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.

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.

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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.


The Difference Between Working Hard and Working Long

Photo by  Vladimir Kudinov  on  Unsplash

 

There is a huge difference between working hard and working long - but in Hong Kong, people don't always understand the difference.

Working long means clocking in 15+ hours every single day or working 80 hour weeks. For some people, it means just staying in the office until the boss/manager leaves (regardless if they have work to do or not).

Working long means that you're aware of the amount of time you're spending on your job. It is, after all, just a job.

Working hard means something else entirely. Working hard means that you're doing something different, something that hasn't been done before. If you're lucky, you'll end up with a positive result. There is some sort of risk involved.

You can fail at working hard, you just have to show up if you're working long.

The two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, and working long might end up resulting in working hard (if you show up and work efficiently, you’ll likely end up in the position of attempting hard work).

Working hard takes a leap of faith. No matter how hard you try, working long won’t reap the same benefits.

When selecting a marketing agency or partner, are you looking for one that does the basics or one that is going to work with you and take some risk? Do you want similar ideas you see in the market, or ideas that make you stop and think?

Amateurs and 'do-it-all' agencies tend to be cheaper, but they also tend to just to the basics. On the other hand, the agencies that work hard are the ones that will come up with new, exciting ideas. One type can only do one thing (work long), the other can do both (work hard and long).

If you're looking to use marketing to stand out from the crowd and differentiate, then you need to look for an agency that works hard (not long).

More than a digital marketing agency - we're community builders

Photo by  Anthony DELANOIX  on  Unsplash

The more I talk to people about what we do, the more I wonder what it is exactly that we do.

In the last couple of months, we've clearly evolved. We're not just a digital marketing agency in Hong Kong anymore, we're so much more than that.

A digital marketing agency is typically one that does content creation, social media marketing, marketing strategy. The bigger ones will also touch on PR/outreach, influencer marketing, SEO/SEM and PPC, maybe even some design work. But we've moved in a different direction - we're starting to help companies find and place talent because that's what they're actually looking for (and we don't want to be the same as everyone else).

However, lately, we've realised that we're more than that. We're not really a digital marketing agency because of the way we approach things. Our job isn't about marketing companies and building an audience (sure we do that as well) - our CORE JOB is to build communities. We build communities and engage them for brands, we just happen to do it through the use of digital marketing (social media marketing, content creation, paid placements, etc.).

We exist to help connect brands with their desired audience. That's what we do, and that's what we do well. While other similar agencies in Hong Kong are trying to sell a service (and trying to grab every available dollar), we're trying to engage an audience in a way that creates true fans - fans that will stick with the brand over time (and continue to buy their products as they come out).

We're not just a digital marketing agency. We're community builders.

Digital Marketing Agency - when to hire one

Biased? Yes. Honest look? Also yes.

There are many things you have to consider when hiring a digital marketing agency. If you're a small company, it's a massive step (you have to spend money, and likely more than you want to), but the potential for your business when using a good agency is massive.

Digital marketing allows your company to reach a much larger audience than you ever could (everyone understands the value of social media, but not everyone knows how to maximise its effectiveness). Even better, you can measure everything you do. If something doesn't work, you can stop it immediately (unlike lease agreements which can last multiple years, or employee contracts. Hello Hong Kong!). And if something is going well, you can double down and further increase your profits.

The first thing you should consider is to hire external help (you can try to do it all yourself, but it's going to be a lot of work, and more often than not, you should be concentrating on your business instead). Consider all the different reason here. Deciding between hiring an agency or full-time staff? Read more here.