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You are reading our 30th edition. We are chuffed to have never missed a beat in the seven years since Foxy launched our first edition in October 2013. And with that I’d like to raise a glass to the NT cattle industry and what has become a large feature in this issue, and also share with you some positive insights into why we are thriving when marketing is the first thing people cut from their budget.

Business survival is all about the end user – I call it a customer-led approach. One that consistently excites as well as offers choice, efficiency, value, quality and consistency. Where the customer decides to spend is highly dependent on how well the business has considered the customers’ needs and aligned these with a clearly defined “customer experience”.

Whether it’s foot traffic or the information architecture of your website, the customer experience is becoming more reliant in a design and strategic communication-based approach than just briefing someone who might know a thing or two about desktop publishing. A strategic blend of personal attributes and digital technology is required by all SMEs to ensure a return on experience for every customer.  The trilogy of design, value and service cannot be separated, as they represent the cornerstone first principles, and when combined with psychology, emotions and passion, produce a successful recipe every time. That passion to talk the Territory up is what TQ is all about.

I for one am tired of delays in quoting, delivery of service and processing times blamed on covid. The excuse of covid has crept into the narrative and the response for delivering a sub-standard customer experience or not delivering at all. Turn that around to same day quotes, hand delivering our publication, upping the excitement and layering it with a “can-do” attitude to offer a higher sense of value.

Delivering a customer-led experience is all about the seamless and emotional integration of product, price point and service – at all levels of business operations, regardless of size or positioning. While the topic of augmented or pivoting business is emerging as a key aspect influencing the future of SMEs, in both the physical and digital environment, first principles are still 100 percent relevant if sales and satisfactions are to be optimised, based upon creating consistent delivery, complemented with great service, attention to detail and value for money.

Everyone loves value for money. Like great food and a warm welcome, it is about positive emotional engagement. Happy customers spend more – and more often. Business in the Territory is reliant on word of mouth, so creating fans that rave about you has never been more important. And TQ talks to thousands of people every quarter.

A positive outcome of the pandemic has been the endless creativity, pivoting, flexibility and re-focusing of new ideas on how best to deliver products and services safely and profitably in a post-covid era. 

The pages of TQ positively reflect those businesses who understand a customer-led approach, as not all businesses have reopened with a “warm welcome”. This is a clear reflection of some operator’s limited understanding of what genuine customer value actually is. Tradies who return your call, have a sense of urgency and follow up are run off their feet with initiatives such as the Territory Government’s home renovation grants.

Thanks to the Government responding quickly, our bounce back has come a lot sooner and stronger than other states. In fact, the Territory led in much of it. TQ also does more than its fair share of promoting Territory good news, innovation and positive outcomes.

We do the work that most governments pay a premium for – promoting a consistent narrative of achievement and opportunities that can be found in every issue, story after story. If there is a sense of hope in hard times, the good operators stick it out. The Territory has always been a boom-and-bust economy, but covid has levelled out to what can be called a national flat-line. That said, the resilience of Territorians in times of adversity is the stuff of legends and none more deserving than our cover story, Val Dyer, and Territory Pioneer Brendan Heenan.

TQ also says a lot about those young dynamic entrepreneurs who are starting out or who have reopened and have gone the extra mile (or 10) in planning, preparing, communicating and delivering positive experiences without omitting the first principles of value. In any industry, getting your staff to “give a shit” is the base platform that influences and ultimately maximises sales and positive experiences. So why have some businesses flourished, and others withered on the vine? It comes down to having the right people on the bus who share a sense of purpose and value their jobs.

We advertised for a designer and had 250 applications. We ended up with three exceptionally talented recent arrivals, one each from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. My job is to keep them busy and our collective challenge is to make them love the place as much as we do so they stick it out for the long haul.

In summary: more than ever, it’s all about a positive customer experience. Clients are king in the Campaign Edge Sprout world because we understand that without them the business does not exist.

Now we need your help to talk up the Territory. Pass on this free magazine to others who might not know the depth of opportunity in the North. Share the love. We need hundreds of passionate new recruits. TQ