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Marketing Eye blog topic: Small Business Marketing - page 8

Small Business Marketing

We all know that your brand in short is what people think of your company. These days, it's becoming increasingly what they think of your website, because most people will get to know you online before they meet you offline.

Traditional marketing still rocks - but we all know that online marketing and social networks now have more power to engage customers and prospects than any other marketing medium in history. Something no-one can ignore.

If you are still getting over your new year hangover and your head is a little muffled with too much going on and a new desire to lose weight, give up smoking, improve your health and spend more time with your family - there might be a competitor or two out there that has already started their BIG 2013 MARKETING CAMPAIGN and they are already punching above their weight online and offline. So, here's what you need to start thinking about:

1. Take a good long hard look at your website. Is it really a great representation of your brand? Does it tell your story? Does it give people reason to not only spend time on your site but to also come back time and time again?

2. Is your website looking good? Do people compliment you on how easy your website is to navigate around and find information pertinent to their needs? Is your website professional?

3. Do you update your website regularly? 

4. Have you set up google analytics and are you using this information to improve content and site navigation?

5. Have you checked out your competitors and what keywords they are using online? Are you up-to-date with "most searched keywords" - easily attainable through adwords?

6. Is your website designed and created for tablets and mobile use? 

7. At a glance, is it apparent that you have engaged in using the KISS principal when designing your website? Take a look at www.apple.com and see how easy it is to identify exactly what they sell and how you can buy their products or use their services.

8.  Have you focused on content? Is your content easy to read? Is your content relevant to your target audience? Have you utilized keywords in your content repetitive?

9.  Have you made your website personal? Every day, I receive emails from people saying how much they appreciate the fact that while my blogs talk about business, they also share my personal experiences and give them an insight into the business and culture they will be dealing with.

10. Is your company really on social media or do you just have an account set up that is not active and regularly updated? Are social media platforms linking back potential customers to your website?

What is your website really saying about your brand? Are you proud of your website? Do you regularly receive and seek feedback on your website? How are you capturing prospect data?


There are alot of questions that you need to ask yourself and now is the time - not tomorrow. Good luck!




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It's the last day of work for the year and I am exhausted. I have had a Christmas party or dinner every night for 2 weeks and on top of that, I have been literally working my arse off. Excuse the language, but I think we are 'friends' now so we can really say it how it really is. Feel free to throw expletives back at your own discretion or fire at me a "watch your language!" precursor.

I digress - but who wouldn't when you have lived on 4 or 5 hours sleep for a week and there is still a 'to do list' sitting beside your computer that is pages long, with big fluro marks on every single entity reminding you that these things are very urgent. 
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Like many small business owners, I have been totally caught up in finalising work for the year. For the first time ever, I have not bought a single gift. I am totally behind schedule.

But like millions of others, there are many options: shopping online, late night shopping or battling through the crowds in the lead-up to Christmas.
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Yesterday, I picked up my game. No longer walking around with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I changed the outcomes of the week, the month and possibly my life - all in a day.

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!
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While content management is 'all the rage' right now, smart marketers are not forgetting that while content may drive sales, visitors to your website or generate leads - it's sales process automation that keeps the sales pipeline full to the brim.

All small business owners are thinking about how they can attract more sales in the most cost-effective way possible without sacrificing the integrity of their brand.
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When in doubt, ask an expert.

Yesterday, I put in a phone call to Bond Street 180 business turnaround guru Daryl Wright and asked what he considered to be the most important things for small business owners to consider ahead of 2013. Here is what he had to say.

Here are the three things I think SME's should consider for 2013:
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Selecting the correct Christmas gift for clients can often be fraught with danger - while a thoughtful, heartfelt gift can strenghten and enhance your professional relationships, a poorly-executed and inappropriate present will have the opposite effect.

These days, selecting corporate gifts can often feel like a competition, with companies attempting to outdo each other in a extravagant battle of the budgets. That said, money can't buy class or creativity, so make sure you give from the heart and tailor each gift to your clients' interests. It is the thought that counts, after all.
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Many small business owners are reluctant to invest too much time and money into their websites. They simply don't see the value in it - that is of course, once you've passed the fact that they need to have one.

They invest in having a web development company develop a website and populate it with content and pictures, but many still don't ensure that they have search engine optimised their website on a regular basis or that they are updating content regularly that is relevant to their target audience.

It's easy to have a website - but not so easy to keep it up-to-date and relevant.
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While it's no Huffington Post, there is more than 50 stories that are now live on www.marketingeye.org - Marketing Eye's online magazine.

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.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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:
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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?


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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.
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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.
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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.
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