the 2017 ANZMAC Doctoral Colloquium and RMIT University, by providing a cash prize to the Award for Social Impact.

Alex and Natalia awarding the Award for Social Impact to James Durl

Alex and Natalia awarding the Award for Social Impact to James Durl

James Durl from Griffith University is the award recipient, recognising his research furthering the impact of marketing and we extend our congratulations to James for his work and dedication to furthering the field of knowledge within marketing.

Understand your customer: a prerequisite to Customer Centric Transformation

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News No Comments

The AusTTA is the professional association for business transformation specialists with the aim of defining and developing the profession.

This evening we facilitated an AusTTA workshop to explore the current buzzword of Customer Centricity which is often a catalyst for transformation projects. The term Customer Centricity, however, is often misleading, given a lack of insight into identifying the customer and the roles they undertake in fulfilling a purchase decision.

Who is the customer? Is the customer the user of the product or service? Or are they the purchaser or the initiator that identifies the need? These roles, as well as others, are undertaken during a purchase decision, which can involve multiple individuals.

Failing to understand these profiles creates unnecessary costs and stakeholder risk, resulting in customer centric projects that fail to achieve.

Alex delivering the AusTTA Workshop on Customer Centricity

Alex delivering the AusTTA Workshop on Customer Centricity

Defining the customer was an integral theme of our workshop, exploring not only the decision-making sequences and customer journey, but also the fact that different individuals may undertake these activities.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an example of where multiple stakeholders are part of the purchase decision, even if the participant may be defined as the customer since they are using services purchased through their plan. Family and carers are key stakeholders that can influence the purchase decision, but we have far too examples of where marketing fails to consider the purchase profiles.

Marketing, which is responsible for consistency across each aspect of the marketing mix, needs to be at the forefront of customer centricity. Otherwise, there is the creation of costly stakeholder and financial risks when these projects fail to deliver.

Marketing as the catalyst for Business Transformation

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources No Comments

Changes in market conditions, including new competitive pressures, declining market share or market obsolesce, is often the catalyst for business transformation, yet it is staggering that marketing is often absent during the transformative process.

Unfortunately, marketing is often relegated to the execution of tactics, diminishing the research and strategic insights required to optimise new market opportunities.

How can an organisation become market facing without marketing being at the forefront of these considerations?

Marketing Governance provides the framework to embed marketing within business transformation, delivering results that optimise and build marketing performance.

The Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association (AusTTA) is the professional association that represent business transformation specialists.

We are presenting at the next AusTTA event to discuss How to lead a total Business Transformation through an obsession with customer centricity – now and in the future

Our exploration of customer centricity will explore case studies within one of Melbourne’s leading art institutions, showcasing the role of business transformation across the arts, not-for-profit service delivery and business enterprises.

The session will be held on Wednesday the 4th of October from 6.30pm at Palya Art Gallery in South Melbourne. Register online at www.austta.org/event-2661163

Hello Marketing…. meet Governance: Workshop outcomes from the Governance Institute

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities No Comments

The need for good governance applies across businesses, not-for-profit organisations and government, as it ensures the right information is available to make informed decisions that have a positive impact on growth and sustainability.

Most areas of an organisation, including HR and IT, embed good governance, yet it remains conspicuously absent from marketing.

Brand, Risk and Reputation: Managing Marketing Governance.

What are the consequences caused by a lack of marketing governance? Higher risks, higher costs and a poorer return from marketing.

This is why we are redefining marketing, through our Marketing Governance Framework and why we partnered with the Governance Institute of Australia to deliver our workshop on Marketing Governance, exploring brand, risk and reputation.

We guided participants through the five pillars of Good Marketing Governance:

  • Strategic alignment, delivering marketing outcomes that impact organisational goals.
  • Risk considerations, to minimise uncertainties and manage marketing activities.
  • Financial rigour, managing marketing budgets by purpose and desired outcomes, to measure return.
  • Roles and responsibilities, providing clearly defined requirements with measurable position descriptions.
  • Accountability and metrics, measuring the chain of activities from initial inputs into outputs and the desired marketing outcomes.

Several case studies provided context on the damage caused by a failure in Marketing Governance, including CPA failing to manage stakeholder risk, Woolworths inappropriately delegating strategic insights and the Victorian Taxi Association measuring the wrong outcomes.

