Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Successful Student Recruitment Strategy – Part 2 – Written Promotion

Contents

How to Recruit and Attract Students

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

Questions to be answered

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

Features

Always start with a great opening

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE

Stimulate action

Present for easy reading

Things to avoid because they turn readers away

 

How to Recruit and Attract Students

How does one influence the mindset of prospective students to view the university as valuable?

How does one effectively highlight the unique features of a university, going beyond the act of plastering a generic message?

How can you win their trust and translate the marketing campaign into generating actual numbers?

What are the digital marketing must haves?

What is the expected impact of deregulation – what this means for student recruitment and how can you best respond?

Education is a very competitive marketplace, where standing out from the crowd can be hard. Here are some general guidelines, which can significantly improve your campaign to attract students.

 

Keep in mind that not all potential students are alike. To communicate effectively you need to (deeply) understand your target market(s) – see the first article in this series – Marketing and Education – Student Recruitment – Part 1

 

Virtually all candidates are used to on-line technologies, thus you must effectively use digital media (Websites, Social Media, Mobile – smartphones, pads etc) as well as conventional methods and media (TV, Print, Outdoors, Transit, Radio etc). Adapting to the new methods is crucial in any campaign these days.

 

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

The key to a successful student recruitment strategy is thinking about “why, what you communicate, to whom, when and how,”

 

“Why” – your strategic and tactical objective(s)

“What are you offering?” If it is not immediately clear what you are offering, expressed as a benefit your marketing message will almost certainly fail

“Why” should they enrol?

“What” the message – based on broad strategic elements like Brand as well a situation specific tactical messages. For example, the content of the message should be dependent on the stage the person is at

“Whom” – the target audience (target segments)

“Where” will you find them?

“Where” are you speaking to them? – Media

“When” – timing of the message(s). This can be long-term messages, as may appear on a website as well as situationally specific messages in the general or social media.

 

Before you write a word or draw a picture…

 

- Compare your offer with your competitions. Are they basically the same?

- Isolate the areas where you win and lose

- Translate features/attributes into benefits

- Look for a unique benefit or combination of benefits.

 

Questions to be answered:

 

1.) To whom are you offering what benefit?

2) Is the offer unique/differentiated in the market?

3.) Why should they grasp it?

4.) How should you speak to them?

 

Basically, effective Marketing Communication is about communicating:

 

The RIGHT information

in the RIGHT way

to the RIGHT people

in the RIGHT place

at the RIGHT time

 

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

The key to effective Promotional Communication for Student Recruitment is: Successful messages come in only one language – BENEFITS!

 

Prospects want to know – “What’s in it for me?” (W.I.I.F.M.?)

 

A benefit is an advantage or satisfaction the prospect will gain – or the loss avoided – from the item, proposition or service you sell. Do not leave it to the prospect to discover the benefits he or she will gain from the offer. Spell it out, as simply as possible. Prospects cannot get more out of promotional message than what you put in it

 

Features

Effective Marketing Communication must balance stated benefits with component realities (features). They provide the rational reason why the offer will work and help create conviction.   Benefits must be supportable.

 

Create interest and desire by stressing benefits of using your service or owning the resultant building.

Demonstrate the value of your particular product by detailing benefits and features.

Try to make it sell for you alone

 

Always start with a great opening

(1) Involve the reader. Address him/her directly.

(2) Put direct suggestion or question.

(3) Use words that stimulate

(4) Appeal to pride and self-interest

(5) Appeal to current or local issues.

(6) Beware overly clever language and technical terms.

 

Present your proposition quickly and clearly. Once you have gained the prospect’s attention with your opening, give your selling proposition quickly and clearly.

 

A “sale” is made at the moment the prospect decides he wants the benefits to be gained from your service more than the money they cost.

 

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE:-

(1) Present the main idea at least three times during your message

(2) Tell of popularity (use testimonials, and quote authorities.)

(3) Convey value. Demonstrate the benefits are worth more than the cost.

(4) Give assurances and proof. Overcome objections. Guarantee satisfaction when you can.

 

Stimulate action:

(1) Give the reader good excuses and reasons for enrolment

(2) Make enrolment – tell how, when and where. Offer help

 

Present for easy reading

Content is more important than how you say it. Observing the basic rules, however, will help make your selling message easier to absorb.

 

(1) Start with enthusiasm and involve the reader.

