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social media Archives - Syneka Marketing

Marketing Governance: Mitigating reputational and financial risks

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

Good governance needs to underpin all aspects of a business or organisation and this holds true for marketing. Unfortunately, marketing governance tends to be substantially underdeveloped, with blurred responsibilities and a lack of sufficient oversight.

The most evident examples are seen in social media, where a lack of oversight and a failure to link execution with strategic direction, has resulted in significant public mistakes by businesses (including large businesses like Woolworths and McDonalds), as well as not-for-profit organisations (as evidenced through the failed YourTaxis campaign).

Marketing Governance defines the roles and responsibilities of the marketing function, by considering three core elements:

2016-02-29 Levels

  1. Level 1: Executive – Leadership and Direction – Marketing leadership and strategic direction needs to be established at an executive level. This is often the Chief Marketing Officer and the Executive Team, or a combination of the board and Executive Officer within not-for-profit organisations. The strategic marketing direction needs to be consistent with the organisation’s vision.  In particular, the entire marketing mix needs to be considered, to ensure that marketing has visibility and suitable influence across the organisation. Suitable structures should be developed to support the need for marketing to be integrated into other business areas.
  1. Level 2: Management – Accountability and Oversight – Management is accountable for delivering the strategies that will achieve the goals established through the marketing plan. Management should determine the appropriate activities and tactics (within budget and resource parameters) that will collectively achieve the identified direction. Management is responsible for oversight across these activities to ensure consistency and to evaluate results. Management should be empowered to not only measure marketing performance, but to adjust these activities if the expected outcomes are not being realised. As a result, management must be able to measure marketing performance and be fully aware of the customer journey and sequencing that is required to motivate action.
  1. Level 3: Implementation – Execution – Execution is where relevant marketing tactics are undertaken based on the decisions made by management. The execution layer can involve internal teams, external partners or a combined approach, but should always have a clear understanding of the outcomes required. It is imperative that execution activities are briefed correctly and that inputs and outputs are not mistaken for marketing outcomes. Management needs oversight over execution to ensure that outcomes are consistent and delivering anticipated results. Measuring marketing performance enables adjustments and to ensure that all execution elements are working as intended.

Marketing Governance is an area that is far too often overlooked, but is required to ensure the evaluation of marketing performance and to reduce reputational and financial risk.

Marketing, as a function, and organisations overall, need to develop capabilities in marketing governance so we can finally see an end to mistakes that never should have occurred in the first place, had oversight and direction been suitably established.

NGV Members Summer Party – Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Syneka Marketing is a proud patron of the arts and we are a supporter of the National Gallery of Victoria, through membership and event participation.

Each year the National Gallery of Victoria hosts its Summer Party, highlighting its current exhibition and providing a lively atmosphere, through music and festivities. This year, the Summer Party coincided with the premier exhibition featuring Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.

Andy Warhol, as a leading figure in pop art, blurred the lines between celebrity and artist, using a combination of mediums to convey his artist intent. Andy Warhol had a background in commercial illustration and advertising, which carried through to his artistic work where he often explored the impact of icons.

Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962)

Ai Weiwei extends many of Andy Warhol’s concepts, juxtaposing modern icons with a political overlay and historic context. In particular, Ai Weiwei has extended the interaction between artist and community, incorporating active social media engagement, while maintaining a focus on human rights.

The Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei exhibition demonstrates the evolving nature of art. The National Gallery of Victoria’s Summer Party was the ideal occasion to see the unfolding narrative of these works.

The Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei Exhibition concludes on the 24th of April.

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.

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Ask the wrong questions, get the wrong answers – Exploring the YourTaxis Campaign

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, News | 2 Comments

It is unfortunately for too common for businesses to ask the wrong questions when seeking marketing support. This perpetuates the ineffective tactics led approach to marketing, which ultimately diminishes returns due to a lack of consistency with the desired strategic direction.

We often see this when a business is seeking website modifications, social media content or a branding refresh. There is the assumption that these isolated tactics will result in business growth, rather than the question being ‘how do we ensure consistency across the marketing experience and throughout each stage of the customer journey’.

Social media in itself will not foster customer loyalty or engagement if the customer base is not receptive to this medium. Similarly, a website will not result in new business if the processes behind the site are cumbersome or unwieldy.

Often there is need to dig beyond tactics to discover the broader marketing questions that need to be answered. Specifically, there the need to consider how each tactic should reinforce the customer journey to culminate in an experience that fosters outcomes.

We saw this earlier this year with Woolworths failing to consider the ramifications of its Fresh in Our Memories Campaign, and more recently with @YourTaxis, a social media campaign that failed in its attempt to shift public perceptions of the taxi industry.

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

While Woolworths should have had the resources, foresight and capability to think through the ramifications. The client of the YourTaxis campaign was a not-for-profit membership organisation that would have limited resources and failed to ask the right questions.

The Taxi industry, which has traditionally had few direct competitors, is now under significant pressure from Uber, despite the ride sharing service being somewhat legally ambiguous under current Victorian legislation. The Taxi Industry has responded by been undertaking advocacy efforts to review Uber given current legislation.

Uber has significant strengths in social media and strong online loyalty, aspects that are not shared by the taxi industry. A tactics based approach resulted in the YourTaxis campaign simply replicating what had worked for Uber, despite the high element of risk. The campaign failed on any discernible metric, with Twitter users complaining about Taxis and many complementing Uber within the same Tweet.

