Marketing Return On Investment

By John Ninness, CEO


As a range of sectors within the  Australian economy feel the pinch of softening markets, we often hear from our advertisers the need to ensure their return on investment. Our advertisers are the lifeblood of our company and we recognise that we must provide the best value and return on the services we deliver.

This year we introduced a range of advertising guarantees on a range of our digital products to ensure that you (our advertisers) receive the best returns. We recognise that you can choose where you spend your dollar. Accordingly, we want to ensure that when you spend your advertising dollar with us, in print or our range of digital options, that you get great value for money and most of all, a response according to your expectations. We aim to serve you in many areas including:

  • Identifying your customer’s objectives. If you have defined objectives, you can develop great metrics that measure performance against those objectives.
  • Identifying what brand message you’re trying to convey. Being clear about your brand message is critical to determining outcomes.
  • User-friendly marketing-mix analytics. Too often, marketing-mix analytics are based on ineffective industry assumptions. They should be built around proven data and delivered in a way that makes sense to their user.
  • Marketing-investment decisions need to factor in both short and long-term impact. Marketing mix models, for example, can capture only short-term impact and must be augmented with long-term (brand-building) impact estimates.
  • Marketing for the future should be a key theme. By biasing spend towards future growth, and not being reliant on past performance metrics, marketers should achieve more effective outcomes.
  • Driving marketing spend effectiveness comes down to capabilities, processes, and talent within your organisation.  Investing in your organisation (not only your marketing data) will build and sustain excellence in your marketing return on investment.

Augmented/Virtual Reality & Publishing

By Aaron Sammut, Art Director

The launch of the Oculus Rift this month and Microsoft’s Hololens on the way and several other players in the AR/VR space, signifies a tremendous step forward. This type of integrative technology, which is still very much in its infancy but still incredible exciting, has the ability to effect change across a seemingly endless number of industries; healthcare, sports, travel, music, movies, games and it will revolutionise every form of communication… it will make the impossible virtually possible.

But what does it mean for publishing and print?

Print has been a mainstay for knowledge and entertainment for a long time and has had some competition in the form of radio, TV and the internet. Print publishing has lost ground and we’ve had to innovate to stay relevant to an ever changing audience and their evolving habits.

The future is bright for publishing if we can learn from our mistakes during the “print is dead” years brought on by the internet. The problem will be looking at AR/VR not as a fad or a threat, but rather an opportunity to approach a broader audience in a new way.

The exciting thing about AR/VR is that the options are endless. Virtually you could do anything; fly, ride a dinosaur, travel to a disaster area on a VR news channel, or be front and centre at Wimbledon as the action is unfolding. I don’t know exactly what this means for publishing yet but, just off the top of my head… imagine reading a travel magazine, being prompted to put on your headset and an icon starts a virtual reality drop outside of earth’s atmosphere and you land in the middle of a street in Venice, with the audio providing you additional content or maybe just the sound of the street. Or maybe augmented reality is the path – imagine reading a children’s book where the characters are animating on the book, or a product can be seen in 3-dimensions right in front of you – not just 2D or reliant on unreliable phone apps.

Keep in mind this technology has only just arrived. It will evolve, become better, headsets will be less cumbersome and smart publishers will be starting to think how they can benefit from this new technology. At the moment VR is being confined to movies and video games but the future is going to be stranger than (science)fiction.

Useful links:

Three tips to get more clients

By John Ninness, CEO

As the scope of the business environment continues to evolve in Australia we are all faced with questions like how do I get more clients? Or how do I get better clients that will pay me money? It’s true that we can’t use the armchair method of client delivery. If we sit in our offices or businesses on a day to day basis and don’t reach out we can never expect our client base to grow. Getting clients isn’t an easy task and keeping them is harder still.  Marketers exist because people recognize that there are skills and knowledge that can be applied to get more and more clients to your business. I’ve compiled three tips that you might use to grow your market share in a dynamic marketplace.


You need to be where your customers are. If you’re not where they are you simply wont get an opportunity to interface with them. Are they attending expos? Are they at industry conferences? Or do they work in remote locations that are often inaccessible to people like you and me? We all understand that a key component of customer relationships is the engagement of the customer and too often customers are hard to meet let alone engage with. Through a range of platforms such as social media and magazines you can (in some small ways) put yourself in front of your customers. While it doesn’t replace one on one conversations, it at least can help you get to people that are often difficult to reach.


