The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2014-08-08T21:59:23Z Fast Track Your Marketing 2014-08-08T21:59:23Z fast-track-your-marketing Ready for the SMB Marketing  Learning Portal? It will fast track your business. We've Launched and you're the first to know!Finally the new online learning marketing portal for small businesses is here and its only $33 to join. Yes, that right a once of payment for a 12 month membership.  Get ready for the most useful marketing templates, tools, videos and how toos for small business. We are constantly collecting the most valuable marketing information to market your small business affordably so you don't have too. Stop spending hours scanning the web, let us do it for you.We know it is hard to keep track of marketing these days, but you have to keep up to date to make the best marketing decisions. Your customers are spending more time researching, looking online, reading reviews, before they even engage with you. If there is a better way to market your business, you need that advantage.This portal takes the pain out of keeping up to date with all things marketing. It is your fast-track to the best marketing information on the web.  Video Link Demo Strategic Marketing Resource Forum from Danielle Macinnis on Vimeo. To learn more go here  Digital Christmas Anyone? 2013-11-18T21:59:20Z digital-christmas-anyone We are all taking up the opportunity to shop online this Christmas. Let’s face it, time is tight and we can shop and buy from any where in the world, sometimes cheaper so why wouldn’t we? Australian businesses have recognised this trend and so have increased their marketing spend online. Using content as a key way to capture word of mouth through social circles.According to an article in the Fin Review “E-commerce spending in Australia could rise by 6 per cent year on year in the lead-up to Christmas, a survey of 400 Australian consumers by Adobe showed.Adobe managing director for Australia and New Zealand Paul Robson said bargain hunting was leading more shoppers online, with 76 per cent of respondents citing lower prices and good deals as the most important reason for avoiding the high street, followed closely by the lure of free shipping at 49 per cent.” When supermarket chains get into the trend of selling on-line for the festive season you know there is a huge opportunity.IBISWorld said online shopping would make clear advances with clothing, footwear, electronics and books the most popular items on people’s wish lists, and the focus would be on buying gifts for children. That assertion was backed by data gathered by Appliances Online which said nearly 20% of people surveyed would conduct most – if not all – their shopping at online retail outlets.Another 52% would go online for some of their gifts. Priority purchases would be music or books, fashion, small gifts and appliances.” Mybsuiness.Not only are we shopping online but we are using our iPads and iPhones to do it. According to a Nielsen report, Compared with 2011, PayPal Australia has seen mobile purchases increase substantially over the Christmas shopping period. This growth is aligned with Nielsen research predicting that consumer purchases on mobile devices will value $5.6 billion in 2012, up from $155 million in 2010. The Nielsen research also indicates one in three (31%) Australians have transacted on mobile devices, with 22% using a mobile device for a retail purchase over the lead up to Christmas (Q4 2012).DBOE-bay research indicates thatTwo thirds (66%) of Christmas shoppers admit they prefer to plan ahead and do research before buying gifts, while only one third prefer to make spontaneous gift purchasesWomen (especially mums) are far more organised than men when it comes to Christmas shopping. Three out of five (60%) women are starting their Christmas shopping early, compared to just 44 per cent of menDads (53%) are lagging behind their better halves with 73 per cent of mums looking to shop earlyThis week is the last week really to get your Christmas campaigns organised.Love Australia Post Video Stamp idea. This shows they have really thought about a way for us to be there at Christmas when we can’t. Nice one. How customer centric are you? 2013-08-15T00:07:12Z how-customer-centric-are-you-1 Register TodayHow Customer Centric are you?If you are a Marketing Professional in the Banking and Finance sector you won’t want to miss this webinar.Join Danielle MacInnis a Customer Centric Marketer with over 25 years marketing experience on a deep dive into the current research around best practice for Marketing Professionals in designing a Customer Experience in the Banking and Finance arena.Engage with Dan and discover how to become Customer Centric in your role. Dan draws insights from key thought leadership research including:• Forrester• Pitney Bowes• Bain Co• PWC• Ernst and Young• McKinsey and McKinseyCustomer Centricity is a key business driver for Financial Institutions.The future belongs to those banks that give their customers center stage in their business model.McKinsey’s research reveals that a customer centric view leads to greater loyalty, high cross selling, less attrition and ultimately to higher sales and profits. Gulati's research, of 500 executives supports McKinsey, stating that customer centricity directly correlates to business performance where customer-centric companies tracked by Gulati delivered shareholder returns of 150 percent. Putting the customer at the center of your business is quite simply sustainable competitive advantage.Financial Institutions, like yours, can no longer afford to keep operating as you did 10 years ago or you will continue to lose customers. Your customers have a loud mouthpiece online and can spread their opinions like wildfire. We’ll talk about how you can engage with your customers and build a closer relationship by focusing on customer centricity. Book your place now! Learn about Dan Big data allows us to take create new insights and connections that were not possible even five years ago. 2013-07-16T23:33:15Z big-data-allows-us-to-take-create-new-insights-and-connections-that-were-not-possible-even-five-years-ago All of the information that the human race has created from the start of time till 2003 is 5x a-bytes