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marketing plans Archives - Syneka Marketing

Collaboration – exploring the role of intermediaries in the marketing mix

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | One Comment

The role of intermediaries and distribution channels seems is often neglected when considering the marketing mix, yet these channels can assist in achieving marketing objectives, including reach into target markets and value adding of client based solutions.

Collaboration and the fostering of partnerships applies equally to business, not-for-profit organisations and government. Collaboration, however, will not work effectively when it is poorly defined. When this occurs collaboration can quickly become in effect a client/supplier relationship or a partnership in name only, with the terms being one-sided.

The latter is surprisingly common in the not-for-profit sector, causing sector wide advocacy to become splintered, limiting reach and effectiveness. As a result, the not-for-profit sector lacks the industry wide voices that exist for businesses, whereby fierce business competitors will work together through associations to advocate on common issues, delivering a unified voice to government and other stakeholders.

All partners need to have a shared understanding of how each participant will deliver mutual value, meaning there should be alignment between the respective marketing plans. Ensure that each partner understands the desired outcomes, as well as timeframes and the resources that will be provided to work towards these results.

Collaboration can fail at all levels. The recent referendum in the UK, with the majority of voters indicating a desire to leave the European Union, is an example of where the perceived value of the collaboration did not meet expectations, despite economic evidence to the contrary.
Be clear on the purpose of the collaboration and what you aim to achieve. Make sure all partners understand that they need to invest resources into making collaboration work and that they have a genuine understanding of the need for shared success.

Ultimately the aim is to grow the pie, rather than fight over crumbs. Any collaboration that spends time fighting over what they currently have, rather than working towards what they should be achieving, is not going to deliver clear value.

Welcome to 2016 – The year we want to stop saying ‘we told you so’

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Welcome to 2016! February is almost here and we have said hello to one of our busiest and most productive starts to the year.

Each year we set a narrative that guides the ongoing direction of Syneka Marketing. Our narrative is designed to be ambitious as we strive to re-define marketing into a measurable and accountable profession.

It is unfortunate that far too many businesses and not-for-profit organisations are fixated on tactics, rather than undertaking a strategic approach to marketing. In these situations, people become so fixated on a shiny bauble (the tactic that makes someone look busy but fails to have any depth) that they invariably run off, commit their budgets, only to run back to us when outcomes were not achieved.

A tactics led approach benefits no one. The client fails to gain traction and while execution based agencies may secure a sale, they often struggle to retain clients because the marketing mix was inconsistent and metrics were poorly defined.

This is why we want 2016 to be the year that we stop saying ‘we told you so’.

A strategic led approach leads to measurable marketing outcomes that deliver value to clients and the agencies that work with them. Our Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology , through the process of Audits, Forecasts and Strategic Marketing Plans, ensures a systematic, consistent, measurable and independent approach that delivers value and builds business capacity.

We continue to maintain our professional accreditation, with our leadership team being Certified Practising Marketers (CPMs) and being recognised through the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence.

We are working with execution based agencies to embed our strategic approach, ensuring that their tactics can be measured across marketing channels and throughout the decision making process. We are continuing our focus on education, with workshops and conference presentations to discuss the role of marketing, based on its core definition of delivering value and building business capacity.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you throughout the months ahead. Welcome to 2016 and may you achieve your business goals throughout this year.

Australian Computer Society

Australian Computer Society’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation SIG: The Entrepreneurial Journey – Challenges and Rewards

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

The Australian Computer Society is the professional body representing the IT profession. This evening I was invited to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Special Interest Group, to discuss the role of marketing in enabling an entrepreneurial journey.

Marketing and IT are more closely related than they first appear. Both perform a support function for many organisations, enabling them in turn to deliver their core products or services. In addition, marketing insights are enhanced through IT’s role in data collection and analysis.

With a growing emphasis on tech startups there is a tendency to romanticise the industry, with people forgetting that companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google or Facebook were not overnight sensations. While their products were part of their success, it was the execution of their marketing plans and direction that made these products relevant.

Developing a new App or IT based innovation is the first stage of the entrepreneurial journey, getting it to market and maintaining relevancy is what leads to ongoing success.  During my presentation, I outlined the role of marketing and highlighted a number of areas that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs.

In particular, there is a need to understand market segments and the potential userbase.  No product is relevant to everyone and it is important that you take the time to understand your key target markets.  In addition, you should consider your supply chain, investors and business partners, so you have a strategy that considers the value they receive from your innovation.

Furthermore, competitors are another area that is often overlooked.  It is factually incorrect to assume that a new product has no competitors. While there may not be other direct competitors (those offering the same product or service), there will be indirect competitors (who offer similar products) and other forms of competition that will compete for your target market’s time and money. Understanding the competitive landscape is essential to developing a successful innovation.

One of my aims is to educate communities on the importance of undertaking a strategic approach to marketing. The presentation at the Australian Computer Society’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Special Interest Group works towards this vision.

Slush Down Under 2015

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SLUSH Down Under aims to connect technology entrepreneurs with investors so they can realise their vision.  As sponsors of Melbourne Silicon Beach we were invited to the conference and after party, where we had a chance to meet people active in the Startup space.

The key challenges for startups, includes the need to attract investment and commercialise their ideas. A great idea is often not enough, there is a need to develop business and marketing plans to provide the foundations for a viable business model.

Our involvement with Melbourne Silicon Beach enables us to work with the Startup community to develop these foundations. Marketing should be supporting the next wave of innovation to ensure that great ideas reach their full market potential.

Define your metrics

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Marketing is only effective when it is measurable, enabling you to evaluate outcomes and compare this to your expectations.  The ability to evaluate marketing outcomes begins through a marketing plan. Your plan needs to articulate your strategic direction and then identify the outcomes you want to achieve.  Part of this process should include identifying the metrics you will use to measure these outcomes so you can evaluate progress and the end results.

Metrics exist for most aspects of marketing and it is important to look at the real elements that you want to measure.  For example, measuring the number of hits to your website is meaningless, when the real value is in the number of website visitors that then interact with your business or respond to your call to action. Begin by understanding the value of what you want to measure and the reason why it is important.

Customer acquisition and retention is often a particular area of focus. Begin by understanding the number of customers that you have and make sure you avoid double-counting, particularly if there are multiple users but just one purchaser.   Once you have identified an accurate number you can then identify the frequency and recency of their purchases and your overall client retention rate.  This data provides an insight into the lifetime value of your customer. As a result, you are able to gain an understanding of the customer attributes that are required to provide a greater return to your business.

Furthermore, using these metrics you can then explore the cost of acquisition and orientate your approach to customers that provide a greater level of return. Consider the time that is required to convert leads into customers, as well as the number of touch points and key steps that are required.  Very few businesses can rely on one channel alone to generate customers, so it is important to consider each step that is required to achieve these outcomes.

Understanding and embedding metrics into your marketing plan ensures you are able to evaluate your results and make informed decisions. For example, without these metrics you may have a sound acquisition approach, but could end up spending far too much time and money on customers that generate too little return. Ensure that you have the ability to understand where best to invest your marketing outcomes.

Taking the time to develop the right metrics enables you to establish a benchmark and evaluate performance over time. As a result you are able to measure the impact of your marketing outcomes and work towards the strategic direction you have identified.

How to create a plan that works

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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.