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What is marketing Archives - Syneka Marketing

The problem is not your brand – it is marketing

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The confusion between branding and marketing with the terms often being used interchangeably, often results in poor outcomes due to the wrong questions being asked. As a result, there is a tendency to design new brands, rather than addressing the fundamental marketing aspects that should strengthen market positioning.

What is Marketing?

We have defined marketing on several occasions, including definitions adopted by peak industry associations. In summary, marketing exists to deliver mutually beneficial value; to your customers and stakeholders, as well as to your business. If marketing is not delivering value, then it needs to be reviewed.

Defining branding

Your brand is the internal and external representation of your business, as well as your products or services. Brands encapsulate the value and perceptions that you are seeking to create, through visuals (logos, packaging), audio (music, sound), tone, style and potentially other senses. Consider brands like Coca Cola, Dulux or Bunnings and the perceptions you have towards them.

Your brand is the image and identity that you seek to create with your relevant target markets.

The connection between branding and marketing

A brand is the outcome from your strategic marketing plan and not the other way around.  Unfortunately, many start with a brand and then try to shoehorn marketing around logos and values that may not be relevant to their products or target markets.

Determining your brand is premature if you have not identified the following:

  • Your Target markets, who are targeting and why?
  • Your core products and services, what are you offering to your target markets and why?
  • Your value proposition, what value do you provide to these target markets?
  • Core elements of the marketing mix, or customer experience. In particular, make sure that pricing points are relevant and you have identified key distribution channels.

Your brand needs to reflect your strategic direction so you can deliver a consistent experience that builds customer acquisition and loyalty.

Successful brands are those have ensured a consistent marketing approach, Apple across its product lines is a typical example of a brand that is known for innovation. This creation of innovation as a value proposition, was defined through its marketing direction, ensuring that products, their design, function and communications reflected this positioning.

A brand refresh is more than a new logo or colouring scheme; it needs to be considered from a marketing context. There is little point developing or refreshing a brand that does that have relevance to your marketing direction.

There is a need to redefine marketing based on definitions adopted by peak marketing associations.

Marketing isn’t Dead, but it does need to be redefined

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Last week The Harvard Business Review Online published an article ‘Marketing Is Dead, and Loyalty Killed It’, which, due to its sensationalist headline was quickly circulated via social media.

While I normally wouldn’t respond to such content, the fact that it has been published on a reputable online platform, and came up in several conversations over the week, has led me to revisit how marketing does need to be redefined.

There is a need to redefine marketing based on definitions adopted by peak marketing associations.

There is a need to redefine marketing based on definitions adopted by peak marketing associations.

While the author claims that the Chief Marketing Officer should be replaced by the Chief Loyalty Officer, there is a failure to recognise that loyalty is created through a brand, which is executed through a marketing plan.

As a result, the premise is incorrect, given that the author defines marketing as “selling products”, and not 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 (American Marketing Association, Definition of Marketing, Approved July 2013), which is a viewpoint shared by the Australian Marketing Institute.

Furthermore, the case studies, which cite Chioptle and Apple, fail to recognise the role of marketing in creating the value proposition that fosters ongoing customer loyalty.

Apple has strong consumer loyalty, due to its disruptive approach to technology, which encompasses quality, design, ease of use, as well as an ecosystem that serves to cross-sell and support complementary products. This loyalty was fostered through a marketing approach that executed each of these elements in a consistent and seamless manner. What Apple has done well is determine its strategic marketing direction and follow this through with execution. The few times this execution has been underwhelming, there has been a negative reaction to its overall brand value. As an example, the replacement of Google Maps, with Apple Maps, which at the time did not meet the perception of quality, demonstrated how an inconsistent approach adversely impacted the brand and marketing approach.

Loyalty is not created, it is initiated through a strategic marketing plan that recognises the importance of customers. These customers serve as evangelists, and in turn stimulate repeat purchases, as well as support complementary products or services. Apple in devising its approach to the iPod and iPhone, would have recognised that its customers, and in particularly its niche in design, were an existing strength.

The narrow viewpoint of marketing is unfortunately far too common. What is unexpected, however is when a reputable platform, such as the Harvard Business Review, publishes such views.

Marketing begins with strategy. This strategic direction identifies the value proposition and the marketing mix that is required to achieve these outcomes. For many businesses loyalty is a direction that is part of this mix.

Marketing does need to be redefined, primarily because far too many people have been able to claim that they are ‘marketers’, without adhering to a professional standard. The author of ‘ Marketing Is Dead, and Loyalty Killed It’ is a clear example of this.

Good Marketing Requires a Sound Methodology

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

We are pleased to announce the release of our second book: “Marketing Methodology that Works.”

This book is based on our strategic approach to marketing.

Our free eBook Marketing Methodology that Works, introduces the concept of strategic marketing and its use in developing marketing plans and implementation activities.

Marketing Methodology that Works will guide you through a systematic and research based approach. Marketing is often perceived to be esoteric, but there is a need to utilise research so you can validate findings and provide an informed direction. Marketing can and should be measurable.

Sound research is required to ensure that marketing tools, such as graphic design, sales, copywriting, search engine optimisation (SEO) and website development, reinforces the direction of your marketing plan.

Our proven methodology has delivered tangible results for our clients. We are now sharing our knowledge and methodology, so we can assist in strengthening the outcomes that are created through marketing. We want to ensure that marketing is measurable and outcome focused so that it achieves your vision.

