Best Marketing Idea -- (listed below) but first...
Australia Aligns with Asia -- I'm just back from our Growth Summit in Sydney last week, where unemployment is running below 6%, housing prices are rising, and the business mood of our largest audience ever (congrats to our partner Business Connect) was positive. The key is Australia's re-alignment and focus on Asia. Six years ago, the U.S. was Australia's second largest trading partner. Now the U.S. is fifth behind China, Japan, South Korea, and India. It's a conscious shift from the Transatlantic (U.S and Europe) to Asia for Australian businesses.
FW1 Aligns With China's Needs -- as an example, FW1, an Australian-based waterless car wash product, a division of The Cobra Group and run by Rockefeller Habits-fans Steve Sapsford and Ty Pederson, is expanding to 7+ countries over the next 2 years, including a major push into China. Ty shared, from the Growth Summit stage, how the explosion of car ownership in China combined with a shortage of water has made Asia a target market for their product. And providing a lesson in pricing, they raised the price of their product 25% and saw sales increase! They also shared how they have almost 90% of the Rockefeller Habits checklist in place and are seeing dramatically increased profits and alignment -- and more time for management to focus on market-facing activities.
RedBalloon Drives Alignment -- Australia-based RedBalloon's famous BHAG scoreboard was the focus of their last trimester theme (go to www.gazelles.tv and cruise down the right hand column to locate the 3 minute RedBalloon BHAG video to see their huge electronic scoreboard). Measuring the number of "experiences" they've sold to date and aiming for 2 million, the scoreboard was sitting around 400,000 at the beginning of 2009. For fun, founder Naomi Simson (Chief Experience Officer) picked 654,321 as a target to be achieved by 3pm December 24. And the prize -- to make one dream come true for everyone. BTW, everyone in their email signature line lists their Dream Experience -- "Marine Wildlife Rescue" for Simson.
2:10pm December 24 -- well, a mere 50 minutes before the deadline, they made it. Check out these photos of the scoreboard and celebration. Notes Simson "we have a dream catcher where we capture what people have always wanted to do or have. So I played Santa and at 3pm we came together under the xmas tree and handed out the dreams...with each person sharing what Santa had brought for them, a wonderful way to start the festive season." One of Simson's employees blogged about the event for more details.
Alignment with Rapper 50 Cent -- and Australia-based Ezypay shared their latest theme with our audience, focused on adding 50,000 active customer transactions per month. Emulating rapper 50 Cent, they created a 50k cartoon character -- see link to photos including CEO Trent Brown as rapper 50 Cent. "We formed our employees into 'crews' who refer sales leads to the sales team. We have already received a lead to deliver 120,000 transactions, double our target, in addition to a major telco which has 300,000 transactions a month -- it is amazing the impact this is having on referrals," describes Brown.
Assistant and Receptionist Aligned -- continues Brown, "As a staff benefit we have fresh fruit delivered to the office each week. We recently changed suppliers and I was copied in on an email letting me know by our receptionist. As this happens every month, I suggested that this was a referral opportunity for this particular business to set up an ongoing direct debit for all of its customer rather than wait for this regular payment. Before the receptionist, who arranged the new supplier (and was in my 'crew') had a chance to respond, Julie my assistant emailed back and said she had already made the referral. It is amazing how opportunities big and small look you in the face every day and by making this a priority how people quickly identify them."
Quarterly Themes Attract Talent -- concludes Brown "I had a new employee in the last month tell me that they joined because they saw one of our quarterly skits on You Tube and they said 'this is the type of culture I want to work in', particularly given 'that was the CEO' in the video." Ezypay also created avatars for each of their values which are plastered all over the office. Pictures of these avatars are at this link. As a consequence of their passion and culture, Ezypay was recently named the best medium business in Australia in the "MyBusiness Award." Congrats Ezypay.
Best Marketing Idea -- a first for the Growth Summit in Sydney, we beamed in a keynote speaker, David Meerman Scott, the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Because content is king ie. "we are what we publish on the web" according to Scott, he suggests that the next hire you make in marketing isn't a marketer, but a journalist. With traditional media under attack and laying people off, there are a lot of journalists looking for work. Hire one to spend full time creating content -- blogs, white papers, videos, etc. -- and control the ink in your industry. I've already made an offer to a journalist I know since returning from the Summit.
Drive Alignment Yourself -- like RedBalloon, Ezypay, and Cobra Group, work through your Rockefeller Habits checklist by joining us for a half-day "Four Decisions: SuperGreen Execution" workshop next Tuesday March 2 in Atlanta.