The biggest marketing mistake made by Kiwi businesses...


One of the biggest marketing mistakes I see happening with small to medium businesses in New Zealand is the lack of consistent and persistent marketing.

I am not sure whether people are waiting to create a killer advert that just wins clients over or they are just too busy to do this vital activity for their business.

Now, the most important thing for your business is to make sure you have a great product and/or service. The second most important thing is to market what you do to potential clients.

I know many smaller businesses fall into the trap of getting too busy (generally with non-revenue making activity) and wonder why they just seem to get by? If you ask them if they market themselves persistently and consistently using media and or other means that reach out to potential new clients, you will find many of these business owners are inconsistent and not at all persistent. I am not sure if it is a Kiwi culture thing, but I do know that if they could change this one thing magic would start happening with their business.

When I ask most Kiwi business people how they get customers the number one response I get is ‘referral business’. When I dig a little deeper you usually find the reason why they just get referral business is they do very little else. Now network and building contacts that provide you with referrals is a great way to build your brand and build your business the challenge here is you can only do so much of this.

Networking along with weekly (Ideally 2-3 times per week) marketing campaigns that not only introduces your products/services to new customers but also reinforces to previous customers you are still around and ready to help them is where success can be found.

There are a number of ways to market your business and it can take some time to work out what works best for your unique needs. However, once you have found the right marketing approach stick to it. be consistent with your messaging and persistent with your frequency to make significant gains in growing your brand and eventually growing your business.

Hope you found this useful. Hope I have inspired you to advertise 2-3 times per week.

I wish you all the success you deserve.

Tony C

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Consultant

Facebook versus Google

Google vs Facebook.jpg

Hi, my name is Tony Cutting I own a digital marketing business here in New Zealand. I have been involved in digital solutions since I setup my first tech business ‘PeopleNet’ in 1999. Most recently I have made the change to focus on digital marketing, not only is it an exciting field to play in but it is also very rewarding.

I have over 120 business (mainly small business) customers across New Zealand and we are building digital marketplaces to help as many small to medium business grow as well as provide a FREE marketing platform for our local community groups.

OK that’s me.

A massive shift

In the last 12 months I have witnessed and experienced the most bizarre (almost self-destructive) move from the biggest digital marketing platform in the world. I can only put this down to American greed and the pressure these US based businesses have to increase their share price. Facebook has been on a 12-month journey to self-destruction and they still do not seem to understand this.

However, they are still the biggest player and I am still advocating to my clients that we use them. We will be looking at alternative solutions to start to take away the risk of Facebook absolutely destroying themselves. This is unlikely but what I have seen over the past 12 months it is very possible.

So what does this all mean.

24-36 months ago

If you had asked me where to invest your marketing funds it was a no brainer. Facebook gave the most value and I loved the fact that a community club or group could use the platform for FREE build a marketing system to help promote their club, events, fundraisers etc.

For small to medium business Facebook was the go-to low cost way to build your brand, promote your website and ultimately grow your business. This has changed.

Two major things have happened in the last 2-3 years with a massive shift in the last 12 months. Facebook has been making changes which are obviously driven by the shareholders greed for more. They have hiked the cost of advertising almost to the point that many small businesses have to rethink their digital marketing strategy and their service to businesses have been very, very poor. I will say in the last 3 months there has been a slight improvement with the introduction for ‘paying clients only’ of a customer support chat service. Secondly, the system keeps failing and annoying the very people who pay them. The constant changes are not well tested and there are errors nearly every week - this will pass once they bed down their ultimate goal - a higher paying advertising system. The product has been exposed to be messy and untidy and the constant changes make it very annoying for everyone. BUt they are still number 1 in terms of following (marketplace) and social media.

The big ace for Facebook Inc is Instagram (Facebook owned) which seems to be more stable and is now dominating in the 18-35-year market for personal use. So, expect this to attract more and more businesses in the next 12 -24 months.

So, here is the real-world example. 36 months ago, if my clients posted in a digital marketplace, we created we could have this small business reach 4000-8000 locals without paying a cent this represented at the time about 150% of the marketplace audience we had built. This has changed in dramatic fashion now they are lucky to reach 2-5% of the marketplace audience and need to spend at least $20 per day to consistently hit 2000+ views of their posts.

In terms of community groups that use to achieve great things for FREE now the reality is they need to start budgeting marketing funds if they want to reach the larger numbers.

Facebook Advertising have most recently also introduced bidding and for businesses this means very shortly they will be almost on level with Googles AdWords in terms of costs. Dumb. Let me explain why soon.

For business users who do not yet pay for advertising there is little support from Facebook.

Facebooks key strength remains (just) - Now it is still the most powerful and affordable way to ‘market’ your business. For $20 per day on average you can achieve some good things with the platform.

Google over the past 36 months

Other than conceding the failure of Google+, the major web player has been pretty stead with the most potent search / advertising system in the world. For some businesses using Google AdWords is very affordable (or at least some key words are) but for many you can be paying up to $50 for one website visit for the most expense keywords e.g. “insurance”

Google support is great and their FREE product Google My Business is a very valuable tool for all businesses. May this continue.

