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Secrets revealed… What’s in our marketing toolkit!

We are all hearing how the digital world has changed so many industries and how businesses are forced to go about business in new and innovative ways simply to survive. Well, the digital world has surely hit our industry, the marketing industry and like never before in our teams’ career have we ever experienced such a shift and change in what we do. 

Gone are the days of us relying on a trusty computer with email software and Microsoft Office, a calculator to get the numbers exactly right, and a sharp pencil to scribble down business owners’ wishes and magically turn them into an amazing experience that customers are prepared to pay for. The modern-day marketer has so many tools in their toolkit, it’s not only heavy to lug around (theoretically speaking), but with so many exciting, new offers making crazy life-changing claims, it really is hard to keep up! 

So, we thought we would reveal just a few of our secret tools that keep our team in order, on task and accountable. 

 

WordPress

Having a fully coded website with a content management system will allow you to update your text regularly, add pages and images to keep you ranking highly with Google. We are regularly updating clients’ websites in WordPress and as it has a great collection of plug-ins and widgets, customising a website to suit your individual needs is easy. The most important thing to remember when planning your website content is to make the user experience your priority and ensure that it looks professional and is easy to navigate. This will further drive visitation and keep them there longer. 

Google Analytics 

Knowing what your online users are clicking on and where they spend their time on your site are just two of the features this software offers. It is also one of the most-used web analytics services and exists to improve engagement and click through rates. By tracking how users have landed on your website and what devices they use to get there, you can tailor your content to create an even better experience. Your website should never be set and forget, it needs to be constantly updated. Monitoring your visitation and tracking increases and decreases in relation to any promotional campaigns you run, also provides you with vital measurement of success. 

MailChimp

The importance of creating and having your own database of customers that you regularly communicate with is essential to creating long-term customers and builds further on word of mouth and referrals. Mailchimp offers a simple and easy service, with free and paid options. In 2016, it was reported that MailChimp was sending 1 billion emails each day. It offers great integration across many other digital platforms and just like its customers it is quickly growing. In just a few clicks you can manage lists, add subscribers and send campaigns. 

Social Media Scheduling Apps  

Keeping an active presence on social media does not mean spending eight hours of the day on there. Business owners need to commit to at least 30 minutes of social media each day to schedule their posts and respond to messages (depending on your business, you may need much longer). If you are finding that this is taking up too much of your day, then using a scheduling app to easily monitor conversations and schedule content across a variety of channels is the answer. Hootsuite and Buffer are great platforms that allow you to connect and grow online. They also offer their own form of reports and analytics that allow you to monitor each campaign’s performance. 

 

Need help with your digital marketing? 

Marketing is our business at The Marketing Factory, contact us to find out how we can help you through: 

• Support and strategy – no point going into the jungle without a map right! We are your guides through the depths of social media, and will create a clear plan identifying why you are on social media and what you want out of it.  

• Experience and wisdom – we have learnt many lessons along the way and are saving our clients time and most importantly money by being ahead of the game. 

• Creative writing ability – our team of wordsmiths and journalists can create captivating content that will have your online audiences wanting more.

• Incredible photos and videos – not only can we capture and produce photos and videos, we have access to amazing photo libraries and software to create compelling and persuasive posts. 

• Reports and measurement – by tracking your reach and engagement you will see your online presence grow right before your eyes.

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In an instant

If you struggle to find the time for social media in your business but really want to be seen online, then Instagram just might be your answer!

As the name suggests, Instagram works instantly, and is a social networking tool that allows users to share photos and videos taken from a smartphone to a group of followers. The app then keeps a record of the photos and videos you create on your profile. Starting an account is simple and like all other social mediums, it’s free. But for all those haters of social mediums who claim social is an enormous waste of time, Instagram has taken the mobile photo-sharing niche by storm. And with no sign of stopping any time soon.

Here are some interesting facts about the company that is only seven years young:

• Instagram launched in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012.

• There are 5 million monthly active Australian users.

• 1 in 5 Australians use Instagram.

• There are 15 million registered businesses using Instagram business profiles (in the world).

