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priorities Archives - Syneka Marketing

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Five essential tips to foster effective collaboration

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

Government funding has been encouraging collaboration for several years, with grants strongly favouring applications that involve multiple partners. Increasingly businesses are also seeing merit in collaboration to recognise respective expertise, and to achieve shared outcomes.

Collaboration should be nurtured and encouraged, but unfortunately there are also plenty of businesses that talk about collaboration, but do not follow through in practice.

As a strategic marketing agency we often work with other specialists to support our clients in achieving their goals. We thought it would be useful to share our advice on how to foster collaboration.

  1. Agree on the outcomes. Before considering any form of collaboration, ensure that there is an agreement on the outcomes that are to be achieved and the impact that this will create.
  2. Ensure you work with partners who share these outcomes. A supplier is not necessarily a collaborative partner, unless they are actively involved in sharing the agreed outcomes.
  3. Recognise expertise and responsibilities. Make sure that all collaborative partners are aware of their roles and the specific expertise that is required. Each partner should recognise each others expertise and not attempt to overreach.
  4. Collaborative partners need to be treated as equals. While money and time commitments may vary, there should be an equitable level of involvement to ensure that everyone is contributing to the outcome.
  5. Review partnerships and revise when required. All partnerships should be periodically reviewed and revised if needed. Identify what is working in the partnership and what need to be improved.

One of my highlights in working collaboratively was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One of my highlights in developing a collaborative approach was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One outer suburban council on its own, lacks direct influence with a State Government. As a result, I worked with Bill Pemberton, the Mayor of Whitehorse and Christine Richards, the Mayor of Frankston, to form an alliance so we could advocate for greater support for our respective Central Activities Districts (Box Hill, Frankston and Ringwood). We then expanded this alliance into a formal arrangement that incorporated every Central Activity District in Melbourne. While each individual Council had its own priorities, this group succeeded in developing joint advocacy by focusing on common issues.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

The end result was a greater level of investment and interest within each of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, including a commitment to redevelop Ringwood Station.

Before considering a collaborative approach make sure there is a common understanding, so you can work together to achieve your agreed outcomes.

Identifying your target market can help you achieve your goals

Who is your ideal customer?

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

A question we are commonly asked is who is our ideal customer?

At Syneka Marketing our ideal customer is a business or organisation that is passionate about what they do.

So how do you determine your ideal client? Your ideal client forms your target market.

Identifying your target market can help you achieve your goals

Identifying your target market can help you achieve your goals

The following four steps can help you to determine your target market:

Find your strengths – before looking at potential customers it is important to understand your own strengths. For example, you may be a retailer who has exceptional service levels, or a consultant who produces highly innovative results. Your strengths will help you sell your products and services to your customers.

Plan for the future – where do you want to be in the next five years? Your ideal customer is someone who will most likely help you reach your business goals. Plan where you want to be in the future and the types of customers that will help you achieve this goal.

Undertake a demographic analysis of your market – researching your market can determine what your customers value. Research should consider where your customers are located, their personality traits, their spending priorities and what influences their purchase decisions. Research should also consider what your competitors are doing and how they are influencing the purchase decisions of customers.

Leverage your point of difference – once you have researched potential customers, use your strengths to determine what types of customers you can attract. If you are a restaurant that focuses on fine dining, it may be about attracting customers who value good food and service. Using your strengths creates a point of difference and can help you sell your product or service to your customers with greater conviction.

Once you have determined your target market, with the right marketing strategy you can achieve your goals.

Writing Grants and Funding Submissions

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

Completing funding submissions and grants are often a necessity for not-for-profit organisations, but similarly apply to businesses that are seeking external funding opportunities. Grants can be very competitive, so we compiled some advice on how to maximise your chances for writing successful grant submissions.

  1. Align the priorities of your project with the funding body. Grants are designed to fulfil a purpose, it is essential that you align the outcomes you are seeking with these priorities.
  2. Read all application criteria and notes. Funding priorities may not always be immediately evident, but can often be elaborated upon in supporting documentation. Take the time to read this information to gain a clearer insight into the funding priorities.
  3. Meet all relevant application criteria. Your chances significantly increase if you can meet the identified application criteria. While some selection criteria might be optional, try and align your submission, so you can meet each of these outcomes.
  4. Use the right keywords. Funding bodies have priorities that they are seeking to support, align your submission with these outcomes. Similarly use the same terminology that is used by the funding body to support your application.
  5. Plan responses and respect word limits. Each question in an application will typically have a word limit, ensure you can convey your points within this limit. Write succinctly and to the point.
  6. Identify any supporting information that is required. Most application forms are now completed online and will often have the opportunity for additional attachments. Ensure that you have sufficient time to collate information that will support your application, including budgets, program plans and other content.
  7. Prepare suitable budgets. Many applications will require a budget to be submitted with the application, make sure this budget is both realistic and sufficiently detailed. A budget that lacks detail will often indicate that the submission may not have been sufficiently developed.
  8. Leverage your value proposition. Grants and funding submissions are a competitive process, you may be competing with other similar organisations, or for funding that may be directed to broader purposes. Leverage your strengths and your value proposition to identify how you will be able to fulfil the application outcomes more effectively than your competitors.
  9. Ensure you have sufficient time. Grant applications can take a significant amount of time, make sure you are prepared in advance so that the application is not sent in haste. Also remember that lodging a submission takes time. Many application platforms will be overloaded as the submission deadline approaches, so make sure you submit your application early.
  10. Identify other opportunities. Grants and funding submissions will often expect a contribution from other sources, make sure that you can identify other sources of funding, including in-kind support, that may be relevant.