The power play for Google is that it is more of a sales system than a marketing system. This is because people are searching for something in Googvle and when they find it they are more likelyu to buy than someone who has randomly seen your post. The product is stable and is supported by a number of very cool tools like Google Analytics. The Google Advertising team also work hard to help clients get the most from the platform. They are easy to reach.

Google now is a toll most business need to revisit. Best budget is likely to be between $40-$50 per day. In fact, once you hit $50 per day Google assign a system expert to ensure your ads work. Pretty compelling.

So that’s it. If you have not used Google AdWords for some time and you are getting frustrated by Facebook it may be worth taking a new look at Google. Don’t drop Facebook but be smart and cover your bases better.

The irony here is Facebook is becoming the biggest reason people are buying more Google ads and exploring other digital marketing tools. The big question is will they sort their SH%T out before they completely self-destruct? Time will tell.

Have a great weekend. I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist


About Tony Cutting Digital

Tony Cutting Digital helps businesses of all sizes grow using both digital and sales strategies that work. We build digital marketplaces that enable start up business as well as established businesses accelerate their growth. We work with some of the best digital marketing providers locally and globally to offer a full solution for any sized project.

For more information visit

Marketing 101 - Branding versus Direct Marketing


What is Branding?

Branding, by definition, in marketing is when a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers, but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

Marketing your brand.

When you start out in business one of the first jobs you must do is let people know about your brand. Brand marketing is the well-strategised action of promoting the brand, letting people know what who you are and what you are about. Great branding will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients and customers. People are more likely to do business with a company they recognise and trust.

Many small business owners disregard the power of building a brand because they expect instant results if they pay for any type of advertising. The smart business owner understands the power of persistent and consistent promotion of their brand, building recognition and the trust with people who may not only buy from you but are highly likely recommend you to other people they know.

The action of Branding and Brand Advertising generally helps a business understand the profile of their ideal customer.

Not neccessarily measurable

Branding is difficult to measure, however most major brands we buy today spend a large amount of their marketing budget on this activity - should you?

What is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is the method of presenting information about your company, product, or service to your target customer without the use of an advertising middleman. It is a targeted form of marketing that presents information of potential interest to a consumer that has been determined to be a likely buyer.

Example: Subscribers of Surfing magazines might be presented with Facebook ads for new surfboard wax, based on their age, they are likely to need. Or members of the Waikanae Football Club sent an email with an offer for a 20% discount from the local Football Boot supplier.

Common forms of direct marketing include:

  • Brochures

  • Catalogues

  • Fliers (Example: The local lawn mower service dropping fliers in homes with unruly lawns)

  • Newsletters

  • Fridge Magnets

  • Post cards

  • Coupons

  • Emails

  • Targeted online display ads

  • Phone calls

  • Text messages

  • Facebook messages (A favourite of mine)

Direrct Marketing Goals

Direct marketing’s sole goal is to persuade the recipient to act. While getting a sale is the goal, some customers will not be ready to buy on-the-spot. But they might:

• Visit a website

• Call for more information

• Return a postcard requesting a quote

• Enter their name and email address

• Make a purchase

Unlike mass advertising, which is presented to everyone, direct marketing is presented to the people who are most likely to have an interest or need in your product or service.

You can make the message personal, making the recipient feel it is meant just for them

It is more cost-effective to market to buyers who have been identified as likely to buy

For that reason, it also has a higher return on investment, since the likelihood of making a sale to a targeted customer list is higher to begin with.

It is measurable.

Direct marketing uses several built-in ways to track the success of each campaign, allowing you to improve with each mail or email cycle.

If you would like more marketing and digital marketing tips subscribe to my message system

I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

What experience does your customer receive?

Photo by    Artem Bali    on    Unsplash

Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

People think marketing is about good-looking logos, clever advertising creative or simply their product or service.

What happens when we ask the question ‘what experience does our customer receive when they engage with us?’ This is the question that will lead to (I hope) a winning formula for your business.

The world has changed, and your customer will use the same digital approach you took to reach thousands of potential customers to tell the same people what buying from you really is like.

Careful consideration is needed when looking at the experience a customer has when they first get introduced to your business, their experience while buying and their experience when being a repeat or loyal customer.

In the digital age the goal to convert customers into advocates has never been so important. Reviews on Google, Social Media and most industry related portals can be the making or killing of a business.

The key to being successful is to provide not just a great product or service but to provide outstanding service (appropriate to the product or service you provide). Sometimes it can be a simple thing that you do for your clients that will set you apart from your competitors.

If you are struggling to find a solution find help. This is so important. Especially now with many businesses focused on volume and systems and not even thinking about the journey the customer has with them.

So have a look at what happens when a customer buy’s from you. Happy customers become you best sales people. Attention to this will not only give you a great business now but provide the key to your success long into the future.

I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist