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STW Group, parent company of agencies including Ogilvy and Ikon, has reported a net loss of $52.6m for 2015 after making massive write-downs to the value of some of its businesses after what it described as a difficult year.
While the company reported an underlying net profit after tax of $39.6m it has wiped $92m off the value of some of its assets, as it prepares to seal a merger with the world’s largest marketing services holding group, WPP.
CEO Mike Connaghan also used the full year results to confirm that once the merger with WPP is complete, the STW name will be retired and the group will operate under a new brand in alignment with WPP.
STW saw revenues remain flat, up just 1.6% to $416m, which saw the underlying net profit slip 13% on the previous year, as the company undertook a review to shed and merge many of its businesses.
That included divesting interests in The Conscience Organisation and Adelaide agency Jamshop. It also merged media agency Ikon and creative shop Moon to create a full-service agency.
The company reported business close down and other one off costs of $2.1m and strategic review costs of $3m.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were $76.8m, down 7.8% with a reported margin of 18.5%, down slightly on the 2014 financial year which was 20.3%.
CEO Mike Connaghan said while the result capped a difficult year, it had set the company up for a stronger 2016.
“There is no doubt that 2015 was a challenging year for the company with flat revenues and a decline in underlying earnings,” said Connaghan.
“We have, however, delivered on our guidance provided in August 2015.
“After a disappointing finish to 2014, the company undertook a strategic and structural review during the course of 2015 and made tough decisions to restructure the business.
“The changes are designed to allow STW to meet the challenges faced in the current trading environment and to position STW for future growth.”
Connaghan said that much of the negative impact on STW’s books had taken place in the first half of 2015 and that organic growth through existing clients, having them work with more STW businesses and cost cutting measures had seen underlying improvement in the second half of the year.
“If you look at half-on-half performance the second half does undine the momentum we have coming it 2016.”
Second half EBITDA was 21% in the six months to December and the group also achieved positive organic revenue growth.
Connaghan was also bullish about the impact the WPP merger will have on the fortunes of the group, and he said with current combined revenues of $850m he expected it to quickly grow to $1b.
“STW will become the primary operating vehicle for WPP in Australia and New Zealand,” said Connaghan.
He also addressed speculation about reporting lines and management continuity, with WPP’s current ANZ operations reporting to STW’s management, and STW management now firmly in place.
He said WPP was looking forward to having “agnostic country leadership” that would would be focused on managing its assets in the region.
Cost synergies of $15m per year will also be realised over the first three years of the merged entity.
He highlighted some of the brands STW was keen to work with including Y&R, research specialist Kantar and digital brand VML.
In particular, he said he saw Grey as a business that could grow under the management guidance of the STW team.
“There are hidden jewels within these groups and immediate opportunity for our clients to drive efficiency and reduce complexity,” he said.
The merger with WPP is expected to be approved at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to be held in March and based on the impact the merger will have, STW did not give further guidance.
The post STW reports $50m loss after huge write down of business ahead of WPP merger appeared first on mUmBRELLA.
Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Instagram Rolls Out Account Switching: “Starting this week, you can easily switch between multiple accounts without having to […]
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Influencer agency The Remarkables Group is on the hunt for future talents across the fashion, beauty, well-being and travel industries via a new competition supported by Priceline Pharmacies, Bonds and Qantas.
The Rising Social Star is a talent search for the ‘next generation of influencers’, with 20 finalists set to compete in a series of ‘The Apprentice-style’ content challenges held throughout April and early May with the winner presented at the grand final party in Sydney on May 27.
Four winners will each pocket $4,000, become an ambassador for their category’s brand partner (Priceline, Bonds and Qantas) and receive a contract with The Remarkables Group.
Robyn Simper, group digital marketing and e-commerce manager at Priceline Pharmacies, said in a statement: “Working with influencers across the health and beauty category is a key part of our digital and PR strategies at Priceline Pharmacy.
“We see the role of influencers as providing our customers with highly engaged, inspirational, relevant content as well as increasing awareness and advocacy of the brand through their own channels. We are extremely excited to be part of Rising Social Star and look forward to working with the next generation of social media stars.”
The winners will also take home a scholarship with education partner Secret Bloggers’ Business and appear at Vivid Ideas 2016. Collective Hub is the media partner for the search.
Lorraine Murphy, founder of The Remarkables Group, said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to see Rising Social Star live after six months of planning and to have the calibre of partners that we do.
