Competitive Marketing - Up Yours cover image

Competitive Marketing - Up Yours


Working on your business, not in your business, is the prevailing wisdom among businesses at the moment but founder Justin Theng said that it’s beneficial for entrepreneurs to learn to become better marketers.

 Speaking at a recent marketing training event, Justin Theng — a former advertising executive who now owns and operates marketing coaching business — said that many business owners have had at least one bad experience with a marketing agency or a marketing person they’ve hired.

He subsequently told this publication that the reason is because instead of owning the marketing conversation the same way that they typically own the sales conversation, business owners abdicate instead of delegate.

“For the last 15 years I’ve worked businesses ranging from large household brand names to small businesses and startups. What I’ve found is that the businesses that go onto see the most success are the ones where the  owner has applied themselves to being the architect of their own marketing plans, with some guidance,” he said,

“We have a diverse range of clients, from the top end who book in workshops over a number of days, and those who just want a quick online course with less than $500 to spend.”

What is the most common mistake business owners make with their marketing?

 When it comes to their marketing, many business owners like to take a set-and-forget type approach. They’ll engage an expert to do the marketing, and hope that they’ll just get on with it, while the business sits tight and waits for the sales to come in.

“When marketers don’t have regular connection with the visionary in the organisation, the chief ideas person, then the marketing can devolve into guesswork,” he said.

“What’s worse, is the business owner is left thinking that they are not getting what they wanted, and the marketers wonder if their efforts are valued. That perceived indifference on both sides causes more lost ROI than anything else.

How can business owners improve their mindset towards marketing?

According to Mr Theng, entrepreneurs make the best marketers, because from the beginning they have lived and breathed the message to market.

“Imagine one day the business owner is on a stage speaking to other entrepreneurs and inspiring them with the journey they've been on to get to where they are. In that context the brand and the entrepreneur are one in the same. They are the story of the business, and in a sense you can’t really delegate that,” he said.

“Sure, they may not be able to use any marketing technology or use the tools, or even be the best with all the latest tactics and strategies, but that's not marketing. That's just execution. Real marketing is about moving people and motivating people to engage with the business and transact. That's it. That is what good sales is, and that is what good marketing is.”

What to remember when planning your marketing

  • Realise how involved you would be in your marketing if the whole world were watching. How close would you be to your marketing? You probably wouldn't set-and-forget.”

  • Don't wait until you're on a stage to be an influencer and a brand ambassador. “Be an influencer now. You're already an influencer with your customers. When your customers or clients want the best of the best, who do they ask to speak to? You. So don't just be that in a small community of people who are already transacting. Be the best influencer you can beyond that. Whether that be on social media or in writing articles or blog posts or establishing partnerships or speaking engagements."

  • Be an internal influencer. “Influence your team. Be the most customer-centric, marketing-thinking person in your business, and inspire, lead and coach your team. Be the one in your business to know the plan, like an architect turning up at a construction site. The architect is the one that designed the building. He knows what's going on. He doesn't know how to mix the concrete, necessarily. He's not there to tell the foreman how to be a foreman. But he is the guy that's carrying the vision in his head, and he knows not just what the building will look like, but what people will feel when they're in the building. What the space is supposed to feel like. What the emotions are that comes with it."

For More Information
Justin Theng
[email protected]