• Instagram has 1 million monthly active advertisers.

• In March 2017, more than 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged to learn about a business, because of an Instagram ad.

• Instagram estimates $1.53 billion in global mobile ad revenue in 2016, which is a 144% increase in one year.

• 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business.

• 60% of users say that they have learned about a product or service on the platform.

• The most popular filters are Clarendon, Gingham and Juno/Lark.

Instagram is a simple, fun and creative way to capture and share the moments that make up your business, with the added benefit of reaching a world-wide audience. Through these images, you can share your business’s story, and personality, with existing and potential customers. And you can do much of it yourself, once you have a solid strategy. Many popular phones have in-built 12-megapixel cameras, giving your images amazing resolution. (Other than professional photographers, who still carries a separate camera?)

So you want more reasons why Instagram is a good option for your business? Ok, here goes:

• Photos on social media experience more engagement than videos.

• Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

• People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.

Our team at The Factory currently manages many business’ Instagram accounts as part of their overall online presence. We are passionate about ensuing our clients are on the shopping list of the thousands of potential customers out there.

In an era of the digital media explosion, the businesses that are engaging in the online space are perceived as leaders in their field. So, the question remains, do you want to be a leader in your field and give your potential customers information online before they even knew they needed it?

Apple did. Look at them now!

 

OUR TIPS FOR INSTAGRAM

1. If you are a restaurant, retailer, tourism destination or have lots of beautiful things to take photos of then Instagram will suit your business.

2. Create unique hashtags that relate to your business and promote them across all your other social profiles, on your website, and your email blasts.

3. Only post quality images on your profile, think about lighting and what you might be capturing in the background.

4. Tell your story – storytelling is the oldest form of marketing, plus it’s a great way to connect.

5. Find your style, similar to your brand, you need to work out who you are and how you want your business to be represented, then own your style!

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Getting it right from the start: Nail Envy by Elle

Setting up a new business is an exciting adventure, but can also be daunting with initial cost outlays and ensuring you get things right from the start. The best advice we can offer is that new business owners take the time to create a brand that will represent the professional image they would like create and attract the right customers. Let’s take a look at Nail Envy By Elle for example;

Case Study: Nail Envy By Elle

The brief:

A full-time employed, busy mum of two created a new business in Nail Envy by Elle. She wanted to ensure that even though her love of nails and catching up with friends was a hobby, that she also presented a professional image. As a consumer herself of retail products and services, she knew which brands she was more inclined to use and understood the driving forces behind her purchasing decisions. She was very certain that if she was going to embark on this new business journey, no matter what the size or price point, it needed to reflect a high level offering. With a trading name registered, business plan drafted, we met with the owner to ensure we captured all the elements and experience she was looking for in her brand and business. While the owner knew what she wanted, she gave our team the creative licence to develop a unique brand that would feature across her logo, stationery and social media.

The process:

Meeting with a client face-to-face is something our designers enjoy, as we get to know them on a more engaging level and create something that not only suits their business goals, but their personality. As this new business was to be one that was delivered by only one person, it was imperative that we matched the brand to the owner to strengthen the relationship between the business brand, the owner and the service delivery. Representing a brand that you don’t feel connected to is not ideal and this is one huge advantage of working with a local team, rather than dealing with a supplier over the internet, email or phone.

Logo concepts were presented, refined and then finalised quickly, without hassle. Stationery was designed and printed and as an added extra. Our team took things a step further and created a unique nail board for the client to showcase finished products. This not only exceeded the client’s expectations, it completed the look the client was so passionate about. We have recently been informed that this logo development has been named as a state finalist at the 2015 Queensland Multi Media Awards.

The result:

“I approached The Marketing Factory to develop a look for my new business venture as they presented a professional image themselves and one I could trust. I was more than impressed with the marketing experience I received from the entire team at The Marketing Factory.

The development of my brand, the logo design (which I love) and the quality of all the items delivered was a touch above the rest. Starting up this business from home while on maternity leave, I couldn’t have asked for more from their team by means of support. Their team have even become returning clients of mine, which further cements our relationship.

