Most companies are working at a feverish pace to remain current and relevant in an ever-changing global business environment. Whether that has a trickle-down effect to marketing or whether marketing is the impetus for these initiatives isn’t the point. What’s critical is to know, understand and apply these five marketing game changers for optimal growth and success.
1. Know your customer. While this concept isn’t new, it is a critical factor in delivering the right products and services at the right price at the right time. Although there is a great deal of market information on the internet, there is no substitute for solid research in the form of primary research, online surveys, focus groups or informal conversations.
2. Develop a purpose-driven marketing strategy aligned with the company’s vision and mission. Make sure marketing initiatives represent a consistent brand image and a customer-centric orientation that focuses on what’s important to your target audiences. Then ask these two questions every step of the way:
1) Is this activity in line with our purpose?
2) Does the promotional content we produce answer the question on every prospect’s forehead: What’s in it for me?
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure the frequency of contact is sufficient to build visibility, credibility and name recognition in your industries. Create content that comes to life using a variety of mediums that engage and excite your target audiences. In addition to reaching out to customers and prospects, remember to communicate with internal stakeholders as well.
4. Build internal engagement through collaboration, transparency and the planning process. When employees are recognized as valued contributors and everyone is on the same page when it comes to clarity of purpose and direction, people are more likely to remain loyal and work to achieve the company’s goals.
5. Use technology but don’t forget the personal touch. Collect data, analyze it, and integrate it with other business initiatives. Use it to refine and modify your marketing plans. At the same time, use the information to customize content and interactions to meet the needs of individuals. Everyone wants to feel they are special and know that you recognize their uniqueness.
In the good old days of business-to-business marketing, any company with enough time and resources could be successful. There were essentially three outbound channels: direct mail, advertising and cold calling. But in today’s complex marketplace, game changers and new channels are created continually. This leads to a constant state of flux for marketers. Agility coupled with a customer-focused strategy is the only way for marketers to keep their companies from being derailed.