“It’s essential for us as an influencer agency to be constantly scouting out potential talent and I’m looking forward to seeing the secret gems that we uncover during the search.”
The four winners will be chosen by a panel of industry judges: including Collective Hub’s Lisa Messenger, Junkee Media’s Tim Duggan, Christina Butcher from Hair Romance and Kate McKibbin from Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily.
Lisa Messenger, founder and editor-in-chief of Collective Hub, said in a statement: “Collective Hub has led the way in partnering with social influencers, including featuring a number of them on the magazine’s cover, so it made perfect sense to support this search.
“With 30 issues of the magazine and 50-93 stories per issue, we’re continuously searching out the next wave of talent. Rising Social Star is yet another layer of that. As a judge, I’ll be looking for an authentic voice, the aesthetic of the channel, the business acumen of the influencer and what they’re doing to contribute something positive to the world.”
The search is channel-agnostic and entrants must be 18 years old, based in Australia and have been running their platform for between 12 to 36 months as of January 29, 2016.
Entries are open until March 11 at risingsocialstar.com.au. Winners will be announced at the Rising Social Star party in Sydney on May 27.
CommsCon will be discussing all things ‘Influencer’ in a dedicated stream at Doltone House Hyde Park, Sydney, Wednesday March 23. For information on the program and how to buy tickets, click on the banner below.
The post Qantas hunts for new influencer talent in partnership with The Remarkables Group appeared first on mUmBRELLA.
Specsavers has recruited John Cleese to appear in Specsavers Fawlty Car, a commercial recreating a classic scene from the Fawlty Towers series. Basil Fawlty gets into an argument with his car’s automated voice control and so decides to give it a ‘damned good thrashing’. But the classic sketch has an extra twist at the end and, of course, he should’ve gone to Supersavers. The campaign includes the #shouldve hashtag to gather all ‘Should’ve’ content in one place.
The campaign includes a behind-the-scenes interview with John Cleese, hosted across Specsavers’ social channels. In the clip, Cleese talks about Fawlty Towers, the original car-thrashing scene and why he chose to work with Specsavers.
Specsavers Creative chose to develop the idea around Basil Fawlty because he’s an iconic British character who resonates deeply with the key target demographic, the over 60s, while also appealing widely to younger customers. The team worked closely with John Cleese throughout the entire project, including on script development.
The SpecSavers Fawlty Car campaign was developed at Specsavers Creative by marketing director Richard Holmes, creative director Graham Daldry, creatives Simon Bougard, Neil Brush and John Cleese, and agency producer Sam Lock.
Media was handled at Manning Gottlieb OMD.
Editor was Mark Burnett at Whitehouse Post.
Post production was done at MPC.
Audio post production was done at Soho Square Studios by Simon Capes.
I’ve spent the past few weeks discussing account-based marketing (ABM), a powerful but under-implemented strategy. My first post covers the history of account-based marketing, from the “Mad Men” days of the 1950s to today. My second post reviews the reasons B2B firms should implement account-based marketing.
Of course, understanding why you should implement account-based marketing and actually doing it are two different things. Knowing how to implement the right technology stack is essential to unlocking the true power of ABM. For the final post in this series, I’ll go over the best resources for setting up account-based marketing.
What’s ABM, again?
Let’s quickly review the definition of ABM:
- Account-based marketing focuses marketing and sales resources on a defined set of targeted accounts, where personalized campaigns are tailored to each account.
Now that we understand what account-based marketing is, the next step is incorporating the right technology. Many times firms adopt technology without understanding its real purpose, sometimes without any real marketing strategy. Before you fall into the same trap, you need to take a hard look at the health of your Marketing and Sales departments.
Understanding Your Experience with Technology and Training
Every marketing firm is different. From client experience to employee expertise, your firm is going to have unique resources and know-how. While this might include SaaS, you have to be willing to admit when you aren’t ready for new tech.
Is your staff experienced enough with SaaS solutions to adapt to new systems and processes? Do they have good habits in place with existing SaaS solutions, like LinkedIn Business? Have you introduced new systems in the past?
After answering these questions, you’ll be able to realistically determine what you’ll need for ABM. Asking yourself the hard questions will help you determine the right resources and training for your team’s success.
