MadLab: The Marketing and Design Laboratory
Hi. My name is Mark and I’m here to help.
Here’s what I can do…
In our first meeting I’ll show you ways to get more business in the door. Work with me and we’ll start with doing the stuff that gets you the most bang for your buck.
Over time I’ll help make your business look bigger and more professional than you probably thought possible. We’ll build a consistent stream of new customers. We’ll turn your business dreams into reality.
Here’s what I WON’T do…
I promise to not bluff you with ‘science’. I won’t convince you to spend money where you don’t really need to. I won’t recommend projects designed to keep my staff busy. I won’t ramble on about ideas which may or may not work.
Most of all I won’t try sign you up to a ‘package deal’ that isn’t tailored to what you really need.
A very broad range of services
I’ve lost count of the number of clients who have asked me how I can get them to the top of Google search results. The answer is easy (I’ll explain it in a moment) but the task of achieving this can be highly complex. Like the recipe for Coca-Cola, Google’s search algorithms are of course [...]
It’s time businesses had access to new Second Level Domains like .sa.au, .adelaide.au or even or even .shop.au
With the exponential growth of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) being released globally, it’s time for Australians to have access to a wider range of domains that end with au. Currently there are over 1,000 new TLDs working their way through the convoluted system managed by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. [...]
New Top Level Domain Names have arrived. The top 6 things marketing managers and business owners need to know about the coming internet overhaul.
The internet is currently having a major makeover. Thousands of new top level domain names, otherwise referred to as TLDs, are now being rolled out by the governing body responsible for maintaining the functionalities of the Internet (ICANN) after years of talkfests and unfulfilled deadlines. These changes have important implications for online marketing and brand management, [...]
Many small business owners neglect the powerful effect of getting their business into the news. That's probably largely due to ignorance or a perception of not knowing how to achieve this. The answer could be a PR agency that specialise in working with SMEs. So I have asked the good folk at Good Business Consulting [...]
With the exponential rise of social media sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and other review sites, not to mention the many online forums where people freely discuss perceived poor treatment from businesses, executives and business owners are suddenly finding themselves acutely vulnerable to negative comments online. This is a problem which is only going to [...]
I've often described Search Engine Optimisation as the world's newest profession. SEO strategists, those who really do know what they're doing, often demand enormous fees from companies desperate to achieve high visibility on search engine results. Of course there is also a swarm of smaller businesses offering SEO services, often exaggerating their claims about the [...]
I was dismayed a few weeks ago when I contacted a client because it was time to renew his domain name. He was utterly convinced he had already paid his renewal. I called in to have a look at the invoice... turned out it wasn't an invoice at all. Domain Name Group had sent him [...]
We didn't realise it back-when, but a decade or two ago the world of marketing was so much simpler. The internet has changed all that. But it's not just the new plethora of marketing communications channels which has changed the world, it's also about how consumer behaviour has been revolutionised. In the old days marketing [...]
Yesterday I had a phone call from a Sensis call centre in Melbourne. The genuinely friendly Aussie on the line was offering me an amazing opportunity to achieve top ranking every time someone searched for a marketing consultant on Google. I held my tongue between my teeth. I was of course itching to talk about [...]
In my last posting I mentioned the ‘usual suspects’ of the social media marketing revolution; of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube and blogging. But there’s a much bigger landscape beyond the immediate playing field. Here are just some of the other players to watch: Foursquare Foursquare in Australia is still trailing many countries in adoption [...]
Platforms such as YouTube, WordPress and Twitter have made it easier and more affordable than ever for brands to create and distribute their own content, thereby becoming media companies in their own right. Brands are investing accordingly — whether they’re hiring editors, producers and social media managers, or expanding the roles of their existing teams [...]
The hype around social media marketing reminds me of the days of the dot-com boom and bust. Remember when it was cool to have a dot-com on the end of your business name? Remember the massive excitement about new technology which sent stockmarket prices into orbit? Remember the arguments about how the new paradigm was [...]
Today I received an email announcing the arrival of a new social media site which has been developed by News Ltd. And I’m completely mystified about how so much money can completely miss the point of Social Media. Described as “A new media brand that combines the power of word of mouth, social media and [...]
