If you want to know how to improve your marketing strategy then BEC’s newest Business Advisor, Stevie V Brown is going to give you a straight answer: know your audience!

Since joining the team in September, Stevie has hit the ground running in her joint role as BEC’s Marketing Manager, and Marketing Business Advisor and has already met with many clients seeking her expert direction and guidance.

Over the past two years as a coach in her own company, as well as at the BEC, Stevie has noticed a recurring pattern of small business owners not giving due process to really understanding their core audience.

“They really want to rush into their marketing rather than taking the time and effort to delve into the wants and needs of their target audience… For start-up businesses, the most common error is to create a logo and website before understanding those basic fundamentals of audience, market positioning and objectives,” Stevie says.

Having cut her teeth as an Account Manager in heavyweight London advertising agencies – Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Erickson – working on such global brands as Visa Europe, McDonald’s and L’Oréal, Stevie knows what she is talking about.

She originally worked in the field of brand advertising before moving into promotional marketing channels and shopper marketing.

A major highlight was working on McDonald’s UK account responsible for in-store point-of-sale material where she became intrigued by the psychology behind how customers make their purchase decisions.

Making the move to Australia, Stevie continued to work in the Sydney office of UK-based Marketing Agency, The Marketing Store on the McDonald’s and Canon accounts – this time in the incredibly detailed world of packaging.

“You would not believe the amount of time, meetings and effort it takes to finesse the bag that a hash brown comes in as well as the right words to engage hash brown eaters. It really is a highly scientific process where you can’t underestimate the value of audience segmentation and analysis in understanding buying and consumption habits.”

Stevie says that like McDonald’s, small business operators need to dig deeper than “women who live in Sydney aged 25” and really understand the audience opportunities starting with who they are, where to find them, what they are buying and when, as well as their emotions and needs.

While Stevie loved the frenetic creativity that came with working in advertising, the long hours and stress compelled her to make a change and after training as a coach, she founded her own business leadership consultancy, The Change Starter in 2014. She now applies her big business knowledge to small business marketing and communications.

Her mission is to improve the effectiveness of people’s business communication; resulting in happier, more motivated business owners and employees.

With her infectious energy, Stevie is looking forward to meeting more BEC clients who will usually be referred to her at an appropriate planning stage by their Business Advisors.

Some of the areas she can assist with include:

  • identifying audience profiles, market positioning and unique selling point
  • developing a comprehensive marketing plan
  • advising on marketing resources or reviewing existing materials.

Stevie nominates digital marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation) as additional areas where she can help combat some of the massive confusion out there.

“Generally, business owners don’t realise that they need to plan their content and identify a different role for each of the social media channels….There is also the assumption that when you launch a website, the customers will automatically come but there is substantial work involved to achieve that. It’s time consuming and people need the right support to do it well.”

Stevie has also worked closely with many brands that are ranged in Woolworths and Coles so can provide insights and advice on getting your products on their shelves.

With a busy working schedule, Stevie’s spare time is limited but she does confess to being a documentary ‘tragic’ indulging in her fascination of human behaviour, and also likes walking on the beach and having brunch with her friends.

In further exciting news, she is currently revamping BEC’s overall branding and promises some exciting changes in order to make it a ‘really client-centric marketing driven business’. Watch this space!