Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: January, 2013

Build Your Personal Brand

Dr. Brian Monger

Branding is not just for products. ‘Personal brand’ has become an increasingly common phrase. Just as traditional product branding helps organisations to draw market awareness, public recognition and customer loyalty to them, building your own personal brand can have a positive effect on employers’ and clients’s attitude to you as a professional. Let’s take a look at how to build your brand

Your personal brand needs to show in everything you do and are involved in.  It’s about your value (offer) to others.

Your personal brand represents what you mean to others.  How they feel about you and how they value you

Focus on who (your target market/audience) you want to connect with and impress.

You don’t need to impress everyone (you never will BTW) You want to impress and be meaningful to who matters to you.  You need to understand your audience/target market(s) in-depth, so you know what will make a positive impression.

Your brand should reflect authenticity and the value that you have.

Focus on what you can deliver; what you want to deliver.  Do not try to be what you cannot be or what will be too hard for you to deliver.

In your personal brand, highlight what value you believe is needed in the market and that is pertinent to you.

Use your brand to demonstrate to clients and employers what benefits and value (that’s what people want and buy)  you’d be adding for them (first) to their organisation (second if they choose to go with you.  Be clear in your understanding of the market and their need for people like you and for what it is you can do for them.

Differentiate your personal brand from other offerings

From a long-term (strategic) point of view, personal brand effectiveness will only work if your audience/target market(s) can differentiate you from the competition.  If they cannot differentiate you from everyone else in the same market you become just like any commodity.  You will not be noticed or appreciated.  You can compete only as a low price commodity.  So don’t use the standard terms everyone else is using about themselves.  Here again it is vital to really know and understand your market/audience.  And if you are being truly authentic as well you will of course be different.

Consider the right medium/media for conveying your brand message.

The digital world is prominent these days, but it is certainly not the only, or even necessarily the best medium for your message.  First you need to know what media your audience/target market(s), use and fight credible.  And do not forget face to face is often the best media.

Think as professionally as you can to develop your personal brand and your brand message 

Your personal brand is about presenting yourself in an effective and professional way, so act like one.

Dr. Brian Monger is a marketing specialist with over 4o years experience.  He is a recognised expert on branding and social media.  He can advise and assist in developing effective personal branding. His professional profile and recommendations can be found on Linked In (Dr. Brian).  Contact him via info @marketing.org.au.

See more articles on marketing and management – smartamarketing.wordpress.com.  Add visit our website http://www.marketing.org.au  or our groups on Linkedin – MAANZ Smartamarketing and MAANZ International

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Improving Your Memory

Dr Brian Monger

All of us would like to increase our mental brain power. The following memory techniques will help you do it.

The brain wasn’t designed to remember abstract symbols like numbers and miscellaneous facts. However, if you can translate those symbols into vivid visual images and associations, even the dullest list of dates can become as memorable as your own telephone number. The key is to develop a system that allows for quick encoding and easy recall.

We’ll start with the basic techniques and then move on to the more advanced ones. Although the more advanced techniques do take a bit more practice, they also deliver bigger benefits, so don’t write them off too quickly. With practice, you can become a memory master.

1. Acronyms

One of the most common memory techniques is the use of acronyms. This technique uses an easily remembered word whose first letters are associated with the list of items that need to be remembered. Pilots use these extensively to run through essential checklists during flight time.

An example would be:

ROY G. BIV: the colors of the visible spectrum Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

Keep in mind that associations which are exaggerated, absurd, humorous, and involve all five senses are much easier to remember than normal ones. We remember emotionally charged events much better than boring ones.

2. Chunking

Chunking is one of the oldest memory techniques. Using this method, the items to be memorized are divided into small chunks or groups. Chunking is especially helpful for memorizing telephone numbers, ID numbers, etc.

For example, if you want to memorize the number 411645754, then split it up into small groups: 411, 645, 754. You can then memorize each group by rote. By dividing the larger number into smaller subsets, it will be much easier to commit the number to memory.

When using this technique, it is also helpful to make connections and associations among the different chunks and numbers.