The failure of marketing is evident, with it often being the first role to experience downsizing during economic uncertainty, although its core purpose is to deliver value. The marketing profession, which proclaims to deliver value, has failed to demonstrate its own value.

Meanwhile, marketing related failures, including a lack of customer insights and understanding competitive pressures, are responsible for up to 44% of business failures. Woolworths, through its ill-fated Masters Hardware Stores, is an example of failing to understand customer segments, resulting in poor product selection, mismatched communications and an inability to secure tradespeople as key accounts. The result? Total costs of $3 billion, and reputational damage.

Alex Makin facilitating our Brand, Reputation and Risk Workshop on Marketing Governance.

Marketing must provide the ability for organisations to become market facing by coalescing internal capabilities and market needs – this is why Marketing needs to incorporate Governance.

Each workshop participant has a copy of the presentation, but if you would like to view the slides, please complete our marketing governance survey at www.synekamarketing.com.au/assessing-marketing-governance

Marketing Governance in a Family Business: Workshop with Family Business Australia

By Advice, Advice for Businesses No Comments

Family Business Australia is the peak industry association representing the diversity within family owned businesses. The association delivers services to family businesses but also builds the capacity of organisations that service the sector.

We were invited to deliver our Workshop on Marketing Governance to family business advisors, exploring the dynamics and role of marketing within a family business. Family businesses require not only sustainable growth, but also the ability to provide support succession planning for their children and future generations.

Alex with PKF Australia and Family Business Australia discussing Marketing Governance.

Alex with PKF Australia and Family Business Australia discussing Marketing Governance.

Marketing is often an entry point for parents seeking to position their children into roles, and as such, it is imperative that the business embed good governance to support these requirements. Marketing is more than just promotions; it needs to ensure consistency across the marketing mix or customer experience, enabling marketing to support growth through customer acquisition and retention.

Our workshop on Marketing Governance explored how family business advisors could identify key issues within marketing and the need to provide support that will strengthen internal capabilities and capacity.

The viability and sustainability of the family business sector are vital to both economic and social growth, and we, therefore, need to provide the resources that enable family businesses to make informed marketing decisions that contribute to tangible business outcomes.

The Montague Street Bridge: a tale of how marketing fails to understand risk

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities No Comments

Nestled in Montague Street, South Melbourne, approximately ten minutes from our office, is a low clearance bridge of three-metre height. The Montague Street Bridge entered notoriety on the 22nd of February 2016, when a charter bus failed to observe clearance signs and slammed into the bridge.

The driver failed to consider risk, but how did the company respond? Tape, to hide the brand, but clearly not to resolve the issue.

“We are out to protect our brand and make sure we don’t tarnish our brand, it doesn’t mean any disrespect.” (Gold Bus Ballarat)

Hiding rather than avoiding Risk (Photograph: Hamish Blair)

Had Gold Bus Ballarat viewed this action from a viewpoint of risk, they would have realised the consequences of the resulting scrutiny. Unfortunately, marketing often fails to assess risk factors, resulting in an extensive list of campaigns that have caused reputational damage, as well as financial loss:

This year has proven to be no different:

  • In March, Coopers failed to assess sponsorship risks when it was forced into a public apology when the Bible Society used its beers to film a poorly scripted debate on marriage equity.

On behalf of the Coopers Board and seniors staff, we’re incredibly saddened by the impact our involvement with the Bible Society has had on our valued Coopers drinkers and our extended family,” (Coopers Brewery)

  • A month later, Pepsi blew an estimated $100 million, plus a history of corporate social inclusion, due to its doomed campaign featuring Kendall Jenner and the trivialisation of social justice movements.

Each of these campaigns (and many others) would have never seen production, let alone public viewing, had there been suitable oversight and consideration of risks.  Despite these reputational, legislative and financial failures, history is likely to repeat itself with more examples likely to join this list.

Just like the Montague Street in South Melbourne, which has been hit at least six times so far in 2017.

History repeating itself: When Marketing (or road users) fail to consider risk

How do we prevent history repeating? We need to elevate marketing into the domain of governance, so that risk, as well as oversight, is embedded into decision making.

Join us as we explore Brand, Reputation and Risk: Managing Marketing Governance in partnership with the Governance Institute of Australia on Wednesday the 26th of July 2017 in Melbourne.

Registration details available at www.governanceinstitute.com.au/education-training/calendar-of-events/eventdetails/E00693/brand-and-reputation-marketing-governance