Marketing key for small business success

Published on on February 04, 2014 7:20AM and written by Nhada Larkin.

MARKETING is vital for small business so it's important to get the most bang for your buck, writes Nhada Larkin

Clever marketing can help small businesses attract and retain the perfect customers and ultimately help grow the business significantly.

Carys Foster, senior marketing manager with Deloitte Australia, says in order to develop an effective marketing strategy a company must have clear core values, and know what the brand stands for.

Marketing "can give you a clear direction for your brand proposition to ensure you are consistent with how you communicate and behave with customers," she says.

"Ultimately it should help you to grow your business in the right direction."

Why you need to improve your marketing team’s performance – and how to do it

Published on on Jan, 1 2014 and written by Mellissah Smith

Aligning the right people, processes and tools with your company vision and strategy can lead to sustainable results.

Managing marketing team’s performance is a perennial issue that is faced by all company leaders.
While statistics on revenue growth and margins are laid out to see in black and white, it’s more challenging to respond to the question of what value the business receives from its marketing investment.

Three crucial reasons why marketers can struggle to develop sustainable measurement practices are:

  • They neglect using metrics to monitor increases in customer value to their company over time’
  • They fail to look beyond the front of their marketing, particularly among existing customers
  • They do not close the customer interaction loop with sales.

Over my two decade-plus career in marketing in Australia and the US, I’ve come to acknowledge that to have the most efficient and effective marketing team, it is paramount to have the right marketing drivers in place.

Implementing the right people, the right processes and the right tools, and ensuring all are aligned with the company’s vision and strategy are key elements to succeed.

How Microsoft is leading the way

In July, Microsoft announced a new marketing strategy under the banner of “One Strategy, One Microsoft” after the failed launch of its new Xbox the month prior.

The most significant change was in the organisational chart – for the first time, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer reports directly to the company CEO.
I’ve seen many businesses fire blame towards marketing for poor sales performance, so it is an instrumental step forward to see a company of the stature of Microsoft making headway into taking the position more seriously.

One Strategy, One Microsoft signals a tech giant coming to terms with an ever-changing market that requires agility and innovation, rather than four separate division that rarely communicate with each other.

It goes without saying that Microsoft has lagged behind Apple in marketing performances over the past decade. Apple has positioned itself as a market leader – sexier, smarter, futuristic and people-orientated.

I will watch with great interest how successful the shift towards One Microsoft is - and take heed that the world’s largest tech companies have recognized that marketing is crucial to growth, expansion and impact.

How a CEO can have an influence

Your company’s marketing activities have a direct impact on the performance of your sales team.

If your marketing team is not working effectively or to its potential, you will likely commence looking for ways to improve sales performance.

This approach is misguided, based on reaction rather than forward-thinking strategy.

Here are the question that you, as a CEO, need to ask yourself:

  • Who does the head of marketing report to? If it is not you, as CEO, what value does your organisation place on its purpose?
  • Is your marketing team high performance, or just existing?
  • What culture do you instill in your marketing and sales team and how can better results be driven through great integration, support and understanding?
  • Does your company have a marketing dashboard in place providing up to date analytics, to give you greater flexibility in changing your investment?
  • Do you have an efficient mode for the delivery of effective marketing?
  • Is your team experienced enough to deliver marketing underpinning your business goals?
  • How do you split the responsibilities between central and devoted marketing staff?
  • What marketing KPLs are appropriate and how can performance be monitored?
  • Do you spend too much or too little on marketing

Once you are equipped with the answer, you will be best positioned to improve your marketing’s team performance reap the long-term benefits.

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years’ experience in marketing. She runs an international marketing consultancy firm that provides small businesses with a marketing consultant and in-house team of creative, web development and PR experts.

Small business survival

Published on on Aug 26, 2013 at 14 : 14 PM.

Small business requires support not rebuff. Jonathan Jackson looks into the issues affecting small business, particularly those caused by government, and whether they are an ongoing concern.

In July, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman launched the inaugural Queensland Small Business Week. The move by Mr Newman was one designed to reconnect government with 412,000 small businesses that prop up the Queensland economy.

The two-day summit brought industry together with government to discuss the problems currently facing small businesses.

“Small business is the backbone of the Queensland economy,” Mr Newman said. “As a government, it is in our interests that our small businesses are profitable, innovative and resilient enterprises. We also want them to be competitive, to create jobs and to contribute to building a robust economy.

9 Ways to Help Your Significant Other Be Successful

Published on on Jun 25, 2013 and written by Kevin Daum.

Male or female, support from a life partner can make or break the path to prosperity. Here are nine powerful ways to increase success for you as a couple.

Books and blog posts from thought leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and Inc. columnist Carrie Kerpen have triggered many a party conversation about the roles of husbands and wives as contributors to family success. I recently found myself in a fascinating conversation with Australian entrepreneur Mellissah Smith about the role of significant others in supporting success. Mellissah wrote a couple of provocative, viral blog posts for both men and women on the subject, so my ambitious wife Van and I were comparing our own activities to see if we measured up to Melissah's standards.

Turns out, Van and I were pleased with each other's performance. My wife is innately supportive, while I had the lessons from the failure of my first marriage to help me appreciate the power of mutual support. Regardless of how traditional roles for men and women may have changed, one thing remains clear. If you selflessly support your significant other, odds are that he or she will be even more successful and contribute towards greater happiness in your family. Here are nine ways you can start today.

How to run a successful marketing campaign

Published in Herald Sun and on on June 12, 2013 and written by LIsa Mayoh.

WITH videos going viral every day and more products to be sold than ever before, marketing has never been more important. But how do you create and execute a marketing or advertising campaign destined to meet the masses?

Well for starters, if everyone is walking in one direction, turn around and run in the other.

That's according to experts, who admit that yes - creatines often do their best work over a game of ping pong.

Mark Held from says the key to good advertising is keeping the message simple.

"You're essentially telling a story," the award-winning creative director tells

"So the story should always appeal to its audience, and be delivered in the right tone of voice.

"It's about finding something interesting and truthful about the product or service, then giving it a pinch of wit and charm so it becomes more easily palatable to the people you are talking to.

Top tips for emails

By Larissa Ham -

Email is one of the speediest forms of communication there is.

But in all the rush, some small businesses forget that an email can also attract – or repel – a potential client in seconds.

We asked three experts how to set the right tone, and avoid email clangers that will rub your recipients up the wrong way.

Check your spelling

Basic yes, but there are still countless people who send emails littered with spelling mistakes, says Julie Schoneveld, CEO of Marketing Eye.

"People just rush it. They send it out and don't check it. Read it before you send it out," she says.

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