Friday, 27 May 2016

Marketing Skills – What we need to learn

There was recently some market research conducted by Fractl & Moz that looked into 75 thousand listed jobs on during June 2015. What came as a surprise to some is that marketing skills are in fact in high demand and will only continue to increase.  However, with that being said, recruitment agencies and those in charge of hiring to fill marketing positions are becoming much pickier about skills and talent.
As most of us are becoming aware, there is quite a skills gap in marketing in today’s industry, particularly in relation to digital proficiency that companies are expecting of current & future employees. Marketing careers now require detailed knowledge of such things as social media, SEO, content marketing, and Google Analytics.

From the research Fractl & Moz’s has undertaken, what seems to be the most valued skill for a marketer is understanding and proficiency in SEO. Their research shows that job titles including SEO averaged a yearly salary of $102,000. Those including Social Media Marketing came in around $51,000 annually. A report by “The Economist Intelligence Unit and Market” states that, out of all new marketers:
  • 39% emphasize technology and digital engagement
  • 38% emphasize strategy plus planning
  • 32% emphasize data analysis
  • 27% emphasize customer experience
  • 26% go for advertising and branding
  • 16% emphasize creative graphics

Marketing has entered a tech and data-driven new world

As mentioned in some of the other articles I have written, there is definitely a change in how marketers previously worked and how they work today. We can’t blame this only on the internet, but must also blame the rapidly changing world of technology. Many hiring staff should really be aiming at looking for candidates with an overall strength where “new technology” is concerned plus a specialised area of their own, whether that be in SEO, social media, analytics and so forth.  To be fair to us marketers, agencies should really start making adjustments in order to attract the best new technological and digital talents.

In order to start addressing the skills gap, marketers must stay up to date on the latest digital technology.  Attracting and keeping the top guns in marketing may incentivise your company to give you particular benefits, whether that means they pay for your advanced degree in marketing or reward you for extra specialised platforms you decide to educate yourself on.

Most of the small businesses in today’s economic landscape will simply partner with marketing agencies and expect specialised services such as SEO, social media, and user experience. Not only is it up to the marketer to ensure they are up to date with the latest trends, platforms and skills but it is also up to the companies themselves to ensure their employees, both marketing and other department staff are having ongoing training. 

At the end of the day, what we need to understand is that companies are telling their recruiters to find marketers with a firm grasp of current technology and internet marketing practices. Meanwhile, marketers who have such skill sets can afford to be very choosy about who they work for. It’s a very hot job market for those who take the time and trouble to go beyond marketing basics and specialise in things like SEO, content marketing and Google Analytics.

Digital-first platforms are the coming thing. A digital thread is the common theme for all companies and recruiters looking to hire the cream of the crop. The new breed of digital marketers will feel comfortable working with the IT department and with sales teams, as well as having the skills necessary to function in the internet-dominated marketing field of today.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 23 May 2016

Personal Branding & Your Social CV

Life as we know it has changed from what it was a decade ago. Fast-forward to now and new tools of connection and education have arrived. The way we connect, learn and develop credentials is being turned upside down. While those native to the digital landscape have little problem moving through the learning curve of using and connecting, it seems few have realised the importance of these new age social tools.

These tools are rapidly becoming a means of judgement, maybe even more so than a formal education. Whether we like it or not, we now all run our own media company. We have to manage our presence in social channels, much like we have had to manage our education. While it sounds daunting that we may have to get a new set of ‘qualifications,’ the news is that we now, for good or bad, live in the era of the 15-minute expert.

One of the most important tools to arrive out of social media is the new Automatic CV Generator tool. It’s a website in which you input your name and it automatically pulls up all your recent business activity, skills and projects. It’s called Google. So while we may send someone a CV that we wrote, the real CV potential employees and business partners care about are the results when they search your name. And it’s our choice what they find. How good is that! We can recreate our skills and persona based on what we feed into the internet machine.

What this means is that if we pay attention we can build our brand. We can become an expert in our desired area. The work we choose to publish under our name and our forums will bubble to the top of the search for us. And we all know people rarely search beyond the first page. What people see is what I want them to see and, while I don’t have anything to hide, it’s a simple process of proving passion through output and proving ability through projects. This kind of activity is rewarded by search engines. In a very short period of time our own published works (social, blogging, video, tweeting - you name it) can very quickly grow our personal brand and even change perceptions of expertise. We can renovate our lives. Once we understand the need to build our personal brands, there are a few important strategic rules we need to follow:

We can never be an expert at all tools. It takes too much effort to move past the learning curve. Social media presence is like sport: If you play them all, it’s hard to get good at them without losing focus on your actual projects. Choose a few and master them.

