How we overcome the marketing challenges faced by small business   

Too often small business owners experience sub-optimal marketing results because they face one or more of the following challenges:

  1. They have an extreme lack of time
  2. They experience marketing overwhelm
  3. They have a fear of wasting money on marketing just in case it doesn’t drive results
  4. They are bamboozled by so-called marketers with so called marketing solutions.

Well, over the years we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of small businesses and we’ve worked out some pretty cool solutions to these problems.

In this episode, I deep dive into what these challenges can look like for small business owners and what we do as a marketing agency to help solve them.

To view the video for Men at Work mentioned in the case study – click here.

And if you want to hear more about that campaign in more detail, you can listen to this episode of The How to do Marketing Show where we run through this award winning campaign in more detail.

If you’d like to work with me directly to find out how you can implement my small business marketing framework to drive successful results for your business, check out our How to do Marketing Academy Mastermind. 

 

Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcast

The How To Do Marketing Podcast delivers small business marketing tips every week, so be sure to subscribe so that you don't miss an episode.

Also, if you love what you hear, please do leave me a rating or review. This helps other small business owners discover the show. It also fills me with all of the happy feels when I see that people are enjoying the show. To review the show, head to the podcast and click on 'Ratings and Review' and then click on 'Write a Review'.

Click on the button below to subscribe in the Apple Podcast App.

Subscribe

Episode Transcript

Jane Hillsdon:

Welcome to another episode in the, how we do this series of the, How to do Marketing Show and today I'm going to run through how I've managed to come up with some, what I think are really great solutions for some of the really common challenges that small business owners can face when it comes to marketing. These are challenges that I've noticed and responded to over the years and I've worked with pretty much just small businesses over the years. So they're definitely problems and challenges experienced by small businesses. However, I'm sure they are also challenges that are experienced by some mid-level and larger businesses as well. So I don't think I've ever really shared the story about how I actually got to be a small business marketer and how I found myself, I guess, so passionately in this, this industry.

So I actually did a marketing and advertising degree. Oh gosh, actually ,I'm not going to say when, because it will probably age me, but I started off out of school doing a business degree and I majored in marketing and advertising. And during this degree, the academics and the theory that we studied in those three years, it's largely geared towards the corporate world and corporate experience. So, you know, Proctor and Gamble, Mars you know, MasterFoods. Back in those days, Google and Facebook and all of those companies, weren't a thing. So I'm not sure if the degrees have progressed now to more contemporary examples of international corporates, but it was very much geared around corporate marketing and theories. So in my head, I guess my idea of a marketing career was a marketing career that was forged within those kinds of corporate industries.

And it was a career path that kind of started, in marketing coordination or in those days it was mostly kind of sales. And then you kind of worked yourself your way up and I guess eventually became a chief marketing officer or maybe a CEO or something more in the leadership team of those corporates, small business, wasn't really mentioned. Small business just wasn't really part of the thinking around the marketing of that degree. So when I finished university, I went into that typical career journey. So I started off with an international corporate. It was called Michael Page, and it was actually a recruitment company. And look, here's a revelation. I actually had no idea what recruitment was. And I remember going through this quite rigorous recruitment process they were looking for graduates to start and they were, you know, recruiting graduates who'd had marketing or finance or accounting or human resources degrees, but yeah, they were this international recruitment team.

And I had no idea anyway, so I kept kind of going through the stages and did all the psych testing and all the rest and thought, well, this sounds like an awesome company to work for. You know, I'll start here. So I started in recruitment. And recruitment, even though you're dealing with people and it's kind of, I guess, a little bit in that human resources area, recruitment companies are not human resources companies you're in sales there, but it was an awesome role to start with because that skill of business development and being able to know how to cold call companies and build relationships and you know, have those pitching conversations and you know, really I guess selling was such a really useful skill anyway. So I was like, okay, cool. I've started my marketing career in it in a sales position, moved to London with the company.

And I was working in their recruitment for a while and we were doing quite a bit of travel and it had always been my dream to travel the world. And to be honest, I hadn't really thought of anything past that. All I knew was I was going to finish Uni, get a job, save some money and get overseas. So I did that and I did that in this role. And then when I was working in London, I denied that the role of recruitment consultant, I found just, I guess, the novelty wore off. And I found it quite soulless and I was like, what the hell am I doing? I'm supposed to be doing marketing. This is just sales. And I want to move over to marketing. So I moved into their marketing department. Now this marketing department, international corporate it's massive, you know, there's, I don't know, 20 of us, I would say just for the, for the London office.

And you know, we had a team of account managers. We had copywriters, we had media buyers, we had a bunch of graphic designers now bearing in mind, digital marketing was not really a thing. Back then. We had a website, social media hadn't been invented. While we were emailing, I don't think we were doing email campaigns back then. So this was very, very traditional marketing and that great kind of started at the bottom of the marketing chain there, now we eventually got back to Sydney and I realized that I didn't actually have another big goal in mind. I'd kind of gone, right. I've done my traveling and now I have to kind of really start thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my marketing career. So when I looked at marketing, I was like, geez, it's such a broad, you know realm of what it can include.

So there's so many things that sit under that marketing umbrella. And I tried all of these different roles in different organizations. I tried agency and I tried, you know, corporate, I tried different strands of marketing and none of them fit. And I was like, I just, I can't see myself doing this for my whole career. It just isn’t nourishing my soul. So anyway, I bounced around from job to job and role to role and actually started to get really disenfranchised and started to think I actually, I don't think marketing's for me. So I actually took myself off to fashion design school and started doing that at night, thinking, gosh, I've just got to, you know, change careers altogether. But along the way, randomly one day I went to lunch with a, with a friend of mine who owned a catering company in Ultimo.

It was a really small business. Four people worked there and I was kind of between roles cause I just, you know, got out of the last one and I think I'd been working at Vintage Cellars and they'd moved to Melbourne. And so I was like, right, I don't know what I'm going to do. And he offered me a position in, in his catering company. He said, look, we really need someone in that kind of business development, marketing role come and work for us. And I remember sitting down next to him on the first day. And it was then that it really hit me. I kind of sat down next to him and you know, he's obviously the managing director of the company. And I thought, do you know what, if my marketing succeeds, I get to help this guy, you know, build the business of his dream, how amazing is that?

But then I was like, but if it fails, he can't pay his mortgage. Like this is his income. This is his life. This is his job. It's like, that's massive. That's a huge responsibility. And from then on, I was hooked. I was like, yes, like to be able to make that much of a difference in someone's life and for it to kind of come down to me and for me to, I guess, have that pressure of, okay, you know, this is someone's business, this is their income. Your marketing has got to work. It makes you be a really, really good marketer because you can no longer hide behind a team of other people. You can no longer hide behind, you know, the various agencies that you outsource to, you know, it comes down to you. So that's how I got into small business, like that was close to 20 years ago.

And, and I've worked in small business ever since. So I've really kind of along the way, become so familiar with the opportunities and the challenges that, that small businesses do face when it, when it comes to marketing. So I wanted to get, I wanted to go through some of the bigger ones and the more common ones here, and then just share with you how we, as an agency  in Dragonfly Marketing. And I guess as a consultant I have managed to overcome these. Okay. So the challenges, the first challenge = that's faced by small businesses is the lack of time. Now I realize that most people in the Western world will tell you that they don't have time right now. And that's true. No one seems to have any time. We're all super busy. I get it. But in terms of a small business owner, I think it's really important to set the scene.

I mean, as a small business owner, you'll completely get this. The small business owners work really, really hard. You know, I don't know many small business owners that work less than a 50, 60 hour week. Some will work a lot more. It's all consuming. Even when you're not actually on the clock working, you are thinking about your small business. Like it's relentless. It doesn't stop. So the hours are long, but the thinking is long as well. Like this business is really all consuming. And the reason why that is because a lot of the time, a small business owner's role is really ubiquitous. So they're an expert at what they do, whether that be a plumber, a lawyer, an accountant a cook, a chef, whatever that small business owner has gone. I want to start a business doing this.

They're doing that. But on top of that, they're wearing so many other hats. So they're wearing the marketing hat, the accounting hat, the operations hat, the people hat. And let me tell you, they are not easy hats to wear. You know, if you think of a corporate organization, there are massive teams. And yes, they're obviously bigger businesses, but there are teams of people and agencies and consultants and all the rest that are devoted to those functions, small business owners, but generally doing all of those. So it's not just the time that they don't have in their day. It's the Headspace that they don't have in their days. And you're constantly learning constantly firefighting, constantly facing new challenges, new opportunities, no day looks the same. So you're in this like, always on the adrenal gland is always pumping.

