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Get smart: how to make your business stand out from the crowd

Published on www.smh.com.au on January 28th, 2014 - 10:00AM and written by Christopher Niesche.

Getting close to your customers is more important than ever - and SMEs should use all the tools available to stay ahead of the rest.

First impressions count - and nowhere is that more true that in business.

So make 2014 the year you sharpen up your marketing efforts and ensure that the first contact you have with your customers makes a good impression. Show them that you have the solutions to their problems and that you're the sort of business they want to deal with.

"It doesn't matter what size company you are, you can still present your brand in the way it needs to be presented to engage and connect with clients and customers," says Mellissah Smith, founder of specialist SME agency Marketing Eye.

Lies and LinkedIn: the case for online diligence

Published on www.smartcompany.com.au on 12 February 2014 and written by Brendon Booth.

The LinkedIn function ‘people you may know’ recently popped up on my screen displaying a guy I had worked with back before I started pbHC. It was pretty strange that we weren’t already ‘linked’, as we had nearly 300 connections in common, but I dutifully clicked on his profile and had a look to see where he’d ended up.

Just as I was about to send a connection request, I noticed something strange. At the firm we’d both worked at, his title wasn’t listed as ‘consultant’ (as we both had been) but rather something like ‘director of recruitment in commodities, energy and sustainability’.

Poor Economy Offers Opportunities for Competitors

Published on www.eonetwork.org and written by Nick Nichols.

The global financial crisis may have many business owners running scared but, according to marketing dynamo Mellissah Smith, it could cost them dearly.

An EO Melbourne member and the Founder and Chief Executive of Marketing Eye, Smith said defensive strategies in these troubled times were gifting valuable customers to more aggressive competitors.

“I think the current global downturn creates opportunities for lateral-thinking business owners.”

Smith agreed businesses needed to trim the fat from expenses.

“Cutbacks in this environment are inevitable, and marketing staff are always on the firing line.”

But she warned that ill-conceived cutbacks could prove costly in the long term.

Marketing key for small business success

Published on www.perthnow.com.au 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 www.businessfirstmagazine.com.au 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.

Jeff Yehle Appointed To Executive Vice President And Chief Commercial Officer At Accretive Solutions

CHICAGO, August 12, 2013;
Accretive Solutions, an industryleading consulting, staffing and outsourcing company, is pleased to announce the appointment of industry veteran, Jeff Yehle, to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

This key appointment follows the company’s aggressive acquisition trail over the past two years adding Adams Harris and Pentad Group to the group’s portfolio and positioning Accretive Solutions as one of the most experienced consulting, staffing and search firms in the industry.

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