Marketing Eye

Saturday, 30 January 2010 21:57

When work/life balance has meaning

Today is a day I will always remember. It’s a day that a certain part of me has been taken away.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Friday, 29 January 2010 21:59

A Cause For Celebration

Today one of my best friends for the past 20 years is celebrating her 40th birthday.

We met through a guy who was her boyfriend at the time and a good friend of mine.

Published in Mellissah Smith

If we didn’t know it before, we sure know it now. Technology has taken over the world. Soon, this blog won’t need me to type up stories every day. I will be replaced by a piece of technology that comes up with new and innovative stories all by itself – and it will be funnier, more interesting and less expensive.

Published in Mellissah Smith

Dear Joe,

Thank you so much for passing on my details to the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Executive Director, Small Business Victoria, Roger Arwas.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 22:19

Booking a meeting with the Minister

I learnt earlier on in my career that you can meet with anyone, all you have to do is ask.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 19:15

What is your corporate responsibility?

Green this, green that! That is all we seem to hear about these days. With carbon emissions trading legislation still in limbo, it seems that companies are collectively at a stand still.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 19:08

Wet My Pants – AGAIN!

Have you ever wet your pants with laughter?

When I think about laughing so hard, that you get a stitch in your stomach or as some people say, you wet your pants, 3 particular occasions spring to mind.
Published in Management

In Australia, for business to business marketing, I still believe that BRW, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review are the best mainstream editorials to receive placement in.

For small businesses, its difficult to find newsworthy stories, so any opportunity to gain exposure is one of these editorials should be considered as part of an overall marketing strategy.

It’s that time of year again where BRW is looking for FAST STARTERS to compile their list for 2010.

Deadline: Thursday, 18 February 2010

Topic: Is Your Company Growing at a Rapid Rate? Business Review Weekly is looking for fast growing companies that have started in the last couple of years to participate in our Fast STarters 2010 list.

Requirements: To qualify companies must have:

- Have commenced trading after June 30, 2005

- Have reported at least two fiscal years of revenue

- Had revenue of more than $500k in 2008/9

- Revenue for 208/9 must be more than in 2007/8

- Have more than one main customer (the bulk of revenue must not ber from government grants or other startup funding)

- Be Australian owned, not a subsidary of a multinational

- Must provide third-party verification of revenue figures from an external accountant or auditor

Contact: Jessica by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the BRW website. Please insert WNA in the subject line of your email.

For $155 per hour, Marketing Eye is able to assist you with your submission otherwise by all means, please go direct to Jessica.

Good luck!

Published in Mellissah Smith
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 19:18

PR Opportunity in BRW Magazine

In Australia, for business to business marketing, I still believe that BRW, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review are the best mainstream editorials to receive placement in.
Published in Marketing
Monday, 25 January 2010 19:38

Selling News Not Integrity

Like most, I was not too shocked when on Sunday I heard on the radio that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt separated. It’s the news that I didn’t want to hear. I am on ‘Team Jolie’ and cannot bear the thought of this perfect couple with the most beautiful looking family on the planet would break up. The news had me in a tither. I quickly turned on the television wanting to know when, where, why and how this happened and there it was, for everyone to see. Headline news.

Next, I raced down the shop and bought every possible magazine that might have a story on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Afterall, they had separated right? Wrong!

One newspaper reported that they had separated and had gone through a divorce settlement  of sorts (they are unmarried) that saw their millions divided and the custody of their children shared.

Like millions of people, I was enthralled with the gossip that surrounded this duo and have spent at least $30 in the last couple of days buying every possible editorial that may have just a little bit of information on what actually has gone on.

Well, what has gone on is that this story has sold millions of newspapers and magazines worldwide and is highly likely to be made up. The story derived not from a reputable editorial, but from gossip newspaper who quite frankly cannot be trusted. They may have sold newspapers, but it has further enhanced in the minds of people who little you can trust the tabloids and how much of the stuff we read is made up.

Any story on Jolie-Pitt sells newspapers and everyone knows it! The journalists have no integrity or concern for what they or their families might think. What if their children read this on the newstands and all of a sudden got concerned that the unit they thought they could trust might be torn apart.

There is a message in this medium mayhem.