(2) Use short words, sentences and paragraphs.

(3) Be direct, writing in second person, present tense.

(4) Be concrete, specific, honest – in the reader’s vernacular.

(5) Use visual words, lively words. Be informal, friendly, caring.

(6) Be complete, but concise. Give a message, not your life story.

(7) Ask for the desired action.

 

Things to avoid because they turn readers away:

(1) Puns, play on words, clichés, and foreign phrases

(2) Over-statement (that kills credibility)

(3) Long words (use short words)

(4) Formalism

(5) Banalities and platitudes

(6) Looking like everyone else. (Be distinctive.)

 

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in this forthcoming event in Sydney in early December

Marketing and Communicating for
Student Recruitment and the
Australian Higher Education Sector

One-day connected forum with two half day workshops
3-4 December 2014, Rydges Sydney Central

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events.htm

Listen, network and learn from your peers:
Macquarie University
Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
International College of Management Sydney
University of New England

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Management/Project Management – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

Successful Student Recruitment Strategy – Part 3 – Online Media

Contents

An Effective Website

Be Present on Social Channels

Tips on Using Social Media in Student Recruitment

Stand Out From the Crowd

Dare to be innovative and creative

Communicate from their point of view

Don’t be middle of the road.   Be different to attract interest

Draw on The Talent Around You

Resist the Urge To Sell

Make It Personal

Make provision for engagement. For prospects to ask questions

Keep It Real

Seek to Provide Value

Stay With the Curve

Get help from outside your Institution

Creative Ways Colleges Are Recruiting Students

 

How does one influence the mindset of prospective students to view the university as valuable?

How does one effectively highlight the unique features of a university, going beyond the act of plastering a generic message?

How can you win their trust and translate the marketing campaign into generating actual numbers?

What are the digital marketing must haves?

What is the expected impact of deregulation – what this means for student recruitment and how can you best respond?

Education is a very competitive marketplace, where standing out from the crowd can be hard. Here are some general guidelines, which can significantly improve your campaign to attract students.

 

Web and social media are crucial tools in student recruitment; they have forcibly sharpened the accuracy of university branding.

 

An Effective Website

Creating “a website that offers a picture of what the Institution is like and what it would be like to study here”.

A website is a primary communication channel, it is your image, and it is where people look for you.

Offer your visitors friendly user experience, a simple, comfortable design with easy to find information.

The information needs to be up to date and include new information.

Be sure you integrate contact information.

Website information should be readily accessed and read on pads and mobile phones

 

Be Present on Social Channels

Social means you can easily share information, advertise and communicate directly with potential candidates.

Be where your target segment(s)/audience(s) are. You need to be able to offer your own social media channels and to access others where you prospective students are active. Where they already know and are comfortable to share ideas and thoughts.

You should use several social networks. For example, there are institutions that make video testimonials with current students and post them on YouTube. You have a wide range of

Marketing teams need to talk to students in order to find out what makes them tick. By doing this regularly, your department will have its finger on the pulse of what trends, fashions and subcultures they can tap into in order to engage prospective applicants.

 

Tips on Using Social Media in Student Recruitment

Here are some tips on how institutions can optimise their social media presence to attract students.

 

Stand Out From the Crowd

Be clear about who you are and how you are different (in a way the target segments will want). This is the key to unlocking what makes your Institution and value offer(s) unique.

Offer what other institutions do not do and will not readily offer.

 

Create an identity that lends itself to creating stand out marketing communication campaigns that are relevant to and understood by your target market(s)/audience(s)

 

By getting your value offer right and communication it effectively to the right target(s) you will build a solid brand identity.

 

Dare to be innovative and creative.

Most providers will usually stick to the classic advertising methods because they are bureaucratic and bland and are afraid to use the unconventional. You have to remember that you have serious competition and standing out is necessary.

 

Communicate from their point of view

In a campaign to attract students, think and communicate from their point of view, and you are more likely send the right message and be perceived as open minded, modern and innovative. Imagine what an impact a flash mob would have on a university campus.

 

Don’t be middle of the road. Be different to attract interest.

Challenge the norms to discover what works best when trying to engage attract prospective students.

 

People with an interest in education tend to be inquisitive, curious. They will also want their information to be easily accessible and digestible. And often – fun.

 

Draw on The Talent Around You.

The advantage of working in higher education is that you are constantly in contact with talented individuals. For a university marketer this has huge advantages.

