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LETTER FROM THE CEO Fellow Entrepreneurs, Firstly let me thank you for your continued support, which has helped us establish SIMJEN as the single most important resource for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Australia. Our vision was to create a brand that would stand for everything business and support companies with everything they required outside of their core disciplines. We feel that it is because of the support and involvement of the Australian business community over the past 2 years that we have been able to achieve this goal so quickly. We have expanded from a handful of creative staff in one small Brisbane office to over 100 on our team today, and two additional offices being established in Sydney and Melbourne. In our last issue we assumed our services arm would get to 100 websites a week by the end of the year, but we smashed this goal within the first month alone, and have been continuously breaking this target ever since. Websites were just the beginning. As we have grown, we have realised that we initially underestimated the value we could bring to the SME space. As more and more businesses became clients and associates of SIMJEN, we saw that there was more demand for an SME-based support system than we had thought. SIMJEN has been accepted at such a rate that we are now moving into a role of growth management for our clients, acting not only with their interests in mind, but also with the greater SIMJEN client base as a primary concern. Essentially, we are acting as a virtual boardroom for our clients by bringing similar, non-competing companies together to increase their market reach, improve their communications and encourage collaboration between enterprises that share the same consumer groups. In addition, we are connecting major corporates with our SMEs, and vice versa. It seems there are many corporates in Australia that rely on SMEs to take their products to market. Out of the boardroom we’ve been enjoying the fruits of our labour. If you haven’t already seen us winning races on TV then in this chapter you can read about the SIMJEN “Silver Bullet”, our Porsche GT3 in the Australian Carrera Cup Championship. But it’s not all fun and games; our ventures arm is one of the fastest growing parts of the SIMJEN brand, with millions in equity planned to be strategically invested into leading Australian businesses this year. We’re investing back into the companies that support us. You can read about some of our most recent projects in this chapter. Happy reading and good luck in your own business.
Simon James, CEO
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the team editor & ceo / simon james Communications manager / romulo lessa design director / chris provins Assistant editor / craig gibson business development / brendan brophy senior designer / carolina jaramillo multimedia designer / mitch chapman web management / rebecca drayton QLD Office manager / ryan beck photography / ricardo gomes graphic designer / evon yong account director / clarissa elakis Administration / ainsley oâ€™keefe ASSISTANT sales manager / adrian brown web coordinator / ashlee tsoumbaras graphic designer / bianca watkins account director / eleonore bridier multimedia / frankie lee Client manager / jackson van maanen film & multimedia / jacob shiotz PRODUCTION manager / lucas bolton copywriter / mark shakhovskoy researcher / max yow sales manager / paul hughes sales manager / vi hughes web specialist / sagar shah copywriter / shay waraker film & multimedia / shea bennet graphic designer / tama lagaluga web specialist / tim trotman web management / vanessa davey event photography / yuki he
Contents 6. The CEO of SIMJEN Melbourne 8. Sailing the High Seas of Business 10. Cult Marketing 12. The Game Part II 14. Around the Boardroom 16. The Marketing Machine 18. Men Control Business, Women Control Men 20. Staying Buoyant 22. The Mature Entrepreneur 25. The Business of Art 28. Reel Impact 30. There is no such thing as a permanent tattoo 32. Why repaint when you can Reclean? 34. Global Roaming 36. Taking the stress out of conveyancing 40. A Vehicle to success 44. Being held over an I.T. barrel? 46. Touched 48. Guerrilla Projector 50. Zero Gravity Entertainment 52. Success doesnâ€™t fall far from the tree
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The face of simjen melbourne As SIMJEN launches into its southern expansion, the lead role at the Melbourne office will go to Critton Astras, a veteran entrepreneur and member of Queensland’s business elite. Perhaps best known for his art galleries, Critton actually began his professional career in a slightly different area of the arts: rock’n’roll promotion. CEO Simon James describes him as “the embodiment of the SIMJEN message, with a knack for thinking outside the box, and with the managerial experience to go with it.” By age 21, Critton’s entrepreneurial career was already in full swing. He was single-handedly organising rock concerts, taking the financial risk and managing the entire process from start to finish. As the youngest music agent in Australia, he represented such acts as Hunters and Collectors, The Hoodoo Gurus and Midnight Oil. Critton says bringing The Violent Femmes and Nirvana to Queensland was one of the proudest moments of his early career. “Imagine being a fan of the bands you are promoting. It was like a dream come true,” he says. His passion for his work didn’t go unnoticed, either. Still in his early 20s, Critton was rewarded with the exclusive contract to run the Gold Coast’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf on New Year’s Eve, which he continued to do for over ten years. Managing an average of 200 staff per event – from security contractors to stage managers – was a challenge of huge proportions, especially for a 20-something. This steep on-the-job learning curve was made even harder due to the highly unconventional nature of the concert promotion industry. Without a boss, a standard operating procedure or a safety net, he had to create his own systems. Critton feels that it was the fear of failing in such a high-risk environment that drove his learning and development. Critton’s attention next turned to the 40-year family business – art. His experiences in the entertainment industry led him to notice that visual artists were not being given the attention they deserved. To give them a voice, and to make use of this untapped niche, he built the largest private art gallery in Australia as a vehicle to showcase both emerging and established artists. As director of Astras Galleries, Critton was faced with a totally different set of challenges, although he feels that his experience as an event promoter translated quite easily, as he was still working with artists. However, doing business with small numbers of affluent clients, rather than hordes of ticket holders, did broaden his knowledge of investment, valuations, and the intricacies of the luxury market. Having become acquainted with Critton and his accomplishments, SIMJEN CEO Simon James, also a Queensland native, headhunted him to lead the Melbourne expansion. “SIMJEN is an unconventional
business, so we needed someone truly forward-looking and versatile to take on the role. We also wanted someone who would reflect the kind of enthusiasm I feel about the business, rather than just any old job applicant,” says Simon. “People might wonder why we went with a music promoter and art gallery owner to act as CEO of the new branch. But in reality, having someone who flourishes in fast-paced environments is a must, especially as Melbourne is predicted to grow past 100 staff within its first year,” he continues. More importantly, because SIMJEN represents SME owners and entrepreneurs, having someone with hands-on experience owning their own business was a requirement. “With Critton, the bonus was that he had this additional skill for making things happen, motivating people and keeping his cool in highpressure situations,” continues Simon. Critton is already giving the same amount of dedication to his new role as he does to his own businesses. Moving interstate, wrapping his car in SIMJEN livery and, not least of all, living apart from his young family, he is making a considerable sacrifice. But his entrepreneurial excitement about the future outstrips all else. He explains, “Melbourne is the heartland of Australian SMEs. It has such a diverse mix of business and culture, which suits our formula perfectly. Our Queensland office has grown month on month since the floods, so who knows what we could achieve in the fastestgrowing market in Australia? “Watching SIMJEN’s exciting growth over the last two years, I have come to understand Simon’s dream of SIMJEN being the world’s first brand for business. I truly believe, coming from an SME background myself, that the ethos of SIMJEN is incomparable, and that all SMEs Australia-wide need to hear our message.” Aside from his enterprising spirit, it was the human skills Critton has learnt over the years that suited him to the Melbourne CEO role. “My experience has taught me that whoever you are dealing with, whether it’s a rock star or an art investor, being personable is vital to making things turn out favourably. First impressions count for so much – especially in business – so the main thing I focus on is the care factor. It’s the same wherever you go; like they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” As the child of an artist and a businesswoman, perhaps Critton’s affinity for both the creative and corporate is in his blood, or as he puts it, “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Isn’t doing business with vibrant, innovative, creative people what everyone wants to do?”
I truly believe, coming from an sme background myself, that the ethos of simjen is incomparable, and that all smes australia-wide need to hear our message. ~ Critton Astras
CEO, SIMJEN MELBOURNE
MEANS BUSINESS Right to left: Simon James, Ryan Beck, Chris Provins, Paul Hughes & Romulo Lessa welcome Melbourne CEO Critton Astras to the SIMJEN executive team.
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Sailing the high seas of business
SIMJEN entrepreneur’s chart for navigating your way through the storm
Every little kid grows up playing battleships and, decades on, most business owners don’t seem to think that much has changed. They follow the same rules: keep firing missiles until you hit something, and be the last one standing. But this approach is very hit-and-miss; business isn’t necessarily an ongoing battle to sink all of your competitors. It’s more about making sure your own operation is ship-shape so you can weather the storm and reach your destination in one piece. Follow SIMJEN Entrepreneur’s tips and you could find yourself sailing smoothly towards success – and maybe even owning your own luxury yacht.
The captain So much of running your own business is about mitigating risk and making contingency plans for worst-case scenarios. As the Captain, it is your job to plan ahead before you embark on your voyage. You will at some point encounter something you haven’t planned for, but that in no way means you should set out blind. What sets successful entrepreneurs apart from others is their ability to swiftly deal with unforeseen problems. However, you’ll never come across a good entrepreneur who doesn’t plan ahead, even if it’s just planned out in his head. Do your research. Check the weather forecast, know the prevailing winds, identify the dry reefs and deep channels. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Do things right – don’t do things fast. Business is about timing, having a clear destination, and knowing how you’re going to get there. Just as a ship needs enough rations and supplies to make it to its destination, you need enough cashflow and resources to realise your objectives. If you run out before expected, make a few stops along the way to rest and refuel. Set smaller goals for yourself if you need to – each time you achieve one, you’ll still be a step closer to your destination, and you won’t have dented your team’s morale by having failed. Although steering the ship and making major decisions is a difficult task, you must remember that your crew are the glue keeping everything together. Choosing, training and maintaining your crew is arguably more important than anything else. The Captain might only be one person, but the crew could number in the hundreds.
You need to carefully select your crew because if you do hit a storm, you need to know they can perform. This means training them in a broad range of skills, as well as honing the skills relevant to their role. Every person in your organisation must be the very best at their given task, but must also be able to tackle other jobs and multitask. If a member of your crew gets seasick or falls overboard, you need to be confident that the rest of your team can band together to take care of the extra responsibilities. Make sure you don’t have too many captains – the chain of command needs to be observed, and there needs to be agreement between all those in leadership roles. Define your crew’s roles. Every crew member, from Captain to deckhand, must be aware of their role, and how they are contributing to the end result. Honesty and transparency are paramount. If you are changing your ship’s course, inform your crew – don’t just do it. If you are going to hit a reef, tell them you are going to hit a reef. These processes take minimal time, and make all the difference. Everybody in your organisation needs to know what they are doing and why, and that they have some control over where you are going. Your employees all have something to offer, be it just an opinion, a creative touch, strategic advice, or specialist knowledge. If they feel they are contributing, they will be willing to contribute more. Prepare your crew for the worst. What is the standard operating procedure for deploying lifeboats? What do we do if we run aground? If you have a problem with a client, your team need to know exactly how to resolve it quickly and calmly. Again, this all comes down to training, and making sure your team work as a team. As the saying goes, there’s no “I” in team. There’s no “U” either. Your team need to work together as a cohesive unit, rather than squabbling over who said what, what went wrong, and whose fault it is.
