The team is fired up for the start of the new year. At this time of year, many people rethink where they sit in this world; life, work, health. I for one, have been doing a lot of that lately.
As I embark on the next phase of global expansion, I am left with some thoughts on the people I employ and those who would best suit our company going forward.
I have been here many times and each and every time, I fall in love all over again.
New York has been kind to me. The weather, reasonably mild for this time of year, has been lovely and easy to accommodate with a few layers of clothing. The restaurants, both new and old, have been outstanding and the people have made me smile. What more can a girl ask at this time of year?
Internationally, we are in a fast-growth phases and this holiday has been spent working out how we will accomodate the extra sales and at the same time keep moving forward, leveraging our unique positioning.
We now have three inside sales executives in the company, with that set to double by the end of the first quarter next year. This investment has paid dividends as it allows marketing managers to focus on their jobs and not be tied down by talking to prospects that are warm and not hot. They no longer put together the proposals or the contracts, which are all done by our well trained inside sales executives.
An inside sales executive at Marketing Eye is an entry level position, giving marketing graduates the first taste of what it is like to work at Marketing Eye. Their job to date is to manage incoming leads generated from social media and our website, following them through first point of contact via email or phone through to presentation of Marketing Eye services and sending of proposal documents. They then close with a contract.
This usually takes up most of their day, but we try and keep time aside for marketing. They get to work on client marketing strategies, social media, writing of electronic direct mail pieces and copywriting for our 600+ page websites.
By ensuring that they work on client marketing activities and marketing our company, they are getting experience to jump to the next level as a marketing executive. They also understand what they are talking about when a lead comes in because usually they have either done it too or have worked as part of a team to achieve a particular client goal.
Selling Licensing Agreements
We have a huge announcement to make on January 5, 2015, in relation to Licensing Agreements. Over time we have realized how unique our business model is and the fact that we have so many systems and processes, along with technologies to ensure that our people work harder, faster and smarter than our competitors is appealing to other marketers looking to set up their own businesses.
Our licensing model provides highly skilled marketers with an opportunity to build a successful business while leveraging of a well-recognised marketing consulting brand, and a sophisticated backend of marketers, branding experts, public relations, journalism, social media, web development and graphic design.
We will help licensees build a business that is sustainable, retainer based and collaborative in its approach.
One of the standouts of Marketing Eye's model is our commitment to excellence. We have identified a gap in knowledge in the market and continually strive to educate those in our team on the latest in marketing techniques and processes.
Launching into 2015
There are many things that we need to improve in our business, and this time of year we have dedicated ourselves to ensuring that it happens. If you don't continually improve your business, you will fall to the wayside and find that other competitors capture greater market share.
Hiring new people is imperative to our growth as we don't have an issue getting clients, but finding quality marketing managers is a lot more difficult than we would like. Is there a global shortage of qualified marketing managers? I think there is. So many marketing managers don't have the opportunity to work across the entire marketing mix and therefore are not 'qualified' to be consulting on a clients business. Or they have had so many agencies at their disposal in corporate that they only know how to manage an agency, not how to do tactical marketing activities nor do they know what the latest in marketing techniques or analytics are, relying on agencies to feed them with information. Bu we are the agency, so our job is to know what we should be doing for a client in order to help them reach their business goals.
It's a fine line but education is key. 2015 is very much about education of marketing managers internally and externally. We are committed to lifting the benchmark in marketing talent around the world and will be hosting marketing strategy seminars around the US and Australia over the upcoming year.
What is your business theme for 2015?
It’s the 24th December 2014, and like many families around the world, we are gathered in one place to celebrate Christmas.
While I don’t necessarily think that Christmas is a good excuse to get together with family, preferring to take the one of day of the year off the calendar and instead spending that time giving to others and serving those less fortunate – I am grateful.
My life is blessed in so many ways and enriched by those around me. I am grounded by family and friends, and always aware that there are people around me that will be there no matter what.
To give you a snapshot: our existing team is highly talented and here for the long haul. They are a mixture of marketers, creatives, branding, web and public relations professionals. Each person is dedicated to being the best they can be - and in return, they are given a highly rewarding career in marketing, PR and graphic design.
I've been challenged for my entire business life by whether or not business is more important than personal life. We all know the answer to that one and as much as we continually tell ourselves that this is the case, it is so easy to be lured into a false sense of security that only business can provide.
I love working. I really do. I wake up in the morning and cannot wait to get to the office. I've matured a little, and don't tend to work on weekends or in the evenings, although I do put in a solid 12 hour day, 5 days a week.
I decided to go and get some water and after much fussing from the staff, who were incredibly dog-friendly, I felt that Pippa would be okay while I walked away. She sat patiently watching my every move and while people were trying to get her attention, her stare remained fixed.
Finally when I arrived back, and she was suitably relieved, one of the young women asked about Pippa and gave her a pat... and then more pats. Pippa couldn't be happier and that opened the door for conversation.
We discussed where we were from, what we do and all the normal things airport conversations conjure up.
The young woman was Ellie Goulding. She was travelling with her school friend and personal assistant Hannah, who was equally delightful.
When you run a business such as mine, it's hard to find time to do everything that you want to do, at the level you would like to do it at. So, I spent some time this morning reading over 50 different marketing blogs and was amazed at the varying levels of content quality.
There have been five writers that have truly stood out in the past few years, and although it would be fair to say that they have the following of the most loyal marketing and entrepreneurial crowd, they also come with thought leadership and strong opinions - which makes for great reading.
The sun was shining through the blinds and as I looked up, I had a moment. It was as if everything stood still. Nothing moved. There was silence.
And yet, there was clarity.
I am packing up my personal belongings to bring them back to Australia with my dog Pippa in tow. It doesn't mean that I am giving up on the US. Actually, quite the contrary. I am increasing my investment in the country and its people, to further drive business success in the region. I am ready to press the accelerator to top speed without a second thought for where the brakes may be.
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.
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