Today is a very interesting time to be a marketer. Technology has developed so much in the recent years that the marketing landscape has drastically changed in the last five years alone. Traditional media now stands firmly together with digital media. And with the advent of digital media, marketers now have to learn new skills in the shortest amount of time to capture the consequent rapidly evolving consumer behaviour in that sphere. What’s more, the rapid digital media growth has been throwing off the entire marketing game. And as this segment of marketing continues to advance, it is expected to keep marketers constantly on their toes.
So as a marketer in this dynamic time, it’s important to keep the fundamentals of marketing close to heart even as the tools of the trade constantly change. To prove your worth to your clients, take care to not lose sight of these three main marketing pillars:
1. Build the full story, not just a campaign
Consumers decide so fast these days. So much information is readily available for researching products and brands and customers have significantly shorter attention spans. As a marketer, it is tempting to keep customers engaged by focusing on campaign volume, the quicker the execution the better. And while there is nothing wrong with aiming for campaign volume per se, the danger is focusing solely on executing campaign after campaign, which may lead marketers to forget about building a full marketing story.
A campaign that doesn’t tie itself to a full marketing story risks irrelevance to the ultimate goal. Good marketing has short, medium, and long term goals. However, they should all push towards a singular end goal. Thus, marketing efforts work best when they are planned as a whole and not in campaign pieces. Irrelevant campaigns waste time and money that could have been better used elsewhere.
In cases where a campaign does deliver tangible results without being tied to a full story, the issue on not being able to leverage continuity is still concerning. Continuity is essential for two important reasons: (1) a cohesive message that impacts branding and (2) pinpointing the exact pulse of the customer.
With branding, differences in messaging can confuse consumers and cause them to step out of the marketing funnel (awareness – opinion – consideration – preference- purchase). Losing a customer due to a miscommunication will make any marketer look like an amateur.
With finding the customer’s pulse, veteran marketers know that this process takes time and continued work. A full story involves setting customer assumptions on buying psychology, behaviors, and triggers based on extensive research done. Campaigns will test these assumptions to breaking point. If the assumptions continue to hold, the assumptions get validated. The marketers get to know more about their customers and further insights about them are uncovered. Each successful campaign strengthens the marketing story.
2. Get the customer’s core pain points right
At its heart, marketing is about building a compelling buying story around a customer’s need. But understanding the root of a customer’s need is tricky. It may seem straightforward but often there is a root need to every superficial need. To illustrate: a woman buys a $100 bottle of face moisturiser made for dry skin. A simple assumption would be the woman had dry skin that’s why she bought the moisturiser. But it may turn out that she bought the product because it contained a new anti-aging ingredient she wanted to try, and not because she had dry skin.
There are unlimited needs that could possibly influence customer buying. That’s why getting to know your customers intimately is the only way to get to the root of why they buy what they do. As a marketer, only when you are confident that you’ve uncovered this root need can you begin to communicate your product in way that truly speaks to your customer.
If marketing was purely straightforward, products would be marketed rationally with just listings of features and benefits. But marketing is much more than appealing to rationality since it taps into emotions and the subconscious. The work of peeling through the layers of a customer’s buying psyche is absolutely essential. As a marketer, getting the root need right is already half the battle won.
3. Bring in the sales and ROI
One of the biggest concerns clients have with marketing is that it could feel like a money sinkhole – an expensive endeavour that doesn’t contribute to the bottom-line. Metrics such as brand awareness, clicks, and likes may not mean as much to clients who can’t see how it could possibly contribute to sales.
As a marketer, you should be able to make the sales connection very clear for a client to appreciate a campaign’s value. Going back to the marketing funnel, you should be able to explain how a click may influence awareness and a like may sway opinion, to give some examples. Every campaign should be able to help a struggling step in the funnel. And your cumulative efforts should always be able to reach the end goal of customer conversion.
There is no way a marketer can skirt around the issue of sales. So to prove your worth to your clients, understand his sales goals and properly align your marketing efforts to help achieve it.
Be mindful of his budget and work backwards. A scalable plan is a good idea, so you can add to the campaign as more sales start coming in to prove its success.
And finally, maximise all viable media options that could apply to a campaign. Knowing your audience will lead you to where they are, media-wise.
Finding the right ratio of traditional and digital can help both effectiveness and budget, so it is important to figure out what works best for your particular campaign.
All these can help ensure that the sales keep coming and the ROI is healthy. And when you are able to do this, you would have been able to tangibly prove your worth to your client.