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

The question that should have been asked was ‘how do we improve the perception of taxis to assist in influencing the political debate?’ Had this question been asked, a social media campaign focused on soliciting public views would have never been considered.

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements rather than just promotions

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements of the marketing mix rather than just promotions

Answering the right question would resulted in a substantially different campaign:

  • There would be a focus on service delivery, highlighting improvements, such as driver training and standards, as well as streamlining the complaints process.
  • Promotional campaigns would have focused on the role of taxis as a form of transport to an audience of State MPs and other decision makers, rather than end users.
  • A public component could have been explored through the hopes and aspirations of taxi drivers, with the aim of building personal rapport with the sector.

Answering the right question would have resulted in a campaign focused on the entire marketing mix, with stakeholders including passengers and policy makers. Alignment between each element in the marketing mix, particularly the service, processes and people elements would have enhanced the industry’s standing.

A strategic approach to marketing ensures the right questions are being asked, so you can reach the right answers. Unfortunately in this case, the wrong question was asked twice, with a second campaign on Remembrance Day resulting in further criticism through social media.

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on remembrance Day

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on Remembrance (not Rememberance) Day

The end result is an industry that now has a harder time influencing debate and decision makers, as well as a not-for-profit membership based association that most likely has diminished standing with its members. It is a shame when time, money and reputation is thrown away simply because the wrong questions were asked.

PS We attempted to reach out to the Agency that initiated the YourTaxis campaign to explore their perspective. We received no response.

Measuring Marketing Performance – Don’t confuse inputs for outputs

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Last time we explored the customer journey, returning to the decision making process, as a potential customer begins at a pre-purchase phase prior to a purchase and then post-purchase considerations. We also explored the customer experience, to ensure that the term returns to its core definition within the marketing mix.

Both of these concepts demonstrate the need for consistency, as well as multiple contact points to reach customers and influence decisions. As a result, there is a need for a holistic view of marketing, since running disparate tactics will result in diminished outcomes. Furthermore, undertaking a holistic approach enables a greater degree of confidence in decisions and the ability to measure overall impact.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation in regard to the measurement of marketing performance. Firstly, offline content, such as product factsheets, print media, radio and TV can be measured and should be evaluated to understand overall performance. Secondly, many digital metrics, such as website visitations, social media interaction are in fact inputs rather than outputs.

Far too often, we see marketing managers that report on website visitations, Facebook likes or Twitter followers, without providing metrics that consider the end outcomes, namely conversions into customers or repeat purchases. The key is to use these inputs and map the contact points that are required across the customer journey to achieve the end result, such as a purchase or repeat purchase. Similarly, the customer will have differing forms of interaction with a business, beyond promotions, such as a direct interaction with staff, or a visitation into a store. Each of these aspects form part of the journey and need to be measured, as an adverse experience across any of these areas can deter purchase intent.

Begin by assessing the channels that you use to raise overall awareness and then consider the next steps that a customer takes once there is general awareness. Is your prospective customer visiting a website and then following up through email or phone, or do they undertake further research, prior to returning? Is the first point of contact a broadcast medium or referral, rather than a website?

Pre purchase purchase post purchase

Each of these components form an input into the end goal, so consider overall reach, followed by identifying customers that have taken a subsequent step along the next contact point. Benchmark and evaluate these results so you can make informed decisions on the rate of marketing return and the effects of any modifications. As a result you can identify the relevancy of website visitors, whether event participation is reaching the target audiences and overall number of contact points and timing required to achieve purchase intent.

We’ve defined customer experience – now connect it to the customer journey

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We recently discussed the need for marketing to move beyond buzzwords and to instead re-claim the definition of customer experience, which forms the very core of marketing theory. Our thoughts have now been viewed organically by over 5000 people in just 48 hours via LinkedIn, and continues to be actively being shared across key social media channels.

Interest in this article has demonstrated why marketing needs to reclaim its core remit, so today we are going to exploring another buzzword: customer journey.

In defining the customer experience, we returned to the core of marketing theory through the marketing mix. The overall customer experience is going to be defined by the impact of the impressions that are made across each of these elements.

We need to return to fundamentals to explore the customer journey, as we explore the steps that are taken for someone to become a customer and ideally remain so on an ongoing basis.

Phases in the Customer Journey

There are three interconnected phases within the customer journey:

  • Pre-purchase – where the aim is to raise awareness with your target markets and ensure that your brand is actively considered by these prospective customers.
  • The Purchase phase – where the prospect becomes a customer. This is where they commit to purchasing your product or service and the perceptions of its brand.
  • The Post-purchase phase – where your customer considers the outcomes and value they received, based on their perceptions and the outcomes that were achieved.

The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process
The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process.

 

The Decision Making Process has its origins in consumer behaviour stemming from the 1960s. We have adapted this model to explore each phase in the customer journey, as viewed through the decision making process. It explores both the rational (such as pricing and function) and perceptual (attitudes and subjective impressions) aspects that influence the decision.

The customer journey is not linear and this particularly true if there is a desire to build loyalty and repeat purchases. The experience you are creating through the marketing mix will impact on the ability to successfully transition your target market through the customer journey. The customer experience relates to their interaction with your business or brand, while the customer journey views this from the customer perspective as they identify the best fit for their needs.

Like other buzzwords in marketing there is a need to return to core principles, a Marketing Manager should have the ability to influence factors that assist in transitioning customers through the journey.  We will be continuing this series as we turn our attention to measuring both the customer experience and journey.