Friday, April 29, 2011

Investor Relations Trends with AIRA CEO Ian Matheson

What are the trends for investor relations?

Research shows an effective investor relations (IR) strategy can increase the share price of a publicly listed company by between ten and 15 per cent.

Learn key investor relations tips to increase your share price in this podcast.

Ian Matheson (pictured) CEO of the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) is a long term friend and I recently caught up with him on a visit to Perth.

This podcast will take 23 minute and 12 seconds to listen.

Click here to download…

Need an investor relations consultant in Perth. Enquire here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

12 Ways To Increase Brand Loyalty

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

Imagine being picked up by your loyal driver who has bought you a freshly baked warm muffin and your favourite hot beverage.

The radio is tuned to your station of choice and the morning's newspaper is on the seat.

You have a permanently packed bag with business suit, casual change, running gear, swim goggles and toiletries all in a small walk on cabin bag.

At the airport you swipe your life member status frequent flyer card to check in and it automatically books your preferred seat allocation, meal and movie preferences.

Your ticket is printed and you're checked in efficiently and quickly all without human contact and you make a mental note how much better the customer service is without people!

At the airport of your destination you're met by a friendly and familiar face of another loyal driver holding up a white sign with your name on it in handwritten black ink. He's wearing a dark suit, white shirt and chauffeur cap.

He takes you to a hotel you've never stayed at before and on check in they enrol you in their rewards program.

With the program you can earn up to five nights free, book a romantic getaway, or donate points to the Japanese relief fund.

Sound fanciful and far fetched? Well this was my experience on a recent road trip for a series of speaking engagements.

The loyalty programs reminded me of that scene in the 2009 movie Up In The Air with George Clooney playing Ryan Bingham where he meets romantic interest Alex Goran for the first time at a hotel bar and they are comparing loyalty cards. Here's how the scene goes:

"Alex Goran: Oh, my God. I wasn't sure this actually existed. This is the American Airlines...
Ryan Bingham: It's a Concierge Key, yeah.
Alex Goran: What is that, carbon fibre?
Ryan Bingham: Graphite.
Alex Goran: Oh, I love the weight.
Ryan Bingham: I was pretty excited the day that bad boy came in.
Alex Goran: I'll say. I put up pretty pedestrian numbers. 60 thousand a year, domestic.
Ryan Bingham: That's not bad.
Alex Goran: Don't patronize me. What's your total?
Ryan Bingham: It's a personal question.
Alex Goran: Please.
Ryan Bingham: And we hardly know each other.
Alex Goran: Come on, show some hubris. Come on, impress me. I bet it's huge.
Ryan Bingham: You have no idea.
Alex Goran: How big? What is it, this big? This big?
Ryan Bingham: I don't want to brag.
Alex Goran: Oh, come on! Come on.
Ryan Bingham: Let's just say I have a number in mind and I haven't hit it yet.
Alex Goran: This is pretty .... sexy.
Ryan Bingham: Hope it doesn't cheapen our relationship.
Alex Goran: We're two people who get turned on by elite status. I think cheap is our starting point.
Ryan Bingham: There's nothing cheap about loyalty."

So what's the point of the story and movie example?

Well, customers are more likely to recommend a product, service or brand if they have good experiences with customer reward programs, according to a new study.

The Colloquy study, "Measuring Word-of-Mouth Activity Among Reward Program Members", reveals that customers who have good experiences with customer reward programs are 70 per cent more likely to recommend that product.

Of the 7000 respondents who participated in customer reward programs, 55 per cent describe themselves as "brand champions". A huge 68 per cent of these "brand champions" say they will recommend a program sponsor's brand during the year.

The survey also shows 73 per cent of respondents enter loyalty programs to tell manufacturers what they think, 68 per cent to "get smart about products", 63 per cent to get free product samples, and 61 per cent to share their opinions.

So smart marketers are using these loyalty-marketing techniques to expand their business.

According to the study, businesses "should find brand champions buried within their program memberships, and build relationships that reward them for positive WOM (word-of-mouth) activity.

So here are 12 ways to build brand loyalty.

1. Start with a Great Product or Service
Basic but fundamental.

Get your product mix or service offering absolutely spot on.

