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communication Archives - Syneka Marketing

Brand and marketing – how they fit together

By | News | One Comment

There is an increasing level of confusion between branding and marketing, with the two terms often being used interchangeably to communicate the visual or strategic objectives of a business.

We have come across many businesses and organisations recently, that have undertaken branding and marketing in the reverse order. This has resulted in a brand being created without a marketing plan, often then requiring the brand to altered when the strategic rigour provided within the marketing plan identifies misalignment.

Branding is a potential output of the strategic marketing planning process and not the other way around. At the base level, a brand enables the differentiation of one business from another, providing a conduit that builds common ground between stakeholders and personnel within the business.

The marketing planning process determines the overall marketing direction of the business. Branding and identity is a potential output and tactic that may be considered. If this is the case then a brand strategy is created which determines the attributes and essence of the brand, as well as guideline around the brand name, presence and brand promise. From this comes the visual identity and complementary creative materials that support the communication of the brand.

With marketing being ill defined, it can be easy for businesses to become confused between the two terms. This is compounded by the fact that Australia is dominated by tacticians of marketing such as the digital agency, creative agency or advertising agency.

2016-06-03 Pencil 1000px x 1000px

For non-marketers, particularly those on boards, it can be easy to take the branding option first rather than to invest in a marketing plan. Often a marketing tactician will show visual examples of their work and draft concepts, causing boards and other decision makers to often ask the wrong questions and hence confuse branding for marketing.

The strategic insights through marketing should always be the first aspect you consider when you look at your marketing mix. Once this step is undertaken, you can then consider what is required to develop a brand that resonates with your marketing direction.

Complimentary Consultations to help the not-for-profit sector re-define marketing

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

We offered complimentary marketing consultations during the conference and it was great to see the overwhelming response, with our sessions being oversubscribed. While each organisation has its own unique challenges, common areas of focus included:

  • The need to segment stakeholders and to understand their outcomes. Many not-for-profit organisations view their end-clients as a target market, but omit the need to reach prospective volunteers, board members, government, funding organisations and others.
  • Consideration of intermediaries and partner organisations. Many not-for-profit organisations have limited budgets, meaning broadcast communications are often beyond their reach. Instead, there is a need to form partnerships and explore intermediary organisations to reach relevant stakeholders.
  • Marketing metrics are not defined, leading to lack of measurability and confusion over inputs, outputs and outcomes. Website visitations, or attendance at information sessions are inputs, donation enquiries are an output and the actual donation is the outcome. Organisations need to understand the decision making journey (customer journey) and the sequence that is required to generate action.
  • Lack of marketing governance. Roles between board, management, staff and external parties are ill-defined, hampering the ability to measure performance and establish strategic direction.

These challenges are shared by both businesses and not-for-profit organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need to re-define marketing so it returns to its core of being led by strategic insights and not by execution.

Thank you to the participants of these sessions and for the fantastic feedback we received. We hope that the attendees at the National Volunteering Conference are able to build their marketing capacity and demonstrate the value they provide.

The problem is not your brand – it is marketing

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, News | No Comments

The confusion between branding and marketing with the terms often being used interchangeably, often results in poor outcomes due to the wrong questions being asked. As a result, there is a tendency to design new brands, rather than addressing the fundamental marketing aspects that should strengthen market positioning.

What is Marketing?

We have defined marketing on several occasions, including definitions adopted by peak industry associations. In summary, marketing exists to deliver mutually beneficial value; to your customers and stakeholders, as well as to your business. If marketing is not delivering value, then it needs to be reviewed.

Defining branding

Your brand is the internal and external representation of your business, as well as your products or services. Brands encapsulate the value and perceptions that you are seeking to create, through visuals (logos, packaging), audio (music, sound), tone, style and potentially other senses. Consider brands like Coca Cola, Dulux or Bunnings and the perceptions you have towards them.

Your brand is the image and identity that you seek to create with your relevant target markets.

The connection between branding and marketing

A brand is the outcome from your strategic marketing plan and not the other way around.  Unfortunately, many start with a brand and then try to shoehorn marketing around logos and values that may not be relevant to their products or target markets.

Determining your brand is premature if you have not identified the following:

  • Your Target markets, who are targeting and why?
  • Your core products and services, what are you offering to your target markets and why?
  • Your value proposition, what value do you provide to these target markets?
  • Core elements of the marketing mix, or customer experience. In particular, make sure that pricing points are relevant and you have identified key distribution channels.

Your brand needs to reflect your strategic direction so you can deliver a consistent experience that builds customer acquisition and loyalty.

Successful brands are those have ensured a consistent marketing approach, Apple across its product lines is a typical example of a brand that is known for innovation. This creation of innovation as a value proposition, was defined through its marketing direction, ensuring that products, their design, function and communications reflected this positioning.

A brand refresh is more than a new logo or colouring scheme; it needs to be considered from a marketing context. There is little point developing or refreshing a brand that does that have relevance to your marketing direction.