For example, if you want to memorize a grocery list, you should group each of the items into related categories. So, one chunk or group might be composed of oranges, apples, and pears, while another chunk is made up of vegetables.

3. Acrostic

An acrostic is a memory technique that uses a made up sentence or poem with a first letter cue. The first letter of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember.

One example is:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS).

This acrostic represents the sequence in solving or evaluating math equations. Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction

4. The Method of Loci

The Method of Loci is a memory technique that dates back to ancient Greek times when orators, philosophers, and others had to rely on memory for memorizing speeches and knowledge in general. This was essential seeing that the printed book wouldn’t come around until approximately two thousand years later.

Therefore, they invented the Method of Loci. This memory technique involves associating information you want to remember with specific locations, also known as loci.

These locations can be points along a journey or objects in a room. The ancient Greeks not only created rooms, but entire palaces and cities to remember lots of information.

According to Wikipedia,

“In ancient advice, the loci were physical locations, usually in a familiar large public building, such as a market or a church.

To utilize the method, one walked through the building several times, viewing distinct places within it, in the same order each time. After a few repetitions of this, one should be able to remember and visualize each of the places in order reliably.

To memorize a speech, one breaks it up into pieces, each of which is symbolized by vivid imagined objects or symbols. In the mind’s eye, one then places each of these images into the loci.

They can then be recalled in order by imagining that one is walking through the building again, visiting each of the loci in order, and viewing each of the images that were placed in the loci, thereby recalling each piece of the speech in order.”

To create your own mental journey, you must first select the path you wish to use. Be sure to choose a location that has the same number of locations as the number of chunks in the information you wish to memorize.

Take a mental journey through the selected path. You should be able to recall the specific order of the locations without trouble.

Now it’s time to associate this new information with each location along your chosen path. If you want to memorize the presidents, then you might take a mental journey through your school. In the first room, you could have George Washington in an astronaut suit and cutting firewood. In the second room you could have John Adams break dancing in front of the classroom. And on and on until you have completed all 43 presidents.

Remember, emotion and exaggerated associations are the key to memory.

5. The Image-Name Technique

Here’s an excellent (but simple) memory technique for remembering names.

All you have to do is make up a relationship between the name and the physical characteristics of the person’s name you are trying to remember.

For example, if you were trying to remember a person by the name of Tom, you might associate their name with the person you went to prom with who was also named Tom. In this instance, you are making the connection between Tom and prom (rhyming) and between someone you previously knew from high school.

If you want to remember the name Sally, you might imagine them in a ballet. This association will help you remember their name because of the visual imagery and the connection between the “closely related” words that almost rhyme: Sally and ballet.

By making connections, you are instantly more likely to remember their name the next time you see them.

6. Mind Mapping

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Associations are also one of the best ways to improve your memory. To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly look for associations that connect new ideas and knowledge with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

Association is the primary method that memory champions use to win international memory competitions. If you want to enhance your mental abilities, then association is one skill that you will definitely want to practice.

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to practice association.

According to Wikipedia, mind mapping:

“is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea.”

Mind maps have been used for centuries to aid in learning, brainstorming, memory, and problem solving.

To start creating your own mind map, simply get out a piece of paper, multiple colored pens, and begin drawing a handwritten mind map that connects a variety of ideas and concepts to a central key word or idea. The simple act of using your hand for thought can really get the brain going.

7. Write an Article

One of the best ways to learn a topic is to start writing about it yourself. This forces you to clarify your thoughts and dig a bit deeper into the topic at hand.

By expressing the core ideas in your own words, you will gain a much deeper understanding of the topic.

Explaining a topic to others will help you to “really” understand the matter because teaching something to others requires a completely different level of insight.

Think about it. If you had to teach a class, wouldn’t you make sure that you understood the material even better than the students. Take on the role of an instructor and you will find yourself gaining a much deeper understanding of the topics you study.

8. Peg words

Peg words are extremely powerful, but it does take some time to learn how to use them. However, once you master this technique, you can probably cut your studying time in half.

The use of pegs goes all the way back to the seventeenth century and Henry Herson. He came up with a list of ten objects that physically resembled the number itself. For example, the number 1 was represented by a candle. Number 8 was a pair of spectacles.

