Lesson of the lemons
Imagine you have the only lemon tree in your medieval village. The other villagers like lemons, but they don’t have any. You’d like the villagers to know you have lemons, for them to buy some. So, you put up a sign outside your hut that says: Here be lemons!
That’s marketing. The process of attracting potential customers and clients to your product or service is simply making sure you’re seen, heard and understood.
We’ve been growing our presence in the UK recently, to the point where we’re now one cohesive team working across two time zones — London and Sydney.
To make sure we’re seen, heard and understood in London, we’re working hard to market ourselves. One of our many initiatives was taking a stand at the 2023 Defence, Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability (DPRTE) Exhibition at Farnborough, just out of London, on Wednesday, 29 March.
Keeping it simple
We have extensive experience working with high-profile government and defence partners in Australia. We want to make sure UK defence agencies, and their suppliers, see us, hear our story and clearly understand our strategic and creative capabilities.
As part of our research, we spoke to senior clients at the Department of Defence and other government agencies and asked: “What do defence suppliers and agencies really want?”
The answer – loud and clear, from multiple credible sources – was to raise their profile. That means be seen, heard and understood.
So, this became the strong, simple message we built into every element of collateral developed for the expo. To aid this process, our Principal, Kerry Neethling, flew to London to support the UK team at the expo and take as many new business meetings as she could while there.
The expo collateral included the walls of the booth, a video specifically showcasing our work in defence – featured on a bespoke landing page and a large monitor in the booth – branded tote bags, water bottles, cards and flyers, and an iPad for a deeper dive into specific defence projects. It was carefully designed as a suite of defence-specific content, to funnel prospective clients to understand more of our services, capabilities and work.
At the top of the messaging hierarchy, big and bold at the top of the stand, were the words: Be seen.
We were trying to achieve two things at the same time — a kind of creative double bottom line. We wanted people to see us, hear our message and understand it.
That message is: we can help you been seen, heard and understood, just as we’ve done for ourselves. We put a lot of faith in our abilities to market ourselves. If our expo collateral doesn’t do its job well, why would anyone ask us to work with them?
See it, want it
What we wanted was defence experts, wandering the stands at Farnborough, to see our work and say: “Wow, that’s clear and creative. We need these people to tell our story!”
A number of people spent time strategising, writing and designing the collateral, and organising printing and shipping. There’s a significant cost to this process, with no guaranteed return.
But it’s a risk we’re willing to take. Because if we’ve done our job well, we will be seen, heard and understood, and rewards will follow.
At the start of a project with a new client we always hold a workshop to discover exactly what they’re trying to achieve, who their competitors are, and who they really are versus their perception. This informs the strategy and marketing plan, which is how we help you – deciding where and when you should be seen, and what exactly needs to be heard and understood.
We’ll be sure to let you know when we sign up our new defence clients in the UK.