Read and Reflect

6 Paths to Better Marketing

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The role of marketers today is constantly shifting into broader and more demanding territories. Maintaining excellence without giving in to reactionary decisions and stale conventions can be challenging. So, I’ve outlined six paths to better marketing that will optimize your efforts so that your energy can be applied where it matters most.

  1. Stop sending so many emails

    Deploying emails is a common, “inexpensive” and direct way to deliver a message to consumers. However, the overall cost of curating quality content, deploying compelling landing pages and evaluating campaign results is not necessarily cheap. With the majority of emails being viewed on mobile devices, it’s never been easier to ignore your message – swipe. Even well-executed campaigns are at the mercy of the collective flood. Recent trends are showing that sending fewer emails can actually be more effective. So, there’s never been a better time to rethink your approach to email as a marketing medium. Or better yet, focus on a more effective medium…

  2. Focus your social strategy

    No marketing medium provides greater access to consumers than social media. However, with so many channels to pick from, it no longer makes sense to chase the latest trend (Google+ anyone?). Trying to engage consumers on every channel is a fool’s errand and erodes strategic opportunities to make a significant impact. Social media networks need a niche to survive, so it’s best to evaluate your target markets and choose several channels that will be most effective in delivering your content. i.e. It doesn’t make sense for a life insurance company to be on Snapchat. A focused social strategy ensures that higher quality content hits home with your targets.

  3. Avoid data without analytics

    Whether it’s focus groups or a digital automation tool, there is no end to data available to marketers. While having all this data is great, what you do with it is really where the rubber meets the road. As the Harvard Business Review pointed out several years ago, good data won’t guarantee good decisions. Making good decisions is about understanding the context that shapes your data. To maximize your opportunities, you need a partner who can effectively evaluate the data, trends and ROI obscurities and recommend a strategic approach – that’s analytics.

  4. Prioritize customer service

    Due to most org charts this might not seem immediately evident, but the next time you interact with a customer service representative, think about how strong of an impression it makes on your perception of that brand. Startling, isn’t it?! A strong marketing plan will integrate all aspects of the customer experience, not just the interactions that lead to initial adoption. Finding alignment across all customer touch-points can be challenging, so Marketing should champion the cause. Develop a brand covenant or manifesto that the entire organization can commit to as the standard for how your brand effects the people that represent it.

  5. Get the hand-off to Sales right

    The org chart has another unfortunate casualty and that is the relationship between sales and marketing. All too often, what should be a partnership becomes a one way, self-serving process that truly harms the interests of your organization. Regardless of hectic schedules and deadlines, it’s critical that both sides align their objectives on a regular basis. Take the time to understand the concerns and real life pain points of both parties. This will generate better marketing input and improved output for sales, and in the end, lead to better results with your customers.

  6. Start thinking ‘omni’

    As physical and digital interactions continue to blur together, marketers need to consider the benefits of omni-channel execution. While some brands are already finding success in championing this all-encompassing user experience, most are still segmented and inconsistent. Although it requires a great deal of planning and strategic acumen, omni-channel marketing is effective because it aligns the marketing of an organization with the customer experience at all touch-points. Delivering an authentic experience involves vision, commitment, and a partner that can execute across multiple disciplines and technologies. Successfully implementing an omni-channel approach will increase customer satisfaction and preference for your brand. Now who doesn’t want that?!

Now that you’re on your way to better marketing, you’ll find you’re more efficient and positively impacting your customers. If getting there seems a bit daunting, I’d be happy to discuss the challenges you’re facing and find a strategic path that’s best for you.

 

photo credit: Johnson Cameraface potteric carr via photopin (license)

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