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Advertising

Spend More to Make More

Account spend can be a funny thing. Often I’ll get asked how much we need to spend to get a result.... read more

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Jeff GordonPrincipal at Prestige SME Business Solutions
The biggest risk is to take no risk! I use financial modelling tools (what if scenarios) that enables businesses to plan for growth and making sure they have the plans, staff, funding, cash flow projections etc.
Questions

What is your take in regards to neuromarketing as an advertising technique?

Do you agree that brain science and marketing really works? Have you applied it? read more

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Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
My take is that neuromarketing is less an advertising technique than a market research measurement tool. Whether the science of studying brain patterns in response to marketing stimuli works or not is a moot point. You either interpret the measurements or you don't. Various measuring tools have been applied for decades and will continue to be applied for as long as anyone is interested in consumer behaviour and responses.
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I may be incorrectly interpreting what you are asking, so please correct me if that is the case.I'm not certain about brain science and marketing, but cognitive psychology and marketing are powerful combinations. That is why many things are priced like this, $19.99 instead of $20. Monetarily there is almost no difference, especially when you factor in that after taxes it is going to be over $20 either way.Also, consumers fall into odd behavior patterns with things like coupons. If I have a retail store and I'm selling a sweater for $35 and no one is buying it, I can add a sale or coupon (in what can sometimes border on manipulation of varying degrees. What if I mark the sweater up to $42 but it's now 20% off (well logically that put the price at $33.60 less than $2 off the original $35 price) but people think they are getting an outrageous deal.I think online retail is harder to up the experience (at least in terms of physical presence). If I have a physical store, I can change the signage, lightening or even the scent in the store to try to help create an inviting environment. However, online that isn't really an option (but many online stores vary their pricing throughout the day, or offer coupon codes to only specific geographic areas).I think it is possible to use, cognitive psychology to affect the outcomes of both brick and mortar and online stores. I would like to believe it is being used to benefit the consumer, but most of the time that isn't true.I do apply cognitive psychology in my designs, but in less ominous ways. The branding (colors, fonts, layout) all can impact the mood of the user. Trying to create an experience that a demographic of users would enjoy and appreciate is always a good thing. I do occasionally test out different calls to action or imagery, but often ask for feedback from users and peers.I believe that consumers appreciate a company that has a valuable product or service, is transparent about how they are operate, and that they value their customers. Online resources have made comparing you against your competition very easy, and if they were only for a better deal, they can easily jump to one. All it takes to lose a customer is one bad experience (but that is the same for your competition). Focus on delivering great products, with great customer service and be wiling to adapt based on your customer needs rather than business goals (after all without your customers you wouldn't be in business).People don't like feeling tricked by a company (I know I sure don't). So if you wouldn't be your own customer (if you didn't work there) chances are you need to make some adjustments.
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Questions

What is the best step to approach prospective clients, other than advertising online or sending out brochures?

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Iain DooleyOwner at The Procedure People
Hey Leah, The first step is to narrow down who your prospective clients are. And "small business" doesn't cut it ;) For example, in my software business, I'm interested in small service businesses that have between 2 and 10 staff and more than $2 mil in annual revenue, or professional consultants who generate in excess of $300k/year but have no staff. In order to target these people I have setup a new brand called The Procedure People http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/ -- my goal is to identify business owners who have solved their sales problem but are having trouble growing due to lack of infrastructure. When I did some keyword research in Google AdWords, I found people looking for help with "policies & procedures", my hypothesis is that those people are exactly the target market I'm after (or at least a portion of them are). But without first stating very clearly who my ideal client is, I wouldn't have been able to come up with a creative way to get access to them. You're running a PA service: who is your ideal customer? Do you want to access solopreneurs (eg. on Flying Solo) or do you want to access professional consultants? What about picking an industry? Can you be particularly helpful to anaesthetists? Accountants? Lawyers? GPs? Anyway, you get the point: the answer to the question "how should I get in touch with my prospective clients" will depend on who those prospective clients are. Identifying who they are is often more challenging, than trying to find them ;)
Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Hi Leah,You can also try networking - both online and offline. Join groups that your target clients are in. Go to local events - basically wherever your clients are likely to go. It takes time and effort but it does work.
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Advertising

