Marketing Eye

Expert Marketing Blog - Small Business Marketing - Page 13

Do your friends say the same things to you over and over again, and you shrug it off thinking they have no idea?

Have you had the same type of relationships over and over again, only to find that they keep ending the same?

Do you keep on getting the same outcome out of life and still find yourself sitting there on a Sunday night lonely?
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The Superbowl is on and most of America is glued to their television screens. Madonna's performance was one of her best yet and the game is as thrilling as ever.

You have a problem with a client. They are unhappy and want to be attended to immediately. Do you take 10 minutes and ring the client or do you watch the superbowl knowing that 10 minutes out of the superbowl won't change your experience that much but what the heck... it's the superbowl?

That is the question. I know someone who chose the Superbowl and lost what could possibly be the most valuable client they ever had. Amazing where some people's priorities lie.

Millissah Smith, Atlanta. 
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In any relationship, to spend time caring about another individual and sometimes sacrificing your own immediate wants, is the traits of a good person.

It could be a friend, a loved one, family, a client, a supplier or a member of your team.

When you watch relationships going on around you and you see people who genuinely care about others, its always a warm feeling. It doesn't even have to be about you.
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I don't know about you, but my year started fairly ordinary. I had the worse New Years' Eve I can remember for some years, and then the next few days followed suit. It just kept on going on. I was in unfamiliar terriority so I couldn't really vent my frustration or the fact that I had a strong distaste for the continual negative elements that kept creeping into what had been a 'perfect' life.  In fact, I cannot say whether or not I have had a worse start to a year before and given that I tend to put so much hope in starting a new year - it was a tad disappointing. Actually, it felt quite soul destroying and as a fairly positive person, that's saying something.

We all have expectations and big occasions like New Years' Eve don't help. Isn't that the date for the most suicides and I am sure it is the same date that sends people to Xanax or whatever their choice of anti-depression drugs might be? To me, it is suppose to be about a fresh start to the year and full of positivity. Unfortunately it wasn't the case and as much as I willed for good fortune and happiness to surround me, it did not occur quite like I would have wanted it to. I had such high expectations that fell apart fairly fast and furious over the new year but to sit here and continually complain would not be conducive to anyone or anything. After all, there are people starving in the world and I am worried about my expectations not being met on an occasion which is just a great excuse to drink too much champagne and surround yourself with people that you may not ever see again or may only see again next year.

Instead of having a 'fresh start to 2012', I was bombarded with a failing in circumstances and my expectations of what life should be and how others should behave fell down quick smart.
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When you are a small business, it is hard to find money just to pay the bills most of the time, let alone invest in team bonding or outsourced employee development.

I know that in the first couple of years of business, other than some hands on training from moi, my team received little if any outside training to develop their skills and capabilities as marketing consultants.

They were expected (sadly, this was the case) to research and find their own path to developing their careers as marketing consultants and were expected to use market research and the Internet as resources to learn about small businesses and the challenges they go through on a day to day basis.
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I can't sleep. Too much is going through my mind. I toss and turn all night long and wake up in the wee hours desperate to fall back asleep again, but not able to because I am thinking too much.

It's a problem that many small business owners face time and time again. I am no different.
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What does your overarching marketing view look like? Have you written it down? Have you communicated it to your team? Do you have tactical marketing activities around your marketing strategy?

My view yesterday was pretty fantastic if you ask me. I was sitting on the couch overlooking one of Australia's most breathtaking views of Palm Beach pondering Marketing Eye's 2012 overarching marketing strategy.

Others might think that if you were sitting looking at the view (as in the picture) you might not be thinking about marketing, and more about how stunningly beautiful the view is, but when you are a small business owner and your business is 'your life', it makes perfect sense to take the opportunity to not only absorb your surroundings, but also, think clearly about your small business.

We are about to hit February - already! Time is flying and there is no time like the present to make sure your small business is in order. The cricket is mid-way. The tennis is over. Australia Day has been and gone. Everyone  is back in the office. Now, there are no excuses to not have your small business marketing program in order.

If you have not already done it - have a 'think tank' or 'marketing workshop' with your team and key stakeholders. Speak to your suppliers and ask them how they would improve your business in today's everchanging market.

Put a marketing strategy in place and get buy-in from your entire team. Video yourself talking about the company vision for everyone to see. Set up an intranet that has 'everything that is marketing' on it from what your brand stands for, your company culture, 2012 marketing activities, press releases and media stories and lead generation campaigns. Be more transparent and engage all your team on a level that they have not experienced before.

Change your view and I am sure your team and clients will change theirs too! It's business critical to your success in 2012.
Mellissah Smith, Atlanta


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I know a thing or two about having a long distance relationship. I've had my share and some, if you know what I mean! Having spent a good part of my thirties choosing to engage in long-distance relationships with people from all over the world, many have come to think that it is inevitable that one day I will wake up and realise what most people have already realised - and that is that it doesn't work.

