Marketing Eye

Small Business Marketing - Page 3

When a business starts a new calendar year with have a business strategy in place, supported by a sales and marketing plan - CEO's expect results.

But what if the results are not forthcoming? What if key people have read the strategy yet are not "making it happen"? As we near the end of January, many companies are realizing that targets are not being met, and while some may scratch their heads, the real leaders are taking action.

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I get it... women have been left to the way-side in corporate and in life for many years, and now they are in a time where they can shine and take center stage with all the fanfare attached.

However, are we really that desperate to blow our own trumpets? Do we really think we are better than men? Do we really need to be all over the media saying how wonderful we are or at least think we are - just because we are women?

I am a woman and feel incredibly fortunate that I was born this way. In fact, rather than shed a tear for the glass ceiling, I am swinging from the rooftops thanking everyone who cares to listen for the fact that I am a woman and have been given many more advantages as such than my male counterparts.

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First day back in Atlanta and I am excited! I cannot express to you how much I love my US team and how inspirational each and every one of them are.

It's been a phenomenal journey, one full of great surprises, obstacles that were easier than expected to overcome and an incredible amount of love and support that has led Marketing Eye's success.

Like all bosses that are a nuisance, I asked for a photograph of a couple of my team members who were sitting in a meeting with me this morning. They are quite use to it - as they know that nothing makes me more happy than to take their pictures and share it with the world.

This year is going to be great. Actually, better than great - it is going to be awesome!

I started the morning with a "pep talk". There are a few changes that need to be implemented and sadly, I have to divide my time more evenly with Australia, so I won't be here so much.

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It's that time of year where companies are back hiring new recruits.

As someone who is always too busy, I have left the on-boarding to our previous CEO and Area Managers, with my role being minimal other than an introduction.

However, like most entrepreneurs, January is a time to re-think your business in every way; finance, recruitment, human resources, marketing, sales, products/services etc.

This has given me an opportunity to see just what is going on and I have to say, we have some gaps. As a marketing and communications based company, Marketing Eye plays a pivotal role in communicating a company's brand and culture to employees of our clients. We develop and design on-boarding manuals, podcasts, corporate videos and interactive presentations on the company, people and history.

What I have realized is that we are not dissimilar to a mechanic who never finds time to fix their own car. 

With that, off came the gloves and I rolled up my sleeves to have a better insight into our on-boarding processes. 

Here are some clever best practices that we teach our clients and implement on their behalf:

THE INTERVIEW
  • When writing an advertisement for a position, include a link to your website which talks about the company culture and the type of person that will fit in. This is great for the applicant and even better for your company as it sends people to your website and drives traffic and engagement.
  • Ask applicants to like your company on social media. If they don't want to do this, then they are definitely NOT interested in your brand, culture or the future promotion of your company - so strike them immediately off the list.
  • When an applicant comes for an interview, ensure that someone from your team rings them the day before, introduces themselves and talks to them about a normal day in the office. It's a great way to give the applicant an idea what it is like to work for your company and also shares with them an insight into the culture and type of people that they need to fit in with.
  • Do something clever to get the applicant to remember your company like sending them an inspirational email with a famous quote. Ensure that it is written on a picture to give your brand  a "lift"
  • On arrival at the interview, give them an iPad with a presentation and video of what it is like to work for your company and what type of people perform best. 
  • In the interview, present your company like you would present the company to a client. Then ask for the applicant to talk about themselves; share insights that do not come across clearly in their CV's and ask them to explain why they think that they would be a good fit.
  • When they leave, give them a company brochure and any literature related to your company that may be of benefit to them.
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I am curious to know what makes one person in an organization really stand out from the rest. As a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 10 years under my belt, I am constantly being reminded, if not surprised by the most interesting individuals in my team.

Today, I found out two things; the first is that I am not as bad as I thought when it comes to finding a solution to a problem and secondly, that if you give someone an opportunity, its the only way to see if they have the ability to shine or not.

As a person who is no stranger to having to pull up my sleeve, my first thoughts are always that I have to do it on my own - but I have something to share with you and it is that that is not always the case. In fact, if you reach out to your team and share your experiences and problems, they are usually the ones who come up with the solution that is best suited to your business or you personally. Your staff know you better than you think, and if you are delusional enough to think that by hiding in your office, that they don't, then you have a lot to learn.

I have been in Sydney for the last few days and I am so happy to experience the city that I love dearly, with my team. I usually waltz in and waltz out, within a day or two, and have my time so filled with meetings that I don't spend enough time getting to know the people around me.

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It's a catastrophe in the making. Already you have eaten one extra scoop of ice-cream that you really did not need, and the vino - well, it was just there and it had to be drunk.

New Years Resolutions are renown for being thrown in the bin and rightfully so, because few of us really commit to them for longer than a day or two. In fact, statistics show that New Years Resolutions are not kept with only 8% of people keeping them past the first few days according to Times Magazine.

When you try and tie a behavioral change to a specific date, you tend to rob yourself of an opportunity to fail and recover and many who believe that they will change, and fail, tend to believe that they have to wait another year to try again. It's a weird psyche that many of us share.

