It’s universally acknowledged that good service will get you places. Whether selling an unnecessarily big screen television to a family or ice to Inuits, good service makes sales.
This said, there are exceptions to every rule and every so often in this world of increasing competition, there are business managers with seemingly decreasing nouse.
It’s no longer just about your product or service – it’s all about the experience.
Marketing encompasses all senses – sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. Combined, these make the experience. The experience that people will walk away with; the experience that – good or bad – people will talk about.
As marketeers, we work tirelessly to communicate your message on each of these levels. We study, we research and we have experience to hone you the best experience for your offering. Not everyone understands the importance - or relevance even - of marketing however… and it shows…
Business blogging can be tricky – your writing has to be professional, yet casual; informative, but not cut into the products/services you are selling, and (most importantly) open.
However, the work you put into it is extremely beneficial when it comes to your company’s branding, giving the world an insight into what’s behind the scenes. On top of that, writing a blog can grow your business as you position your company as a thought leader in its industry.
Some things to consider:
Simply by getting 8 hours sleep (a blessing!), having a dynamic new recruit from Atlanta in the Melbourne office, seeing the team excited about life and their work and watching everyone and everything grow in so many ways - I had an a-ha moment (think Oprah).
It was almost like an outer-body experience. Here I was, looking from the outside in and all I saw was highly motivated, excited people that were all ready to tackle the world head-on and believed so strongly in what they were doing and how they were doing it - that they sent some type of magical energy to every person they came into contact with - including me!
Entrepreneurial stories on people like former Geelong footballer Michael Mansfield, Comcity's Jason Reading, Chris Reynolds from Champion Systems, Ryan O'Hare from Eutility and more.
Thought leaders on leadership, psychology, marketing and social media share their views and experiences. A really great story is on business turnaround specialist Daryl Wright from Bond Street 180 and you will also find a story on famous entrepreneur turn photographer, Tommy Mendes.
In all, its a good read and the best stories are on the entrepreneurs behind the brands.
I was surprised as I tweeted the website only a couple of times yesterday and we haven't really promoted it while we tweak a few things, and more than 1000 people where on the site last night at 11pm and it was going up at a rapid pace. For a moment, it made me nervous! Creating your own media can bring greater loyalty to your brand, only if it is done right and you have thought through what your audience wants to read about.
It's a great time of year because through this research we are exposed to other companies successes and at times failures - all while thinking about what more we can do for our clients.
Daily I receive updates on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin from people that have received publicity whether it is through an online blog or in the media sprouting how successful they are. The first couple of "pushes" of publicity, I applaud and genuinely think "good on that person". Then when it keeps coming in what can sometimes be "D-grade" versions of media that perhaps only a few people ever get to read, I start to think "oh, this person is looking for attention or needs people to think they are successful".
Which, might I add, may not be the case at all, but it is just my immediate perception if I don't know any better about the person.
Then I heard a voice. It was familiar. Manly. Strong. Thoughtful. Original.
I looked up.
As a woman entrepreneur, there has been many advantages:
1. If you are half decent looking, people of both sexes want to do business with you. After all, how many people really want an unattractive PR chick or marketer?
2. If you are young and female, better still. Everyone wants to help you. Men over 40 want to father you and help you be successful. Men your own age want to assist because they are proud that you are having a go.
3. When things are not going your way, it's easy to put on the female charm.
4. You can dress to impress or dress down when need be.
5. You can see the human side in every situation.
6. You know why people are making decisions like they do because you are interested in how people think and feel.
7. You have more compassion and empathy for those around you.
8. You don't necessarily have to be the richest. Instead, being the best will do.
9. It's very easy to blame irrational decisions or behaviour that was momentary on PMT.
10. There is no such thing as failure. Worse case, you can get married and have children.
There are many disadvantages in being a woman entrepreneur but they are often two-fold. For instance, being a mother; if your child is sick, your husband usually expects you to leave work first and what mother wouldn't want to do that anyway? Back at the office, your male colleagues who may not have children, nor understand this predicament may then think that you are unreliable or not focused enough on the job at hand.
With only 12% of women owned companies seeking angel capital, it is easy to generalize that perhaps women should take a leaf out of their male counterparts books. Why is it that women don't seek capital upfront for their businesses? Why do women put the hand brake on at $1million turnover, with most failing to be more than a one-man-band or go over the million dollar mark? Are women afraid of success? Is there too many influencers that affect their ability to succeed? Are women too emotional?
Women are 50% more likely to start a business than men yet men are deemed more successful all round in business. When a woman hits the top of a big corporation, even men label them as being more like them than a normal woman. And it's true. Seriously, women that hit the top of many businesses often are strong willed, dominant, fearless women who will do anything to succeed. A bit like their successful male counterparts, don't you think? Men are far more willing to focus on the end goal of making money while women entrepreneurs often spend more time thinking about the process.
