Small Business Marketing

Being part of Atlanta Technology Village, I have had the privilege to see first hand companies that go from zero to 100 in 12 months, others that prod along, and some that unfortunately did not make the grade.

The buzz that surrounds the Atlanta Technology Village is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, and visionary, David Cummings. He is a great guy with an even better philosophy. Due in part to the sale of Pardot and his big pay check that followed, he commands the respect of everyone, and rightfully so. He has a formula and if you spend enough time observing him, you will see it.  Being a member at the Atlanta Technology Village, I have had the opportunity to see the fruits of his labour and I have to say, I am impressed. To me, he reminds me of Adrian Giles and Andrew Barlow who founded Hitwise and went on to build a tonne of other successful businesses in Melbourne and Australia.
Why Americans make better marketers
Let me preface this post by explaining that I’m Australian. Yet even though I’m Sydney born and bred, when it comes to business I gravitate towards American companies because I believe that Americans do it best.
5 PR tips from the #ALSIceBucketChallenge
By now, the majority of the Western world has seen that video of Anna Wintour being doused in a bucket of iced water. But this was not the handiwork of an anti-fur campaigner.  Wintour’s water attack is part of the viral campaign that netted a charity over $50 million.

Earlier this week, the don of Vogue accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, joining a host of A-listers including David Beckham, Taylor Swift and George Bush, who also voluntarily subjected themselves to an iced-water drenching to raise funds and awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that controls voluntary muscle movement, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Want 1 billion hits? Pull out your chicken suit
It only took a video camera, a chicken suit and an office back room to engineer one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns at that point in time. 

In 2004, Burger King launched ‘Subservient Chicken’; a man in a gaudy chicken suit that would perform “any” task dictated by the customers via a web cam.  The Subservient Chicken did The Worm, jumping jacks, and perfected his golf swing as millions of Burger King fans eagerly watched on.  It wasn’t exactly highbrow marketing material, but it did the job; the Burger King website clocked over 1 billion hits.
The art of visual artillery
Sometimes in marketing, you have to go in guns blazing.

In my experience, graphic designers can be a marketing company’s biggest weapon, with their ability to create collateral that packs a visual punch.  Cohesive graphic design communicates key messages within seconds, solving problems through the carefully selected combination of type, space and image.  It’s more than an art form; it’s a powerful tool.

If your market isn’t blown away within seconds of viewing your design, you’re doing it wrong.


How to Make 6 Million in your Startup’s First Year
After over 20 years in marketing industry, I’ve pretty much seen it all.

Then I meet a client that achieves the impossible, and recently, for me that was Frank Richmond, the Founder of Cirrus Networks.

In the Delivery: our $7 PR Success Story
Recently, a client shared a sage piece of marketing advice, he said “If you have just $100 left in your advertising budget, your best investment is to use it to travel and share your story with your market face-to-face”. Today Marketing Eye put this advice to the test, with great success for one of our clients – Papa Gusto.

A marketing plan does not have to boast an exorbitant budget to be effective, nor does it have to be overly complex and multi-levelled to achieve your goals.  We have proven this.  
7 start-up hard truths exposed
Start-ups by their very nature are exactly that; just a start. In every new entrepreneurial adventure, you’re drawing up your blueprint for business from scratch and the journey is often terrifying and exhilarating. Laszlo Szabo, the creator of Little Sale Birdy, a revolutionary retail website that will change the way Australian’s shop by sale, shares the seven lessons he learned in the first year of his successful start-up (ones they’ll never tell you in business and marketing school):
Taking Your Business Model To The Next Level
When writing my business plan 9 years ago, I took many things into account like how the business would look in 10 years time, who we would employ, what services we would provide, and how we would expand into new markets.

But what I didn't take into account is how I would actually make it happen. You see, like many entrepreneurs, I have struggled with working in the business and trying to at the same time work "on" the business - never quite getting the mix right.

At long last, since I made some smart strategic business moves last year, including changing management, I have become the entrepreneur I always wanted to be. I am implementing our business plan that was written so long ago, and it feels really good. There is a sense of satisfaction that is growing deep inside me and I believe in every single thing that we are doing.

Beware of the global startup
When I started Marketing Eye more than 9 years ago, I had a vision to be the world's best small business marketing firm. I dreamt that I would open offices all over the world that would sell marketing services backed by sophisticated technology platforms, media and education, to businesses that had revenues of $1 million to $200 million.