now every 2 days we are creating 5 X a-bytes. Every day the average person today processes more data in a single day than a person did in 1500′s in an entire lifetime. We now have real time data. Each of us leave a stream of digital information about us with our texts, GPS, phone calls, browser history, FB chats and now this footprint is being use to make better marketing decisions. Crowd sourcing is one example and the gamification of health another.We are getting insight that we didn’t have before. The Human Face of Big Data is a new book by Rick Solman and documents this change in this interesting book.Big data is changing our whole world in every field and every industry will be changed by this insight.Internet, Mobile phone, Social Media has changed our world. Technology has embedded itself into our lives. Don’t believe it is revolutionary? What is your TTS (time to screen – mobile, iPad, laptop) minutes, seconds?The world is changing to re-using assets that are already available. Big data has changed the relationship we have with information. What if we can embed video in books. Point your phone at a book and it plays a video? The Human Face of  Big Data does this. Download theHuman Face of Big Data App.Our planet is developing a nervous system that has software at its centre. This change is disrupting markets and creating new opportunities.How is big data changing your business?Note to self: We have to seek away for those moments of solitude, a walk in the park without our iPhone, iPod or heart monitor device. Off to play with my son! (no not minecraft!)Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. Wikipedia Is your customer at the centre of your business? 2013-05-28T08:35:40Z is-your-customer-at-the-centre-of-your-business-1 Currently I am reading a number of books on customer centricity and the latest is Outside In from the Forrester researchers Kerry Bodine and Harley Manning. Their research has outlined that we are not managing the customer experience very well so far and that we should really have an inside out approach to business with the customer in the centre of all our decisions. Not only is this a good strategic decision but with customers now controlling the market it might just be a matter of survival.What I really love about their book is how they define customer experience as every interaction that a customer or potential customer has with you. From the point at which they discoverKey Take Aways from the Book:you to the moment of purchase to each touchpoint in the ongoing relationship. It is this journey that I feel is so critical to manage and the reason I have built a framework on called  Strategic Service Design1. Customer experience can be a real key differentiators for your business because it is hard.The experience can  go from missing (we don’t do that at all) to adhoc (we sometimes do that) to repeatable (we have a process so that mostly happens) to systematic (We have process that is an system and we follow it).2. It is holistic and involves not just your customer facing employees but goes across every process and product of your company’s ecosystem. It requires discipline, insight and commitment. Not only do you have to find the moment of truth and disconnects, you need to fix them and that is even harder.4. A customer experience is not a nice to have, your customers now have an amplified voice and vote with their feet and clicks. According to Forrester customer experience laggards have a much worse growth rate.3. It is made up of all those little things that the customer finds important. How do you know what they are unless you ask.5. Customer Mapping is a starting point to understand what is happening and rather than finger pointing, work collaboratively for the customers journey to be better.6, Real change, that becomes a systematic approach needs to have an important place at the CEO management table.7. Outside In describes six disciplines of customer experience.Strategy – what is your plan for customer experience. It is unique to your business and customerCustomer understanding – you need to understand your customers and what they are thinking and feeling.Design – Yes you can design an experience. It is how your customers interact. This is where creativity and customer centricity is vital to getting this design just right. It has to be practical, doable and meaningful for the customer. It is hundreds of tiny little moments that can make the customer journey memorable.Measurement - you need to measure it to manage it. Perceptions, activity, intended behaviours. You need all three.Governance - you need rules and accountability so you can see where the problem lies and fix it. It is not finger pointing but team work.Culture – only if you hire the right people with the right attitude and values will a customer experience become your point of  difference. It is in those little moments and interactions when the culture will ensure that consistently the customer comes first.To me this just makes sense. It is a natural evolution from the information age to the customer centred era. Companies will experience the fastest growth if they commit to a customer centric strategy and now Forrester have the research to prove it. We have gone from one to one to one to many 2013-05-28T08:27:50Z we-have-gone-from-one-to-one-to-one-to-many Share experiences is influencing how consumers and companies connect. we are using social channels to communicate our frustrations because we can reach our network and make a dent or a difference. Word of mouth has always been around but now we can share from one to one to one to many.We are defining what a brand is and we can now do it with a microphone. We can be an alley or a formidable foe for any company. To connect with our customers as marketer and business owners we need to think about the entire customer experience pre, during and post transaction.The challenge that exists for most companies is getting close to customers or what I call customer centricity. Some companies in an effort to respond have put in automated systems, web forms, click and talk applets, email campaigns and self help voice systems. This has dehumanized the customer experience. If it is a valuable addition and solves the customer issue quickly