Do you need a business health check?

Do you need a business health check? - Zadro Agency

Have you looked at your strategy this year? Last year? It’s highly likely a lot has changed; for you, for your people, your clients and the industry you operate in. Now is a great time to conduct a business health check.

One of the most important things you can do is truly understand your stakeholders’ current needs, wants, and desires. This means finding out directly from your audiences, whether that’s through surveys, phone calls, or emails and asking them how they are, what they need and what they’re worried about? Now is also a good time to do a stakeholder map, or revisit your existing one, because the landscape has changed.

You need to be conducting a relationship ‘health-check’. This involves a very real and honest review of your relationships. What is the state of your relationships with clients, prospects, industry and media? How can you nurture those relationships right now?

Next, it’s about reputation management and looking at your organisation from the outside. If you don’t know what your reputation is, it is very difficult to manage it. Are you seen as innovative or a lagger? Are you perceived as very quiet, or have you disappeared completely? Are you seen as winning? What are people saying about your organisation? Establish what you want to be known as, and for, and build evidence to support that.

One of the most important areas to work on right now is building your community around you and keeping connected. Reach out, look at your CRM and your databases, cleanse them, go on LinkedIn, make sure you’re updating your contribution to your social media. Be vocal, active and present. This is not about selling, it is about listening and adding value.

Finally, look at getting ahead of the game for when the gates open to a different landscape. Consumer buying patterns, travel patterns, which suppliers will exist, how events will happen, and so much more will have changed. Now is the time to get ahead of that; don’t think about quarter two or three, think about quarter four and about the next financial year. Think about what you can control and the vision you want for your company.

Where to start?

A plan, to bring calm, realign your team, ensure your team know where the goalposts are and everybody can get on board and get things done.

You need a strategic plan from which you can develop your communications plan, and then you need to activate your plans. For some “strategy” can be a little scary, however it can be as simple as writing your answers to the questions posed above on a piece of paper.

Marketing During Challenging Times

Marketing During Challenging Times - Zadro Agency

At its core, business communication is asking and answering questions.

  • Why should I buy from you?
  • Can I trust you with my event, budget, people, my business?
  • Have you done this before?
  • Do you have the expertise?
  • Why should I work for you / with you?
  • Why are you better than your competitor?
  • Are you going to really care about me? How much are you invested in me and my project?

However, when we go through challenging times, conversations with your people, clients, industry and prospects come into sharp focus. The questions change to: Do I really need you now? Can I afford you? Can I afford not to use you? What else can do you for me? Do I have a job? Can I trust you right now?

The role of marketing communications in your organisation and the strength of your relationships

 Marketing and communications during challenging times is about clearing the noise and focusing on two things: What can the business do right now? And therefore, what change, amendment, cancellation, policy, strategy do I need to communicate right now?

Some companies use their marketing communications to build culture and leadership, manage change, support sales and promotions, but it’s really about the why; to foster relationships.

What are the priorities of the business today?

Communications and organisational objectives should align. If you don’t know what your organisational objectives are, then that’s where you start.

Marcomms people need to be involved in business discussions. They need to know where the business is and what the priorities of the business are now. Is it bunkering down? Is it strengthening relationships? Is it launching new product? Are you moving event dates? Are you having to let staff go? Are you having to keep staff motivated? Are you keeping abreast of the industry changes? Are you having to educate people?

What are your priorities today? You need to put them down on paper.

Think about…

What you have been doing and what has worked, what hasn’t and take your lead from that. Have you had great results in direct mail or SEM or PR? Have you been able to show personality? Have you shown leadership in previous challenges? Have you got great talent within your organisation to use?

Secondly, you need to identify where are the strengths of your relationships? Are they with your client base or have you been so inundated with business that you’ve been transactional and haven’t built deep relationships?

Where the strength of your relationships as a business have been, and what has worked for you in the past is a good indicator of what you should do next. Strong relationships and the community you build around you is the best insurance policy that you will ever have as a business and make the challenging times that little bit easier.

And finally, come back to your why. Why you do what you do, why is it important, why are you driven to do what you do. Articulate it and let it drive your goals and success.

Writing an award? Plan to win!

Writing an award? Plan to win!

In our last blog, we shared the five things to consider when writing an award submission, because we know that having the best product, service, event or marketing campaign doesn’t guarantee you a place among the finalists.

However, before you even get to the point of writing your award, another big key to submission success is planning. Ideally, you should be thinking about your submission one year prior, or at the start of the project, you can then slowly build your pool of resources along the way which will help craft your entire submission.

Set objectives 

At the start of the project, set and document the measurable goals you plan to achieve; this will then make success easy to demonstrate. For example, do you want to achieve a percentage increase in ticket sales, secure a certain amount of media coverage clippings, improve your Net Promoter Score by 10 points, or does the individual or team have KPIs to meet?