My name and logo is out there – thank you to The Marketing Factory!”


Carissa Johnstone
Owner
Nail Envy by Elle

A Client’s Journey: Jean-Pierre Artisan Bakery

At The Marketing Factory we work to position our clients as leaders within their field through creative campaigns. Let’s take a look at Jean-Pierre Patisserie for example;

Case Study: Intelligent Business Solutions

The brief:

Jean-Pierre Patisserie contacted The Marketing Factory in search of new ideas to refresh the look and feel of their well-established brand. This was an exciting opportunity for The Marketing Factory to partner with one of Townsville’s most iconic bakeries, with the ambition of bringing a new innovative concept to life.

Through discussions with Jean-Pierre and his team, we established that they were seeking a number of changes within their business. Through the initial consultation we agreed that some of these changes would include a name that was aligned with core services of the business, a refreshed logo, building signage for the new premises, vehicle signage, marketing collateral and a stationery set. The new look was to be modern, yet also maintaining elements of the previous logo that Townsville has grown to know and trust.

When clients engage The Marketing Factory to discuss rebranding or refreshing the brand we ask, “Why”? It is vital to keep a business in touch with modern looks and trends, it is also very important to ensure continuity of your current business brand. The Marketing Factory team always establishes the client’s motivation behind any rebranding and discusses the touch points and the implications of the change.

The process:

When rebranding a business, our team is very conscious of holding onto the existing brand integrity, while developing a new look that matches the new business vision. Through a collaborative approach with Jean-Pierre, our talented team rejuvenated their current brand with a fresh and contemporary look, whilst maintaining the key elements of their current brand.

It was an absolute pleasure to go on the journey with Jean-Pierre and the team at Jean-Pierre Artisan Bakery.

The result:

Operating for nearly 30 years in the Townsville region, Jean-Pierre Artisan Bakery (formerly Jean-Pierre Patisserie) was in serious need of brand updating without losing the brand and logo recognition that had been created.

The Marketing Factory team took the time to understand our business needs and communication strategies. They have addressed all business branding aspects including a name change, on-site signage, vehicle and special event signage and collateral, a new website, logo redesign as well as all stationery requirements.

The feedback received from our customers and suppliers has been wonderful. The new look logo and branding is fresh, clear and conveys our message of being a local artisan bakery both wholesale and retail to the market.

The time and care taken by The Marketing Factory team goes above and beyond. We are very happy with the results. We will be sticking with them!”

Kate Mathewson
Owner
Jean-Pierre Patisserie

A Client’s Journey: Intelligent Business Solutions

Continuing our celebration of showcasing our team’s achievements, in this edition we highlight how we think outside the box and present ideas to clients they have never considered.

Case Study: Intelligent Business Solutions

The brief:

Intelligent Business Solutions approached The Marketing Factory when the business founder made the brave decision to leave her full-time job and embark on a new business venture. Seeing a gap in the market, the new business aimed to offer something unique, by merging the services of a bookkeeper and tax accountant to provide a financial management solution.

Although the owner had a business plan in place and knew how she was going to approach potential new clients, she was unsure how to bring together a brand that truly represented her vision.

The new business was looking for an appealing and professional image that would reflect the unique vision and of course be something to be proud of. The owner engaged The Marketing Factory to assist with logo development, stationery design, social media and website design.

The process:

Talking with the business owner we wanted to ensure the brand identity of Intelligent Business Solutions represented her vision, confidence, experience and personality. It was important we embarked on a unique concept that cut through in a cluttered market of accountants and financial companies. Everything including the colours, images and fonts used involved the business owner as she participated in the journey of developing her brand. At The Marketing Factory we are very passionate to ensure we nail the creative brief and all concepts are delivered on time and on budget. Once the logo design was approved, we then created the stationery set and website design. This enabled the business owner to step into her new role quickly and start approaching potential new clients with a professional armour of collateral that she was proud of. Social Media is also a major part of business these days, and although the business owner claimed to still be on a learning curve, she understood the huge opportunities this presents and allowed The Marketing Factory to guide her through it.

