Marketing is not just about advertising. It’s about understanding your customers and giving them what they want. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a magician when coming up with new ideas. While there are tons of marketing strategies out there, only a few of them are effective in delivering results.
According to Hubspot, companies dedicated 11.7% of their entire company-wide budget solely toward marketing in 2021. That is a significant amount to spend on a single department, and companies only do so because they expect a greater return from their investment.
A marketing campaign can make or break a company, and if you are someone who is tasked with this important responsibility, you need to keep yourself updated on all the latest progress made in the world of marketing.
Gone are the days of gut-feeling-driven slogan writing. This is an era of storytelling based on thorough statistical analysis. So strap in as we explore some of the fundamental ideas every modern marketing strategy needs to be based on.
Focus On Consumer-Centric Marketing
With consumer-centric marketing, you design your marketing campaign around addressing the needs, problems, and challenges of your target audience instead of delivering your brand message. Of course, you need to do the latter too, but the former takes precedence.
Marketers are often so focused on products or services that they forget about their consumers. But it’s impossible to create something valuable without understanding the needs of the people you want to serve. Once you do understand it, you can decide how to convince them that your product will fulfill their needs instead of simply advertising what your product is.
To successfully design a consumer-centric marketing strategy, you need to understand their problems and possible solutions they require, observe their behavior, and track the sentiments they express on social media. In most cases, the result will not be homogeneous for every customer. Therefore, you might need to break up your customers into different groups and strategize for each group individually.
If this sounds like a lot of work, that is because it is. But you can use different marketing technologies (also known as martech) available today to simplify some of the work. The companies that go this extra mile reap the benefits as well. Hubspot notes that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that are not.
Prioritize Data-Driven Decision Making
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. And you can only make decisions that help your business if you know what the data is telling you. Data-driven decision-making is one of the most essential skills in marketing today, as it allows marketers to better understand their audience and optimize their marketing efforts.
Marketers today use a variety of marketing technologies (like Google Analytics, Mopinion, and KissMetrics) to form a ‘martech stack’ that aids this process. Martech stack allows marketers to track consumer behavior, receive feedback, and study their activities on the company website to better inform their decisions. But simply collecting data is not enough. You need to analyze it and interpret what it means.
As a marketer today, it is important to have a good grip on market analytics. The better your ability to analyze markets, the better you will be at your job. If you have never studied it but are currently employed in marketing, consider completing a master’s in marketing analytics online.
Data collected by Gartner shows that marketers use only 42% of what their martech stack offers. If you can go beyond that, it is an automatic boost to your career. Plus, if you continue to learn after being employed, it shows that you are dedicated and ambitious, which forces your bosses to consider you for a promotion.
Decide On Your Brand Image Early
Any good marketing strategy begins with clearly establishing a brand image. Although the term contains the word image, it does not have anything to do with visuals in a literal sense. Rather it refers to the first sentiment that pops into people’s minds when they hear your brand’s name.
The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of image you want to project. Do you want to be known as a luxury brand? Or maybe the budget option? Is your product targeted towards millennials or baby boomers? The more specific, the better.
If your’s is an electronics brand, you might want to portray yourself as a brand that is leading humanity towards a sustainable future by focusing on green technology. If you decide to go with an image of being deeply rooted in tradition, it might be detrimental.
That is because people are not looking for heritage when they buy electronics. They are looking for the latest technology. However, the heritage imagery might work if you own a line of Scotch whiskey.
Your entire marketing campaign, regardless of the product, would follow this image and build on it. It would be the master guidebook for all your marketing teams. Therefore, the sooner you decide what the brand image will be, the sooner you streamline your marketing efforts.
Be A Good Storyteller
Compare superhero movies from the 90s or early 2000 with the ones now. What do you see? Despite all the advancements in technology, the Starkest (pun intended) difference is that they are now story-rich. The sight of Superman soaring through the air was enough to bring people to the theaters in the 70s but not anymore. Today audience demands one thing above all. A compelling story.
This hunger for storytelling is not limited to superhero movies or video games. It has also influenced the world of advertising. There is a reason you don’t see an ad with a guy popping on screen and saying, “hello! Do you struggle with driving on wet roads? Then buy XYZ tires.” anymore.
When your advertisements are centered around short, impactful storylines, you can build trust and credibility with your audience by showing them that you understand them and their pain points. Telling a story also helps you explain what makes your product or service different from others in the market.
It can also help your listeners connect emotionally with your brand image, making it memorable for them and compelling them to take some action so that they will share it with others who may need it as well.
Focus On Collaborating With The Other Departments
One of the most important things to do when you’re building a marketing masterclass is to collaborate with other departments. Why? Because your marketing efforts are only as strong as the rest of your business, everyone needs to be on board with what you’re trying to achieve.
Establishing a single clear vision for the entire company means everyone knows what end goal you are striving towards and what their roles are concerning it. Zippia reports that 86% of employees in leadership positions blame the lack of collaboration as the main reason behind failure in the workplace.
On the flip side, good workplace collaboration can lead to a 27% increase in sales and a 41% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.
You can create an excellent customer experience by collaborating with sales and customer service teams. You might also want to consider working with IT since they’re often responsible for implementing new technologies into existing systems.
You can also create a consistent message by collaborating closely with product development teams because they’re responsible for creating new products and services, which will ultimately become part of your brand’s story.
Collaboration leads to a sense of fraternity among workers. If every department has a good idea of what the other departments are doing, they can understand each other’s challenges well and work together to minimize any conflict. It improves employee morale, and they get a better sense of clarity about what they should be doing.
These tips will help you become a master of marketing. But remember that the most important requirement for any marketer is adaptability. You will always need to figure out how you can adapt your strategy to the changing consumer behavior pattern and other challenges specific to your situation. Leep learning, keep adapting, and soon enough, you will reach the top.