To Pause or Not to Pause -- AdWords Over Christmas

With December only two weeks away and Christmas just around the corner, a lot of businesses will be... read more

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4-Step System To Determine If You are Paying Too Much Advertisement

Results. That’s all that counts in business. Results. Any promotion worth putting your time, money... read more

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Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
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Yee TrinhCo-founder at SavvySME
Summed it up in your very first line. Always a good reminder.
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great tips; definitely see an advantage doing the 4 step system. It's not only practical but essential to make sure we don't keep throwing money into advertisements aimlessly. Thanks Lisa.
Advertising

Doing your own pr is worth it

Ok…so today you have to train a new employee, do the banking, work out why the new accounting... read more

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Questions

How many of you are using video as part of your marketing strategy?

I am really curious to know the answer to this one. How many business owners out there are using... read more

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Peter JonesFounder at LinkSmart
Hi, I have been helping a client recently with video who is just starting out. We were able to cost save by going to fiverr.com and had a lady from Queensland do a really good intro video for the website $45.00 with extras. Then we just did home video showing that the owner of the business as  an 'expert' in his products, uploaded to YouTube. Total cost just some time editing the videos. Worked really well for us and our clients. We even used Qr codes to play the videos attached to the products. Good luck Peter
I've just started with a few clients. Things that held me / us back: 1. perception that video is complicated, time-consuming and expensive. 2. lack of knowledge about how to do it. 3. lack of bandwidth. I went to an absolutely brilliant seminar just before Christmas which looked at video in all its aspects (Stuart Gordon, are you out there?!?) and came away all inspired with: 1. list of options as to where we could use video effectively (start with client testimonials) 2. reinforcement of the knowledge that content is more important than the technology (eg if you interview a client on an iPhone it really doesn't matter that it looks like a home video, it simply makes it more 'real'- unless you are a video provider, of course!) 3. confidence that we could upload to YouTube then embed in our sites without having random YouTube who knows what showing up after OUR video played. Starting gently but really think this is a great way to go!  
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Advertising

5 Companies That Transformed Advertising In 2013

The convergence of social, video and mobile technology is rapidly changing the face of advertising....read more

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In-Image Advertising: How To Monetize The Visual Web

GumGum, based in Santa Monica, California, invented the category of in-image advertising to help...read more

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5 Ways to Make Your Coupons Stand Out From the Pack

Business & Small Business Log In | Join Log In | Join Log In Join...read more

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Questions

Are you interested in pitching advertising / design / marketing concepts for a range of clients?

I'm working on a business model based on involving a group of talented creatives in a... read more

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Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Thanks to all who've posted comments so far. Here's a bit more detail on how this might work. The model is intended to attract concepts only, not execution ie. production would not be included in your submission. This is not a 99Designs model. There are two levels of involvement – open briefs and closed briefs. Open (or public) briefs are accessible by all and any group member can respond. Payment would vary depending on the brief and the client. Closed briefs are by invitation only. Only those who have proven themselves on public briefs are eligible. Everyone working on a closed brief would be paid for their contribution.  The entire model is managed by a team of experienced marketing heads. So the briefs would be well-written. This team makes the final decision as to which responses are shown to the client, so yes, you would be competing against other members within the co-operative on open briefs. However, the responses are selected on the simple basis of "best idea wins." The management team controls client communication and production. A submission would have 3 x mandatory and one optional component. 1. a strong, memorable, two sentence headline or title that clearly conveys the idea. 2. a concise, one paragraph description covering the Who, What, When, Where of the idea. 3. the How ie. an insight into how the concept would be realised. This might include suggestions for production. 4. (optional) some sort of reference image, sketch, drawing, storyboard – whatever you felt might aid the idea. The model does not preclude you from working with a partner(s), or from submitting multiple responses. The model is intended to induce the best ideas with the least amount of physical labour. The idea started because we all have a massive file of rejected, unsuited or self-censored concepts. Either the client didn't appreciate their beauty/profundity/cleverness, or didn't have the budget! Whatever the reason, they they never saw the light of presentation. We wondered, what if there was a way to get some of those brilliant, but unused, ideas into the hands of businesses that needed them? Without necessarily revealing where they came from/who did them. Clients get to go outside their formal agency setups and draw from a larger pool of top talent (some of whom might want to stay anonymous because of conflict of interest issues).  So the co-operative idea was born.
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
For me it comes down to teamwork and the emerging trend to outsource. If the concept is well managed the outcome for the client (and this is what we should be focusing on) has to be better.
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Advertising

