But something I have just consistently underestimated the importance of over the last 5 years is that of marketing. Marketing, marketing, for goodness sakes, marketing.
Because MGen is an inclusive company, I've always seen marketing as limiting. Pick your target audience, figure out what they want, get your message across to them, is all I've heard time and time again. How do you successfully let the world know you're out there and ready for them without limiting you're audience?
Well let me just say last weeks session open my mind to the powers of marketing. We spent our morning with Ben Wilson from Cause4 who talked us through the ins and outs of marketing, covering the basics and providing the tools for a killer marketing plan.
It's interesting, while I've never had a target audience throughout MGen's years, there's definitely clear cut sects of the community too whom we're providing for more than others.
Currently, our biggest client group are primary school kids, aged 4-12. I've realised there's not a huge need for us amongst high school students as many high schools have music programs and / or music teachers available to students who're interested in learning. So already I have a clearly defined group of people I'm looking to reach (or rather their parents).
I think also we cater highly to the interests of retirees as well as full time working professionals, as our service is about convenience and flexibility.
This has cleared up a lot of uncertainty in my mind. It's not about who I'm looking to sell too. There are already clear groups of people benefitting from our service, and not just benefitting but loving it! (We get really good feedback). I've always thought of marketing as targeting, kind of forcing your way into peoples lives, but that perspective was completely inhibited. It's about reaching people you can help with your service. Letting them know that something exists out there that can help them with their lives, or in my case, their musical journeys through life.
Hahaha getting carried away. Or am I?
Anyway, next question, how do you reach these groups now? Seems like an obvious answer. Social media, paid advertising like google, contacting schools etc.
Our afternoon session however... Blew. My. Mind. I'm actually still recovering from it's awesomeness. It's taken me the weekend to consolidate everything.
We sat down with Lucy George from PR Company Wordville. Public Relations is one of those things where the amount of effort it requires compared to the pay off it brings doesn't seem worth it. Turns out, I was just going about it all wrong.
Lucy is a vibrant person, and her enthusiasm and excitement got me excited. She provided me with an open minded approach to PR, seeing the media as your oyster, your opportunity to tell you story through multiple different channel.
It's funny, before this session I never thought there was anything newsworthy about MGen, maybe our social work, but after chatting to Lucy for 5 minutes, suddenly, I saw about 5 different possible headlines. Through 10 various channels and media outlets. For 20 completely differently angled publications!
I'm not really sure who's been reading this blog, but I have a feeling you're going to be seeing a lot more MGen and myself in and around your social media and local communities (Australian) in coming months. Because thanks to Ben and Lucy, no longer my achilles heels but rather I am Zeus and my thunderbolt is my newly developed outlook on this thing we call marketing.
Watch out media, online and offline, cause you're about to be struck.