Too often we sabotage our own efforts by failing to follow up clients. We often spend a huge amount of effort in attracting clients to our businesses or getting to meet someone at a conference but failure to follow up on the client means that you can attack your own efforts and not realize the initial work that you do. I recently had a conversation with one of our clients who had committed to a significant campaign with one of sales contractors. The conversation resulted from an email to me from the client who had become increasingly frustrated when the salesperson failed to follow up. Needless to say that salesperson is no longer with us!
Customers sometimes spend a long time looking at your business and evaluating its suitability to work with your business. By being active in the marketplace with social media and advertising, you increase the probability of the customer seeking engagement with you. It’s important to remember that there are clients in your marketplace that you’re not reaching. Exposing yourself (through the right means) can mean increased opportunity however if you fail to follow up you have committed a mortal sin for your business. Follow-up to comments on social media, follow-up to inbound enquiries and follow-up the people you meet at industry events. Follow-up is a magical tool that you simply must utilize.


In all types of businesses, there can be a range of problems in addressing customer needs and wants. Some of these problems stem from our own perception of the market and what we believe the customer needs to be. Our entrepreneurial thinking sometimes doesn’t address the key question. We should always seek to be mindful about how we are addressing their problems and our communication strategy should seek to address and attract according to their needs. When people land on your website, they need to know that you understand what they are struggling with or need help with. They also need to know that you have a solution to the problems they are encountering on a regular basis. If your communication mediums are designed effectively and address these issues, the probability of retaining a customer is much higher.
For example instant access to you through electronic means or phone is paramount. People don’t want to spend significant amounts of time finding you. You should examine ways through your communication channels that build trust and credibility to strangers, and provide genuine offers for existing & new clients. If you want people to sign up to your newsletter, make sure you’re giving something away of value, something people really want and can assist them to improve their current situation in business or life.


By ensuring your message is on point to address your customers needs and wants you can definitely ensure that you develop your client base and increase your level of inquiry in changing times.
We’d like to hear from you… if you have any feedback or tips to share why not email us with your ideas and thoughts. If you try our tips and they are successful, we’d love to hear your stories.


How to grow your business with digital marketing in five steps

By Adriana Rehbein, Distribution & Marketing Officer


As a small business owner, the online world can seem complicated, time consuming and intimidating. This is why you stick to what you know works for your business, but how do you know what is actually effective? The fact is, your customers are evolving and digital marketing is the only way to stay ahead. As a publishing company we know how hard this can be. This is why we would like to show you digital marketing in five simple steps to help your company grow.

  1. What is our goal? It sounds like a silly question to ask, but most companies get into digital marketing without a clear goal, therefore the rate of success on a digital campaign can be very low. Digital marketing requires strategy and precision and having a goal helps you to focus. We all know that every company’s main goal is ROI, however, digital marketing is very broad, which is why your goal might vary per digital platform. See some examples below of digital goals you could set:
    • Social Media: engage with the audience and gather some feedback
    • eNewsletter banner: brand exposure (Top of Mind: remind customers that you exist so they always think about your brand first)
    • Online content (advertorials, blog, etc): provide relevant information that will earn the trust of customers as an expert in the field
    • Webskin: Promote special offers to generate quick sales.

Important: The design of your message must be the same across all platforms. This way your customers can recognise your campaign and brand easily.

  1. Do we have a marketing funnel? Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. A marketing funnel is divided by these four elements. But, what’s a marketing funnel? It’s following a customer’s adventure from a complete stranger to a lead, once you know the journey you can put strategies (calls to action, offers, information sharing) in place to get the customer to move through the funnel.
  • Awareness:
    1. Potential customer comes to the website, knows the product or service.
    2. They browse through the website looking for something they need.
    3. Attract the customer with a call-to-action. In exchange, get some relevant information from them to help you understand the reason why they came to your website.

E.g., Imagine you have bought a puppy and you are looking for pet insurance. You open Google and find Next, you open the website and click on “Get a Quote & Buy Online” (call-to-action) to see the range of prices according to what you need. Hang on – to get to the quote you have to answer a couple of easy questions that helps RSPCA to understand your needs better. This is awareness.

  • Interest:
    1. The customer has expressed interest in your product or service.
    2. You have given them the basic information they need.
    3. You now should provide the potential client the additional information that is tailored to their needs to help them make their final decision. This demonstrates that you care about what they want and need.

E.g., After you have completed the questions on RSPCA’s website and you have a quote, you decide to close the page and to not book the pet insurance just yet as you might need to do some research. On the next day, RSPCA calls you, and according to the information provided and additional questions asked, they offer extra material and competitive pricing, to help you make an informed decision. This is interest.

  • Desire:
    1. The customer is interested and has all the information they need.
    2. Follow up with an email providing real life examples of your product and/or additional call-to-action.

E.g., After RSPCA’s call, you decide to talk about it with a family member/friend before making any decisions and that’s when you receive an email from RSPCA with real cases of common claims on pet insurance and how RSPCA tackles the claims. This is desire.

  • Action:
    1. This is when the customer goes into the purchasing stage, and you are able to turn your potential client into a lead.
    2. You have showed them that you care and all it is left to discuss is payment and additional Terms & Conditions.

Nowadays, customers can access all the information they need, and this is why they need that push that tips the scales towards your company against competitors. Always remember, your point of difference is not always based on your product or service but it could be determined by your marketing funnel.

