Marketing Eye

Expert Marketing Blog - Management - Page 3

I gave the team a small project, and even before they started i knew the result. It had something to do with our company so it was experimental in every sense of the word. But I knew deep down it would fail, and I knew why.

Normally, I would be the first to say "that won't work". However, this wasn't the time. It was a small project and it wouldn't harm anyone by being a failure. Instead, it would be a lesson learned and I was willing to pay the price.
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For six months we searched for a VP of Marketing to run our Atlanta operations, and after searching Australia, US and UK/Europe we found Shara Atkinson. She is from Atlanta but for the past 10 years has lived in the UK. 

Hiring Shara has been a game-changer. Prior to her appointment, I was overseeing the US market and managed staff from afar. Let me share with you, "it's not the best idea". Running a new company remotely is very hard. It's easy for Marketing Eye to get business, but hard to keep employees and train them from a different continent.
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 18 months ago, I decided to employ my niece who was 18 at the time, to work at the Marketing Eye Sydney office.

I spent alot of time thinking through this decision, and did not take it lightly. I decided that given how young she is, I would have her answer the phone and do administrative duties with the hope she would show aptitude for an area of the business, and we could further train her.
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Employees are the heart and soul of any organization. I once named a recruitment company in Australia "Human Directions" because it is the human direction of a company that ultimately determines whether your company is going to be successful or not.

I learned a lot over the past 16 years of being in business about people. I have had employees lie, steal, manipulate, gossip and conduct unethical practises that are not within the company's core set of values let alone my own.
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The only thing more powerful than a big idea is the team that can see it through. 

Many of us have big, huge, gigantic ideas - but how many of these ideas actually see light of day. Statistics show that not many do. 

If you are anything like me, you live and breathe ideas and the very essence of your being is celebrating the fact that you are an "ideas person". But an idea is just that unless you do something about it.
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Marketing Eye is an international business. With our expansion to Atlanta and then other locations throughout the US, we had to really think about what our organizational structure was going to be like moving forward. After a lot of investigation, and research, we decided to work as a flat organizational structure and give people the power to make important business decisions.
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Every Friday is different. Some days we are so busy, we can't scratch ourselves. Other's we are creating great brands, and needing to free ourselves from the shackles of everyday work life and think outside the square. 

Our environment is transformative. I say this because each of our offices has their own unique personalities. They seem to encompass the culture that has fostered from an environment free of layered management and flat in structure.
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It's no secret that Marketing Eye is on an aggressive growth path. During the past 2 years, there has been a surgence in companies realizing that they need an outsourced marketing department to take their businesses to the next level.

Our positioning in the market, and evidence of high quality work and client successes, has kept us in good stead.
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We are at the pointy end of the year, and it's without doubt my most reflective period. It's 10 years since I registered the Marketing Eye business name, and it's been a long, arduous journey, but one that I don't regret.

Marketing Eye started with investment money. The first few years, we had some tweaking to do, which was stressful, because I wasn't just playing with my money. Bringing a new model into a mature market is just a case of rolling the dice, seeing how they fall and hoping for the best. But I believed in it with all of my heart. I thought I knew something that others didn't and that was that all small businesses need to manage cash flow with no surprises and they all need marketing. This is a formidable combination, capable of allowing small to medium sized businesses the freedom to do what they do, without being held to their next invoice.

There were changes that needed to occur in the business model, but the day we got it right we never looked back. In the time leading up to this moment, I doubted myself, cried myself to sleep because I felt like a failure and constantly put myself in situations where I was uncomfortable. I was stressed off my head and didn't know how to deal with it. No one taught me how to do this. Often, a simple thing that would go wrong, would seem to me like the end of the world. Once, some hackers hacked into our bank accounts and emptied them. I had a public speaking engagement only an hour later. Instead of dealing with it later, I cancelled the engagement. I didn't know what to do and I didn't have the hindsight to know that it could wait an hour or two. It was the wrong choice and something that I now realize was not how an entrepreneur acts. They are supposed to suck it up, put on their good shoes and show the world how things are done.

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I am not a born entrepreneur. In fact, I am anything but. I am more like a person who has an idea and just wants to see it through. It's like finishing a mathematics equation. I wish I could say that I had undying passion for business, but instead, I feel gratitude that I am able to provide myself with a great life, as well as the ability  to employ people and provide them with a secure income and an opportunity to see themselves shine.

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Being a woman should never be a disadvantage and I am the last to hang my hat on the entire equality equation. I believe in 'the best person for the job' regardless of gender.

But being a woman is hard. Being a single woman in her early forties who hasn't had a family yet, is even harder. You are placed in a category by people with a certain distain for you. It makes people feel sorry for you. It makes people think that there must be something wrong with you. If you haven't done it at all at least once, there must be something wrong with you mustn't there?