The eBook explores our marketing framework of Audit, Planning and Execution, to provide a review of existing activities, planning for growth and delivering on anticipated outcomes.

We also cover our methodology of Capture, Strategy and Deliver.  This methodology ensures that the right information is obtained, providing a basis for sound strategy, that is reflected through activities that deliver results.

Marketing Methodology That Works builds on our work in defining marketing, which was explored in our first eBook What is Marketing? Both eBooks is also available as a free download.

Combined, these eBooks will bolster the marketing capacity of your business or organisation so that you can plan and execute marketing activities that deliver results.

Marketing Methodology that Works is a free eBook, available for download from www.synekamarketing.com.au/ebooks.

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Branding is more than just a logo

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Last week we looked at the definition of marketing. One of the major causes of confusion is the word branding, which is often a term that is confused for marketing.

A brand provides a physical identity for your business or a product or service, and while it is an element of marketing, it is not marketing in itself. A brand will often encompass elements, such as a logo and tagline, but should also consider the tone of content, supporting colours and overall appearance.

Marketing is the process that identifies whether your brand is relevant to your target market, adequately represents what you do and is able to differentiate yourself from competitors. A logo, or brand, that is created in isolation, is not going to provide you with traction.

If your logo fails to connect with your target market and does not reinforce the overall narrative of your business, then it will fail to provide a return.

Marketing is the thought behind a brand. This is why a marketing plan considers your products and services, analyses your competitors and identifies potential target markets.

A logo and brand is a physical representation of the marketing planning that has been considered for your business. A marketing plan enables you to understand the context, so you have a brand that is right for your business and reaches the demographics you want to target.

Branding is about aiming for the target

Branding is about aiming for the target

At Syneka Marketing we are passionate about defining marketing, to ensure that businesses avoid the hit or miss approach when considering how to reach target markets and promote their products and services. Our eBook What is Marketing? is a complimentary download and discusses the role of marketing in further detail.

Let’s give marketing a definition

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

As we’ve discussed previously, one of the fundamental challenges with marketing is the lack of definition. There is a need to define marketing so it can provide a clearly articulated role within businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Unfortunately the term marketing has been hijacked by service providers that do not provide a holistic approach. Individual components, like graphic design, logos, social media, telesales and websites do not deliver marketing.

These are individual elements that can become a form of marketing, if there is a strategic plan that integrates key messages, appearance and calls to action.

Neglecting to develop a strategic marketing plan will result in a hit or miss approach with marketing. While, some of it may work, there will be diminished outcomes, due to the lack of a cohesive approach.

We’re aiming to redefine marketing so its strategic merits are understood and appreciated. This is why we’ve introducing a series of eBooks, with our first topic exploring the definition and role of marketing.

What is Marketing?‘ explores the elements of marketing and discusses how these combine into a cohesive strategy. The eBook includes worksheet based questions to develop a practical application of the key concepts.

We are offering ‘What is Marketing?‘ as a free resource to help guide the discussion and definition of marketing, and prevent the hit and miss approach that we see far too often in businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

We will be releasing further eBooks identifying specific areas of marketing, that we believe need clarification and support. We are happy to take your suggestions on topic you would like covered. Email us at alex@synekamarketing.com.au and let us know your thoughts.

‘What is Marketing?’ is a free eBook available for downloading from our eBook Portal.

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Looking back through 2013

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Welcome to our final entry for 2013 and a chance to reflect on the past year. Despite the broader climate of economic uncertainty, we have expanded over the past year to deliver a range of strategic marketing planning and implementation services.

We have worked with a range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations over the course of this year, to deliver innovative and effective marketing solutions. Our strategies have enabled businesses to reach new segments and establish ongoing customer loyalty. The work we have undertaken for not-for-profit organisations has resulted in new opportunities and visions for the future.

In particular, our work was recognised through the Australian Marketing Institute. We were a finalist in the Excellence in Marketing Awards in recognition of the marketing plan and subsequent rebranding that was undertaken by Wimmera Volunteers. The recognition received through the Australian Marketing Institute enabled us to demonstrate the positive impact that can be created through marketing.

The strategy transformed Wimmera Volunteers into Volunteering Western Victoria, enabling new connections and programs. A particular highlight was the Inaugural Volunteer Recognition Awards, which recognised the contributions provided by volunteers within Western Victoria.

We also spoke at a number of conferences and held workshops throughout the year. We are planning to expand our workshop program in 2014, providing courses on marketing, membership and social media.

We will also be launching a series of eBooks in 2014, discussing the fundamentals of marketing, membership retention and recruitment, social media and creative design. We are looking forward to the launch and introducing these eBooks to you.

Our blog and Syneka Snippets continues to be well received and we thank our readers for their thoughts and interests. We have compiled a list of our top ten blog posts to revisit some of the more commonly accessed materials:

  1. Advice when sending invitations via email
  2. Higher education should inspire why doesn’t their advertising?
  3. What is Marketing?
  4. Follow up to the state of higher education
  5. Guide to planning events
  6. Measuring and implementing marketing activities
  7. Activate your community through social media
  8. Ten ideas for welcoming new members to your organisation
  9. Case study turn challenges into opportunities with a marketing plan
  10. How to blog for businesses and organisations

We would like to thank our clients who have grown with us over the course of this year. As a marketing agency we exist to serve your needs. It is a wonderful experience to work with you in achieving your goals.

We wish you well over the festive season and we’re excited about the working with you in 2014!