PREpare for disaster
If worse comes to worst, you will need an exit strategy. If the ship is sinking, you need to have enough lifeboats for everyone onboard. You need to ask yourself, “What if they don’t buy my product?”, “How quickly can I liquidate my stock in an
emergency?”, and “What can we throw overboard to lighten the load?”. If a crewmember isn’t performing well and doesn’t respond to further training, you need to consider taking on a new pair of hands. Staff changes are a difficult, time-consuming solution, but if they are necessary to reach the end goal, you cannot afford to be over-sentimental. Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm, but performing well and making the right decisions during rough seas is what separates the captains from the deckhands. You never hear about great voyaging explorers being too scared to leave safe harbour, so throw off the bowlines and set out with your eyes beyond the horizon. You’ll leave in a twoman dinghy and come back in a luxury yacht.
Contact SIMJEN on 1300 66 22 42 to talk to one of our Business Strategists. www.simjen.com.au
Once you have set your goal, you will doubtlessly encounter some stumbling blocks along the way. With adequate planning and foresight, you should be able to spot issues before they become too serious. If your cashflow dries up and you need to make a few stop-offs, let your team know, so they can make the necessary adjustments. If there is a big storm, don’t be afraid to change course; it might be a longer route, but you could end up saving more time than if you’d tried to sail through the storm.
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cult marketing Viral marketing is where a video, digital image or other piece of communication spreads like a virus through social media, being shared and forwarded by increasingly large numbers of people. *
Advertising jargon explained
Marketing a product or service revolves around creating an identity based around your brand. At the basic level, this means building an effective brand image that allows customers to instantly recognise you and what you do. When done right, it means creating a self-replicating cultural icon. Instead of just selling a product, successful cult marketing, or “magnetic” marketing, sells an entire lifestyle. Popular brands often become more popular because they are already the most visible or well-known. There is nothing we are born with that makes us “Holden” or “Ford”, or “PC” or “Mac” people. It is just that they are the leaders in their field, and customers will tend to align with one and hate the other. It is human nature; the “us” and “them” mentality. The term “cult” sums this up: just as religious cults exclude non-members to promote solidarity, cult brands target our tribal instincts. Surf brands are an interesting example of the social element of cult marketing. Surf culture evolved around the idea of surfers being different to “normal”, everyday people. Now, it is perhaps the most pervasive culture in the country – almost every Australian has clothing from brands like Quiksilver or Billabong, whether they surf or not. These brands have become so ingrained in us that even true counter-culture surfers wear them and buy into their ideal, although they are totally mainstream; they are even traded on the stock market. The cult of surf brands has grown to the point where the cult is the entire country. Because of cult marketing, people will often stand by their brand regardless of quality. It is a brand’s image and personality that sways the final purchasing decision. Ask any iPhone user (and in Australia there are more, as a proportion of market share, than anywhere else in the world) what’s wrong with their iPhone, and they will undoubtedly have a surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) long list of complaints. Why would people still buy a product they have problems with? The answer, of course, is that Apple have created a cult around their brand so powerful that customers are willing to disregard all of these shortcomings and buy the product anyway.
So how do you build a cult brand? The answer is that there is no easy way, except with extremely effective advertising. *Viral marketing is often used today, though perhaps it is losing its effectiveness as we become more accustomed to it – for example, the campaign for the film Cloverfield performed disappointingly, as people could tell they were being intentionally virally marketed to. Sometimes an iconic ad can lead to the development of cult status; sometimes it is a celebrity endorser, or hatred of another product. However, for the cult to develop, there must be an element of community around the brand. Creating a community where your customers can discuss your products is an important step – sometimes, as with Apple, they spring up organically. Every new brand or product that launches these days has a web forum or user group where people can exchange information, form friendships, resell and trade advice, which in turn acts as a free marketing resource. For this to continue, customers need to feel like they are getting value back in some way. Signing up for a newsletter or membership club offers a double advantage, as it couples the exclusivity of a club with the incentive of prizes or inside information on upcoming products and events. For smaller businesses, starting out with cult marketing in mind could be a wise move. Advertising is all about highlighting your point of difference, and cults are built around being (or at least feeling) different. Much of the success that surfwear giants like Quiksilver and Billabong achieved was due to the growth of their industry as a whole, but that does not mean they were always going to be successful. They were successful because they knew what image their customers were looking for and they delivered it. People identified with the image they were selling, even after they had gone international.
At SIMJEN, we say it’s best to kill two birds with one stone: reward current customers and generate a culture around your brand, and utilise this sense of exclusivity to attract new ones. This magazine is exactly this type of tool – it provides exposure for current clients whilst appealing to the wider niche of businesspeople. The hardest part is finding a perfect balance, going neither too wide, nor too narrow. www.simjen.com.au
Research your market and find a niche that makes you stand out, and that makes your customers feel special when they choose you. Help them build a community around your brand, and reward customers who show loyalty. Some marketing experts recommend spending more on customer retention by marketing within your existing customer base, rather than trying to solicit new customers.
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In the last issue we discussed the importance of having a selection and buying process that engages customers: your “game”. In this issue, we’ll show you what rules you should use for your game. The game revolves around giving the customer a variety of product options. Remember how much fun you had as a child playing “spot the difference”? The purchasing process appeals to us on exactly the same level. While deliberating over available choices, the customer is subconsciously drawn into choosing from that range only – hopefully, your range. They have somehow decided on you before even going to a competitor, or thinking about how much he or she even needs the product. The game is now in play: you are halfway to making the sale, but you won’t get there unless you’re playing correctly. By this point we have already forgotten whether we even wanted to buy from you or not. Instead, we are seeing which option offers the best value for money, the most functionality, or whatever criteria we are interested in. We have, without knowing it, gone from “Do I want it?” to “Which one do I want?”.
Getting the customer to play the game in the first place can be as simple as lowering your initial price. Dell Computers does this very well. They offer basic packages at extremely low prices, which gets the people through the door. Once customers are engaged, they up-sell optional extras at varying price points, each providing an apparent saving or added value. These options are the rules of your game – the customer has to choose one, and has to enjoy the process. One clever strategy they use is to manipulate pricing so that you are up-sold-to without realising it. They might offer a 22” screen for $200, and a 23” for $199. You automatically go for the 23” screen, as you are getting more for less. What you don’t consider is that the 22” may really be much cheaper, but it has been bumped up in price to make the 23” look more attractive.
KEEP YOUR GAME SIMPLE.
The key factor in designing your game is to go in threes. Three is a natural, simple number that we are conditioned to recognise. Nobody wants to play a game with too many rules. If you go to Subway, you have three options: choose your bread, choose your meat, choose your salad. Simple. But remember, keep the number of steps to a minimum – with each step, the likelihood of the customer pulling out increases.
To keep your game simple, use clear, bold images and graphics. Nobody is going to want to read a long list of bullet points or fine print. If your business builds, renovates and demolishes buildings, use simple roadsign-like pictures depicting building, renovating and demolishing. Engaging the customer is not only about having a low price or other selling point – it’s about making your game attention-grabbing and easy to understand. If you design your game just right, it will be simple, fast, and enjoyable. You want it to appeal to as many people as possible, and you want them to come back and do it again. Play your cards right and you’ll come out trumps – you can bet your bottom dollar on it. Monopoly anyone?
Up-selling and adding value is an excellent way to keep the customer engaged in your game. They are not just playing once, but time and time again, feeling like they have made a saving with each minor decision they make. For some reason, car and electronics salesmen are the masters of this game, often sending happy customers home with big smiles on their faces, and big holes in their pockets. The point here is that customers enjoy the game and feel a sense of achievement, having made a perceived saving.
Meetings are a vital aspect of business. Whether you are meeting with a large company to try to forge a partnership, or with a single client who wants to purchase a service from you, every meeting should result in positive outcomes for all parties involved.
Planning and implementing a meeting can be extremely time-consuming, so you need to make sure you achieve everything on the agenda within the set timeframe. Everyone attending should benefit from being in the meeting: it should not be one sided. Everyone deserves their say, and a successful meeting allows for this. To ensure your meeting is successful for both yourself and any other parties involved, there are a number of rules you should follow.
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around the boardroom
Before you hold the meeting, make sure you know exactly what needs to be achieved. Prepare an outline of what will be discussed (your agenda), along with a clear run-down of expectations, goals and timelines. This not only demonstrates professionalism on your behalf, but also allows other parties to prepare and contribute to the agenda. All documents need to be ready before the meeting, including contracts, non-disclosure agreements and basic term sheets. Having these documents ready saves time, and ensures that all contracts will be signed. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of not planning ahead when presenting ideas to potential partners. By thinking a few steps ahead and planning for all possible questions, you will be able to put forward your ideas with confidence, showing the other parties that you are ready, stable and capable.
Hosting a meeting at your office creates a power shift in your favour. If you are confident and believe in what you are saying, you will exhibit subtle traits that can influence othersâ€™ perception of your presentation or discussion. As for location, using different meeting areas within your headquarters, or even different sides of the boardroom, can also have a psychological impact. For example, in the initial meeting, place clients on the right side of the board room. For the next meeting, once they have signed a contract, they should be seated on the opposite side of the room, to demonstrate an adjustment in their status within your business. Alternatively, a second meeting can be held in a more casual setting within the office to encourage feelings of mutual agreement and closer relationships.
HOW to negotiate
Negotiating effectively is at the core of any successful meeting. You need to achieve your goals, but you also need to consider the opinions of the other parties. The most important technique to use is, quite simply, to listen. Allow the other parties to explain their position. It is only after you have listened, taken in and digested their proposition that you can come to an agreement. If you talk the whole time, the other parties are likely to feel disappointed, as if their views are not being heard. The second important technique is to emphasise the benefits of your ideas or suggested partnership to your counterparts. They want to know what they get out of the deal, and it is your job to make sure they know exactly why they should accept. Remember, it is not a matter of asking if your idea will work, it is a matter of advising them what you will be doing while offering them the opportunity to join.
It is important that someone from your team takes notes throughout the meeting. These notes can then be sent to everyone afterwards as a reminder of what was discussed or decided. Additionally, it is a good idea to record any of your discussions - todayâ€™s smartphone technology makes this vital task very simple. These recordings can protect your ideas and resolve any disagreements or conflicts concerning who came up with what.
