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consistent message Archives - Syneka Marketing

Inside Small Busines

Inside Small Business: Make sure you review your marketing

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

No marketing plan remains static.  It is imperative that you can conduct at least an annual assessment of your marketing direction. This annual review will ensure you are achieving your expected results.

Our discussion on marketing audits was recently featured in the Spring 2014 edition of Inside Small Business, discussing the need and outcomes from an annual marketing review.

What is a Marketing Audit?

A marketing audit is designed to provide a review of your marketing activities, with the aim of identifying cost savings and new opportunities. A Marketing Audit supports the direction of your marketing and business plans, by measuring performance against your goals and suggesting refinements where needed.

Market conditions change and a marketing plan needs to be regularly reviewed to remain relevant. Business directions can also change and the marketing audit ensures an alignment between operations and marketing.

The end result ensures efficiency savings by aligning your marketing direction with your business goals.

Undertaking a marketing audit

The first phase of a marketing audit is a self assessment. Consider your current operations and whether this is consistent with your expectations. Compare your sales figures against forecasts, as well as other factors, such as profitability and staff involvement.

Next, consider the marketing tasks that you undertake. What marketing activities do you undertake and why? What return are you gaining from these activities and what resources are required to deliver these?

A marketing audit explores all aspects of the marketing mix, for example:

  • How are you pricing your products or services?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • Who are your target markets and why?
  • Do you use the right intermediaries to support your products or services?
  • How are you reaching your target markets?

Each of these aspects contribute to the overall marketing approach undertaken by your business. For example, a high value service that caters to a market niche, is going to have a completely different marketing approach to a generic mass marketed product.

The Marketing Context

Understanding these components is essential to conducting an effective audit. One of the most important queries to answer is whether your marketing activities reach the right target markets. If you are not connecting with the right markets then you will need to reconsider your marketing activities.

Similarly, you need to ensure consistency across all forms of marketing. An inconsistent approach will create confusion and make it difficult for your target customers to understand your value proposition.

External advice can often identify inconsistent messages that may not be immediately obvious, or to assist in determining the right target markets.

Make Refinements

Your marketing self assessment and the corresponding marketing audit enable you to make refinements to your marketing activities. Actions that may have been relevant one year ago, may no longer be needed, or you may need to respond to actions being undertaken by competitors.

A Marketing Audit lets you make informed decisions that will strengthen your marketing approach and uncover new opportunities for growth.

Social Media Training for Community and Not-For-Profit Organisations

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

Social media provides an opportunity to extend the reach of not-for-profit organisations and develop further dialogue with stakeholders. Far too many organisations, either ignore social media due to a lack of understanding, or rush into it while failing to recognize the need for an integrated marketing approach.

This morning I delivered a workshop for not-for-profit organisations based in the Yarra Ranges,  covering Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs, as well as regional townships like Healesville and Warburton.  The workshop covered marketing fundamentals, ensuring that social media is seen as a potential marketing tool that requires a strategic approach.

Like other forms of marketing, there is a need for a consistent approach to social media. Each social media platform, has its own target demographics, and it is important to use the right tools to reach the right people. Platforms like Facebook, can be useful in establishing active communities around organisations. Twitter can be used to provide short and sharp updates on activities. LinkedIn however, enables the fostering of business connections and dialogue through its interactive groups.

Integrating social media with your website, saves time by replicating content across multiple channels, meaning that you are able to provide a consistent message, regardless of how someone connects with your organisation. Most websites support social media integration, with this approach providing time to foster communities, rather than manually adding content.

Like any form of external communications, there is a need to establish policies that guide the use of social media.  Spokespeople should be identified and charged with the responsibility of posting official content.  Other members of the organisation should be encouraged to discuss these topics and to interact with the community.

The official spokespeople should also manage any adverse commentary that may occur.  Organisations should engage negative comments, seeking to resolve complaints outside of social media while highlighting the resolution.  Offensive comments, however, should be immediately removed with an indication that the content violated the organisation’s policies.

Social media can be an extremely effective communication tool when it is used to complement other marketing activities.  It is critical that all marketing and communications is consistent to provide cohesive messages that cut-through and prompt a response.

Today’s workshop discussed the context of social media and delved into the practical components on Facebook and Twitter.  A subsequent course will be held at the Yarra Ranges to exclusively examine the practical elements of using social media.

 

 

Syneka Marketing

Pro Bono Magazine – Why every not-for-profit needs marketing

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

Syneka Marketing has an editorial feature in Source Magazine, discussing the importance of marketing for not-for-profit organisations. We are pleased to have an ongoing association with Pro Bono and to have been featured in their Source Magazine.

Syneka Marketing's advertisement in Pro Bono Magazine

Syneka Marketing’s advertisement in Pro Bono Magazine

Marketing should be an essential part of any not-for-profit organisation. More than ever, not-for-profit organisations have to compete for funding from a diverse range of stakeholders.