The elements of a marketing funnel can seem hard to put together, but really they are simple procedures that once they are put in place, your company should start to see not only more leads but repeat buyers.

  1. What’s our call-to-action? I have talked about call-to-action in the second step, however what’s a call-to-action? A lot of companies confuse the term by using a lot of questions on their ad (example: Is your Super enough to retire?), thinking that these questions will drive potential customers to become leads. Find below a list of common call-to-actions:
  • Subscribe now
  • Call us today
  • Join Free for a month
  • Get started
  • Give “company’s name” a go
  • Claim your free trial

Creating a large number of call-to-actions will increase the potential customer-to-lead conversion opportunities. An effective call-to-action will help a potential customer to move further into your marketing funnel.

  1. How do we create an effective lead magnet? Do you remember in step two, marketing funnel, how we talked about Interest? Well, this is how you create an effective lead magnet. Give your potential lead all the information they need. Provide a call-to-action, show that you care and this will help them move into the funnel. Nurture campaigns are key to generating a successful lead.

Nurture Campaigning is a process by which potential customers are tracked and developed into sales-qualified leads.

  1. Time to drive traffic: To be able to drive people into your marketing funnel you need to generate traffic to your website first. See a few ways you can drive traffic to your website below:
  • Drive traffic from your Social Media platforms to your website with quality content. To see how you could engage, connect and successfully drive traffic to your website, check this simple Social Media strategy that you could be applying today.
  • Insert keywords into your content and relevant tags on your website posts. Use links to different websites that connect with your content. These keyword strategies will help your brand gain exposure and drive traffic to your website.


Tough is the new normal – Get used to it

By John Ninness, CEO

In the mining and energy sector many industry product and service companies have recently felt the impacts of cutbacks to budgets for capital expenditure and operating costs. In many cases, providers are looking to other industries for revenue opportunities to maintain their businesses. Our anecdotal evidence across this sector is that their is a growing groundswell of people saying it’s all too tough to hold on and to advertise would simply be a waste in the current mining and energy sector environment. We examined some research out of the US during past recessions and found some interesting facts.

Fact One

McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies covering 16 different industries from 1980 through 1985. The results showed that business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256% over those that didn’t keep up their advertising.

Fact Two

In analysis of the 1990-91 recession, Penton Research Services, Coopers & Lybrand, in conjunction with Business Science International, found that better performing businesses focused on a strong marketing program enabling them to solidify their customer base, take business away from less aggressive competitors, and position themselves for future growth during the recovery.

As one industry pundit put it “In the good times people want to advertise but in the bad times they have to.” We all recognise that as industries decline competition becomes more fierce.

As a small business with exposure to the minerals and energy sectors we will also increase our focus on offerings that are exceptional value for our advertisers and we will be looking to increase a range of advertising guarantees that ensure results for your investment. It’s the least we can do to support an industry who supported our products such as Queensland Mining & Energy Bulletin, Australasian Mining Review and Australasian Mine Safety Journal for many years when times were buoyant. We recognise that there is always a choice for our advertisers and we will endeavour to ensure that the decision to chose us is clear from our offer and our audience growth.

Jef l Richards once said “Advertising practitioners are interpreters. But unlike foreign language interpreters, adpeople must constantly learn new languages. They must understand the language of each new product, and speak the language of each new target audience.” In a market where pessimism exists don’t forget that the target audience still needs to hear from you, albeit in with a change of tone and structure to meet their needs in this rapidly changing environment.

Going native – when advertising and editorial collide

by Corin Kelly, Editor of Australian Hospital & Healthcare Bulletin

…The daily press “would never have come into existence as a force in public and social life if it had not been for the need of men of commerce to advertise. Only through the growth of advertising did the press achieve independence. This was the opinion of the noted historian of British newspapers, Francis Williams, described in his 1958 book, Dangerous Estate.

The interdependence of journalism and advertising has existed for most of this century and last. Journalists and editors understand that without advertising dollars, the opportunities to have their work published are restricted. Although there are plenty of good examples of independent media, they are dwarfed by commercial press.

If we flip this around, the same can be said of quality journalism and the vital role it plays in the success of advertising. In a time-poor culture, fast access to and consumption of content is the norm. Savvy media providers know that they need to engage with their audience across a wide range of print and digital media. There is nothing new about thisthe salient point is that we only pay attention to the news items that interest us and we only pick up, click on or listen to media that speaks to us.

And this brings us to the inescapable truth that for advertisers to get a result for their spend, they must invest their resources with publishers who observe the 2 golden rules.

Know your audience and provide content that answers the right questions.

Don’t be rubbish. If you want eyes on your ads, invest with publishers like APRS Media who value consistent and quality journalism and design.

A publication’s reputation is everything and without a credible platform, your advertising can be as native as wattle, to little effect.