As the owner of a full-service marketing agency, I’ve worked with companies in every industry of every size. Over 20 years I have found some common missteps that reoccur in many organizations, which I have translated into key learnings that can guide the way you approach marketing. They sure do for my organization. Below you’ll find a snapshot on each of my five “truths” of marketing.
1. Smart Marketing is Brand Marketing
I’ve seen it so many times; an organization that’s working with too many non-communicative, so-called specialist agencies – PR, advertising, digital, SEO and direct marketing. These myopically focused teams could either be battling against each other [with varying messages], or duplicating efforts (and budgets) unnecessarily. By working as one unified marketing team, the overall brand will be enhanced—no matter the medium – in print, broadcast, web or mobile device – you are getting the most of your marketing spend. If it doesn’t begin and end by enhancing the customer experience and your brand, you’re wasting your time and money.
2. Customers are Moving Targets
Markets evolve. Mentalities turn. Cultures shift and shape. What you thought think you understand about your target customer can change in an instant. It’s essential to stay up-to-date with trends related to your product marketplace, as well as those regarding your customer base (age, location, gender, etc.) Study both habit and habitat…if not, you’re shooting in the dark, and arrows can be expensive.
3. Creativity is an Artful Science
Creating and executing a marketing campaign that resonates with your audience does not happen by crossing your fingers and wishing it true. Marketing success is driven by strategic thinking. Know your customers, your competitors, and keep in mind the current market environment. If your approach is proven through research and executed by talented professionals, you should be able to predict the outcome.
4. Marketing is a Team Sport
In many organizations, each business unit and/or division has a dedicated marketing person or team. Every marketing person will then have their individual interests in mind when developing advertising, messaging and events. What every marketing professional should understand is that there is one brand and one end-goal – and everyone must work together to get there. Overall messaging for your brand needs to remain consistent, with vertical marketing added on as necessary to support sales.
5. Marketing Should be Fun
Marketing professionals need to be creative and inspired in order to produce great programs, ads, etc. Of course it’s serious work, but make sure to foster a fun and engaging environment where you and your staff can express ideas and let minds explore ways to come up with the next big idea. After all, although we are trying to reach into our customers’ minds… we’re not performing brain surgery.