As a marketing leader, one of your many critical tasks is to create a clear vision that provides a roadmap for transformation from where the business is now to where it needs to go; all while creating sustainable growth. Simple? Huh…Yeah right. All you have to do is create a self-guiding system that drives all marketing in the correct direction that leads to business goals. Oh c’mon, it’s not that hard; and once you set it up, it’s like being on auto-pilot. Hear me out and let me set the stage to give you an idea of what I am talking about.
As a career marketer, I’ve always believed that great marketing can overcome pretty much anything the brand or market throws our way. (Lack of demand, lack of funds, poor lead-gen activity, PR challenges, increasing competition, and poor high-school turnout to name a few). Time and time again, I’ve been part of marketing teams that created strategies and executed on them — all designed to overcome business challenges. However, conquering a monumental challenge shouldn’t have to be the norm for marketing teams; there are other ways to attract the students you want and need that do not have the dark cloud of a looming “crisis” overhead.
Have you ever wondered what business would be like if the industry you’re in suddenly changed overnight? I know this sounds rather nutty, but seriously. What would you do? What typically ushers in sudden change is technology and new ways of thinking about and solving existing customer problems.
The strategy first starts in the minds of the business leaders who are trying to solve complex issues and ways to acquire new customers. But there are many missing components commonly overlooked for your strategy to be successful.
The word value as it relates to an inquiry or lead for your company is defined in different ways. Many definitions arise, and those definitions vary depending on the professional trying to define it and the hat they wear within your company.
Here’s the problem; you’re all jacked-up because you’ve got a great idea. You can’t wait to share it with someone, and who better to tell than your boss. Oops… epic failure. Let me guess, was your idea shot down almost immediately because your boss saw a glimpse of it and said, “We’ve tried that before and it didn’t work.” If that happened to you, the potency of your campaign idea and all the strategic variables of it just lost its pizzazz – ugh! What do you do now?
First, let me say this is not a new topic. It may, however, be a new twist on it so stay with me. Marketing teams are strategists, constantly maneuvering resources and content to increase conversion opportunities. Simple right? Let’s continue. Much like a Chess match, there are several opportunistic moves to strategically place to get closer to your goal. Each move is performed with tools (or Chess Pieces) that have strengths. However, if you’re not planning ahead with a strategy guiding content and placement… hmm… you will soon be cornered with no place to go. Sounds like Chess and marketing have a lot more in common than people thought.
Project fatigue is disruptive and is like a disease. When unrecognized and untreated, project fatigue will negatively impact your marketing team and their productivity. Fatigue feels like your car is speeding beyond its limit and the wheels are shaking, steering safely is nearly impossible and staying under control is all but lost. Don’t do this to your marketing team.
Marketers and sales professionals need to pay closer attention to their customers’ needs, wants, and interactions. They are giving us clues to what makes them tick and how they want to be treated. The digital environment, which was the new frontier over 20 years ago, isn’t new any longer. But, it is changing rapidly and we need to keep pace with our customers’ expectations and communication preferences on digital.
As marketers, we are trained to create marketing content and initiatives that help attract the prospective customer. We go the extra mile to understand their motivations, pain points, questions, what customer touch points are effective and many other attributes that help create more effective marketing. We call this prospective customer a “persona.” But there’s more to understand – more on that later.
Regardless of your plan of attack after you review your data, you need to have quality data in order to make a quality assessment.
It’s no secret that marketing is all about reaching the right customers with the right message at the right time. Marketers want to know more about their audience than ever before, and the secret sauce to reach that audience most effectively is data and lots of it— right? Well, not so fast.
A marketing ecosystem strategy and similar to the content marketing mix and is a wonderful planning and development process that provides structure, purpose, direction, validation, and value all in one place.
Why is it some marketers are afraid of the word “strategy?” I think it’s because they can’t muster up the brain power to wrap their arms around their entire strategic ecosystem. Or maybe it’s because they would rather not organize and operate their marketing within a planned structure. Either way, when you’re missing a strategy, your team and your brand are missing out on the secret sauce of success which is a thoughtful, planned approach designed to reach and connect with customers for the right reasons.