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Dmytro Moroz answered a question

Do You Have Marketing Rules You Constantly Remind Yourself Of?

Or anything that was a real epiphany for you?

Dmytro Moroz

Dmytro Moroz, Digital Marketing Strategist at Kanbanize

My biggest and hardest to follow rule it start small, validate ideas and experiment. All of these come from the Agile Marketing philosophy. Feeling creative and working on a huge project is something marketers really love, but it's not a sensible thing to do.  I've talked more about this in an article on Agile Marketing  

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

I have two pretty important ones:

  • Customers Are Everything - without customers you are really just a hobby not a business. Listen to customer feedback and adapt your product, service and company if necessary.
  • Be Different And Authentic - consumers are overloaded with "me too" companies that don't really offer anything different. You cannot and should not try to be everything to everyone. Take a specific stand and stay true to that vision in your products, services, marketing voice and customer interaction.
  • Chelsea Creamer

    Chelsea Creamer , Community Manager at SavvySME

    I totally agree with you, Jef. Picking your focus & making that what you’re really amazing at for your consumers is really the best way to go. Along with really listening to the feedback you get from those customers!
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    Edward Plant answered a question

    How do you start or create a community, a movement?

    Hi SavvySME's,

    I am in the process of doing something a little different than what I normally do. Part of it involves creating an engaged online community. Any ideas of the key drivers of success for this? For a bit of background, the target market is stressed out women with just a smidgen of spiritual awareness.

    Edward Plant

    Edward Plant, Strategic Leader at Lead a Better Business

    Creating any solid community is about creating a culture and environment that people want to be involved in. Getting people inspired to support and be involved and most importantly be active.People want to be heard, be in a place they trust those around, be safe and gain value from the community. Maybe have a look at a community that you are involved in and see why you stay in this community and what you get out of it.

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    Lisa Ormenyessy

    Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

    Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated :-)

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    Dave Williams answered a question

    Any idea what is the cheapest country to order printed products?

    I'm looking to commission the printing of a calendar, agenda style of book.  

    Dave Williams

    Dave Williams, Sales & Business Consulting & Separate Online Retail Store at Asia Pacific Sales Management

    I use a company in China who are very good and great value. wishpacking.com. My contact is Mr Woodwei.

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    John Eustace answered a question

    Has anyone used cinema advertising for their business?

    Was it effective and what industry are you in?

    John Eustace

    John Eustace, Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd

    Cinema advertising can be most effective for developing andmaintaining local awareness. If your business is easily accessible to individuals who attend the screen/s you advertise on.

    Cinema awareness campaigns are essentially a long game and continuity is therefore important. Most people won’t remember a single ad but will eventually become familiar with your brand and offer after multiple trips to the cinema.

    Prior to committing to a cinema campaign it is always worthwhile to visit the screen look at the patrons – are they really your target audience? Check out who is currently advertising and call them all to see if they will be renewing their subscription and what level/value of business they are able to associate with their cinema advertising.

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    Sputnik Sputnik

    Sputnik Sputnik,

    Sure. The choice of media usually depends on a few different factors and can be unique to each business.On the upside, you have a captive audience (assuming they arrive while the ads are on), they can't flick channels etc. It's also good for location based businesses that are nearby a cinema. (A meal afterwards etc) Or good for targeting certain groups of people who watch certain kinds of films if you are able to do that.On the downside, people aren't usually in buying mode right before a film and have likely forgotten about your ad 2 hours later when they walk out. Like pretty much ALL media and placement, it really depends on what your brand is and what you're trying to achieve.

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    Steve Osborne answered a question

    How can I encourage students to book in for these workshops?

    I run a tutoring business. Year 12 exam prep workshops are coming up and I need more bums on seats.

    Steve Osborne

    Steve Osborne, director at Steve Osborne / Smarthinking

    More background required please, Tiffany. What is your current strategy for attracting new business? Which tactics have been successful and which less so?

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    Stephen A answered a question

    Stephen A

    Stephen A,

    Such a short question can mean so many things to different people. This is how I interpret your question:

    "Should I build solutions for my customers/employees/others that are dedicated to providing a mobile solution, or should I just stick to my current web or client/server applications"

    I could have written the above a hundred different ways, but the answer in short is "yes", but that is not really the answer you need. It is about minimising risk and growing the solution over time.

