End of Financial Year for small businesses is like January 1 for the #fitspo community – a time to go gungho with new goals, laser-focussed determination and energy to do things a little differently.
Before we turn a new leaf and throw ourselves straight into the next year, next project and next hire, it’s important that we stop and look at how far we’ve come – what we did, what we learnt and what we could do better if we had the chance to do it all again.
Put your seat belt on as we drop gears and into reverse to look at our 18/19 year in review.
What we did
Identifying a few stand out moments in any given year is hard, but in a year where we won three awards – a Bronze Effie for efficient content marketing for Discover Ipswich, a Queensland Retail Property Award for our digital influencer program with Brisbane Airport and the Queensland Tourism Young Achiever award – it’s even harder.
To pick just three highlights to focus on, we looked at what projects really set our souls on fire and where we hope to place more of our focus for the 19/20 financial year.
Taking out top spot – the re-development of the Outback Queensland Travellers Guide was a major milestone moment for Media Mortar. For us, the guide’s transformation from 116 pages of mis-matched editorial, penned by more than 17 different stakeholders, to an editorially curated, consumer-facing resource is a true reflection of our marketing philosophy that stories drive sales. It took not just intense project management but stakeholder relations to deliver the final product – something we’ve been edging towards for the past two years. View the transformation for yourself and download the guide to plan your own outback adventure.
Joining the Travellers Guide on the podium this year, is our production management of Tourism & Events Queensland’s Taste the State campaign. As the production arm to Creative Agency, Firme, we were responsible for production managing the four-part series, which took us to all corners of the State. The results are a perfect blend of people, place and produce – and certainly leave you smacking your lips for more. We always say good production looks easy, and we hope that’s what our crew and talent thought about their experience working with us.
By no means a bronze position, our work with Queensland Tourism Industry Council in delivering an eight part digital-ready program across the State is a 2019 highlight. In partnership with our colleagues at Tourism Tribe, we were asked to deliver digital-ready workshops to tourism operators up and down the State. Teaching up to 55 tourism operators at a time the nuances of social media is the kind of work that makes our hearts sing. Seeing our attendees implement the skills they’ve learnt with us in their business is one thing, but to hear them already see revenue-returns is even better. To do more of the work we love, we’ve even launched our own Media Mortar Live sessions for businesses (from any industry) wanting to take their content to new heights, any time of the year.
What we learnt
If failure teaches you more than success ever does, we’re happy to open the book on some of the learnings we’ll be taking forward into the 19/20 financial year.
The first one is getting a seat at the strategy table early. Most colleagues of ours have the same problem – a client sends out a tender, we issue a response, if successful, we deliver the project to the specifications, even if there was perhaps a better way to achieve the desired objective or outcome.
Our goal this year is to be more vocal at the RFQ-stage to make sure the work we deliver sets out what it was meant to achieve. We hope this will avoid stalemates when a project is delivered to specification, but still won’t achieve what it set out to do by the nature of its design. As experts in delivering marketing results, we want to be able to flex our strategy-muscle and help inform the tactical response rather than just deliver it.
Separate to this, we’re also going to work at better managing time frame roadblocks. Like most other Brisbane content marketing agencies, all our major work is usually delivered in Q3 and 4 when client’s start running down their end of financial year budget. This can mean we find ourselves on the hamster wheel, churning through creative work, without enough white space to allow new ideas to ‘drop in’ for months at a time. This financial year, we’re getting more digitally driven – using technology tools to help us work smarter to see these potential roadblocks. Our ‘work smarter’ approach starts right from our to-do lists. As of this week, we’re waving goodbye to word document to-do lists and scheduling everything online with Asana and we’re excited.
What we could do better
There’s an old saying that money flows where energy flows – and that quote deserves to be written up on our wall in neon lights for 2020 because like most people, we need to get better at getting into flow.
If you’ve seen our recommended reading list, you’ll know we’re suckers for professional development books, especially Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap. Hendricks defines everyone’s working state into four groups – zone of incompetence, competence, excellence and genius – which each reflect your proficiency at a skill.
As a team, we’re dedicating planning time this July to identify our respective zones of genius and re-allocating responsibilities so we can spend more time on tasks that we’re simply hard-wired to be better at than the next person.
Already this process has revealed a weekly task (organising the team’s workflow) was in my zone of competence, and could easily be transferred into Kristy’s zone of genius. By simply reallocating who is in charge of the team’s weekly WIP document, means we can each spend more time doing the work we love.
With plans like this already underway to optimise our performance, we’re proud to be starting the year more organised than ever before. You heard it here first, Media Mortar is officially primed for a big year ahead. So, if you’re planning your content marketing for 19/20, now’s a great time to get in touch. Just don’t be afraid if we ask for a seat at the strategy table (hello, 18/19 learning) – firstname.lastname@example.org
By Hannah Statham
Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.