Compared to Brits who’ll stand in neatly ordered queues for little apparent reason, or Yanks who seem to hero worship their politicians, the Aussies are an unruly mob. Telling them what to do is a bit like herding cats. To an outsider this Aussie trait can take a lot of getting used to, but take [...]
Perhaps it’s one of the uglier sides of the Aussie character, this pleasure which so many Australians seem to derive from seeing highly successful people being brought low. I’ve noticed, though, this is seldom a fate suffered by elite sports stars, but can apply particularly to business people. Why is this? Seems to me the [...]
An old Aussie saying goes; "the bigger the hat, the smaller the property". Aussies really dislike show-offs. One of the first things I learned about the Australian way when I moved here many years ago is that you will never get away with being a snob in Australia. You’ll just end up lonely. This was [...]
Along with politicians, marketing has evolved a language all of its own. A mode of communication loaded with hyperbole and exaggerated claims. It’s reached the point where we all use an inner filter to try to suss the truth. We EXPECT advertising to be exaggerated, so we discount the claims we hear by about ninety [...]
During the course of running marketing research for a number of my professional clients I have encountered a recurring theme: People expressing a dislike for "marketing" and voicing apprehension that perhaps their accountant, lawyer, medical specialist or business coach was about to turn into something distasteful by marketing themselves. As a marketing guy I can [...]
These days it’s generally accepted every business needs a website. That includes professional service providers who don’t feel any need to sell themselves, be they lawyers, accountants or dentists, even GPs, architects or naturopaths! After all, we all go to a lot of trouble to make our receptions, offices or rooms look presentable. How much [...]
If someone were to ask you how good your dentist is, how would you respond? Chances are you’d describe their personality, their location or perhaps even the standard of presentation of their waiting rooms to justify your opinion. As to how qualified they are to perform surgery on you, you probably simply assume there’s an [...]
It’s amazing the variety of people who call themselves a marketing consultant these days.
Appointing a marketing consultant is every bit as important as choosing the right employee for your business. Don't be afraid to probe a little and ask some tough questions.
Before rushing in to promote your product or service, you'd do well to consult a clear-thinking strategist; a ‘marketing architect’ who will help oversee and coordinate all your marketing activities.
If your marketing consultant hasn't stayed in touch with the massive technological revolution, your marketing strategy will be side-lined in the past.
What's the difference between marketing and advertising anyway?
There is one supreme though simple reason why professional service providers should focus on building a brand. In the text books it’s referred to as “brand equity”, in real English I’m talking about the value placed a brand. Whether you’re an insurance broker, financial planner, accountant, lawyer, plumber, builder or healthcare provider, you could be [...]
There’s another great lesson I learned from Craig Stubing which I’ve been mulling over. A couple of real golden nuggets for anybody looking to acquire new clients or customers, regardless of the business you’re in. Craig talks about initiating relationships with potential clients by giving them something of genuine value which meets the clients’ needs. [...]
I met a remarkable man today. Craig Stubing is a genuine sales consultant, not a sales person with ‘consultant’ on his card to make him sound more important. Craig consults to a variety of small businesses to help them out at the really pointy end of their marketing; their sales processes. Craig reminds me of [...]
There are two types of marketing strategies. You can make a big splash in the market. This is best achieved with a big budget and loads of creativity. Do it well and you’ll establish your brand by attracting attention and creating a memory that sticks in the minds of consumers for years and years. Remember [...]
Reading Richard Branson’s autobiography recently I have been particularly struck by his emphasis on having fun in his business pursuits. And why not? We can be so serious about this business of earning money, but the truth is we’ll all end up enjoying our lives a whole lot more if we mix in more fun [...]
It's amazing the variety of people who call themselves marketing consultants these days. So ask a few questions.
Welcome to my personal blog about marketing and design. If you have a small or medium business you'd like to build through effective marketing, I'm hoping you'll find this site useful. On these pages I'll share some of the insights I've gained from many years working around the marketing and graphic design scene. If you [...]