Successful discussions require preparation, knowing what the other parties expect, subtly encouraging positive outcomes, and negotiating effectively with confidence. With their goals laid out on the table, along with clear communication, all parties will benefit from the meeting; and if all goes well, everyone can reach their desired objectives without wasting precious time.
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THE marketing machine “One machine has the ability to generate the same performance as fifty men.” ~ Elbert Hubbard One of the secrets of designing a successful marketing process is to identify what aspects work and don’t work, and to replicate the process, so you can continually achieve the same results. In essence, this means constantly monitoring your performance to ensure you are achieving an ongoing return on your investments. Your process is like a machine: it needs constant maintenance and fine-tuning to keep it at optimal performance. A large number of small to medium enterprises fall into the trap of trying numerous strategies once, never really finding out what worked and what didn’t, as they do not have a way to measure the effectiveness of these processes. Just as you need to measure the oil level, engine temperature and fuel consumption in an actual machine, you need to perform maintenance checks on your strategies. You should have a system whereby you are always measuring the different needs of your marketing machine. If you know that one flyer drop produces a 0.4% return, and that this is enough to generate a profit, then every time a flyer drop is completed, you know it is going to produce a positive return. Now all you need is a system to handle the return, and you can flyer drop to more and more places, increasing exponentially by repeating the same process over and over again. Once you have confirmed that a specific strategy works, you can then replicate it systematically. This is where building your business into a machine becomes very valuable. A machine might need servicing, attention, or the addition of new components from time to time, but the important thing is to begin with a general mechanical plan in place. Businesses that lack scalable systems suffer. Without the ability to replicate successful strategies and systems, growth becomes extremely difficult and even dangerous. In your marketing machine, reliability and scalability are inherently linked; if you need to completely rewrite your strategies every time you encounter even moderate growth, you are holding yourself back.
Your business machine might be, for example, a call centre which creates a lead, a sales team to follow up the lead, a production team which turns the lead into a client, and an accounts team that follows up the client, eventually doubling back to the sales team for a second sale. With this general structure forming the basis of your marketing machine, you have the ability to easily replicate your model. This gives you the power to grow, to employ as many people as you can, and to further replicate. Without adequate planning, the advantages of having a self-replicating machine can quickly become disadvantages. Many business owners ignore what they think are minor hiccups, only for them to balloon into major problems. Every action you take has a cost associated with it; you need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario where your systems break down and these costs become crippling. Once your delicate balance has been compromised, your business cannot, and will not, function. What happens if your sales team don’t perform up to expectations, or if your production team suffers setbacks? You need to design your systems with such contingencies in mind, installing fail-safes to prevent your business going into meltdown. The GFC is a painful example of how deliberately ignoring issues – in what should have been a fail-safe system – can cause absolute disaster. This is where your managers come into play. They are responsible for keeping your machine well-oiled. Your management are the specialists who are constantly working on and refining your machine. They develop standard operating procedures and all the different techniques needed to continuously add to and improve your systems. In the end, even if you think you have found the optimal settings for your machine, it will inevitably require someone to fine-tune it. Regardless of the quality of your systems at the outset, there will be unknowns and pitfalls, and you will need to be constantly tinkering to keep things running at their full potential.
MAINTAIN CLIENT www.simjen.com.au
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MEn CONtrol business
WOMEn control men well, really, woman control both.
Most married couples operate as a business of sorts. Women are far more likely to work part-time than men (over 70% of all parttimers are women), as they are, more often than not, laboured with the task of keeping the house and kids in order. This is admittedly a generalisation, though it is a true one, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Consider the woman to be a shareholder in the “company” – she must be consulted before any of the hard-earned capital is spent. As the chequebook-holder, she usually has the last say in whether or not a purchase is made. It is not, however, simply a matter of marketing to the woman. She may have the final say, but it is often the man who makes the initial decision to purchase something. Your perfect marketing campaign should be to target the man first, as he will initiate the buying process, on the grounds that the decision is later consented to by his partner. That’s not all – the psychological differences between the male and female purchasing processes also need consideration. Research shows that the male purchasing process is much simpler (or shall we say, “immediate”) than that of the female. Men are much more likely to impulse-buy something, either because they just want it, or because they cannot be bothered to shop around too much. There is truth in the “guys hate shopping” stereotype. The female purchasing process is more involved. Although women are more predisposed to browsing and windowshopping when shopping for leisure, they go through a much more intense qualifying process when buying something for a purpose. Studies have shown that women favour speed, convenience, and immediately accessible information when shopping. If they have a job to do, mouths to feed and a house to manage, the last thing they want to do is spend hours aimlessly browsing.
They thoroughly research products and prices before committing (usually online, these days), rather than going in unprepared. When you advertise, you need to grab the man’s attention first, then make sure that you supply all of the supporting information the woman might need to make a final yes-or-no decision. You are essentially giving her enough reasons to consent, having got your foot in the door. Men often don’t feel confident in making a decision, as they are already aware that they don’t really have the final say. “I’ll have to ask my wife” is perhaps the most common backing-out excuse a salesman hears. It is also important to note that most Australian SMEs are husband/wife teams: the real-life version of the “marriage is like a business” analogy. In these businesses – and here comes another generalisation – the wife usually does the administrative side while the husband handles the core service delivery. If you’re dealing with another business, it’s all very well negotiating with the husband, but in the end, you want to be conversing with the person who controls the paperwork and knows all the ins-and-outs of the business: the wife. So how do you change your business to make it more female-friendly at the point of sale? One way is to have female customer service representatives. However, this can backfire – most female customers don’t want to deal with rude, impatient women; having helpful, knowledgeable and polite female staff is your best bet. Secondly, although there is a valuable niche market in female-friendly services (female tradies, women-only gyms etc.), you should be aware that if women are looking around for the best deal, your female-friendly selling point might not outdo black-and-white cost savings. There are fewer women than men in highpaying executive jobs in Australia. However, women play an extremely significant role in micro and small businesses, both as owners and as employees. Whether they are controlling household expenditure or running businesses, they represent a vast proportion of the decision-making power in Australia’s economy. If you’re not already targeting women with your advertising, you should start now.
If you’re a small business owner, you probably make your money by selling a product or service to either another company or a private consumer. But who are you aiming your marketing material at? Research has shown that women make over 80% of purchasing decisions – but advertising is still overwhelmingly skewed towards appealing to men. Are you targeting the right people?
SIMJEN | chapter 2
Staying buoyant If you live in Brisbane, chances are you’ve seen The Brisbane Star motoring up and down the river, packed with a merry payload of party-goers. But ask Dale Rutherford, Director at Brisbane Star Cruises, and he’ll tell you it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. From floods to global financial meltdown, there have been some challenges – but now, with a relaunch down the road, things are looking up. As we conduct our interview, Dale Rutherford is cut off by the screeching sound of his boat being winched up for repair. The Brisbane Star suffered some damage in the January floods, while river closures for a following month further prevented work. But although he describes the last few years as a “non-stop roller-coaster ride”, he remains upbeat. “I’m hoping this year will be good – in fact, the best year to come.”
the most successful single piece of marketing we’ve done,” he reflects. “But helpful as they are, the seniors’ cruises aren’t enough to keep us afloat in the long term.”
This positive outlook pays off for Dale, who drives a CityCat by day. “With the CityCat, you just drive it, and that’s it,” he explains. “There’s nowhere else to grow. Being my own boss, I can make my own destiny. The harder I work, the more I get out of it.” And it is hard work. The three-strong team, comprising of Dale, his sister Sally and business partner Darren, have a lot to keep themselves busy. Keeping up to date with legislation and licensing, doing the bookkeeping, running cruises and performing maintenance on the boat makes for a high workload. Moreover, bookings are ultimately at the mercy of the weather, especially with the tourist market. That said, with 99% of patrons returning positive feedback, the team can rest assured that service is not a factor to worry about, and instead spend time working on the boat itself.
Existing as a me-too brand on an ailing river, The Brisbane Star needed to somehow establish itself and stand apart as a unique experience. SIMJEN devised a strategy to help them bounce back by completely rebooting the business and its branding. Renaming the boat as The Floating Bar, the idea was to position the boat as a permanent venue, rather than as a one-off novelty cruise for special occasions. The Floating Bar is not just a boat with a unique point of difference; it’s a bar with a unique point of difference. It no longer competes in the same space as the other tour and function operators on the river – instead, it has its own niche as something completely new: Brisbane’s only floating bar. If anything, The Floating Bar will be competing against Brisbane’s most well-known hotels and nightspots. This is where it will come into its own, as no other bar in Brisbane travels up and down the river. It is hoped to become a unique landmark (or watermark, perhaps) in Brisbane’s entertainment industry, appealing to both visitors and locals.
Since buying the Brisbane Star in March 2008, the team have experienced constant ups and downs, the GFC being a significant game-changer. “The GFC hit after we’d been going really well for the first nine months. When times are tight, the first thing people cut spending on is entertainment,” Dale says. With an advertising and marketing degree under his belt, he was more than aware of the challenge he faced, and decided to combat it by doing more advertising. In response to the lower number of regular charters, Dale and his partners began running mid-week seniors’ cruises, which were a runaway hit. “Our campaign in the seniors’ newspaper was probably
A renewed interest in (or at least awareness of) the Brisbane River since the floods poses an opportunity to all businesses working on or near the river. With all this attention comes competition, which is where The Floating Bar’s branding will make it stand out even more. It will be running seven days a week, offering the usual daytime sightseeing tours and weekend functions, as well as Friday night corporate events and Saturday night pre-drink cruises. One major addition to the schedule is the Sunday Session cruise, where the boat will be a strong contender alongside Brisbane’s most celebrated Sunday afternoon drinks venues.