 

Resist the Urge To Sell.

People do not like being “sold to” Resist selling your brand to prospective students. What you need to do is engage them and find out what their interest is – and provide information that will help them make a decision. If you have your value offer correctly developed and they are your target market/audience, they will persuade themselves

Prospective students are suspicious and cynical about most of the marketing communication noise that surrounds them. Marketers need to have a promotional communication which allows potential students to get the information they need and to understand the institution’s

 

Make It Personal

Nobody likes talking to a logo. Show that there are real people behind your messages. At very least, include a line in content with the names and where possible feature their photos somewhere on the page.

 

Make provision for engagement. For prospects to ask questions

 

Give the people writing content some freedom to inject their own personality, quirks and observations into their updates. By humanising your organisation’s social media presence, students will be more likely to want to interact with you.

 

Keep It Real

Always Reflect Reality

Be sure you present the reality – what is real. Creating content that does not accurately reflect what you actually are and provide will bring you more harm than good. Students communicate between themselves.

 

Avoid using catchy but meaningless slogans. This will be hard if you do not really have a good, targeted value offer.

 

Avoid the self-congratulatory corporate press releases. Do not focus on sleek videos and digital cleverness (unless you are focusing on attracting students for digital courses). Social media usually works best when it utilises actual happy students and staff. Let students and staff show off what they like and why they enjoy studying or working at your institution in real, authentic ways.

 

Try being more human by having students walking around a camera (pad/smartphone), asking students and staff, “What’s your favourite thing while studying or working here?” Off-the-cuff content like this will probably resonate with prospective students more than a scripted recruitment piece. It will also likely appeal to Alumni and other potential influencers of student decision making. It will also yield much more interesting nuggets of information.

 

Seek to Provide Value

Students are flooded with information on a daily basis. To make your institution stand out, provide relevant and useful content through your social media platforms. When it comes to selecting a provider, students are often interested in knowing about the general environment, mentoring programs, and employment opportunities

 

Stay With the Curve

Not much point in fumbling about with Facebook while your competitor is developing a mobile careers app. You need to stay ahead of the technology curve.

Consider if it would makes sense to utilise location-based services

 

Clever branding and cool apps can beat traditional marketing as universities compete to

 

Get help from outside your Institution.

Enlist the help of alumni and other supporters to reinforce your positioning and messages

 

Additionally:

 

  • Use visual tools
  • Keep the presentation informative yet brief.
  • Make the presentation interactive.
  • Look to develop a ripple effect.”

 

Creative Ways To Recruit Students

  • A more tailored recruiting experience for non-traditional students.
  • Accelerated courses:
  • Appearing to be exclusive/selective
  • Business partnerships:
  • Courting Top students:
  • Email blasts and follow-up messages.
  • Facebook contests:
  • Facebook forums:
  • Free tuition:
  • Freebies – Would you choose a college based on getting a free iPad?
  • Going green:
  • Great facilities and accommodation
  • Highlighting alumni on social media:
  • Hosting Hangouts – Using Google+ Hangouts,
  • Incomplete application follow-ups:
  • Interactive video game tours:
  • Live chat sessions:
  • Mobile apps:
  • Mobile websites:
  • One-on-one connections:
  • Overseas agents:
  • Parent chat forums
  • Podcasts:
  • Promotions – Like daily deal promotions on Groupon.
  • Showcasing activities:
  • Social media date reminders:
  • Special market programs –
  • Sponsored search results:
  • Student blogs:
  • Student Facebook pages:
  • Student-led photos:
  • Text marketing Ads on radio, TV, and in theatres get students to connect with colleges using their cell phones, encouraging them to text their email address for more information.
  • Tuition fee freezes:
  • Unique clubs and activities:
  • Viral videos:
  • Virtual campus tours:
  • Virtual college fairs:
  • Webcasting:
  • YouTube applications:

 

Host a Twitter chat (and similar platforms) for prospective students to ask questions and receive real-time responses from current students and staff.

Giving students from other locations an opportunity to participate in the events remotely

Host a Facebook contest.

Announce an impromptu Tweetup for prospective and current students

 

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in this forthcoming event in Sydney in early December

Marketing and Communicating for
Student Recruitment and the
Australian Higher Education Sector

One-day connected forum with two half day workshops
3-4 December 2014, Rydges Sydney Central

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events.htm

Listen, network and learn from your peers:
Macquarie University
Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
International College of Management Sydney
University of New England

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Management/Project Management – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

Loyalty/Relationship Segments.