The result:

Intelligent Business Solutions Stationery“We approached The Marketing Factory to assist in the preparation of our corporate branding and personality of our business to be conveyed to new and existing clients. As our business is emerging, first impressions speak volumes. Our vision was to provide a fresh, interesting and modern presentation of our business, in particular incorporating web, social media, business cards and stationery. The Marketing Factory worked closely with us ensuring the presentations accurately reflected the personality of our business whilst conveying our professionalism and unique place in the financial services market.

The feedback received on our marketing collateral has been beyond expectations. Our branding is a clear representation of who we are and how we are a ‘little different’ to the mainstream providers of accounting and bookkeeping services.

If I had to encapsulate how The Marketing Factory has assisted in the start-up of our business, I would call them ‘The business mid-wives’. We could not be happier with the final results of our first impressions.”

Dianna Weir

Business Development Advisor

Intelligent Business Solutions

A Client’s Journey: wilson/ryan/grose Lawyers

At The Marketing Factory we work to position our clients as leaders within their field through creative websites. Let’s take a look at wilson/ryan/grose for example; www.wrg.com.au

Case Study: Web Design

The brief:

wilson/ryan/grose contacted us to explore opportunities of having their current website updated with a refreshed look and feel or create a new dynamic website that improved the site’s functionality as well as an overall appearance. Meeting with Travis Schmitt, Partner at wilson/ryan/grose, we soon determined the firm wanted a website that was not only modern, functional and user friendly, but also on par with national and international law firms. A brand new website was on its way.

A professional showcase of their team and easy navigation was high on the firm’s wish list, along with having an online presence that was a true reflection of how they wanted to be perceived, not only to potential new clients, but their existing client base.

The process:

With the client’s wish list in mind, our team set off to create a blueprint of the functionality of the site. We created a breakdown of features for each individual page including content, interactive buttons, social medial links, images and more. A strong line of communication was established between our team and key contacts at wilson/ryan/grose via meetings, phone calls and emails, to ensure our creative concepts and implementation strategies were meeting the client’s objectives. During this time it was apparent that a new image library was required, including team head shots and hero shots of the building, to meet the standard set for the new website design. Our photography team effectively captured and enhanced these images to complement their sleek, contemporary new design concept that was in progress.

Excitement has been building and the moment has arrived, where our team can finally share the first draft with the client and engage in discussions on how the website has met the initial brief and client’s vision. With website content confirmed and the draft concept approved, we are now a step closer to sending the website live. Clients are then able to share weeks of hard work and passion with the broader community. Ensuring clients have the confidence to manage their new website and make changes through the content management system, we conduct a website training session with key personnel to go through the back-end functionality and how to make amendments to the site. Updating content, images, news articles and accessing the reporting system is now at the client’s control and fingertips.

Developing a complex website like wilson/ryan/grose takes time, so we ensured a high level of communication was maintained throughout the project, with updates on where the project was at and any other requirements. Not only are the websites created at The Marketing Factory unique and custom designed, they are built on a foundation of solid Search Engine Optimisation and Google Analytic Reporting for the best possible organic ranking.

The result:

We engaged The Marketing Factory to assist us in the preparation of the firm’s new website. Our vision was to produce a modern site which provided a user friendly interface while being a useful resource to our existing and prospective clients. The Marketing Factory worked closely with us over several months, producing a professional website which allows our brand to compete with law firms from around Queensland. We have received positive feedback from many people and have secured new clients who came to us based on the appearance of our website when compared to our competitors. We could not be happier with the service provided by The Marketing Factory and the website they produced.