Re-thinking your text adverts for google’s search network

If you have ever run an AdWords campaign on Google’s Search Network, you will understand the... read more

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Hi Neil, thank you!
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Hi Ashleigh, another great article. I enjoy the way you convey the essence so clearly.
Questions

How to use Youtube advertising?

Hi all, How does the advertising system work on Youtube? How do I get my ad on Youtube, and how... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Lily, You can take part in YouTube ads from your AdWords module. If you have already created campaigns for banner ads and search ads, you can simply turn on video ads by selecting the type of ad you want to pay for. Types of ads you can place on YouTube include: Video ads, where you can insert a video ad before a YouTube video plays Large banner ads that are placed beside videos on the page people watch YouTube on Smaller banner ads that pop over while YouTube videos are playing Text ads that overlay while videos are playing  If you have your own channel you can also promote your channel and videos as well within YouTube. For more information on the step by step I encourage you to visit this Google help page Titled Show your ad on YouTube: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2456100?hl=en&ref_topic=3119140 For a more general over view on Video Targeting you can visit" Show any ad on videos and on video sites: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2404253?hl=en&ref_topic=3119140   Let me know if you have further questions regarding video ads :) Note: Video ad pricing can fluctuate depending on what keywords your targeting and competition so it's very hard to give an accurate idea of how much it will cost. Best thing to do is allocate a budget and give it a go.
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Frequently missing out

Are you missing out on customers through lax marketing? It can be too easy to let your marketing... read more

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Steve Gray Director at Gray Capital Investments
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Questions

Is Google Adwords giving you a good return on your marketing dollars?

Hi Everybody, I have a number of clients who are using Google Adwords, so I wanted to get an... read more

