We Are The Champions!

Students from Australia have won the biggest STEM competition in the world: F1inSchools Technology Challenge.

Run by Re-Engineering Australia Foundation, our client of 13 years, F1inSchools enables teenagers to use world standard engineering and manufacturing technology. Such as virtual wind tunnel software.

They design, build and race a miniature F1 car capable of 0-80 km/h in under 1 second! And, at the World Finals in Singapore a team from Adelaide called HORIZON beat 52 other teams and set a new world speed record. The students received scholarships to a prestigious university in London.

Follow the progress of this outstanding Australian not for profit organisation at www.rea.org.au

Now, it’s back to spreading the word about the win and raising the profile of REA (listen to the Alan Jones Show on 2GB at 8:10am on September 19.

Marketing Hypocrisy

What is one of the biggest crimes committed by businesses everywhere?

Promising more than they can deliver. This is the topic is my latest JAM article…

You have to live your marketing message. Before you can make a single promise to your potential customers your organisation must understand what it is, they must believe in it and live by it.
Or else, you are guilty of a lack of integrity.
The sin of unsupported communication is rampant and has been for decades.
How many times have you purchased an item – anything from a home or car to a coffee maker or fabric cleaner – only to find it failed to live up to its marketing hype. I think I can safely say that would be…everyone!
Or, how many times have you made a purchase and the delivery process or after sales support was nothing like the promise made online or in the store? It arrived late. Damaged. Not at all. Their tech’ support spoke English as a second language and couldn’t understand you. They never called back. Gave wrong advice. Wouldn’t even answer your emails or calls.
Some industries are worse than others. For example, tradies and landscapers have done very little to endear us with meeting promises of punctuality, clear communication, detailed quotes and meeting deadlines.
I have made it a habit all my marketing life – which stretches back to the mid Eighties – to question my clients from the outset. Can you put your hand on your heart and know that these things which we are about to announce are legitimate? Do you have evidence to support them?
One of my roles in providing marketing support is liaising with clients’ customers. Because I am an independent entity I end up being told more than they would tell their sales rep’ or account manager. The good and the bad. And, this is where I truly find out just how much integrity the business has.
I recall I was once helping a home builder and I contacted about a dozen new home owners to get their responses only to discover that they were so unhappy one of them was considering taking legal action. The builder was totally unaware of the problems which had been caused by their subcontractors. Fortunately, they took it all very seriously, employed a full-time supervisor, and the problems were quickly solved.
The building company presented messaging which spoke of being trustworthy and reliable, yet their process didn’t live up to the promise. No doubt you have a number of scenarios flicking though your mind. Times when you have been let down or felt frustrated and ‘ripped off’.
In a ‘perfect world’ long before a company becomes vocal about their new sales pitch or tagline they need to ask themselves, “Can we really achieve this?”
Will the product deliver everything we say it can? Is the online shopping cart a quick and easy 2-step process? Can we deliver in 24 hours to anywhere in Australia? Can we provide free online support for the life of the product? Are our support staff trained to answer all kinds of queries?
There is another layer over the top of this. Your culture. I really like it when organisations live and breathe what they say they are. Those who know me have heard me refer to two in particular: Apple and Virgin.
My daughter worked at Apple and I’m a long time Apple user so I have a good idea of their values and priorities. I have also spoken to a number of existing and ex-Virgin employees. They work very hard to ensure that the spirit of excellence, engagement, can-do attitude and friendliness is not a gimmick. It is who they are.
No surprise that they are so successful.
It starts at the top. Sir Richard Branson really likes his people. And they know it, so they want to work hard for him. They embrace his belief system.
At Apple the branch supervisors meet regularly with their teams. They have a ‘huddle’ in the middle of the day to get individual feedback on how everything is going and to problem-solve any challenges. They are very pro-active.
It is very dangerous to announce to the world that your product is amazing and you are amazing when you haven’t properly road tested the product/service or done anything to improve the atmosphere of your environment (your culture) or processes and systems, or ensured that personnel have been properly trained and everyone “is on the bus with you” heading in the same direction.
I would go further to say that if you don’t commit to due diligence before going public with your marketing message you are opening yourself up for a big fail. With the explosive virality of social media it will only take a few lacklustre sales experiences or failed products to tarnish the good will you have worked so hard for and spent so much to get.
Consumers are savvy. They have high expectations. And they hate being lied to. The best insurance you can ever have is a lengthy, highly detailed preparation phase which applies to every aspect of your business and its connection with your market.
©YI-JAM 2018. Just A Minute series.