then it could be a positive interaction but if not it could end the customer journey with you.To be come customer centric requires a change in how we value customers and the role they play in the decision making cycle. It is a holistic experience. If we are going to talk about you, then you better give us something good to talk about.The experience is everything. Before, during and afterwards and it is so critical to the word of mouth that is shared. People can see and feel your intentions and your intended outcomes. Their journey is dynamic and connected.So the question is, are you delivering a desired experience and if so, how are you measuringthe way experiences and more importantly, shared experiences, are impacting your business?? What's The Future of Business is a book worth reading. It talks on how it is critical to have the customer at the centre of your business. “Your Brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” 2013-05-28T08:23:14Z your-brand-is-what-people-say-about-you-when-you-are-not-in-the-room Jeff Bezos once famously said that your brand is what people say about you when you’re notin the room. Today we have platforms that allow us to listen to what people of saying and these are really a gift. Social networks, blogs, You Tube, Review sites like WOMO all give us access to understanding and responding to customer questions, answers, experiences. It can help validate a decision. Crowd scoring tools can help us as well like customer monitor, sodahead ,1000headsand Buzzagent. Then there is Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and updates.“BUSINESSES SPEND BILLIONS AND OBSESS OVER FIGURING OUT WHAT THEIR CUSTOMERS THINK–BUT THEY SHOULDN’T. HERE’S WHY YOU CAN NO LONGER MAKE EXCUSESFOR A LACK OF USEFUL FEEDBACK” Fast company.We can see who are influencers of our brand and connect with them. We can learn about how to improve. We can create and steer future experiences with the benefit of this insight.So what is the take away. You should be listening to what your customers and  employees and take action to improve your marketing. The information is out there if you use it. We spend annually $33 billion on customer research but today we don’t need to do that. It is at our fingertips with the digital touch points. Listening to your customers isn’t hard. We can test and make different decisions quickly. Stop programs, change your website within an hour or email campaigns. We can test and fail quickly and spend our dollars more effectively.Mashable give us some good feedback suggestions. What happens if your brand perception isn’t what you thought it should be. What if your customers have a different understanding? What next?Strategic Service Design is a great start What’s your mission? 2013-05-28T08:19:36Z what-s-your-mission CEO of Wholefoods, John Mackey new book Capitalism’s moral code, he questions that the purpose of business is just to make money. He states that we should be thinking about business differently. He states “that business is the great creator value for other people and it’s fundamentally a force for good in the world. And I just don’t think most people understand that.”John contends and I agree that there is a different ethical movement in business today. One that has more than money and profit at the core. A business that is less greedy, selfish and inwardly focused and self-interested. John states in an interview with HBR,” only business people the answer is the purpose of business is to make money. And it’s just not the right answer. And every business has the potential for some other higher purpose besides just making money.”“Similarly, business has that purpose for some type of larger contribution to society. So business people need to begin thinking in those terms. And so purpose is a first tenant that we explain conscious capitalism with. It’s absolutely essential that business rediscover what its purpose is, why it exists. What is the value that it creating for other people? What is its contribution to the larger society?”So what is your higher purpose? Can you boil it down to one statement. Wholefood’s is helping people to live healthier lives, to hopefully reverse this obesity crisis we have in America.Cath Sutherland the Director of Conscious Business has developed the Brand Creation Process – outlined in her book Creating Brand Energy. Cath’s process gives businesses a clear understanding of their collective identity and true awareness of their impact on, and contribution to, their employees, customers, markets, communities, the environment and global community.  Being conscious and proactively managing and taking responsibility for all business activities, both internally and in the marketplace, is also vital to building a truly great brand.Our visionGlobal VisionTo foster empathy and insight in business marketingBusinesses need to get back to feeling, seeing, listening and showing empathy totheir customers and employees. VisionTo develop a global to create customer centric businessesThrough the Strategic Service Design Process – to create a customer centred mindset so that companies can use empathy to make better business decisions. To berecognised as the leader in creating this movement.PurposeTo build companies that move towards humanising service.A customer centric mindset humanises service A customer centric company is a mindset. It puts the customer at the centre of allyour decisions. You are constantly aware of their needs and choose businessdecisions based on what is right for them. This is balanced with the needs of youremployees who create the human service and put their energy into creatingdelightful touch points that create a human empathic journey with your brand. Ready to create your mission, vision and purpose? Learn more 2103 the age of the customer 2013-05-03T22:37:56Z 2103-the-age-of-the-customer Great work wins business, a great relationship keeps it. Customer centric is the backbone of MacInnis marketing. Being customer centric is centring on the needs and wants of your customer. Focusing on understanding their problems, concerns and wants, not yours! Customer centric marketing is the result of building a solid a relationship built on listening not forcing, manipulating someone to buy.In January 2013, Forrester published 2013 B2B CMO Imperatives – Driving Growth With Customer Insights, Marketing Automation, and Content Marketing by Sheryl Waksman-Pattek. The report states that we are in the “Age of the Customer” in which 60% of B2B buying decisions are made before buyers engage with a vendor’s sales team. Buyers are online, they are using mobile devices at all hours of the day and they want relevant content that helps them select products and services that meet their needs.The report had a couple of key recommendations:“Map the buyer’s journey and embed personas in their 2013 marketing plans. Business buyer personas that encapsulate buyer preferences and attitudes will help marketers move their strategies from a product feature/benefit focus to a customer value focus.”