Invest time into building your brand identity and a name you can take with you to other positions and companies. Considering how often social media platforms and tools change, we need to be agile enough to adapt and ensure we are bringing what we build for ourselves with us.

At the beginning of any start up or personal branding page there is no doubt that it is difficult to obtain a huge amount of organic growth. It is important that we avoid building our brand on open tools at the expense of building direct connections. Earning a following, an audience or an email list may be harder and slower but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Shifting aside everything that happens in between it is vital to maintain a direct relationship in which you have control over the systems and interactions taking place. It’s a marketer’s dream, and yet so few people and companies understand the power this creates. This shift we are living through is about connection and attention.

Attention is the scarcest resource in today’s economy. Once we’ve worked hard to gain someone’s attention, we should also ensure it’s in a place where our biggest asset can’t be taken away from us.

More than ever we need to build our own brands. And if we can’t build one for ourselves, what chance do we have of building one for the companies we work for?

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 20 May 2016

Is the Consumer Always Right?

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A successful business is one with happy customers. The key element to earn customer loyalty is to consider the customer’s problems as your responsibility. Only then you can enjoy a wide network of happy customers, which brings business growth and success.

“The customer is always right” is a well-known saying in the business market, yet not many people know why the customer is always right. Your customer is seeking good value for money – they’re not trying to cheat you. Your customers are actually your well-wishers, because their success is dependent on your success, so you should go beyond their expectations to take care of their needs. This is how your business may flourish.

Read on to find out why you should take care of your customers and how customers can impact your business.

Happy customers will encourage other people to be your customer. They will share their experiences and will spread positive vibes about your business. Contrastingly, if you don’t treat them well, then they will spread ideas about your poor performance or unethical behaviour to your current and potential customers.

It’s easier to keep up with the existing customer than to attract a new one. Many business owners invest money to attract new customers, without thinking through how much they can earn by doing business with existing customers. Your old customers know you well and will be ready to promote your business, so why spend money to attract new ones?

If you have dissatisfied customers, don’t expect them come to you to tell you what’s wrong. The majority of such customers won’t bother to do so, they just switch to another businesses. So, this is a loss for you.

It is the quality of service that differentiates your business from your competitors. So, it is the services offered by your sales and service persons that can give you a bounce in the business market as most of the clients prefer to return to the business where they receive the best services.

Now, let’s look for the ways you can maintain a network of loyal customers.

Customer service policy should be in written form
Create a customer service policy in written form and make sure every employee acts on it. It will set your impression as a responsible owner in front of your customers.

Your employee should provide the best customer service
Make sure your employees are aware of the fact how their service can directly impact on the company’s business and reward them when they fulfill their targets. Pleased employees lead to pleased customers too.

Obtain customer’s feedback often
The customers always want to be treated like special ones so obtain their feedback regarding your service quality often. This will create a good at your customer’s side.

Use phrases that your customers love to hear
Phrases like “How can I help you”, “I will look into your matter”, “I will solve your problem”, “I will keep you updated”, “It will be delivered on time” etc. Such phrases directly meet customer’s expectations and they will love to be your part of the business.

Always make sure your customers know you care and that you work for them. Follow the saying “the customer is always right” and you will see a wide network of loyal customers investing in your business.


Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Digital Strategy and How to Measure ROI

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It is rare to find a business that improves at a desired pace if it is not making effective use of digital marketing. Digital marketing in the current era of internet and technology is essential for small to large sized businesses. This is why all major organisations hire a full team of digital marketers to ensure that their desired outcome can be achieved. If you are looking for a few tips for digital marketing for your business, then you have come to the right blog. We have taken the liberty of mentioning a few of the notable tips which may help a great deal in this regard. Let’s take a closer look at these tips.

Tips for Digital Marketing:
This list of prominent digital marketing tips includes, but is not confined to the following:
  • Post as much content as you can, as regularly as you can.
  • Don't make a big deal out of your business, rather, keep your content customer-focused.
  • Make sure that you are interacting and communicating with your followers to turn potential customers into returning customers.
  • Try investing in several different digital marketing techniques, don’t just rely on one.
  • Be critical while creating your content.
  • Be creative when creating and marketing content, without stepping out of your budget.
  • Remember that search engine optimization is the pillar of your digital marketing strategy.
  • Use whatever means you can to spread the word and promote what you have to offer.