The emotions are always running high because you know, there's so many ups and downs. So that lack of time is a massive challenge that business owners face and something that we absolutely have to cater for when we go in to try and provide marketing solutions for a small business. And I will be going over the how the solutions, I'm just going to go through the challenges first. Okay. Challenge number two is marketing overwhelm. So this is something that pretty much every single small business I have worked with has experienced in one way or another. And a lot of that comes from, and I think it's more so today because you've got so many digital channels and the digital channels are not only flashing, you know, you should be doing this as a small business, every other businesses on Facebook or TikTok or email or whatever the channel may be.

You should be doing that. But it's also a lot more noise that's falling into the small business owners realm and world view. So it's really hard to sometimes go, okay. Yeah, I know I should be doing marketing, but where do I start? Like, how do I know which channels to invest in how do I know what messages to use? How do I know what content to produce? You know, there's all of this fuss around content marketing, and I can see that there's, you know, videos and there's amazing images and graphic design and copywriting and let alone all the other fancy stuff that's being developed at the moment. Do I need to do that? And if I need to do that, you know, where do I start with that? Where do I make my entry into this kind of marketing?

And how much of it do I actually do? So it's also one of those things as well, where it's perceived as a bit of a dark art, you know marketing is this thing that might give me a result and it might not give me a result. And, you know, I'm seeing all these prices that are associated with graphic design and branding and all of that sort of stuff. But how does that actually make me money? You know, how do I know that by doing something really fancy with a logo is actually going to make my business grow, you know, and then you start analyzing it, trying to overthink it. And it leads to a lack of confidence and assurance that you're actually investing that money in the right place.

So it's overwhelming all these decisions and all these ideas and all of this unknown can be really overwhelming. And the third challenge, which is so valid and again, completely relevant for so many businesses. No matter what the size is, that fear of wasting money which I touched on a little bit before small business owners don't have money or time to waste. I mean, no one has money that they want to waste. But I think with a lot of small businesses, you know, perhaps if expectations haven't been managed well, and they've spent businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars on websites or fancy branding or whatever. And then they don't actually understand how that's made them money or how that's progressed their business.

Like, yeah, it looks great. But what does that actually do in terms of actually getting more customers on board? Or how do I use that to get more customers on board or in the cases of a lot of small businesses, they've tried different marketing tactics before, so they might've tried a three month TV ad campaign, or they might've tried a couple of weeks worth of radio advertising, or maybe they've taken out a print ad in the local regional magazine or whatever the case may be. And it hasn't driven immediate phone calls to their business. So they're like, well, I just spent like thousands of dollars on that and no one called as a result. And they won't, if you just show up randomly and sporadically like that, you won't get that. You won't get any result, really, if you do that.

So if you've had that experience, then you're just going to be a little bit more gun shy when it comes to spending money on marketing, because you're like, why don't I know the stuff that I did before I spent lots of money and it didn't seem to work, or it might've actually worked, but because there's been no measurement or formal measurement process in place or expectations set around what that activity could have actually achieved. There is actually no way to tell if it's worked or not. Now the fourth challenge is that a lot of small business owners are bamboozled by so called marketers. Everyone's a marketer these days. We laugh about this quite a bit in in our agency, you know, just the amount of people that show up with that marketing hat on is quite hilarious.

I noticed like even these days, some of the local directories people are called your digital marketing consultant. No, they're not a digital marketing consultant. A lot of the time they're a digital marketing sales person. They're selling you a solution. If you think about it, the local directories person is selling you a solution to one channel. If your local directories sales person was giving you a marketing strategy and then recommendations around how to use print advertising, other directory sites, how to build a website, how to use all the different social media channels, how to email how to run events, how to build relationships, go to networking or whatever the case may be. If their advice was impartial and catered for everything that your business might need. Well, yeah. Then they're a marketing consultant, but if they're just there to sell a solution to the product that they sell, then they're a sales consultant.

They're not a marketing consultant. And then, you know, you've got a whole bunch of business coaches out there who are also dabbling in that marketing space and telling small business owners what they should, and shouldn't be doing. No marketing qualifications in sight a lot of the time. And I get it. There's a lot of stuff about marketing that's common sense. But there's a lot of marketing out there. That's also really tactically driven and it's not considered. So yeah, it's really easy to be able to set up a Facebook page. It's really easy to set up a LinkedIn page and start posting. Anyone can do that. That's common sense, but how you actually make those posts tie into achieving your business priorities is something that needs to be a little bit more considered. And then of course, you've got all the other people who, some might've done a marketing subject at university and all of a sudden they know boats.

