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customer base Archives - Syneka Marketing

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Ask the wrong questions, get the wrong answers – Exploring the YourTaxis Campaign

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, News | 2 Comments

It is unfortunately for too common for businesses to ask the wrong questions when seeking marketing support. This perpetuates the ineffective tactics led approach to marketing, which ultimately diminishes returns due to a lack of consistency with the desired strategic direction.

We often see this when a business is seeking website modifications, social media content or a branding refresh. There is the assumption that these isolated tactics will result in business growth, rather than the question being ‘how do we ensure consistency across the marketing experience and throughout each stage of the customer journey’.

Social media in itself will not foster customer loyalty or engagement if the customer base is not receptive to this medium. Similarly, a website will not result in new business if the processes behind the site are cumbersome or unwieldy.

Often there is need to dig beyond tactics to discover the broader marketing questions that need to be answered. Specifically, there the need to consider how each tactic should reinforce the customer journey to culminate in an experience that fosters outcomes.

We saw this earlier this year with Woolworths failing to consider the ramifications of its Fresh in Our Memories Campaign, and more recently with @YourTaxis, a social media campaign that failed in its attempt to shift public perceptions of the taxi industry.

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

While Woolworths should have had the resources, foresight and capability to think through the ramifications. The client of the YourTaxis campaign was a not-for-profit membership organisation that would have limited resources and failed to ask the right questions.

The Taxi industry, which has traditionally had few direct competitors, is now under significant pressure from Uber, despite the ride sharing service being somewhat legally ambiguous under current Victorian legislation. The Taxi Industry has responded by been undertaking advocacy efforts to review Uber given current legislation.

Uber has significant strengths in social media and strong online loyalty, aspects that are not shared by the taxi industry. A tactics based approach resulted in the YourTaxis campaign simply replicating what had worked for Uber, despite the high element of risk. The campaign failed on any discernible metric, with Twitter users complaining about Taxis and many complementing Uber within the same Tweet.

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

The question that should have been asked was ‘how do we improve the perception of taxis to assist in influencing the political debate?’ Had this question been asked, a social media campaign focused on soliciting public views would have never been considered.

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements rather than just promotions

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements of the marketing mix rather than just promotions

Answering the right question would resulted in a substantially different campaign:

  • There would be a focus on service delivery, highlighting improvements, such as driver training and standards, as well as streamlining the complaints process.
  • Promotional campaigns would have focused on the role of taxis as a form of transport to an audience of State MPs and other decision makers, rather than end users.
  • A public component could have been explored through the hopes and aspirations of taxi drivers, with the aim of building personal rapport with the sector.

Answering the right question would have resulted in a campaign focused on the entire marketing mix, with stakeholders including passengers and policy makers. Alignment between each element in the marketing mix, particularly the service, processes and people elements would have enhanced the industry’s standing.

A strategic approach to marketing ensures the right questions are being asked, so you can reach the right answers. Unfortunately in this case, the wrong question was asked twice, with a second campaign on Remembrance Day resulting in further criticism through social media.

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on remembrance Day

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on Remembrance (not Rememberance) Day

The end result is an industry that now has a harder time influencing debate and decision makers, as well as a not-for-profit membership based association that most likely has diminished standing with its members. It is a shame when time, money and reputation is thrown away simply because the wrong questions were asked.

PS We attempted to reach out to the Agency that initiated the YourTaxis campaign to explore their perspective. We received no response.

Inside a Marketing Plan – Make sure you can Deliver your Strategies

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Government, Resources | No Comments

Over the course of this month we have provided insight into the components required to develop a marketing plan.

We first explored the importance of capturing information, so you can understand the context. We then examined the importance of strategies, so you can analyse findings from the capture phase and articulate what you want to achieve. The third phase of a marketing plan is the Delivery phase. This is where you consider how you will implement the strategies you identified.

The Delivery Phase ensures you can action your marketing plan. The Delivery Phase ensures you can action your marketing plan.

Know what resources are required

Marketing Plans need to be measurable so you can evaluate progress towards your outcomes. The Delivery phase is where you identify the tasks that are required and establish the outcomes you want to achieve. Each of the actions should reinforce the direction of your marketing plan and need to align with your strategies.

As part of this assessment consider the resources that are required, in terms of personnel, budgets and time. The completed marketing plan must be actionable and this is only possible if you understand the resources that you need. As part of this assessment, you should also identify the outcomes that are desired, including tangible metrics. For example, if you are undertaking a promotional campaign to encourage repeat purchases, you would want to identity your existing customer base and then determine the percentage that is required to generate a positive return.

Measure Performance

Often many of the identified activities will be interconnected. It is important to consider the staging of these actions so you can work towards achieving your strategies. Some actions will be ongoing tasks and these need to be considered as part of position descriptions and performance reviews.

There can be a disconnect between developing a plan and implementing its findings. The Delivery phase is what connects the plan to actionable outcomes, the timeframes and resources you identify will assist in achieving these results.

The Delivery Phase ensures that you can evaluate progress as you execute and implement your marketing activities.

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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