15 marketing tips from five of the best

Written on 30 July, 2014 by Evelyn Elsted
Categories: Events, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: event, marketing, small business

Marketing is crucial to business growth. However limited resources, competing priorities and uncertainty about how to develop a strategy and manage its implementation often mean it is left out of many small businesses plans.

A team of Australia’s best innovators, brand developers, designers and researchers will help to demystify marketing as part of Small Business Festival Victoria, which kicks off in August. Here’s a snapshot of their tips to cultivate brand awareness, maximise profits and build customer loyalty.

Carolyn Miller, Moon Communications

  1. Small business is the winner when it comes to innovation. Unlike large corporations who have imbedded process that impede new ideas, the flexibility of small business operations can really foster creativity and innovation.
  2. Small businesses should never be afraid of big ideas - the digital world really is an enabler for every voice to be heard.
  3. Some of the biggest businesses in the world did not exist 10 years ago. Being small now is no limit to what you could be tomorrow.

Dr Ken Cato AO, Cato Brand Partners

  1. Have the confidence to be who you are. - Utilise design to express your individuality.
  2. Be prepared to stand out before thinking of fitting in. - Utilise design to express your differences.
  3. More than likely, there is no real difference between you and your competitors. If this is true, find a different way to tell the story. - Utilise design to gain advantage.

Sharon Williams, Taurus

  1. Get your story straight and define your elevator pitch. Simply put, make it easy for people to understand what you do as quickly as between floors in a lift. Define what you do, the benefits of your service and give out your corporate messages in 30-60 seconds.
  2. Make sure your logo is memorable and exciting and that your marketing material reflects what you do in a memorable way. Remember, good design (and personality) cuts through.
  3. Make use of social media, it’s a wonderful tool for small businesses with low cost entry points. The key is relevant content and consistency and an understanding of where social media fits into the overall communications and growth strategy of your business.

Ross Cameron, Cameron Research Group

  1. Do something you love doing. If you enjoy it success will follow. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you won’t have the energy to survive it.
  2. ‘Success’ doesn’t have to mean business growth. Set your own aspirations, your own targets - ‘make your own kind of music’ (thanks to Mama Cass if you are old enough to know who she is).
  3. Make time to get off-site and think about your business – in a café, by the beach, in the bush, wherever – and jot down thoughts in a book (or e-file). Keep updating it, keep brainstorming, keep thinking – and record your thoughts in the same place/book/e-file. It’s incredible what ideas come to you when you have a discipline around ‘working the problem’.

Toby Travanner, The Learning Company

  1. If you have a got a great idea, get started on it straight away as they have a half-life. So if you start action on an idea quickly, it will be strong. Leave it a working week, it will be half as strong and so on.
  2. Ask “what else?” – what else does my customer need, what else can I do to help, what else needs to be done?
  3. If you’re in one of those moments where you don’t know what to do, stop and summarise where you’re at. It’ll help you review your successes and clarify what you need to do next. It even works in those ‘la-la-land’ moments in meetings.

Carolyn, Ken, Sharon, Ross and Toby will be sharing more of their experiences and expertise at Small Business, BIG Marketing, a feature event of Small Business Festival Victoria on 28 August 2014 at Melbourne Convention Centre. You can view the full festival program and book tickets via the website business.vic.gov.au/festival or call 13 22 15.