Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Five Step Blog Formula

Masters of Marketing students have now been charged with the running of the Marketing Matters blog. It’s a daunting task for many, but it doesn’t have to be so scary! Writing a blog is easier than you think.

Simply follow these five steps as outlined in this magic formula and you will be on your way to being a seasoned blogger in no time!

Step 1: Know your audience
Before you start to write, have a thorough understanding of who your target audience is. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? 

Step 2: Choose a topic and working title
Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, my topic for this post was very original. I called it ‘Blogging’. Since then I’ve had a number of working titles that I’ve changed from, ‘How to Write a Blog Post’, followed by ‘MoM’s Guide to Writing a Blog Post’. I will probably change it five more times before the end of the article. You just have to feel it as you go.

Step 3: Write a captivating introduction
The most important thing is to grab the reader's attention. The first few sentences are paramount because if you lose the reader in the first few sentences, they will stop reading. Writing captivating introductions is quite simple. Telling a story or a joke works really well, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic. Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address your reader’s problem and help them improve their work/lives.

Step 4: Organise the content
The main thing you want to avoid is information overload. That’s why it’s necessary to organise the information so readers are not intimidated by the length of the content. This can take multiple forms -- sections, lists, tips, whatever's most appropriate for the type of blog post.

Step 5: Stop procrastinating and start writing
For novice bloggers, probably the hardest step is actually writing the blog post. You may feel inclined to spend hours researching but to be honest, you need to set yourself a limit and just write.

Write about what you already know, and if need be, do additional research to gather more information to support what you have already written. Like examples, images, and data to back-up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources - for images too! You don’t want to accidentally plagiarise, do you?

All this being said, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own style and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just don’t forget what the goal of the blog is and of course, the most important thing - your audience!

Alyce Brierley
Graduating student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

5 Infallible Steps to Self-motivation


Believe me when I say that procrastination is your worst enemy. Students in the Master of Marketing program find out pretty soon that with the intensity of the program, there’s simply no time to waste if you want to balance study, health, family, social life and work.

To be classified as a procrastinator, one must master the art of systematically postponing urgent or less pleasurable matters for activities which provide immediate satisfaction. Sound familiar? Well it doesn’t have to be this way.

If like me, you are in remission after years of battling with procrastination, you will understand perfectly the constant struggle to stay on task. Keep reading and find out five infallible steps to self motivation and kick that procrastination habit for good.

Step 1: Know your weakness

It may surprise you to learn that we’re programmed to procrastinate. A psychological study performed by Walter Mischel showed direct links between anxiety, perfectionism, impulsiveness and self doubt in relation to procrastination.

The first step to kicking the habit for good is to identify this weakness and make a conscious effort to see things through to the end. Easier said than done though right? Think of it this way. You wouldn’t go about curing a disease without first getting a diagnosis. 16 Personalities have come up with a free comprehensive personality test to help you learn to understand yourself, others and how to harness your true potential.

Step 2: Set goals

'What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ - Henry David Thoreau

Now that you feel all enlightened and ready to take on the world, it’s time to set some goals. Realistic goals, mind you. Start small and write ‘To-Do’ lists each day and take pleasure in ticking off each task as you finish them. The feeling is so addictive, soon your lists will become more ambitious and you will gain the confidence to set some well defined goals.

The best sorts of goals are those you can work towards. According to Locke's goal-setting theory goals should be clearly defined, challenging but not overly difficult, attainable and relevant, have regular feedback and respect task complexity.

Step 3: Self evaluate

Never underestimate the value of self evaluation. It may seem like a waste of time but it is an immensely powerful tool for your personal growth. Take a closer look at your achievements and identify what made them a success. Know your strengths and weaknesses and understand how you can build upon them. Try to get feedback as often as possible and don’t lose confidence if you don’t succeed. For every time something goes wrong, there is always a valuable lesson to be learned.

Step 4: Inspire and be inspired

‘Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.’ - Terry Wildemann

The best way to build confidence within yourself is to help inspire others. Collaborating with others and sharing your own brilliant ideas and experiences will give you the confidence to believe you can succeed.

The world needs more leaders to inspire others to be greater than themselves.  So take what you will from this. The truth is that inspiring other leads to purposefulness and self assurance.

Step 5: Reward yourself

It’s simple really. Just as we are programmed to procrastinate, our brains are also wired to seek rewards. Studies show that one specific neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation is dopamine. Dopamine impacts the body’s motivation, memory, behaviour and cognition, attention, sleep, mood, learning, and pleasurable reward centres.

You can’t fight science. Whether your reward is tangible or intangible, something small like a cigarette or something big like a holiday. Reward yourself.

So there you have it. Five infallible steps to self motivation. But what it all boils down to is having the confidence to truly believe in yourself. You have all of the tools to achieve your goals and become successful. You are confident, capable and ambitious. The only thing left to do is start now.

Written by:
Alyce Brierley
Graduating student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

10 Key Insights from the 2018 Senior Marketer Monitor Report

In March, Colmar Brunton, in collaboration with the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI), presented their findings from their annual study of Australia's senior marketing professionals. Since 2009, this study has provided insights into the minds of marketers; enabling a deeper understanding of the sentiments, priorities, challenges and channels used today.

The University of Sydney does its best to equiMaster of Marketing students with the skills to thrive in their careers, but with the ever-changing face of marketing, it’s important to keep up to date with trends, especially when it comes to starting off in a career.

Keep reading to find out the key insights from the report and learn how the Australian marketing industry is shaping up for 2018.

1. Marketing in Australia at a glance.

2. Total budget expectations are expected to increase.

The main budget drivers were said to be linked to challenges with leadership, tightening of purse strings, and a shift to a more technical focus means that marketing is seen as an optional spend, whereas relationship building is more of a priority.

3. Getting the message across to the right audience at the right time is a bit of a challenge for commercial marketers.

4. Commercial marketers don't really know what to do with big data and many are ill-equipped to manage high priority challenges like innovation, measuring effectiveness and integrated campaign measurement.

5. For government organisations and not-for-profits, marketers feel ill-equipped to manage trends, strategies, measure integrated campaigns, acquire new customers, calculate ROI and be innovative.

6. Commercial priorities are to increase sales and customer acquisition, whereas for the government and not-for-profits, the top focus is centred around building a community and enhancing the customer experience.

7. Internal marketing and product development are not so important, right now.

8. The transition to the digital era, a focus on brand and market changes are major change drivers.

9. Communication channels like social, online and content are dominating the market sphere.

10. The digital age has put customers at the centre of a less traditional approach to marketing.

Click here to read the full version of the 2018 Australian Senior Marketer Monitor Report conducted by Colmar Brunton and the AMI.

Alyce Brierley
Graduating student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.