was successfully added to your cart.
Tag

planning 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.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Another week and another example of poor marketing governance

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

Aldi provides us with the latest example of a social media failure, with its fill in the blank exercise posted onto Twitter.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Aldi – not thinking about the context of their social media content

While the resulting media coverage joked that ‘Aldi’s social media intern is about to get fired’, the joke should be the way social media is not seen as a communications tool and therefore part of the marketing mix.

Over the course of 2015 there was no shortage social media failures. In April we saw Woolworths‘ poorly planned attempt to associate itself with Anzac Day, followed by the Victorian Taxi Association not only misspelling Remembrance Day, but also failing to consider the ramifications of asking Twitter users their thoughts on the taxi industry.

These are all examples of where marketing governance has failed. The ability to publish externally viewable content has become disconnected from campaign planning and strategy, causing mistakes that can result in reputational damage.

Yet, these mistakes are not new. Had Woolworths, Aldi, the Victorian Taxi Association and many others, actually undertaken research, they would have seen the 2012 example of #McDStories, whereby McDonald’s asked Twitter users for their stories about the McDonald’s experience. The campaign lasted for just two hours until it was realised that asking about the McDonald’s experience via social media was not a good conversation topic.

Commentary through the McDStories campaign - back in 2012

Commentary through the McDStories campaign – back in 2012

 

Social media needs to be seen for what it is, a communications tool that is part of the marketing mix. Unfortunately, this is likely to re-occur until sound marketing governance is developed. Marketing needs the processes, procedures and policies to determine the optimal scope of authority in the marketing mix to prevent mistakes that never should have occurred in the first instance.

Setting the Business Agenda through Marketing

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

Many areas of business incorporate continuous improvement, ensuring that processes are streamlined to maximise efficiencies and to reduce costs.

Unfortunately, marketing is an area that is often overlooked, resulting in either aggressive cost cutting during economic downturns, or a rush to the latest buzzwords, with little strategic thought and consideration and returns.
Marketing like all other aspects of a business should be held into account, and needs to adopt a framework that fosters continuous improvement.

Our Syneka Marketing Framework, with our cycle of Audit, Plan and Execution, is designed to incorporate the feedback mechanisms required to improve business decisions, while identifying performance indicators and measuring outcomes.

Strategic Planning Framework

The Framework commences with an Audit as this enables you to assess current marketing activities and to incorporate metrics that evaluate outcomes. The Audit phases answers the question of how to maximise the return from marketing investment. This phase strengthens the measurability of marketing and provides input into the broader business direction.

The Plan aligns business goals with marketing outcomes, positioning marketing as the centre for innovation that drives business capacity. Importantly, this phase helps avoid a silo mentality, by embedding a whole of marketing approach and strengthening internal communications. As a result, marketing is able to guide business growth, through the identification of new market opportunities and aligning the customer experience across a business. The Marketing Plan guides not only short-term actions, but also longer term initiatives that will be achieved that strengthen business capacity.

The Execution component represents the implementation of actions identified in the Audit and Plan phases and is guided by the metrics that have been identified in the earlier phases. The embedding of metrics ensures that there is an ongoing review of marketing outcomes and that value is being achieved. The aim is to move beyond marketing for the sake of marketing and into an approach that provides a measurable return on investment.

The Framework reinforces the fact that marketing can and should be measured, moving beyond basic measurements and into metrics that actually matter for business growth. The approach enables marketing to step up and drive business outcomes, rather than being reactive and missing the ability to influence strategic decisions.

Further details are available in our eBook A Marketing Framework for Ongoing Performance.

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.

Guest Lecturing for the Australian College of Sports and Fitness

By | News | No Comments

The Australian College of Sports and Fitness is a Registered Training Organisation, delivering accredited courses focusing on health and wellbeing.  I was invited to deliver a guest lecture on marketing to Diploma students.

Sports marketing continues to experience strong growth, and it was great to speak directly to students who are either planning on forming their own business or exploring marketing related roles in the sports sector.

My session discussed the customer experience that is created through the marketing mix, as well as the need to align business goals with marketing outcomes. We explored several case studies that highlighted the need for an integrated marketing approach, including examples such as the poorly executed Woolworths ANZAC Campaign, which failed to adequately risk and the overarching brand experience.

Guest lecturing provides an opportunity to share knowledge with current students and to provide an insight into the real world application of marketing. I wish the students well as they progress towards completing their studies.

Putting Plans into Action

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

In March we covered the topic of putting plans into action.Sound planning is essential, but so is implementation as you need to achieve the results you have identified.

  • Firstly you need to undertake your research. Without research it is difficult to determine your position in the market and identify your value proposition.
  • Secondly, a plan requires resources. It is important to determine your requirements to implement the plan effectively and to consider how you can leverage personnel across your business effectively.
  • Lastly, make sure you commence implementing your plan. Results will only be seen if you turn your plan into action.

In March we explored some case studies that identified how plans were put into action. The Salvation Army South Africa and its domestic violence awareness campaign, through #thedress, is an example of sound campaign planning and implementation. While Seek’s #makeitcount campaign was an example of a great idea – inspiring Australians to go out there and find their dream job, it fell short in terms of implementation. Ultimately this campaign was off message and lacked the innovation that is often seen in Seek’s campaigns.

During March we also conducted our first Re-imaging Marketing workshop at the NAB Village. This workshop attracted a diverse range of participants and explored how business goals need to link to marketing outcomes. Planning should be undertaken prior to any tactical components.

In April we will be covering the topic of assessing marketing implementation. Stay tuned to our social media platforms, newsletter and blog to stay informed.