“… think of social and content as one and the same” and “map their content strategies to personas to effectively drive pipeline growth.”The report also states “creating a thriving content marketing program within B2B organizations is a journey that requires the right organization skills, a firm strategy, discipline, and ongoing management and optimization.”MyMarketingDept has a great diagram that illustrates the importance of the right message and medium.It makes sense that we need to focus more on our customers. Yet it seems so difficult for some reason.This customer centric mindset requires a us to change our lens to that of how our customers think. Some businesses are so far removed from this that it is difficult. Others feel that they know what their customers need and think but fail to ask them or test their assumptions. When you get this wrong, it can make a huge impact. When you get it right your prospect should say: ”I feel as if I already know you and want to meet you as soon as possible”. The better your alignment of your marketing and sales strategy to your ideal customers the greater chance of building a brand that your customers and employees will love.It is not surprising that the customer journey is the focus of so many leading companies. According to Gartner:89% were lost to after a negative experience86% said they would pay for a better customer experience.58% said that they would recommend companies who delivered customer experiences that were superior to others.So the customer journey is critical.It delivers:A deeper bond between you and your customersIt can deliver just the right information or insight needed at the right timeIt can provide a continual stream of amazing insights and analytics to your internal teams that  can help them learn and innovate faster than the competitionIf you don’t invest in a customer centric approach:The trust developed between a buyer and a seller can be broken easily with misalignmentInformation can be disjoined creating conflict, irrelevant and out of date informationIt can leave your organisation relying on opinions and guesses Because the touch points of a customers world is always changing, the journey is too. This is not a one off process but a continual process. This approach that I call call customer centric marketing is based on a methodology of Strategic Service Design. It is designing an engagement with your ideal customers and it is a competitive advantage. Creating a purpose drive organisation 2013-03-15T22:15:57Z creating-a-purpose-drive-organisation “Simply put the purpose driven concept is based on the principal that when given a purpose the employee desires to strive to do more for the company because they feel that they are a valued part of the company.  They are able to feel that they make a difference, and are more likely to look within themselves to make needed changes in order to serve their purpose within the company.”thereblogging states. Why does your company exist? If it is just to make money then you might be missing the point.Here are some great purpose built companies:DPR Construction We exist to build great things. We must be different from and more progressive than all other construction companies. We stand for something.”Wholefoods – Americas healthiest grocery store - We seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.Grill’d - We are bringing healthy back to burgers. We think a burger should contribute positively to your health and wellbeing by not only being good for you, but being made with wholesome natural ingredients sourced locally and prepared freshly for you once you place your order (and not before).Tom’s Shoes – we’re in the business of changing lives. With every pair of shoes sold, Tom will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. With their new sunglasses range they will donate from every sale sight to someone in need. One to One program.How do your employees become advocates of your company?How to they make others jealous about being able to work with you? What do Zappo’s, Google and Spotify - (Soundtrack your life with Spotify) all have in common. They have all connected their companies to a wider purpose outside of making a profit. With increased global awareness, and instant communication via the Internet, mobile phones, and text messaging, many employees are able to see or hear first hand how their company compares to other companies.  They can see within another company what the working environment is like, what benefits they are offering, and how management treats their employees. There are countless websites that bash companies and share details of bad business practices. This transparency has created a business need for companies to attract employees and customers with their business practices.First why it is important?Purpose Driven companies have a big advantage. According to Dan Pink one of the key resources is they have more engaged employees and thus more productive. “ I would argue that purpose-driven companies have a huge competitive advantage right now. Employees and customers are hungry for purpose. Yes, employees want jobs. Yes, customers want deals. But even in a recession, we want more thanthat. We want to feel that our lives have a deeper meaning that goes beyond paychecks and discount shopping.” Rich Karlgaard explains in his article purpose Driven Leadership. We are seek meaning especially when the basic needs are met. We are looking for our self actualisation