Make Sure Marketing and Sales Speak the Same Language
No matter the firm, Marketing and Sales should be on the same page. Marketing and sales alignment is necessary for marketing to ensure their campaigns align with the needs of prospects identified by sales, and for sales to make sure they’re selling the right stuff to the right contacts. Both departments need to have the same success metrics, otherwise efforts from one could be counter-productive for the other.
Implementing a technology stack makes this relationship more important than ever. Solutions are built to streamline processes such as updating lead and contact information and streamlining campaigns, so the more you have your ducks in a row, the better. (And let’s not forget the cost of purchasing new SaaS.) As with any investment, you need to make sure you’re getting the most value you can.
Understand the Purpose of Your Technology Stack
It’s not uncommon for many companies, big and small, to jump on new technology. The enthusiasm is great—the fallout, not so much. Many Marketing departments don’t have a clear purpose or strategy for incorporating their chosen technology into their existing sales and marketing pipeline.
Before adding a tool to your technology stack, ask yourself what value it will add to your sales and marketing efforts. Do you want to use ABM because of its laser focus on lead generation and management? Are you looking for automations tools to help with campaigns? Many account-based marketing solution companies offer more than one product. Knowing what you need will help you and your potential provider find your ideal solution.
Identify Tools to Help Achieve Your Strategy
Finally, we’ve arrived at the most important question: What should you look for in an ABM solution? Some important features may include:
Any ABM solution can slice and dice data into metrics and charts. However, these insights are useless if you can’t create actionable plans from them. Solid account-based marketing programs will provide straightforward metrics that you can readily understand and use effectively. Ideally, the system will also offer flexibility for you to create customized drill-down reports as you become familiar with your particular needs.
Lead and Contact Data Automation
The very objective of having an ABM stack is to reduce time-consuming tasks so you can focus on engaging your targeted segment. Good ABM solutions will help manage contact and lead information, such as automatically updating contact information or mapping new contacts into the appropriate accounts.
Reliable Support and Services
Just as your firm focuses on marketing and tailoring your services to your customers, your ABM provider should offer reliable real-time support. While this includes a traditional help desk, some firms go so far as to provide consultant services and host educational events.
Integration with Existing Solutions
We’ve already mentioned that account-based marketing requires constant communication with sales. ABM tools that integrate with existing solutions like Salesforce and marketing automation solutions like Marketo will keep your teams running smoothly.
ABM Technology to Add to Your Stack
Now that you understand what to look for in an account-based marketing system, I’m sure you’re wondering where to even begin looking for the solution that’s best for you. Fortunately, there aren’t too many out there right now:
- Engagio – Though new to the ABM scene, Engagio delivers reliable automation and analytics no matter the size of your target segment. This solution connects to your existing Salesforce and Marketo accounts and your website to keep track of leads, marketing programs and site visitors. The utilization of metrics such as “engagement minutes,” allow for a more straightforward way of tracking lead interest.
- LeanData – This California-based company delivers two ABM products. Sales Accelerator focuses on lead management, including automated lead conversions and contact owner assignments. Demand Management focuses on account-based reporting and nurturing, ensuring you have the proper data to adjust campaigns and properly target leads.
- DemandBase – DemandBase offers a full suite of solutions, called the Marketing Cloud, to help teams streamline every step of the marketing process. Solutions include advertising, personalized site experiences and account-based measurements. DemandBase also provides consulting services by experts that will help create a marketing plan that’s best for you.
Before You Hit “Start”
Finally, we come to the $6 billion question: Is it time for you to implement account-based marketing? To review, here’s what’s on the table:
- The opportunity to target “whale” accounts with tailored marketing campaigns.
- The power to engage contacts and create organic referrals within accounts.
- The confidence to sell more than ever before once you’ve set up your stack and hired in the right talent.
Like I’ve said before, ABM really is a no-brainer. But you have to be prepared.
Jumping the gun and setting up an ABM stack the wrong way will just make life harder for Marketing and Sales. Take the time to review your existing solutions and align your firepower with your targets. ABM will help you get where you want to go, but you need to be facing the right direction, first.
About the Author: Alp Mimaroglu is a Marketing Luminary. He specializes in marketing automation, demand generation, analytics, and marketing technology. Alp has extensive experience with both business and consumer marketing. He’s passionate about how technology is rapidly becoming the key to success in both the corporate sales and marketing landscapes. Follow Alp on LinkedIn and Twitter.