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victoria Archives - Syneka Marketing

NGV Members Summer Party – Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei

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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.

Australian Marketing Institute Breakfast Workshop – Is Content the Game Changer?

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The Australian Marketing Institute is the peak association for professional marketers in Australia, with a particular focus on building the professional development of its members. This morning we hosted a breakfast and panel discussion exploring content and its role in marketing.

The session discussed the role of content, particularly in the use of B2B purchase decisions, where the demonstration of expertise can provide a significant advantage. In addition, prospective clients will often undertake an extensive information search using the Internet, rather than discussions with potential vendors.

The workshop highlighted the need to understand the decision making processes, where many individuals can be involved. Content, like other marketing activities, needs to provide a consistent experience that understands the processes undertaken by prospective clients.

Victoria has hosted several prominent events, promoting the role of connecting business acumen with marketing outcomes. Our next event will be the Awards for Marketing Excellence Gala Dinner to be held on the 22nd of October.

Launch of the 2015 Small Business Festival

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The Victorian Small Business Festival is a major fixture in the State Government’s business event series.  The Festival, which is held throughout August, features a range of workshops and sessions aimed at fostering business growth.

This afternoon I was invited to the launch, through my role in the Australian Marketing Institute, providing an opportunity meet the participants in the festival, and to gain a broader insight into the program.

Business failure remains an ongoing concern within Australia and Business Victoria has a role in building the capacity of business to stimulate growth and development. Details on the Small Business Festival are available at www.business.vic.gov.au

Marketing exists to create value and enable you to build your capacity to achieve your business goals.

Our mission is to re-define marketing

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

One area which we continually reflect upon is the diluted definition of marketing. Formal definitions for marketing include the following from the American Marketing Association:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

With the Australian Marketing Institute (of which I am the Victorian State Chair) providing a similar view:

Marketing creates value – for customers, shareholders and society as a whole. It does this by creating an alignment between what consumers value and what organisations offer. It offers techniques that help firms better understand the needs, preferences and perceptions of their customers (a prerequisite to adding value to them), and ways of using that understanding to focus the value-creating and communicating activities of the firm into areas where they will be most effective.

Key terms in these definitions relate to the creation of value for all stakeholders. This enables you to build your capacity to achieve your business goals and to measure its impact.

Marketing exists to create value and enable you to build your capacity to achieve your business goals.

It is the notion of value that is often lost in the traditional execution led approach to marketing. This is why we lead through strategy, ensuring that marketing exists to support your strategic plan and direction into the futre.

We are intent on re-defining marketing to ensure it returns to its core definition. This is why we have been holding our re-defining and re-imaging marketing workshops throughout this year.