Dale explains, “Our boat may not be the biggest or flashiest on the river, but we can make up for that with our uniqueness. We are also known for our professional, reliable service – and with our simpler, more reasonable pricing, we will appeal to a much larger section of the market. We won’t be a me-too company just running cruises. We want to highlight our difference from the other boats, and the other bars.” A big part of the brainstorming process was tackling the common view that hiring out a charter boat for a function or party is an expensive logistical nightmare. The Floating Bar’s marketing campaign has been designed to break down this perception by simplifying the pricing and bookings, with flat-rate ticket and package prices, and set timetables and departure points. Taking the financial and organisational stress out of hiring a boat will encourage the public and broaden the business’ customer base. Allowing customers to walk on and off the boat without having to endure the prolonged planning and booking process that plagues most charter boats is a sure-fire way to increase market share and visibility. The simplified website (where 90% of their enquiries already originate) and bolder branding, coupled with increased direct and social network marketing, are designed to communicate The Floating Bar’s uniqueness, ease of use and reasonable pricing. By ticking these three boxes, it has a steady foothold from which it can realistically compete with the city’s more established land-based venues. Making the customer experience as easy as possible is a challenge that the Floating Bar team take in their stride. Dale mentions that while other charter and cruise operators may sometimes seem a little picky or overbearing, as a 29-year-old, he brings with him an element of friendly youthfulness that sets him apart. “After all, people go on cruises to have fun,” he adds. “We give people a much better experience than any bar or hotel can – that’s why they see us as a special occasion kind of thing. What’s great is that now, they can come on board whenever they like without the cost or hassle.” Aided by strategic alliances with popular bars and hotels in the city, The Floating Bar will also be able to cut out some of its competition. By offering drink discounts and coupons for these venues, both the boat and the bars will have an extra source of patrons, while the customers themselves will be saving money. By working with the competition, all parties can benefit. SIMJEN has also secured exclusive rights for the boat with leading beverage companies, meaning it can lower its purchasing costs while benefiting from the pre-existing advertising power of these brands. The Floating Bar team stays optimistic, despite the setbacks of the last few years. Dale says, “I get the most satisfaction out of seeing how much the clients enjoy themselves, and hearing feedback on how nice the boat’s looking. And sometimes, it’s just nice being out on the water. We’ll see how the next few years go; maybe we’ll get a bigger boat in a couple of years’ time.” Dale concedes that he has had to sacrifice his social life for the sake of the business. “It’s lucky I have a very understanding fiancée. I don’t know if just any girl would’ve stuck around like she did,” he says. But he won’t be holding the wedding on The Floating Bar – he’s earned a well-
SIMJEN | chapter 2
THE MATURE ENTREPRENUER
YoU CAN Teach an old dog new tricks The generation gap in the business world is wider than ever before. Older CEOs and entrepreneurs are finding it hard to keep up with their young, tech-savvy competitors, and are suffering as a result. We’ve put together some advice on how to stay up to date and competitive – you don’t want to be forced into early retirement!
A one-man IT team is not a team. Nor is a two-man team. The truth is that with a field as diverse and multi-disciplined as IT, you need as many people as you can get. In IT, there is safety in numbers: the larger your knowledge bank, the more knowledge you have. Old-fashioned CEOs might think that just one person who “knows computers” is enough, but they’d be wrong. You need an extensive team, or even a whole agency, depending on the size and intricacy of your organisation. You might even want numerous different agencies to work on individual specialised areas of your IT systems, but in doing this you need to be sure you’re dealing with objective opinion leaders who aren’t just concerned with lining their pockets. A lot of older entrepreneurs don’t fully appreciate that the online marketplace is an actual marketplace. They might add online shopping functionality to their websites, or conduct half-hearted online advertising campaigns without putting much thought into it. This is not the way to operate! You need to know exactly how Google works, how Search Engine Advertising and Optimisation work, and what Facebook and other social media can offer. Most importantly, you need to understand that this wealth of information gives the consumer all the power – the consumer has more choice than ever before, which means more reasons not to choose you. We predict a power change within the next decade, with large, bureaucracy-ridden empires falling to smaller companies with lower overheads and implementation costs. This does not mean that these larger companies cannot make up the ground and compete in the same space – it means that they will only be competitive if they reposition and redirect themselves to capitalise on online opportunities. They cannot rely on people browsing around their premises any more; scrolling down a webpage is the only browsing that most people are willing to do these days.
65 Borders and Angus & Robertson bookstores have been forced to close their doorS As this issue goes to print, so far 65 Borders and Angus & Robertson bookstores have been forced to close their doors due to plummeting sales. It makes you wonder: they already sell mainly digital media, so why didn’t they pre-emptively make everything available for download to bolster sales? Cocky online electronics retailer Ruslan Kogan also recently wagered JB Hi-Fi $1 million that they wouldn’t be selling Apple products by 2014. He predicts “the end of bricks and mortar stores”, saying that Apple will pull out of third-party resale and focus on its online and own-branded stores instead. Analysts estimate that 30% of JB Hi-Fi’s profits come from reselling Apple products in physical stores – needless to say, this is an old-fashioned and unsustainable business model. The bottom line is that CEOs need to be more open to change. Their way might have been best when they were young upstarts, but the internet has changed everything. Kogan’s electronics business has been extremely successful because he has virtually no overheads or advertising costs. Traditional advertising is nowhere near as effective as it once was – younger generations spend much more time sitting in front of a computer than a television, and the trend will only continue. Understanding and adapting to the browsing, buying and reviewing process that each successive generation goes through is the only way to keep your product lines and marketing in tune with reality. There are other issues at stake, such as the changing realm of intellectual property, trademarks, and branding. CEOs are steadily losing their power in the corporate space, as the internet expands the pool they’re accustomed to paddling in. You might own the trademark for “Speedy Services” in Australia, as well as the domain name www.speedyservices.com.au. But what about speedyservices.com, or .co.nz, or any email addresses containing any international domain names? There is a minefield of internet-specific traps and pitfalls out there, and staying ahead of the curve is vital. Look at the internet as a real market, rather than just an extension of one. The risks, problems, feedback and gains are all real, so understand them and appreciate them. If this all sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. There is one old saying that still holds value: if you can’t beat them, join them. Look around for a start-up with intelligent, switched-on staff, comprehensive tech skills and an eye for the future, and team up with them. You can provide the decades of experience, and they can provide the modern knowledge to keep you competitive.
raditional CEOs often end up stranded at the top of the ladder, only processing information when they need to make major decisions. They might have decades of experience in traditional business practices, but they are at best technologically illiterate, and at worst, technophobic. They don’t feel the need to be a computer whiz – they can hire people to handle their I.T. for them; however making poor hiring decisions can be the root of many problems.
‘Killing Me Softly’ 122 x 180cm oil on canvas by Joel Rea 2007
The business of art -year-old Gold Coast photorealist Joel Rea is doing his bit to dispel the stereotype of the starving artist. Graduating from the Queensland College of Art in 2003, Joel has since completed a mentorship program at Paddington’s Lethbridge gallery and been selected as a finalist in numerous local and national art awards. Every painting from his first solo exhibition in 2006 was snapped up by an international collector before the show even opened, and his 2007 piece “Killing Me Softly” sold for a staggering $30,000. As of 2011, Joel has sold a painting, currently unfinished, to an eager private collector for a record price of $50,000. So how did Joel achieve such success in such an unforgiving industry? The answer lies within Joel’s body of work, which often depicts the interplay between creative individuality and professional conformism. His paintings reflect his outlook and work ethic: although he is a creative type at heart, he knows that he needs to be disciplined and business-minded in order to succeed – just like any other business owner. He calls it his “business suit versus skater boy” conflict.
Joel is fairly unique among his peers in that he is fortunate enough to enjoy both creative freedom and commercial success. He explains “Some artists like to paint things that are really graphic or negative, that most people don’t want to hang up or live with. Fortunately for me, my work is generally quite aesthetic and approachable “You can always rack your brain as to what’s going to be the best seller, but that’s just pandering to a market, and it’s not really what being an artist is all about. It’s just a great coincidence that what I paint by choice is what people want to buy.” Although all of Joel’s paintings successfully “leave him” as he puts it, some do so faster than others. “You notice which ones sell better, and that always affects you. You can’t help but notice, whether you like it or not.”
“Fortunately for me, my work is generally quite aesthetic and approachable” www.simjen.com.au
SIMJEN | chapter 2
‘Direct Ambition’ 70x140cm oil on canvas by Joel Rea 2011
Once again, the internal push and pull of being a working artist comes to the surface. “In the end, everyone wants to live comfortably. No one likes to say it, but the fact is that it’s a case of whosells-wins. You have to shake off the ‘starving artist’ shackle. I am so happy to be doing what I love for a living, but if you’re not getting the money you deserve for the time you’re putting in, you can’t survive. You have to be the calculative, strategic business guy, which is not really what artists wake up and want to do.”
This professional approach is most evident in Joel’s work ethic. Like most business owners, he is constantly switched on and thinking about his work, regularly doing twelve-hour days and working through the weekend. “When you’re putting your name on something, you tend to put in a lot more time than if you’re working for someone else,” he explains. Joel’s workload is likely to increase once his studio extension is complete and he has the space to work on many more pieces simultaneously.
“I do my best work with my large paintings, where my creativity can run wild. If I didn’t have to sell paintings to survive, I could easily spend a year on one painting. But that’s too much time to go without getting any return on my time. I need to limit the time taken on my paintings to keep them affordable for the market.”
When it comes to actually selling paintings, Joel recognises that art is a luxury item that most people cannot afford. As his profile grows, his accessibility to the general public becomes more limited. Although his affiliated galleries are responsible for selling his art, he has his own ideas for generating liveable, sustainable revenue. “You want to make commodities that can be snapped up by people that can’t afford your original paintings. I’m interested in doing books or prints to make my work accessible to a much broader range of consumers, even by teenagers. You can be in so many more households that way.”
Although the sheer aesthetic appeal of his work is a large factor, Joel’s professional approach evidently contributes to his success. He puts in long hours, invests in his business and keeps a keen eye on opportunities to expand. “I’m always looking to grow in terms of exhibitions and submissions for art awards – getting the right blend of public and media attention. I’m trying to lift my participation in the kind of things that will elevate my career.”
Joel refrains from blindly following trends or jumping on transient bandwagons for fear of diluting his style or identity, which are his livelihood. “Clarity and detail have always been appreciated and have never gone out of vogue. Trends come and go, so you hope your work isn’t trendy in a way, because what goes up must come down. I don’t do stuff because I think it’s hot – I try to keep the level of finish to a high quality. Throughout history, quality and technical skill have usually prevailed over trends.” Technology plays a large role in Joel’s art, from cameras and Photoshop to social media. The internet plays a large part in the promotions and networking, but he does not see the internet becoming the standard marketplace for art. “I think Facebook and keeping your website up to date are important. It’s great to have that kind of immediate coverage – it’s crucial. If you deny using the internet as a tool, you’re letting yourself down, but it’s never going to rule the world in
terms of buying and selling art. You want to see a painting in the flesh before you buy it.” For those with dreams of quitting their day job and pursuing a career in the creative arts, Joel’s advice is to submerge yourself in it. “Don’t just bite around the edges, or you’ll never get a full meal. If you’re stuck on something, go out and do it. There are always people out there who have been through what you’re going through, and they’ll usually be empathetic. Seek them out and ask them. That’s what I did. It doesn’t cost much to do one painting that displays your skills and shows your potential to galleries and other artists. Knock on some doors and find out what you need to do, and show others what you can do. As Salvador Dali said, ‘If you act the genius, you will be one.’ “This approach might sound unrealistic for most industries, but because working as an artist is not regulated by official qualifications, anyone can be a good artist; they just have to make good art. Then comes the harder part - the business side.” To arrange a viewing of Joel’s paintings from 2005 to present, contact SIMJEN for a professional introduction.
