Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye
"Blame the fact that you have attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.) or that you are an A-Type Personality - or just blame the fact that you have never been able to concentrate," said a man sitting on the plane next to me as I moved from reading a book, to reading board papers to stretching - all within 10 minutes.

"But if you keep doing that, you will achieve nothing."

I have neither A.D.D. nor do I have a strong A-Type personality (although some people may challenge that), but I do have problems from time to time focusing and for that matter being able to sleep through the night because I am thinking of a hundred things at once.
Nov 23, 2012
The Rich 200 list is littered with entrepeneurs who have sold their businesses. 

Someone once said to me that they never wanted to be on that list because there are only two outcomes that derive from being placed on this list: 1. Telemarketers will harrass you for the rest of your life. 2. You will go broke.

Jan Cameron, the founder of successful retail chain Kathmandu knows this only too well. She built her business over 20 years to be the most successful retail business in the outdoor adventure space, selling for a reported $247 million and being placed on the Rich 200 list only to be in BRW today with the journalist reporting that she almost certainly won't be there this year. Why? She sold her business and then after a break decided to get back into the game and invested $80 million into Retail Adventures discount group. Not long after, she had to double her investment to keep the chain alive. Plagued with poor management and a bad company culture, the chain was put in Voluntary Administration in October. 
Nov 22, 2012
Often, I post blogs that have been written on this site onto Linkedin Groups that are relevant to either marketing or entrepreneurs.

Most days, I share my experience as an entrepreneur with a growing international business, on the cusp of something that is hopefully "big" but also has hurdles along the way. Many of these hurdles are the best reminders on how to improve business processes and be a better leader and/or marketer, or just to grow a thicker skin.

Yesterday, an obvious up-and-coming competitor posted some quite offensive commentary on a Linkedin Group. I thought for a while as to whether I would just leave it or if it had an impact in the group which affected what the perception of our brand may be. To that end, I had to respond. I didn't get into the nitty gritty, but it was an overarching response. The idea of Linkedin Groups is to share ideas, interact, demonstrate thought leadership on various topics and meet people who may potentially have something worthwhile to say that may a) change your life, b) improve your knowledge, and/or c) give you a good laugh.

There is potential to misuse the Linkedin Groups platform in ways that it is not intended for, like pitching products and services through making comments on other peoples discussions or by putting down an obvious competitor. So here's a "share" from last night:
Nov 21, 2012
It's that time of year again and as we all wind down for the festive season, it's time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead.

Most marketing strategies will be firmly in place for next year, but for those who have left it too late, there are a few things that you need to consider.

  • If you look back at 2012, you will realise how much things have changed. 
  • Facebook listed and fell flat on its face, but woke up with more than 1 billion registered users.
  • Pinterest came to the forefront and became the fastest growing social media platform on the planet.
  • Instagram bagged a billion bucks with only enough employees to count on your two hands.
  • People like www.jeffbullas.com out of downtown Sydney became a global social media phenomenum just by writing blogs that are interesting and knowing the rules of engagement for content creation and exploitation.
  • No-one in the world sees their website as a brochure anymore (although many still haven't done anything about it)
  • Google+ is going from strength to strength
  • Linkedin company pages are essential to any companies "winning" strategy
  • Old-fashion marketing is having a revival of sorts with DM pieces still having impact ONLY when they are super duper creative
  • The US is still feeling the pinch and Australia is seen as a sound performer with a strong Aussie dollar and an economy that hasn't yet fallen flat on its face
  • A woman is the richest woman in Australia - thanks Gina Rinehardt for flying the flag
  • Obama won a second term as President of the United States of America
  • 12 months since Steve Jobs passed away and Apple is going remarkably strong with the launch of a new ipad mini
  • Microsoft launches Windows 8 
  • The prophecy of a major disaster with 'the end of the world'  is still growing in momentum

In light of the above, where from here?

Marketing Strategies need to be aligned to a company's overall business plan. It underpins the overall sales plan and creates the forum for which sales can occur. 

Businesses that have put on the hand brake because the year has been turbulent from an economic perspective, are being surpassed by their less successful competitors who have invested heavily in marketing and reaping the rewards of a strategic approach to doing the opposite of everyone else.

