Leonie Prenderville is a marketing and communications guru who’s used her prowess to help grow many businesses including her own (in record time). This gorgeous girl has been so kind to have a conversation with is on The Word Style File about how marketing is integral to your business. Have a read!
Tell me about your biz?
Put simply, Lion In The Village is a marketing and social media business. We work with passionate businesses in the food, health and personal and professional development industries. I started the biz because I saw a problem. As businesses grow they get to a stage where they need a strategy for their marketing and they have to ask a question: Do they hire a marketing manager or outsource to an agency? Marketing managers give you only 1 person to do everything (and therefore more risk), whereas agencies are super pricey. We’re a different solution, we totally integrate into the businesses we work with, taking on the full management of all things to do with marketing and social media. It means we can only take on a limited number of clients at any 1 time, but we like it that way. We get to know and love the businesses we work with.
What do you do?
Personally, my favourite bit is working with a business to help them clearly communicate their message. Whether that’s using social media, emails, branding or something as simple as the language they use on their website. We make sure that the personality of the business shines through in every aspect so that people can really connect with it.
Why do you love it?
I discovered many years ago that my true passion wasn’t marketing itself. I get such a buzz talking to a business owner who’s eyes are lit up with passion for their business, vision and mission. Marketing (which I also love) is my vehicle to help these business owners to make their visions and missions a reality. And I get to do that every single day.
Why is marketing important?
It’s so easy to hate marketing – for both consumers and business owners. It can be so distasteful and disruptive. However when done right it will be a fantastic experience for both parties. There’s no denying that marketing is now vital for every business. In a world of endless choice both online and offline, people consult social media for the simple task of buying a coffee. They do their research online what coffee beans are used? What milk options are there? Are they closed Mondays?
And that’s just for a cup of coffee! Imagine what people are researching for larger purchases. You must ensure that there is great information on your products and services out there that truly appeals to your audience and gives them an opportunity to engage with you.
What does it involve?
Great marketing involves truly connecting with your audience. Making the effort to turn them from a consumer into a friend. This means getting to know them by defining your target market; what do they do on the weekend? Do they listen to a particular style of music? Are they adhering to certain lifestyle choices?
Once you take the time to get to know them you will start to see how you can align your expertise with what they need and deliver it in a way that they’ll be most receptive to it. It might be as simple as knowing which days of the week to post your specials on social media or making the decision to hold a two-hour workshop on a Tuesday evening opposed to a full-day workshop on the weekend because you now understand that your market are too busy to take a day out on the weekend.
What are some new cool trends coming through in the world of marketing?
The big trend we’re all seeing at the moment is visual communication. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are growing every day and even emails, blogs and websites are becoming more and more image-led. With so much out there people don’t have the time to read and read and read anymore. We need to keep messages clear, concise and with clear visual cues.
What is the most way out thing you have ever seen when it comes to marketing?
There’s loads of big, crazy stunts being pulled off every day by giant ad agencies and funded by big-budget corporates. While some of it is amazing, personally I find a lot of it OTT and believe that most of it fails to really connect because it’s too gimicky.
Should businesses discount traditional marketing and opt solely for online?
No, never! In terms of advertising specifically, print advertising rarely works anymore and is super expensive. So for advertising, yes stay online where you can measure it accurately and only pay for people who actually see it. For marketing in general though, never underestimate the power of getting press coverage, flyers, signage, books, events and the branding that you use on all of them to appeal to your market.
What are your 3 best tips to stand out from the crowd?
- Be authentic: Only you can be YOU. So use this. Inject real personality into the business, quirks and all. Let people behind the scenes to see that you and your team are living breathing humans who do normal things just like them. Your consumers will resonate with it and connect with it.
- Get out of your industry bubble: We can get so stuck looking at what everyone within our industry is doing. Look outside of your industry and borrow marketing and promotion ideas. It might seem risky, but it’s taking that risk that makes you different, that’s newsworthy or worth talking about.
- Offer something different: I can’t emphasis enough, you need to be offering something unique in the first place. Know your differentiators and own them. Make sure they’re clearly stated wherever people might look you up because they’re the reasons people will choose you over the competition.
Why should business owners consider outsourcing their marketing efforts?
I worked in a number of SME’s as a marketing manager and what I consistently found was that the marketing manager was expected to be an expert everything. A designer, a copywriter, a social media expert, a PR whiz, HTML coder, SEO strategist, branding genius AND a manager of a team (and don’t even get me started on the financials, reporting and budgeting!). When that much is on your plate it’s impossible to be creative and produce great results.
When you outsource you get access to a team of experts who each work on their piece of the pie because theirs the critical mass of clients to justify having copywriters, social media experts and all the other roles you need. Further, the collective brain power is awesome, way more ideas coming in!
Favourite inspirational quote?
It changes often, but right now it’s: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken
Leonie Prendeville is the Head Lion over at Lion in the Village. Have a conversation with her on 0401 325 616, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to her site www.lioninthevillage.com