While no-one seems overly surprised that a divorce is imminent for Hollywood royalty Tom Cruise and his young wife Katie Holmes, the world has all of a sudden gone mad over the fact that in her divorce application she did not mention pre-nuptial agreement. Is this because there is a legal contract in place?
As we stood around chatting in one of the private bars, I watched Ben Hazelwood at work. He was the consummate professional, exceptionally polite and engaging.
He is already a superstar and it is easy to see how his future will unfold.
It's that time of year when we are seeking new recruits. But not just any recruit. A highly talented, goal orientated marketer that loves making a difference to small businesses. Must have experience in the position of Marketing Executive or Marketing Manager previously in Australia.
Marketing Executive - Melbourne based
In my experience, I have not yet worked with a company in this sector that doesn't have great people representing their brands. What is unique is that many of these companies, no matter how competitive it is, work with other companies in the same area to fulfil the needs of their clients.
For many small business owners, we are now down to the business end of the year. To make a dollar or for some, to survive another year.
While it has been tough and most small businesses can attest to this, those who are investing in their product and service offering, are fairing better than those who are saving every penny and hoping for a better day.
I am an optimist in every sense of the word. My glass is half full and there is a lot more left in the jug. But as I use positivity to spearhead my next steps, I am acutely aware that 'having all your ducks in a row' is paramount to not only surviving but growing your business and moving forward.
As a small business owner, there are many things to consider:
Have you ever been stopped at a traffic light and made a false start when it wasn’t your green light? Three colours control the daily commute of billions of people around the world, green means go, red means stop and yellow means slow down. To most people.
These colour associations are universal and worldwide. So if colours can tell us when to stop when to go, what else can it tell us to do? What is the colour of your brand telling customers to do?
Psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung said that ‘Colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious’.The use of colour in your brand is crucial to creating brand associations, ideally one that is positive and consistent with how you want your customers to think of you.
Choosing a colour that targets the psychology of your customers is a valuable asset and one that is often over looked, but a little research in this area can go a long way for your business.
Research shows that the human subconscious judges a person, environment or product within the first 90 seconds of initial contact, and between 62 - 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone. HBS professor Gerald Zaltman said that ‘95 percent of purchase decisions take place in the subconscious mind.’
Colours are proven to evoke certain emotions and feelings. Although colour associations are affected by many factors; trends, cultural, historical, political, religious and mythical, some colour associations are relatively universal.
Blue - trustworthy, dependable, cool blue - secure, sea blue - serene, universally liked
Red - activates pituitary gland, increases heart rate & blood pressure, passion
Green - health, serenity, nature, growth, deep green - wealth, prestige
Yellow - associated with in the sun in every culture, connotes optimism, positivity
Pink - hot pink - energy & youthfulness, lighter shades - romanticOrange - exuberance, fun & vitality
I was sitting outdoors at a Japanese restaurant when it happened and at first I thought my friend was moving the table with his legs. When it was clearly not him, we both looked on in amazement.
Then, a Japanese chef came racing out and asked us if we felt the earthquake. We both said yes, and I told her that I thought it was exciting, "My first earthquake".
That went down like a lead balloon. Of course, in Japan, earthquakes are very dangerous and has killed thousands of people - so in rememberence of that, being excited by it, may not be in seen in the best light. I remember when this happened in Japan. It was incredibly sad.
Moving on from that, the earthquake certainly was "trending" on all social media and within minutes there was a picture up on facebook with a table and four chairs. One had fallen over. I then saw that same image posted on at least 100 facebook accounts. The world of viral marketing.
Which leads us back to marketing.
Here are 5 tips on what small businesses can do to improve their marketing efforts in the next 12 months are:
Businesses that do not engage in a strategic marketing plan, often find that they are chasing their tail. They fly by the seat of their pants and have no real sales and marketing strategy in place. Instead of being proactive, and placing key performance indicators behind each and every marketing investment, they generally go with 'gut instinct' or what is available at any given time.
While being flexible to invest in marketing opportunities is always a good thing, it can be some small businesses biggest downfall.
It's nearing the end of the financial year or mid-year for those in the US, and its time to start looking back at what you have achieved in terms of building your brand, creating brand equity, increasing your sales performance and improving your customer relationship management programs.
Capitalising on your investment in marketing is not only a no-brainer, but it is also one of the clevest business decisions you can make.
Start the new year with:
1. A marketing budget: big or small, by having a budget you will know what you have to spend and then be able to allocate it to areas that will give you the best 'bang for your buck'.
2. Develop a marketing strategy or marketing communications plan: There are literally hundreds of websites with free templates. If you don't have a marketing manager or marketing consultant on board, then give it a go yourself. Perhaps once you have written it, you can run it past a consultant for a couple of hours, to get feedback. A much cheaper way of ensuring that you are on the right track and giving you reassurance that you money will be well spent.
3. Marketing Tiimeline: Once you have a strategy, don't put it in your bottom drawer. Instead, develop a timeline of activities that is realistic to the resources you have access to. Make sure you tick off the items on the timeline you have completed each week and make yourself accountable by sharing your timeline with others in your office.
4. Engage in a good search engine optimisation specialist: Forget India (did I say that?). By ensuring that your website is search engine optimised, you will be guaranteed that your customers and prospects will be able to find you.
5. Invest in a website that has a content management system: If you don't have money, nor the inclination to get your web developer to update your website, then you need a content management system in place. This will allow you to make changes as and when you need to. By constantly updating your website, you will rank higher on search engines and people will find a reason to come back to your website time and time again.
Tomorrow I will share 5 more ways you can 'stop chasing your tail' when it comes to marketing.