needs to be met. We want to align themselves to those brands that represent something we believe in, or could believe in. People can’t buy into the idea of just making a profit, especially if it is not ethical or is creating in such a way that goes against their values.Take for example, Spotify. CEO Daniel is passionate about making music available in a legal way that protects the artists. It is an easy concept to take on-board. Let’s face it, none of us want to rip off the music artists but we needed a way to hear the music before we bought it. Now we can do this on our mobile device. If we want it free of charge we have a few ads and if we are a hard core music fan we can choose a premium account. We can connect with our friends and see what they are into with the power of social media on Spotify.Innovation becomes a big part of a purpose driven company. Everyone is so passionate about the company and what they stand for that people are keen and given the opportunity to contribute to the overarching purpose.How to do it?“This is the new era of a “PURPOSE DRIVEN” business world. Successful companies of the future will be finding new solutions that relate to our human concerns and considerations. Exceptional leadership will include words like, gratitude, loving leadership, acceptance, and intuitive vision and wisdom.  ”Our work experience can be totally inspiring or it can be a “have to” experience in life. Tina Olivero explains.1. Empower your employees. Make sure that they know their ideas, skills and thoughts are valued.2. Create a purpose that is serving a greater good.3. Build a company that you and your employees can be proud of.4. Have a set of values that are inclusive and allow for collaboration5. Have a clear vision and goals and do this process together6. Build a strong relationship with the community and understand and consider the social implications of your decisions7. Sponsor good ideas. Create a space for innovation, playing and inventing. Create an environment where it is safe to try new ideas.I for one support those who support my ideology and values and that serve a wider purpose. Do you?Resources:Podcast on purpose driven company – Internet Business MasteryCustomer Centric WorkshopsBernadette Jiwa talks of the importance of your story. Are you contributing to content overload? You need a new content strategy. 2013-03-06T00:53:51Z are-you-contributing-to-content-overload-you-need-a-new-content-strategy "Marketing is broken. Social media won’t save it. Online ads won’t reinvent themselves. Google’s acquiring. Public relations is changing. The music industry is reinventing itself. The movie business is struggling. Newspapers are dying. Your email inbox is full. Your mobile device is always on. Your DVR is recording. Your iPad apps are updating. I don’t need to tell you that the media business is in flux.If you’re going to survive in a world where everything’s changing, you’re going to have to think differently." Hard to argue, right?As Andrew Davis book Brandscaping is a very interesting take on how we should approach marketing. Rather than the current fad of creating loads of content much of which is seen as a commodity he states we should all be acting more like producers and try to find the right content for our audience. "Brandscaping is bringing like-minded brands and their audiences together to create content that increases demand or drives new revenue for the products and services you sell." I really like this approach because it is based on supporting those who actually create the content that your audience will love and support them.There are four  great reasons why I love this approach. 1. Most of us aren't brilliant writers. Let's face it we don't run a copywriting business. So it makes sense to focus on what we do really well which is our product or service offering.2. I don't think outsourcing this to a marketing team or copywriter is the answer either because often they are good writers but don't understand our business or don't have the passion or creativity for sustained engaging content.Listen to the podcast with Andrew here.  or on you-tube 3. By aligning your business with a someone or an organisation that is already providing content for the audience that you serve. Support them. A perfect example of this is Ducttape Marketing support Hubspot because they create a lot of How too documents. The opportunity to build a brandscape is to position your business with a undiscovered talent that can create content to drive demand for the products or services you sell. Think like a producers not a marketer.4. Just because you are creating content don't assume your audience is consuming it! In fact if you create poor quality content it could have the opposite effect to consumption. The amount of information created is created at an unbelievable pace. The key is to find the most effective channels for reaching your own particular audience and to get them to consumer on a regular basis. You want a relationship, so focus on reach and quality and relevance.I ask myself this question: If I stopped by blog today would anyone notice?It would be fair to draw the comparison between films like the latest Bond Movie Skyfall and their obvious product placement to sell more of a brand but the distinction Davies makes is that the alignment needs to be authentic and have the same set of values for the audience to buy into the partnership and for the association to work as a marketing tool.So if you want to leverage content as an asset rather than an expense. Creating content relationships and sharing audiences, tapping into multiple niches, pooling your resources with other brands that value the same audience makes sense.Davis describes three elements to a successful brandscaper:1. Confidence to back the content of others with a belief in them and their audience no matter how small, is valuable.2. Show humility by understanding that your customers care more about just your products and services.3.Willingness to pool resources and share your audiences will allow your marketing budget to go further.I will add one more4. Choose your partners carefully. Think "what would your customers also like." Align around values.Some potential partnerships:Nespresso store in Chadstone