A clever marketing strategy in 2013 is being revised right now. The reason is simple - so many things have changed and to truly have a marketing plan that is effective, there may need to be some tweaks. Don't be afraid to do this, as one of the big benefits of being a small business is that you have the ability and scope to be flexible.

Take into account;

  • Changes in search engine optimisation algorithms
  • Pinterest and what role this social media platform plays in your overall marketing strategy
  • The rise of Instagram 
  • Online influencers and how your business is reaching and engaging with them
  • Traditional media versus new media
  • e-Marketing and its role in driving leads
  • Branding and positioning in a new world
  • Collaboration with key partners and alliances
  • Global expansion in light of economic uncertainty
  • Fast growing markets with scalability like China, Turkey and India
  • Outsourcing of key roles in marketing, finance, human resources etc
  • People in your organisation and what role they play in building your business
  • Investment in online marketing
  • Your website - if it is dead, bury it. Build a new one that is "today" and not "yesterday.

What will you change in 2013?


Nov 19, 2012

One of my close girlfriends rung me today. She hasn't been out on a date in 5 years because she was married and now newly single, was about to embark on her first dating experience.

She asked,"I am new to this stuff, but I am going on a date tonight to a dinner and a movie and I am not sure what the protocol is with paying."

I asked, "do you like him?" 

She said, "yes, he is a really great guy and I really like him".
Nov 18, 2012
Marketing Eye is expanding and evolving… and you could be a part of our global growth.

We’re on the hunt for an experienced marketing communications manager to head a team in Melbourne. Because our work is so varied and diverse, we’re taking our time to pick the right person with the right mix of experience across a broad range of marketing skill sets. Our salary packaging is commensurate with experience and passion for marketing, and great performance will be rewarded with bonuses and perks. 
Nov 12, 2012
Do people really believe what they read in newspapers, internet, magazines, watch on television or YouTube or hear on the radio or through podcasts? 

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.
Nov 12, 2012
Professional services firms are known as the "safest" b2b marketers, only second behind that of the medical industry.

Still stuck in the dark ages, many professional services firms still believe that 'good work speaks for itself' and "you need to find the clients pain" ensuring that they keep it "safe" when embarking on marketing of any kind, rather than looking deep into customer insights to drive leads and create more sustainable client relationships.

What professional services firms are forgetting is that while they may still be on track to achieving their sales goals, being complacent and not moving with the times, will make it almost impossible to stay competitve.
Nov 10, 2012
For years, I have been fascinated by design in every possible form; shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation and visual appearance. Of particular interest is architectural design.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to walk the streets of Amsterdam with one of the Netherlands most famed interior architects, Flip Verbeek. He use to be co-owner of a company called Flow that has designed some of the most amazing interiors in buildings throughout the Netherlands. As we walked the streets, looking at building after building that had been designed by Flow and the talented architects in the team, I was inspired. The passion that this man has for design and visuals that are sustainable and complement the environment in which it inhabits, is contagioius.

So contagious in fact, that on my flight home from Amsterdam, I looked up www.realestate.com.au, found a property and days later, bought it.

The property will be the new home for Marketing Eye in Melbourne. It is located in my favourite street in the city, Greville Street and fits inside my inner-city bubble that I love to live in. While I won't be here so much to enjoy it, it gives me great pride to be able to find a building with the character and potential that the one I have just bought has.
Nov 08, 2012
This blog has been spurred by the many challenges in growing an international business leveraging  economies of scale and opportunities that are simply too good to pass by.

In the past week, I have been thinking alot about Linkedin. It has been the topic of many conversations and all for the right reasons. Daily I am asked about what social media mediums are best for b2b organizations and of course, there is no one answer because it depends entirely on a companies specific demographic, time constraints, strategy and of course, budget.

I wrote a blog on the value of Linkedin for small businesses and have spent quite a bit of time on this social media platform over past couple of days. It's interesting to see how people interact and reach out to each other. It is equally fascinating to see some people's comments that are purely self-serving or a bit over the top negative for no apparent reason.
Nov 07, 2012
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