“I don’t do stuff because i think it’s hot - i try to keep the level of finish to a high quality”
SIMJEN | chapter 2
REEL IMPACT Making a moving image
Before it became an industry buzzword, “engagement” was long considered to be the secret to effective marketing. When you engage your target market and allow them to interact with and experience your brand, your ability to sway them increases tenfold. But which medium works best for this? Print is static and only holds their attention for a few moments; radio is high-risk and old-fashioned. This leaves us with just one medium: Film – the moving image. The power of this broad creative format is why brands are willing to spend $3 million for a mere 30 seconds during the Super Bowl; this is why YouTube is the third most visited site on the Internet. The key to success with any video format - whether you opt to spend the $3 million or take the less expensive web route – is understanding that the time and money you invest is wasted if you haven’t developed quality creative*. You want to be certain that the content created is the ideal depiction of your brand – this is your brand brought to life after all. No longer can you simply sell to your target – you need to entertain them, and you need to entertain them in a way that will leave them wanting more.
This rule applies regardless of whether the video is intended for consumers, employees or even shareholders; you need to ensure they are just as, if not more, attached to the brand at the end of the clip than they were at the beginning. Every element needs to be selected carefully and blended properly – from the visuals and audio, to how the video is viewed. If even one part of this is not balanced, your audience will disengage and you will have wasted both your time and theirs. The Gunn Report (a global index of creative excellence in advertising) has proven that there is an 87% correlation between smart *creative and marketplace success. As much as **out-of-home, print and even transport advertising have played a part in the most successful campaigns in recent years, the brands that continue to grow are those that embrace the power of the moving image. We have seen for ourselves how much difference well-executed video can make for a brand. Just take a look at the latest Old Spice campaign – your grandfather’s scent now has more sex appeal than Lynx could ever hope for. By making the leap online, a product that was grey and tired managed to successfully reinvent itself.
Locally, people across the country can’t wait to see the latest offering from Carlton Draught each year. Ever since the ‘Big Ad’, Carlton has had some of the most distinct positioning within the Australian beer market. YouTube and TV have been instrumental in helping it maintain its position year after year. While it should never be your only method of engaging your target market, it is obvious that wellexecuted video can make or break an entire campaign. Would you prefer to be the mediocre brand entirely reliant upon static print ads and worn-out radio spots, or would you rather be at the cutting edge, as the centre of attention, captivating any potential consumer that comes your way? It’s an easy choice to make. As a brand manager or marketer, if you choose to ignore the potential of video for your brand or client, you will suffer for it. Engage your target, bring your brand to life and keep yourself up to date. As technology broadens our creative capabilities, in both TV commercials and the ever-growing realm of web video, there is no better time to explore what could be possible. It’s less expensive than you’d think, and the return on investment is huge in that being online, it can last forever.
Advertising jargon explained The “creative” is the piece of communication you produce, whether it is a TV commercial, web video, poster, magazine ad, or anything else “made”. Some advertisers might even argue that the “creative” is a product or piece of art within itself. **
“Out-of-home advertising” generally refers to billboards, posters, street furniture – anything that a person encounters outside the home. Transport/transit advertising is also outside the home, but it is often placed within its own specific category, including ads in and on buses, trains, stations etc. One important element of modern out-of-home advertising is the growing number of LCD screens in public places, hotels, bars, gyms etc.
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Advertising jargon explained
SIMJEN | chapter 2
THERE IS NO such THING AS A PERMANENT TATTOO Sometimes tattoos don’t turn out the way you’d hoped. Sometimes your lifestyle changes, or a relationship ends. People change - tattoos don’t. Through its venture capital arm, SIMJEN is on the verge of making revolutionary Ink Extractor technology available in every tattoo parlour in Australia. It is estimated that one in five Australians have a tattoo. Thousands of them undergo removal treatment every year. Luckily for them, tattoo and permanent make-up removal has come a long way in recent years. One of the relative newcomers is Ink Extractor, which uses your body’s own mechanisms to push the tattoo out. Extensively researched and tested by experts over a ten-year period, the Ink Extractor system is proving itself to be the most effective noninvasive removal method on the market.
It is estimated that one in five Australians have a tattoo. thousands of them undergo removal treatment every year.
Laser treatments in cosmetic or clinical treatment centres are slow, expensive, and are often performed by people with more experience in hair removal than in tattoos. Go back to the tattoo experts who did your ink in the first place – they know what they’re doing. If you have a tattoo or permanent make-up that you’d like to change or remove, Ink Extractor will deliver the quickest, most effective, most affordable treatment out there, short of surgically removing the tattoo.
Don’t let your unwanted ink get under your skin – get it extracted.
The science Ink Extractor works by absorbing the ink from under the skin and drawing it towards the surface.
There are usually four factors in choosing a tattoo removal method: effectiveness, time, price, and scarring. Here’s how Ink Extractor compares to other methods.
Tiny granules are injected into the skin using a tattoo needle. They immediately get to work, bonding with the ink.
The body recognises these microparticles as foreign objects and rejects them, pushing them outwards, along with the pigment.
A crust containing the microparticles and ink forms over the tattoo’s surface, eventually falling away naturally.
After about 8 weeks (or as necessary) the process can be repeated. Three or four treatments is usually enough, depending on the age, size and depth of the tattoo. None of the particles stay under the skin – it is not a cover-up system, but an actual extraction system.
1. Effectiveness Ink Extractor actually removes pigment. Laser only lessens the tattoo’s density by smashing the pigment particles until they are small enough to be carried away by the lymphatic system. Numerous passes are needed to get each and every last particle. Laser also doesn’t work well on bright hues such as green or yellow, as they simply reflect the light beam away. In one sitting, Ink Extractor can remove as much ink as 4 or 5 laser sessions.
2. Time You can be ready for your next treatment within six to eight weeks – about the same as laser. However, as Ink Extractor is more effective than laser, you’ll need fewer sessions, so you could be done in a matter of months, while laser could take significantly longer. The larger or more colourful your tattoo, the more time you will save. Surgical excision (cutting the tattoo out completely) would definitely be the fastest method, but it is little more than a last resort for the desperate.
3. Price Fewer treatments means lower cost. With laser, you will usually have to pay for an initial consultation with a physician, then a per-session rate, the number of which will vary depending on the size and colour of the tattoo. Ink Extractor doesn’t require a consultation, and you only need a fraction of the number of treatments that laser requires. Plus, the person performing the treatment isn’t a high-priced doctor or technician – it’s the same trusted tattoo artist you went to originally. There are also many more tattoo parlours than laser clinics, so you can shop around for the best price, or as it suits you.
One peculiar side-effect of laser treatment is pigmentation change. Lasers can damage the pigment cells in your skin, causing either white spots (hypopigmentation) or dark spots (hyperpigmentation). These unfortunate side-effects are almost unheard of with Ink Extractor.
Scarring is always an issue with any treatment, depending on how aggressively a treatment is performed, and how deep the tattoo is. Sometimes people are already scarred from the initial tattooing process but don’t even realise, which can make removal difficult. Dermabrasion, which is like taking a belt-sander to your skin, is considered the most painful and heavily-scarring procedure out there. Surgery to excise the tattoo will also leave a significant scar. Ink extractor causes only minimal scarring, at a similar rate to laser.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
Why repaint when you can reclean? There aren’t many entrepreneurs who can claim to have created the industry in which they work. But Garry Gabites can. From a second-hand pressure cleaner and a $30 advertisement in a newspaper, Garry has grown his exterior cleaning business, Housewashing Australia, into the most successful in this country. Now working with such clients as Red Rooster and Toll, rebranding as Reclean and planning to expand nationwide through a network of franchises, Garry can rightfully claim to be a pioneer in his field. A fitter and turner by trade, Garry grew up on a farm near Wellington, New Zealand. After arriving in Australia, he briefly worked in exterior pressure washing. Even at this early stage, he realised that there were certain ways that things could be done better. After a year out of work due to a motorbike injury, Garry started to work with a neighbour (and later close friend) – a roofer who had moved in across the road, pressure cleaning roofs, exteriors and concrete. Garry eventually decided to start out on his own. “After that $600 pressure cleaner and the ad in the paper, it just kinda exploded from there,” he reminisces. “Exploded” would not be an overstatement. First operating in late 2000, Housewashing Australia currently boasts about 6,500 recurring customers, growing by 500-750 each year. Garry has seen many competitors enter the market, though none have posed much of a realistic threat. As there is no industry qualification for pressure-cleaning, the general quality of work, and the industry’s reputation, is not entirely favourable – poorly performed pressure cleaning can damage existing paintwork and plaster. However, Garry approaches the work scientifically, and with the utmost care, placing him far ahead of his competition. Looking at his competitors’ websites, it is evident that they have even based their pricing structures on his, identifying him as the industry standard. SIMJEN has created a marketing strategy to capitalise on Housewashing Australia’s existing market position. It is based around the idea of “Why repaint when you can Reclean?”. By conducting research into customer trends, knowledge and expectations, we found that most people confused house washing with roof cleaning; whilst they are related, people are not fully aware of what house washing really is: a viable alternative to painting. Whereas painting is viewed as a time-consuming inconvenience lacking standardised pricing, house washing is fast, simple, and far more affordable.
Educating the public about the advantages of washing is central to the Reclean strategy. Even by conservative estimates, the increased ‘kerb appeal’ provided by house washing can raise a property’s perceived value by at least five percent. Real estate agents, homeowners and investors are the target market for this informational campaign. Garry says, “It’s going to get busier when people are educated and realise that you can wash your house rather than paint it – it’s far, far cheaper, and it has a big impact on your property sale price. People are blown away by the before and after.” Another element of the plan is to forge strategic alliances with real estate agents, body corporates, builders, and even some painters, for maintenance. The commercial market, along with body corporates, is where Garry sees the most potential for growth. These clients have a vested interest in keeping their premises clean: poor presentation could cost them customers. External washing to remove mould, grime and flammable leaf litter also reduces health and safety liability, and can help with the early detection of damage. Mould and algae can make surfaces extremely slippery, cause illness, and hide (or even exacerbate) cracks and other structural weaknesses, putting businesses and body corporates at significant risk of financial liability. Such commercial clients offer the opportunity of repeated big jobs, which will further drive Reclean’s growth, both in size and reputation. The rebranding strategy focuses on Reclean’s professionalism, distancing it from the cowboys whose unreliability has tainted the industry’s reputation. Garry attributes his success to the systems he has in place. First and foremost is his honesty policy. “The company prides itself on quality, reliability, honesty, punctuality and integrity. If we’re going to be late, we call ahead and tell the client. If we’re quoting a job, we’re realistic about the cost. Bad word of mouth travels just as well as good word of mouth.”
