From one campaign we became many – the genesis to SMART’s success
The Latin phrase on the United States coat of arms really appeals to me. You know the one, the shield with the eagle on one side, clutching the arrows, and the olive branch on the other side. With the stars and stripes below. Well, the Latin inscription translates literally; from one.
Just like the United States of America, the United Campaigns of SMART began the same. From one. We grew. And just like America, we beat out our competition too.
But we had to start somewhere, and why not start big. Really big. Like Melbourne’s most read newspaper big. If you read my first blog, you’ll know that Will Scott and I founded SMART on the back of our last 500 bucks.
Well it was that last $500 that made us who we are. Set the mould for the SMART way of marketing. Left our competition scrambling in our wake.
One of the most important things I’ve learnt in marketing is this: If it’s location, location, location in real estate, then its presentation, presentation, presentation in sales marketing. That goes for pitching to the marketing manager at the Herald Sun, and it goes for knocking on the door of the guy who plays Harold Bishop on Neighbours. True story.
With next to nothing behind us, we persuaded Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited to throw us the marketing keys for a spin in its worldwide flagship newspaper – the Herald Sun. We had no resources save for four staff. As it happened, we just had to split them four ways to get off the ground.
SMART outdid our competition to clinch that deal. Will and I persuaded the decision makers in the HWT Building in Southbank to give us the reins to a 10 week trial that had us selling $4 a week, free delivery newspapers across Melbourne.
And sell we did. We doubled subscriptions for a start. And that 10 week trial - it lasted four years. SMART sold 20,000 newspapers a year. Then we launched deals with the Herald Sun’s sister newspapers in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
That campaign made careers and moulded leaders. Like Donnie Stewart. He started as a door to door rep on the Herald Sun trial. Then he made it to channel rep. Today, Donnie is SMART’s National Sales Manager.
The Herald Sun campaign was so successful we replicated it to our other campaigns. SMART’s award winning, record breaking energy marketing campaigns were conceived by the Herald Sun model. It is in the DNA of every SMART campaign that has followed. It is the genesis of SMART’s ten years of success.