Marketing Consultants Suck - Try Exploring These Options Before Spending a Dime

How many times have you engaged a marketing services provider and spent good money, only to feel completely let down?

For most of us who own or lead businesses, this is an all too common complaint and negotiating through the sea of suppliers in the marketing industry can be a daunting task.

All we really want to understand is, “if I invest x-amount of dollars, will my return on investment be x-amount of dollars”? Whilst truly excellent marketing consultants will be able to give you an answer, most of the industry will not take such accountability. This unknown is truly stressful for SME’s.

Add the complexity of what “marketing” really means in this current day, and it is near impossible for someone seeking a marketing service to know what is needed. More specifically, it seems that every consultant you talk to suggests their method is the best, but ultimately, they are simply trying to make sales themselves, and in reality, we can’t really blame them.

Perhaps, if all marketing “professional service” providers were mandated to carry the level of professional accountability/ indemnity of accountants, lawyers, engineers, doctors, and almost every other professional service, things might be clearer, and there may be a higher level of accountability of services providers. But that is not what this article is about….

Alas, it is not all despair and you can take matters into your own hands, before spending a dime on marketing. Here are some ideas that will cost you nothing, yet are likely to be highly effective. Give these a go before considering spending a dime on engaging external marketing service providers.

For Marketing Professional Services and B2B Type Businesses:

  • Call around to your existing clients and ask how else you can serve them, and let them know you want their business.
  • Look at the top 50 contacts on your phone, it’s likely there are several potential clients. Give them a call and offer your service.
  • Lever off other companies. Consider complementary businesses with complementary offerings, who will refer you work to enhance their customer experience. Remember to give them referrals too.
  • Attend networking events and actively participate and focus on giving. Don’t just attend to sell, contribute by sharing your ideas and interacting with others.
  • Speak at events, conferences, and podcasts on your area of expertise.
  • Ask friends and family to post shout outs about your business and service offerings on their social media channels.
  • Post and share useful information on your social media channels.
  • Speak with your direct competitors and seek to collaborate. (Especially if you are smaller than them.) It’s likely they will have extra work that’s “too small” or they can’t deliver well, yet will still want to be able to service their customers, so will be happy to pass it on to you to do.
  • Ask for an opportunity, be honest that you want the work, and deliver well.
  • Give knowledge generously to your professional community.

For Products and B2C Type Businesses:

Along with the above suggestions, I would also encourage you to:

  • Look at network marketing platforms where you can add your product and lever off their existing database.
  • Look at propriety marketing platforms – i.e. Amazon.
  • Give knowledge generously to your professional community.

 It is most important to let go of the ego, and know that when you believe in your offering, calling on friends and your network for help is not a bad thing. I love helping out anyone giving it a go in business, and most will feel the same for you.

As a final note, if all of this isn’t for you and you’re ready to engage a marketing services provider/ consultant, ask yourself this: “Have they been able to achieve the marketing goals in their business, that I wish to achieve in mine”? If they have not, keep looking for the right supplier.

May you all a productive and happy week my friends.


The 1 Leadership Tip That Never Fails (Even If Social Media Disagrees)

Do you know what it takes to be a great leader? No? Well, according to social media, I have learned that I must:

Wake up at 4 am, read an entire book in an hour, run 20 km in the hour after that, meditate, feed the homeless, save the whales and reverse climate change. I am to arrive at work at 6 am, cook breakfast for the whole team, give everyone a pay rise and 7 hugs each, climb a tree, complete an MBA, have 50 years’ experience, but still be in my early thirties. Let’s not forget that I need a psychology degree and to complete everyone’s work. Add in inspiring the team, but not giving them any management directive at all, as they will just deliver…….

I guess by now if you’re still reading, you’ve either realised I jest or have taken me literally and consider me simply deluded. The reality is that there is a whole load of manure on social media about who a great leader is and what a great leader does. The sad fact, it’s written for clickbait; not to mention the reaction and expert comments from the peanut gallery.

I remember coming into the office and asking one of my team leaders, “What is it that LinkedIn says that we need to be today to be a great leader?” I was the Managing Director of that firm. Comfortingly, he laughed and confirmed he was already happy with the way I was going about things. Phew! At that time, and often in reflection, I think about so many things I could have done better in that role. I’m thankful that I had an understanding, high performing team.