On the technological side, Garry keeps Reclean ahead of the curve by using satellite images to enable instant web quotes, automated correspondence for quality control and client reminders, and a sophisticated online booking system that eliminates hassle. “I never like to lose a job or turn people away because we’re too busy. Keeping up with people is difficult – in this industry, people want things done yesterday. You’ve got to act very quickly or they’ll go somewhere else.” Garry takes pride in his service and in what he has achieved, though like most entrepreneurs, he is not happy sitting still. “I don’t think I’ll feel true success until Reclean has gone Australia-wide. My goals still haven’t been reached,” he says. He has taken risks in order to get where he is today, such as establishing a shopfront. “It was a big risk, but it was one that paid off,” he says. As for the personal toll, Garry regrets that working sixteenhour days severely limits the time he can spend with his wife and three-year-old son, although it is a price he needs to pay to provide security for them. He also speaks fondly of his late
www.reclean.com.au Garry Gabites OWNER
Why re-paint when you can Reclean
SIMJEN | chapter 2
GLOBAL roaming Corporate travel, like everything else in business, is all about return on investment. You’d think that spending money on airfares and hotel mini-bars (in this economic climate!) was unwise – but you could be wrong. Taking your business overseas can open just the right doors to send you skyward. Here’s why going in person is a must.
BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS Local-centric thinking can hinder you from finding success. Get out of your own backyard, and find some new markets. American businesses might look at wood products as simply timber or paper, but Japanese businesses might invest in wood as a renewable chopstick resource. Japan alone goes through over 20 billion pairs a year. A fact-finding mission uncovering real on-the-ground information offers boundless opportunities.
BE A “BORN GLOBAL” Born Globals are organisations (usually starting as small businesses) that aim for international markets right from the very beginning. By doing so, they are immediately open to the global marketplace, and a much higher chance of finding a niche and exploiting it. The usual trend is to grow domestically first, and then go abroad. Why not start with the whole world as your initial customer base? MYOB and The Wiggles have shown us how it’s done.
THE INTERNET ISN’T EVERYTHING Once you’ve established communications with your overseas counterpart, how are you going to build a working rapport, negotiate, close the deal, or iron out the fine print? Not by Skype. Meeting with potential clients or investors needs to be done face-to-face so you can read body language, see how they actually run things, and form a basis of trust. Email scammers would have a much harder time conning you if they had to do it while looking you in the eye.
TRADE SHOWS Trade shows, conventions, conferences and other such business gatherings are the perfect place to make connections and obtain first-hand information. Be there for the unveiling of a revolutionary new product, whether it’s an iPad or an A380, and be there to fact-find in person. Network with like-minded individuals and organisations, and establish yourself among the global players in your industry.
IMPORT EXPORT People have been trading cloth, salt, spices and livestock for millennia. It’s all very well ‘trying to buy local’, but the fact is that the more we buy and sell with other nations, the higher the margins, and the more money everyone makes. Why would I sell my goods to my neighbour for pennies when I know I can send them overseas and make five times the profit? Likewise, you can minimise cost by buying from overseas. It might not be popular with the super-patriotic, but it makes business sense. Once again, the best way to set this up and minimise risk is by doing it in person.
ONLY TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU NEED TO This goes without saying, but just because you travel interstate once a fortnight, it doesn’t mean you should travel overseas with the same frequency. There are costs involved, and a lot can still be accomplished by teleconferencing and email. Don’t go liberally dipping into the company coffers just because you like jetsetting! Sometimes it helps to prepare a whole schedule to make sure your work trips don’t turn into holidays!
Only send overseas those you know will be with you for the long run – be careful not to waste resources on short-term staff.
Of course, travel is not just business, but pleasure too. Offer travel incentives to staff (especially sales teams), and watch their productivity go through the roof. Incentives are a great way to boost morale, friendly competition, and your sales figures. Sending staff to conferences or expos as your representatives can also act as an incentive. They will rise to the challenge, and gain valuable experience.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF CONVEYANCING
How do you create a point of difference in an industry that is limited to a very specific service and customer base?
his was the challenge facing Charter Conveyancing. With enquiries and sales down in a post-GFC low, something needed to be done to restore them to their former glory as one of the most successful conveyancing firms in the Brisbane region. Working with SIMJEN since late 2010, Charter has seen its sales conversion rate more than triple, while dramatically increasing its productivity by reducing consultation times. Weâ€™ll explain the strategy behind this growth; but first, some background. The Global Financial Crisis had finally started to ease, but the property market was still suffering from its lasting effects. In its biggest slump in recent history, far fewer properties were being bought and sold. Buyers werenâ€™t in a position to buy, and sellers were holding on to their properties, waiting for better prices. This caused knock-on effects for all businesses involved in the property exchange process, including finance and broker firms, removal companies, residential builders and conveyancing services, such as Charter.
As existing sales levels were low, reflecting the sluggishness of the property market, Charter needed to take a larger share of the conveyancing market in order to keep its numbers up. SIMJEN undertook extensive research into the conveyancing industry, its consumers, and the forces at work. This research revealed a number of critical consumer insights and identified opportunities for Charter Conveyancing, by exposing unexplored avenues in the market. In the eyes of consumers, conveyancing was seen as just another necessary step in the process of buying and selling property. It is one of those services that people do not really think about until they need it. It is seen as something of a costly chore, usually pitted with hidden charges and mountains of confusing paperwork. This is why conveyancing companies exist in the first place - to take the load off the customers. However, some unscrupulous conveyancing firms leave expensive and complicated work unfinished, requiring the cust`omer to consult yet another solicitor or sign yet another piece of paper, further raising costs.
So, the challenge was to create a point of difference. First of all, the strategy team devised a rebranding plan that would enhance Charter Conveyancing’s image in the market, aligning it with the larger, more wellestablished corporations in the finance and insurance industries. The new logo features a mountain shaped out of brushed steel, conveying excellence, trust, strength and stability. At a deeper level, the steel mountain motif signifies the nature of conveyancing, namely the need to ‘charter’ a course to the objective.
Fill out form, sign & return.
A professional will call you.
Settlement of your new home.
Easy 3-step process
The most important element of the new strategy was building a new website to take the entire conveyancing process online, charging a flat rate with no hidden costs. The entire conveyancing process could now be completed in just three online steps – no more toand-fro with solicitors, exchanging endless phone calls and paperwork. What was previously a daunting task became an easy step-by-step process, with Charter’s staff readily available to guide customers along, every step of the way. This improved system has increased sale conversion rates by over 300%.
A Google Analytics assessment of the new website shows improvement in its performance across the board. On average, customers are spending more than twice as much time on the new site compared to the old one. Furthermore, the number of individual pages visited by users on each occasion is nearly twice the previous average, while the website’s bounce rate (leaving the site having only viewed one page) has also been significantly lowered, showing that it is engaging people immediately on arrival. A secondary advantage of the new website has been its beneficial effect on staff productivity. The staff’s face-to-face contact time has been halved, giving them much more time to focus on the actual legal work. The increased downtime has also helped their customer service performance, as they can now spend more time answering queries and giving more comprehensive answers. Offering genuine understanding is not something that most other firms can boast. The shorter amount of time required for involvement also provides ease and peace of mind for customers who are stuck in the middle of a stressful process. In an industry where it is difficult to differentiate between competitors, improving the customer’s experience is always a strong place to start, as this generates word of mouth. Because of the size and complexity of the strategy devised for Charter Conveyancing, it was divided into a phased launch plan. Based on the results and return on the implementation of stage one, SIMJEN is broadening the business model to help Charter to expand throughout Queensland. The second stage of the strategy includes a comprehensive rollout plan that will help to ensure Charter Conveyancing’s continued success as it grows state-wide, and some tricks up the sleeve that the competition won’t see coming.
Christmas card campaign
Furthermore, as conveyancing is a service that most people will only use a few times in their lives, it is extremely difficult to create lifelong relationships, as customers simply forget which firm they used. On top of this, as the conveyancing process is dictated by predetermined laws, there is little if any room for differentiation. This means that different companies are very similar under the hood, making the decision more difficult for the customer. Faced with different brands of any product, most people’s decision-making process becomes quick and arbitrary.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
a vehicle to success In our last issue, we outlined the potential benefits of getting involved in motorsport sponsorship. We talked about increased exposure, bragging rights and access to the lucrative motorsport fan demographic. Since then, SIMJEN Racing has launched, taking the Porsche Carrera Cup by storm. In this issue, we’ll take you behind the scenes at SIMJEN Racing, showing you exactly why we got involved in motorsport. “On the surface, the decision was an easy one,” says SIMJEN CEO Simon James. “With the relaunch of the Carrera Cup coinciding with Porsche Australia’s 60th anniversary, getting involved just made perfect sense,” he explains. “The chance to be a part of this historic series was too exciting to pass up.” “A basic part of our motivation was to provide a promotional platform for the SIMJEN brand,” says Simon. The promotional platform he is talking about is the “Silver Bullet”, SIMJEN Racing’s entry into the Carrera Cup. “It’s a great vehicle for us, in both senses of the word,” he says.
The Silver Bullet is Australia’s first all-chrome 911 GT3. The bodywork was designed with visual impact in mind. The aim was to draw attention to SIMJEN’s various projects and divisions, such as WebCo-in-aBox, and Ink Extractor. However, although the car is sign-written, the overall aim is not to generate instant enquiries, but to create a presence and familiarity around the SIMJEN brand. Wanting to create a sense of familiarity around a brand is the usual reason companies become sponsors. Straightforward as this seems, choosing the correct thing to sponsor is an extremely difficult decision. It is unwise to simply plaster your brand name on something, hoping your enquiry rate will double.
