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Marketing Eye blog topic: Small Business Marketing - page 6

Small Business Marketing

I don't know about you, but I am exhausted. It's only April and already my migraine has set in and isn't about to subside - unless of course, I make some hard decisions.

Business expansion has been exhilarating, hard work, fulfilling, adventurous, rewarding and above all, something that I am proud to say that I have made the steps to do. There is still a long way to go and the road looks very long, windy with ups and downs going far into the distance. Hopefully, I will pick up some hitchhikers along the way to keep me company and that the car will be full of people all wanting to head in the same direction. No doubt, there will be people who will want to get out along the way and those who will feel car sick but then miraculously they will get over it and start enjoying the drive and the scenery.
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The Hot Tip for Business Success
I love my job. It’s the difference between meeting oodles of fabulous individuals - and not. Day in and day out I meet great people, each with their own story.  Largely, they’re entrepreneurs.  Now, I love entrepreneurs. I love being around them, hearing what they have to say, conversing with them, learning from them. Their energy, their knowledge, their confidence, their stories, their drive. I haven't dropped a love drug prior to writing this despite it being the Tuesday after a 4-day long weekend - everything I'm saying is actually true.

I personally will never wear the shoes of an entrepreneur though because I can't have that cauldron-of-ideas bubbling without strategy and planning the detail. That's me. There are entrepreneurs and then there's me.
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Wina Slice of Thailand - Social Media Campaigning

The past few years has seen us as marketeers witness the tip of a technological iceberg. 

In a world where the word ‘Facebook’ is now as internationally recognised as the ‘Coca-Cola’ and ‘OK’ of yesteryear, we can conclude that social media and with it, social media campaigns, are the order of the day.  Businesses won’t maximise business without an effective social media presence - it is essential to play in today’s extremely competitive business environment and create long-lasting communications to build brand image and trust.

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The lose comment "I just got lucky I guess" is a load of horse radish. Seriously, if I hear one more person say that again I will scream!

While luck may play a role, and serendipity certainly cannot be ignored, very few business people have succeeded without having a good product or service, knowing how to market it and working incredibly hard with the right team in place.

Listening to veteran public speaker Shep Hyken at the recent EO Miami University, reminded me that more than ever, hard work, understanding the customer and their needs is part of the parcel of building and sustaining a company that is profitable, industry leading and competitive.

"Be better than average," Shep spruiks.
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An updated on our story of expansion from a recent speech:

Everywhere I go, people say “are you crazy… you left the sunshine, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, kangaroos, koalas and the great barrier reef for this.

I always pause, almost second-guessing what I am doing. But every single time, I come to the same conclusion.

I have a dream and that dream is to build a global small business firm that helps businesses realize their full potential.
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Walking into Caribou in Buckhead, Atlanta this morning, I was quietlly disturbed by a very loud American woman asking for her coffee. 

"I would like a double mocha grande with a dash of skim milk, and a bit of vanilla. Oh, and I would like some sweetener with that. Make sure it isn't too hot. Actually, I don't want a grande, I want a tall. So that will be..."

I waited patiently for her to repeat her order over and over again until it was my turn.
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How familiar are you with your clients?

Do you remember their birthdays? Their children's names? Where they last vacationed?

There is such a thing as being too familiar - you know the type; when a person comes up to you and invades your personal space. However, in business, putting aside the touchy feely stuff, being familiar by remembering important details about your clients, their habits, and perhaps the way they take their coffee, can ensure that your client feels comfortable sharing things with you that perhaps they would not do to a "stranger".

First meetings are always key to ascertaining what level of playing field you will be on in the relationship going forward. That means, if they share important information like the fact that they are married and have three children or like to ski, then ensure you capture this data and use it in the future. In ski season, perhaps you send them a new pair of gloves or a scarf.  

Yesterday, I met with a company in Atlanta that was headed by an Australian man. Immediately, we had something in common and were able to conduct the rest of the meeting with a sense of familiarity. Going through the same issues of settling in a new country, gives a sense that we are both on the same page. This makes the whole process so much easier because there is a sense that we both know where we are coming from thus helping Marketing Eye win this piece of business.

