Most powerful marketing for your business

Big brand marketing insights for your business

2 minutes

Big brand marketing insights - with Brent Smart CMO IAG

What’s the most powerful thing you can do to market your business? 

You may be surprised to know that creating an emotional and heartfelt connection with your audience is your most important strategy.

We’ve heard from our movement that spreading the word about your business is one of your main pain points. So we asked a friend of many businesses and CMO of one of the strongest brands in Australia, to share some strategic marketing tips for small business owners and sole traders like you.

Brent Smart is the Chief Marketing Officer at IAG, Australia's largest general insurance company. He leads the marketing efforts for major brands, many of which some are insuring you such as NRMA, CGU and RACV. Prior to Australian corporate life Brent worked in advertising including as CEO for Saatchi & Saatchi New York City, USA. Brent joins Mumbition the Podcast as part of the Mums & Co, “Co” as a previous keynote speaker for our 2018 Be MPowered Conference and as a father himself.  

How can small business owners save time?

“The biggest challenge is content and time. Similar concept to customers and time, but content and time. Every single customer that I ever talk to in a focus group says the same thing. "I've got no time." And particularly about your audience, busy mums. I mean, they have got zero time. And so, if you've got infinite content and very finite time, that equation is a real challenge for marketers, and I'd say for small business operators as well, who are trying to get their content and their story out into the world.

Infinite content, finite time means only the best content cuts through. Only the best content gets noticed. Most of it's invisible. Most of it, we just scroll past in our feeds and it's gone. That's why I'm so passionate about the role of creativity, because you just got to do something creative. You've got to do something that's worthy of people's time.

A lot of small businesses who are really relying on social media, Instagram, for instance, as a channel, you're competing with all that content out there. You have to do is zag against your category. Find your voice and make sure that it's distinct and different.

Whether you are a multi-billion dollar insurance company like IAG, or you're a small business, that is something you have to think about. You have to create things that are worthy of people's time.”

How would you then approach your first few years in business?

“For me, it's always about getting the people right. In a small business context, I don't think you can do it alone, even as a small business operator, you need to have the right partners. You have to have the right advice. You have to have the right support network. Ultimately, as you grow, you definitely have to have the right team. When you get the people right, you can achieve extraordinary things and can achieve much more than you could have on your own. 

So when I think about my role, I built a fantastic team, but I've also got some amazing partners like our agency partners who contribute so much of what we do in the marketing space. I wouldn't be able to do it without them. I benefit so much from partners who have an outside perspective. They're not as close to it as I am. They are not living in the business like I am. 

For small business owner, it's so easy to get incredibly myopic about your own business because it's yours. You live it day in, day out. Getting that outside perspective from people who can be a bit more honest, can bring perspectives from other categories, other businesses. Being open to that outside perspective is incredibly important, whatever role you're doing, whatever business you're running. So that would be my advice, get the people around you right? If you do that right at the start, then you really benefit, three, five years down the track.”

How do you protect yourself from business risk?

“I think the biggest risk is the risk of being invisible. I see too many ideas, too many products, too much content that is invisible, what we don't see because it's invisible. There's just too much stuff in the world and people have no time, so you better make something worthy of their time.

Too often people create something that is either exactly like something I've seen before. It looks like everything else in the category and it just blends into the sea of sameness.

Make something great, make something that stands out, make something that's worthy of people's time. And then you won't be invisible. You'll be sought after. You'll be talked about. You'll be revered. That's the biggest risk for brands for advertising and for business - being invisible.”

Want to know more about what other nuggets of marketing gold Brent has to share?

So how can creativity help solve our common problems? Why is surrounding yourself with the right ‘Co’ the secret to your success? How can loving your content and customers help your brand and business stand out ? And what is the shape of modern parenting? 

Ready to harmonise your ambition, livelihood and wellbeing? Join Australia's most caring business network. You’ll find experts, business advice, member directory and events. Sign up to Mums & Co today