Downsides on how people view successful women aren't too favourable either. Women's assertiveness is considered bitchy and they are considered to self-limit their ambitions. Even if I look at myself, I am aware that many people think that I am single, mildly successful and financially independent at the expense of being a woman. "You're more male, than woman" said a man at a recent conference. How do you think that makes me feel? I want to be a woman and I want to be successful but being likened to being more like a man is not the most flattering comment of the week.
Another interesting fact is that women turn away from satisfying and meaningful work, but less glamorous businesses can make a contribution to society and also make you rich. For instance, Marketing Eye has a majority of clients in the "unsexy" space like mining, logistics, supply chain, stevedoring, transport, sustainability and technology while many of my marketing friends who are women focus on fashion, food and restaurants.
Women are also their worse enemies - against each other. You would not believe the amount of times I have heard other women entrepreneurs put each other down both in areas of business and then taking it personal to the point of what they look like or what they perceive one would do to be successul. ie. sleep with anyone including clients. While there are many groups out there celebrating women in business, often women can feel insecure about another woman's success or failure for that matter.
So, I took it out to Twitter and asked "what can women entrepreneurs learn from their male counterparts" and this is what came up:
@JeremyScrivens nice one Mellissah - I would add 'and how are we contributing to theirs?' cheers
@Jenna_Goudreau Confidence. Willingness to go after funding.
@feraldogstudio Generally women tend to be less agressive in biz than men. Don't know if it's good or bad, but aggressiveness has its place
@zahrasays in 140 characters? We both have a lot to learn from one another....
@mattygeorge change is good, people are people and relationships are everything
@twilli2861 Nothing and everything! It depends on the starting point
@gemichelle Saying no isn't the end of the world & could be the most important word you say all day
@tartancat Simply that they're not different. An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur, not dependent on boobs or balls!
@gemichelle That understanding basic accounting and cashflow is important to keep control and make correct strategic decisions
@jasongreenhalgh Be confident and network, network, network (old school style)
@mwiings I reckon harnessing aggression, turning into a positive force without coming across as a whiner/nagger.
@irish_in_la identify, commit to and protect your corporate culture. Breath it in and live it! Your biz will ultimately fail if you don't.
@sarahsside Admit/apologize - without explaining yourself. Give credit to others and take a compliment with gratitude
@irish_in_la negotiate from a place of strength, not emotion and surround yourself w/ppl that share the same system of values as you do
@sarahsside Realize - best solutions/processes/results are a combination of diverse perspectives. Lead with head and heart
@theamandarose - Support each other literally not in names sake. Team work. Take the lead! Network.
@duckduckjoey "Don't be too naive when talking to people. Most people want their two cents out of you"
@theamandarose No emotions stay focused all about ROI no bitching confident take risks
@Meredithmobley I think women #entrepreneurs can stand to learn how to remove emotion from business
@polentamcphee stand by your decision, own it even if it fails
@polentamcphee Don't lose your femininity - we are are not men, we function diff cont.
@beckysueolofin hmm that's really something to ponder on. Responding and not reacting
@heidimyers Eckes comparison of gender body language applies to women in business
@_debrasinclair Taking risks in business
@summerboag choosing battles wisely and not as an immediate reaction. calculating various ways to get results
@heidimyers what about gender specific communication (body language when presenting or negotiating)
@fleurbrown an old male boss taught me that. Had no idea I was doing that. Being nice gets in the way of being effective
@fleurbrown don't make apologetic opening statements in meetings and keep things simple
@johnkelly1 Word entrepreneur never had male or female attached. Individual believing in their idea
@debbiethompson being ok with talking about your success rather than playing down your own success, for starters...
@launch_group don't make apologetic opening statements in meetings and keep things simple
@mickfromvic drive your enemies before you and hear the lamentation of their men
@irish_from_la my advice is to negotiate from a place of strength, not emotion and to always build a culture around you based on values
@davidbassanese start small with a nub of an idea that makes money and expand from there. Don't try to get it right first. Dave
@digital_sydney persistence. men are persistent w/out apology. Women are more aware of stepping on toes and hesitant to ask and ask again
@sarahsside compliment others for their gifts - it creates great synergy. criticize only if it improves the results/outcomes
@sarahsside if something is said - ask what the person meant without assumptions then draw conclusions (communicate)
Men's successes come after their disappointments. Henry Ward Beecher.
When you ask someone who has had a business fail, why, they usually give you one reason. We all know that there is never one singular reason why a business fails, it usually is combination of things; market size, competition and demand all feature highly on external factors while operations, leadership, complacency, technology, marketing and lack of investment feature highly as internal reasons.
But the real story that we all should be following is 'why businesses grow and succeed' because in that, there are lessons and patterns we all can follow.
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