If you belong to the world of business, you will understand the importance of measuring ROI. Since a number of business owners fail to measure the ROI in an appropriate fashion or face certain complications in this regard, we have taken the liberty of mentioning the tips which will help you measure your ROI.

Tips to Measure ROI:
The list of the prominent business ROI measurement tips includes, but is not confined to the following:
  • Understand that a whole bunch of activities are correlated with producing a positive ROI for your business and failing to focus on any of them will prove detrimental. For instance, if you are focusing purely on creating a social media presence, other elements of your product are going to suffer. Poor performance of your product coupled with only a social media presence means you have given your customers a platform to spread their frustration and nothing else.
  • Don't put your entire energy into garnering likes and clicks, but measure what actually matters. For instance, sentiment analysis, or performance of key indicators.
  • A dashboard that displays metrics is certainly not enough unless you make use of a professional who can interpret the statistics for you in an appropriate fashion
  • Don't forget to translate your data into insights and then implement those insights to your actions
  • Relying entirely on descriptive analytics is not a wise decision

Provided that you are able to apply the above mentioned tips in an appropriate fashion, you will be able to market your content, products, or services skilfully and produce a positive ROI for your business. The above mentioned detail give you insights about measuring your ROI and the factors which may help in the production of a positive ROI for your business. It will take a significant amount of time to apply all of the above mentioned tips, however, considering the benefits, it will be absolutely worth it.


Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 9 May 2016

Marketing, Customer Centricity, and why it is so important

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An emerging term in the arena of customer service is “customer centricity”. Although it refers to company-wide focus on the customer, every business, every company and every department should have the customers in mind before executing a project. Companies work according to the demand of customers to attract them and boost their business on national and international platforms. In simple terms, “customer centricity” means to satisfy the needs of customers and make strategies to draw the attention of more customers. Without understanding the need of the customers, it isn’t possible for businesses to flourish. It becomes mandatory for business owners and companies to design and deliver products or services that positively enable a customer.

Customer centricity is highly important for the economic growth of the company. Here are a few tips to achieve optimal results for customer centricity,
  1. Start meeting your customers and deciphering what exactly they want you to produce. Develop a positive attitude towards their needs and discover the best possible solution that is valued by customers.
  2.  Providing convenient facilities to the customers will ultimately lead the business with a customer centric approach. People look for convenience and go where they can easily get the service that fits their needs.
  3. Two way communication on a regular basis makes it easier to learn the expectation of the customer. Make it easy for the customers to give feedback on the product you deliver. Figure out the reasons if you are losing your customers.
  4. Solve the problems of your customer before they know about it. Create strategies that act as a remedial solution to sudden problems. Behave proactively rather than waiting for a reactive approach from the customer. In this way the customer will appreciate the efforts and might think of continuing the future projects with you. He may recommend the name of your firm to his other followers.
  5. Provide guarantees to keep your customers working with your firm. It shows that your company cares for the customers. Give them quick ways of filing complaints and respond to them immediately to build their confidence in your business.
  6. People are more likely to visit the most convenient place to their own location, but some people prefer quality over location. It is recommended to allocate your business near places that people already go. This will eventually grasp the attention of new customers as well.
  7. Don’t be over-confident, but don’t underestimate your business. Set a balanced approach and delight your customers with your positive attitude and enthusiastic methods.
  8. Professional and well-mannered staff give a positive impression to the customers. Motivate your staff to work efficiently and boost their morale on different situations. Happy staff will generate more customers.
These few tips will help to create a positive experience for your customers. It will affect the economy of your business and make it a customer centric business ultimately. Moreover, customer centricity revolves around the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the customer with your company. Allow them to express their thoughts freely on social, electronic and print media.

Enjoy !

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Have you ever through of incorporating Snapchat to your social media marketing mix? If not, well perhaps you should.

Snapchat has gone from being a simple photo and video-sharing app to a marketing tool that cannot be ignored. Since its start in 2011, the app has over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day. Believe it or not, Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks. The self-destructing concept is no longer for just smartphone savvy-teens but also provides marketers and brand managers with a way to produce daily stories and content that engage and excite their audiences.

What is trickier however is using snapchat to connect with a buyer persona. By now, most of you are aware that snapchat puts a limit on how long a video or photo is available for others to see. For example, a video or photo will disappear as soon as a few seconds go by, never to be seen again by the recipient. This means that us marketers need to make the most of every second they get on the app, which requires a certain amount of strategy.

