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consistent messages 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.

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.

Rotary Club of Ringwood

Marketing and Rotary – Presentation to the 2013 Rotary District 9810 Conference

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

The Rotary Conference is an annual event designed to bring clubs across District 9810, covering Melbourne’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs, together for networking and knowledge exchange.

The conference was held in Wangaratta, and despite replacement coach services it was enjoyable weekend filled with a range of Rotary projects.

The weekend conference covered new initiatives and projects undertaken by clubs within the District. One of the sessions included Marketing and I had the privilege of presenting an overview of strategic marketing to the assembled Rotarians.

Alex Makin on stage at the Rotary District Conference in Wangaratta

Alex Makin on stage at the Rotary District Conference in Wangaratta

Rotary, like any other organisation, needs effective marketing to achieve its goals. Marketing enables individual Cubs to identify their target markets and the objectives they wish to achieve.

Marketing is broader than member recruitment and needs to encompass all potential markets of a Club, including business partners, community organisations and public support. Each of these target markets will have specific reasons for becoming involved and Clubs need to develop consistent messages to ensure a positive interaction.

Individual Rotary Clubs possess their own strengths and these should be used to develop a competitive advantage relative to other organisations. Rotary Clubs are ultimately competing for people’s time and resources. The value proposition needs to demonstrate the benefits from being associated with Rotary.

Key messages should reinforce the strengths of the Club and articulate this value proposition. For example, Clubs could demonstrate the professional skills that are gained through assisting with Rotary projects and the benefits this provides for career prospects. Similarly, Clubs can demonstrate the benefits for business partners in aligning themselves with a globally recognised brand and potential customer base.

Every form of contact someone has with the Club, whether it be through bulletins, brochures, meetings or correspondence is a form of a marketing; since an impression is left with every encounter. All marketing tools need to reinforce the key messages and develop a consistent brand image for the Club.

Alex and the presentation slides at the Rotary District 9810 Conference

Alex and the presentation slides at the Rotary District 9810 Conference

Similarly, a Club’s website and social media presence needs to complement existing forms of communication. A club should utilise a number of tools and evaluate each of them to measure their reach with the desired target market.

Inconsistency creates confusion and diminishes the ability to encourage the target market to interact with Rotary.

Rotary is a high involvement product, it requires a significant commitment from individuals and a consistent image helps to ensure top of mind awareness. In addition, encouraging involvement in projects can assist in recruiting members for specific tasks and to demonstrate the outcomes they can achieve.

The District Conference is a great opportunity to meet fellow Rotarians and to discuss ideas, it is great to see marketing being considered as part of the program fixture.

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The Membership Growth Toolkit is the ultimate resource for successful Member Recruitment, Retention, Renewals/Reactivation and Revenue earning, designed specifically for anyone in the not-for-profit sector.

Membership Mastery Melbourne 2013 Workshop

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

Membership Mastery is a joint workshop organised by Kevin Cahalane from Membership Growth and Syneka Marketing. Kevin outlined processes for membership retention and recruitment, including the need for comprehensive database membership and customer service.

Kevin Cahalane presenting at the Membership Mastery Workshop

Kevin Cahalane presenting at the Membership Mastery Workshop

I discussed membership marketing and the need to adopt a consistent approach that is reinforced through key messages:

The recruitment and retention of members should be considered an important marketing goal for any membership based organisation. Membership provides an independent revenue stream and opportunities for ongoing growth.

A marketing plan should articulate the strengths of your organisation and the key messages that will appeal to potential members. An organisation’s strengths provides a competitive advantage and should be adapted as tangible membership benefits.

Every organisation competitors, whether through competing causes or other alternatives to the expense or time required for membership. Understanding tangible benefits creates a value proposition to prospective members.

The value proposition should be articulated as key messages that are reflected across all communication tools. Prospective and current members need consistent messages to reinforce the value of their membership. The importance of membership should be conveyed to existing members to encourage renewals. Prospective members should be encouraged to realise the value and benefits they would receive from membership.

Alex Makin discussing marketing and membership at the Membership Mastery 2013 Workshop

Alex Makin discussing marketing and membership at the Membership Mastery 2013 Workshop

Websites provide the potential for a comprehensive and instantaneous membership resource, but need to be updated to demonstrate their importance. If access to a membership section is considered a benefit, then it needs to include ongoing value added content.

Websites are often the first point of entry for prospective members and someone will question whether the organisation still exists if there is only outdated content. Similarly, social media needs to be maintained to foster online communities. Content can be integrated between and a website and social media, providing a base level of communications and freeing up time to engage communities.

Social media can be an effective tool in membership engagement, but there is a need for policies and clear guidelines. Social media guidelines should be published on your website and in areas such as the about section on Facebook to ensure that members are clear on acceptable usage.

You should designate spokespeople who make official announcements, but board members, staff, members and volunteers should be encouraged to interact and respond to conversations. The authorised spokespeople should be empowered to manage difficult situations and encourage offline discussions to manage negativity.

Online engagement enables the ability to strengthen membership retention. Stronger levels of engagement increases the likelihood of word of mouth recommendations and extend the organisation’s reach.

Ongoing communication with consistent messages will reinforce the organisation’s value proposition and the ability to appeal to current and prospective members.

Managing Volunteers - Take the Next Step

Managing Volunteers – Take the Next Step

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

Many not-for-profit organisations rely on volunteers for service delivery and to assist with administration and other functions.

Managing Volunteers – Take the Next Step, was a full day conference hosted by the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Eastern Volunteers. The conference discussed several topics relevant to volunteer management national standards, the steps required to prepare an organisation for volunteers, as well as marketing and promoting an organisation.

I presented a session for the afternoon workshop, discussing the Essentials of Social Media and Marketing.  The presentation discussed the need for a strategic marketing approach, to identify aims and to understand what would attract volunteers to assist with the organisation.

Organisations need consistent messages to demonstrate the volunteer experiences that are created through their involvement.  Messages need to be communicated using a range of marketing tools to reach prospective volunteers through multiple communication channels.

Social media is one of the tools that can be used to reach prospective volunteers and should be considered as a part of a cohesive marketing campaign.  Social media should be integrated with website content, providing the seamless ability to update websites, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites

It is important to utilise the strengths of each tool and one advantage of social media is the ability to share content.  The intent should not necessarily be to develop viral content, but to ensure your target audience is able to distribute content and share their views on being involved with the organisation.  Stories can be very effective and assist in providing content that can be shared.  The sharing of content is the online equivalent of word of mouth recommendations and can help reach the connections of people already involved with the organisation.

Successful volunteer recruitment will use a mix of tools to reach prospective volunteers, supported by consistent messages and a cohesive marketing approach. Marketing encompasses more than promotional tools, such as brochures or flyers, but every form of interaction that someone has with an organisation.

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