Food for thought!
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Phew! Exhausted. Seriously. Whoever said that expansion was a walk in the park needs their head read.

While the first week was the most exciting time of the year to date, the second week was riddled with sleep deprevation, home-sickness and a case of missing the basic home comforts that I have come to enjoy.

On top of that, I realized that although getting new clients was relatively easy (for today) it is twice as hard to get everything else organized around that from an administrative point of view when you don't have your entire administration team at your disposal.

And... the time difference means that instead of 12 hours a day at work it was now 16 hours a day with little time to spare and if I was really lucky, I would get Sunday off, but probably not, because there is so much to do.
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HOW TO TALK TO THE EGO AND GET SALES RESULTS IMMEDIATELY
That age old battle - the ego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.

The thing is though, with everyone communicating to everyone else - shouting, pitching and bargaining for a share of the market - it can be hard, defeating and infuriating for those of us running ethical business operations to compete with ‘get rich quick’ and ‘lose 7kg in 7 days’.
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Visual social media - the new phenomenon

It feels like the birth of the sweeping social media phenomenon occurred just five seconds ago, with Pinterest’s viral growth to dizzying heights, Facebook’s takeover of Instagram and Twitter launching the new network, Vine.

The new medium is continuing to grow and evolve, spawning a new phenomenon of its own: visual social media.

Like moths to a flame, humans are innately drawn to visual elements including images, photographs and sensational design. As more of us are increasingly mobile and engaging with social media on smartphones, viewing an image is far less tedious than squinting to read a few lines of tiny text on a moving train.
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how to really connect with your customers


As business owners and managers in an ever evolving world, our jobs become more challenging every day – every hour – to cut through clutter and make consumers notice our message.


How many times do we find ourselves repeating what we say to co-workers to get a message across?  For most of us, this isn’t a reflection of how we’re gauged as professionals or individuals but 95% attributable to the ‘151 rule’.


They say a person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers into his/her mind for immediate recollection.  This has been taught over and over again to us and you can test it by saying aloud a new name you come across three times consciously.


When you target a market with a specific message the same rule applies, all except your target isn’t one person and those three times won’t cut it.  It’s all about repetition.  You have no control over which people are listening at what time of the day - so the logical bet is to be accessible and available 24/7/365.

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What small businesses can learn from the Superbowl

Four minutes.
That’s how long it took for the first Twitter advertiser to bid on “power outage” as a search term after the lights went out at the New Orleans Superdome.

It also didn’t take long for cookie giant Oreo to respond to the now-infamous #superbowlblackout, spawning more than 13,000 re-tweets and nearly 5000 favourites.
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Don't be fooled to think that in 2013 you have time to waste. Everyone is now faster, smarter, better - all with extraordinary tools at their disposal.

Embarking on global expansion has been the most fascinating experience and in particular, working in what is one of America's most untapped entrepreneurial hubs of Atlanta has not only been rewarding, but also very invigorating.

Atlanta isn't the sleepy town that some of the cities counterparts seem to think it is. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The city is full of promise, spirit and an attitude that is less ruthless than say New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Behind the politeness and accomodating attitudes of Atlanta's business folk are smart, determined, ambitious and thoroughly capable people who drive small businesses in an endeavour to become big businesses.

Capitalising on an ability to cap salaries and deliver products and services to a national and international audience with America's most proficient transport hub at its disposal, Atlanta entrepeneurs are dreaming big. You heard it right - they are dreaming big. Not too dissimilar to their New York small business friends who have inspired a national through a carefully executed tabloid and magazine advertising campaign that let's the world know that in New York "This is no place to dream small."

What strikes me about the people of Atlanta is their attitude to helping others and in turn, helping themselves. It seems that those who don't come from here, tend to be the one's to watch, whereas if you do business with a true Atlanta local, you are guaranteed that the good old fashion handshake on a deal is exactly that. 

Today I had lunch with two talented mergers and acquisition partners at Deloitte. They both are very busy people but were kind enough to take time out of their day to have a chat about business, tax and the run of the land in setting up in Atlanta, buying a home and a motor vehicle.
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WHY YOUR ATTITUDE CAN BE A DEAL BREAKER


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…

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