business breakfast Archives - Syneka Marketing

City of Yarra

City of Yarra Business Breakfast

By Advice for Businesses, News 2 Comments

Alex and I attended the final City of Yarra Business Breakfast for the year. The topic of the breakfast was on innovation.

Roger La Salle, who has developed a matrix on how to develop innovative ideas, spoke at the breakfast.

Roger’s presentation focused on how anyone has the capacity to develop innovative ideas. Whilst the presentation was introductory, it did open up discussions on the importance of investing time and resources in developing innovative ideas.

As a dynamic and innovative marketing agency, we strive to provide our clients with out of the box solutions that deliver innovative outcomes. It was great to be able to demonstrate these skills during the various activities Roger asked us to partake in.

Innovation in a business context is more than thinking of ideas. To make things work, they need to be financially viable, and fit within the vision and mission of a business or organisation.

Whenever we think of ideas, we always make sure that we do the research behind what makes our clients tick, the market in which they operate (or want to operate in), and if it will generate a positive return.

We look forward to attending future City of Yarra Business Breakfasts and meeting more business owners and managers within the City of Yarra.

Networking – it has a purpose!

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government One Comment

Many events, whether an awards ceremony, training workshop or business breakfast, are designed to provide a networking component. As an attendee, it is important to use this time effectively, so you can establish new connections, and potential opportunities.

Networking can be an effective tool, and here’s our advice on some of the techniques we utilise:

  • Identify how you can offer mutual value to the people you meet. Networking is about meeting people who share common business interests, explore how you can provide mutual value, rather than just a supplier/client transaction.
  • Convey your products and services in a succinct manner. Clearly articulate the value you provide, so there is no ambiguity and confusion. You will meet many individuals over a networking session and it is important that your business can be remembered by participants.
  • Meet as many people as you can. Networking is only effective if you can meet people and introduce yourself. Don’t constrain to just people that you know, the purpose of networking is to make new connections.
  • Bring plenty of business cards! It is amazing how many people forget to take business cards. Make sure you offer your business cards to provide contact details for a follow up discussion.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up! If you have someone’s business card and you believe that you can provide mutual benefit, then follow up the discussion with an email or telephone conversation. Take initiative, because if you wait for someone to make contact, you may be missing an opportunity.
  • Provide a tailored response when you follow up, or when you meet someone at a networking event. People can see through generic responses. Demonstrate how you can deliver value.
  • Practice makes perfect. It takes time to become comfortable at networking. Set yourself a goal, such as how many people you want to meet and then continue to push yourself to achieve these results.

We’re strong believers in networking and sharing mutual aims, we’ll be attending the VECCI Fast Forward Business Networking session on the 31st of October.

I hope that you take advantage of networking opportunities at the next event you attend.

City of Yarra

City of Yarra Business Networking Breakfast with KeepCup

By News 4 Comments

The City of Yarra holds regular business events, which encourage networking and discussion around business activities within the municipality. This morning myself and Natalia attended the July Breakfast, which focused on sustainability.

The keynote speaker was Abigail Forsyth from KeepCup, who discussed the history of her business and its focus on sustainability. KeepCup, as a re-usable plastic coffee cup, reduces the number of disposable coffee cups in circulation.

The session was followed by presenters from VECCI, CitySwitch and the Yarra Energy Foundation, who discussed practical steps that businesses can undertake to improve their sustainability. The breakfast enabled businesses to see how sustainability can be incorporated into their ongoing operations and strategic direction.

The original plan for the 'Town of Richmond'

The original plan for the ‘Town of Richmond’

I was also fortunate to have won the business card draw, winning a selection of premium glassware, courtesy of The Weekly Review. The glassware will certainly be of use in our offices!

Business breakfasts provide an opportunity to connect with other local businesses and we will be participating in future events hosted by the City of Yarra.

Breakfast with the Lions Club of Vermont

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

Lion Clubs are service based organisations providing members with opportunities for community service.  The Lions Club of Vermont holds regular business events with the aiming of linking these businesses with the Club and its activities.

This morning I was invited to speak to the Lions Club of Vermont, discussing marketing and my experiences in developing marketing strategies and executing campaigns for businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

My presentation covered the fundamentals of marketing, guiding the audience through the initial development of a marketing plan.  I began by discussing the importance of consistent messages and understanding the needs of your customers or stakeholders.

Businesses support community organisations through workplace volunteering programs.

Businesses support community organisations through workplace volunteering programs.

There are common similarities in marketing for businesses or not-for-profit organisations, but there are some differences that make not-for-profits unique.  Businesses will typically have a defined target market, knowing their current and potential customer base.  This is somewhat true for not-for-profit organisations, but often there’s a need to target not just clients, but also volunteers, funding bodies, business partners and other organisations.  The need to cover a wider range of stakeholders provides unique challenges for not-for-profit organisations and it is important that each of these target markets is considered when developing a marketing plan.

Knowing the characteristics of the target market will assist in knowing how best to reach these potential customers and stakeholders.  Customers may respond best to a particular medium and it is important that messages can work across marketing tools.

Marketing tools, regardless as to to whether they are brochures, advertising, websites or social media should have a clearly defined call to action.   The call to action is what you want someone to undertake when they respond to the marketing messages.