“Porsche reflected the level of refinement we wanted to communicate” SIMJEN’s decision to join the Carrera Cup was intricately planned. “In SIMJEN’s case, Porsche reflected the level of refinement we wanted to communicate,” Simon explains. “By sponsoring a Porsche, we were aligning ourselves with a respected luxury brand. It’s like killing two birds with one stone: we can promote the company, but at the same time benefit from the added prestige of the Porsche name.” However, the “luxury brand” idea is only a small part of the equation. Promoting the company to consumers is one thing, but gaining access to the other sponsors is another. Instead of focusing on consumers’ brand awareness, SIMJEN focuses on building relationships with other businesses. “The fact is that an event like the Carrera Cup is, more than anything, an incredible networking opportunity. What you’re really doing is putting together a whole bunch of similarly sized companies that have the money to spend on a racing team. Being in the same space as other companies of this calibre opens a lot of doors. We can talk to them, learn from them and potentially do business with them,” Simon says. This is where the true, measurable return on sponsorship lies. While putting your name on a car, sports team or event can passively generate exposure, proactively seeking out new business relationships from fellow sponsors can yield visible, tangible results. With V8 Supercar sponsorships priced in the millions, you already know that the companies involved are successful, happy to spend big money on their marketing, and willing to interact in the world of motorsport. Most people only dream of working with ambitious companies like these. Initiating contact with such businesses, whether you discuss strategic alliances, exchange advice or just small-talk about the weather, could be one of the most important things you ever do. It is not often that businesses have the chance to rub shoulders with so many successful companies at the same time, on a level footing, and in such an informal atmosphere.
the car Max Power
331 kW (450hp) at 7,500 rpm
Max RPM Vehicle Weight
8.500 RPM 1,200kg approx
The body shell has been based on the 911 GT3 RS II Generation. Its rear wheel houses have been enlarged to accomodate a tyre diameter of 690mm.
the driver: Jonny Reid
Behind all business decisions and strategy, the racing itself still comes first. Behind the wheel of the SIMJEN Silver Bullet is Jonny Reid, recognised as one of the finest drivers ever to come out of New Zealand.
The SIMJEN Racing Team, along with partners Giltrap Group and McElrea Racing, are eagerly awaiting the seasonâ€™s remaining results.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
Motorsport sponsorships are not cheap, but the opportunity to join this elite club is priceless within itself. “It might sound like the typical big-risk-big-gain scenario, but the risks are minimal when you think about it. Even if you’re purely thinking in black-and-white ROI terms, it’s worth it in the long run,” Simon adds. Entrepreneurial thinking often revolves around turning an expense into a profit centre. Sponsorships are essentially a marketing expense – it is difficult to measure increases in brand awareness in dollar terms. Instead, you should see your sponsorship as a ticket to an exclusive club, where all the members are highly successful, likeminded companies. Build new relationships, make deals and be proactive in recouping your expenses. Why be content with just being a name on a banner when you could be making contacts and finding new avenues for growth?
“The best thing you can do is open yourself up to high-achieving, ambitious companies”
Take SIMJEN Racing, for example. As a result of its involvement in the Carrera Cup, SIMJEN has secured its position as its Official Web Partner. Without a car in the series, it is very unlikely that SIMJEN would have established such a relationship out of the blue. But now SIMJEN Web is handling the Carrera Cup website, from lap times and leaderboards to driver profiles and promotional web videos. As a secondary benefit, these websites act as an extra promotional tool for SIMJEN’s services – a website portfolio tailormade for each and every sponsor. Having access to the networking world of motorsport can also solidify your relationships with existing clients and customers. As with any other kind of networking, it’s not about individuals meeting individuals – it’s about whole networks of people opening up to other whole networks. Securing a meeting between a client and a fellow sponsor might not make you any money, but both parties involved will value your help. Next time, maybe it’ll be you getting the recommendation.
Having a luxury race car at your disposal can pay dividends in other ways too. With access to the Porsche during downtime, SIMJEN can host corporate track days where clients, smaller sponsors or any other companies can take the car out on the track. Corporate hospitality can make the difference between an unlikely client and a closed deal. Once again, it is vital to get enough face time with the other party. In the end, when you put two businesspeople together, itâ€™s not long before they start talking business. As with any other decision you make, planning is an important aspect of committing to a sponsorship. You need to think about the types of businesses that tend to occupy certain fields and select your avenue carefully. Donâ€™t lose sight of your brand identity or target market. Blindly jumping into a sponsorship expecting huge jumps in sales or instant multimillion dollar deals is unrealistic.
Plan your movements, seek advice, and keep your eye on the finish line.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
being held over an i.t. barrel Wouldn’t it be nice if every time a new technology came into our working lives promising to make things easier and save us time, it actually did? Software developments were at an all-time high in 2010, yet every year, each day seems to have less hours in it than the one before!
Time spent choosing, installing, configuring, learning and updating computer programs has a direct impact on a business’ bottom line, costing a company both employee time and missed business opportunities. Our dependence on computers and technology has allowed IT companies to increase their call-out fees and charge extortionate hourly rates. Many IT companies charge high minimum rates, regardless of how long a job takes, or whether they fix the problem or not. What’s even worse, they do this after you’ve set time aside to make sure you’re available to meet them at home, or to drop your PC off with them, leaving you without it for days at a time.
There is a FINE line between a computer technician and a sales person in the I.T. industry. Technicians are continually up-selling services and products – everybody is in each other’s pocket and everybody has an agenda. The advice you get is tailored to what is most profitable for the technician, and what will help them to reach their sales targets. It is crucial that businesses are able to gain immediate access to their servers and receive computer support when they need it, particularly for small and medium enterprises that do not have a dedicated IT staff member to rectify any issues that arise. Take, for example, a construction company with 25 full-time employees with no dedicated or qualified IT staff member. The company has industry-specific software, MYOB or equivalent payroll software, email software, word processing programs and as many as 100 others installed on their systems. Each of these programs has a specific function for the business, such as designing and storing plans, compiling timesheets, allocating foremen and staff to jobsites, or tracking the business’ incoming and outgoing payments. A fault with any of these software programs could have a huge impact on the company, resulting in the loss of data and potentially, the loss of work. With no in-house IT person, discovering, pinpointing, and fixing a problem can be a very time-consuming process.
With no in-house I.T. person, discovering, pinpointing, and fixing a problem can be a very time-consuming process.
SIMJEN has developed two services that are designed to help these small and medium enterprises to break-free of their reliance on IT companies. The web and phone-based services are proactive in identifying issues and offer a convenient and cost-effective repair service. Computer Guard and FastFix put control back into the hands of business owners, by empowering them with 24 hour access to a virtual IT department.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
digital photo Manipulation With technology becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s marketing environment, consumers are coming to expect more from advertising. Effectively communicating messages to potential buyers requires engaging visuals that surpass what can be achieved with traditional media. Take photography, for example. Where designers and photographers were traditionally involved in separate parts of the creative process, nowadays more and more digital professionals are becoming diversified in their creative abilities, delivering a whole new kind of creative experience to consumers. Image retouching is becoming more than retroactive make-up. Digital art is being used to not only improve the quality of images, but to physically change their focus. Digital manipulation plays an interesting role in advertising; it has blurred the line between imagination and reality. For designers, this has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. They are now able to create, through photographic manipulation, what was before only possible through illustrative media. The interpretation of these images varies slightly with each individual; however there is always an intended message embedded in it. We can explore an ad, take it apart and reveal its deeper meaning by studying it in terms of semiotics and ideology*. We are directed to this deeper message by interacting with these “signs” - through the composition and placement of elements within the image, and their colour, size and texture. This combination of “signs” directs us around the image, evoking certain emotive responses about the product.
Actively participating in forming a meaning from an advertisement places the viewer within its ideological space. For example, one of the reasons the Marlboro Man was such an iconic cultural image was that the public were captivated, drawn into the ideological space of the ad: the wild prairie, the machismo, the cowboy myth. The ad’s ideology works through us – it’s a perceived truth we subconsciously create, a social illusion dictated by the advertiser’s objective. Advertisers somehow control our perception, placing them in a position of power above us. It is through this unequal power relationship that advertising determines what society wants. Advertising convinces consumers that they need a product in order to obtain the universal ideal it has itself created. Digital manipulation has taken this process to new levels. We are bombarded with impossible realities, and advertising’s role is to assure the viewer that these realities are achievable – if not physically, then at least emotionally. Through digital enhancement we can combine the perceived truth of an image with the creative freedom of a design, and appeal to an even greater range of emotions and ideals. Learn to utilize digital media in your advertising campaigns to take your advertisements to a higher level - one that sets you apart and creates a point of difference from your competitors. Find out what your clients desire from your product or service. Take note of what ideals they envisage and design your ad to target the specific emotions these ideals bring up. This is the basis for your advertisement. From here you can create tailored ideologies to suit your brand. For more information on digital media and advertising, contact SIMJEN on 1300 66 22 42.
* Advertising jargon explained
Semiotics is the analysis of what signs mean, and what connotations they have. A ‘sign’ could be a logo, a picture, text, or anything else we take a message from. In advertising, there is usually an ideology behind each sign. These ideologies are the beliefs or values we are persuaded to accept. For example, a slim woman in an ad could mean either “Skinny is beautiful” or “Anorexia is a life-threatening condition”, depending on the viewer/advertiser’s ideology.
SIMJEN | chapter 2
GUERRILLA PROJECTOR GET SEEN, GET TALKED ABOUT Advertising doesn’t just have to be about billboards and bus shelters. Why would you bother with a static poster when you could project a moving 3D image onto the side of a building, simulating it falling down, melting or exploding? Welcome to the world of the Guerrilla Projector: outdoor media at night time.
www.guerrillaprojector.com.au Check out the website to see the Guerrilla Projector in action!
HOW IT WORKS
tor began life as The Guerrilla Projec started by creative “The Cart”, a project n Human Ventures. community organisatio s with Human in a SIMJEN joined force nt to take The Cart venture capital agreeme ed it the Guerrilla am to market. Having ren ve entered talks with Projector, SIMJEN ha the platform to the media buyers to offer mes says, “We were public. CEO Simon Ja man on the Guerrilla thrilled to partner with Hu at opportunity to a gre Projector. We saw it as issues while at the ity un mm co help address ss to this incredible same time gaining acce .” new marketing platform
The Guerrilla Projector is Brisbane’s first only urban media projection platform and . It is a weather-proof cart that can be eas ily hidden, allowing you to catch the public unawares. Because the unit is portable, it can be quickly set up, taken down and moved, enabling advertisers to target spe cific areas at specific times. It can be position ed outside a nightclub to promote a particula r beverage or event, or on the side of a railway station at rush hour. As long as it’s dark, the projector can do its job.