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Gino Lancaster Business Partner at Red Planet Design ~ Digital Marketing Company
My experience is not as wide as Jayson's, but I would agree with his basic point as I understand it - most Adwords accounts do not deliver ROI because they are not set up and managed properly. One of my clients had Adwords set up by another agency.  The goal of their site is to generate leads.  There are 4 lead generation mechanisms on the site - only one of these had a goal set up, and it was incorrectly configured.  There was an Adwords campaign targeted specifically at mobile devices, yet the site was not optimised for mobile, and 80% plus of mobile visitors bounced right off again without clicking on anything.  I could go on but I won't... I do not claim to be an Adwords expert but these are my 'from experience' pointers: 1. Are you offering something people would search for?  Can you make a good guess what they might enter in the search engine?  If yes, give it a go - on a small budget so you don't blow a fortune. 2. Do you have a decent page for when people click through?  Include a 'half-way house' option like a newsletter or download to get contact details if they’re not ready to jump right in. 3. Make sure you have goals set up which you can track.  Install Google Analytics.  Have a 'thank you' page when people submit a form and track the number of times that page is viewed. 4. Make sure you understand match types.  (https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497836?hl=en-AU).  Try 2-3 word keywords on phrase match as a good starting point.  Alternatively, if the order of words might switch around ('candle making' vs 'making candles') try broad modified match. 5. Make sure you consider some basic negative match keywords - ie you don't want your ad to show when someone's search includes this term.  Common examples are here http://www.whitespark.ca/blog/post/5-must-have-negative-keywords-for-small-business-local-adwords-campaigns 6. Track your bounce rates – ie when someone clicks on your ad, looks at your site and leaves.  If it’s high, then you need to fix a) the keyword or b) the ad or c) the page people land on. 7. Take any info and advice from Google with a pinch of salt.  They make money every time someone clicks, not every time you get a lead / sale.  (Why do you think they suggest you start off with 'broad match' keywords???) 8. In Google Analytics, you get reports on what people actually typed in when they were searching, both paid and organic search.  Use these.  Look for high bounce rates – what can you add as a negative keyword?  Look for high conversion rates - is there a new keyword you should add?  Or a keyword you should give extra budget to?
Stephen PearsonOwner at AV Creative
Hi, Didn't work for me. What happened was: Job requests 'Column fodder' - Companies wanting quotes but already decided on their chosen supplier and often quite unethical Cost driven - never a happy place to play in No issue with the service provider - worked hard and professional but they all confuse ranking in Google with sales. For some businesses this is the case but not for mine - corporate video production. A business needs to assess its fundamentals. I always have a personal relationship with my buyers and this means impersonal IT searches are not the best way to start that relationship. For other businesses eg Winnings with white goods the Google ranking is critical to their competitive position. The internet is not the answer to all questions. Cheers,   Stephen
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Questions

Have you ever used a crowdsourcing platform, either as a freelancer or a client?

Crowdsourcing, the Pros and Cons. Australia has become a “global hub for crowdsourcing”  Have... read more

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Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Jon ManningManaging Director at PricingProphets.com
I run a crowd-sourcing platform (expert-sourcing to be exact), called PricingProphets, where SME's, start-ups, entrepreneurs and women (yes...a big user of our service) can ask a panel of global pricing experts and thought-leaders what price to charge for a product or service, and why? There's no competition amongst responses - we provide clients with all experts' opinions. We solve a problem that alot of people have (WTF do I charge?), and so far, everybody loves the results.  
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Questions

Is crowdsourcing the future of advertising for mid sized businesses?

Maybe. Right now it’s too early to tell. There are many upsides, and many downsides. But as the... read more

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Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Jacquie BakerOwner at Sureshot
I sincerely hope it isn't the future.  I have used crowdsourcing for small jobs, and have been really happy with most of the outcomes. But I feel you loose the intimacy of a relationship. One of the joys of being in business, is getting to know your suppliers, and them getting to know you.  The feeling that you are working together to build/create something wonderful is one of most important aspects for me to be in business for myself.  Having people lower their prices, and churn out work, doesn't create an environment, where talent can flourish....and I do not think you can get truly clever, well considered results.    
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Questions

How do you engage bloggers to promote your business?

I believe strongly, in this day and age, that powerful blogs from dedicated bloggers are often a... read more

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Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Leah GibbsOwner at Work At Home Mums
Take a look at http://www.socialcallout.com. this is exactly what you are looking for
Albert KellyInformation Technology at Corporate Gifts Shop
I have found that fivver.com is a great resource for connecting with bloggers. You need to do some searching to find the really good ones, but it really is a great resource. Also there is blogger link up at - http://www.bloggerlinkup.com/ - I have used this before and was really impressed. Hope that helps.
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Advertising

Some crazy marketing acts

The famous days of Mad Men has evolved. These are some of the out-of-your-mind marketing that has... read more

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Mac CentenoBusiness Dev't. at Bookkeeping Central
overflowing creative juice!
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Some really interesting ideas there, and the Old Spice ads are always funny. Thanks for compiling a list of these campaigns Han!
Advertising

Is this the new secret weapon for promoting your business online?

While business owners like us struggle to find the advice we need in a timely manner, service... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
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