Dr. Brian Monger

Relationship segmentation is based on customers’ perceptions of their relationships with an organisation and their behaviour within that relationship.

 

Premium/Hard core loyalty – These are consumers with undivided loyalty to one brand

Soft core loyalty – Buyers with divided loyalty between two or more brands.

Latent loyalty – A high attachment towards the product combined with low repeat purchases. Perhaps the lack of (current) availability or a partners preferences, restrict the amount that is purchased

Passive or Inertia loyalty – a low attachment to the product and high repeat purchases. Is the customer staying with the organisation by choice or exhibiting passive loyalty? Passive or Inertia loyalty can be caused by:

  • Limited choice: Where there is only a single choice of retailer. Or forced choice situations like blades for your safety razor.
  • Habitual buying: When you buy your lunch from the café in or near to your college, you do so because it is convenient – not because you are loyal. A similar case is travelling by the same train every day.
  • Risk minimisation: This is typical of products which you buy on the advice of some one else’ advice like medicines, or you continue using a brand because you are concerned about changing.
  • Switching hassles: You would like to switch brands but you feel the cost of switching over is way too high and feel that the benefits are not yet big enough.
  • Lack of a decent alternative: When you use Australia Post, are you doing so out of habit?

No loyalty/ Shifting loyalty/Switchers – These buyers demonstrate no brand loyalty at all and will switch without any concerns.   The various loyalty segments emphasise the point that customer relationship segments and levels are not equal.

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Management/Project Management – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

How to Handle a Mess Up?

Don’t Get Mad. Some Understanding Will Likely Get You a Better Outcome

Mike Dunn

Once upon a time in the 1980s…
A colleague and I travelled to California and the arrangements were made by an ‘almost captive’ travel agency located just off of the lobby of our corporate headquarters. We picked up our travel packets [2 plane tickets, 2 hotel reservations, and one rent car] from the agency and headed for the airport. On the flight, we looked at our reservations and found that we were booked at separate hotels that were a considerable distance apart. Needless to say, upon arrival there was an extensive phone conversation that involved some raised voices and tears. In the end, we stayed at the same hotel [the non-optimum one that was a fair distance from the vendor.

A few days later on the return flight, I began to think about how I would handle the situation with the travel agent. I decided that she made an honest mistake and I was a bit hard on her. When we returned, I went to the agency and asked to speak to her and then introduced myself [we did not know each other by name]. As soon as she blurted out the first sentence of her apology, I cut her off. I told her that I realized what a difficult job that she had, apologized to her, and then delivered a single rose from behind my back. From that time on, I had a personal travel agent who double checked her work and delivered prompt, ‘platinum’ service.

 

Mike Dunn is a Project Management Information Network Contributor (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103). Resourceful Critical Thinker —- Problem Solver Extraordinaire – Houston, Texas Area. Computer Software

How to Handle It When You Mess Up on the Project (and You Will)

By Mike Dunn

Guiding Principle: Always do the right thing based on an objective analysis of the facts – sans emotions.
Intent: If possible, determine if the screw-up was intentional or accidental.

People: Screw-ups are performed by people who are individuals. Individuals are unique – it is sometimes best to handle the same screw-up differently with different people.

Attitude: Think about it, the normal tendency to express indignation is usually not the best approach. Threats may be appropriate for some scenarios, but should usually be administered in a ‘low key’ manner.

Calibration: Carefully assess where the incident falls on the “How much does it really matter scale”.

Situational Analysis: Carefully consider timing and potential side effects. I am amused when a person in a restaurant throws a fit and belittles the waiter over an incorrect order. From what I know about the food and beverage business, I would not eat whatever the waiter brought back to fix the order.

Focus on the objective: Are you looking for only a short term solution or do you need a long and short term solution??

The above apply to both sides of a screw-up – when you [or your people] are the one who screwed up -

1. Immediately assess and understand the screw-up and the ramifications.

2. If possible, immediately come up with a recovery plan. Otherwise, get some folks working on it.

3. Immediately confess your sins without excuse. Ensure that you have covered #1 – an inaccurate confession could come across as an attempt at deception or that you do not know ‘what is going on’.

