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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Report of Findings

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Today we hosted our National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Industry Roundtable providing a forum for NDIS providers to explore the challenges and opportunities in becoming market-ready under the NDIS.

We have worked extensively with disability service providers and equipment suppliers in developing the marketing capability and capacity required for the market driven environment of the NDIS.

Alex presenting to attendees at the NDIS Report of Findings Roundtable

Attendees gained an understanding of the current NDIS context, the state of marketing within the NDIS and the elements required for a successful market readiness strategy. In particular there, is a need to utilise marketing governance to instil to successfully differentiate within a competitive market context.

The NDIS is an extremely competitive market, due to the high level of participant choice and potential possibilities that exist within specified NDIS supports. In a highly competitive market, price and brand are the main levers used to influence demand. Given that pricing controls currently exist within the NDIS, the only potential option for providers is to successfully differentiate through their brand. Building brand equity requires a strategic approach to marketing, with the ability to measure and strengthen awareness, attitudes and loyalty.

Marketing Governance provides the framework for NDIS providers to respond to the changing market conditions through the NDIS, through the strategic alignment between business and marketing outcomes, as well as the management of risk. Success within the NDIS requires marketing roles to be clearly defined so there is an understanding of how to measure marketing performance, as well as allocating the resources required to build and sustain market demand. Ultimately, this instils an outcomes based approach to marketing, with the ability measure marketing inputs and outputs across the chain of marketing activities.

Marketing Governance ensures the building of brand equity, by aligning strategic direction, understanding brand risks and by measuring and strengthening awareness, attitudes and loyalty.
The roundtable coincided with the launch of our NDIS Report: Challenges, Solutions and Market Readiness. Our research explores over 1000 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) registered providers to determine the level of market readiness as the NDIS continues to roll out across Australia.

Through this report, we identify the key challenges facing NDIS providers and the opportunities that exist in strengthening marketing capability and capacity as well as maximising their impact in an NDIS environment.

To download your copy of our report NDIS: Challenges, Solutions and Market Readiness, please visit www.synekamarketing.com.au/ndisreport

Attendees at the NDIS Report of Findings Roundtable

The Building Blocks for Effective China Business: ACBC Perth Workshop

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The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) is the peak business association for developing business and trade between Australia and China. The organisation has state-based branches operating across Australia to facilitate trade and business opportunities between the two countries.

This morning I was invited to deliver a workshop for the Perth Branch of the Australia China Business Council, where we discussed the marketing foundations required for Australian businesses to establish and develop a market presence in China. As a market, China is rapidly increasing in sophistication, meaning Australian businesses need to be strategic in how they enter China and build market demand.

Australian businesses need to adopt a good governance approach to marketing to instil the strategic rigour required to develop China as a potential market. Businesses need to manage potential risks by quantifying target markets, understanding purchase decisions and competitor intensity. Marketing roles need concise position descriptions to ensure there is suitable capability to develop new markets and opportunities. China’s population of 1.4 billion is significantly larger than Australia but requires segmenting and defining to build suitable target markets engaged through multifaceted marketing campaigns.

Developing new markets requires resources to build market potential. Marketing Governance embeds an understanding of the budgetary resources needed to develop new markets, as well as forecasting the potential return on investment. Australian businesses need to be aware of these factors to determine the potential results when entering China.

Understanding marketing metrics is imperative when entering a new market. Building awareness is the first stage in creating potential demand. Awareness activities consist of several marketing tactics that to build brand preference and purchase intent. The inputs that build brand awareness need to correlate to the output of purchase preference leading to outcomes in customer acquisition and potential re-purchase behaviour. Understanding the chain of activities required to build a customer base is essential to being able to measure progress and market penetration.

China is rapidly growing in sophistication and Australian businesses need to build their marketing capability and capacity to realise the market potential that exists across China.

Marketing as the catalyst for Business Transformation

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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

Strategy Before Tactics – the very foundation of marketing

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Over the course of this trimester, I have been undertaking a sessional lecturing role at Kaplan Business School, teaching Marketing Principles to undergraduates and the Value Chain to postgraduate MBA students. Lecturing provides a great way of ensuring relevancy and best practice, by the blending theory with practical applications.

Marketing Principles is an introductory marketing subject and serves as the gateway into further studies within the discipline. Marketing theory has not changed substantially since its initial inception, although the discipline continues to evolve through research and new insights.

