If your product or service isn’t a brand, angel investors won’t give you a second look. We’ve all heard the stories of ideas that have been literally cooked up in someone’s kitchen that have become multi-million dollar bestsellers. But for the most part, those are consumer-facing brands. Brands that are household names that roll off the tips of our tongues such as Coke, Shield and so on. But what if your company operates in the B2B space? What if your company is a supplier of machinery, for instance, that will never actually been seen by consumers? Why is branding important then when most likely your B2B brand will never become a household name and never intends to be? The short answer is that having a strong brand adds value to your company. A brand is much more than a company’s name and logo. A brand is a framework that operates as a value creator. By Simone Girling, Regional Director
Tech Innovators - Do you have the marketing skills to beat the innovation curve 10 years to mainstream adoption?
It takes guts to be an innovator. You’re disrupting an industry. And if you’re on the cutting-edge of technology in industries such as telecoms, fintech or insurance, you have a ring side seat to how the world is changing. But as exciting as change is, it’s vital to completely understand how the rest of the world is going to perceive your innovation. As the Harvard Business Review found, ‘to achieve any success when launching a disruption in the market, entrepreneurs need to put as much energy and investment into marketing new offerings as they do in generating them’. By Marga Schlesinger, Regional Director
No one is going to dispute that getting a new, unknown product onto a retailer’s shelf isn’t one of the toughest jobs out there. Any sales rep working for a distributor in the retail industry faces a daily gauntlet of challenges to get to the retail buyer, the decision maker with the power to turn unknown products into household names. Those daily challenges often require ‘marketing’ to overcome – sampling, a product profile, sales presenters, a cold call and a presentation. Any distributor can do that. What differentiates the truly successful distributors is their thorough understanding of the role marketing can play in contributing to the company’s bottom line. By Pedro Miguel Casimiro, Regional Director
In our ‘Mad Men’ view of marketing, this is where the fun, ‘fluffy’ side of business happens. The crazy creative ideas, the ad campaigns with beautiful people, the perfect logo that is impossible to forget, the tagline that is on everyone’s lips – products flying off the shelves and people lining up for your services. But this is a fantasy. Really good marketers who really do make the products fly off the shelves and people queue for your services, don’t look or act like ‘Mad Men or Women’. They act more like boring accountants and business analysts. They look at a company’s financial statements before they start looking for ideas and models. They look at where the company is making money and losing it. The company’s business model – where is it working and where it is not. Good marketers know that their job – and the job of marketing – is to make money for a business. All of the ‘sexy’ stuff comes much later and even the job of the ‘sexy’ stuff is to make money. By Tony Sousa, Regional Director
The Marketing Centre provides experienced marketing directors on a part-time basis to successful firms, and we have added to our regional team in Gauteng with the appointment of Marga Schlesinger. We are a seven-year old business that has pioneered the concept of part-time marketing directors – we have a team of 100+ marketing directors covering three regions in South Africa and nine regions in England and Wales. Year on year growth has dictated the need for expansion of the service across Gauteng which has prompted us to add to our team.