Travis Schmitt
Partner
wilson/ryan/grose Lawyers

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Creating Winning Partnerships

Sometimes in business we can get stuck, doing the same things we’ve always done and talking to the same people we always have. Our family, our friends, our colleagues, our customers and our suppliers are all important people that we juggle to give attention to every week to meet the demands of life and business. But what if we made time each week to extend ourselves outside our traditional circles and consider engaging with a new group? This new group could consist of people or businesses that you traditionally may consider as competition, but if you are all trying to hit the same target, then why not increase your strike rate by teaming up? If teaming up with your competitor is something you are just not ready to consider, how about looking for groups that could benefit from utilising your services/products? They could be made up of a large portion of your target market, or a new target market group that you are trying to hit. Partnering up with a group of prequalified people that need or currently use your product/service and exposing them to your brand over your competitors is a great way to build new business. Remember, there must be a mutual benefit for both parties, so giving an incentive/prize/reward always helps. The results of a partnership vary and depend greatly on the passion of the people involved. Be sure that you set clear inclusions of the partnership upfront, outline objectives and create a timeline so it can be reviewed and meet regularly. So if anyone can see an opportunity to partner with The Marketing Factory, I welcome your call.

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Why your business needs a website!

Can you remember the last time you didn’t use your computer or a smart phone over a 24-hour period? Don’t worry, neither can I. With the big shift to digital we spend a lot of time each day online whether is for professional or personal reasons.

So if you own a business and you’re not online, what’s it actually saying about your business? Chances are your competitors are online so potential new business leads are being lost daily if your business is nowhere to be found. Can you afford not to be online?

Customers are making purchasing decisions about buying from your business, without your knowledge. Every night between the hours of 8pm and 11pm internet usage increases. More posts are found on forums and social networks than any other time. As most businesses aren’t open for business at this time, your website is all that is left to affect and influence future sales. And you can’t rely on social media platforms alone to double as your online presence.

If you’re still unsure whether your business needs a website, here are some points to consider which will hopefully help with your decision process:
• Websites allow your business to be open for trade 24 hours each day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It’s the salesman that never sleeps! No sick pay or annual leave required.
• Websites will get you discovered by potential customers. You never know who might be looking for your product or service.
• Websites broaden your audience by the masses. Do you offer a product or service that can transact via phone or email? Don’t restrict your business to where you are physically located.
• Websites can showcase your business as an employer of choice and attract the best people in your field for employment opportunities.
• People are already talking about your business on social media. Direct them to the truth.

If your business already has a website, ask yourself if it’s working for you or against you. Equal to walking into a poorly presented business with bad service and no signage or direction, is a poorly planned and structured website. No longer is it good enough to place a bit of text you have written yourself and throw up a few pictures with your logo. Online shoppers are hungry to be inspired and crave information.

We are all consumers of goods, so when trying to decide what content should or shouldn’t go on your website, think back to the last time you purchased something online. If you particularly enjoyed an experience, note what exactly it was you enjoyed, and on the contrary, note all the things that made up a bad experience.

Here are a few areas where businesses can go wrong:
• Their website is too complicated. You have no idea where you would find what you are looking for, and when you click on something you have no idea how to get back.
• Their website content is lacking or content heavy. Finding a happy medium between just your phone number and email address, versus a university thesis about your business is a challenge.
• Their website is stale. Updates are important so make sure you add new content regularly. A blog is the perfect platform to do this.
• Their website is boring. Spark interest on the home page to keep visitors interested and wanting to click further into your site. The average page visit lasts a little less than a minute, meaning they only have time to read a quarter of the text, so make what you say worthwhile.

Simply building an amazing website is not the end of the road. You have to ensure you’re taking the right steps to drive traffic to your website, making sure you are on the shopping list when someone is looking for a product or service you offer. And lastly, tell the world about it! Add your website address to your advertising and marketing collateral to get the word out there.

That’s it for now. I have something I need to Google!

Where is Australian Marketing going?

The Australian Marketing Institute recently conducted research based on the future outlook for the marketing industry. They formulated a survey that was run online and is based on 259 responses from senior marketers.  The survey was administered in December 2012 and is the fourth annual Senior Marketers Monitor conducted by the Australian Marketing Institute, here are some of the results;

Marketing budgets continue to grow    
Overall, budgets are expected to record another increase in 2013, although only at around an average 1% (against the 3.5% recorded in the previous survey, and the 4% growth of 2011).  One third (34%) of marketers are anticipating their 2013 budgets to increase, against 38% expecting expenditures to remain largely unchanged.