What do you have that sells newspapers? There is a few journalists out there that would like to know!

News can come in many forms and it might not be worldwide news or news that is going to have gossip magazines begging, but it might be of interest to business journalists or general news journalists who see what you are doing as unique and interesting.

You may have your product or service endorsed by someone famous, or perhaps you have a world first.

Read the newspaper and watch the news… you never know… it may just give you an idea of how your brand can become better known.

Every day small businesses are written up in newspapers and magazines. Next week it could be you!

Published in Mellissah Smith
Monday, 25 January 2010 19:22

Small Businesses Soaking Up The Sun


If I look happy – I am! Who wouldn’t be sunning themselves in Byron Bay? For 3 days, I have soaked up the sun, shopped, swam, ate, drank and done business with local Byron Bay residents.
Published in Mellissah Smith


 Helen Jarman is one of Australia’s most respected and awarded female entrepreneurs who against all odds, has built a multi-million dollar company in a male dominated industry. She is an advocate for woman making a difference not only in business but in the community and has worked hard in promoting the responsible disposal of e-Waste in Australia. Her tireless work towards ensuring that the community and corporates take responsibility for e-Waste and that we all work towards zero landfill from electronic waste disposal makes her one of Marketing Eye’s most favoured female entrepreneurs. Find out what makes Helen Jarman so great.

Published in Management
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 19:35

Time to step up to the mark

Whilst tennis players are getting through their first round, they all know that to keep on making it through to the finals, they need to step up to the mark.
Published in Management
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 19:40

Prince William – fancy some brand advice?

I really don’t have too much to say about Prince William other than the fact he looks like a lovely chap, someone that perhaps I could head to the pub with on a Saturday, down a few pints and then head home.
Published in Mellissah Smith
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 19:36

Time to take a new look at your website

Is your website costing you money or making you money? Does it depict what your brand is trying to communicate? Are prospects spending time on your site? Is there more you could be doing to improve your website? Do you know what pages prospects are interested in and which ones they are not?
Monday, 18 January 2010 19:51

It’s the lessons we learn

Whether it’s in life or business, it’s the lessons we learn along the way that make us.

In life, I have kept on learning lessons – some I have learnt from and others I have ignored only to find that I should have learned my lesson the first time.

Published in Mellissah Smith

It’s happened to all of us at some point, where we are at a meeting and have lost our train of thought, forgotten the name of our colleague or the person we are meeting with, or just forgotten important details that we really need to remember.
Published in Marketing
Aaaahhh! The little blue box. Every girls dream. Tiffany’s has created a brand that has thousands of people paying a fortune for a stainless steel keyring with its logo on it, just to get the little blue box and any item that is remotely affordable with a Tiffany’s stamp on it.
Published in Marketing

Ok, I have had enough! It is the fourth time this month that I have had to spend more than 30 minutes on hold because my message bank keeps reverting to an automated message that has nothing to do with my business.

When is enough, enough?

How many times should someone have to ring a company to tell them that they are not providing an adequate service? Why is my phone doing this? It hasn’t happened before and ironically this has only happened since my Blackberry was taken to a service centre for 7 weeks to be repaired when I was told it would be 2.

It gets worse. I only know this, when a client takes the time to tell me that there is no message bank on my phone. How many calls have I missed?

7 weeks for a Blackberry repair that was purely the fault of the phone, with no replacement phone and a number of Optus representatives lying about when I would receive my phone back. I was told that I was in fact getting a new phone from Canada and that is why it would take an additional 2 weeks, only to receive my old phone 3 weeks later. Unbelievable!

Never will I have a contract with Optus again. They should be bending over backwards to fix the situation and yet, they have their Indian Call Centres answering the phones and have no regard for customers whatsoever.

Optus… not a ‘YES’ company, but a ‘I DON’T CARE’ company.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Sunday, 17 January 2010 19:53

Small Businesses Can All Afford Marketing

$27.95 per day for a Marketing Manager : Small Businesses Benefit from Finance Package
Published in Marketing
Over the years, I have always thought being friends with your competitors is a very grey area. It’s grey because there is a limit about what you can share with them about your business whether you are best friends or not.
Published in Marketing
Saturday, 16 January 2010 19:56

A Call-Out for Startup and Small Businesses


Marketing Eye is looking for 10 Melbourne and 10 Sydney companies that are in a startup or small business phase looking for high-growth.
Saturday, 16 January 2010 19:56

Brand Hewitt

I have lived for quite a few years in a building that is full of sports stars, business leaders and semi famous faces.

