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4 Harmony Day inspired tips to help you unify your customer brand experience

4 Harmony Day inspired tips to help you unify your customer brand experience

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We've all had experiences that make us question if we really knew a person at all. Perhaps you've worked with someone who was regularly vocal about what others should do but who remained strangely silent when given an opportunity to shape change. You might know a person whose social media persona is unrecognisable to the flesh and blood reality. Or maybe someone only gets in touch when they need something and you walk away wondering why they didn't ask a single question about you (again). "When people behave inconsistently with our expectations, it puts distance in the relationship and can erode our perceptions of credibility and trust." When people behave inconsistently with our expectations, it puts distance in the relationship and can erode our perceptions of credibility and trust. Smart…
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Think your product is market-ready? Think again.

Think your product is market-ready? Think again.

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I remember the first time I really thought about product testing. It was early on in my marketing studies and we were asked to do an analysis on self-heating cans. The idea was this: a person could take a can from the pantry at home or pick one up at a train-station vending machine and push a button. This would kick a hidden mechanism into action and minutes later the consumer is rewarded with a steaming coffee, the perfect antidote to a cold morning commute. "What a fabulous idea!" I thought, wishing I'd been smart enough to think of it myself. It was a great idea. But there was more than one practical glitch. With heating, came noise. Enough noise to attract the concerned attention of people nearby. No-one likes…
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3 things writing my eulogy taught me about business (and life)

3 things writing my eulogy taught me about business (and life)

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Yes. I wrote my own eulogy. And it taught me a lot about the values I would bring to being in business. I'm sure you're wondering what possessed me. Well I confess... it wasn't actually my idea. I didn't wake up one day, look out the window and say: "Today's a mighty fine day to jot down a word or two to give a handy leg-up to a future distressed relative or friend when I shuffle off the mortal coil." It came about on a leadership development program I attended as part of the senior management team in a previous role. Across several days, we were led through many aspects of our personal and collective leadership by our facilitator, Tom Donaghy.  At one point, we were all asked to find a comfortable…
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Celebrating Year 1.

Celebrating Year 1.

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Today marks one year since I officially declared See Marketing & Communications open for business. I’ve settled in well among the cafe-loitering 'freelance consulting' world. I’ve been inspired by people and ideas I’d have never otherwise have encountered. And the variety of work is energising. Whether it’s been directing a photo shoot, developing digital campaigns to fill festivals and conference rooms, or undertaking a strategic review of the marketing and BD operations of a large firm – every opportunity has been a chance to grow a little more. I’ve learned so much. The value of trusting my gut, the rewards of hard-work and flexibility, and the joy that comes from receiving positive feedback from clients. I've also learned about the skills needed to get this far. I was confident I had…
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What razor blades and cricket reminded me about sponsorships

What razor blades and cricket reminded me about sponsorships

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I've been involved with many sponsorships across my career so I know a good one when I see it. Many sponsorships get the first part right, alignment or 'fit'. This is when there's a relationship between the brands that makes sense. Insurance companies and Motorsport events, skin cancer charities and outdoor festivals, and business events where banks, law and accounting firms team up are just some of the common examples. But too often, organisations worry about how big their logo will be on the flyer and where it will appear. They fail to recognise the sponsorship's real value as a platform they can leverage to achieve a specific business goal. Before I share tips for anyone who has (or is considering) sponsorship as part of their marketing mix, I want…
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7-step guide to surviving your next Annual Report

7-step guide to surviving your next Annual Report

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Producing an annual report can be a thankless task. From re-working schedules, and all but stalking usually cooperative work-mates for overdue content, it can be tough for the person who needs to make it happen. Yet it an annual report can be truly impactful. It has enormous potential to humanise the organisation, affirm donors, engage future supporters and motivate staff by showcasing the collective progress towards a united purpose. I'm a strong advocate for transparent and authentic reporting by every organisation. But particularly so for charities who rely so much on credibility. As Head of Marketing & Communications at the Leukaemia Foundation, I made it my mission to educate internal stakeholders to produce market-oriented Annual Reports, and the effort of all was rewarded by a Top 10 ranking in 3 consecutive…
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Subliminal marketing cure for Arachnophobes?

Subliminal marketing cure for Arachnophobes?

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I often marvel at how ordinary people face their fears on reality TV shows. Last night, while waiting for the season return of Googlebox, I caught the end of one such show. Two female celebrities were placed in an underground tank which was then filled with water... and live snakes. It's the stuff of nightmares. I'm not overly fond of spiders. I'm not debilitated by them but I dislike the way they move stealthily until they are satisfied they've found a prime spot guaranteed to maximise the decibels of my scream. So I was intrigued to learn of a possible cure for my mini-phobia. The BBC reports on research in the US where arachnophobes were exposed to a slideshow of a series of flowers, amongst which photos of spiders flashed up…
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It’s a meme’s world

It’s a meme’s world

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There's an adrenaline rush that strikes a marketer when a new meme appears and the race is on to decide whether or not to hitch a ride on the passing parade. I remember the first time I really understood the power of a meme to boost a brand. I was responsible for the World's Greatest Shave advertising campaign and it was in full swing. Unexpectedly, Angela Jolie's shapely right leg slid confidently through the split of her black dress on the Oscars red carpet... and within hours, Today host Karl Stefanovic had accepted a dare to wax his right leg and replicate Angelina's striking look. The content went viral, taking the World's Greatest Shave brand with it to an international audience. Most recently and again during World's Greatest Shave, the "Be like Bill" meme hit the interweb. Within 24 hours, people were fed up with their newsfeed being swamped by the…
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Triumphs and trailblazers – an International Women’s Day Tribute

Triumphs and trailblazers – an International Women’s Day Tribute

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Women represent around half of the world’s population. However denial of education and opportunity have meant the achievements of women are under-represented in the annals of history. Bold campaigners gained the right for every female Australian citizen to vote and stand for parliament by 1965 (white women had this right in 1923). Yet hardly a week goes by when we don’t hear about glass ceilings and cliffs, and the gender pay gap. The average Australian woman has to work an extra 66 days a year to earn the same pay as the average man, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. That’s equivalent to 13 weeks a year for a woman working a 9 to 5 week. Unfortunately, attitudes in some quarters only reinforce the status-quo. “As a man, he…
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My decision to start a business still surprises me

My decision to start a business still surprises me

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For many years, I've watched others navigate the highs and lows of running a business on the open seas, never suspecting there was also an adventurous spirit within me. I say elsewhere on my website that it isn't always easy to see opportunities to improve your marketing and communications from within. But I believe it is also true of your ability to see yourself clearly. Until recently, I felt the only way I wanted to contribute to others through my work, was by working for a charity. I loved my role as Head of Marketing and Communications at the Leukaemia Foundation. In leading a team across Australia for more than six years, I was not only able to support vulnerable families in our community, but also become a stronger marketer,…
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