A Strategic Approach to Measuring Marketing Performance

By | Advice for Businesses, Resources | No Comments

What value does marketing deliver? This is the number one question any Chief Executive or Chief Financial Officer asks of marketing. Unfortunately, more often than not, the answer is not forthcoming.

This is why marketing is often the first department to be downsized during economic uncertainty, despite logic stating it should be one the of the last. Why is this? Ultimately, it is because marketing has failed to justify its own value.

This situation will not change while marketing follows an execution based approach, lurching between tactics; whether they be social media, content, events; or concepts, like the customer journey or customer experience, which have become so over utilised, they have been severed from any basis in marketing.

This situation is rife across all sizes of organisation; whether for-profit, not-for-profit or government, and yet the traditional approach is rinse and repeat, further eroding the credibility of marketing and its capacity to deliver value.

Since our formation in 2009 we have demonstrated the value that is created through a strategic approach, leading to recognition in the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence and our designation as Certified Practising Marketers.

Unfortunately, the word strategy has been hijacked by execution led agencies, who have tarnished the term for their own needs. This is despite the fact that the only strategy you will receive for example from a social media agency is social media. This does not provide a marketing strategy that integrates each element of marketing communications and the remaining marketing mix.

In 2016 we want to be able to stop saying we told you so, by preventing the litany of costly marketing mistakes that never should have occurred in the first place.

This is why we developed the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology , which delivers an accountable and measurable marketing approach that is aligned with business goals. The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology delivers continuous improvement within the marketing function and brings it back to its core definition of delivering value; the same way other business areas have been expected to strengthen outcomes and returns.

The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology

The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology commences with a Marketing Audit, which reviews existing activities through stakeholder consultation and internal analysis. The Marketing Audit defines the metrics required to measure marketing outcomes and establishes the foundations to deliver marketing performance.

The Marketing Forecast considers the external environment, identifying competitive pressures, customer demographics and market potential to achieve campaign or marketing goals. The result are outcomes that are optimised to deliver returns, supported through implementation schedules that identify metrics, outcomes and areas of responsibility.

The Marketing Audit and Marketing Forecast are designed to deliver results within the existing resource requirements. The Marketing Plan, the third component of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology , is designed to align business goals with marketing outcomes. The Marketing Plan considers both the short-term opportunities and the positioning that is required to achieve results into the future. The Marketing Plan defines the metrics that are required to measure marketing outcomes over the life of a business plan.

Marketing Execution is the last element of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology . This is because tactics and execution need to be guided through a strategic approach and not the other way around.

In the financial world the auditor never undertakes the day-to-day bookkeeping function due to the obvious conflict of interest. Marketing needs a separation between strategy and execution to ensure the delivery of accurate and measurable outcomes.

Our delivery of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology is undertaken through consulting services and training to build the capacity of marketing teams. Download our free guide of Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology to discover how we are re-defining marketing.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Another week and another example of poor marketing governance

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

Aldi provides us with the latest example of a social media failure, with its fill in the blank exercise posted onto Twitter.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Aldi – not thinking about the context of their social media content

While the resulting media coverage joked that ‘Aldi’s social media intern is about to get fired’, the joke should be the way social media is not seen as a communications tool and therefore part of the marketing mix.

Over the course of 2015 there was no shortage social media failures. In April we saw Woolworths‘ poorly planned attempt to associate itself with Anzac Day, followed by the Victorian Taxi Association not only misspelling Remembrance Day, but also failing to consider the ramifications of asking Twitter users their thoughts on the taxi industry.

These are all examples of where marketing governance has failed. The ability to publish externally viewable content has become disconnected from campaign planning and strategy, causing mistakes that can result in reputational damage.

Yet, these mistakes are not new. Had Woolworths, Aldi, the Victorian Taxi Association and many others, actually undertaken research, they would have seen the 2012 example of #McDStories, whereby McDonald’s asked Twitter users for their stories about the McDonald’s experience. The campaign lasted for just two hours until it was realised that asking about the McDonald’s experience via social media was not a good conversation topic.

Commentary through the McDStories campaign - back in 2012

Commentary through the McDStories campaign – back in 2012

 

Social media needs to be seen for what it is, a communications tool that is part of the marketing mix. Unfortunately, this is likely to re-occur until sound marketing governance is developed. Marketing needs the processes, procedures and policies to determine the optimal scope of authority in the marketing mix to prevent mistakes that never should have occurred in the first instance.

Swinburne Student Assessment: Class based Expo

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This afternoon I was invited back to Swinburne to assist in the assessment of a student trade show event involving students studying the Certificate IV in Marketing and a Certificate IV in Business.  Students were required to create a trade show exhibition to explore business to business marketing.

The assessment explored the first four elements of the marketing mix, specifically a product that students devised, the communication channels, pricing signals and distribution channels. Students explained their marketing approach, linking practical outcomes with core marketing theory.

As part of the proceedings I awarded several prizes to participants, including mentoring sessions through Syneka Marketing. We exist to re-define marketing and educating the next generation of marketers is how we help shape the future of the procession.

Congratulations to the students who participated in the expo and are nearing the completion of their assessments.