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environment Archives - Syneka Marketing

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.

Marketing can deliver value – even during economic uncertainty

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

Australia has faced several years of economic uncertainty and the latest trends appear to be indicating that a recession is on the horizon. Marketing is often one of the first areas to experience downsizing during economic uncertainty. This is largely due to a lack of measurability, resulting in marketing being seen as a cost centre rather than revenue generator.

This cycle is perpetuated through an execution led approach to marketing. Operating marketing as a silo, results in a lack of consistency between business goals and marketing outcomes. Agencies will typically take carriage of specific functions, such as design, content or social media, but there is a failure to fully appreciate the marketing mix, and the need to align execution with the identified strategic direction.

It is time to change this paradigm. Marketing needs to return to its core definition of delivering value, as per the definition adopted 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.

The creation of value through marketing is what enables a business to expand its capacity. While economic conditions will have an impact, the role of marketing is to rise above these challenges and deliver ongoing value creation.

Proctor and Gamble is one such example. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, consumer goods were hit hard. Rather than cutting its marketing function, Proctor and Gamble, shifted its focus to essential household items. The solution came in the form of Oxydol, one of its soap brands, which made it easier to wash clothes, in an era where washing required extensive physical labour. After defining the product and its value proposition, Proctor and Gamble focused on how it could reach its target customers.

In an era where other companies were slashing marketing activities, Proctor and Gamble rehoned its approach to take into account the difficult economic conditions. Initiatives included a re-orientation towards commercial radio broadcasts, reaching consumers through a medium that was affordable to consumers, while offering positivity in an otherwise negative environment.

Pioneering both personas and content, Proctor and Gamble personified the product through the creation of Oxydol’s Own Ma Perkins and created the genre of soap operas along the way.

The Great Depression could have easily been a time of despair for Proctor and Gamble, but instead it re-examined the market context and gained a deeper understanding of its consumers. The marketing execution was the output of a strategic approach that ultimately saw the company achieve growth during times that many others failed.

If marketing rose to the challenge and re-connected with the need to demonstrate value, then marketing would be seen as the function that enables businesses to build capacity. It is time for the marketing profession to not repeat past mistakes, but instead to re-align itself with value and the delivery of metrics that matter.

Marketing – Your short-term action need to strengthen your long-term position

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As a strategic marketing agency we work with our clients to align their business goals with marketing outcomes. The end result is a combination of short-term actions that can be implemented immediately and activities that build the capacity of a business over the longer-term. Like personal goals, business goals can take time, perseverance, strategy and dedication to accomplish.

Unfortunately in today’s fast paced environment it can be far too easy to rush into ill-considered short-term actions, which can have a detrimental impact on growth over the longer term. Aggressive pricing discounts are one of the most evident examples of this approach, whereby a short-term spike in sales, will often jeopardise the value proposition over the longer term.  Pricing is one element of the marketing mix and needs to be considered in tandem with all aspects of your business.

A tactics led approach can perpetuate business uncertainty, given that there is little consideration on the overall impact of a business. As a consequence, the wrong metrics are often collated, providing numbers that appear positive, but have little value. Classic examples include website visitations, when the more important metric is conversion and measuring the desire to purchase.

Furthermore, marketing activities do not work in isolation, and there is a need to measure the effectiveness of several activities across the entire decision making process. The evaluation of your marketing activities need to not only look at the performance of each tactic, but also their collective impact.

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult for business owners to view their business objectively, leading to poor judgement around strategic marketing decisions. Marketers need to demonstrate strategic expertise to ensure that all activities are assessed objectively and in the context of business goals.

The lack of objectivity is often evidenced in the rush for the latest trend, where the buzz blurs the metrics that actually matter. Content is the current example, whereby content for contents sake achieves little, but a targeted approach aimed at connecting and engaging target audiences, can have merit.  Social media was previously caught in a similar buzz, with metrics highlighting Facebook likes, but with little consideration on the need to convert these likes into advocates and customers.

A strategic approach looks beyond the buzz and begins by viewing a business holistically. There is a focus on relevant metrics, so that a business is able to measure outcomes and adjust to changing needs as required. As result, marketing activities focus on overall impact, ensuring a consistent experience that motivates purchase decisions.

Importantly there are often compounding benefits to a strategic approach, with short-term initiatives strengthening over time and reinforcing the value proposition of a business.

Business success is never going to be achieved by looking at discrete short-term actions, or rushing to the latest buzzwords.  Focus on your longer-term aspirations and begin by exploring initiatives that can be achieved in short-term while being consistent with your business goals.

How to create a plan that works

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

In business, as in life, sometimes things do not go according to plan.

If you are finding that things are not going to plan, the first thing to do is not to panic. Marketing Plans are designed to deliver ongoing results and you should have metrics that enable you to evaluate results.

Creating a plan that works can be challenging, and this is why as marketers we have the established credentials and expertise to create informed plans that deliver results.

The following five factors are important in ensuring that a marketing plan is effective.

Take into account your changing environment – when constructing a plan, take into account factors that may be subject to change. If there are emerging trends, or changing competitive pressures, consider how to turn these into opportunities.

Do your research – a plan is based on the information that is researched and analysed. Almost half of the content in our plans includes research into the current and future context to create a responsive and proactive marketing approach. Without the right research, you can reach the wrong conclusions. Make sure you take an objective and analytical approach when conducting research.

Be realistic – develop a plan that works with you rather than against you. There is no point developing a series of actions if you do not have the time or budget to implement them. Work to your strengths and ensure you create a plan that fits your business, in terms of skills, time and budgetary requirements.

Plans are only effective if you implement them – once you have a plan, start implementing it. Our comprehensive marketing plans are broken down on a week by week basis. By breaking down your plan, it becomes less daunting and easier for you to implement.

Measure your results – a marketing plan should have metrics built into it, so that you can track your progress. Set performance indicators and evaluate these results. Be proactive and respond to changes before they become problematic and impact you over the long term.

By developing and implementing a plan you will achieve ongoing success. A plan is developed to enable you to achieve your goals, so make sure it is built on solid foundations.

NAB Village First Birthday

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

We attended the first birthday celebrations of the NAB Village located in the Docklands. The NAB Village is a unique space on the ground floor of NAB Docklands that provides a co-working environment for NAB customers. This space has attracted start-ups, small and medium enterprises as well as a diverse range of not-for-profit organisations.

The concept provides the opportunity for the bank to connect with its customers by assisting businesss and organisations who may not have commercial office space.

Birthday celebrations included the opportunity to connect with other Village members and NAB staff.

Syneka Marketing will be launching a new initiative in 2015 and will be taking an active role in supporting businesses and not-for-profit organisations in The Village.

The Difference Incubator Christmas Party

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

Creating social impact is something that we aim to do with every marketing plan we develop for our clients.

The Difference Incubator held its first Christmas Party at the HUB Melbourne. The Difference Incubator aims to create a community where social enterprises can meet and learn from one another. Having undertaken a diverse amount of work within the social enterprise space we were invited to attend this event.

The Christmas Party provided us with the opportunity to meet and network with individual within the social enterprise space.

Peter Allen the CEO of Ethical Properties Australia spoke at the event. Peter spoke of the importance of having innovative, accessible spaces for all businesses including social enterprises. Co-working environments such as the HUB Melbourne provide an alternative to signing a long term commercial lease.

We are dedicated to helping not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises with their marketing and look forward to future events within this space in 2015.