There's a lot of people who, might be doing some marketing for their business. And what they're doing is working for them, but their business is their business, and your business is your business. And there could be very different scenarios in there that will mean that what they're doing for their business is not going to work for yours. So they are challenges that we face, because when you know that last one, when they're being bamboozled by these other so-called marketers it gets to be really confusing as to what the right solution might be. You know, the TV ad people are telling them that TV is the be all and end all solution to their business growth. The radio reps saying that the radio is the best solution, the print ads saying that the print ads are the best solution that the digital marketing people are saying, all you need to do is this digital marketing.

So all of this different advice goes back to challenge number two, marketing overwhelm. So a lack of time marketing overwhelm, fear of wasting money and being bamboozled by all the so-called marketers are the biggest challenges that we find a lot of small businesses face. So how do we provide solutions to these challenges? Okay. So in response to challenge number one, and actually in response to challenge all of them we start with a simple and focused strategy. So when you have sat down and considered what your main business priority is, and when we're talking about planning and strategy, we're talking about the period of 12 months at a top level planning. Yes, you can break that planning down into month by month planning, which we will do as well. However, when we're putting that first strategy or plan together, it's based over 12 months.

So we need to look at what the business priorities for the next 12 months. Sure we'll consider ultimately what some of the longer term plans are for the business. But for the strategy we're just focused on the next 12 months. So we're looking at the business priority, because that allows us to then put in some marketing objectives and goals specifically to match that business priority. We also take a real deep dive into the target audience. Now, this is where we might realize that there's a couple of different segments that we need to consider for our marketing. They might just be one segment. But we want to get to know that segment really well. So for us, we always include customer research as part of our marketing planning. Always, I believe I've only got 50% of the story.

If I only talk to the business owner when I'm putting the marketing strategy together, because at the end of the day, we've got to sell to your customers. We have to understand their world view their perspective, what they think, what else are they being bamboozled with out there at the moment? How are they making decisions? So we really need to get to know our target audience on a really, really intimate level. And then we can look, okay, so how will we position ourselves as different to the other alternatives that they've got? What does make us different from that? Cause I can tell you there's so many small business owners who believe that, you know, when they show up saying, we pride ourselves on customer service that's what makes them different. And it could, it, that could be the thing and you could genuinely provide the best customer service ever, but just know that everybody in your market is probably also saying the same thing as you.

So we need to, actually, if we're going to say we're different at customer service, we need to actually then demonstrate how we can say that and differentiate ourselves from everybody else and their dog, who's also saying that. We need to be really sure of the value that we offer to our customers. So when it comes down to let's get out of feature land and start talking benefits. So yes, we need to understand what your product and service features are because there might be some points of difference in there, but what do those products, what do those features provide to your customer? What benefit? How are you going to get them from point A to point B with those features? And what's the market that you operate in? You know, is it heavily competitive? Is it not heavily competitive? You know, what are some of the economic constraints or some of the legislative constraints or whatever that there might be that we need to consider.

So once we've actually got that simple and focused strategy, we start to address things like the marketing overwhelm and the lack of time, because the lack of time and overwhelm and too much overwhelm is generally because you're busy being busy. You know, so these guys are already going to be able to solve the lack of time in their whole business, but we certainly don't want to add to it with the marketing function. But if we have a really focused plan, well, then we go, okay. If we know that we've got it, if we're going to devote this much time to marketing, it's actually going to work because it's very much plugged into the business and we can see how that's actually going to work. It helps solve the problem of the marketing overwhelm because all of a sudden, by putting that marketing strategy together, you actually know where to start.

Okay. Now that we know that our customers think like this or in this position, now that we know what our business objective is. Now we can plan out that 12 months of activity with certainty and with confidence of, of where to start and what we need to work on, what we need to focus on. It also addresses the fear of wasting money because you know that it's not going to waste money because this is actually a really considered plan. We've gone out and asked the right and considered the right information to make sure that when we choose the marketing solutions to, to plug into that strategy, that they're actually going to drive a return. Unfortunately it won't stop them. The bamboozle is from, getting into the the small business owners head having said that what it does help with is when you've actually got that strategy and you know what you're doing for the next 12 months when those sales messages are coming into your inbox, you can confidently go back and say, thanks, keep your details on file.

