Why i.interact and where did it start?

Like many of you reading this, i.interact started from an idea. I first had mine in 2009 while I was working full time as a Marketing and PR Manager for a coaching and training company that worked exclusively with accounting firms. Here I was exposed to the consulting world which I had no real idea about having spent the first seven years of my career working internally for one business.

I quickly learnt from the accounting firms that marketing and branding was a key area that not only they needed help with, but that their small to medium size business clients needed help with also.  I soon realised that I had options other than working to grow someone else’s business. I started visualise what type of business I could create that would complement my strengths and experience and this is how i.interact started.

The highlights of starting my business were attending my first ever business building workshop in Sydney, brainstorming names and registering my business and creating the i.interact brand. In my first twelve months, there were also many challenges (which I am sure many of you can relate to) including finances, setting up an office and getting my name and brand out there.

After testing the waters and fine tuning my marketing and branding service offering during my first 12 months in business, I started promoting myself as a Virtual Marketing Manager instead of just a Marketing Consultant. This seemed to hit a cord with most business owners and they understood instantly what I was able to offer them in terms of my services.

Luckily for me, I also discovered networking in my first year in business and this is how I have successfully built my brand awareness and how I will continue to promote my brand in addition to online marketing. Networking allows you to build long lasting and meaningful relationships plus a trusted network of suppliers that you trust implicitly that you can then refer onto your clients.

I believe that networking, forging strong and lasting relationships with my clients and providing a unique and tailored service to business owners are the key reasons why I am still in business four years on. I am also a co-director of a business networking community called Ask Ernie which facilitates and support my love of networking and supporting business owners.

Being in business is a challenge but it is also very rewarding and allows you to constantly learn and achieve a lifestyle that you have always wanted. The best advice I can give to any business owner is to not try and do everything yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses and fill the gaps by seeking out experts and professionals to help you in growing your business.

Do You Need Marketing Expertise for Your Small Business?

Do you have what it takes to effectively market your small business? If you do, that’s great, but if your efforts have so far not been up to scratch, or you would just like some professional help to boost your brand awareness, you might be interested in outsourced marketing services to help in moving your business forward.

Marketing your business is complex in the modern world. Today’s consumers are generally very savvy and well informed, and as a small business owner you need to be on the ball to keep up with them and with changes in the marketplace.

Modern marketing can also take a lot of time – something that many small business owners and directors probably don’t have in abundance. Running a business, developing products and services and supervising employees can be enough of a task, without thinking about how to go about boosting your exposure and market share. This might mean that the task of marketing seems overwhelming or at least very challenging.

You need to think about advertising and promotion, your branding, graphics, website, communications and various other matters. Without the expertise in these areas you might not know quite where to begin.

i.interact’s services include development of marketing plans and strategies, branding and / or rebranding, graphic design and public relations. i.interact also knows that your enterprise is totally unique, and needs a tailored approach to marketing and conveying to your target market what it is you have to offer. We are also aware that your funds might be limited, and can negotiate a program with you to fit within your budget.

i.interact can provide a contact person as well as a team of experts to help you with all the facets of marketing that you need. You will also have the option of using our services constantly, or on an ad-hoc basis – such as when launching a new product line for instance. Outsourced marketing services can help to provide your business with that professional and competitive edge, which in turn can assist you in retaining your clients and attracting new ones along the way.

Marketing Ideas for Small Business

While anyone in a profit-making business is naturally keen to achieve a return on their investment, business experts will often emphasise that the focus of any business owner needs to be not so much on the bottom line, but on providing the best product or service in the marketplace.

Of course this starts with knowing what it is that consumers actually want or need in the first place. This involves listening to your customers, and it might entail doing some market research – through surveys, direct interviews, focus groups or other methods. Even many established companies will conduct market research when considering launching a new product. This is a vital step – as without knowing what it is that people really want, you might find yourself paddling upstream in the wrong direction!

Once you are clear on what customers want, and you have researched the competition and you are clear on your product’s cost and pricing structure, you need to develop some sound marketing tactics to help you achieve your goals and objectives. This is a continual process that involves keeping your eye on the market, measuring your progress through sales targets, and making adjustments to your strategies as required.

Here are some tips for developing better small business marketing strategies:

  •  Take advantage of the free or low-cost advertising opportunities that are available these days, such as social media, or email campaigns.
  •  Consider producing flyers, brochures, videos, press releases, a website, blog, or advertising in industry magazines.
  •  Attend trade shows and give out samples of your product or brochures describing your professional service, and be available to talk to potential clients.
  •  Consider offering special discounts or discount vouchers to use within a certain timeframe.
  •  Network with other small business owners in the industry. Ask questions with the goal of finding out what works for them and what doesn’t.
  •  To increase your exposure consider joining professional trade industry associations and networking with other businesses.
  •  Increase your skills through training sessions, employing a mentor, or attending seminars. Keep your mind open and flexible. Of course as a small business owner, you might feel that you are doing your upmost just to keep your business running, and that you just don’t have the time for marketing or the means to employ someone to do it for you.

This is where small business marketing services such as that provided by i.interact can help, by providing you with professional and expert marketing services when and where you need them – from developing marketing plans, sales and marketing tools, to branding, graphic design and public relations. Our services allow you, the business owner to keep on doing what you love to do, while knowing that marketing and promotion of your product or service has not slipped under the radar!

Rebranding – Does Your Business Need a Makeover?

We all need a change or a fresh start every now and then, and sometimes the same can be said about businesses. There are times when rebranding might be necessary to create a new identity and image in the mind of customers and clients.

 

 

Rebranding can be done for a whole company, a product, a range of products, or created for a new product line. There might be many reasons for rebranding, such as to:

  • Create a more modern image.
  • Shed a less-than-positive image.
  • Become more relevant to consumers.
  • Attract a new type of client.
  • Attract a certain type of employee.
  • Promote a change of strategy and image – for example to demonstrate that the company is environmentally responsible.
  • Differentiate a new line of products from a previous one.
  • Create a more professional image, especially if the old branding was not done professionally in the first place.
  • Start afresh if the old brand did not achieve the desired results.
  • Make a new promise to consumers.
  • Create a new brand when merging with another company.
  • Differentiate from another business that has a very similar name, which causes customer confusion.

Businesses of all sizes and types may rebrand from time to time. For instance, even Apple Computers changed their title to simply ‘Apple’ so that they could sell other products. Rebranding can involve creating a new name, logo, image, and marketing strategy. It is a big step, especially since people identify with brands. It’s not something to be done lightly, or in an amateurish way. As such, when considering rebranding it’s best to find a business rebranding company that has the credentials and experience to help the business owner manage the shift professionally, and without upsetting existing customers, while creating the capacity to attract new ones.

Rebranding is likely to involve the same steps as initial branding, but needs the added requirement of being particularly sensitive to the effect on customers in the marketplace. It’s highly important in this process that it is managed in a thorough way with nothing forgotten or left undone along the way. Outsourcing the rebranding process for your small business to a business rebranding company like i.interact means that you can get the professional expertise you need to make the process as seamless as possible.