Jamie McAinsh, Founder of The Marketing Clan, Shares His Business Journey & Top Ten Marketing Tips
For many regional business owners, the last twelve months has undoubtedly been a rollercoaster. However, during these periods of uncertainty, there has been a silver lining for some businesses. In this interview we share a remarkable story about one of our very own clients, who turned hardship into a triumph, ultimately lending a helping hand to other small businesses during COVID.
We recently caught up with the Clan Chief, Jamie McAinsh from The Marketing Clan, who explains how he went from a successful career in the Middle East to relocating back to Australia with his family to start a business from scratch. In only a few short years, Jamie and his wife Belinda successfully built a thriving agency and coworking space in the picturesque Jervis Bay. The Marketing Clan is truly the epitome of resilience.
Jamie, we’ve been eagerly watching you grow ‘The Marketing Clan’ in leaps and bounds. How long has it taken you to be where you are today, and what is your current offering?
The Marketing Clan is a full-service agency that provides marketing services for regional Australian businesses, primarily SMEs for the past six years.
Our role is to identify and clearly communicate our clients’ point of difference and effectively communicate their product or service to their audience through the most relevant communication channels. Our marketing services range from consultation, research, strategy and communication planning, brand strategy, design, copywriting, advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, user experience and corporate communication.
Tell us more about your business journey
Having both worked for multinational agencies, we saw an opportunity to offer marketing and creative services to smaller regional businesses.
Belinda was originally from the Shoalhaven and we wanted to relocate here, having lived in the Middle East for five years. We wanted a better work-life balance and a home for our young family that wasn’t in the city.
As a brand new entrant to the market in 2014, it was a challenge to get local Shoalhaven businesses to understand the value of the work that we did, especially those that had not worked with a marketing agency before.
What is a major lesson you have learnt from running The Marketing Clan?
What do we know about insurance or tax?!
Don’t try and do it all.
Sometimes it’s too overwhelming, and there are too many levers to pull, all on your own. Running a small business requires other businesses’ support and expertise to ensure you’re compliant and working efficiently. Don’t pretend you can do it all yourself, but identify the experts in their field who can help you. This will only make your business run better.
Do you have any tips or advice for those looking to start or are already in business?
Whether you’re looking to start up or are well established, marketing communication can hold the key to creating a difference between you and your competition. Here are a few tips:
1. Check out the competition
What are they doing that’s different to you?
2. Who’s your audience?
Clearly define your audience and then identify where you can reach them for the best chance of getting their attention.
3. Nail what it is that makes you different
Is it your culture, your shopping experience, your staff or your amazing product or service that’s like no other? Are you leveraging it and can anyone else claim to do the same? It would be best to find an ‘angle’ that creates a strong point of difference today. If you don’t have one, create one.
4. Keep the conversation going
Whether it’s ‘business as usual’ or you’re now in the unchartered territory due to COVID, don’t stop talking to your audience. Use your social media more than ever to connect with them. Plan some content that is helpful, useful, entertaining, educational… whatever fits your brand personality and offering. But don’t try and be anything other than genuine.
5. Provide a killer customer experience
Whether your customers interact with you online or in the physical world, make sure you’re delivering the best possible brand experience across all your communication channels. Check that, through the eyes of your customers; it’s always an effortless process to enquire, shop and connect with you.
6. Diversify or bite the dust
It’s easy to rest on your laurels when everything has been peachy. But be careful, things can change quickly! Keep innovating, evolving and finding how you can do it better than anyone else. Think of additional products and services you can offer to enhance your core capabilities, some of which may be innovative or out of the box. Always ask, ‘what’s next?’
7. Keep it simple
People are busy, easily distracted and time-poor. So, whether it’s your message, offer or experience, keep it simple. The faster someone can understand how your product or service will benefit them, the better.
8. Communicate with your team
Whether your business has 5 or 500 people, don’t forget your team’s role in helping during this process. The clearer your strategy and message are with them, the easier it will be to communicate it to your customers. Keep them involved, interested and motivated through engaging internal communications.
9. Properly plan your marketing initiatives
It’s tempting to promote as quickly as possible, but it’s essential to consider your communication plan. Set your objectives, even if they are short-term. Identify what’s going to give you the best return on investment. If the budget is tight, make sure you’re spending wisely… test and measure. Then focus on the initiatives giving you the best return and make them even better!
10. Improve your presence online
Your website, social channels and Google My Business may all be performing well. But make sure you’re regularly reviewing your digital assets through your customer lens. Are they all connected? Can people easily find you? Is the content up-to-date and fresh, so people come back? Ensure visitors can get what they’re after in a couple of clicks. Do you need to implement lead generation strategies?
We recently heard about your new venture, The Greenhouse Huskisson, can you tell us more about it?
In its first three years, The Greenhouse hosted a variety of businesses, both local and visiting. Of course, 2020 and COVID changed everything – and more demand has called for more space! With significant trends in working remotely and away from the big smoke favouring regional areas, people have found they can efficiently work outside of the corporate walls and be more productive whilst maintaining a decent work/life balance.
As the way we work continues to change, The Greenhouse Huskisson offers the perfect solution. People can come together to work in an inspired creative setting looking out over idyllic Jervis Bay; a dynamic place where you can share modern office amenities. More importantly, feed off like-minded others – regardless of industry or occupation – who appreciate the rich value in collaboration rather than isolation.