4. WRT #3, make sure that you go to the correct person first.

Mike Dunn is a Project Management Information Network Contributor (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103). Resourceful Critical Thinker —- Problem Solver Extraordinaire – Houston, Texas Area. Computer Software

Relevance of Marketing to Government and Social Service Agencies

Dr. Brian Monger

Growth of Agency Interest in Marketing

Although marketing is appropriate for all government and social service agencies, it becomes increasingly important as more of an agency’s financial costs are shifted directly onto clients and personnel start to recognise that clients have gained control of at least some of the resources that the agency needs to survive. Reduced tax support, increased reliance on revenues derived from direct user pricing, and increased critical scrutiny by citizens causes many agencies to conclude that they have real problems and need to improve their marketing.

 

Their traditional ways of operating were no longer receiving the necessary level of support from appointed or elected officials, or from citizen taxpayers. It became clear that agencies and professional helpers who could not attract satisfied users or clients were unlikely to survive. This feeling of crisis provoked agency personnel to explore marketing concepts and techniques and to accept them as a promising framework for planning and implementing service delivery.

 

Crises force reappraisal of existing operating methods and persuade managers that existing methods/formulas for success are often neither effective nor efficient in meeting the needs and wants of today’s clientele. This has been an effective stimulus for action and change. It has forced many agencies to examine the opportunities offered by marketing concepts and techniques.

 

Now that agencies are experimenting with broader Modern Marketing (not just Promotion/Marketing Communication), the remaining challenge, can be expressed as follows:

 

To further increase acceptance of marketing tools and concepts among public sector managers will require better understanding of modern marketing and the marketing of marketing itself (internal). The task is two-fold. First, it must be demonstrated that marketing is applicable to their organisation/agency second to specific situations. Third, government/public sector managers (like their business counterparts) must be educated to recognise the scope and complexity of Modern (market focus) Marketing

 

Marketing does not require government and social sector agencies to implement a series of highly sophisticated new activities or assign substantial new responsibilities. Indeed, it can be argued that agency personnel are already marketers because they already perform some tactical marketing activities. For this reason, the appropriate question is not whether an organisation should practice marketing or not, but rather whether it will practice it well or poorly.

 

A commitment to marketing offers public sector agencies three major benefits.

 

First, because marketing is a systematic process and offers a framework for decision making, relationships between actions previously regarded as independent are likely to become more apparent. Marketing activities are coordinated to achieve goals and objectives that otherwise might not be attained if they were pursued in an uncoordinated fashion. If, for example, a marketing problem or opportunity is seen only in information terms, or program terms, or distribution terms, it is unlikely to be optimally resolved.

 

Optimal marketing decisions require that all marketing activities and their interactions be reviewed simultaneously and integrated action taken.

 

The second major benefit is that some of the concepts and techniques used by marketers in their decision processes are often unfamiliar to public sector managers because they have not been exposed to these tools in their formal training. Familiarity with these marketing tools is likely to lead to improvements in decision making.

 

Finally, a commitment to marketing is likely to result in more popular and legislative support. To the extent that marketing improves the satisfaction levels of client groups, an agency is likely to receive improved support for its activities from legislators.

 

Interested in this topic? See also my previous article on Government Branding http://wp.me/p2uuvW-6W

And check out the Government Marketing Seminarhttp://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/Events-F019GovMarketing.htm

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

Brand Development for Government Departments

Brand Development (is Harder) for Government Departments

Dr Brian Monger

Can a Government Department Successfully Develop a Brand Over Time When The Politicians in Charge Want to Make (Short-Term) Changes?

Brand is as important for government departments as it is for any commercial organisation that wants to achieve good results from its activities.

Certainly the basic strategy of developing a successful brand remain the same:

  1. Understanding the target market
  2. Developing Goals and Objectives that are in line with the target market
  3. Positioning the Brand
  4. Credibility
  5. And (importantly) a Long Term Sustainable Position (Consistency)

However, given the regular short term objectives of many politicians in charge of departments is very often to make themselves look good (for re-election) this can make items 2-5 rather hard – especially 3., 4., and five.

Political Myopia

In this context, myopia means narrow, short-term thinking. Such a mind-set can threaten a Department’s activities.

How can a department effectively market unless they have established an effective Brand? How can they develop a Brand over a period of time (it doesn’t happen immediately) when the Government and Departmental ministers do not understand the Brand and its benefits? And even if they do, it is not their own priority?

