Why your social media efforts suck (and what you can do to fix them)

Why your social media efforts suck (and what you can do to fix them)

They call them vanity metrics. Likes and comments from loyal staff but no engagement from actual customers. The problem with vanity metrics is you're spending vast sums of time and money creating content that no one sees. It’s like you’re talking to yourself. Vanity metrics will never move the needle for your business. You need to change your social media strategy and content plans if you want to be noticed and get engagement. Here’s how…

Why influence is the greatest marketing tool you never use

Why influence is the greatest marketing tool you never use

Influence is something we all want. Whether it’s the board table, amongst peers or with our kids. But when it comes to marketing we ignore it. We reach out to our network before we Google or pay attention to any ad. So why haven’t we become students of influence when it’s proven to be so effective? So how you go about being more influential? The answer is simple: be useful…

Will agencies end up like supermarkets?

Will agencies end up like supermarkets?

We use supermarkets because they are convenient. It's easier to use a full service agency too but like relationships, opting for convenience can mean you're settling for second best. The problem with full service agencies is you pay a premium. You pay for all the bodies and lights in the building, not just the ones you use, through the overhead and profit multiples that agencies apply to their rates. Convenience becomes far less convenient when this happens.

Why truth telling beats story telling every time

Why truth telling beats story telling every time

When we find truth we create trust so when it comes to branding you need to tell your truth and tell it well. That way people will know you're the real deal. Humans are hard wired to seek the truth. In court we vow to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. The Hippocratic oath in essence means "do no harm". Marketers and their agencies could take that same oath...

Is the Fieldays formula too simplistic for today's rural marketer?

Is the Fieldays formula too simplistic for today's rural marketer?

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Fieldays at Mystery Creek and is the biggest show in town. Whilst it has many advocates, including its own passionate PR dept, equally there are as many who don’t like it, think it’s got too big and commit to regional field day events instead. The problem is unless you’re a big fish it is very hard to get cut through at National Fieldays…

NZ Ag: why we need to stop using the words value add

NZ Ag: why we need to stop using the words value add

Value add is a term tossed around so much it’s become meaningless and tiresome. People use it in the hope it will excuse them from the cognitive challenge of deeper thinking and problem solving. It’s a simplistic statement with those that use it in danger of being perceived as rather simplistic themselves.  Like the catch cry “we just need to tell our story better”, value add is easy to say but far harder to execute. That’s why I’m calling for a moratorium on the term "value add" in NZ Ag until we’ve worked out how we properly define it and apply it.

NZ Ag: B+LNZ Future Meat Report - great on detail, what's the solution?

NZ Ag: B+LNZ Future Meat Report - great on detail, what's the solution?

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) should be applauded for commissioning such a thorough analysis on the challenge and opportunities from alternative protein. Its Future Meat Report is a solid piece of work that will be doing the stakeholder rounds and roadshows up and down the country as we speak. However having read it what are the next actions? And does it go far enough?

NZ Ag: Why you should always attack a lead and never defend one

NZ Ag: Why you should always attack a lead and never defend one

Attacking a lead is such a simple concept yet why do so many sports teams and companies not do it? Defending is easier than attacking because it demands more effort, more energy and more skill. It's easier to sit back and protect what you have. This is why loss aversion is such powerful influence in human behaviour. We all know about Blockbuster, Nokia and Blackberry. What about NZ Ag? Attacked or defended environmental concerns? Fonterra? Attacked value add or defended WMP? Meat companies? Back foot or front on alternative proteins? Don’t get complacent. Don’t defend a lead, always attack one. It’s much better that way for everyone. Except for your competitors. Best to keep it that way...

NZ Ag: the single biggest attribute you need to look for in rural sales recruitment

NZ Ag: the single biggest attribute you need to look for in rural sales recruitment

Intrinsic motivation is the single biggest attribute I look for when I help clients recruit and manage sales teams. I define it as “the ability to kick their own arse”. Easy for any sales recruit to claim at interview but harder to prove. There are certain markers, or behavioural traits, that signal intrinsic motivation. If observed, these traits validate any claim of intrinsic motivation because it’s not what people say, it’s what they do that tells you what you need to know...

NZ Ag: why running separate rural sales & marketing teams is failing you

NZ Ag: why running separate rural sales & marketing teams is failing you

“Marketing are cost centres and sales are profit centres.” When I look at this statement it’s generic but also contains some truth. Over the years I've seen plenty of marketers yet met very few who can sell despite sales being the commercial lifeblood for companies. Because of this I’ve always believed marketing should be  a function of sales. Any marketing department that struggles with this definition is in danger of being that cost centre or overhead so the formula for me is simple: marketing teams deliver qualified leads for sales team to close. 

NZ Ag: why are you still using agencies?

NZ Ag: why are you still using agencies?

Some of the best talent I have been privileged to work with run their own businesses because they are good enough which means they can. Only the good ones survive. The great thing about working with people out on their own is that they have skin in the game. They are heavily invested to make sure the work works. Years ago I was told by a Client "we're a business that follows the talent, not the agency"…