Document the process 

It is far easier to keep a record of the process as you go and add to it on the fly, than try to remember the process after the fact. Did you change or implement new business practices, who was involved along the way, did you recruit staff specifically for a project, do you have document templates you used?

Take photos and videos 

The more photos and videos you have the better! You won’t use them all, however you will then have a choice about what photos and videos you submit – remember a picture can tell a thousand words. Progress shots, time lapse video, photos of the final product and the team involved will all make great supporting material for your submission – think of it as the icing on the cake.

Collate documents along the way 

Whether you write your submission yourself, or you engage an agency to write it for you, if you gather documents along the way, when it comes time to write the submission you will have a resource library ready to reference or hand over. This might include presentations, proposals, plans, CAD drawings, case studies, stakeholder communications, etc. Consider adding an “Award Resources” folder to your files and dropping things in as you go. 

Get Third-Party Feedback and Endorsement 

You know what you are submitting is award-winning, however someone else endorsing you carries a lot more weight. Survey results from attendees of an event, testimonials from multiple clients and suppliers, media coverage of your event or organisation or individual, even an informal email singing your praises – these will all help to bolster your award-winning case.

Get involved 

Whether you are entering as an organisation or an individual, the more you can demonstrate that you are involved in more than just your own business pursuits, the better. Award judges look for those who go above and beyond; those who contribute to the industry, are active members of relevant associations, are donating their expertise for charitable purposes, are involved in philanthropy. The “extracurricular” will make you stand out.

 

Writing an award submission is quite the task, however by planning to enter an award and following these tips, by the time you need to write your submission, you will have most of the information you’ll need to reference at your fingertips and be ahead of the game.

If you haven’t already, check out our blog about Five things to consider when writing an award submissionHERE.

The team at Zadro have written and won awards for our own work, as well as on behalf of many clients. Find out more here or feel free to get in touch about your award submission plans and questions, contact us at advice@zadroagency.com.au.

What does communicate better mean?

What does communicate better mean? - Zadro Agency

Communication is the source of success in business, and in life.

It’s how we work out who we are in the world, how we make our contribution, how we learn, how we share, how we connect, it’s how we get ‘stuff’ done, and being able to communicate well and clearly is important to all of us.

The first rule of communication is to listen, and assume you know less than everyone else around you.

Businesses need to stop and listen to your audiences; your clients, your prospects, the industry, and most importantly, your staff; and, hear what they are saying.

When we can listen openly, and without agenda, the insights gained can be very influential on how we communicate externally and internally within our organisation. We need to communicate better as individuals and as organisations because the world around us is noisier than ever before.

We are receiving messages all the time – 24/7 – in our homes, in our workplaces, in our communities, through our families, through friends. Even though we have more opportunities to communicate with each other, particularly using digital platforms, it feels like people aren’t listening, they are tuning out. There is a wall of noise which never existed as it does today; our mission is to cut through the noise.

Communicating better is about much more than your services and products, it is about understanding who you are, what your value is as an organisation to the world and what your point of difference is; when we can communicate those things, clearly, frequently, and with passion, that is when we can cut through the wall of noise.

Communicate better means something different to everybody, every person, and every company. It could be more sales, a higher retention of staff and clients, it could be a different positioning in market, or an increased brand awareness. It’s about looking at what you are doing as a community, as a company, as an employer, as a supplier, and where you are today and moving forward in the direction you need to go to fulfill your vision.

Zadro has been in the business of communication for nearly 13 years; we’ve seen the evolvement of business communication, trends emerge and influence the landscape, channels come and go. However, throughout all the changes, we have always known one thing: communication is the source of success in business. It has never been more important to communicate better.

Stay tuned for the next blog in our Communicate BetterTM series when we share with you what you can do to communicate better.

Zadro Strategy Day with a fruity twist

Zadro Strategy Day with a fruity twist - Zadro Agency

Zadro believe in, and recognise the value of, team strategy days. So much so, we hold our own twice a year. The Zadro team “down tools” for a day offsite (ensuring maximum focus and minimal distractions, just as we advise our clients to do!) and spend the day looking at what we’ve achieved, setting goals, […]

Continue reading

Happy Mental Health Month! Does that have an odd ring to it?

Happy Mental Health Month! Does that have an odd ring to it? - Zadro Agency

By Senior Account Manager, Marlise Beasley, Zadro October is Mental Health Month in NSW, one month of the year dedicated to drawing attention to, and raising awareness of, mental health in the community, highlighting the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing, and working to reduce the stigma associated with mental […]

Continue reading