and Apple. They both have the same audience and could work together around topics like convenience, design and quality.Dan Murphy could have a wine TV show like Gary Vaynerchuk's.Business Bank with Marketing Critique of small businesses plan as a TV channel (just putting it out there!)Lorna Jane fitness clothing  and chef Justine SchofieldHow to make a start1. Join a LinkedIn group that your audience is participating in and contribute frequently.2. Seek out the best tools or resources share them with your audience. (name the source and get permission always)3. Brainstorm a good hook. It could be critiquing something, creating interviews with industry experts, 10 top tips.4. Identify and explore content holes in your market.5. Look for a great idea to serve your market. Someone might have built and app your audience would love. Share it, promote it. Underwrite it. A start-up looking for a partnership?6. Who already owns our audience?7. Where does our audience live online?8. What sort of talent can we work with to make our brand more relevant, more often?9. What content does our audience already have a relationship with and how can we embrace it? Spending more marketing dollars inside your company gives a better ROI 2013-03-04T23:12:12Z spending-more-marketing-dollars-inside-your-company-gives-a-better-roi A great article in Marketing Management magazine this month Lippincott a branding strategy company identifies some great insights around why marketing is getting harder because of our customers amplifying every little experience they have, good or bad online. There is no so many forums that is is hard for a small business or any business to control our brands. However, I agree with Marshall and Mayer in that if we and our employees are inspired to work on something that we believe in, and we focus on the "how and why " it can be felt by our customers.Marshall and Mayer talk of active your brand to go beyond just the message. Here are the key concepts around how to develop a brand internally and why doing these things can potentially give you a better ROI than spending on marketing tactics externally. An Australian company Atlassian is leading the charge on this front. In Dan's Pink TedTalk on Motivation, Dan shares how Altassian  give employees the chance to work on anything that relates to our products, and deliver it during ShipIt Day, our 24-hour hackathon.Why do they do this?Foster creativity – When there’s no rules, anything’s possible.Scratch itches – Every employee has something that bugs them about our products, and ShipIt is the time to tackle it.Get radical, dude – ShipIt gives a spotlight and traction to radical ideas that might not normally be prioritzed.Have fun! – Traditions like ShipIt Day help make Atlassian a more fun place to work.Dan Pink : The Puzzle of MotivationCreating a movement - Employees are delivering the brand in their own way. When this has a shared sense of purpose that energies employees that creates a movement, not just a communication. This energy and excitement can be felt.Inspiring Belief - Making a story that cements the brand value for employees. Can your employees articulate your core brand pillars? Marshall and Mayer say that the answer is less than 50%. The idea is to translate the brand into a story that is aspirational and more than about money. The story needs to be authentic, real. The story is an anchor point. What are the emotional touch points? Employees need to be empowered to open up the organisation to engage customers. Touch points can be the criteria for membership and send a signal about the brand values. Brand immersion programs like training, emotional content, team collaboration innovations, workspace etc. "Progressive marketers ask themselves if they have an internal culture that can sense what it feels like to be a customer and respond accordingly. Culture and brand gestures are becoming more united." Marshall statesGreat video from Madpow on creating a company culture.Enabling Action - Collectively build a valuable customer experience vision. Customer experience mapping.Customer Adovocates. Messaging play books, style guides, branding guidelines. Incentives. Using new methodologies at work including ROWE - Results Only Work Environment. Dan Pink states "Autonomy, mastery and purpose, versus carrot and sticks. And who wins?Intrinsic motivation, autonomy, mastery and purpose, in a knockout.There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. And here is what science knows. One: Those 20th century rewards, those motivators we think are a natural part of business, do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances.Two: Those if-then rewards often destroy creativity. Three: The secret to high performance isn't rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive -- the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things cause they matter."Injecting Catalysts - Customer feedback, employee feedback, brainstorming, outside input, guest speakers, tools to collaborate, whiteboards, chat tools, open spaces.Assessing your brand honestly - is your team energised by the collective mission? Are they involved? Can you articulate it clearly? Do you have a customer experience map? Do employees know how to act to deliver this customer experience? Can you "unstuck" and spur new action with feedback and other activities?"Brand leaders can’t just set messaging strategy and measure it. They have to dive into the organization itself and address internal barriers to achieving that strategy." MarshallThis authentic connection to the company's vision and empowerment of staff to interpret that to create really special customer interactions that are truly memorable and worth shouting about!Ready to take on the next step of developing your brand from the inside out. Click here. What is marketing automation and do I need it as a small business? 