One of the penthouses is owned by Lleyton and Bec Hewitt and quite often when they are in town, I see them in the lifts or in the car park as do many of the other residents.

They and their extended family are very polite, often chatty and seem to be fairly well rounded given their circumstances. They use the facilities with all the other people in the building and are pretty much left alone most of the time.

I always marvel at the fact that I rarely see Lleyton without a tennis racket or training apparel in his arms and typically, no matter what time of day I go in and out of the building, I see their car leaving or arriving presumably from some form of training.

It’s of course, Australian Open season and their visibility is at an all time high in Melbourne.

Yesterday, as I was leaving my building just before midday, I saw Bec Hewitt driving out in her Black ML500 4-wheel drive Mercedes. With her window down, her hair and makeup absolutely perfect, I began to think about how hard life must be for this beautiful young lady.

Here I was with no makeup, my sweat pants on and an old daggy shirt that wasn’t in the best condition after a run in the park. I am quite comfortable in this attire and could bump into anyone without thinking twice about how I look. As I get older, I am far more comfortable in how I look and as long as I can dress up when I have to, I am pretty much fine with dressing down.

Then you have Bec. Now it is mid morning and here she is, hair and makeup perfectly done – for what? To do the shopping? To catch up with girlfriends?

No, for a photo opportunity. As I picked up the Daily Telegraph (Syd) and the Herald Sun today, there she was… front page news! Lleyton’s family outing to watch his warm up for the Australian Open.

Looking after brand Hewitt must be a very tough job and looking your best for every photo opportunity obviously is paying off. I don’t recall seeing a bad photo of Bec ever and fortunately she doesn’t look like many of those young things with bee stung lips and botox. If she has either of these things, she obviously has a very good surgeon! Her fresh face is really quite stunning and girl-next-door-ish.

Brands are funny things. You can’t ever let your guard down not even in your own time. Each entrepreneur and employee of an organisation are all part of the overall picture a brand gives. Brand ambassadors are as important as the work that a company does, but often are forgotten when companies are thinking about their brands performance.

Whether it is at work or socialising, re-inforcing your brand and position in the market is a 24/7 job and every single person who works for you holds that same responsibility.

On Friday I was at a very trendy bar/restaurant in Prahran and within an extended group of people that I was socialising with was a sales rep for a liquor company. She was delightful. Her personality as you would expect was full of life and excitement. I remember thinking to myself how apt it was that she was in this particular field of work.

Then, she did something that made me cringe. I can’t say what, because it isn’t right to put this type of thing in a blog, but it did make me reflect her actions with that of the brands she represents. They are good quality brands. The best. Yet, this little part of me thought less of the brands because of her actions. When I decided to leave and let the young ones enjoy the night the way that they do, I thought about the impact my staff have on my brand in their own social time. I see a pep talk coming up at 8.30am Monday morning!

The impact people have on their brands cannot be disregarded. Think about when someone gets bad publicity – instantly you resonate this with the brand they represent.

Likewise, when someone keeps on getting good publicity, their brands get more kudos and we tend to have a better affinity with it.

How do entrepreneurs protect their brands on weekends? The answer isn’t simple. The best you can do is hire people that depict the values of your brand and that come naturally in doing so.

Educate your employees on the after hours branding no-nos. Explain to them examples of bad and good after hours branding.

Whilst you can’t control what people do outside of the work place, you certainly can educate and promote better behaviours.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Friday, 15 January 2010 19:58

Could Have, Should Have, Would Have

How many times have you thought – could have, should have, would have – and did nothing about it?

Unless you are one very highly motivated person that can read minds and forsee the future, you would have at some time in your life, said these things to yourself or to others. Sometimes quietly, sometimes out loud.

I often think to myself, that I could have done something, but didn’t for valid reasons or because I simply couldn’t be bothered.

Like the time I was offered big dollars for my business. I could have taken it and been living in the South of France, but instead, I chose to continue my journey and see where it was going to lead me.

