Everyone unconsciously took one step back as if to clear the way.
She had arrived.
Firstly, I woke up after having a decent nights sleep - something that has eluded me for the past week. Then, as I drove to work, I stopped off to grab a coffee and croissant from my favourite cafe in Melbourne. I dropped my car off at the office, and as I rushed outside the building to grab a taxi, I literally stopped in my tracks. There was so much traffic - bumper to bumper, and I had to be at the Lawyers office in 30 minutes. I panicked.
It wasn't a great start to the day.
I had a problem.
February is a great month to take stock of where your company is heading. Closing in on the "pointy' end of the financial year in Australia, companies are taking stock of whether or not they will make their sales targets.
Marketing Eye is safely on-track, but instead of sitting back and watching the new clients come in, we are firmly placing our feet on the accelerator and going full steam ahead. Our Melbourne and Sydney offices are looking for 50 new clients before the end of the financial year.
So, like any good manager, I have put aside a marketing budget of $150,000 to be spent on sales and marketing activities. Our internship program ensured that we had a heap of new ideas, and alongside our exposure to the US-market and the way they use technology to power marketing campaigns, I have to say, I am fairly confident that this goal is achievable.
Last week, I received a tender document for some marketing services for the Charters Towers City Council. It's not normally something we would put in a tender for, simply because the scope of works is too tight and minimal, but I can't help myself.
It was placed on my desk by our Victorian State Manager, who thought that normally we wouldn't do it but maybe I may be interested in it because I come from Charters Towers. The sentimental value of doing something for a town that you love and have had the opportunity to grow up in, is just too much to refuse.
It's a strange phenomena to think that we have two sides of our brain that decipher information in two inherently different ways.
The left side is logical, analytical and objective, whereas the right side is intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. With the latter being the one credited to creativity; some of us are fortunate enough to play in a creative field where idea generation, designs and looking to the future are all part of the parcel.
The modern marketer is young, dynamic, nimble, clever and always on call. They never drop the ball, and always have something in their hand - namely, a cell phone with an Apple logo that is their all in one, complete communications platform that talks, listens, looks up and engages on levels no-one thought imaginable 20 years ago.
There are many great things about a modern marketer, but who is counting. Instead of doing the maths, the modern marketer is doing the sums, talking the talk and jumping hurdles in a way we never thought imaginable.
I cannot believe the difference the past 10 years has made to marketing and I am wondering if my "old school" counterparts are able to keep up - literally. We are not getting any younger and as much as we want to believe we are youthful and can tweet with the best of them, it is becoming more and more evident that the fresh out of University marketers know a thing or two about marketing that we just haven't quite captured.
They are not just revamping what exists already, but revolutionizing the way in which technology is used and powered to bring change. There isn't a developer here that hasn't caught on to something big, but perhaps, for some it won't happen because they are bringing the wrong product out at the wrong time, or they simply do not know how to market it.
December is upon us and in the marketing world, its a big month for writing marketing strategies for 2014. As we conduct one workshop after another, it amazes me at how out-of-touch people really are through no fault of their own.
At Marketing Eye, we work tirelessly on keeping our top marketers up-to-date with the latest in marketing, yet they still stay behind because there is always someone out there bringing out a new solution or new way in which to market, that may catch on and be the next big thing.
Marketing automation has been around for a few years, but it is not done and dusted. Instead, marketing automation is evolving and transforming the way in which we conduct marketing and process our prospects and clients into a more advanced customer relationship program. What is missing though is the biggest influencer in marketing today - and that's social media.
Your bounce rate may come second in your book to other metrics such as number of visits or page views on your website, but it is something that many small businesses can leverage if they put it to the forefront.
After checking the Marketing Eye google analytics account yesterday, as I do every day, I paid special attention to how the website bounce rate was going. I had just been to a number of my client's google analytics accounts and noticed that theirs ranged from 35 percent to 80 percent - depending on whether they allow Marketing Eye to do their SEO and invest in creating content to drive connections.
For those who are uncertain what a bounce rate is, it simply is a record of the "bounce" that occurs when a visitor goes to your website, reads a page or looks at a page, then leaves your website. A "bounce rate" is the percentage of total visitors that come to your website that then bounce off of it.
Theoretically, the lower your website's bounce rate, the better your conversion rate, or at least the higher the potential conversions, because more of the people who visit your website like what they see, and click around on your content.
According to Weidert Group, 'a good bounce rate would be anything under 50-60 percent. A large factor influencing bounce rate is what kind of page you're looking at and what the content is on that page. If a page links to other pages, say, products you make or services , then a bounce rate of above 60 percent wouldn't be out of the norm.'
Humbled by an employee discussion in our US office, I was pleasantly surprised that given the hypothetical situation of winning the lotto, all employees said that after a brief holiday, they would want to come back to work at Marketing Eye.
As an international business owner, I have come to the realisation that my company culture is different in each country in which we have offices. The engagement level on a day-to-day basis in our Atlanta office is very high – not to say, other offices are not the same. Company culture is everything and there are many reasons why it has a direct impact on bottom line.
There are a number of lessons learnt from having a start-up in Atlanta that is inherently different from other offices we have.
The first being that all employees have chosen each other
Usually, a senior manager or myself makes the ultimate choice on who is going to join the team and in what capacity. Instead, in Atlanta, I have been over-ruled twice, and both times, I had to put my hand up and say that my choice would have been wrong for the team.
All fairly harmless stuff - after all, Hannah Montana was a Disney brand, wholesome and pure that teenage girls the world-over could relate to.
Then something happened. She grew up. From teen idol to woman and that's where it all began.
Like Madonna before her, and Kylie Minogue for that matter, Miley Cyrus, the former sweet teenage girl that played Hannah Montana wanted to evolve her brand image and take it to the next level. If she would have kept up the wholesome image, it probably would have ensured that her brand diminish over time. Instead, she reinvented her brand. First it started with a number of selfies in proactive poses creating headlines. Then it was the picture of her smoking pot which I would imagine was not by accident - instead just part of a brand evolution.
At first, my design department sourced quotes. They ranged from $18,000 up to $33,000 for exactly the same product. I was fine with paying $18,000 but not so fine to find my normal printers quotation significantly higher at $33,000. It literally had me stopping in my tracks and evaluating what I was doing and whether it was worth it.
Then, as if someone was looking down on me, a company was referred to Marketing Eye to do some of their marketing. It was an online print automation company that specialises in reducing the cost of printing so that marketing departments can reinvest the savings back into their marketing campaigns. I personally worked on this account because I was interested in seeing what they did differently. In the end, I became as passionate about their business, as they became of ours. On top of that, they saved us 45% of our printing costs.
Today, I thought I would give the founder of this business, Mark Alioto a call to talk about what they do differently at ECM.
Over the years, I have been dumb-founded by what former employees have written on their LinkedIn profiles about what they did while working at Marketing Eye.
The first one that had me gob-smacked was a French assistant, who wrote that she had developed and managed the Marketing Eye brand, building the company’s marketing strategy and executing it.
In reality, she was a personal assistant, who had poor English and was struggling to do any task at all from an administrative perspective. She didn’t write anything, had no contact at all with design or branding but was excellent at organizing my dinner appointments, assisting me with my wardrobe and in general being a great personal assistant, albeit one that could not write on an email on my behalf because of the poor English factor. She worked for me for a few months only which I did it as a favour for her boyfriend who was a good friend at the time. In the end, I had to tell him, that her English was so bad, I couldn’t afford the luxury of her impeccable taste in clothing, makeup and picking restaurants at that stage of my life.
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