A 12-week Strategic Marketing Program on Kangaroo Island will deliver more than $1.4 million in direct economic outcomes for its 11 participating businesses.

The 11 businesses have had their final coaching session with consultant, Julia Mann, to develop long-term sustainable growth and marketing plans. The participants have learned how to analyse ideas to support decision-making, develop supporting marketing strategies, plans and campaigns to leverage current trends happening on Kangaroo Island and in global markets.

At a presentation night at the Aurora Ozone Hotel, the businesses each presented their objectives, strategies, achievements to date and expectations for the next six months. Two new businesses have been launched; two will expand significantly, 12 NEW Direct fulltime equivalent jobs will be created, $1,411,000 in additional direct economic outcomes is predicted and a further $2,426,920 in indirect economic outcomes.

“We are impressed with the wide range of businesses that have participated,” KI Business and Brand Alliance chairman Brett Miller said. “The businesses went through an expression of interest process that had them highlight the areas of development sought and I thank them for taking advantage of this program”.

“Planning for success is a vital tool for all businesses, especially businesses in remote areas which may be affected by seasonality. The goal of the program is to support businesses to focus on key areas that are important for growth, and to give businesses a range of tools they can use to make daily business decisions,” consultant Julia Mann said.

This program was made possible by funding from the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Program and from the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.  The funding was secured by KIBBA on behalf of industry associations on the Island.

Participant Carly Bussenschutt from luxury accommodation Stowaway Kangaroo Island said that before meeting Julia her marketing strategy was pretty vague. “After doing this program I have a solid 24-month marketing strategy of which I have already implemented a number of things which have seen me reach my targets faster than I had expected.

“Julia has me really analysing my expected return on marketing dollar invested and how to achieve it. I feel like I have found real clarity around my target markets and this makes looking into the future less stressful and the broad term of ‘marketing’ way less daunting.

“It can be really hard starting to a small business and there are so many pitfalls, I feel like this program has helped fast forward my marketing knowledge and given me a lot more confidence in my marketing decision making,” Carly said.

Participant Julie Helyar from False Cape Wines said the program came at the perfect time for her business “as we are building a new Cellar Door on our property to be opened soon”.

“It helped me to get my husband and I thinking about our product and how we want to brand our wines. It has also helped me understand the digital implications of a business and how to set these platforms up so that the customers can find us and get to know our brand.

“Julia has been fantastic with her knowledge and insights and the one-on-one sessions at our property were particularly useful to help get us focused and motivated to look at our marketing strategies and put our ideas into practice.”

Over 12 weeks participants have undertaken three half-day workshops including a Digital Strategies Workshop developed by the Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association and a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions on-site at their business premises and attended a presentation ceremony. All participants have now started implementing their marketing and growth plans.

“The program has been a great success with excellent feedback and I congratulate the 11 businesses for putting themselves forward to seek support and guidance on their plans for growth,” Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Wendy Campana said.

Pictured: Back Row – Kevin Matthews, Jan Ordway, Alice Teasdale, Sue Arlidge, Julia Mann (Facilitator), Maria Morgan, Front Row – Carly Bussenschutt , Kathy Williams, Julie Helyar, Sophie Sheridan, Mandy Johnson, Eliza Sheridan