Primarily, the companies that would be ideal clients were one's that were entrepreneur-led, like me, and who had a dream to significantly grow their businesses and mostly be industry game-changers - although the latter wasn't exactly necessary.

In the early days, we had hurdles. The first was our own mind-set of being use to working with funded startups or medium to large corporations and shifting the way we interacted, engaged and nurtured our clients to success to cater for burgeoning SMB market.

It took time. More time than I ever imagined. 

"Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." —Peter Drucker

If you look at Steve Jobs and his role as a leader and marketer at Apple Inc., it's easy to see how the two roles work closely together. Without marketing, no-one would be any the wiser about Steve Jobs role at Apple Inc nor would we have had the opportunity to be captivated by his performances each time he launched a new product. Instead, we would simply wait for a product to be on the shelves and without all the "sizzle" we probably would never have been as enticed to stand in line and buy each product the minute it was launched.

Some leaders fail to see the value in marketing, and although they may have a role in the organisation that is responsible for certain outcomes, they may see it more as a sales related function which is why it often falls under this umbrella.

Smart, insightful, charismatic, thought leaders understand the value of marketing. They use it and often abuse it to become leaders that everyone follows. Rather than focus solely on a product or service marketing campaign, they use it to elevate their position in the market with a double edge sword, by at the same time ensuring that the company brand and positioning benefits from association.

3 Ways Leaders Use Marketing 

How to connect with 7000 potential clients - B2B marketing
I am continually amazed by the number of professional services, technology, manufacturing and logistics companies that fail to see the value in communicating via social media.

The question I pose to you is "how did you find this blog?" and "how do you now know the Marketing Eye brand?" 

I know the answer - do you?

How to get non-sales people to bring in leads
It was 8pm at night and as we boarded the plane at La Guardia Airport in New York, Maikayla (#24yrold), our 24 year old President of US Operations, started a conversation about the things we are not doing as a business to get clients.

Marketing Eye Atlanta has gone from startup to multi-million dollar company in over a year of operations. The company provides SMB's with an ability to have a qualified outsourced marketing department for an investment that any business that has opened their doors can afford.

The goal post has changed from the original business plan of 1,000 clients over 5 years. Our sales targets have been moved by 2 years and now the entire team is in a spin working out how they will achieve this goal in 3 years. 

It's an ambitious task, but one that is doable and if something is too easy, then it won't be as rewarding. Stretching ourselves and pushing limits, dreaming big and opening doors, is something that will keep everyone in the game.

Maikayla's thoughts:
The one thing that keeps me going

Another weekend has just passed, and we went over the same old topic that keeps popping up; what do we want out of life and why do we do the things we do.

We read theories about entrepreneurs and what makes them tick; money, competition and passion. It's like a broken record that keeps on repeating itself. I for one wish that someone would come out with something a little different. Some piece of inspiration that is going to make me stop in my tracks and go "yeah!".

I am not an over-the-top passionate person - or at least that is my self-reflection. While I get up early each morning and race to the office, with a coffee and croissant from my local cafe on the way, its more a sign of routine than anything more "entrepreneurial". Meld that in with organized and fluent chaos, and big ideas followed by what seems like an endless stream of tactical plans - then you have me in one. 

What I do have though is dreams - lots of them! In every aspect of life, I dream and its these dreams that push me to keep going day after day. But that still isn't getting to the route of things and the more I realize it - the more I see things from a different perspective. 

The first point being that no two entrepreneurs are the same. We are all dealing with our own set of influencers and motivators that make us who we are. Just like no two people are the same and let's face it; what makes us different makes us beautiful.

Reality check #1

Reality check #1

Feb 21, 2014 Written by

It's been a roller-coaster of a year already and its only 7 weeks in. Everything imaginable has happened to me this year, and I am already exhausted, but somehow exhilarated at the same time.

There have been so many changes; life, business and game. I feel like I have lived through so much, yet there is still so much more to achieve.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending half an hour with a young entrepreneur by the name of Kylie Marie, who is inspiring, ambitious, energetic and ready to take on the world. I now know why older people liked spending time with me when I was new to business, because that energy is contagious. I couldn't help but smile and be totally inspired by what Kylie is doing and her fearlessness in business. Her brow bars, Browco Brow Bar, will be everywhere in the next year or so, along with her eyebrow products that are to die for.

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