A Space Where Magic Happens

The best way to be in the right place, at the right time, where all the magic happens, is to be the person who organised the meeting.

Things don't 'just happen' - someone has to get the right people together. While everyone is waiting to be invited to a magical gathering of creative minds, it's easier to do the work and organise it yourself.

So we're doing just that.

Introducing CreativeCreativeCreative - an intentionally creative environment for Hong Kong people to bond, be inspired and act.

Fiercely Protecting Your Audience's Time

Events are challenging to run - there are a lot of moving parts, and unexpected things to manage all the time. One thing that is often overlooked is the audience's time.

It's a big deal that your audience decides to show up to your event. They did so because you promised the delivery of something (maybe you brought on a great speaker, chose a great topic or provided value or opportunity that the community craves). In doing so, they decided to give up their time (and also their attention).

Nobody has unlimited time, and how people choose to use their time is a difficult task in itself (whether it is choosing to watch another episode on Netflix, read another book or even take night courses). When people decide to go to your event, they're also choosing not to do something else. It's therefore essential that you use this time with intention.

Far too often events (especially in Hong Kong) are just a person (or a panel) speaking for 40-60 minutes with no clear structure, topic or direction. Speakers ramble on, and while some parts are interesting, most of the talk is off-topic and irrelevant.

For the audience, it's wasted time. Even if the event is free, the time wasted might not have been worth it.

This is why when we work on events, we spend the most time thinking about the audience and how valuable their time is. A shorter event that is carefully thought out is better than a sprawling event that has no true purpose.

Don't take people's attention and time for granted. It's a valuable resource, and they won't be returning (or talking positively about you) if you disrespect it.

Stop Chasing Shortcuts

The one thing that always works (and is worth doing):

STOP CHASING SHORTCUTS

The shortcuts that are magically supposed to help you with losing weight don’t often work. If they did work, it would be the standard.

Some shortcuts work but they usually come with a caveat (sometimes they even require more effort).

If you can’t afford to do something right, you probably can’t afford to do it all over again after you’ve realised that the shortcut was actually a mistake.

==========

Everyone wants hacks because they can potentially save time. The issue in digital marketing is that they usually do more harm than good. For example, using bots to engage or get more followers on Instagram is quite common. But this usually results in poor engagement and fake followers, and because of the IG algorithms, this leads to a downward spiral that is near impossible to recover from.

This extends to choosing who to work with (for example, a marketing agency/consultancy), where to focus your time or even buying cheap furniture. It might be cheaper and faster (most of the time why we go for shortcuts) but ultimately be more expensive and more frustrating than doing it properly the first time.

'No' is the second best thing you can hear.

  1. ‘Yes!’

  2. ‘No.’

  3. Everything else.

(Things you want to hear in a sales meetings)


Sales is pretty simple - people either want your product, or they don't. A quick 'YES' and you're all good to go. A quick 'NO' and you move on to the next lead. All the other things you typically hear (e.g. let me think about it, can we do something a little different, can we try for free) can potentially become a massive waste of time.

Continuous follow-ups, negotiations and meetings are a drain. They might turn into a 'YES', but usually, it's just wasted time that you'll never get back (3 months of negotiations that lead to nowhere anyone?). It might even be time that's better spent on another potential customer.

Instead of working on luke-warm leads, it's better to get people to say 'NO' quickly. It frees you up to work on other things. OR, it can also get the customer to justify why they're talking to you in the first place and show that they're serious (gets to ‘YES’ faster - counter intuitive, but it works).

So, first try to get a 'YES'. If there's no clear 'YES', try to get a 'NO'. And then move on.

You have limited time, use it wisely.

Don't Be Cheap (or the Cheapest Option)

The worst strategy (and we will assume here that you have an actual business strategy) is to be the lowest cost option. Here are four reasons why being the cheapest doesn't help your business:


You anchor your business with the worst of your competition

If you're selling gadgets and electronics, it doesn't matter how good your device is, being the cheapest means that you're associated with being a knock-off, unreliable and maybe even just a toy.

You could have the next most excellent smartphone that's on par with the latest Apple, Samsung or Google device, but because it's a third of the price, people are going to be hesitant. A few people might buy your product, but most will probably stick with the more expensive equivalent.

Being cheap in this instance will have people comparing you with Huawei, Pocophone or 1+. You might win that battle and capture their market share, but that wasn't your intention in the first place.

Apple wins despite being the most expensive option.


You become a vendor and not a partner

As a marketing consultancy, we refuse to act as vendors. We've discovered from experience that clients who price shop and look for the cheapest option are just looking for a vendor that can help them complete a to-do list. This is not the space that we want to play in.

We understand that what we do best is becoming partners with a client. It's not just about the tasks. It's also about the strategy, guidance and advice we provide - you can't put an exact price on this, and you can't price shop for it either.

Being just a vendor means that you can be replaced with another vendor at any moment. That's a dangerous and risky game we don't want to play.

You will burn out to stay afloat

Low prices mean you have to shift a lot of product/service, and that can be very stressful. Imagine the number of cars Toyota needs to sell to make a profit compared to the number of cars Rolls Royce needs to sell to make a profit. They're playing a completely different game and selling to a different audience, but there's a noticeable difference in approach. In 2018 Rolls-Royce sold 4,107 vehicles in 2018 (the most in the brand's 115-year history), Toyota, on the other hand, sold 220,910 vehicles in December 2018 alone (and that was just in North America).

We all have limited time, and doing less work means you're able to spend more time on each of your projects. It allows you to deliver more value, thinking about all the little details and justifies why you're charging more too.

Someone will undercut you one day

Being cheap can work, but your advantage will, without question, disappear one day. It could be a significant competitor who wants to bankrupt you or maybe someone willing to cut corners to undercut prices. It doesn't matter. There will be someone ready to do what you do, but cheaper. You can count on it.

=========

In a similar vein, being cheap and looking for the most economical option doesn't help either. There's a balance between finding an ideal partner and keeping to a strict budget - but you can't always let the bottom line make all the decisions for you.

When it comes to finding a marketing consultancy (we will always go back to that since we have the most experience in this), going with the cheapest option means also making compromises. Instead of getting the agency to do the work, you will end up having to do a lot of the work anyway. Worst case, you spend a bit of money and six months down the line have to throw everything away and start from scratch. Instead of saving money, you end up paying more, AND you wasted six months. It's not worth it.

Expensive options work because there's a market for it. There's a reason they exist, and it's because other people see value in what they do. Expensive and terrible companies, they don't last very long.


Marketing With No Intention

Marketing For The Sake or Marketing Never Works

Social media is great. Everybody is doing it. So we should be doing it too, right?

Our competitors hire top photographers and videographers. We should be doing that too, no?

In an ideal world, we all have unlimited time and unlimited money. We would be able to hire the top talent and create incredible work day after day, after day.

We've never met anybody that fits the bill, we would bet good money that we won't ever meet them either.

With budget and restrictions come tough decisions.

Marketing isn't just about what you do, it's also about what you don't do (and deciding what not to do is more important than you think).

Good marketers don't go off and do everything - they work with intention (and of course strategy). When they decide on what needs work, they do it properly. They don't spread themselves too thin.

Working on everything usually means not seeing results from anything. Working on just a few things and putting all your effort into it? Chances of seeing results are MUCH higher.

Marketing works ONLY when you do it right.