Often a combination of tools is required to generate awareness and to prompt someone to recall the messages when they are able to respond to the call to action. This is why major advertisers, such as large retailers, use a combination of TV, radio and print – they want potential customers to think of their store when they are ready to make purchases.

Smaller businesses and many not-for-profit organisations have limited marketing budgets so it is imperative that marketing is utilised as efficiently as possible.  Understanding your target markets and knowing the most effective methods of communication to reach these potential customers is essential.

Use the right tools to reach these target markets and ensure a consistent message to prompt recall and action.  The need for consistency is particularly important when there is a long lead time to generate sales, such as booking holidays or purchasing furniture.

Marketing is an essential activity for any business or not-for-profit organisation.  This is particularly true in difficult economic conditions, where there is a need to foster ongoing customer loyalty.

Questions included a discussion on marketing volunteer opportunities, particularly for service clubs, where I discussed the need to focus on projects and the outcomes that volunteers can achieve through their efforts.

Business Breakfasts help businesses develop networks and gain valuable insights.  It was particularly pleasing to see a large number of businesses participating in today’s breakfast.

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Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Presentation: The value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships

By News, Presentations, Resources One Comment
Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

I was one of the presenters at the National Conference on Volunteering, speaking at a session during the afternoon on Tuesday. My presentation, the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships, utilised Eastern Volunteers as a case study in guiding the development of marketing messages and the formation of partnerships.

I began the presentation by discussing the services and structure of Eastern Volunteers. This helped provide context for the presentation and introduced the organisational areas of transport, volunteer recruitment and marketing, which form the core services delivered by Eastern Volunteers.

After providing this context I was able to discuss the steps required for utilising marketing in creating partnerships.

Firstly, there is a need to identify the strengths of the organisation. Strengths can be identified through a traditional SWOT analysis, which should highlight the areas of high performance within an organisation. These strengths can often be delivered as potential value when forming partnerships.

Once strengths have been identified, there is a need to determine the target market that the organisation wishes to reach. The identified target market should respond favourably to the identified strengths. For example, businesses identified as potential partners for Eastern Volunteers are those that have regional autonomy and an active customer base in the areas serviced by Eastern Volunteers.

It is imperative that value can be demonstrated to potential partners and where possible this should be quantified to demonstrate tangible benefits. While many organisations cite the readership of their newsletters, it is often useful to identify the demographics of your readers and their relationship to your organisation. Likewise, it is useful to include statistics from your organisation’s social media presence and website to further demonstrate reach. Website statistics can demonstrate how long someone spends on your website and how they engage with this content. This can be useful information to highlight how people connect with your organisation.

In the instance of Eastern Volunteers, the organisation reaches approximately 400 community organisations who are listed for volunteer vacancies and over 1000 volunteers who are interviewed on an annual basis.

One form of partnerships is a traditional sponsorship approach to supporting community organisations. Sponsorship is often used to support events and it is beneficial to clearly define sponsorship categories so that sponsors are clearly aware of the benefits and expectations.

Depending on the event there are often opportunities to create multiple categories of sponsorship, such as primary and secondary sponsors. It is imperative that there is tangible value to distinguish each sponsorship category and to make the additional cost difference beneficial to the sponsor. Try to make sure that there are opportunities for sponsors to participate in the event, as this increases the likelihood of future sponsorship and provides opportunities to upgrade the level of support.

Eastern Volunteers has been able to form ongoing partnerships utilising the approach of identifying strengths. In regard to Eastern Volunteers, the longevity, stability and networking ability of the organisation are definite strengths. This means that a partner can reach other community organisations and businesses through Eastern Volunteers knowing that the organisation is trusted and reputable.

This approach assisted Eastern Volunteers in forming an ongoing partnership with the Bendigo Community Bank Branches of Heathmont, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn and Ringwood East to provide an ongoing series of Business Breakfasts for the local community. The breakfasts assist Eastern Volunteers in networking with businesses and community organisations and assist the participating branches in meeting prospective clients.

Likewise, a similar partnership was formed with the Maroondah Leader providing a monthly feature on volunteering by profiling volunteers in the community. Eastern Volunteers utilises its networks in finding potential volunteers and articles for the Leader, while the newspaper demonstrates its interest in the community by including volunteer opportunities and editorial from Eastern Volunteers.

These partnerships were formed through an understanding of the organisational strengths of Eastern Volunteers and how they offered value to potential partners. While strengths differ between organisations, there is an opportunity to utilise these strengths to create mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses.
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BizMaroondah Breakfast with Michael Milton

By Advice for Businesses No Comments

Maroondah’s Business Week features a range of events designed to assist business owners in developing and expanding their business. This morning I attended the Business Week Breakfast featuring paralympic skier Michael Milton, who lost a leg to cancer when we was nine years old.

Michael grew up in a family of skiers and was determined to continue skiing after he lost his leg. Michael’s determination and interest in skiing led to him competing in the 1988 Winter Paralympics and he later won gold in the 1992 Winter Paralympics. Michael utilised these experiences to speak about the importance of setting goals and remaining flexible to achieve these outcomes. Michael faced additional challenges in 2007 when he was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer but he maintained his determination to seek selection for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Michael’s ability to focus on achieving his goals assisted his career as an athlete and apply equally to businesses. The Business Breakfast is one the many events that are held throughout Business Week.