Marketing a brand or product is not rocket science but it could mean a very overwhelming and complicated, often not rewarding, process for most. Many people see marketing as “awareness” and believe slapping a logo on everything will do the job.
Most business owners and high-level executives do not see marketing as the first order of priority, often times leaving the “discussion” to conversations in the hall or right at the end of a long meeting agenda. Call it lack of interest, lack of knowledge, or simply lack of understanding the value of what it can do and how it can truly change a business.
The challenge with marketing a product or service is that it is extremely suggestive to the decision maker’s likes and dislikes. This applies to not only the end user but the one making the strategic decision on what to focus on. To effectively drive a marketing campaign, you should:
- Know your customer.This applies to both who your current customer is and who you want your customer to be. Have a clear understanding of their likes, dislikes, buying cycles and behaviors and their overall potential interest.
- It’s not about you, it’s about them. See your brand or product through the eyes of your customers, not your own. You may like black and white, but your customer wants white, black and sometimes gray. Don’t be stubborn, and learn to see your customer’s priorities as your own.
- Set the course of action and get moving. There is never a good time to start marketing your business. There is a really bad time to start, and that is when sales are down, the economy is down turning and you’re running out of hope. Marketing at the last minute does not work! Think about where your customer could find you, set your budget and try out your decisions (there’s always room to change direction if your plan doesn’t produce the right results).
- Know your team’s capabilities. Most “do-it-all’s” often fail in their marketing efforts because they lack the resources, time and focus to see their plans come to fruition. Don’t be afraid to seek external help to drive your marketing efforts.
So, the big question is how is marketing more effective? By investing into the future (which will add incremental sales and revenue if done right), or by shaving off dollars and showing short results? It depends on your goals but we’re willing to bet you want the long-term benefits and stability for your business.
Use marketing as a way to help you build brand awareness and customer loyalty. Ensure that your efforts are cohesively working with one another. Treat marketing programs as another piece of investment to your business. Just as you might buy a piece of equipment or inventory that will yield sales and profit in the future. So, remember our four tips and get moving on your marketing initiatives!