After working in marketing and advertising for several years, I have learned a few lessons for success. One of these lessons is that marketing will always be evolving and change is necessary. However, with so much change and such a diversity of campaigns and strategies, we can sometimes forget some of the fundamental pillars on which successful marketing strategies are built. There are consistencies that will never go away for those seeking maximum results in their marketing efforts.
Here are 6 of my foundational rules for effective marketing.
Your brand must consistently communicate the value message
The Value Message (aka the Value-Add, Value Proposition, etc) is a topic that has grown significantly in the marketing conversation. Customers have more access to information than ever before, and there are generally more options for products or services than has existed in the past.
Finding the value in what you do is the key to setting you apart. Trust me. Your customers are going to compare you to your competition. Presenting value will eliminate their abilities to only compare price; and there is always someone willing to undercut your prices.
How do you find your brand’s value message? Here’s 3 questions you must answer to find out:
1. Why does my brand do what it does? What problem does my brand solve?
2. How does my brand do what it does?
3. Who is my brand targeted to?
Once you find your value, make sure that everyone in your company communicates that value message. There is nothing more crippling in customer relations than to have 2 different or even opposing value messages communicated.
Remember, everyone from the custodian to the CEO is a marketer for your company and must consistently communicate the value message.
Identify and understand your target audience
We have discussed this in another article, but the point remains true. Knowing whom your target audience is and understanding how to communicate with those customers is essential in bringing true success to your effective marketing efforts.
This is where your Primary Marketing Profile comes in.
The profile will help you to understand everything about your customer. For help in building this ever-important marketing profile, check out our other article so you can walk through the steps.
Gather and utilize accurate and effective data
Good data wins. It’s that simple.
I say “good data” because I’ve seen enough bad data that would waste years of time sifting through for even the best marketers. However, even if the data isn’t always perfect, you should never run a campaign, send an email, post content, or sponsor an event without having some method of tracking the results.
I have been in offices where the mentality is, just throw it out and see who bites. The problem with that fishing metaphor is that the great fishing experts don’t even take that approach. They have data on where the good spots are, what they trying to catch, which bait to use… they might even have a radar showing them exactly where the fish are.
You can probably tell that I don’t like the fishing metaphor. Instead, I much prefer this one:
Marketing without the ability or willingness to run data analysis is like walking into a room with a dart in hand, turning off the light, spinning in circles 20 times, and trying to hit a bulls-eye on a target 25 feet away. Chances are, you won’t even come close to hitting the board.
Marketing without reporting is exactly the same.
If you never gather data and evaluate your reports, you will not be able to create more effective and successful campaigns.
Always produce high value content
If there is a trend in modern marketing, especially for small businesses, it is the significance of valuable content marketing. However, even in the content saturated world which we live, there are still those who are intimidated by the idea of consistently producing quality content.
If you fall into this category, don’t worry. You’re not alone, but the reality still remains: producing content breeds customer engagement with your brand.
When creating your content strategy consider the following rules.
Don’t use your content solely to sell your product
Instead utilize your content communicate your brand values.
Your primary goal in digital content marketing should be relationship building
Strive for referrals to your content from your customers. Referrals are still the most effective marketing method of customer acquisition.
Offer a variety of access points to your content
If you are writing a blog, post about it several times on your social media channels. If you do a podcast interview, that can easily be transcribed into a blog. Don’t just give your customers a single path to follow you.
Every effective marketing strategy must be filtered through a revenue model
Please don’t miss this. Everything you do must filter through a revenue model. Seems obvious, right? That’s what I thought too.
I have had too many experiences that indicate that revenue is not a primary focus.
The two most common statements I hear from inexperienced business owners and marketing professionals are “There is no formula to successful marketing. It’s all trial and error. If you have an idea, try it and see what happens.” and “Marketing is just about information distribution. Communicate information and you’ve done your job.”
The whole purpose of effective marketing is to identify quality leads, customers that are ready for finalized sales. Establish trusting and lasting relationships, and facilitate the sales.
If you are doing any marketing at all just for the sake of doing it or for any reason other than ultimately producing revenue, STOP. You are in business to make money. You can offer the best product, service, or solution since sliced bread, but if you don’t make money from your endeavors, you aren’t going to be around to continue offering your value brand.
The days of marketing just to say you are marketing are gone. All of your marketing and business practices must be filtered through a revenue model. Have accurate predictable outcomes for your campaigns and do your reporting so you can run more successful campaigns in the future.
Be willing to evolve and diversify
Yes, we have come full circle back to change and diversification. I heard a wise man once say, “Change will happen with or without you. It’s best to just get on board.” Change is inevitable and essential to the life of… anything, and change is happening every day.
Take social media for example.
Facebook, which started in February of 2004 and was only opened to universities as a social sharing platform, is now the largest social media network in the world, recently reaching an average of over 1 billion daily users. Facebook is currently the most used social media for marketing, but it is now sharing the marketing conversation with other social media platforms.
In fact, I attended a marketing event in May 2016 where Facebook only consumed 15% of the conversation, while platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat dominated the discussion of new marketing efforts.
Marketers have to be able to adjust and adapt to changing trends, channels, and strategies if they are going to be able to effectively communicate their value brand to all of their customers. The world of marketing is evolving faster than ever with creative marketing strategies developing at alarming rates. The best marketing champions are even looking further into the future to create the next evolution.
You are a marketer, so get going
By following these essential rules of effective marketing, I have been fortunate to see incredible success in my campaigns and marketing endeavors. That isn’t to say that I’ve only seen success in all my marketing strategies.
I’ve certainly seen my share of campaign failures; but when I have seen those failures, I have always been able to trace them back to neglecting one or more of the rules to successful marketing.
Maybe you find yourself in a place where you know your campaigns can be more effective but don’t know how to get them there.
Maybe you are stuck in a rut of marketing the same way you always have. Maybe you are just getting started in your marketing endeavors.
Whatever your position, we are ready to help you reach your goals. Call us today for a FREE consultation.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation!
Are there other rules you follow in you marketing?