2013-02-25T21:39:39Z what-is-marketing-automation-and-do-i-need-it-as-a-small-business Image Courtesy of Marketo Before the internet and social networks buyers had limited ways to obtain the information they needed and so the sell controlled the buying process. Today we are more informed and armed with more resources than ever but we still want to learn at our own pace. They want certain information, assurance, evidence, hand holding and explanations at different stages along their journey to invest in a product or a service with you. This trend in buyer behaviour has forced us to change how we market. As a small business you may well be asking the question around what marketing technology do I need to invest in? Marketing automation software should be on that list! This is where marketing automation has found its niche.  Only 1/5 of leads are ready to buy on first touch point, can you nurture them?Marketing automation is a set of steps that are mapped out to strategically provide that ideal lead the next piece of communication be it content, contact or offer that will move them to a purchase. Marketing automation technology allows you to use software to automate touch points so it can be a repeatable consistent experience. It can provide awesome measurement information, tasks and workflows so that over time you make better marketing decisions. It use to be that large companies where the only users of Marketing Automation technology but today the vendors providing such software have made it not only more affordable for the small business but easier to use. What does Marketing Automation software do? There are a few different modules to most Marketing automation platforms but here are the key ones: Lead Generation – via forms, landing pages, integration to social media Segmentation – via database (CRM integration) Lead nurturing and scoring – ranking leads by criteria Relationship marketing – communicating over time (email marketing social media marketing) Cross sell and up sell – presenting choices along the lead/ buyers journey Retention – communication and offers (campaign management) Measurement and RIO – measuring via criteria (Marketing Analytics) The key advantage of marketing automation I feel is the opportunity to integrate the touch points to the lead or customer and make their journey purposeful. Being able to measure and use analytics to make better marketing decisions is such a valuable insight and interaction opportunities. Don’t know which automation software to choose? Stuck. Click on the Marketing Automation checklist below for more help. Marketing Automation Checklist. The new content strategy, brandscaping 2012-12-15T23:42:00Z the-new-content-strategy-brandscaping The new content strategy, brandscaping "Marketing is broken. Social media won’t save it. Online ads won’t reinvent themselves. Google’s acquiring. Public relations is changing. The music industry is reinventing itself. The movie business is struggling. Newspapers are dying. Your email inbox is full. Your mobile device is always on. Your DVR is recording. Your iPad apps are updating. I don’t need to tell you that the media business is in flux. If you’re going to survive in a world whereeverything’s changing, you’re going to have to think differently." Hard to argue, right?As Andrew Davis book Brandscaping is a very interesting take on how we should approach marketing. Rather than the current fad of creating loads of content much of which is seen as a commodity he states we should all be acting more like producers and try to find the right content for our audience. "Brandscaping is bringing like-minded brands and their audiences together to create content that increases demand or drives new revenue for the products and services you sell." I really like this approach because it is based on supporting those who actually create the content that your audience will love and support them.There are four great reasons why I love this approach. 1. Most of us aren't brilliant writers. Let's face it we don't run a copywriting business. So it makes sense to focus on what we do really well which is our product or service offering.2. I don't think outsourcing this to a marketing team or copywriter is the answer either because often they are good writers but don't understand our business or don't have the passion or creativity for sustained engaging content.3. By aligning your business with a someone or an organisation that is already providing content for the audience that you serve. Support them. A perfect example of this is Ducttape Marketing support Hubspot because they create a lot of How too documents. The opportunity to build a brandscape is to position your business with a undiscovered talent that can create content to drive demand for the products or services you sell. Think like a producers not a marketer.4. Just because you are creating content don't assume your audience is consuming it! In fact if you create poor quality content it could have the opposite effect to consumption. The amount of information created is created at an unbelievable pace. The key is to find the most effective channels for reaching your own particular audience and to get them to consumer on a regular basis. You want a relationship, so focus on reach and quality and relevance.I ask myself this question: If I stopped by blog today would anyone notice?It would be fair to draw the comparison between films like the latest Bond Movie Skyfall and their obvious product placement to sell more of a brand but the distinction Davies makes is that the alignment needs to be authentic and have the same set of values for the audience to buy into the partnership and for the association to work as a marketing tool.So if you want to leverage content as an asset rather than an expense. Creating content relationships and sharing audiences, tapping into multiple niches, pooling your resources with other brands that value the same audience makes sense.Davis describes three elements to a successful brandscaper:1. Confidence to back the content of others with a belief in them and their audience no matter how small, is valuable.2. Show humility by understanding that your customers care more about just your products and services.3.Willingness to pool resources and share your audiences will allow your marketing budget to go further.I will add one more4. Choose your partners carefully. Think "what would your customers also like." Align around values.Some potential partnerships:Nespresso store in Chadstone and Apple. They both have the same audience and could work together around topics like convenience, design and quality.Dan Murphy could