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objective Archives - Syneka Marketing

Brand and marketing – how they fit together

By | News | One Comment

There is an increasing level of confusion between branding and marketing, with the two terms often being used interchangeably to communicate the visual or strategic objectives of a business.

We have come across many businesses and organisations recently, that have undertaken branding and marketing in the reverse order. This has resulted in a brand being created without a marketing plan, often then requiring the brand to altered when the strategic rigour provided within the marketing plan identifies misalignment.

Branding is a potential output of the strategic marketing planning process and not the other way around. At the base level, a brand enables the differentiation of one business from another, providing a conduit that builds common ground between stakeholders and personnel within the business.

The marketing planning process determines the overall marketing direction of the business. Branding and identity is a potential output and tactic that may be considered. If this is the case then a brand strategy is created which determines the attributes and essence of the brand, as well as guideline around the brand name, presence and brand promise. From this comes the visual identity and complementary creative materials that support the communication of the brand.

With marketing being ill defined, it can be easy for businesses to become confused between the two terms. This is compounded by the fact that Australia is dominated by tacticians of marketing such as the digital agency, creative agency or advertising agency.

2016-06-03 Pencil 1000px x 1000px

For non-marketers, particularly those on boards, it can be easy to take the branding option first rather than to invest in a marketing plan. Often a marketing tactician will show visual examples of their work and draft concepts, causing boards and other decision makers to often ask the wrong questions and hence confuse branding for marketing.

The strategic insights through marketing should always be the first aspect you consider when you look at your marketing mix. Once this step is undertaken, you can then consider what is required to develop a brand that resonates with your marketing direction.

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

By | News | No Comments

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.

#thedress

#thedress and Domestic Violence – An Example of Sound Campaign Planning

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

No one could believe that something that seemed as trivial as #thedress could create so much controversy and engagement internationally.

While there were many brands that jumped on board with their own social media posts related to #thedress, no one has created as much impact as The Salvation Army South Africa.

The key to their success is that The Salvation Army has taken the key point of discussion regarding the dress – its colours, white and gold or black and blue and positioned this effectively around the issue of domestic violence.

#thedress campaign developed by The Salvation Army South Africa

#thedress campaign developed by The Salvation Army South Africa

Putting plans into action can be tricky and The Salvation Army South Africa has been able to successfully put forth its message about domestic violence, at a point where the initial buzz around #thedress was coming to an end.#the

Having a week to plan its response has enabled the organisation to reflect back on its objectives, and take advantage of International Women’s Day to capitalise on an opportunity with worldwide reach to create impact.

The success of this campaign is demonstrated through its rapid spread via social media. Media outlets such as People Magazine and Cosmopolitan have tweeted about the campaign and the People Magazine tweet alone has been retweeted over 2500 times.

So what can we take away from this? Real Time Marketing can be successful in the not-for-profit sector just as it can be in a commercial context. To ensure success, it is important to be aware of trending topics and how they might relate to your narrative and key messages. Take the time to plan the perfect message, as it doesn’t matter if your message is delayed. Being a week late may even assist in being able to stand out from the multitude of brands trying to capitalize on the same trend.

*I have written this post with the help of Kelly Furness our Marketing Intern.

What’s in a name? The Story behind Syneka Marketing

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Government | One Comment

Welcome to 2015, let’s aim to make this year the point in which we re-visit our visions and ensure that our actions reflect and strengthen our strategic direction. Far too many decisions in business and politics, have been undertaken on a whim, without enough thought on whether these actions strengthen your direction and vision.

With 2015 underway, we thought it was timely to re-visit the story behind Syneka Marketing, beginning with our origins, through to our present context and to where we aim to be into the future.

The name Syneka is an amalgam between Synergy and Capacity building.

Syneka - an amalgam between Synergy and Capacity Building

Our mission is to reinforce the value of marketing when defining your strategic direction. Unfortunately it is far too common to see marketing operating in a silo, both in relation marketing relative to other functions, such as sales, HR or IT, but also in regard to marketing execution. Many campaigns fail because tactical actions, such as social media content has not been integrated with other forms of copy, or where campaign objectives get overtaken by a focus on tools, rather than the overall impact.

Hence the word Synergy, Syneka Marketing exists to inject strategic thought into marketing.

We have often commented on the need to re-define marketing and there is a need to ensure that Synergy remains true to its focus on the sums of the whole being greater than its parts.

Effective marketing creates synergy. A marketing campaign that reflects your strategic direction and is supported by the various functions in your business will achieve a positive impact on profitability and your sustainability.

Capacity is the other element within the Syneka Marketing name. Strategic Marketing ensures that you are able to grow the capacity of your business and achieve your aims. Ultimately, strategic marketing is about understanding where you want to be in the future and utilising your current context to build the capacity to achieve this vision. Strong and effective marketing strengthens your capacity to deliver on your mission.

Capacity is obviously spelt with a C, the switch to a K is due to phonetics. A hard C, which is pronounced a K, is more memorable and stronger than a soft C.

We’re looking forward to sharing your journey in 2015 and ensuring that marketing delivers synergy and expands the capacity of your business.

November In Review: Our Strategic Marketing Methodology

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

Over the course of November we discussed our strategic marketing methodology, exploring the three phases we utilise to develop marketing plans. Each of these phases are required to develop a marketing plan that is based on accurate information, can identify the strategies that achieve your business goals, and is measurable through outcomes that can be measured.

Our latest YouTube video explores each of the three phases covered in our strategic marketing methodology.

We started at the Capture Phase, which ensures that a marketing plan is relevant to your context. This phase includes the relevant research to understand your target markets, competitive processes and the broader industry context. The Capture Phase sets the relevant foundations for your marketing plan, by ensuring accurate and relevant information.

The Strategy Phase consists of analysing this information to determine the strategic direction of your marketing activities. This phase develops your value proposition, as well as the key messages and marketing activities that are needed to engage your target markets. Engaging staff, customers and other stakeholders can be useful in clarify your strategic direction. The outcomes from this phase include the identified strategies that will achieve your business objectives.

The Delivery Phase is where you identify the actions that are required to achieve these strategies. Marketing needs to be measurable and this phase is where you can identify the expected outcomes from implementing these actions. The delivery phase requires implementation schedules, identifying the timeframes and resources that will be required. Proactive planning will enable you to measure the progress and effectiveness of these activities.

Combined these three phases provide a strategic marketing plan that is measurable and delivers results. We further explore our marketing methodology in our eBook, Marketing Methodology that Works, which is available for a free download from our website.