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Website: Main MultiMedia
Advertising guru and MD of Main MultiMedia and Money Savvy Kids
Elevator Pitch: Who is Kathryn Main
Kathryn is an entrepreneur who currently runs two businesses – a financial literacy programme for children and an advertising agency. She calls Main Multimedia a “smart working, deadline smashing full service agency” that has been operating since 2010. Their services are tailored to meet the needs of the modern-day marketer. Graphic design, DTP, marketing and multimedia are some of the services they offer. When working with SMMEs, they do everything from name development, brand development, marketing and digital strategies. Along with that they also collaborate with big agencies on projects. At the moment Jaguar Land Rover is their biggest corporate client.
Due to family circumstances Kathryn was forced to leave school in Grade 9. She started working to help support her family. She felt her lack in education limited her options as an adult. At the age of 18 she studied beauty therapy and started her first business in this industry at 22. She was hoodwinked by her more experienced business partners and left the business after three years with nothing to show for it. After that eye-opening experience she stumbled onto sales and marketing by selling advertising and found that she was very good at sales. Within 18 months she was promoted to National Sales Manager for Sawubona, the SAA in-flight publication. Kathryn has worked in radio, television, print and online media. She specialised in mobile marketing for a period of two years. Since starting Main MultiMedia in 2010 they’ve experienced a 100% growth rate year on year. With Money Savvy Kids she is trying to create a financially educated youth through financial and entrepreneurial training.
The Role of Marketing
Marketing is the message you put to the world to get people to know that your business exists. It’s the process by which you promote your product or service to potential customers. To put together a successful marketing plan you need to start at the beginning. Your marketing objectives have to work together with your business objectives. A good marketing strategy can potentially increase sales, help establish your brand in the marketplace, can serve as reputation management and it gives you the opportunity to create competition for a product that’s monopolising the market. Marketing can be quite cost-effective once you have identified your target audience correctly.
Branding + Marketing = Sales
Branding is the starting point and what people will recall when they think about your product or service. A big part of the marketing comes down to your branding – what does your brand look like, what is your icon, what is your name? You want to convey a clear message with your brand. Once you understand what your brand purpose is, you direct everything that you do from a marketing perspective to speak that purpose. Branding is the why of your business and marketing is the how. Branding is long term, while marketing is short term, campaign-driven. Branding is the big picture, while marketing is specifically focused on campaigns and promotions. Branding is strategic, marketing is tactical. Branding begins inside your company (internal) and marketing begins with your customer (external).
Key Questions When Starting a Brand
What is your brand purpose? Why does your company exist? What is the problem that your company solves? What is your brand positioning statement? What is your unique selling point? What is your brand promise? Is your messaging tone fun or serious? Do you have a tagline? These answers drive the profit of the business.
Finding the Right Words
Kathryn speaks of their amazing creative directors, copywriters, digital specialists and a team of multimedia specialists. When presented with a task, they will sit down as a group to find a solution together. SMMEs often do not have the budget to pay a copywriter to create brilliant copy. Websites like fiverr.com offer these types of services at reduced rates. Another option is to ask your network of existing clients for their input and suggestions for a name.
Like any good plan, you need to start at the beginning and in this case it’s to define your objectives. Identify your long-term and short-term goals. You would then do a digital competitor analysis – do they have a responsive website? Does the site include social media links? Have they got a blog? After pinpointing your target market you can better understand what kind of media that group is consuming. Based on your findings you can decide what type of marketing material you need to reach your intended audience. After that you should allocate a budget and customise the campaign messages. Lastly you need to manage and monitor the responses and interactions. This way you will know what works and what doesn’t. The upside to digital marketing is that everything is trackable.
There are a few online institutions where you can do a basic social media marketing course for as little as $10. Even if you then decide to use a marketing firm to create a strategy for you, it’s wise to have a little background knowledge on the subject. Kathryn believes that it’s always a good idea to spend a couple of hundred Rand to educate yourself.
When to Approach a Multimedia Expert
It depends on what your business it and how competitive the specific marketplace is. If you have a product that many other people also sell, you will need to differentiate yourself in that marketplace. If your marketing strategy is better than the next guy’s, it could make potential clients come to you first. Whether or not you want to approach a marketing expert depends on your budget. Kathryn mentions that you need to decide how successful you want to be and how quickly you want to get there. If you do decide to approach an agency, do some research and find out who their clients are. Main MultiMedia is a boutique agency and although they have worked with big brands, they tailor packages to your budget and you can even negotiate a payment plan.
When you want to launch a new product or you’re an SMME, take some time to write your business plan and to identify your brand purpose. Then do a competitor analysis and figure out what is going to make your product unique. Those are the key fundamentals to having a successful product in the marketplace. If your budget is very limited, spend money on creating a strong brand identity with very good key messages. You can train yourself to manage the digital platforms until you are able to afford to employ an agency. Identify your sales strategy. Sales is about finding a customer and maintaining that relationship with them, whether it is face-to-face meetings or networking.
If you want to do something that will have a big impact on your business, consider a programme to help with access to market and funding. There are many of these programmes that plug entrepreneurs into the supply chain. You should consider going to networking events. Networking is the best way to learn what other people are doing and to meet your competitors. It’s also your best place to get access to market and finance. Go there to sell your personal brand to people.