I am ever the optimist and refuse to be told that something I have engaged in is doomed before it has even began, so like most things, I give it 100 percent and hope for the best.
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For many small businesses, the not-so-new marketing technique of QR Codes is just another technology platform that may well be a craze.

Unfortunately, this would be wishful thinking.

QR Codes are here to stay and in 2012 small businesses will find everything from advertisements through to resumes featuring QR Codes alongside brand names sending consumers and customers to websites, video, advertisements, catalogues, contact information, product suggestions and so on.

Only limited by your imagination or that of your creative departments, it is imperative that marketers don't fall prey to this form of marketing without carefully considering their target audience.
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Yesterday, I had lunch with a girlfriend and as girls do, we chatted about everything from fashion to food, travel to our love lives.

It's what girls do. There is no holds bar on any topic when you are sitting in a restaurant or in this case, an authentic Japanese hole in the wall with delicious food.

With so much happening in both of our lives, we had lots to talk about and 5 hours later, after saying goodbye, I still don't think we were done. 

She is a stunning woman, inside and out. A former model and television presenter, she is married to a charismatic, interesting and equally good looking husband. They are very in love and are embarking on the next stage in their lives.

Throughout the day, she constantly referred to her husband and whenever making a purchase or doing pretty much anything her husband and his likes and dislikes were never far from her mind. It kept a smile on her face all day and after 8 years together, I have to say, that's fantastic.

Most of us have been in love at one stage in our lives and the feeling of putting someone else first is quite special. I love it when you think about that person or animal as it may be, and instantly a smile is firmly planted on your face. It's instant gratification and always puts your whole body at ease immediately. I love this feeling and completely understand why so many of us look to find someone in our lives (or something) to love.

In business, if you love what you do and love your brand... the same goes. When you think about what your brand does for others and it puts a smile on your face - it's a remarkable feeling. Putting your business first and its health and wellbeing is all part of the parcel of being in LOVE with your business.

When you talk about your business, just like when you talk about a person that you love - if a smile immediately overcomes your state, then it must be love. Try it. See if it works!
Mellissah Smith, Atlanta 
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As I said to a friend of mine the other day, "everyone in small business has been there at one time or another".

If you think that as a small business owner that only you are going through tough times, employees leaving, cash flow issues, stress and sleepless nights - you are fooling yourself.

While you may be going through these things, so too are millions of other small businesses around the globe.
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The lyrics to Kenny Rogers song The Gambler is one of my all time favourites. Here are a few exerpts out of the song, that if you relate it to business and your next deal, you might find something to remember.

He said, "Son, I've made my life
Out of readin' people's faces
Knowin' what the cards were
By the way they held their eyes
So if you don't mind my sayin'
I can see you're out of aces
For a taste of your whiskey
I'll give you some advice"

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
Then he bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light
And the night got deathly quiet
And his faced lost all expression
He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

Now every gambler knows the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep"

Knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em, knowing when to walk away and knowing when to run - when you are doing a deal, if you can do all of these things in a sound manner, you will always win the hand. The issues we face in business is that we don't always get these things right. Even the most experienced deal makers like your Murdochs and Packers don't always get it right - so how do us (mere mortals) get it right?

I thought about this song as I was walking into a list after lunch, and it really stuck in my mind. Thought I would share it on this marketing blog.

Cheers!
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Trying to wake up this morning wasn't easy. I was in a deep sleep dreaming about something that extended from a blog I wrote yesterday and I really wanted the dream to finish, but unfortunately, the alarm went off and I had to get up. I then preceded to walk around in a daze for the next hour or so. When that happens, its really hard to function properly and even the easiest tasks like turning off a light may seem like hard work.
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Sitting on a beach in the Bahama's sipping Pina Coladas, and soaking up the glorious rays of sunshine - ipad in hand... life could not get much better. If this is working, then I am totally up for it! Thus, is the virtual world. Anyone can do anything from anywhere - with no diminishing quality constraints.

The idea of a virtual anything is often something that we look at with trepidation - HOWEVER - is this the actions of a foolish person? Harsh... I get that, but as a stickler for little or no change, I am the first to admit that I am a slow adopter of many things that end up being very good for me and definately for my business. To change a technology that we may use, would be likened to going to the dentist and having my wisdom teeth removed without gas.
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You can tell when you have hit a certain age and everyone is either wanting to get married and have babies or they are deluding themselves with their own positive affirmations that they are in fact 'happy' just the way they are and wouldn't change their world for anything or anybody. The latter tends to think that by caring about someone other than themselves or making any changes to their lives would only lead to 'unhappiness' or as I like to think, 'putting themselves in a vunerable situation in which they cannot control'. Having spent the last couple of weeks with a number of single, middle-aged, childless, unmarried individuals who proclaim that by having anything different in their lives, they would have to change their lives and that is something none of them aim to do. Going out, drinking too much, partying too much and holidaying at every opportune moment seems to be key to what they think is the perfect life - of course, until they wake up one day and realise that they are all alone and they have spent too much time loving themselves to realise that there is no-one there to love them when they need it most.
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