Get this wrong and any brand loyalty will disappear into thin air.

Change it without research and consultation and you may also lose brand loyalty.

2. Provide Great Customer Service
Break down customer service into three simple A, B, and C steps:

A) Pre-purchase customer service to qualify the buyer. A good website as an example if they are researching your brand online prior to purchasing.
B) Customer service during the purchase or service delivery, and
C) Post purchase customer service, such as a warranty, guarantee or post purchase follow-up.

3. Provide a Platform to Share Experiences
You need to get advocates and brand loyalists talking about your brand.

Find a platform for this. It could be via social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn or through the use of testimonials in marketing materials.

Even more powerful is a face to face recommendation or referral.

Look at systems that facilitate this such as a VIP area.

4. Build A Sense of Community Like the scene in Up In The Air brand loyal customers love to hang out together and share stories.

Look at how you can create an event or cause related activity that can create a sense of community, belonging and togetherness.

5. Reward Systems
Obviously as the research indicates loyalty systems based on rewards work.

It doesn't have to be expensive - just something that makes life a little easier and makes people feel special.

Valet parking, a free car wash, free wireless access as an example.

6. Segment the Market
Think of market segmentation as like peeling off the outer astringent and protective layer of an orange to get the juicy and tasty flesh inside.

Instead of eating the orange, carefully separate the fleshy segments and lay them out on the table.

Do this with your database of customers.

Provide tiered loyalty reward programs based on how much they spend and consumer behaviour or other segmentation variables.

7. Track and Measure
Always track and measure key metrics. Data mining can provide some interesting trends. This is where all future revenue is going to be generated.

Remember the 80/20 rule. Eighty per cent of your revenue is going to be generated by the top 20 per cent of your customers.

8. Educate
Always focus on education rather than selling.

9. High Frequency Always reward those with the highest frequency of purchases.

Think of George Clooney on the plane when he reaches his miles target and is presented with the card by the pilot with the cap and bushy moustache.

10. Keep in Touch
Plan regular and personal communications. Phone calls, newsletters and special events.

11. Understand Touch Points
What are the hot buttons for your brand loyalists? Food, travel or entertainment?

12. Follow-Up
Always follow-up on feedback, requests, constructive criticism.

Think of feedback as a gift.

Need a speaker on brand loyalty for your next event? Consider Thomas Murrell and contact here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thomas Murrell's photostream - Leagues Clubs Australia 2011 opening keynote presentation “Changing Your Marketing Game”

Thomas Murrell Keynote SpeakerThomas Murrell Keynote SpeakerThomas Murrell Keynote SpeakerThomas Murrell Keynote SpeakerThomas Murrell Keynote Speaker

Some action shots thanks to Philip Crossie of Philip Raymond Custom Photography.

And a testimonial from a happy client.

“Dear Thomas

Thank you for your opening keynote presentation “Changing Your Marketing Game” delivered to our 180 delegates on Wednesday 13th April 2011 at our annual gaming conference held at the Marriott Hotel on the Gold Coast.

We were impressed with the amount of research you did for your presentation, the way you customised the message and importantly the way you engaged, entertained and educated the audience about the importance of marketing, branding and building member loyalty.

This is the Club Industry’s premier gaming conference and the customisation of your slides incorporating topical trends impacting on our industry was both insightful and enlightening.

I liked the way you used audience interaction, music to highlight marketing trends and personal stories to emphasise key points during your speech.

Our delegates can certainly now see the major benefits of market segmentation to build brand loyalty, mining data to better profile members and ways to measure marketing return on investment.

Without doubt the presentation was a highlight of the two-day conference and contributed significantly to the success of the event.

Thank you for sharing your expertise in such an engaging and eloquent way.

Kind regards

Peter Turnbull
Chief Executive Officer
Leagues Clubs Australia”

Book Thomas for your next conference.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Can Public Relations (PR) Make You Money and Increase Sales?

High quality vintage bicycles like the British-made Pashley (pictured right) are making a big comeback.

A story in my local newspaper highlighted the impact of PR on bicycle sales for a local bicycle shop owner.