have a wine TV show like Gary Vaynerchuk's.Business Bank with Marketing Critique of small businesses plan as a TV channel (just putting it out there!) Lorna Jane fitness clothing and chef Justine SchofieldHow to make a start1. Join a LinkedIn group that your audience is participating in and contribute frequently.2. Seek out the best tools or resources share them with your audience. (name the source and get permission always)3. Brainstorm a good hook. It could be critiquing something, creating interviews with industry experts, 10 top tips.4. Identify and explore content holes in your market.5. Look for a great idea to serve your market. Someone might have built and app your audience would love. Share it, promote it. Underwrite it. A start-up looking for a partnership?6. Who already owns our audience?7. Where does our audience live online?8. What sort of talent can we work with to make our brand more relevant, more often?9. What content does our audience already have a relationship with and how can we embrace it?10. What products/ services do our customers buy before they have a need for us? Danielle MacInnisDan is a highly sought after strategic marketer. Her focus has always been on understanding customer needs and company insights to deliver marketing that works. With over 20 years marketing experience with some Australia’s leading corporate companies, Dan now runs her own successful consultancy business. She is recognised as a talented marketer by her peers and the Australian Marketing Institute and is now called on to submit articles for publication in a variety of mediums including Australian Women’s Mentoring Network, The Customer Collective and Flying Solo and present seminars for small businesses. Website: http://www.macinnismarketing.com.auBlog: http://www.daniellemacinnis.com Co-creation as a business strategy 2012-11-16T22:26:27Z co-creation-as-a-business-strategy Back in 2009 I wrote an article about the intersection of CRM and social media. Basically,to summarise, I wrote about the customer driving their engagement with us as small businesses and the need to engage with them in the appropriate mediums that they choose to use. I also wanted to see some more aggregation of the listening touch-points we have via CRM/Social  (SCRM), so we can get closer to our customers and use this information to be involved in their conversations.Jump forward to 2012/13 and as Paul Greenberg states "that we are now at a point that the customers' expectations are so great and their demands so empowered that our SCRM business strategy needs to be built around collaboration and customer engagement, not traditional operational customer management." It is less about transaction and more about interaction.The disconnect I still see, is while customers have become in control of how they interact with us, we still are yet to make leap to map our goals to that of the customer needs and concerns with the solutions our products or services provide. We don't make their agenda important. The end result is we are still in the large part transactional or commodity based businesses not partners or loved brands.Examples of how we make the customer an intrinsic part of our business ecosystem  Paul Greenberg lists as follows:"It can mean anything from customers and the company collaborating on product development, to customer suggestions on how to improve a company process, to customers helping other customers solve customer service issues, to even doing what gamers do and modifying game play using tools for scenario creation which adds value to the game. Co-creation is the ability of the company and customer to create additional value for each other - what form it takes is not always THE BIG THING."Co-creation is one example where we as small businesses can help the engagement with our customers. Examples of co-creation is Amazon with reviews of books,  Nike in the design of shoes. Solosso is a leader in co-creation for men's wear, making it possible for their customers to create high-quality custom dress shirtsthat are perfect just for them, and do it for a reasonable price. Threadless is the same concept. At Threadless.com customers can send in their own t-shirt designs, which are subsequently voted on by the other customers and visitors to the site. The winning design is then printed and sold as a newly created item/product. Again, consumers have a direct participation in and influence on the final outcome of the product development process. By the way, the winning design is rewarded with a cash prize as well as other benefits. Now this concept has moved into different product offerings including iphone case design. Keepcup does the same design concept online."The four types of co-creationClub of experts: A very specific challenge is needing expertise and breakthrough ideas. Contributors are found through a selection process. Quality of input is what counts (e.g. Nokia)Crowd of people: Also known as Crowdsourcing. For any given challenge, there might be a person out there having a genial idea that should be given a podium. It’s the Rule of the big numbers (e.g.Threadless)Coalition of parties: In complex situations parties team up to share ideas and investments. Technical breakthroughs and standards often happen when multiple parties collaborate (e.g. IBM)Community of kindred spirits: When developing something for the greater good, a group of people with similar interests and goals can come together and create (e.g. Linux)"My favorite by far at the moment is Ikea for Business. What a long awaited idea. I want to design my space, pick it and get it delivered! Hooray Ikea you are listening. Great case study examples too!Chris Lawer for the P2P foundation puts why we should consider co-creation carefully as a small business,"Co-Creation is therefore just a natural way for organisations to help their customers meet their goals in the lifetime of use of their products. But they can only do so if they embrace a different view of value and start building back from the customer’s view of value, not the firm’s."How can you co-create with your customers? It can be a small step first. Even asking for feedback will spark some ideas. Ask your employees and brainstorm how you can co-create with your customers today.