 

Many people (including politicians) believe their Department does not have a brand. Nothing could be further from the truth. A more accurate assessment would be that their departments have failed to develop and manage their brand. If it is not managed, client/constituent experiences occur by chance or randomly rather than through a tightly integrated, promise-driven, and planned approach, a brand exists, but it suffers from neglect.

 

The development of successful branding, as applied to Government Departments, is usually different from branding in the commercial sector, because there is potential conflict between the Politicians (and especially their political advisors) and the folk trying to develop the marketing mix and the brand.

 

Political forces have a much greater impact on public sector organisations than on private organisations. Popular elections, political appointments, and the political agendas of elected officials tend to have a destabilising effect on government departments because political consensus and program and resource priorities can be changed frequently. This adversely affects the implementation of marketing activities such as mission and objective specification, long range planning, budgeting, pricing, program prioritising, and general operating procedures. Private organisations are not nearly as impacted by the destabilising events that regularly occur in the government arena because, in the private sector, professional managers control resource allocations and tend to be guided by consistent long-term objectives.

 

Most notably, branding in government departments (GD) is about who they are, what they stand for and represent to their market and is not limited to what any particular Product, except in a very broad sense. A government department brand is often equated to their reputation. Think of a GD brand as being synonymous with the institution’s personality— congruent with its mission, defined by its values.

 

Benefits of Branding

A strong Brand offers many advantages including:

  • Enhances Recognition and Trust
  • Helps Build Brand Loyalty
  • Helps With Product Positioning
  • Aids in Introduction of New Projects/Programs/Products

 

The values-centric approach inherent in developing a Brand provides a Department with an anchor to guide long term (sustainable) strategy responses to constituent needs and expectations. The brand is defined by where the organisation’s values and the constituents’ expectations intersect. The brand becomes the filter through which everything is vetted (e.g., strategic directions, resource allocations, hiring decisions, marketing communications and program/Product development). It serves as a lens to strategically focus the institution in the midst of fluid internal and external pressures as well as opportunities.

 

Perhaps the most significant benefit of Brand in for departments is the focus it will bring to the organisation, resulting in a more effective (performing) organisation.

 

For example, The Australian Tax Office. OK very few people “like” the tax man, but (as I suggested to them some years ago when consulting) if more folk appreciate what the ATO does for the nation and is more generally seen as often being helpful and reasonable, then they are likely to find it easier to do their job and will likely bring in more money. Tax payers are less likely to be resentful and cheat less.

 

Another example would be many GD’s who need to get their target market to trust them in order that they can more effectively deliver their services.

 

Interested in this topic? Check out the The Australian Government:
Community and Marketing 2014

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/Events-F019GovMarketing.htm

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

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Perceptual Fallacies

Understanding Perception in Buyer and Consumer Behaviour is Very Important

Our normal perceptions do not correspond directly to reality. The things that we percieve (see, hear, smell etc.) are not entirely determined by what our senses detect. Our perceptions are also determined by what we expect, what we know, what we believe.

  • Our perceptions are not photographs, they are constructions – something that our minds manufacture.
  • What we perceive is partially determined by what we know or believe.
  • Constructive perception has survival value – it helps us make sense of the world
  • Seeing is not necessarily believing. Here’s why:

Perceptual Constancies

Our tendency to have perceptual experiences in the absence of stimuli

  • Colour constancy
    • We often perceive an object to be a color because we expect it to be a certain colour.
    • We also perceive colour sometimes when it is physically impossible.  The vision cells in the center of the retina are the only ones that can see colour. Therefore, we should only see colour in the center of our visual field. Objects in our peripheral vision should not appear in colour. But we see colour through the field. Why? Colour constancy!
  • Size constancy – learned perception (does a truck driving in the distance get smaller?)
    • You percieve the size of familiar objects (like a truck) to be the same size no matter how far away they are because you know that distance doesn’t change the size of an object. However, the size of the image on your retina shrinks as an object moves away from you.

Expectation – We perceive what we expect to perceive

  • Flashing light experiment- subjects were told to walk down a hall and stop walking when they saw a light flash. Many subjects stopped walking despite the fact that no flash was given. They simply expected a flash and believed they saw one. Similar experiments have shown subjects who could feel warmth, smell an odor, or feel an electric shock because they expected to.
  • We have all experienced such hallucinations. Have you ever seen the hands on a clock move only to find out that the clock didn’t run? Have you ever heard the phone ring when you were in the shower, but later found it had not rung at all?
  • What other experiences have you had that may have been due to expectation?