Peg words essentially become “hangers” or pegs on which you can hang different items that you want to remember.

This system works by pre-memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent. To begin, you can connect simple objects with the numbers 1-20. Those objects form the “pegs” of the system.

Once you have created a list of words for each number, you can then begin using your peglist to quickly memorize a list of objects.

For example, let’s say you want to memorize a grocery list of 10 items. To begin, you would need to make a peg list for the numbers 1-10. Here’s an example:

1- pencil 2- shoe 3- phone 4- door 5- book 6- basketball 7- hat 8- radio 9- car 10- barn

Now, you must associate the groceries on your list with each of your peg words. Remember that your associations must be exaggerated and filled with emotion in order to make them easy to remember. Here are some examples of how you could associate the grocery list with each of the peg words:

1- tomatoes – Visualize an army of pencils attacking a field of overgrown tomatoes. 2- grapes – Visualize your favorite TV character stomping through a big barrel of grapes with bright white shoes. 3 – cereal – Visualize opening your phone and having your favorite cereal start shooting out of the mouth piece.

Get the idea?

Once you have created your list of peg words, you can use them over and over again to memorize a variety of different lists.

You could use the peg system to memorize the Presidents of the United States, the periodic table, or the state capitals.

When creating your peg words, it’s best to use tangible things or objects for each peg word because objects are easier to associate other items to.

Also, make sure that you don’t use similar peg words for different numbers. For reference, always keep a full list of the peg words close by. In fact, putting this list in your wallet or purse is one of the best places. This way, you will always have access to the peg system.

At first, you may find it difficult to come up with the creative, illogical, and exaggerated associations that help you remember more. It comes with practice. However, once you have mastered the technique of association, you will find that you have also increased your creativity and problem solving skills at the same time. The key to creating good associations is thinking like a child again. Let your mind wander past the limitations created out of what we now know as “adulthood”.

9. Visualization

Visualization is an extremely powerful memory technique. However, visualization doesn’t just improve memory. It can also help reduce stress, improve sports performance, and increase your motivation.

Create descriptive pictures of your possible future and move yourself towards it. Visualize your next sports event or public speech to improve your performance.

When studying history, play out visual renditions in your mind of historical events that you want to remember. Imagine the smells, sights, and sounds of Gettysburg or the excitement and unity created by Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. By visualizing history with mental replays, you are much more likely to remember them in detail.

10. FlashCards

When it comes to rote memorization, flash cards are my favorite memorization tool. Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. They are especially useful for learning new vocabulary or even a new language.

One of the biggest benefits of flashcards is their portable nature. They allow you to study anywhere at any time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the bus, stuck in traffic, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

To create effective flashcards, dedicate one point to each card. For example, you could put a vocabulary word on one side and the definition on the other side. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself until you have mastered all of the concepts.

Considering that memory is such a fundamental skill, it’s surprising that schools don’t teach us more about how to learn and use our memory to its optimum potential.

Our mind, just like the rest of our body, needs continuous exercise and training. Those who think they have a poor memory actually just have an untrained memory.

Just reading this article won’t improve your memory. A good memory comes from practice. Find something new and exciting to learn. Start testing out these methods as soon as possible.

You could learn how to fly, learn a new language, photography, or even investing.

When you have mastered these memory techniques, the world’s knowledge is yours to discover.

Like these ideas?  Check out more here in this WordPress site – and visit our main site http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com and visit the MAANZ Website – http://www.marketing.org.au

What Should you Charge Clients?

Charging What You’re Worth for Professional Consulting Services

Two of the perennial problems that many consultants face are how to set their prices, and how to convey to potential clients the value in working with them, buying your service product.

Lack of clarity as to what you are worth to clients will undermine your confidence and often lead to trying to compensate by over delivering and over promoting.

Here are some simple ideas to help you get clear on the value you deliver, and to charge fees that are in line with that.

1. Not all clients (customers) are the same.  Your value to them will be different.  That is why it is important to think like an effective marketer and segment/target.  And segmentation needs to more than Demographics/Firmagraphics.