SIMJEN’s research showed that cons were far more lik ely to engage with umers The projector is ideally suited outd advertising when to outdoor it was illuminated oor advertisements, public had high contra , art installations, an d promotions and st against the su event video streaming. rrounding divid space. In short, It bridges the e between street pe art and advertisin look at a back-li ople are more likely to itself g, lending t bus shelter ad particularly well to striking, provocat at night By than during the ive images. transforming a day. Imagine if th blan at same peop ad was fifty feet le’s natural inqu d space and capturing high on the sid isitiveness, mes building, and it e of a seen sages are was moving. In , addition, Asid processed, talked about and rem as people are us embered. e from standard ually in relaxation product ads, ther mode at mar night, they are ar e is a large ket for corporate, guably more rece charity and comm pt advertising com unity events munications than ive to and promotions. The projector can gr their busy day. du rin g the profile of anyo eatly raise There has alrea ne that is bold en dy been Plus considerable inte ough to use it. rest from alcoholic , as an added bo nus, beverage prom manufacturers, as ote in-house vent SIMJEN can still use it to w ures during its do entertainment indu ell as the nightlife and wn-time. stries.
VIRAL VIDEO rojector
is to P the Guerrilla a of nd m ou ai ar e Th outh hype m f-o d or th t w trac e generate ectacle, you at sp a g tin ea cr y are video of it brand. B rs-by, who sh se s as p of n io attent out it with friend ia and talk ab d ed ne ig m es al d ci t so on ction is no je ro p e ct Th ire . is an ind and family stant sales; it to generate in at gets people to use your th e marketing tool n describing the impressiv he z w uz e b m ge na hu nd a ra b nerating ge e, se tin ey marke g display th nd. Guerrilla ra b ur yo s have been around ock-on effect sful around kn l ra vi its es and extremely succ w proven to be projection is the hottest ne eo id V . the world concept. addition to the
Consumers are becoming increas ingly accustomed to having their own input seen and hea rd. The success of phenomena like Facebook and You Tube is based on users’ ability to interact with their digital environment. The Guerrilla Projector allows passers -by to change the content up on the screen, either via SMS, or using a digital device similar to a video gam e controller. Enabling the public to actually interact with your message is a total reversal of roles – ads usually talk to the audience, not the other way around. This inte ractivity also greatly increases the chances of the messag e being shared on social media; people are going to want to show their friends that something they came up with was beamed onto the side of a building.
THE INDUSTRY “The projector will allow these companies to add an interactive night-time product to complement their clients’ existing outdoor campaigns. We’re at the forefront of what is technologically possible these days – the projector is going to radically change the public’s expectations of how brands promote themselves outdoors.”
To find out how you can go guerrilla, contact SIMJEN on 1300 66 22 42.
The outdoor advertising industry is in a period of unprecedented growth. Revenues climbed 19% to a total of $477 million in 2010. These figures show that businesses are doing more and more outdoor advertising, and that they are coming back for more. Companies such as APN, EYE and GOA lead the industry with their extensive outdoor coverage. Simon James says, “With the outdoor market experiencing such a boom, it’s the perfect time for us to work with other outdoor media companies and media buyers to make the most of it.”
SIMJEN | chapter 2
introducing the personal multimedia headset
Immerse your clients in a truly captivating experience with ZERO GRAVITY entertainment
hink back about ten years, when DVD was just beginning to replace VHS as the video format of choice. It was all highoctane advertisements that showcased stunning visuals and surround sound, promising a new experience never before seen in the home. The same thing happened when HD hit our screens, and again with 3D. So, you might ask yourself, what could offer an even more immersive experience? Unfortunately, we still haven’t reached the point where virtual reality is, well, a reality. But we do have the next best thing. Video glasses (also known as Head-Mounted Displays or HMDs) can display images at a resolution of up to 640x480, simulating a screen as large as 80 inches from what seems like a few feet away. They are 3D-ready, and with in-built headphones supplying audio, the viewer is immersed in an enclosed world, with no need for a big screen, sound system or darkened room. So far, the only people to have adopted this technology are video game and film enthusiasts. There is, however, a much more exciting commercial application for the video headset. Imagine going to a conference or expo, but instead of perching yourself on an uncomfortable folding chair, craning your neck to try to see over someone’s head, you can recline in a massage chair, watching a professionally made video presentation on your video headset. We call it “Zero Gravity Entertainment”. The advantages of this system are many and varied. Firstly, you save time and cost in that you can deliver the same presentation simultaneously at numerous locations – you don’t even have to send a presentation team. Secondly, your audience can watch the pre-recorded presentation at any time, at their own convenience. They will be much more engaged, as all distractions will be blocked out. They will also be paying greater attention to the screen, as it is a new, exciting technology – it is an experience within itself. The audience can also rewatch certain sections if they wish, or fast-forward through passages that do not apply to them. As far as delivery and retention of information goes, the Zero Gravity system is far superior to existing methods in so many ways. There are also numerous benefits for businesses wishing to advertise. The viewer’s heightened level of attention and engagement will also make them more willing to watch, and be receptive to, your advertisements. At a shopping centre or home show, the massage chairs offer a unique platform for direct, effective marketing. One of the biggest problems advertisers face is getting and holding the viewer’s attention. With the Zero Gravity system, this problem is instantly bypassed, as the viewer is captivated from the moment they sit down. What more could you ask for?
If you’re interested in reaching people in a way they’ve never been reached before, contact SIMJEN on 1300 66 22 42
SIMJEN | chapter 2
Success doesn’t fall far from the COOP At age 21, Ben Cooper really does have it all figured out.
TERRY COOPER CEO
BEN COOPER EXECUTIVE OFFICER
n any given weekend Ben Cooper may seem like your average 21-year-old. He’s usually catching up with mates over a few drinks or checking out what’s new at the box office. But catch him during the work week and he’s switched on, focused on building his health and fitness entertainment centre, Club Coops. Ben is the second generation of entrepreneurs in the Cooper family, following in the footsteps of father Terry, who started Club Coops in 1979 with his brother, former World Number One tennis player Ashley Cooper.
In early 2009 Ben saw an opportunity in the health and fitness industry, making the decision with his father to switch focus from specialising in just tennis to being a fully-fledged gym. “Up until about two years ago it was always a racquet club. Unfortunately the tennis industry is becoming more public than privately owned – many places are selling their premises to put in housing developments,” says Ben. The club now functions as a cross between a country club and a fitness centre, not just another gym. “It’s about working out the best avenue in order to grow”, he explains.
Ben cites starting the health and fitness part of the business as the first major milestone of his career, followed by bringing the Queensland Tennis Academy back to Coops, and gaining industry-wide recognition for the quality of his services. Quality is what Club Coops ultimately prides itself on – quality of people, equipment, and care. While other fitness centres differentiate themselves by offering 24-hour facilities on every street corner, Club Coops is a place where customers can walk in and the staff know who they are without having to look at a computer. Ben says staffing is the hardest and most important part of running a business. He now has over 45 employees, with an average of four new staff welcomed per month to cope with growth. “As you grow, you’ve got to train more people and give them a position to grow into.” While other businesses focus solely on the bottom line, Ben has tried to perfect his processes, from which he trusts profits will follow. Developing his staff, which does not involve money and is more difficult to gauge, is a large part of this process. Ben and his father spent over two million dollars in six months renovating the club, importing equipment from all over the world to ensure they offered only the best facilities. Coops is the only gym in Queensland offering the Technogym Kinesis Wall, known for being one of the most effective full-body fitness systems available and used by some of the most elite sports teams in the world. It also boasts the plexicushion court surface on all of its tennis courts, offering superior performance and cushioning for safe training. Coops’ focus on quality is reflected in its low customer turnover compared to the larger chains. Its customer base has grown by over 300% in the last 12 months as a result of the changes to the business model and facilities. Club Coops’ new promotional strategy, backed by an upgraded website incorporating a web video and social networking, focuses on giving value back to the customer. Instead of waiving joining fees or offering a free trial period, it actually puts $200 of real, usable value in the potential customer’s hand, in the form of a gift card. Under this strategy, two of these gift cards are given to current members for distribution to friends and family. Our research indicated that socialising played a large part in people’s gym visits, so what better way to promote the club than to encourage people to bring their loved ones along to share in the experience?
Research showed that the most common purchasing hurdles for customers were distance from home and inflexible contracts – however, the more perceived value there was in the venue, the more likely people were to travel further. For example, people are unlikely to travel more than five kilometres to play tennis or do some cardio, but they are happy to do so when they visit theme parks or the beach. By positioning Coops as a destination within itself – something that other fitness centres can rarely boast – its geographic customer base is much wider than before.
The gift cards offer a real incentive to actually go to Coops and use the pre-loaded value. The decisionmaking process in gym/fitness purchases often revolves around convenience of access, ease of joining and value for money. The cards offer customers the opportunity to try before they buy, with no contracts or other strings attached.
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“I’m 21 years of age and setting up my life for the next forty or fifty years” Transforming Club Coops’ racquet club image into that of a bona fide health and fitness entertainment centre was a formidable challenge. One of the most important business lessons Ben learnt from his father was “to always think outside the box – you can never really settle for what everyone else is doing.” Cooper spent some time looking for a marketing company, but was disappointed that most of them seemed more preoccupied with signing a contract than offering a service. “What I like about SIMJEN is that even if we have a contract and budget in place, if it doesn’t get spent they’ll give it back or ask how else we can spend it. That shows a lot of honesty and trust. I think having a marketing company is a bit like having a business partner. SIMJEN are basically a business parter, which is phenomenal.” Ben’s most important influence has been his father. “My father and I have a very strong bond, which is because we understand each other. Both of us are business people and we have the same priorities and goals in life.” Having been heavily involved in sport in his childhood, training professionally at the Australian Institute of Sport in sprint kayaking, Ben only put his sporting ambitions on hold to satisfy his burgeoning interest in business. He has since completed a degree in Commerce at The University of Queensland, with the aim of becoming a business analyst. “Coops is a great opportunity because it ties in both aspects of my life: wanting to be a business analyst and run my own business, but also staying in touch with the sporting part of my life.” In the process of building the reputation of Club Coops, a lot of experiences that most 21-year-olds like Ben take for granted have fallen by the wayside. “You give up a lot as far as the relationships with your friends and those around you go,” he says. But his determination to succeed makes it all worthwhile. “I’m 21 years of age and setting up my life for the next forty or fifty years.” The thing that keeps Ben coming into work every day is the satisfaction of building a business where the customers are also satisfied, coming to him with stories about how Club Coops has helped transform their lives. With further ventures planned in property development, and with a vision to expand nationwide in the health industry, Ben Cooper is going to be working for a very long time to come. But in his words, in order to achieve long-term success, you’ve got to love what you’re doing, and if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
SIMJEN | chapter 2