Looking for Clarity in Vagueness

When our senses are confronted with a formless stimulus, we often perceive something distinct. We look at clouds, smoke, fuzzy paintings and see shapes that are familiar. This illusion is called pareidolia. Many cases of pareidolia are common:

  • Man in the Moon – a cultural example
    • Samoans see a woman weaving
    • Chinese see a monkey pounding rice
  • Messages in rock music played backwards
  • Man in the shadows – Do you ever feel as though someone is following you?
  • UFOs – we try to make something familiar out of a vague object.

Memory

Our memories are consturctive, not literal

Imagine a scene…How do you look at it? Recall a scene – do you look at it through your own eyes?

Selective memory – Dreams, we have over 250 a night but only remember a few of them.

Judging

We can lead ourselves to believe that something is paranormal or supernatural when it actually isn’t.

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

The Unique Selling Proposition – USP

Development of this “central idea,” or what is often called a unique selling proposition, is one of the copywriter’s most difficult tasks, The USP (as it is often abbreviated) originated at the Ted Bates advertising agency in the early 1940s; as its famous originator, author, and agency vice-president, Rosser Reeves, has indicated, however, it has been picked up by hundreds of agencies and has spread from country to country. Unfortunately, it has also become a very misused concept; frequently, it is applied loosely and without understanding to slogans, clever phrases, unusual pictures or sound combinations-in short, to almost anything deemed “different” in copy, layout, or production. We hope our interpretation of the USP will come close to the one intended by Rosser Reeves, but every student of advertising creativity must ultimately develop his or her own.

A USP, Reeves claims, gives leverage to an advertising cam­paign-that extra tug that pulls consumers over the line of indecision or confusion to specific product preference, and then to brand loyalty. Now consider the three words individually.

 

“Unique”

“Unique” refers either to a unique feature of the brand itself  or to a claim not currently being made by competing brands (even though they could if they so desired!).

It is important to point out that today’s Federal Trade Commission does require substantiation of advertising claims, and may take issue with anything presented as “unique.”

 

“Selling”

“Selling refers to sales value. The claim-whatever it is-must be strong enough, important enough, relevant enough, believable enough to convince consumers that it is in their own best interests to try  the brand in question. Consider vegetable juice again, and suppose that V-8 had been developed by a person named Valdimir Van Vaulkenburg! Unique? Certainly-but the consumer’s reaction will merely be: “So what? Who cares?”

There is no sales value in the name Vladimir Van Vaulkenburg. Even if he represented a well-known company, it is doubtful in this day and age that consumers would buy his juice without some idea of its taste and/or nutritional value. On the other hand,  a number of factors motivate consumers today, such as health, convenience, and the desire to care for loved ones; these are the kinds of qualities copywriters should latch onto and develop in the food and beverage line.

 

“Proposition”

“Proposition” refers to a promise: that if the consumer buys a certain product, with the unique feature or claim attached (selling point), he or she will receive a specific benefit. In other words, the USP matches a selling point with a consumer benefit, and does so in a unique way. 

USPs are often difficult to grasp and apply-but they make or break most advertising campaigns. They are really so crucial to creative (and overall communicative) success that they should pretty well fill their respective advertisements. A maxim for copywriters is: one solid USP per ad-and if “additional” selling points and benefits are included, they had best be few in number and relatively minor in importance. (Otherwise, they overpower the USP.)

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103?

 

 

How to Clone Your Ideal Client

Who is your ideal client?  Do you already work with him or her?

 

Whether you do or don’t, you can create clone after clone of your ideal client (barring conflicts of interest) by taking the following actions:

1)      Write down exactly what your ideal client looks like.  Be specific.

2)      Research where these clients hang out.  Join the associations they join, be where they are as often as possible.  This can include social networks online.

3)      Communicate with them.  Most people will tell you everything you want to know about them or their business if you ask them about it.  People love to talk about themselves, their business, how they got started.

4)      Talk to your current “ideal client” and find out who they know who are like them.  Ask them to introduce you to these new people and provide the new group with information in the form of email correspondence, blog posts, and articles written.

The more often you perform these action items the more chances you will have to meet those who meet your criteria for the “ideal client”.

As always, you must be proactive.  Just waiting for the phone to ring is not going to bring you the clients you want or need.

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