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

Is your website easy to understand?

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One of the big mistakes businesses make with their content is loading it with business jargon. They think it sounds more professional but it actually works against them.

Your content should be easy to understand, you do not need to use business jargon to prove to your industry colleagues you are smart enough. You need to use words that your customers understand. Be authentic and connect with your customers using simple, easy to understand language so they can clearly see what you are about.

Novices feel the need to use business jargon so they can impress people and look like they have a whole lot of knowledge. Smart marketers use simple easy to understand language that connects with potential clients.

So, go check your website, newsletters and social media posts and see if you are acting like a novice or if you are doing your best to connect with your customers.

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

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

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

Do you enjoy the content you write about?


In a digital world that demands content every week, in some cases everyday it becomes very easy just to ‘post’ whatever you can find on the day. However, while many people are focusing on ‘getting the job done’ those that take the time to create and/or source content they love win.

Great content is vital in a world where people are bombarded with content on a minute by minute basis through email, social media and now messaging.

To ensure you provide great content you need to 1) make a plan. 2) give yourself time to create content 3) find third party content that ‘fits’ your audience.

The 30% rule still applies today - that is you only need 30% of your content to be about your products/services. however, the other 70% needs to be valuable information that adds value to the people who have signed up to your newsletter, ‘liked’ your Facebook page or follow you on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Tip. To find great third-party content set Google Alerts on the key words that match your services, industry of geography. As you receive these feeds in your email inbox take time to consider “Do I enjoy this content”. If the answer is yes, you may use it to inspire you own writing on the subject or in some cases share this content with your audience (crediting the original source).

Over time you will look for people to collaborate with that may provide great content you enjoy. This maybe paid content (you buy) or as you grow content that helps the other party grow.

Hoping you found this helpful?

Happy Posting.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

Using high quality images with your digital marketing

Photo by    Igor Miske    on    Unsplash

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

“ A picture paints a thousand words”

I believe the original quote was actually 'A picture is worth ten thousand words' as stated by Fred R. Barnard, of Printers' Ink, 10 March 1927.

Anyway, pictures are so important for your website, blogs and social media marketing these days. However, most small businesses cannot afford to get high quality photos for every piece of work they produce that requires an image so what do you do?

1.    Learn how to take great photos yourself. With today’s technology most of us can take a half decent photo using our cell phones. I use an iPhone, but I have seen great images from other phones as well. It is worth taking a lesson or two to get the basics right and then yu have the means to do a fair percent of your own images. Tip: Horizontal photos work best.

2.    Negotiate. I use local photographers from time to time most are willing to negotiate, and it is worth getting some great customises images for your website.

3.    Use to find images for adverts, blogs etc especially when you want something that fits a theme or style you want to use. They have regular specials if you sign up for the newsletter. Images will cost you between $20-$50 but it is worth the investment at times.

4.    Use UnSplash for FREE images (this is one of my favourite image sites). I use this for adverts and blogs. Not the same collection as iStock but cannot beat the value - remember to credit the photographer (this is why they placed the image on the site). Sometimes it is not quite appropriate but try to give them credit if you can.

5.    Use Pixabay for FREE images very similar to Unsplash and you will see images from same photographers. Same conditions apply - credit the photographer if you can.

There are few other sites which charge you a minimal amount to buy ‘Royalty Free’ images and I am sure there will be a lot more soon. look at as another option to add to your list. The point is there are loads of ways to find great images.

I personally think it is wise to invest but given time constraints and budgets the options above should help you out.

Hope you found this article helpful - if you liked it please ‘like’ my Facebook page and send me a message this will add you to my list of people to notify when I post again.

Happy Posting.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

Save time using Buffer


If you run a number of Facebook accounts I personally recommend using Buffer. You get Three Social Accounts for FREE or if you are like me I run ten Facebook Accounts through their business paid service.

This definitely saves previous time if you are posting on a regular basis.

However, in some cases you will want to post different content at different times. This is important as the algorithm will recognise multiple posts and may ask you to reset your password and check your accounts.

The best way to avoid this is to schedule your posts for different times of the day. Yes, it takes a little more time but doing this through Buffer you will still save a lot of work.

One of the big benefits of upgrading to the business account is you can use your own url shortner (I use rather than the buffer link shortner which sometimes gets blocked.

Final Tip of the day

When using Buffer please place your links before the final text.

e.g. after your link add some more text like ‘ thanks for taking the time to read my post - I hope you found it interesting’. Also ensure the Buffer setting is not ‘Link from image’


Thereis a chance the post on a Facebook page will drop the link from the bottom of the post . It will allow people to link from the image but not everyone will understand to do this.

Hope you found this helpful

NB: Remember the rules seem to change each month so watch what is happening. It is still worth while using tools like Buffer to save time and make life a lot easier for you.

Happy Posting.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

Facebook tips for business owners

If you are using Facebook to help promote your business here are a few more tips for you that will help you get a lot more engagement and success.

  1. Post great content - I have said it before and will reiterate this one again. Make your content worth ‘liking’, ‘commenting on’ and most of all worth ‘sharing’. Good content gets engagement and the more your post is seen by the Facebook algorithm as something people are engaging with the more it will allow you to reach.

  2. Be great at Replying - Reply to comments and messages as promptly as you can. Again Facebook provides recognition for this and will reward you with more views.

  3. Place links in comments - Facebook does not like you linking away from your page. So simply placce the link in a comment under the post to avoid the penalties and get more reach.

  4. Build your partners - Businesses who work together by ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ and ‘sharing’ each others post will get a far bigger reach than a business who ‘goes it alone’.

  5. Post video - video is king, second to mulitple images then a single great image. Remember to leave the text to the text section and leave your images nice and clean.

  6. Ask for Engagement - At the end of a great post don’t be afraid to ask for ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’.

  7. Structure your post - A great heading or ‘Hook’ which is seperate from the main body of text encourages people to read on. A seperate call to action paragraph at the end encourages readers to take the action you would like. Space is the key here give each section space before starting the next.

  8. Write posts specifically for engagement - You may want to run a competition or specifically ask people to provide comments. Make your intention clear and see the difference in your results.

Well, I hope you found this blog useful. If you did please ‘like’ my Facebook page and send me a message. ocne in my message system you will recieve regular tips on everything digital to help you and your business.

Until next time

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist