The Power of Partnership

Here at littleBIG we’re always talking about the importance of true partnership – we see ourselves as extension of our clients’ marketing teams.

Today I’m talking about a different type of partnership – brand partnerships (also known as brand collaborations, if you want to be more “buzz wordy”).

A brand partnership can be a great marketing tactic to use, particularly when working with limited resources, or undertaking a brand positioning/ repositioning. It sees you partner with a brand or a sponsorship property that has a complementary brand and/or product values.

Like wine and cheese, like salt and vinegar, Netflix and chill – YASSS! You might also have a similar audience and/ or distribution channels.

So what are some of the benefits of brand partnerships as a tool in your marketing strategy?

  • Greater awareness and reach, for a lower cost, by tapping into each other’s audiences
  • Reduced marketing costs, by sharing the spend and leveraging each other’s assets
  • Changing existing brand perceptions (eg luxury or accessible – in the case of Missoni x Target)
  • Access to new audiences and channels
  • The ability to solve customer problems or barriers to purchase
  • Exciting new creative ideas and campaigns, opportunities for PR
  • Access to new sales or distribution channels

Some of the more famous partnerships you might be inspired by include  – Apple and Nike, Red Bull and Go Pro, Stella McCartney & Adidas, Chandon & Sea Folly, Go To Skincare and Kester Black.

Closer to home, littleBIG is enjoying working on some amazing collaborations –

  • A Preston Market / Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event that cements Preston market’s repositioning to a foodie hotspot;
  • Our client Innocent Bystander is partnering with Circus Oz to bring together Melbourne’s famous arts, food and wine culture;
  • Wizz Fizz cementing its reputation as Australia’s best-loved party bag filler in their collaboration with the pop-up sweets experience Sugar Republic
  • QVM and Air Canada joined forces to bring a unique experience to the market with a Canadian style ice rink in the middle of summer
  • Moments and Cosmo stand up comedy & cocktail night a Uni O Week’s, designed to empower women to look after their sexual health

 

While you might not feel ready to commit on such a large scale to a brand partnership in your marketing planning, social media is a measurable way to dip your toe in the water when it comes to brand partnerships or collaborations. It might be in form of a guest post, an insta take over, or a competition.

Tell us, who would you like to collaborate with?

LittleBIG Marketing and PR tunes

Music is a big part of the littleBIG office – it lifts our mood and brings us inspo while we pitch and design. Here is some of the music we’re loving at the moment.

Morning: 9am – 12pm

We’ve just gotten into the office, had our coffee, so we are in need of a pick-me-up to wake us up and energise us for the day ahead!

Some of our fave artists and songs include:

  • Britney Spears – Toxic
  • Mariah Carey – Fantasy
  • Charlie XCX – 1999
  • Ariana Grande – 7 Rings

Lunch: 12pm – 1pm

 By this stage, we’re all hanging out for lunch, so no music needed as we’re too busy eating.

Afternoon: 1pm – 3pm

We’ve just come back from lunch so we’re ready to get back into work mode – we love some chill hits and Aussie favourites to really get us in the zone.

Some of our favourite tunes include:

  • Anything RÜFÜS DU SOL
  • Sneaky Sound System – I Love It

End of the day: 3pm – 5pm

Anything goes at this point – our music of choice is always something that is going to pump us up for the last few hours of the day, and get us excited for our evening ahead (especially on a Friday night!)

  • Kesha – Crazy Kids
  • Monique Heart – Brown Cow Stunning
  • Calvin Harris – Promises
  • Fisher – Losing It

 

Check out our current fav Spotify playlist here.

To check out what we’ve created while listening to this music, visit our client portfolio here.

Balance for Better

On International Women’s Day, the littleBIGGERs asked their own inspirational boss lady, Sally Harley, which woman inspires her….

Annabel Crabb – Her “Wife Drought” concept around women, men, family and work really resonates with me. I strongly believe in the idea that both partners taking parental leave and sharing the work and family load equally is key to the long-term advancement of women (and men) in Australia. I think she articulates this really well and it’s a concept that can make real change on a public and corporate policy level. Her accessible journalistic style and achievements are also inspirational. As is her no-fuss approach to cooking and home life which we get to hear lots about when she’s doing media for books, or bantering and giggling away with equally inspirational friend Leigh Sales on the podcast Chat 10 Looks 3. Fan-girling a bit now.

When I reflect on it, I guess Rich and I have Annabel Crabbed our life! We both work four days a week at littleBIG and take care of the kids at home one day a week each. Day-care pick/ups and drop offs are handled by the person who doesn’t have interrupting work/exercise/social commitments with no hard or fast rules. It feels like our home duties are spread fairly equally although either one of us will argue otherwise… when I’m in the midst of my fourth load of washing for the day or he’s out watering the garden at 10pm at night, half asleep, for example!

We have four parents on permanent staff at littleBIG, who all work part-time hours to serve the needs of their family as well as their workplace. I hope Rich is not the only dad littleBIG employs in the same fashion and I hope that non-gendered perspective on work hours becomes an unremarkable, normal part of work and lifestyles in the not-too-distant future. Thanks Annabel Crabb for putting the concept on into the public forum. I salute you this International Women’s Day!

 

littleBIG stretch session with Creative Director Rich Harley

Tight hip flexors or sore lower back? Low energy or lethargic at your desk?

In between client meetings and the hustle of a busy multi-service agency, we often take a break to stretch. It’s an instant mood booster for the team, increases energy and productivity, improves concentration but most importantly, it puts a bit of fun in the workplace, something we value here in the littleBIG office. It’s also entertaining to watch our Creative Director, Rich Harley try and touch his toes. He’s not as flexible as his wife, founder of littleBIG, Sally Harley, who’s childhood ballet shoes are still hanging in her wardrobe or Co-GM, Kate Thompson who’s party trick is actually the splits (true story, we’re not even joking).

Our talented team aren’t only experts in marketing and PR but have some pretty cool skills on the side. Our resident littleBIG pilates instructor and Marketing Executive, Kasey Ciappara has a few stretches to break up the work day and have your body feeling good. Wellbeing in the workplace is all the rage and we can see why. Why wouldn’t you want to prevent future damage from sitting down for 7+ hours, 5 days per week?

Here’s our 5 office favourites:

 

Here’s what our Creator Director, Rich looks doing the same stretches (for the LOLs)

Anyway, enough about stretching. Despite these office antics, we are a boutique marketing agency humming with smart people who passionately propel food, fashion and lifestyle brands and experiences through great design and various elements of the marketing mix.

Follow us on social media or check out the rest of our website for our portfolio of work. Also, we don’t bite so get in touch for a coffee or a chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

littleBIG’s guide to nailing the perfect date

Here at the littleBIG office, we’re all about getting out there and discovering what this wonderful city has to offer. As a Melbourne PR agency, we also work with a fantastic range of clients that offer not only delicious food and drinks, but also some super-fun experiences just waiting for you to immerse yourself in.

That’s why our office romantics have come up with some fresh date ideas for the next time you want to knock the socks off that special someone. We’ve got your back!

1. Pack a basket and drive (or cycle if you’re feeling extra-hipster) to your favourite scenic Melbourne location and treat your date to a delicious picnic featuring a bottle of Rutherglen wine. To really impress, our picks are a bottle of Andrew Buller Wines’ Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay. As a nice white option, we recommend Stanton and Killeen Wines’ Albarino, or Campbell Wines’ Brothers Shiraz as a fantastic red option. You and your date will be happily sipping vino all afternoon long!

2. Looking to get creative? Why not play bartender and test out your cocktail-making skills? Our secret cocktail weapon of choice is a bottle of Muscat of Rutherglen. Rich and sweet, Muscat is the perfect accompaniment to crowd-pleasing cocktails such as sangria, espresso martini, spritzers, and of course straight over ice.

3. Take advantage of having some of Melbourne’s best street eats (and not to mention cheap eats) all under the one roof at Queen Vic Market’s summer night market. Featuring over 60 global street stalls, festival bars, and a rotating line-up of live music and entertainment, the market is a hustling bustling place for a casual hang out – without all of that awkward first date pressure. You can thank us later.

4. Have you visited the new-look Captain Baxter yet? We helped the team relaunch in 2018 and have been obsessed ever since! More of a romantic option, take your date to Captain Baxter for a beautiful seafood dinner, cocktails and of course the epic sunset views across the iconic St Kilda beach. What more could you want?

 

5. If you want to make a day of it, why not organise tickets to one of Melbourne’s upcoming events or festivals – such as BeerFest, scheduled for Saturday 2nd March in St Kilda. The best thing about living in Melbourne is that there is never a shortage of events on the horizon, so you’d be silly not to take advantage of the live music, free-flowing drinks and good times on offer!

6. Have you ever watched The Amazing Race? Well, do we have a fun idea for the more adventurous of you! Take a trip to Melbourne’s north and discover the hidden gem that is Preston Market. Known for its bargain finds (and delicious food), Preston Market is a cultural melting pot just waiting to be discovered. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more multicultural and authentic collection of food, traders and wares, and the best news is, it’s all under one roof. Set yourself and your date the challenge of finding the best souvenirs within a tiny budget, or simply join in on one of Preston Market’s popular Flavourhood Tours which allows you to discover the market like a VIP (taste-testing your way around the market). If you’re visiting on a Sunday, top it all off with a coffee (or some cheap wine from Preston’s famous ‘cheap wine’ store) and listen to one of the musicians performing for free. If you want the hot tips on which traders to hit up, give us a shout!

We’re a full service PR, Marketing, Social Media and Design agency based in Melbourne – you name it, we have it covered. To learn more about our clients and work, head over to our portfolio.

Learning from our mistakes

This post was written by chief boss-lady and littleBIG founder Sally Harley.

As a marketing agency our world is busy. We prioritise getting things done and doing them exceedingly well whilst maintaining smooth and positive account relationships. But we’re only human and recently we had a little stumble we’re determined to learn from.

The situation: We received a peeved email from a valued partner earlier this month. I called them to talk about it and learned that the doing of what we did wasn’t the problem, the surprising email was.

Our mistake: Acting and emailing about a potentially contentious issue rather than calling to talk about it first. Bad agency! (It seems so obvious now but you know what it’s like when you’re having a particularly juggly day right?)

How we learned from it: I immediately explained the nature of the true problem to the appropriate team-member. We agreed that we’d always pick up the phone before acting in such situations. Sharing this example with our entire team is also key to minimising future such glitches company-wide.

And here we are, sharing our eff up with you, dear marketing industry-interested folk. May our mistakes be your education!

 

 

 

 

What to do, what to do

This post was written by chief boss-lady and littleBIG founder Sally Harley.

I thought it might be interesting to share some insight into how we consider and respond to enquiries. Often a client will have an idea of what they think they need to solve their marketing challenge and they’re looking for validation that they’re on the right track and/or direction on what’s the best course of action. And help doing it (if not the doing of it!), of course. This is fictional scenario although inspired by a recent enquiry.

Client

Challenge: move summer fashion stock which is high quality and not off-trend but not super on-trend. The brand presence is not there and our competitors have it over us in that sense. We need to move it in the next couple of months before the weather cools too much. Sales are flowing but they definitely need a bump.

Resources: I’ve got basic product pics for the website but nothing on models. I’ve got a small but hard-working, passionate and resourceful team including our in-house graphic designer who makes whatever brand assets we do have look the goods. We know when people feel our product and try it on they’re impressed by the quality and see real value in it. We’ve got lots of social media followers but making them into customers is a constant challenge.

Budget: the boss says I have $10-15K to play with but we have to see some sales traction. Awareness isn’t the main game here.

I know – PR. It’s cost effective and credible. Let’s get these goods on some key influencers and onto some great fashion pages and the stock will move. Isn’t littleBIG great at that?! *contacts littleBIG*

littleBIG

Great idea in theory, but…

PR works when:

  • your product is fresh, unique, speaks to current trends, and/or has a unique story
  • you have fantastic, editorial-style images, of a high enough quality that your target media would have shot them that way themselves – then they’ll be keen to pop them on their pages. Precious few media outlets have the budget to shoot all their own content now so great flat-lay and in-situ shots are essential. You’re going to need at least $5K for a shoot which covers these bases.
  • you’re after brand and/or product awareness – yes there are many times a piece will sell out or very well when it appears in the media or on an influencer but more often than not these editorial mentions have a layer-upon-layer effect where the audience gradually becomes more and more aware of your brand and products, increasing the likelihood of conversion when they hit your store

So, not the ideal fit given the challenge at hand. Instead, we’re more likely to suggest you…

POP-UP with a low cost sales/promo activation. Do something eye-catching which speaks to your brand essence so you’re attracting the right target audience and building that awareness while you drive a strong sales message. So bundle tee’s / add a strong GWP /offer a discount after the first $100 spent… and always, always offer a significant discount for newsletter sign up. Make it cost effective for your new, fresh customer to buy into your brand… literally. This might be setting up a unique selfie station in a high-traffic area of a shopping precinct where your target market shops with a strong call-to-action to get participants in-store if your bricks & mortar is near by. If you’re online nab enough space and gear yourself up to sell stock.

If you’ve been smart and lean about the pop-up you’ll have some $ to spare to engage some relevant INFLUENCERS to post from the pop-up early in the activation. Offer them a commission on any sales where the customer mentions their name, tied to a GWP for the customer which they’ll promote.

And keep some budget for SOCIAL ADS. Leverage the great audience you do have with smart, targeted ads which echo the offline sales/promo activity you have happening. Target them geographically and demographically so you’re likely to put social ads in front of users who may also see your pop-up and your influencer support. Use Facebook Pixel and Business Manager to optimise your campaigns for conversion. Be diligent, test and tweak, optimise what works and move that stock.

 

So, the moral of the story is ask for insight and be open-minded about how you tackle marketing challenges. There are so many options available to us as marketers nowadays and choosing the right approach can be daunting but question those in the know and be extra careful with that marketing dollar when it’s minimal and there is a pointy objective. Frankly, in this scenario it’s unlikely there’s much room in the budget for littleBIG fees but we’re happy to give simple advice you may not use us to implement, if it means you’re closer to reaching your objective. You’ll call us back when the time is right, won’t you?

 

The changing Australian media landscape

This post was written by Stephanie Ridley, a littleBIG account director with extensive experience in generating earned exposure for everything from car shows to chunky sneakers. 

For those who work in the PR industry, it’s no secret that the media landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years – with the rise of Instagram celebrities, digital media and blogs, and the ‘slimming down’ of many traditional media outlets. But how does this change affect the PR industry and how can we best use every aspect of today’s media to reach our target audiences?

How are we consuming media?

Gone are the days where we simply rely on newspapers, TV and radio for our news fix. Today we are spoilt for choice with media options – with plenty of them conveniently in our pockets. Thanks to the increased technology on our phones, we are consuming media quicker and more efficiently than ever. Rather than sitting down to the paper in the morning (although, many of us still love this luxury!), we are turning to digital media, such as news websites and apps, eDMs, blogs and of course, social media.

Indeed, there is arguably more content than ever to be consumed, with brands, bloggers, celebrities, influencers and media creating content to be browsed.

The rise of influencers and bloggers

With the increasing demand for social media comes more influencers and bloggers than ever using this tool to their advantage. Many brands are capitalising on influencers, bloggers and social media to propel their key messages to their audience, as it continues to be an extremely cost effective medium to cut through.

For many brands, it has never been more important than now to have a presence on social media. In fact, everyone from TV personalities, bloggers and stylists, to traditional media outlets, such as glossy fashion magazines, are building their social presence.

Traditional media in particular are using social media as a great tool to make their content work even harder for them – reaching even further than if the content was just to appear in print.

The staying power of traditional media

While digital media and social media are certainly having a big moment, let’s not forget that traditional media – such as print, TV and radio – are still key to many successful PR campaigns.

We still place so much importance on placement in major metropolitan newspapers, such as the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier Mail, etc. Likewise, we consider securing coverage on the evening news or morning shows, such as Sunrise, as a massive win to be celebrated! Why? As an example, the total reach of the Herald Sun’s print paper is 2.3M monthly, heraldsun.com.au also 2.3M monthly. Don’t throw the dishes out with the dishwater just yet!

As much as we love seeing our fashion clients’ products on fashion bloggers, celebrities and influencers, we champion them to our contacts at the glossy magazines, as inclusion in Vogue or ELLE is still very much coveted and adds a credibility factor most digital outlets just can’t affect.

Our take?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all media approach for every brand or client. That’s where we come in. Depending on the brief, target audience and objectives, we will tailor our media strategy accordingly. While one client may suit a social media, digital or influencer-only strategy, others may suit more of a traditional media approach – but often elements of both traditional and new media come into play. It’s all about recognising what will best cut through and resonate with your audience to secure your goal outcomes.

A beginner’s guide to social media advertising

It’s no secret that social media is absolutely flooded with content. Recent content statistics showed that 3.2 billion images are shared across social platforms each day.

Let’s kick off with the bad news… getting noticed on social media is no easy feat.

If you’re a small business looking to gain some traction on social media, you’re one of about 60 million other small businesses with Facebook pages (talk about a competitive market).

There is good news, though. Only 4 million of those businesses are actually utilising Facebook advertising to make the most of this online platform.

But, of those 4 million businesses, how many are using social advertising effectively?

When used correctly, social media advertising can accelerate your business’s pace of growth and generate sales leads by helping to connect with customers.

Without the help of social media specialists, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the foreign land that is Ads Manager.

Here’s a few handy hints to get your started on your social media advertising journey.

 

Before you get stuck into creating your ads, it’s important to consider what you’d like to achieve.

Why? Because there are several different types of social advertising campaigns, each designed to accomplish specific objectives. While it would be convenient, social ads aren’t exactly a ‘one size fits all’ scenario.

In reality, there are 11 specific objectives and campaign types to choose from. Here’s a few examples of how to work out which campaign category is right for you:

If you answered, “more page likes, please”, then you need a Likes Acquisition campaign.

If more likes, comments and shares is what you’re after, then an Engagement campaign is for you.

If you’ve got a message that you just want to get out there, then opt for an Awareness or Reach campaign.

Or, if you’re keen to direct your social media friends to your website, then what you need is a Traffic campaign.

Thankfully, Facebook makes life a little bit easier through their Guided Creation.

 

Once you’ve got your campaign set up, it’s time to start thinking about creating great content.

So, what makes the best content for social media advertising? Here are my top tips:

  • If you’re using static imagery, make sure it’s high quality.
  • Be sure to include video content somewhere in the mix – these are always our best performers.
  • Incorporate strong calls to action. E.G. “Follow us to stay up-to-date with the latest from the Rutherglen wine region”.
  • Mix things up! Use a variety of images, video, carousels and slideshows within each ad set. Don’t forget to change up your copy, too!
  • Speaking of copy, keep it short and sweet.

 

Optimise, optimise, optimise.

Ideally, once you’re all up and running, you’ll have a selection of ads within each ad set which battle it out against each other to get the best results.

While it may sound a bit bizarre to have your ads fighting against each other, this actually helps you make the most out of your budget. The better the ad result, the cheaper the cost per result.

Optimise your ads regularly by turning off ads that aren’t doing well and refreshing your ad set with new content.

 

What NOT to do.

While there’s certainly a time and place for boosting individual posts on Facebook and Instagram, doing this regularly won’t help you get the most bang for your buck. Rather than investing $100 in each post for big results, create a campaign with a $100 budget, and ‘boost’ 5 ads for the same price.

It all sounds a bit confusing, doesn’t it? If you’d like to know more, give us a buzz and chat to one of our specialists.

 

3 free Google tools every business should be using

Our web legend, Michael Urquhart, shares awesome webby tips with the office on a regular basis which never fail to amaze and help us littleBIGers. We thought you, wider world, might find them super handy too so here are a few easy little Google tips he’s written up for you. Thanks Mike!

1. Google My Business

As the name suggests Google My Business is where you can modify the information that Google knows about your business.  This information is most often viewed in the rich snippets shown in the top right of searches and in Google maps.  If you have a physical location this is especially important as this is where you can update the details like location and opening times.  You can add your business if Google does not know about it or claim an existing listing.  Your business may already be listed, even if you did not add it, as the general public, or Google themselves, may have added it.   You will need to verify that you own business which normally entails an automated phone call or a physically posted postcard.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free website statistics tool.  You can drill down and find out a bunch of information about who visits your site.  Information like how many visits, the most visited pages, how long people stay, what country they come from and the list goes on.  To be honest it can be a little overwhelming when you first delve in but once you pick up the basics it will become an invaluable tool. Once you add your site you will just need to add a code snippet to every page of your site or there are many website plugins that will do the same.

3. Google Seach Console

Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is something any good web developer knows about but can also be very useful for any website owner.  It details the more technical aspects of how the Google search engine sees your site.  Things like how many of your site pages are in the Google search index.  Once registered you may also receive notifications if there are issues with your site.  You again will have to verify that you own or control the website normally by uploading a file to your site.