Marketers are always adjusting their strategy to suit the changing world: new trends, new technologies, and changing demand. It can be hard to keep up or know which trends are worth pursuing and it is easy to get distracted by the latest buzz. That’s why it’s important to return to the essential elements of your marketing strategy. Maintaining the pillars of your strategy is just as important as adapting to changes.
Understand your Target Audience
One of the most important components of your marketing strategy is your target audience – what part of the market you want to reach and how to appeal to them. Understanding your target audience requires insight and data. You can gather information on your current audience and discover new audiences using surveys, demographics, and analysis. It’s easier than ever to learn about your audience thanks to the wealth of data from social media and surveys.
It’s not enough to assume you know who your audience is or to treat your audience as if it’s stagnant. Your target audience are the people who have a problem your service or product solves. Their needs, values, and pain-points are wrapped up in what your company provides, and the two should compliment each other. No business finds success selling a product that no one needs. You can improve your products, marketing, and business by considering the values and interests of your audience.
Once you have your data and insight, create buyer personas that encapsulate this information. Buyer personas make it easy to target your marketing and keep it relevant without having to go through the entire audience dossier before composing a tweet. Buyer personas are a great way of communicating within your marketing team, or to external marketers. Your buyer persona should be evocative and not too complicated or too broad.
Always communicate your value to your customers. What makes your product or service stand out from your competitors? Why do your customers need your product? Which values are most important to your customers?
When articulating your value, know when to sell features and when to sell benefits. If your audience has expertise in what you are selling, they already understand many of the benefits of your product and would be more interested in hearing about the features.
Everyone is familiar with phones -- they know the benefits of staying connected with family and friends. Features such as data speed, connectivity, and price are more relevant. At the same time, everyone isn’t an expert in current phone technology. Most phone companies communicate a balance of features and benefits: the features that everyone will understand with a reminder that they share our value of connecting with the world.
Communicating value isn’t all about price points. Tell the story of your brand as one that consistently delivers and can be trusted. Know what your audience really cares about and present a narrative of how your company fits into their story. For B2C businesses, this can mean showing your audience how your product suits their aspirational lifestyle.
Use your Marketing Data
In order to improve your marketing strategy, you have to keep tabs on how it is performing. The best way to accomplish this is by setting SMART marketing goals and then using marketing data to measure the results. Both long term and short term SMART objectives are a huge help in making adjustments to optimize your plan.
Google Analytics is a great free resource to understand how you are performing on the web. It can track the quality of your landing pages, show you conversions, and identify poorly performing pages on your website. It can also show you where your visitors are coming from and give you real-time information on who is currently on your website.
Metrics identify which areas of your marketing are successful, allowing you to channel your resources to the right places.
Be Passionate about your Business
You’re in your business because you care about the work. Your passion is one of your greatest marketing tools. Passion is attractive and contagious, so find ways to make it shine in your messaging.
Of course, businesses are focused on making a profit, but if that’s all you care about your lack of enthusiasm is going to show. The most successful brands are ones that communicate that they care. Focusing on solving problems for your customers and giving them value.
If you’re searching for ways to communicate a passion for your business, try incorporating employee voices into your messaging. Ask employees what their favorite aspect of the company is, and what they are currently obsessed with at their job.
When the marketing world is abuzz with the latest trends, remember to take time to get back to the basics. Any new strategies you incorporate should fit in with the core elements of your plan.