Blog Author Mellissah Smith - Page 67

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
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 07:33

Is your brand timeless?

I saw this picture when I was travelling overseas. It's brilliant. A young boy watching an older woman walk past and clearly recognising that she is a beauty. It doesn't matter what age she is, or he is for that matter - beautiful is beautiful. There is no gender or age specifications around beauty.

When it comes to brand, it is important to have a brand that is timeless. Yes, it may evolve, but you wouldn't change it year-on-year and hopefully not within 5 years.

An Australian brand that always comes to mind when talking branding is VB. "You can get it walking, you can get it... " voice over on all of their television and radio campaigns played with exactly the same voiceover decade after decade. I remember it, my mother remembers it and my grandfather remembered it. It lasted the generations and VB will never be the same without it.

When developing a new brand, think about how long you  can live with it and whether it will be timeless or not.
As an ex-journalist, interviewing people of all backgrounds and walks of life is second nature to me. I've interviewed police officers, politicians and met the Prime Minister, but have never been asked to have a sit-down interview with my former news organisation's owner (who would be Rupert Murdoch himself - eep!).

Today, I'm on day two in the marketing industry and have been given the chance to pick the brain of Marketing Eye founder, Mellissah Smith – it’s a slightly daunting ask, especially when you consider that she was little older than I was when she first branched out and went solo in her first agency.


“I’ve been in marketing for 20-odd years and was 25 when I started my first agency – what inspired me to start was an account opportunity falling in my lap,” Mellissah said.
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 08:09

I'm calling it a day: Good bye!

It's been a very long relationship. One that I have enjoyed immensely particularly when I have been to the beach and there is sand everywhere, surf boards to fit into the car, towels, dogs, bags and left over rubbish. You have been very reliable and you always come up shiny and new when you are washed.

But... it's over. I am calling it a day.

And here is why...


I don't in any way think that Alan Jones comments on the death of Julia Gillard's (Australian PM for those who don't know) father. He has been made aware by the Australian public, the media and the social media enthusiasts that his comments were not acceptable. Slap over the wrist. Wake up call. You name it - he got it. But when does the punishment stop?

Then, when I thought I couldn't stomach another day of media both traditional and online slandering the poor old guy that has just got verbal diarrhea at times, it did get worse and this time it was personal.

Mercedes PR people got on the bandwagon. Not only did they profess to cancel their advertising because of the comments, but they also gained millions in publicity over "taking away the Mercedes that Alan Jones was given to drive".

And it was all lies. Some dumb PR person or manager who instigated the PR activity trying to leverage the Mercedes brand should be sacked. Not Alan Jones. He makes a living out of being controversial and saying stuff that either the general public really want to say but don't, or that is plain ridiculous and happens to be either his opinion or a cause of generating publicity for his show. David McCarthy from Mercedes is who I am talking about. Generating PR spin is one thing, but stay within your brand guidelines and brand values. Mercedes isn't a brand that is known for "trolling" or "gutter tactics".

I thought and bought a brand that was reputable. That stood above the rest. Was quality, stylish, reliable, decent and the brand that everyone wants to own, but not everyone can. I am not sure how lying to generate publicity as reported in the media in the past 24 hours is something that is in line with the Mercedes brand.

Here we have an example of a PR person generating publicity only to fall flat on their face and while they may have millions in mileage in terms of column centimeters, they are no doubt going to lose a lot more than that with loyal brand followers turning off their brand.

My next car may have cost Mercedes between $150 to $250k. I am sure I am not the only one that has now got a distaste for the Mercedes brand over one very fatal and very stupid PR stunt that has clearly backfired.
Every day I meet with male and female entrepreneurs. In some ways, I would love to use these meetings in a study about human gender based entrepreneurial behaviour because it continues to fascinate me the inherent differences between men and women entrepreneurs.

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.

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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.
1 Billion Users. Now that is a really big number. HUGE!

If you think about the fact that there are only 7 billion people reportedly on the planet, Facebook has a staggering 14% as friends.

In July 2010, they had half that. 500 million registered users to be precise. So, how in 26 months have they increased to double that size excluding China, because its banned there?
We've all heard about 'why companies fail to grow' with literally thousands of books, blogs, articles and shows talking about why businesses have failed to grow or have had a sudden death.

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.
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:31

Prospecting leads to the gold clients

By Christopher Niesche - smh.com.au

EVERY small business should have a prospect list - a database of existing and potential customers where the business can focus its marketing efforts.

But it needs to be more than just a list of names and email addresses. It has to contain people who are in the target market for your products.

Here are tips on how to build up a prospect list.
Recently, I ventured out to a Turkish Hamams as part of an off-site adventure organised by a conference that I attended in Istanbul.

As I readied myself for the excursion, I packed a bathing suit, took off my makeup and put on some comfortable clothing attire. That's what you do, right? Well, almost.

The bathing suit is not required. In fact, if you bring it along, and you go to a traditional hamams you may be confronted with an old Turkish woman telling you to put the bathing suit away "not needed". Then what do you do? You are there for an experience, right?
Sunday, 30 September 2012 16:21

How is someone contributing to your life?

Every now and again, this blog gets personal. Very personal.

Today is one of those days. Not because I feel particularly inspired to share how I am feeling, but as I am sitting here on a Sunday, enjoying the Spring breezes through my balcony opening, I thought I would share with you something that a former Monk shared with 800 people at a conference I attended in Istanbul.

Life on earth is limited.

It is. We may live to be 80 and if we are really lucky, 100, but most probably, we will die before then. Therefore, we have only ourselves to blame for not making the most of what life has to offer us.

Prioritize things and people that are most important in life

Thursday, 27 September 2012 15:53

The New Myspace: Getting Sexy Back

The king of reinvention then subsequent flops, Myspace, has once again relaunched and its looking very promising. A mixture between an entertainment version of Pinterest with a splash of Twitter and Facebook, has seen the new promotion video linked to The New Myspace go viral.



"Who am I to say I want you back? When you were never mine to give away."

The lyrics that accompanies the promotional video reinforces the company's positioning. Having sold for US$580 million to News Corporation in 2005, the 9 year old business (founded in 2003) has reinvented itself which what can only be described as a "beautiful" looking website. Aesthetically, it has WINNER all over it, but the proof will be in how they not only attract their followers but keep them.

Scoring Justin Timberlake, an early investor into the comeback is of course clever marketing because after all, he is the "comeback king" and is considered one of the coolest and sexiest people on the planet. If brand association is anything to go by, the public should be in for something very special.

What do you think?

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