How to make your business stand out from the crowd in the digital world

Koala's creative director, Charlie Gearside, talks to Community News clients about his brand's marketing successes. Pictures: WILL RUSSELL
Koala's creative director, Charlie Gearside, talks to Community News clients about his brand's marketing successes. Pictures: WILL RUSSELL

BEING weird, creative and not being transfixed by “super-slick” production values will set a business apart in the modern digital marketing age, a group of Community News’ top clients have been told.

Charlie Gearside, the creative director for disruptive furniture brand Koala – who have made a huge impact in the mattress world – said a willingness to take a punt, and a realisation that things rarely worked the first time, had driven the company in its journey to becoming Australia’s fastest-growing retailer.

 

Community News clients listen to Charlie Gearside's presentation on Koala's marketing success.
Community News clients listen to Charlie Gearside’s presentation on Koala’s marketing success.

 

Some of Mr Gearside’s favourite Koala marketing videos and TV commercials are slick, creative visuals, but sometimes they have fallen flat with the digital audience. Spontaneous, mobile-driven videos, however, can be viral winners.

Standing out from the crowd – or being able to stop someone scrolling – is the chief aim in digital marketing, he said.

“The digital revolution happened, and I feel like the creative revolution is about to happen,” Mr Gearside said.

Creative marketing had the benefit of cheap and free traffic when it was shared, he said.

Nicole Riksman, GM Flight Centre (left), and Karen Thysse, WA and NT State Marketing Manager Flight Centre (right), with Community News chief executive Paul Eteen-Bliss, at the Charlie Gearside Koala presentation.
Nicole Riksman, GM Flight Centre (left), and Karen Thysse, WA and NT State Marketing Manager Flight Centre (right), with Community News chief executive Paul Eteen-Bliss, at the Charlie Gearside Koala presentation.

 

The Koala marketing playbook includes making data available to everyone in the company, controlling the brand message and marketing in-house, building a reliable marketing engine (ensuring the nuts and bolts website is user-friendly and functional) and “making lots of bets”.

Koala will defer to external specialists, however, when the quality – such as images for press advertising and the website – are required.

A concern of strongly-focussed digital marketing – in particular social-media platforms – can be the exposure to trolls and negative sentiment online, but Koala does not hide negative feedback and Mr Gearsidesays“you can turn your negative stuff into a weapon if you are smart with it”.

He says people will come in to bat for the product, and the company – with a testimonial value you can’t buy.

Community News sales director (SME) Tamika Cruikshank (left), Spudshed's Garth Steinbach, and Community News Key Accounts Sales Manager Andrea De Kauwe, at the Charlie Gearside Koala presentation.

Community News sales director (SME) Tamika Cruikshank (left), Spudshed’s Garth Steinbach, and Community News Key Accounts Sales Manager Andrea De Kauwe, at the Charlie Gearside Koala presentation.

Community News can help businesses navigate the digital marketing wilderness.

Talk to our Digital Sales Specialist Tessa Tolhurst for more advice on digital marketing and our NewsXtend digital solutions.

Call (08) 9237 1104 or email tessa.tolhurst@communitynews.com.au

NewsXtend.com.au

Koala's creative director, Charlie Gearside, talks to Community News clients about his brand's marketing successes.
Koala’s creative director, Charlie Gearside, talks to Community News clients about his brand’s marketing successes.
Yang Liu and James Lally from John Hughes Group at the Community News client presentation.
Yang Liu and James Lally from John Hughes Group at the Community News client presentation.
(Left to right) Laura Fiegert, Rebecca Turnor and Alesha Saliba from Automotive Holding Group at the Community News client presentation.
(Left to right) Laura Fiegert, Rebecca Turnor and Alesha Saliba from Automotive Holding Group at the Community News client presentation.
(Left to right) Alysia Pekel and Gemma Osborne from Western Cabinets at the Community News client presentation.
(Left to right) Alysia Pekel and Gemma Osborne from Western Cabinets at the Community News client presentation.