Let me tell you about the one thing that I did do and continue to do. I focus on being authentic - for better or for worse - and always operate with the vision for the company in mind.

Here’s my simple tip for how to be an effective leader.

Always be you… Authentically you…

It’s a simple fact that leaders shape organisational cultures and each organisation has an individual culture. The reality is that if you are trying to create a culture, that doesn’t reflect your values, you’re going to struggle.

If you are authentically you and true to your organisational vision, over time, the right people will be drawn in. The thing is, some people are just not going to like your style, the culture won’t be right for them, and eventually, they will leave. But some will like your style and choose to stay and truly deliver. Both scenarios are totally fine.

As an example, Elon Musk is known for being a brute in the way he leads SpaceX. His words to some of his past staff may be considered downright ugly. For other staff, he is nothing short of true inspiration, and they are devotedly loyal to him and the vision of the company. In the past decade, SpaceX has completely revolutionised the aerospace industry and revitalised the rocket and space industry in America. Musk’s, SpaceX achieved in a decade, what his bureaucratic and cumbersome competitors have still not achieved since the first Apollo launch in the 1960s. Now SpaceX launches more reliable rockets at less than a 5th of the cost of their main competitors in the USA. Here’s the thing, although some might consider him a brute of a leader, he has incredibly loyal staff who are devoted to the company vision and continue to achieve the impossible. All the while, their leader remains true to his person and vision. Unwaveringly authentic to himself.

So, to the current and future leaders out there, this article is by no means a licence to be a brute. However, it is total permission to be you, authentically you, and to lead with your vision. When you do, the right people and culture will be drawn to you, and you will collectively achieve the firm’s vision.

Leading is undoubtedly not about forcing people - force anything long enough, and it will break down. The key point is that leadership is about inspiring people, but different people are inspired in different ways. Despite what we may read on social media about who a good leader is, no one style is the right style.

As a final point. You don’t have to be fixed to a particular style or personality type. Just like every other human on the planet, you have a right to look inward and grow, and change. All you need to focus on is being you… authentically you…

Oh, one last thing, my mention regarding feeding the homeless in the introduction. Please do something nice for someone who needs it more than you today. It helps them, and you’ll feel great.

Take care of each other.


Can't Find and Retain Great People - Forget Hiring for "Experience"​ - Hire For These Reasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you recognise these three men? They are the co-founders of Apple - Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. “But wait a second,” I hear you ask; “Who is Ronald?” Well, Ronald Wayne is the man who, in 1976, sold his 10% stake in Apple for just $800. That’s right, $800! Why? Because at the time, he was worried about being the only founder with assets that could be seized by creditors.

In essence, Wayne feared that Apple would go under, and when it did, he would go with it. Quite clearly, he didn’t share his co-founder’s ability to envision what Apple could become; if he had, this fear simply wouldn’t have existed. This lack of foresight might lead one to question his ‘experience’.

At the time of founding Apple, Jobs was just 21 years-old, Wozniak 25, and Wayne 42. In a world where people measure professional ‘experience’ in terms of capability and the number of years worked in an industry, Wayne would be considered of far greater experience than his co-founders - and therefore, much more capable and competent of understanding the positive potential of Apple’s future. Interestingly, Wayne was brought into the founding team as, in his words, “adult supervision”.

In this example, neither age nor time in the industry had little bearing on Wayne’s ‘experience’ when it came to high-level decision-making. If it did, he may still hold his 10% share of Apple (which in today’s market would be worth approximately $90 billion USD).

Yet even today, we continue to see management and HR staff regularly judging a potential employee’s capability, competence, and impact potential on ’experience’ (aka, how many years they’ve worked in that industry). It is a perception that is deeply ingrained, and even I have made the same mistake when hiring personal.

 

The reality, however, is that true career experience is something much more profound than age or time in an industry, especially when casting judgment on an individual’s ability to perform professionally or personally. Conversely, experience is really made up of practical interactions with the subject matter, cultural engagement, commitment, attitude, will, beliefs, mindset, ability to think unconventionally, unique perspective building skills, and self-esteem. The understanding and measure of these are far greater indicators of someone’s potential to excel in a career or in everyday life. These are what you should look for in your hiring decisions.