My ’should have’ is over 10 years ago, I came up with this brilliant idea to have clear plastic, zip up cases for luggage that you can quickly put on before you check in your luggage or before you put it through the security checks. They would be branded with Louis Vuitton, Samsonite or whatever brand your case is, but it would protect it.

The number of times I go through the airport security scanners and my bags come out scratched, marked and damaged is ridiculous. I am now not travelling with designer luggage for this very reason.

It would be a purchase of $39.95, just like buying fries with your burger. A bloody good idea if you ask me, and I should have done it, but I didn’t and now, the moment of passion and enthusiasm has gone.

My ‘would have’ is all to do with experiencing other cultures. I would have loved to live in Europe throughout my twenties but didn’t because I was scared of the unknown, not into taking risks and worried that I would not have the career I always dreamt of and am now having.

When it comes to business, think about what you could have, should have or would have done to build your brand and haven’t. Does it still have merit? Would it help your business? Does it have the ability to bring in sales? Can you find ways to make it happen?

Have a board in your office that says:

Could have: ….
Should have: ….
Would have: ….

And review it from time to time. Don’t miss opportunities that can aid your success.

Mellissah Smith from Marketing Eye

Published in Mellissah Smith
Thursday, 14 January 2010 20:01

All by myself

It’s a lonely existence out there for an entrepreneur, particularly one that owns a business all by themselves without a business partner to share their highs and lows. There is nothing like sharing information with someone who is there living and breathing the same things you are.
Thursday, 14 January 2010 20:00

All by myself

It’s a lonely existence out there for an entrepreneur, particularly one that owns a business all by themselves without a business partner to share their highs and lows. There is nothing like sharing information with someone who is there living and breathing the same things you are.

When I started my first business, I had a business partner and it worked quite well. She wasn’t very good at marketing because her background was in sales, so to make the partnership work she worked in administration and I taught her some basic marketing and public relations skills to help me out when I needed her to.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 20:09

Arranged Marriages – who would have thought?

Today, one of my most treasured team leaders returned from his summer vacation to announce his engagement to a beautiful, young Doctor from his home village.

Over the past few years, he has travelled back home every year and his parents have organised meetings with prospective wives.

Only this year something was different. He met a young lady that he thought would be his perfect life partner.

I am the Queen of dinner parties – that is, attending them. I can’t cook to save myself although I have set a NY resolution to learn. Thankfully I know how to turn up with a really good bottle of wine or if I am feeling celebratory, French champagne and I am well versed at making light conversation with pretty much anyone.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Monday, 11 January 2010 20:09

Ice Blocks Anyone?

We all know that the best investment in small business that you can make is on your employees.

Ok, I was there, all glammed up with a beautiful orange silk summer dress from Gail Elliott’s Little Joe in Toorak styled with accessories that made me feel like I was not in Portsea, but was in fact, swanning around at the Polo in South of France’s St Tropez.
Published in Mellissah Smith
Today was a good day. Actually, a good, good day as the lyrics of the Black Eye Peas song goes. It’s a fresh start to the year ahead.
Published in Management
Thursday, 07 January 2010 20:20

The New Look Marketing Eye

The team at Marketing Eye starts back in the office on Monday 11 January 2010.

As the CEO, I have been working a few hours a day over the past week to get everything in order for the new year.

It’s been a particularly beneficial week with no disruptions and lots of time to think about how we can do things better.

Published in Management
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 20:24

Jennifer Hawkins… Now seriously!

Dear Jen,

Whilst I think it’s great that you have posed nude showing off what you call a healthy body image by a role model, I also think you may be a bit off the mark. At least on this topic.

Published in Mellissah Smith
Monday, 04 January 2010 20:26

2010 – My Year!

How many of us spend time thinking about what our New Year’s resolutions are going to be and never let them see light of day?

I am an avid believer in planning and setting goals so New Year’s Resolutions are integral to my life both professionally and personally. In many cases, I actually follow them through because they are realistic, ambitious and achievable.

On New Year’s Eve I sat around with a group of friends of mine and pondered what our New Year’s resolutions should be.

I wrote down 12, everyone else wrote down 1.


Published in Mellissah Smith