How to market your SME: Tips from Adam Ferrier

Brand and behavioural change expert Adam Ferrier was one of the star attractions at Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s first Melbourne marketing workshop this week.

As one of four speakers for the day, Ferrier – who is gaining mainstream followers due to his appearances on ABC’s The Gruen Transfer – certainly left an impression on the 100-strong crowd. Delegates were not only treated to Naked Communication’s founding partner’s pathway to creating behavioural change, but also insights from four of his favourite, not to mention heavily lauded, marketing campaigns.

One such campaign had the room in absolute hysterics as women business owners (and no doubt a few understanding mums) were taken into the world of teenage boys’ fascination with pimple popping, which related to an advertising campaign linked to a skin product demonstrating the power of video and viral marketing. Another campaign looked at the highly successful ‘Rename Speed’ campaign in which the town of Speed temporarily changed its name to ‘Speed Kills’ as part of a clever social awareness campaign for the TAC.

The inspiring examples helped the audience understand Ferrier’s behavioural change theories, or simply ‘how to make people buy from you’. Ferrier demonstrated how the ‘old way’ of marketing hooked into our thoughts and feelings to trigger purchases, while the ‘new way’ of marketing created changes and brand alignment through ‘action’: getting consumers to interact with your brand by “asking them for a behaviour that’s likely to occur”.

Ferrier also unpacked the notion that a “brand is a cluster of cultural ideas around a central organising thought” and how women in the room could organise the marketing of their own businesses around such a cluster by addressing the key ingredients of being “motivating, credible, different and visionary”.

Before Adam’s presentation, delegates heard from celebrated businesswoman Gillian Franklin, managing director of The Heat Group, who had the room thinking about the values of their business and brand, and whether your ‘offer’ and your ‘office’ reflected their company values.

Franklin used the example of her own company’s employee benefits, which include a fully paid ‘week-off’ for new fathers called ‘Baby Week’ as well other value-adds such as your birthday off if it lands on a week day and employee retention benefit that offered five weeks’ annual leave after five years’ service. It put a different spin on thinking about marketing your business from the inside out, which was supported by the other two speakers as well.

Jacqueline Morony, of gen.a (Generation Alliance), unpacked the art of brand and the intersection between business strategy, consumer aspiration and brand strategy. She helped delegates understand a critical point that their brand is the most powerful thing they will ever own.

“Ask Coca Cola if they would pick their factories or the brand as their greatest asset, and they’ll pick brand. Brand is much harder to re-build than a factory,” she explained.

The final speaker of the day, Deb Pilgrim, took delegates through a worksheet of of putting all the day’s thinking into practice, emphasising that “unless you see yourself in the business of marketing, no one will know about you.”

AWCCI chief executive Yolanda Vega top and tailed the day’s event with encouragement and support for the women business owners in the room, reminding them to communicate their needs to AWCCI as a peak lobby group, and to celebrate the fact that of Australia’s 2.7 million small businesses, some 40% are led by women.

For more information about future events, register at

Adam Ferrier’s top marketing campaigns

For those who missed the event, check out the videos from Ferrier’s presentation below:

This article first appeared on Women’s Agenda.



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