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customer experience Archives - Syneka Marketing

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.

Setting the standard: Why accreditation matters for marketing

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

Imagine, one morning someone enters your office and tells you that they want 20% of your annual turnover because they have a ‘great idea’ to grow your business. They are unable to provide any evidence to support their claims, other than saying they have a ‘great idea’.

It goes without saying, but not many business owners or managers would contemplate making such a transaction.

Unfortunately, this is what marketing often looks like, with far too many decisions made on hunches or guesses, rather than a factual understanding of market needs, positioning and opportunities. As a consequence, marketing consulting and marketing services have a surprisingly low barrier of entry, with anyone able to claim they are a marketing consultant, expert, specialist or even ‘guru’.

Research into business exits often cites the lack of marketing insights as being one of the top ten causes of business failure. This is despite marketing spend often being between 10% and 20% of an annual budget.

The current approach provided by many who claim to provide ‘marketing’ is failing businesses and the wider community.

This is why accreditation matters for marketing, and is why we are so heavily involved with the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). Accreditation has the potential to uplift the marketing profession and provide a benchmark for the delivery of marketing services.

No business would seek financial advice from someone that lacks appropriate accreditation, given the potential ramifications of bad advice. Yet we as professional marketers, have lost track of the amount of times we have been brought in to fix the mistakes made by pseudo-marketers. It is time to put an end to pseudo-marketers by recognising the definition of marketing (as defined by the Australian Marketing Institute):

Marketing creates value – for customers, shareholders and society as a whole. It does this by creating an alignment between what consumers value and what organisations offer. It offers techniques that help firms better understand the needs, preferences and perceptions of their customers (a prerequisite to adding value to them), and ways of using that understanding to focus the value-creating and communicating activities of the firm into areas where they will be most effective.

Marketing exists to build the capacity of your business so you can achieve your business goals. This is why one of the core marketing concepts is the marketing mix (commonly known as the customer experience):

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

The marketing mix highlights the areas that marketing needs to consider to enable business growth

The marketing mix shows the impact of marketing across a business, yet pseudo-marketers, the self-proclaimed ‘experts’, ‘specialists’ or ‘gurus’ will often only focus on one or two elements. This leads to disparate tactics that will create inconsistent outcomes, ultimately resulting in reputation and operational risks.

The Certified Practising Marketer - as accredited by the Australian Marketing Institute

The Certified Practising Marketer – as accredited by the Australian Marketing Institute

The Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) designation is accredited by the Australian Marketing Institute and sets the standard for the marketing profession.

Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) accreditation assesses academic and professional experience to ensure that there is an understanding, as well as ability to apply marketing. Accreditation means a commitment to the Australian Marketing Institute’s Code of Conduct and the requirement of continuing professional development to ensure ongoing learning.

A Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) understands that marketing is more than disparate tactics. A Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) realises that marketing is the strategic alignment between business goals and marketing outcomes, resulting in a measurable and positive impact on business growth and innovation.

At Syneka Marketing we are proud of our ongoing involvement with the Australian Marketing Institute. Our founder, Alex Makin is the State Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute’s Victorian Advisory Committee and our leadership team maintains Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) accreditation.

Do not risk your business with pretenders that lack accreditation and industry recognition. Accreditation matters for marketing, just as it does for Accountants, Lawyers and Engineers.

A Strategic Approach to Measuring Marketing Performance

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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.

Monash Marketing Breakfast with John Ziegler, DDB

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The Monash Marketing Breakfast is a twice yearly event held by the Monash Business School, featuring thought leadership relating to the marketing profession.

This morning’s session featured Chairman and CEO of DDB Asia Pacific Group, John Ziegler, who discussed the need for the marketing profession to return to its core, specifically visibility and influence across the entire marketing mix.

John discussed the risks created by ‘single P marketers’, people who are marketing managers in title, but are actually communications managers in terms of job function. Marketing is broader than communications, a Marketing Manager needs visibility and the ability to influence the entire marketing mix (known as the seven Ps of Marketing).

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 rather than just promotions

The risk with single P marketers, is that the communication tactics are not consistent with the other elements of the marketing mix, creating confusion or even reputational damage.

Some particularly evident examples were seen over the course of 2015, with the failed Woolworths ‘Fresh in our Memories’ campaign and more recently the #YourTaxis campaign. In both cases a focus on communications without an integrated approach across marketing mix caused significant reputational damage. Woolworths is likely to recover thanks to its market share, but the taxi industry caused itself damage during a time of increased competitive pressures.

These risks are created because communication tactics often measure the wrong outcomes. Shares or retweets on social media do not necessarily create a favourable outcome. Both Woolworths and #YourTaxis had a significant number of retweets and shares, but neither would be considerable a successful campaign.

Similarly, while content or media releases can be written, it does not necessarily mean they will be read by the target audience, or that it will motivate purchase decisions.

Marketing needs to do better.  The profession must demonstrate its value and its ability to create success through metrics that matter to business performance.