Grants and funding submissions can provide a significant proportion of revenue for not-for-profit organisations, but also some businesses. Governments are increasingly moving to a competitive grants system and expecting more for less, so ensure that you are able to consider other strategies to diversify income and provide ongoing service delivery.

Case Study: Turn challenges into opportunities with a marketing plan

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

Third Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication designed for not-for-profit organisations. The February edition featured content relevant to marketing and communications and we included our recent case study on the rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers into Volunteering Western Victoria.

Syneka Marketing explains how it helped Wimmera Volunteers to identify new opportunities by developing a marketing plan that better positioned the organisation as a regional peak body.

Successful marketing begins with finding the right strategy. A marketing plan sets your organisation up for ongoing success by considering the context of the organisation, identifying goals and suggesting actions to achieve these outcomes.

The former logo of Wimmera Volunteers

The former logo and identity of Wimmera Volunteers

Case Study: Wimmera Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre that works with other organisations to promote and recruit volunteers, creating opportunities and social inclusion. Wimmera Volunteers also offers transport services, including programs for learner drivers and mobility for older residents, promoting social inclusion across a diverse region.

The problem

The organisation was at the crossroads. The Federal Government was proposing significant funding changes, which was making the future of volunteer resource centres uncertain.

The organisation aimed to service the entire Wimmera region but its services were heavily concentrated within the town of Horsham and its slogan of ‘helping communities help themselves’ was seen as patronising despite its good intent.

The opportunity

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Rather than cave to challenges, Wimmera Volunteers commissioned Syneka Marketing to work with board members, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders to develop a marketing plan that reflected the needs of the organisation.

One new opportunity related to the region’s distance from Melbourne. Many of the organisations serviced by Wimmera Volunteers indicated that they wanted professional development but were unable to devote the time required for travelling or lacked the resources to deliver their own internal training.

It was important to align the marketing plan with the Government’s national volunteering strategy and ensure that Wimmera Volunteers could demonstrate the ability to implement the priorities outlined by the Federal Government.

There was also the need to better connect across the Wimmera and Mallee regions and to foster relationships with the business community.

The marketing plan identified the need to rebrand Wimmera Volunteers to better position the organisation as a regional peak body and to reflect its commitment across a diverse region. Rebranding workshops identified that Wimmera Volunteers wanted a new name that was functional and retained its commitment to volunteering.

Outcomes

Syneka Marketing successfully rebranded Wimmera Volunteers in just six weeks, coordinating new style guides, logos, design templates, websites and social media. The new brand was successfully unveiled at the organisation’s annual general meeting, resulting in strong attendance from stakeholders and the wider community.

The new name, Volunteering Western Victoria, enabled the organisation to develop comprehensive membership packages, including training and mentoring to other organisations. In addition, the organisation is no longer bound by geography and is able to work with a number of councils and organisations within the Wimmera and Mallee regions.

The new tagline ‘Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers’ identifies the purpose of Volunteering Western Victoria through a positive and forward-looking statement, reinforcing its role within communities and encouraging volunteering.

The organisation is now positioned to become a regional peak body, complementing its traditional services with new offerings. In addition, the new name enables Volunteering Western Victoria to implement further actions from the marketing plan, including regional offices, workplace volunteering and the development of comprehensive community advocacy and training services.

Many sectors are experiencing uncertainty over government funding and a marketing plan can provide the vision and actions required to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Third Sector Magazine is released on a quarterly basis. Our article can be seen at www.thirdsectormagazine.com.au.

Australian Marketing Institute

Australian Marketing Institute – Identifying priorities for the Communications Subcommittee

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

The Australian Marketing Institute is the peak body representing marketers and the field of marketing within Australia. The Australian Marketing Institute is a national organisation with state chapters that arrange events for its members.

I have been a member of the Communications Sub-Committee since the beginning of this year. The Communications Sub-Committee is charged with enhancing the organisation’s ability to communicate with current and prospective members.

Tonight’s meeting identified three priorities for the committee including the continuation of the quarterly newsletter, an interactive blog and involvement in social media.

Each of these three communication methods will include some integration, meaning the blog could potentially provide articles for the newsletter.  Furthermore social media can be used to promote these communication methods and discussion.

Like any not-for-profit organisation, the Australian Marketing Institute has limited resources. Integrating these forms of communication will assist in reaching the widest possible audience with the maximum possible impact.

I am involved in the blog and social media components where I will be assisting in the implementation of these communication channels.