I am speaking from first hand experience. I am that girl. I am that woman. I am that sister. And I am that daughter. What went wrong? Was she so career-obsessed that she thought it would be around forever; that looks, availability, men and a never ending line up would stay around forever? Or is she just plain hard work?

Having done a lot of soul searching, I have found the answer: I forgot to stop and smell the roses and keep myself open to possibility.

In my case, my 30's were spent building a business -- this business, Marketing Eye. And it was spent being in love with two men and not looking elsewhere. Two that just kept the carrot dangling enough so that while I was so busy working, I had no time to look for anyone else. Instead, I had someone when I needed them and I had my business that I could dedicate my time to. One was during my early 30's, the other in my late 30's. They were narcissistic men who knew how to manipulate. I was vulnerable and weak. They were both the wrong men and twice I made the same choices. If nothing changes, nothing changes. You would think a smart woman like me would know better.

I woke up one month ago. I realized that growing a business is hard work and I have given my heart and soul to it. I also become acutely aware that I have been played by people smarter than me because I am easy prey. I am that career woman who has a dream and has so many moving parts that she will never have time to open herself up for possibility. Instead, when she catches her breath, she just wants the person who is most comfortable to her.

I am telling a story that most women would be afraid to tell. The story of how we miss things because to run a business, we not only have a vision and a plan, but we have to have the guts, determination and fearless ability to pick ourselves up off the ground over and over again when no one, and I mean no one is going to give us a hand. 

We may have family who love us; but they too think something is wrong. They can't quite figure out how we don't 'have it all'. I am someone's daughter and someone's sister. They love me like no one else is ever going to love me - unconditionally. But they too look at me and wonder what went wrong.

Every single time that I think that everything is going to work out fine and things are falling into place - something falls apart. And it's never small. It's big. It brings me to my knees and it is excruciating. Worse still, I am dealing with this by myself, internalizing the pain, the hurt and the disappointment. I know tomorrow that I have to get up and do it all over again and I have no one who is going to do it for me. I mean no one.

Being a woman in business, whether you have five children and a loving husband, or you are like me - single and not sure where you fit in the world - is challenging. 

Next time you look at that female entrepreneur that walks into the room in her designer outfit, head held high, navigating her next move; spare a thought for the fact that she has a role to play and she is doing it to the best of her ability. She will fall down, make the wrong choices and come across as if her world is perfect - but she is human, and the truth of the matter is that it isn't easy being her. It isn't easy being me.
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We are in professional services and as such our job is to ensure that our clients always receive a "professional service" at the standard that they expect.

At Marketing Eye, we spend time training our team to be better at managing client expectations and delivering best-in-class marketing services on an ongoing basis.

Our model is simple; We provide an outsourced marketing department for small to medium sized businesses.

Our clients are predominantly entrepreneurs who once had an idea, developed it and then became successful in their pursuit to realize their dreams.

Here are 5 things I learned this week:
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'Anything is possible' and if you truly believe it, you can see it.

The world is full of pessimistic individuals who are tirelessly working to pull you down, but if you are a real entrepreneur with a BIG DREAM and determination to make it happen, then you may be in the minority of business people who achieve success.

Business can be a rollercoaster and there is always something that pops up that will challenge you and make you dig deep for solutions that may not be obvious at the first glance. It's part of the journey that both you and I have signed ourselves up for.

Creating a winning formula for business isn't easy and the reality is that for most, it is near impossible. But if you are serious and you have the vision to take your business to the next level, from whatever position you are in today, then you may be someone we will all read about in Forbes or Inc Magazine in a few years time - and I can't wait to see that happen.

This blog '5 Winning Ways To Turn Your Business Around' is my story - not necessarily yours. I will share with you my insight into what I believe to be the future of Marketing Eye and how we are going to cement ourselves a global small business marketing company that is unparalleled in the market place.
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Last month I sent a team member to a two-day class to learn about "The Project Success Method".

As a company, we handle many projects, all at the one time, for multiple clients across multiple offices. Ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible is critical. 

I had read quite a bit about Clinton Padgett and his proven Project Success Method. What prompted me to take action was the fact that our company is growing exponentially and we have so many international projects on that unless our people are equipped to run these projects, something will fail. Most importantly is that qualified people train the project leaders, who then in turn work with their teams to train them.
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The next 12-months is going to be incredibly different for people who work at Marketing Eye. After years of working hard at establishing a product and service that is unsurpassed by industry standards, driven by technology, systems and processes, we are now working tirelessly on how to build the right culture going forward.

There have been many hit and misses and lots of unnecessary frustration, but finally I think as a team we have hit the nail on the head and I am about to test it to the enth degree.

Flat Organizational Structure

Weaning employees off hierarchy-driven decision making has been a test of both patience and perseverance. Gen-Y's have been told that they need leadership in order to be successful, yet some of the most successful companies in the world, like Google, are saying quite the opposite. Their investment in a flat organizational structure has not only shown dividends on the balance sheet, but it has created a workplace and culture that the world-over admires and respects.
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