Maybe something we need to consider for the future. Don't need it right now. Thanks very much. Instead of going, oh, well, I dunno, maybe I do need it. Maybe I don't. Okay, solution number two is creative thinking. So creative thinking is free. And quite frankly, we just don't encourage enough of this in our lives. You know, I personally believe that everybody has the ability to think creatively. It's just, I think we're all in such a rush to drive short term hotline results and meet deadlines that seem to become more and more unrealistic in this race to keep up with the world that I think we don't allow ourselves the time to be creative. And I think in small business land, sometimes it's so easy to feel like you're running behind, you know, there's so much to do. You often feel like you're on the back foot.

So when you've made the decision to start marketing it needed to have started yesterday. You know? And so then you're just in this panic quick, quick, you know, we've got to get the website done, we've got to get this up. We've got to get that up. We've got to get this up and you don't allow yourself to take a step back and think, okay, hang on. Whoa. Instead of just getting a website up to tick the box, let's think about how we can approach this website really cleverly to make sure that it's a really, really cool, robust, workable, and effective solution. I know myself I'll think of the best ideas when I've actually had time to get really curious about a topic and explore all of the different perspectives. So how I do that in my role as a marketer is I just keep asking questions, questions, questions, questions, both of the business owner, as well as their customers.

You know, why do they do something in a certain way? Why do your customers choose one product over another? Why is price important for this purchase? Or why is price not important for this? What is it that you would wish for if you had a magic wand? You know, that's a big question that sometimes can actually drop absolute nuggets of gold and inspire creative thinking. I think just the way that kind of, it does involve a little bit more time. So it doesn't necessarily answer the lack of time challenge. I think though, where it gives you more confidence with time overwhelm and money is that if you've actually done the step one and done the strategy and the planning and you focus your efforts down to a couple of, you know, really strategic options and tactics there, then you want to make sure that, okay, well, if we're going to do those and we're going to do them well. How can we make sure that we do them in the best way that we can honestly there's so much lazy marketing and advertising out there to look at.

And it's because people just get it out there for the sake of getting it out there. But I don't know whether it's really, you know, sure, I guess if you've got a million dollars and you can just blast your bullet brand everywhere, but then yeah. Your brand is going to get out there, but will it actually take people further than being aware of your brand? So someone might be aware of a brand that's plastered everywhere, but unless your messaging has creatively engaged them with that advertising or that marketing touch point, then they're probably just going to stick it, marketing awareness, you know, and, and there's a whole marketing ecosystem to consider with your marketing planning. And in that ecosystem, we've got to be making sure we drive awareness that we drive consideration, that we drive action of people actually coming and buying the product.

And then that we're driving, repeat sales and driving, repeat advocacy, customer advocacy. So, you know, there's so much marketing out there, that's driving awareness and, and you know, being creative is actually where we can actually then drive that awareness, but also really engage people in some messaging and some action and repeat sales and all the rest. So number three. Solution number three is people connect with people. And my goodness, this is a hack for small business. And although it's not as straightforward as it's saying, it's a huge hack that if you can actually get the people behind your brand, and when I'm talking about the people behind your brand, I'm talking about your customers, your stakeholders, your employees, yourself as the business owner, when you can put them in front of your marketing at the forefront of your marketing, your marketing will be so much more engaging.

So people will connect with people so much more readily than they will with a faceless brand. And I know there's a lot of small business owners out there who don't want to be the face of their business. You know, they're either introverted or they feel like they're being shameless, self promoters. They just might not feel comfortable with being the face of their business at all. But there will be people in your business that are comfortable with that. And it's all I can say is if it's something that you can try to get over and work with, you will notice just the significant difference that it makes putting real people in your marketing over just straight branding and logos and colors and faceless kind of stuff.

I've got an example that I'm going to run through that can show you the power of people connecting with people. And that is not necessarily something that addresses lack of time or marketing overwhelm, because sometimes that can add to a bit of the time and the overwhelm, particularly if you don't like the idea of being on video but absolutely address the fear of wasting money because, oh my goodness, you spend money on promoting the people behind your brand. You are going to get so much more return than you would if you didn't. And I can guarantee that, and I've got a case study to go through to show that. Okay number four, the solution of simple monthly measurements. So when we plan out our marketing strategy, what we do here is we've got a marketing ecosystem that we work towards.

