Marketing and branding is so much different compared to 20 years ago. Today, everyone is on the same playing field and money only pry open the door just a little. Here are some tips to ensure that you jump to the front of the queue or to maintain your lead that you build years ago.
In this fast paced digital era, you need to keep in constant contact with your consumers daily. It used to be enough to communicate once a couple of months but it is no longer an option to do so. Today, more competitors is stepping up their game, let alone those disruptors like Uber or Airbnb that changes the game entirely. Use your allocated marketing budget to start learning and exploring constant social media content to learn and master the social media platforms before shifting it all online.
Benefits not features
This is a mistake made many years ago and it needs to evolve. Previously in the post war era, tv and radio were the only source of entertainment and communication. This allows marketer a blank slate to communicate to their consumers and because little competition is in the space, the marketing efforts seems to work. However, with more choices than we can imagine, you need to zone in and focus on a single individual to benefit, not sell a bunch of features that you have come up with just to solve a problem. How do you tell if something is a benefit or a feature? Ask yourself if it needs an upgrade. Let’s take a shock absorbent shoes for instance. That is a feature and the benefit is that it gives comfort to the runner. Comfort cannot be upgraded but shock absorbent can be upgraded to better material, better fit or even a completely revolutionary way of running. Another way, ask yourself, what is in it for them?
In order to gather feedback in the past, we needed to put together focus groups, do street survey or take market purchase as the sign if something works. In the digital era, communication can be done in both ways, though negativity seems to fester more often than positivity. Here is a rule of thumb to conquer this. Accept each negativity promptly and look into it. If a positive comment is ever made, contact the person and understand it further on how it went. This intimate communication process allows you not to be blindsided and to continually improve the products and services you put out to them.
Too many times the focus is on the message but it is not the most effective way to communicate. If someone just broke up and is in heartache, you don’t just say something blatant like get over it and expect everything to be resolved. Listen, understand and communicate emotionally because that is all we want at the end of the day, to be heard, appreciated and comforted. Do this for your marketing collaterals be it print, digital or event. Always leave them better than they were yesterday is a good motto to live by. Most importantly, always measure your communication process to understand if the medium works, the distribution is on point and the proper emotions is conveyed.