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Marketing maven, Tegan Addinsall, a senior marketing manager at Marketing Eye Melbourne came blasting through the front door of the office today with the biggest smile on her face. It was 7.30am in the morning, and although I was at work, I hadn't even put my makeup on and certainly hadn't finished my first cup of coffee.
"I love my job!" proclaimed Tegan. And indeed she does. Every day she comes to work with the biggest smile on her face. She is incredibly smart, and knows her "stuff" better than most. Sometimes annoyingly, she smiles and laughs so much that I want to hit her over the head with a book, so she can come down to my level (not really!).
All fairly harmless stuff - after all, Hannah Montana was a Disney brand, wholesome and pure that teenage girls the world-over could relate to.
Then something happened. She grew up. From teen idol to woman and that's where it all began.
Like Madonna before her, and Kylie Minogue for that matter, Miley Cyrus, the former sweet teenage girl that played Hannah Montana wanted to evolve her brand image and take it to the next level. If she would have kept up the wholesome image, it probably would have ensured that her brand diminish over time. Instead, she reinvented her brand. First it started with a number of selfies in proactive poses creating headlines. Then it was the picture of her smoking pot which I would imagine was not by accident - instead just part of a brand evolution.
As a marketing agency, we use a number of "must have" apps to ensure that we are regularly monitoring our clients performance online and ensuring that we are abreast of their competitors movements, campaigns and conversations as well as leveraging industry news and developments to bring their brands to the forefront.
While we continue to grow audiences, increasing our clients brands within the circles in which they trade, it becomes increasingly important to utilize Apps that cut-through the clutter and help ensures that we don't waste time on social media where possible.
Here are 8 of the most efficient analytical Apps that Marketing Eye uses:
1. HootSuite: If you don't use this, then you have not only been hiding under a rock, but you are missing a valuable tool. HootSuite is a social media management solution that enables teams to collaborately execute social media campaigns across multiple platforms from one single view point - a dashboard. HootSuite includes audience identification tools, the ability to streamline workflow and customize reporting. It is perfect for managing Twitter accounts.
It was a big step for both of them to take to hire a marketing company as it isn't something that they had done before.
Over the years, I have been dumb-founded by what former employees have written on their LinkedIn profiles about what they did while working at Marketing Eye.
The first one that had me gob-smacked was a French assistant, who wrote that she had developed and managed the Marketing Eye brand, building the company’s marketing strategy and executing it.
In reality, she was a personal assistant, who had poor English and was struggling to do any task at all from an administrative perspective. She didn’t write anything, had no contact at all with design or branding but was excellent at organizing my dinner appointments, assisting me with my wardrobe and in general being a great personal assistant, albeit one that could not write on an email on my behalf because of the poor English factor. She worked for me for a few months only which I did it as a favour for her boyfriend who was a good friend at the time. In the end, I had to tell him, that her English was so bad, I couldn’t afford the luxury of her impeccable taste in clothing, makeup and picking restaurants at that stage of my life.
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!
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.
Then I heard a voice. It was familiar. Manly. Strong. Thoughtful. Original.
I looked up.
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.
The food needs to be delicioius. Mouth watering. Something that your customer thinks about without even being there and tasting it. They need to sit around chatting to their friends, and at the same time be dreaming that they are eating a meal at your restaurant.
Your restaurant needs to be convenient. Not necessarily around the corner, but in close enough proximity to not be a hassle to get to.