Marketing is more than sales, it looks at how you can position your organisation to sustain itself into the future. It considers how to best deliver consistent messages to stakeholders and achieve goals that you set for your organisation.

Marketing is made up of many components, the most important of which is the marketing plan. A marketing plan acts as the blueprint that can be used to implement all marketing actions.

A marketing plan should support your organisational strategies and look at how your organisation can achieve these goals. Common elements include an assessment of internal and external capabilities, key messages, target markets and relevant stakeholders.

A marketing plan can help you to understand the strengths of your organisation and can assist in uncovering new opportunities. Marketing plans also provide guidance on what marketing tools you can use when undertaking your marketing activities, as well as understanding how to measure outcomes and evaluate the success of these tools.

There are many marketing tools; including websites, media releases, brochures, advertisements, telephone and email correspondence and social media. Every form of contact with a stakeholder is a form of marketing as it leaves an impression about your organisation. When used effectively, these tools can effectively promote your organisation to stakeholders.

Marketing tools are most effective when they are used together to promote your goals. This is due to the fact that different mediums allow you to reach your stakeholders in different ways and to capture a larger audience.

It is important to be consistent when undertaking marketing activities. Inconsistency creates confusion and diminishes the ability to provide a connect with stakeholders. Your marketing plan should identify key messages and the tools that should be used to communicate.

You need to make sure that you have staff or a marketing agency that understands your organisation and your key messages. Training and support can help your staff understand how you want to be seen by your stakeholders.

Marketing also ensures that you utilise these tools as effectively as possible. For example, you can integrate your website with social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to provide a consistent image and to save time, by only requiring the need to enter each message once.

Marketing can help you to reach your stakeholders and obtain funding. Effective marketing requires planning and an understanding of where you want to be into the future. Implementation should encompass the use of the right marketing tools that reach your stakeholders and promote your messages.

Alex delivering marketing and social media essentials at Third Sector Expo 2013

Social Media Essentials at the 2013 Third Sector Expo

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | 2 Comments

The Third Sector Expo is an annual conference and exhibition dedicated to the not-for-profit sector.

Syneka Marketing has received regular coverage in Third Sector Magazine, providing editorial content over the past year. We were invited to speak at the 2013 Third Sector Expo.

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

I discussed social media and marketing, outlining how an organisation needs to use the right tools to reach its target markets. Social media is a marketing activity, and should be linked to the actions identified in a marketing plan.

Every not-for-profit organisation needs a marketing plan to support its organisational or corporate strategies. A corporate plan will often identify what an organisation wants to achieve and a marketing plan looks at how to achieve these outcomes.

Marketing plans need to consider the tools that are available to achieve these goals, including communication methods such as social media. Following this approach means you will be able to communicate your key messages through an online community using social media tools.

Websites and social media are only effective if they are regularly updated. This ensures that visitors are aware of your organisation’s activities. In addition, the frequency of updates is one of the metrics Google uses for search engine rankings.

Fortunately social media can be integrated with a website, ensuring consistent messages that can be published once and replicated through tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Integration saves time by ensuring consistency, while also providing a base level of engagement. Using this approach provides the ability to foster online communities, by encouraging committee, staff, volunteers and members to interact with the discussion.

Social media should be treated like other forms of media and covered by a communications policy. The policy should outline acceptable use of social media and identify the spokespeople who provide official comments on your organisation’s social media accounts. Guidelines should be clearly published, including on the About page on Facebook, and visible within Twitter and other social media tools.

There are several social media tools, each of which are designed for different purposes. Facebook is good for building online communities and for promoting events. Twitter is great for quick announcements, and can be linked with Facebook to provide an integrated approach. Pinterest is effective through its use of photographs, and Youtube can host video content that can promote an organisation.

Social media is increasingly prevalent across all demographics. For example, over half of Australia’s population has a Facebook account. People aged 55 plus are now the fastest growing segment of new accounts. While social media has extensive reach, email still has almost universal coverage and should be included as an online form of communication. The ability to share email content should be incorporated within newsletters to encourage recipients to forward messages through social media.

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

Policies should distinguish between negativity and offensiveness. Offensive comments, that denigrate, or are inflammatory should be immediately removed. Negative comments, however should be managed by seeking to engage the person that wrote the content. Try and engage the person outside of social media to prevent other comments. In particular, it is best to try and resolve the complaint in person or via the phone to remove the anonymity that social media provides. Resolving a complaint outside of social media will often lead to better outcomes and enable you to demonstrate the steps you undertook to reach a resolution.

Social media can deliver positive outcomes for an organisation, if it is linked to marketing objectives.