    For example, if you currently have solutions that are on the desktop or on the web, you can build a "WebApp" that is effectively a web application that is optimised for the mobile. Languages like JQuery Mobile, DOJO and many other Javascript derivatives can help that. Combining that application with technologies that report how the app is used and the response times achieved (the biggest weakness of WebApps) will be key inputs into building a dedicated mobile computing solution.

    There are many paths to a dedicated mobile computing solution, but the key to what path to take is understanding the geography and user base you are targeting. If that is in Australia, it is likely to involve an iOS/iPhone/iPad platform initially due to its current dominance, but Android is growing and that is likely to be the 2nd platform targeted (note that the WebApp can target all HTML5 based platforms, so this is an ideal backup as you rollout multiple platforms). Windows8 will take time (anywhere from 6 to 14 months is significant time in the IT industry) before it becomes a real presence that must be considered.

    But these decisions can change drastically depending upon what you are targeting. Either way, the key is to take a broad approach through a WebApp and phase in dedicated solutions - where they make sense.

    A key point worth considering when thinking of dedicated mobile applications is integration. Typically, business applications rely on centralised data - whether that be to share data across devices through a user account or to share data outside of the user themselves. This design aspect is important as devices are not always "online" and you also do not want to suffer the same performance drawbacks that a WebApp can suffer from. Therefore, you will require some local storage and integration back to a central point. This can make a seemingly cheap and easy idea into a logistical nightmare, and this is where professional experience will turn the potential nightmare into a reality - just not as cheaply as you first imagined !!!

    So broadly speaking, to recap the answer, yes, you need to invest in mobile computing, but only after you have considered what the use is and who by. Then take a softly-softly approach by first incorporating WebApps, then where it is justified, deploy dedicated solutions.

    The exact use you require may dictate variation to the above simple explanation, but as a generic approach, I believe this will help you move your strategy forward. I would love to hear more about exactly what you were contemplating around mobile computing. All the best.

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    Lawrence Ladomery answered a question

    Lawrence Ladomery

    Lawrence Ladomery, Marketing Manager at WP HOSTING PTY LTD

    Hi Phil, I've thought hard about this one as I manage a web hosting co.s Partner Program :)This is what I have discovered by talking to our existing and prospective partners, in no particular order.Peace of mind. They want their client websites to be looked after, issues resolved quickly and good communicationSecurity and performance. Taken care of at server level so there is less to do with the platform (eg. hosting).Expert, local support. This is a key one: to be able to jump on a call and speak to someone local who can address their issue, looking at their specific problem, and not just given them a canned response.Based in Australia. For performance, compliance and better support.Quite a few of our partners are looking to earn via referrals or reselling our services, as well as getting leads off us.Hope this helps.Lawrence 

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    Zac Johnson

    Zac Johnson, CEO at Blogging.org

    Web hosting can be super confusing the first time around. However, the majority of hosts out there are pretty much the same. I would recommend you go with a shared hosting plan (one that's under $10 a month), and also read up on the reviews. This will give you a good idea on the real quality of a web host.

    Also, be sure to check out this expert roundup on the top web hosting solutions out there. You will find recommendations from 83 different bloggers and site owners. Along with the web host they are using and why they like them.

    Lawrence Ladomery

    Lawrence Ladomery , Marketing Manager at WP HOSTING PTY LTD

    Not all web hosts are the same -- there is a big difference between volume players like GoDaddy and specialist providers such as WP Engine or ourselves. Also, Australian SMEs are much better off with a local provider. If they are running WordPress, for example, it's hard to match us: we've been serving Australian businesses since 2008, offer best-in-class tech and performance and our support team in based in Melbourne, so just a phone call away :)
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    Hitesh Mohanlal answered a question

    Hitesh Mohanlal

    Hitesh Mohanlal, Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants

    Good question. Yes if you have the funds it is worth taking the discount because on an annual basis the discount can save you money. I once did a calculation for one of my clients which showed that it was worth him increasing his overdraft and take the discount. Paying late can also work but this generally affects goodwill. If you pay on time and then find you are in a tricky position, suppliers will give you a bit more time to pay. If you are constantly late it can affect your relationship. You need to do some quick calculations but i usually take advantage of early payment arrangement.