Within my network of company owners, directors, and leaders, one of the key frustrations I often hear stems from their difficulty in attracting and retaining the right talent, finding someone who can alleviate their workload (to a high-quality standard), and the perceived underperformance of staff. I would be willing to bet that each of these businesses most likely advertise available positions with a ‘pre-requisite’ of possessing a certain number of years ‘experience’, and then judging applicants by this same process.

But as I’ve touched on – age, and popular perceptions of industry ‘experience,’ are not always an accurate way of finding, and retaining, the best staff for the job.

I invite you to challenge your current perceptions and opinions around this topic, and instead, to try looking at staff ‘experience’ from a fresh angle. More importantly, I encourage you to try something different in your own business and see what value it brings. Who knows, better outcomes may just arrive!


Is Your Company or One of Your Client’s in Distress?

ANANDA Private Equity offers a solution…..

It is distressing for any accountant, lawyer or advisor to see a client’s company sliding into a troubled financial position or hear the owner wants out because they are stuck. You may have helped the owner create a plan to move the business out of trouble but it has been poorly implemented or previous poor advice has delivered the wrong outcomes. These recovery failures place significant stress on all stakeholders and the blame game is too easy to fall into when such a position emerges.

At Ananda success in turnarounds comes from providing hands on investor and partner support. We understand the extreme pressures on owners and management teams and how this can immobilize them. They may have spent months or years playing catch up and feel trapped and unable to see a pathway to exit the business.

Ananda makes turnaround a reality. We take equity in a distressed company and partner with them to implement a turnaround strategy to protect or regain solvency. Through collaboration we create the pathway to long term profitability. Our advisory and management teams devise fit for purpose, transition strategies to achieve further growth and sustainability.

Most distressed businesses were once successful and we can create this success again by offering a holistic understanding the unique set of circumstances and pressures that have arisen for a company. We get in on the ground to work through not only the financial and business levers but the emotional head space of the organisation. Our approach is partnering to create possibility – to map a new future for the company and deliver positive outcomes for all stakeholders.         

If you are a company owner/director or an accountant, lawyer or advisor to a company that may be distressed, or the owners are motivated to exit, ANANDA Private Equity is your solution.                     

Please contact us for a confidential discussion.


Ananda Launch

Introducing ANANDA Private Equity

It’s over 18 months since I finished in my last executive role. At that time I committed to having a long break. Since, i’ve often been asked questions like, what’s next for you; and, are you still just surfing and meditating or back to work? To be honest, I’m honoured and flattered that others have showed an interest and this has encouraged me to provide this update.

I’ve been enjoying some travelling and being creative, as well as plenty of surfing and golf. Very excitingly, during this period, two new, and connected, enterprise have been conceived. These are ANANDA Private Equity and ANANDA Strategic Advisory.

I’m not sure of the exact date when they came to life, but at some stage last year. Since then things have already gained some amazing momentum, with some highlights including:

  • ANANDA Private Equity acquiring positions in two companies thus far.
  • ANANDA Private Equity creating partnerships for investments in The United States and in Europe, in addition to Australia.
  • ANANDA Strategic Advisory group taking on three clients to provide strategic advisory, each achieving game changing results within a 12 months period.

What lies ahead for this year? The plan is to achieve the following:

  • ANANDA Private Equity will make two new strategic acquisitions/ investments.
  • ANANDA Strategic Advisory will take on four more clients.

We’ve launched a new website and LinkedIn page, where i’ll be sharing regular updates and insights that I come across that can help people in business. Please consider this invitation to take a look at the website at www.anandape.com/development and to follow the company LinkedIn page with this link: www.linkedin.com/company/ananda-private-equity/

Please feel free to reach me on my phone, email or via LinkedIn if it applies to you and you’re interested in discussing:

  • Strategic advisory to really kick your business along.
  • Exiting/ selling your company all together.
  • A capital injection for growth and a higher yield from your company.
  • A chat about ANANDA, or life in general.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and excitingly, welcome to ANANDA Private Equity…

Kind regards,
Adam Tucker
Managing Partner