For example, if your goal is to raise donations, ensure that messages target prospective donors and that you encourage the sharing of content to reach their extended networks. If you are aiming to raise awareness, then promote stories that creative a narrative, outlining how your organisation achieves positive social or environmental outcomes.

Audio equipment was kindly provided by ConnectingUp. A version of the presentation with audio and slides is available through Youtube:

Or view the slides delivered to the 2013 Third Sector Expo

Thank you to the many participants who attended our presentation and for the discussion on Twitter.  A transcript of the Twitter conversation is available via Storify.

Third Sector Magazine: Activate your community through social media

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

Third Sector Magazine has published our advice on engaging communities through social media. Alex will be discussing social media as a speaker at the Third Sector Expo on Monday the 15th of April, for details please visit www.thirdsectorevents.com.au.

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

Activate your community through social media

Is your organisation considering social media, but not sure where to start? Or has it recently created a Facebook page and Twitter feed only to be underwhelmed by the results? Syneka Marketing provides seven tips to help your organisation strengthen its social media presence and re-engage its communities online.

Know where to start

Social media is the collective name for a range of tools that enhance interactivity and discussion, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Each of these tools has a slightly different purpose and audience, but they are all designed to encourage participation.

Know what you want to achieve

Success begins with strategy and this is no different for social media. Decide the specific outcomes you want to achieve from your social media efforts, such as:

  • Raising awareness
  • Encouraging volunteers
  • Increasing donations.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can consider the messages and tools that can be used to promote these objectives.

Develop a social media policy

Social media policies help to identify the people who will have access to social media accounts and will be authorised to provide official announcements. Other individuals can respond to comments and interact, as well as support the authorised spokespeople.

Policies should enable board members, staff and volunteers to support the organisation’s social media presence.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Engage and interact

When creating a new social media account, encourage your members or supporters to follow your organisation. In addition, promote your social media presence through your website, newsletter and other communication tools. Undertaking initial promotion will ensure that you can build a network of followers that will assist in promoting your organisation. Follow similar organisations and encourage them to follow you.

Handle negativity

Negative comments should hopefully be kept to a minimum, but it’s important to have clear guidelines to manage any adverse commentary.

Make a clear distinction between negative and offensive comments and respond accordingly. Aim to engage directly with someone that has written a negative comment and suggest that you would like to follow up further. Try and engage the person through offline forms of contact, such as the telephone, so that you can discuss their concerns directly. Attempting to resolve the issue outside of the public realm will enable a more in-depth discussion.

If a comment is deemed to be offensive, it should be removed immediately as per your media and communications policy.

Integrate online tools

One of the great aspects of the web and social media is that messages can be integrated. You can automatically post updates from your website through to Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. Integration ensures a consistent message while saving time by replicating content across your networks.

Integrating social media means you’ll have more time to foster and develop your community by providing a base level of communications.

Share content

Re-tweeting or sharing posts on Facebook indicates that the person supports your organisation and messages. The sharing of content is the online equivalent of word of mouth advertising and is a great way to extend your organisation’s networks.

Social media, like a website, needs to be kept up-to-date. An inactive presence is worse than having no presence, as the first question someone will ask is whether the organisation still exists.

What is Integrated Marketing?

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

Integrated marketing ensures that a business or organisation is able to deliver a consistent message, when undertaking various marketing and communication initiatives.

The marketing and communications mix can comprise of various components, such as a website, print media, social media and events. In addition there may be different individuals or departments working across these activities.

The Humanities 21 provides a consistent brand and message

The Humanities 21 provides a consistent brand and message

For example, you may have a graphic designer who undertakes design work for print advertising and a dedicated team that supports and plans events. Various departments may also have their own communication channels, such as email newsletters or specific events.

Each of these activities leaves an impression on your target markets. Inconsistent branding or messages distorts the ability to create a consistent image, eroding the potential to reinforce key messages.

Integrated marketing prevents inconsistency by adopting a strategic approach.

Start by considering the right strategy for your organisation and identifying your key target markets. Once the strategy has been identified, you can consider the communication tools that should be used to reach the target markets and the messages you want to promote.

Existing marketing activities need to be aligned with this strategy. Ensure that existing tools have a consistent branding and reinforce the key messages that will promote your organisation.

The same branding is utilised for newsletters

Integrated marketing ensures that the same branding is utilised for communication tools, like newsletters to reinforce key messages.

An important component of integrated marketing is evaluation. Knowing what you want to achieve enables you to measure those results. Marketing channels should be evaluated to consider their effectiveness and to ensure that your messages are reaching your target markets.

You will often need several contact points to motivate a potential customer, volunteer or other stakeholders. Integrated marketing enables you to reinforce your key messages, creating a consistent approach that helps prompt action.

Integrated marketing ensures consistency across all communication channels, including Social Media.

Integrated marketing ensures consistency across all communication channels, including social media.