One of the fundamental principles taught to students is strategy is before tactics. Strategy ensures that the right tactics are executed in a timely manner while taking into account the available resource requirements and strategic direction.

2015-08-11-a-marketing-plan-informs-your-strategy

Unfortunately, misinformation is rife in regard to marketing, resulting in many non-accredited marketers promoting tactics without the research and insights that are required to achieve positive outcomes.

This is prevalent in areas like branding, where the focus becomes visual and style at the exclusion of the research required to map stakeholders, their decision-making journey, anticipated touchpoints and desired outcomes.

A brand ultimately needs to connect with not only customers but the entire value chain, including employees, directors, suppliers and channel partners. This is particularly important when partners may be supporting joint initiatives, that require each partner to convey mutually supportive value.

Unfortunately, there are many instances where a new brand is commissioned without undertaking these strategic stages. Similarly, many digital activities are undertaken without recognising the need for research and insights that guide the experiences required to create desired outcomes.

The execution of tactics is not marketing. Conducting valid research and determining suitable strategic insights is what marketing is actually about.

First year students are taught and assessed on this basis, and yet there are many instances of reputational and financial risks caused by people within business and organisations when they decide to execute tactics without valid strategies.

It’s time we focused on Redefining Marketing

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Marketing faces the unenviable position of having low barriers to entry, meaning anyone can call themselves a marketer, without having either the credentials or experience to support these claims.

As a consequence, there is a significant level of bad advice, leading to poor results that not only jeopardise client outcomes, but also the industry as a whole. The prevalence of design and digital agencies purporting to offer marketing, is leading to misinformation and a rush towards ill-considered tactics. The association of tactics with the word marketing, including content marketing, social media marketing, telemarketing and direct marketing, is creating an environment where tactics are undertaken without the required research and strategic insights that are required to achieve the desired results.

We are in an environment where it is very easy to spend on ‘marketing’, but a lot harder to generate a return.

Meanwhile, brands are being created without the insights required to correctly determine market segments and stakeholders. These brands ultimately fail due to a lack of connectivity with the market context. Similarly terms like brand equity get thrown around, without an understanding of how it should be measured and evaluated to enable performance monitoring.

Marketing needs to elevate itself and reach the Boardroom. It cannot do this while it fails to speak the language of the board and absconds from responsibility.

Marketing is often one of the first functions to be downsized during times of economic uncertainty, simply because it has failed to demonstrate value, due to poor and incorrect reporting on outcomes.

Marketing needs a governance framework that provides the capabilities and capacity to engage the Board, maintain accountability and deliver measurable results. Our White Paper on Marketing Governance provides the framework for marketing to embark on this journey.

The Syneka Marketing Governance Framework

The Syneka Marketing Governance Framework

No longer should marketing be considered a silo that is immeasurable and unresponsive. Marketing Governance provides the toolkit to enable:

  • Strategic rigour and alignment with organisational goals.
  • Evaluation and assessment of risk, both internal as well as the external context.
  • Financial accountability by correctly budgeting cost centres and revenue generation.
  • The relevant roles and responsibilities required to plan, manage and deliver marketing outcomes.
  • Accountability through metrics and evaluation, ensuring that relevant inputs, outputs and outcomes are correctly identified across the customer lifecycle and measured.

While there is the impression that these issues may be limited to smaller businesses, the fact remains that marketing is significantly underdeveloped within Corporate Australia and government agencies, as much as not-for-profit organisations and new enterprises. Some of the most evident examples of marketing governance failure come from larger companies or organisations.

Time, money and reputation is being eroded due to poor marketing governance. Marketing Governance enables Marketing to reach and engage the boardroom, by stepping up and identifying that it needs and should do better.

Download our White Paper at www.synekamarketing.com.au/syneka-marketing-governance-framework/

Marketing Clinics: Associations utilise marketing expertise

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We support our conference presentations with complimentary marketing clinics. These clinics provide the ability for attendees to discuss the state of marketing in further detail.
Our sessions proved to be immensely popular, as we spoke with a range of associations covering a diverse range of stakeholder needs.

Common elements included the need for connectivity between marketing related functions, as well as the need to properly define marketing metrics. Far too many associations are incorrectly viewing website visitations, or social media likes, or event attendance as outcomes, when they serve as an input into broader engagement in the decision making process.

Our marketing clinics are designed to strengthen the capabilities and capacity of marketing and it is always a pleasure to work through these aspects in detail.