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Websites that Stand Out

Adding a game or quirky video or animation to your website is one way to make it stand out from the cyber-crowd.

When Luke Faccini and his team at marketing company The Sponge added a Flash game to a client’s site, visitors increased from 20 visitors a day to over 22,000. Faccini says if you’re thinking of adding a game, entertaining video, animation or audio piece to your website, there are some things to bear in mind:

      • Make games quick to learn and very easy to play on most computers

      • Design the game with little or no skill involved

      • Ensure a game features an element of luck

      • Have a leader board (you’ll be surprised how often some visitors will play to get to the number one position)

      • For a video or animation, research your target market to identify the best subject matter

      • Humour is the simplest and most direct route

      • Make your brand visible, as your piece may end up on another website like YouTube or sent separately from your website. Make sure it contains your web address or direct link

      • Include a call to action and promote the benefits of your products or services—it’s only a small window of opportunity, so use it to educate how your business can benefit the user or someone they know

      • Make it simple and smooth to send to a friend, and consider offering an incentive such as a discount coupon, reward points or free membership

      • If possible, include a way to capture viewer details for future marketing, such as offering a free email newsletter to subscribe to.

      "Every business owner needs to start with a promise to him or herself. It may be to pay of the mortgage, buy a new car or take a dream holiday, but it has to be a promise they commit to keeping. The aim is to align your business with your personal goals, so you can keep your business on track and in perspective."

—Ly Lim, Adelaide businesswoman and author of Small Pebble Big Ripple


Spotting Scams

As scams grow and become more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult for consumers to protect themselves against them.

Prevention is always the best defence, as it is unlikely consumers will ever recover any money lost, so the Australian Competition Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) SCAMwatch helps you recognise and avoid scams.

"While most consumers are aware of widespread scams like ‘Nigerian emails’, they may not appreciate just how many different types of scams are out there," says Mr Graeme Samuel, ACCC Chairman.

SCAMwatch lists almost 40 different types of scams to assist consumers identify them. It will also point you in the right direction if you want to report a scam.

To find out more visit http://www.scamwatch.gov.au


Do It Yourself PR

For many SMEs, the cost of hiring an agency to manage public relations (PR) is outside the budget. Which is why Melbourne-based PR firm Square One PR created mybusinesspr.com.au, offering services specifically for small business.

There’s even a do-it-yourself PR kit, sharing tips and advice on gaining publicity through affordable in-house PR campaigns. The kit contains instructions on the basics such as how to create a media contact list, how to submit and follow up story concepts to media, and templates for creating media releases.

"Many business owners believe that PR is only a tool used by corporate giants who are looking to rescue their image post-crisis, or that it is too expensive," says Katie Schmidt, senior partner at Square One. "But the truth is, the bulk of work in this industry is dedicated to facilitating success rather than evading disaster."

The Square One DIY PR Pack is available for $220 from http://www.mybusinesspr.com.au or by calling (03) 9827 2760.


Broadcast Marketing

Active ImageNew technology developed in Australia is allowing lifestyle brands to send catalogues, news and special offers to their customers’ mobile phones without using pricey web browsing or WAP.

Broadcaster, developed by IT firm Absolute Data, enables marketing agencies and in-house marketing departments to send visual content within minutes to customers’ mobile phones, in response to an SMS text message or email request.

The company hopes businesses will use the product to engage one-on-one with consumers, and receive qualified, dedicated marketing leads. "Today’s consumer is sophisticated, experienced and content hungry," says Absolute Data Group’s Tammy Halter. "The challenge for companies today is to deliver relevant, personalised content all the time when buying impulses are high."

Providing businesses with a consumer-driven, low cost and user-paid marketing alternative means engaging the public doesn’t have to blow the budget, says Halter. "Ultimately, it puts the shop into the pocket of consumers."

For more information on Broadcaster visit http://www.broadcastermedia.com


Job Recruiting

With the skills shortage still getting plenty of press, a new initiative has been launched to help businesses tackle the problem.

Job Bounty Hunter is a new recruitment job board offering cash bounties of between $200 and $10,000 to people who refer successful job applicants for advertised positions.

"It will help alleviate the strain of the skills shortage," says Andrew Stuart, Job Bounty Hunter founder and managing director. "Businesses will have genuine access to the hidden candidate pool by being able to tap into the professional and social networks of well-connected Australians."

Dubbed ‘social recruitment’, Job Bounty Hunter is managed with a reputation system, similar to that of eBay, where advertisers and bounty hunters can post feedback. Businesses set the bounty when advertising, as well as the payment terms. Stuart expects most businesses will offer payment when a candidate has completed their probationary period.

Job Bounty Hunter offers full-time, part-time and casual positions in all industry sectors. Standard ads for a 30-day listing cost $150.00 plus GST.

For further information visit http://www.jobbountyhunter.com.au


Book Review

Marketing In The Boardroom

By Kevin Luscombe, Graeme Chipp and Peter Fitzgerald

Branding and marketing decisions are seldom rigorously and effectively analysed in the boardroom. Because many key decision makers in business don’t come from a marketing background, the authors tackle the essentials, including branding, new products, research, targeting, segmentation and customer relationship management. Each section is clearly set out, featuring typical scenarios. Not only does it set out what questions should be asked ("Are we stretching our brand too far?"), but also what you should look for in the answers ("If there is genuine doubt or debate, specific consumer research should be undertaken around the identified concern"). While aimed at businesses large enough to have a board, the information contained could be used by any business looking for some insight into marketing their brand.

Publisher: Growth Solutions Group

RRP: $39.95

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