Value is specific (and perceptual) to each market/segment and situation.  You need to create a market segment profile for each target market.  The more detail, the better your understanding.  If it is only a few words, you do not understand your market well enough.

If you are struggling to make a useful segment profile (it takes a bit of knowledge and time) – seek help.  Also check out http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com for ideas about effective segmentation.  You will find other useful and free ideas in the many ideas there as well

2.  What value do you offer? An effective exercise is to list 30 results that your clients get in working with you. Your Product is both goods (tangibles) and services (intangibles). Be sure to list the tangible as well as the non-tangible. Dig deep. If you’re new to your business, then look at the results that are typical of your particular profession or industry, and ask yourself how you can help people create that.

If you are struggling to make a 30 list (it takes time) – seek help

3  Once you have made your basic list, look at it from a client’s perspective.  What benefits are there for them?  Clients/customers buy benefits (intangible services – supported by tangibles).  Put yourself in their shoes and ask “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM).

4. Determine a Price.  Determine not what you think you are worth – but what your prospective clients are prepared to pay.  What clients think may be wrong, but that is what you need to work with.  If you think they should see you as being worth more, then you need to work out how to persuade them of that fact.  While your costs are important in determining an asking Price, Clients don’t care about your costs except where it offers them some advantage.  Adopt a good marketing approach when looking at your cost decisions.  Ask “How can this benefit my clients in such a way as I can add it to my value offer”?

Create Price Lines – that is different asking prices for different segments and offerings.

Price different offerings (Products) differently

4. Don’t stop researching, thinking and planning about your offering. Be sure to ask your clients (frequently) what they value most about working with you or your competitors.  Don’t just assume that what you think is goog is good for your clients – find out.

5. Think strategically as well as tactically.  Tactics – short term plans and action to suit the particular situation are needed, but to get ahead consistently, you need to also think strategically about your business. Look for (and create) value offerings that will differentiate you from your competitors.  If your offering is undifferentiated, it is a commodity.  Commodities only compete on price – or luck.

Thinking strategically means looking at the whole Marketing Mix (eg. 4 P’s) not just Price.  It is also about establishing an effective Brand in your market place.

6. Do your prospective clients know about you and what you can offer them?  Now that you know what you should offer to clients, it’s important that they become aware of it too. How you can let them know is another (important) topic. This is also where knowing a lot about your target segment will pay dividends.  You will know what media they use; what key ideas they want to know about – and how you can effectively communicate with them (not just to them)

Check out the other articles on the SmartaMarketing blog (http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com and https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com); visit MAANZ International (www.marketing.org.au) and look at the short courses on offer.  Or contact me for specific advice and projects you are looking at

It is how you can build your business/consultancy

Dr. Brian Monger

info@marketing.org.au

Marketing Planning as a Continuous Process

Dr. Brian Monger

Although most books on marketing planning portray the process as a series of discrete, straightforward steps, the process is, in fact, a continuous interplay of assumptions, objectives, strategies, programs and budgets, with a constant movement backwards and forwards, from the general to the specific, and with some stages occurring concurrently rather than consecutively.”  That is, it’s not possible to start at one point and proceed step by step to the end.  As you progress, you will need to go back and forth adding and adjusting elements.

Planning is, or should be, a continuous activity of marketing management, rather than an irregular act.  Doing a plan once a year and never reviewing and adjusting it is not realistic or practical.

Planning is the principle activity of a manager.  Implementation – “doing the work” – is another job.  Management planning has real worth.  Just doing things, working hard (sweat equity) is not an effective or efficient use of resources.  Planning aims at giving better returns on invested resources.

Every organisation is the scene of continuous decision-making and problem-solving, but this should not be confused with marketing planning and control.  The latter is a separate and higher-order activity which often rewards the organisation with improved sales and profit.

Expressed in its simplest form, if the purpose of planning is to answer three central questions:

  • Where is the organisation now? (Marketing Audit)
  • Where does the organisation want to go? (Goals and Objectives and Opportunity Analyses)
  • How should the organisation organise its resources to get there? (Plan – Strategy and Tactics)
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