AMT Article – By Me!

AMTIL or the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Institute is the largest organisation for manufacturing (a sector dear to my heart) with many thousands of members and they produce an awesome publication, AMT. Very humbled to have been asked to write a page about marketing for manufacturers in the latest issue!

Missed By That Much!

Being a wordsmith I can’t but help to proofread everything I see. Menus. Signage. Brochures. Books. Vehicles. And I am constantly amused by what I see. Although I should be screaming at the bastardisation of the English language. Anyway, here’s one that did make me laugh…

Book #2

Another project that has been germinating for years…Accelerated Trust: The Art of Destabilisation is in its final stages of editing and I am looking forward to making it available to people. It explains the process that I have been using for decades to take people from “I don’t know who you are and am not interested in looking for you” to “I am so glad that I met you and you are now solving my challenge.”

FCPM At Last!

A life time dream has become reality – with the news I received from the Australian Marketing Institute that I have been presented with the post nominal Fellow, Certified Practising Marketer. FCPM is their highest ranking. I was a Fellow before this. Marketing-communication has been my life long passion, since my childhood when I was an apprentice to my Creative Director father, Earl. The passion and enthusiasm has not waned. I am one of the lucky ones – my work is my passion.

Leaving A Legacy

Using my gifts and 30 plus years of communication expertise to promote an entity that continues changing lives into the future. I love the idea of leaving a legacy. Yes, I find every client and campaign an exciting challenge. Taking clients from where they are today to a much better place of market presence and profitability. And yet, the idea that my work today is going to become a multiplier is so appealing. Which is why I am thoroughly enjoying 2 current projects. The national launch of Drug-Safe Communities. Helping people leave a life of addiction. Seeing them and their families released to good health, unity, repaired relationships. And, LINKS2LIFE, the vision of a wonderful selfless former nurse and active community service worker, who is investing in a family contact centre in Sydney’s northwest. I know that one day as I lean on my Zimmer frame I will be able to look back with a smile and say I was there when DSC and L2L were launched and started changing lives for good. And I have been a part of the countless thousands of people they have transformed since then. Loving it.

9 P’s Of An Effective Brand

The 9 P's Of An Effective Brand

More than 30 years in the making. And yet, not much more than 30 pages in total. I was born and raised in a branding and design family. My father is an internationally awarded graphic designer and was an ad agency creative director. Every day of my life I saw the birth and growth of brands, and how important they were to business success. Then, in 1992 I started my own consultancy to help businesses harness the power of their brand. All of which led me to stop and take note of what I have learned, and divide it into 9 categories starting with the letter P. Now, thanks to my graphic designer ‘partner in crime’ Simon Bailey, I have this awesome looking e-book which is available for free if you are willing to email me with your details. You’ll find me at craig@yourimagemm.com.au

My First Book!

Here it is in print! My first book which captures more than three decades of brand development and brand management observations. 9 factors which you need to be aware of in order to build up a hard working brand. A quickie – you’ll finish it in 1-2 coffees. Special thanks to the world’s best printer, Howard Long (Offset Digital Partner) for this pleasant surprise (I didn’t ask him to do it, he did it as a favour, what a good guy!). For a free copy of 9 P’s Of An Effective Brand by yours truly email me at craig@yourimagemm.com.au (I also have a .pdf version).

Franchise Marketing Workshop

Another constructive marketing workshop with a franchisee from Drug-Safe Communities. Feel very proud to be working with a team who are quite literally changing society for the better. Removing the scourge of illicit drug use from the business community.