Understanding Your Audience

Any marketer or business professional will tell you that you must understand your audience before marketing any product or service. Since its commencement, the Snapchat platform has always encouraged casual and informal communication through the use of videos and photos. Even though they aren’t typically documenting professional behaviour, they have connected millions of people around the world. That being said, it’s critical to observe the overall casualness of the app.

When you or your marketing team is creating a strategy for Snapchat, you need to settle on a tone of voice that will be used across the board. Ideally, the language you use should be easy-to-understand, and your posts should have a sense of fun. If you’re just starting out on Snapchat, take some time to do your homework. Browse through other accounts and follow other people to get a better idea of how they use the app.

You can also use Snapchat to provide special content to your audience that they might not receive on other digital platforms. Think of something unique to surprise your community of followers. At a Valentino show for Fashion Week in Paris, actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson took it a step further and re-interpreted their Zoolander roles for a runway walk-off.  They even had a “Blue Steel” geofilter at the fashion show. The use of Snapchat at Fashion Week made consumers feel included in an exclusive world, and by doing so, they felt like they were part of the event. Reprised

Embracing the Time Limit

While some may perceive the self-destructive nature of Snapchat to be a hurdle, marketers can do wonders with this aspect of the app. The number of second you choose to display your photo of video can be seen as an ideal opportunity to offer teasers and previews of an upcoming event, behind the scenes, product or service to your snapchat followers.

The app can also be used to create contests. For example your company can ask their followers to send you pictures of them using your product with the incentive of winning a reward. The trick to getting the most leverage out of Snapchat is ensuring that you are always looking for ways to engage with your customers. Doing so can keep people coming back for more, giving you additional opportunities to roll out your marketing strategy.

Get Going with Video

Videos are a key component of the Snapchat, although they also disappear once they have been viewed, marketers can use them to reach out to people who are interested in getting a sneak peek of their office culture, product production, and everything in between. Marketing teams can use video to provide more valuable content to their followers. Although they say a picture is worth a thousand words, you can actually verbalize the message you’re trying to convey to your audience through a video. More importantly, you don’t need to be a professional to make a splash. Remember: Snapchat is all about being casual and relatable.

Portraying Your Personality

Like with any type of social media, Snapchat gives you a chance to portray the true intentions and mission of your company, whether it involves providing a service or a valuable product. Ideally, the media that you share over the app should give people a better idea of your business and what you have to offer. You should always be working to inject personality into your photos and videos to help people connect to your brand on a personal level.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 2 May 2016

Marketing & Innovation is key to support every business

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While I was searching the success stories of some of the big and giant corporations of our time, something baffled me to my very nerves. Most companies begin with the same set of skills, their human capital is similar and so are their financial resources. Yet so many businesses fail to provide what their competitors do. How would you feel if you and your friends today started a small scale business with the same set of opportunities, but one of you succeeded while the others failed?

What’s going wrong? What is it that the others are doing that you aren’t? What is the core competency that you lack? As a company, you have the mission, vision and goal, you also employ the same strategic concepts and provide the same products and services. In a homogenous business environment, it is very common practice for one company to bring the other down through disruptive innovation. The cause of the innovation is present somewhere in the thinking and perception of the entrepreneurs or the marketers. The strategic decisions made by the directors follow a mindset that often most of us require. Let us get deeper into what I mean by saying unique mindset.

When we talk about Apple, we talk about differentiation. Apple is a great firm which has the success rate of jaw dropping numbers and is a consistently premium brand for most people in the world. It has a success formula that many companies and businesses lack. They do not just sell their product - they sell their beliefs and values. According to researchers, the success of Apple lies in the fact that they do not sell the product or service, they sell their idea, their purpose.

What, how and why are three main important concepts for any innovative mind. Most businesses go from what to why. Apple, which is a centre of innovation and a hub for creativity, does the opposite. It moves from why to what. Most companies and business sell by saying “we sell this (what), by the support of our people (how), because we want to provide better opportunities (why).

When we talk about Apple the Steve Jobs’ innovative portal, they start off by saying, people do not buy what we sell, people buy why we sell. You see the difference? Apple says “to provide you with the best technological solutions (why) our company (how) sells you the latest and premium technology (what).  This is the value addition that most businesses and companies do not provide. This is the ideology and innovation that people from Apple have and this is the secret formula or ingredient of their success. People do not buy your product; they buy the purpose of your buying. This is the innovation that needs to be built up in our culture to nurture growth and opportunities.

Enjoy !

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School