This year is my year. I am dedicating it to achieving everything I ever dreamt of and more. There is no second place and certainly no throwing in the towel. Instead, I am committed like never before to achieving all of my goals and ensuring that I live life to the fullest encapsulating all my dreams in one forward movement into the future. 

I am not getting any younger - and neither are you may I add, so there is no time like the present to get off my fairly ample bottom and put those trainers on with that Nike exercise outfit that has been gaining cobwebs and start the race on high speed with milestones every day of the year, that need to be met.

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"Onwards and upwards"

It doesn't take much to realize that 2013 has been the biggest roller coaster of my life. While I have had many wins, I have had equal losses that have been harder to swallow than I would have liked.

Building a business isn't easy. In fact, it is damn hard. You get on a roll and then one thing happens and it crashes downward until somehow you find the strength that you didn't know existed, then you pull it back in line and then start all over again, hopefully learning from those mistakes and taking the business in a slightly new direction albeit one that has the same end result.

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Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. I know. I am one of them.

It use to be a word that was used to describe the unruly small business owner who spruiked their new businesses from the rooftops. Kind of uncool.

Now, its a word associated with billionaires, A-type personalities, game-changers and fairly much anyone who is "having a go" at business. This is cool - the innovative kind.

When lambasted with questions on what 2014 will look like for small business marketing through social media, I, an entrepreneur who does wear Prada, am as excited as ever. What really is in store for small businesses and how can they capitalize on new, innovative and customer-centric marketing techniques aimed at giving small businesses (and large if I am to honest) a greater insight to customer interaction and push-buying techniques.

Here is the 2014 Outlook for Small Business Marketing

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It's an employees world - and don't I know it! I am not about to complain, but gosh, it's hard trying to be a leader and getting 100 percent of your employees engaged - all of the time!

#24yrold asked me the other day, "what can we do better?" 

I couldn't believe my ears!

With the constant issues many of my entrepreneur friends face with Gen-Y, and my own struggle with finding the right people for the right job, that are self-motivated and wanting to be exceptional at what they do - I find that my team rarely asks me for feedback other than in a performance review.

Working for a company is a two-way Street. It is not "what you can do for me" or "just about the money" - it's about together working as a team to achieve a common goal. When that goal is achieved, everyone celebrates and is rewarded through recognition and financial upside.

5 Ways Employees Can Step Up Their Game

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Late on Wednesday, Maikayla Desjardins (aka #24yrold), a marketing consultant at Marketing Eye Atlanta gave her weekly pep talk to the team. In her talk, she encouraged them to take Friday off and enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend, coming back to the office on Monday all fresh and ready to achieve our company goals for December.

Then, out of the blue, she said, "I want to kick-ass in December and to do this, I need all of your help. I need for you to take the next four days to think about just one thing that we can all do in December that will improve our sales performance and ensure that we achieve our goals."

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I can't help wondering what I did to deserve to be continually packing things up and moving but somewhere along the line in the past year or so, it has been something that has become almost second nature. So much so, that I don't think I had time to unpack everything.

Four hours of checking to see if I have everything, and packing up my most valuable possessions, I am finished. My dog is looking at me scared about what possibly could be next. Moving still isn't something she is use to and I realized early in the piece that it is what brings her the most fear. For that matter, it does the same to me, however my New Years Resolution this year was to put myself in "uncomfortable" situations and I have certainly lived up to that.

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There is one thing we all know for sure about business as we go into the future:

The way your business wins in the future is very different than the way it has won in the past

Just when we think we have got it 'sorted out' something else comes along and again, small businesses fall behind the eight ball.

If I look back on the past 20 years or so, business has changed dramatically. 

  • Globalization is changing the way we work, play and learn
  • Technology affects every element of our lives and being
  • Employees have become the single most important part of any business
  • A person can no longer just blunder into business and expect to survive
  • Old business models and paradigms have changed and will continue to do so
  • Connecting with customers doesn't come just by word of mouth, a strong sales team or advertising in the local newspaper
  • People have changed.

There are so many things that have and are shaping our world and with that businesses are now required to make changes that not only impact their businesses but also the way their employees, community and stakeholders view them.

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Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at JWT Atlanta, the best experiential marketing company in Atlanta and one of the most experienced and creative agencies in all of the US.

They put together events every other month, bringing together people from the marketing and advertising industry.

I really enjoy going to their events as they have quality speakers and as a company, JWT Atlanta is as inspiring as any of the people that they have present. Their office space is uber creative and their people, so much fun, that even I want to go and work there.

Yesterday's speaker was Kevin Carroll, the founder of Katalyst. To say that he is inspirational, passionate and above all, a game-changer is an understatement.

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There is not a small business on the planet that hasn't heard of Twitter, yet many are still failing to execute a social media strategy that cleverly integrates Twitter as a social media platform designed to connect and communicate key messages.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey, a 36 year old tech titan, and now CEO of small business payment technology, Square, has built his billions on knowing what small businesses want and need. Square is the fastest growing small business payments technology in the world today, and through his small business meetings in Town Halls throughout the US, Canada and Japan, #letstalk, he is educating small business owners to talk and support each other, rather than work alone.

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