Meet The Expert - Tim Langford Smith, Jaz Creative

This month, we meet Tim Langford-Smith, Managing Director of Jaz Creative and one of our Industry Experts, to learn more about Brand Strategy.

Hi Tim, thanks for chatting with us today. To start, can you tell us how your marketing career started?

My marketing career really started some 33 years ago in 1987 when I took up a role as a Marketing Consultant with the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).  

My role at CALM was to increase the sales of their Publications, as they were able to channel any proceeds back into more publications rather then into the central revenue fund.  

Over the two years I was there we managed to increase revenue ten fold from $35,000 to $350,000.

Do you think marketing has evolved in this time?

Absolutely. Whilst the basic fundamentals such as identifying your target market and being clear on your key messaging or value proposition haven’t changed, the methodology definitely has. 

You now need a much more multilevel and multichannel approach to reach your target audience who are becoming increasingly sceptical of Marketers.   

Back in 1987 Marketers dictated what consumers wanted and very much influenced the decision making process.  Now days this has flipped 360 degrees and consumers are driving what they need and want.  

Today the consumer has a lot more choice and is much more informed as they have so many resources at their fingertips in the form of smart phones.  

Interestingly some things such as testimonials are as important now as they were back then.  They just take the form of star ratings and reviews.

How important is it for any business to consider a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is critical to any business as it;

  • Gives you clear direction and gets everyone on the same page
  • It will ensure your marketing is consistent
  • Allows you evaluate new opportunities
  • Gives you measureable goals

There is an old saying in marketing, 50% of the budget works and 50% doesn’t, we just don’t know which 50%.  A marketing strategy will help you work out which 50% is working.  

The marketing strategy doesn’t need to be a massive document or over complicated.  You just need work out five key things:

  • What are your goals and objectives – make these quantifiable
  • Who is your target audience – be specific
  • Key messages and point of difference – your true authentic self
  • Strategy and action plan – this is the “How” and an action plan to follow
  • Measures and KPI’s to make sure you’re on track

And how does building a strong brand fit into this strategy?

Having or building a strong brand is what your marketing strategy is all about. McDonalds and Hungry Jacks both sell hamburgers, but it’s their brand that differentiates them from each other as well as other players in the market.  

It’s your brand that customers will engage with.  You need to connect with customers and develop a relationship.  Through this relationship develop trust from which will create brand loyalty.  

The function of the marketing strategy is about connecting you to customers or brand awareness.  The strength of your brand will determine the strength of the relationship you have with customers.  It’s through this relationship that trust and loyalty are built.

Is it important to measure the success of your strategy and how could this be done?

Absolutely it’s vital to measure and monitor your success.  An important step of the marketing strategy is to develop KPI’s and equally important is to monitor these regularly.

One of the great things of the digital world is that everything can be tracked and traced.  Valuable data and insights are readily available.

If you’re like me and you don’t really pay much attention to the gauges in your car you wouldn’t remove these or the monitoring system, as they will tell you the moment something is wrong.

That petrol light warning has saved many people, me included, from running out of petrol and being stranded. 

How do you know if your strategy is working if you don’t measure it.

For more information about marketing strategy and brand awareness, Tim Langford-Smith can be contacted at Jaz Creative on 1300 852 102.

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