And I explained it just before, in terms of, we want to make sure that we've got marketing activity that drives awareness, that drives engagement and consideration that drives sales leads and sales that drives repeat sales and also drives brand advocacy. Now, generally for the majority of marketing, we will have an associated measurement. So if we plot out your marketing activity, according to your goals, we can also plot out the measurements that we can make monthly to see if that marketing activity is achieving those goals. So with our clients we measure my marketing monthly, we've got a couple of systems in place. We're actually transitioning over to marketing measurement software. We've finally found one that will actually get the breadth of measurements that we're looking for. And I'll be publishing an episode later on in the season to walk you through that measurement software that they're not cheap.

And before that, like you don't need to use a dashboard or a marketing measurement software for it. Before that we've just been using Excel spreadsheets. And in those spreadsheets, we measure reach, we measure engagement, we measure video views, we measure clicks, we measure, you know, certain pages visited. We measure leads, we measure sales, we measure downloads like it, depending on what your goals are and what's relevant, the marketing activity that's relevant for you. We have an associated measurement. And with the recent academy, it was great. Cause for our clients, we just keep those measurements and report back what we need to with the retainer clients that we work for. But with the marketing academy obviously we show business owners how to keep these measurements themselves. And it was a little bit of a little bit, you know to get their head around in the first place.

But when they did they just had the biggest aha moments. And it was honestly, I think it was one of the things that ultimately led to their success in the program because when they actually measured each month, it was super motivating when they saw the results, you know, oh, wow, when I do this, I get this result and I was aiming for this and I blitzed it, you know, conversely when I don't show up, I don't get those results. The difference when I invest in my content on social media, holy moly, look at the difference in results. It's absolutely incredible. And just by checking in with these measurements, and these are the measurements that we measured each month and used for our planning.

It just made such a significant difference into their mindset around marketing. And this very thing is something that addressed their marketing overwhelm, their fear of wasting money as well. And whilst it took a little bit of time, this is where this dashboard makes it so much easier. Cause it's like you know, press of a button. It's a really, really good solution to keep you motivated and to make sure that you are not wasting your money, that your marketing is driving a return. Okay. So I've got a case study that I wanted to share with you, and I've actually shared this case study before I roll this case study out quite a bit, actually, because a really, really good example of how some of these small business marketing solutions work together to solve some of those small business marketing challenges.

And the case study that I'm going to talk about, and some of you might be familiar with is with a client of ours called Men at Work. And Men at Work are a labor hire and traffic control organization. They're based in Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast. And they operate out of other areas on the Mid North Coast as well. But they've got about a 200 strong workforce and a big part of their business is this traffic control. So think about, you know, roadwork sites when you're driving through there. And there's someone with a lollipop saying, stop, go, and, you know, people who are putting the cones down and managing the job and making sure everybody's safe. So that's what they do with the traffic control anyway, so the challenge that they had was that a lot of their traffic controllers had reported into the managing director that they felt really unsafe in their roles in the traffic control.

So they reported, and we did some market research based on this. Remember ask questions, customer research. So when I actually went in and I spoke to, I don't know about 15 of the traffic controllers, and I'd assumed that this safety problem was just people being idiots really, and, you know, speeding through the work sites or whatever, but it wasn't the research actually showed that it was people on their mobile phones that were, you know, just not paying attention to these roadsides and not seeing the signs and then flying through. And so many times these traffic controllers that had to actually jump in the verges on the side of the road. And then of course, when we did our desktop research, we discovered that there was actually a couple of deaths per year of traffic controllers who had lost their lives in this way.

So one of the other objectives that the business had was to really kind of lift their brand locally and just, just really amplify and increase their presence locally. So we kind of had two objectives, which was to increase their presence and increase the brand center, positive brand sentiment around the brand. But we also had a really important safety message to get out there to people and drivers on the Mid North Coast. Now, one of the biggest challenges we always face, but we love this space. So we're always good for it. Is we had a micro budget to achieve a macro result. So the Mid North Coast, I think, you know, there's a couple of hundred thousand people and we had to get to pretty much all segments of the community with this message, all drivers, because what the traffic controllers had said to us is it's not particularly one age group that are guilty of being on the mobile phone.