Marketers continue to feel positive about their profession and its role     
Similar to the previous two years, most senior marketers (76%) feel ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ about the role and influence of marketing in Australia today.

Marketing Priorities   

No major changes over 2012, but emerging shifts in the use of social networking and Web 2.0.
•    Measures to increase sales
•    Customer acquisition
•    Maximising efficiency of marketing expenditure
•    Maintaining, building brand/s
•    More profitable market segments

Challenges faced by marketers

•    Effectively getting messages to market
•    Acquiring new customers
•    Maintaining current customer base
•    Demonstrating the contribution of marketing to senior management
•    Maintaining pricing/margins

Changes in media expenditure
In terms of use of media the top five increased channels are:
•    Social networking and web 2.0 applications
•    Online advertising
•    Public relations
•    Viral marketing
•    Direct marketing

“Traditional media is being used more by a minority of marketers,” comments Mark Crowe, “with the stand-out examples being Print (12%), radio (8%) and Free to Air TV (4%).”

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How’s your findability?

Ok so before you go and look up a dictionary to see whether this word exists, treat me to a few more minutes of your time… I thought this word was the best possible describer of a crucial part of business survival and one every owner should ask “is my business easily found? I liken this concept to a supermarket shelf, with all the popular items placed at eye height, and the not as important items placed at ankle level or out of reach. Now, I’m not the tallest person, so I’m used to reaching for most things, but I can definitely tell if an item has more shelf priority than another.

So what happens to those items that are too hard to find? Do we give up on them and go for another item that is front of us, or do we show a little more patience and keep searching for a few more minutes? This would really depend on the person and the item in question, if the shopper has strong alignment with that item, then the search may continue, but if it’s just soy sauce that we want, then any ole soy sauce might do. So now let’s place our business in this situation… Are you easily found? Or are your competitors more predominantly positioned? This is all within our control and if you think a move would be more profitable in the long run, then go for it

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Don’t Blend In

You can easily remember what the geeky kid wore at school. The clothes they wore, the way they styled their hair (or lack of styling). But how many of us can remember what the majority of kids wore? Was it memorable, or was it similar to what we ourselves were wearing? Being a teenager was a tough gig and to avoid being singled out we chose to blend in. So when these teens grow up to own and run businesses, how do we get the blending in gene out of our mindset and desire to be more like the geeky kids and really stand out. Being different is not only wonderful, it is allows you to easily get noticed and demand immediate attention. Now, I’m not saying go out and do something absolutely crazy in business, but what I am suggesting is that brands that have the ability to be a bit weird, get noticed and remain memorable. Ensuring you choose the right brand experience is critical to you looking like hero, not a half wit!

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The future of retail

Long gone are the days of air conditioned shopping malls being the empire of retail and the way we shop. Now retailers are fighting for ways to benefit from the dominance of online shopping and reclaim their space. Retailers who have invested in technology are seeing immediate results, with launching their own online stores and seeing it as another outlet to their business that allows for access 24/7.

Making money while we sleep is an aspiration for all business owners and if you continually invest time into how this can be achieved in your industry, I’m sure you will find many options. I predict, in coming years, retailers will not only look to expand their presence online, but also expand their customer experiences. We have already heard from MYER stating they have invested $25M into customer service, with staff incentives, staff training and more staff on the shop floor. We are now seeing trends of retailers further expanding with their own concept stores, and coffee shops and salons in stores like Gap.

So what can we do to extend our customers experience with our brand?

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Cowboys Leagues Club – National Savour Award

The Cowboys Leagues Club were recently awarded a National Savour Award for the Best Restaurant in a Pub, Club or Tavern in Australia – quite an achievement for the local area.

They enlisted The Marketing Factory’s help to showcase this and increase awareness. We created a range of collateral including promotional posters, email signatures, press advertisements and even a billboard to get the message out to the members of the club and general public throughout the region. Have a peek below for some of the work – enjoy!

Email signature –

 

Promotional poster –

The heart that give is the heart that gathers.

The Marketing Factory