Public Relations or PR is largely misunderstood as a marketing tool.

Public relations has a key part to play in the marketing mix because the reputation of a brand, service, person or organisation affects marketing.

Effective PR thus can have a significant impact on a company's competitiveness and overall market position.

PR is about reputation with the aim of influencing opinion and behaviour in a positive way so that consumers and potential customers buy more of your products and services.

Based on a front page story in the local newspaper of a student riding a red Pashley the local bicycle shop owner said in the three days since the article he had sold six of these bikes.

Given that each bicycle sells for between A$1350 and A$1650 each that is a great return on investment for a zero marketing outlay.

The article didn't cost the shop owner a cent and returned him nearly a thousand dollars in extra sales.

The owner was quoted in a follow-up interview saying the buyers all said it was because of the article.

One customer even arrived in a taxi and rode her new bike home not even asking or checking about the price.

Imagine if your customers were making purchasing decisions like this.

Another study published by the Institute For Public Relations refers to the case study of a beverage brand that measured the impact of PR versus other forms of marketing.

The data showed that every dollar spent on TV advertising delivered $1.10 in sales.

Trade advertising delivered a return of roughly $2.20 for every dollar spent.

But PR delivered an incredible $8.00 for every $1.00 invested - the best results of any form of marketing tested.

In fact, 4 per cent of all incremental sales were attributed to PR.

For a fast moving consumer good like a beverage this represented tens of millions of dollars.

PR is the only marketing tactic that impacts all other forms of marketing in a positive way.

That is why I call PR a **marketing accelerant**.

When media coverage about a product, brand, organisation or person is positive and prominent, every other form of marketing has been shown to be more effective, thus creating a beneficial accelerating effect across all marketing efforts.

Add to this that PR usually costs far less to achieve than paid advertising and that editorial based publicity has a much greater readership impact than traditional advertising and you can see why PR has one of the best marketing return on investments (MROI).

Unfortunately business owners and accountants tend to look inwards when budgeting for marketing.

They might have a formula something like 3 per cent of sales or not more than 5 per cent of overheads and rarely see PR as the external investment that it is.

Another client of mine has made his business more profitable and pleasurable by using PR and public speaking to increase his visibility and credibility as well as share his passion for what he does.

He has also increased his fees considerably by positioning himself at the premium end of the market and as the "go to expert and authority" in his field of business.

Another client of mine working in the real estate industry was marketing a multi-million dollar property.

Using PR, he was able to get a whopping return of $100 for every $1 spent on marketing.

So as high end bicycle manufacturer Pashley knows, a high profile reputation enhances your ability to charge premium prices, regardless of the economy.

If you want to accelerate your marketing efforts with a customised PR campaign, please make contact.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Gaming Conference Leagues Clubs Australia Marriott Hotel Gold Coast April 13th

Opening keynote presentation “Changing Your Marketing Game” delivered to 180 delegates on Wednesday 13th April 2011 at 2011 Gaming Conference held at the Marriott Hotel on the Gold Coast by Leagues Clubs Australia.

Pictured with Anthony Ball - CEO Clubs NSW, Stephen Byfield - CEO Diggers@TheEntrance, MC Sofie Formica at the Conference.

Pictured with Leagues Clubs Australia CEO Peter Turnbull.

Copy of my presentation slides here:

Conference brochure here:

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Writing SGX Announcements and Media Releases Singapore March 29th Singapore Association of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

Feedback from delegates (pictured).

"It was a very "resourceful" seminar where the speaker has prepared a series of useful and practical materials that attendees can bring back for further learning and digesting. A writing approach was provided as a guidance. This 2-way communication through real-life workshop and examples further enhanced the understanding."
Ho PingLing, Singapore

"A very interesting and engaging session on media release and announcements. A few examples of interactive session with attendees and the presenter is very clear and knowledgeable."
Jasmine Chia, Singapore

"Clear and concise seminar and the practical exercises were practical and relevant."
Kenneth Ong, The Amicorp Group, Singapore

Zalili Yunus, TMF Group, Singapore

"Interesting perspective on writing media releases."
Khuza Suparto, SGX Singapore Exchange Limited