It's young people, it's old people, it's people in, you know, families, mom's driving their kids through the sites on their phones. So we really needed to get out to the whole community. But we only had a really, really small budget to do that. The second challenge was this is a safety message, boring. You know, I think about it on Facebook, you're on there to catch up with friends and family. The last thing you want to pay attention to is someone to show up in your feed and Tut tutting you for not being on your mobile phone or not driving properly through road sites. So we needed to make sure that it was a really emotionally engaging message and something that would cause an empathetic response as opposed to, a flick on through.

And the other challenge was we knew that the subject of our message and our video and who we were trying to get empathy for was our traffic controllers. And, you know, we just knew that some people might have some, some already existing perceptions of traffic control you know, traffic control is who cares. They were always on a smoker or whatever their perceptions might be. So we needed to make sure that people actually related to the traffic controllers as people and special people within the community who are doing a very important job.

So the solution for this tapped into the various solutions that I've just talked about there, we planned out this campaign. So we started by really understanding, you know what are the pain points for the organization? What are they wanting to achieve brand amplification, positive brand sentiment. And we want to, you know, spread a message out an important safety message out to the community. We also reached out to, to the traffic controllers themselves to do our research and did some desktop research. So we asked all the questions in order for us to come up with a really creative solution. And that creative solution was, and I'll put the link in the show notes. That creative solution was a one minute video that we shared out via social media. And if I go back to the people we connected with people and the creativity, we actually used real people.

So we actually used a much loved traffic controller within the force, who worked for Men at Work. So he's a real person. He did the voiceover, it was him that we'd videoed. And as you'll see in the video, we not only videoed him on the roadside itself in this really precarious spot on the side of the mountain with these, you know, huge trucks driving past him really intimidating kind of scenes. But then we also placed him back in with his family and his beautiful three girls and essentially positioned him as, yes, he's a traffic controller by day doing his job just like everybody does. But he's also got a beautiful family to return to at the end of the day. So make sure that you're driving safely through work sites to ensure that everyone gets home themselves safely. So we've used real people to connect with people.

We've used an emotive story and we've activated a tribe where by again, reaching out via people. So when we actually placed that video, when we actually published that video, it was a Wednesday afternoon. I remember it well, we'd got into the Facebook insights to work out where everybody was on when everybody was online and Wednesday three o'clock radio. So we published it. Then when we published it Rosco, the managing director actually sent out a message to his 200 strong workforce and said the Facebook videos like that, they were kept in the loop about what was happening with the campaigns, Facebook videos gone live get behind it essentially. And they did. And that Facebook video ended up getting, you know, hundreds of thousands of views you know, 10,000 engagements, like it was 300 and 400 shares. So many comments that backed up our messaging from other people saying, yes, I'm really scared for my husband's life or my wife’s life when they go out and work in this way, or my cousin was killed by this, you know, it's really important to drive safely.

So it really did go viral. This was before we even did any investment into the post. And it was a real example of how we really simply and creatively came up with a solution that we could amplify easily using people making sure that we planned our activity with a really focused strategy. And then of course the measurements now this was a specific campaign. So we had measurements in place to actually understand. We obviously had goals that we wanted to achieve. We smashed absolutely smashed those. But then by just measuring the impact of this campaign, we were able to really feel confident that this campaign worked and that it was a really, really good investment, I think the total budget was, was it was about $1,500 for the video itself.

 

 

And then I think we probably spent about another $1,500 on ads, not for that particular day, but in, for the re you know, for another five months after that, to really get that message out there. So yeah, that's an example of how we've been able to provide those solutions, to really plug into some of those specific small business challenges that are faced there. So to recap those solutions are; a simple and focused strategy and really understanding how that marketing ecosystem works. Two is just creative thinking and allowing the creative thinking when you're coming up with solutions. Three is to understand the power of people connecting with people. And four is to make sure that you're measuring monthly, whether it's campaign related project related annually, for some things as well. And there, what will generally happen in the case of overcoming those small business challenges. So, as you can tell, I'm muddling up my words and tripping over my words because I've been raving on for quite some time now, but I hope that you got a lot out of this episode and you've had some ideas and some creative thoughts sparked for yourselves as to how you might be able to overcome some of your small business marketing challenges.