    Jef Lippiatt

    Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

    Your answer is spot on Hitesh.
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    Jef Lippiatt answered a question

    Jef Lippiatt

    Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

    I currently don't use any VA services myself, but if I were to start I'd be looking for the following:

    • Good communicator
    • Cheerful / Pleasant personality and demeanor
    • Reliable
    • Detail oriented for capturing notes and meeting schedules
    • Knowledgeable about my business so they sound integrated not phony
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    Greg Vekar answered a question

    What should one know about doing business with Chinese companies?

    What should one know about doing business with Chinese companies?

    Greg Vekar

    Greg Vekar, BDM/Design consultant at Vekar Design

    The main issue with doing business in Asia is the lack of "Rule of Law". It's a bit wild west. There are of course exceptions to this, but short term gain is the main focus. It is seasonal thinking. This was a shock to me at first, as business academics like Hofstede propose long term thinking as dominant in Asian cultures. My observations and discussions with other operators is that this is the opposite, that many will sacrifice long term gain for a quick buck.

    To do business one needs a trusted agent based on location. China is big. To check that the shipment is the right quality. They have a range of quality levels. One really needs due diligence at all times.

    Contracts are only effective against the foreigner, they mean little to Chinese and Vietnamese. Relationships, or more importantly consequences of bad behaviour are more important. Without a fair judiciary system, the law is not really an option.

    Of course there are so many opportunities in Asia and China. As Western Countries have been crippled by austerity measures, reducing consumer spending it's really the best place for business. It's exciting too. Just the other day I met the Viet Kieu mention by Obama in his speech. He has sold his business in Silicon Valley to start one in Vietnam. Most markets are immature and crave a more sophisticated approach. Currently the trend is to move manufacturing out of China to Vietnam, due to costs. Samsung just build their largest factory, Microsoft is doing the same. With all the trade agreements (FTA-EU, TPP, AEC) and growth of the middle class, the ASEAN area shows more promise.

    For Australians, no one knows business in China more than Justin Richardson (https://cn.linkedin.com/in/justinrichardsonchina). He has been there for 18 years and speaks fluent Mandarin. Someone I have know since the 90s. I also follow Winston as he have some honest videos on living in Shenzhen. Like this one https://youtu.be/FXXQnyWRSSg

    I am based in Northern Vietnam and regularly visit China.

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    Heather Chai

    Heather Chai, Head of Communications at Asialink Business

    Hi Yee, great question! And certainly one that we get asked a lot at Asialink Business. In fact, we’ve written an entire comprehensive guide to help Australian businesses looking to do business with China (which you can find at https://asialinkbusiness.com.au/research-resources/china-country-starter-pack).China is a very complex market and building strong relationships and trust is crucial for successfully engaging with Chinese businesses. The Chinese are influenced by Confucianism, so respect for education, authority and age are big priorities for them. Within the Chinese culture value system, Confucianism’s core value of etiquette and politeness is a key foundation of business dealings in the country.Social etiquette and behavioural norms are important because they help to preserve a harmonious environment in which a person’s miànzi (面子)– face – along with their social standing and reputation can be upheld. One of the best ways to manage miànzi is not to demand ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers in business meetings, but to accept the need for slow, consensual decision-making and relationship-building. Contradicting someone openly or criticising them in front of others will result in loss of face, and are sure ways to lose business and employees.Always be mindful of maintaining face and harmony with Chinese people through sincere compliments, showing respect, or other actions that tend to raise the self-esteem of others. You should particularly show respect to older people and to those in more senior positions than you.Expect to spend plenty of time at meetings and banquets with your potential business partners. Often these will be done out of business hours with karaoke (KTV) being a favourite option for developing relationships!Like other East Asian cultures, the Chinese like to develop a personal connection first. So expect to be asked, and to ask questions, about family. Try to find a connection with your Chinese counterpart and make a note to remember it.Business etiquette tips - Greetings and titles: When meeting Chinese business people, it is useful to know some Mandarin. Simple phrases can go a long way.Business cards: When presenting your card, do so with both hands holding the card in between your thumb and index finger at the top of the card with the Chinese face of the card up.Dress code: Conservative, unpretentious and modest clothing should be worn in China, particularly in the business environment. Guanxi: Often translated as “connections”, “relationships” or “networks”, none of these terms do justice to the fundamental and complex concept of guanxi and its central role in Chinese culture. Hope this answers your question. Get in touch with us at http://www.asialinkbusiness.com.au if you were looking for further resources.
    Jef Lippiatt

    Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

    Definitely a lot of things to consider. Thanks for sharing
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