So much has been written about this topic that we find the “how to” redundancy a tad frustrating. So, we’re going to break it down for you.
Having been in branding for over 30 years and working from a business-minded, strategic viewpoint, we don’t think it’s brain surgery. But trying to break down barriers and silos to ensure integration and differentiation so you “get results” is not easy. Consider an approach that delivers a better guarantee of success.
You Need to Understand the Entire Customer Journey
This insight goes way beyond listening to your sales team. Have you spoken directly to your customers and prospects? Is there qualitative and quantitative data? Are you using the right people, tools and analytics? Do you have a holistic view of your customers’ journey? Where does engagement begin? What do they want to know? Are customers and/or prospects getting the information they need to make a decision? And when customers or prospects make a decision, do you know why are you getting—or not getting—their business?
You’ve Garnered “Valuable Information”—Now What Do You Do with It?
How do you enhance the customer experience to ensure that you gather more information to help you generate revenue? Is the digital experience easy to navigate and clearly understood, leading customers to the information they need and want? Are they acting upon the information or clicking away? Are they getting the full experience of a marketing mix beyond digital? And, how are you measuring traditional marketing?
The marketing mix has changed, and you have many ways to reach your customers. But remember that they are bombarded continuously with a digital experience both personally and professionally—it has lost its edge. So, open your mind to a full marketing mix if you really want to differentiate and stand apart with an impactful message and brand.
Is Your Executive Strategy Aligned with Marketing and Sales?
Is your strategy in sync with what you know about your customers or it is simply, “Grow market share, grow revenue”? The general strategies to grow a business seldom align with what we know about customers; this is the crux of the problem. Take a step back and consider how you can increase operating margin and shareholder value with careful thought and collaboration with marketing and sales. They are your “feet on the street” and your revenue generators. Integrate them into the goal setting process. A collaborative approach will engage unique skillsets across the organization to accomplish goals.
How Are You Communicating Your Strategy?
Can your marketing and sales implement ideas that will result in growth based upon your input? You must be specific. You are their guide, their mentor and the driver of sales. You are not just the face of the company, setting lofty goals and relying on others to grow revenue. If you don’t understand what your team and what your customers truly need, then your “business strategy” is typical talk—with goals that every organization aspires to. Be more integrated with marketing and sales by understanding the customer so you can provide valuable guidance to those who are following your lead—those who are trying to achieve company goals and help ensure the success of the organization.
Start with Data; End with Creativity
Using qualitative and quantitative data to drive marketing strategy is key. But don’t sacrifice creativity, which can help you differentiate your organization from your competitors. Don’t be afraid to take a risk to stand out from the clutter. Yes, I know we’ve heard this before. But you hire brand marketers for a reason. Let us do our jobs. Let us help you differentiate and increase sales by taking a unique position. Don’t be afraid to be different from both an idea and an execution standpoint.
The world has become increasingly digital. So, should your presence be all digital, pay per click, digital ads, and all web based? Absolutely not. Lately we’ve seen “overpromising and under delivering” in the digital ad space. There is value in every medium and every aspect of marketing. Re-think all the marketing tools. Let customers learn about your organization, your products and your services beyond digital. Give prospective customers something to review at their leisure, something to touch, pass along, share. Make sure the marketing mix is completely utilized to reach customers where they are and how they want to be reached.
It’s truly this simple. Yes, marketing has changed over the last several decades. But thinking has not. You still need to know your customers as they are the core of your business. Data helps us analyze many things, but nothing replaces good old-fashioned conversation: Talk to your customers and prospects on a regular basis. Take what you learn and integrate it into your business strategy, so it is based in reality.
Be creative. Be a risk taker and differentiate your offering. You’ll find it will generate revenue and will grow your organization—and your strategy will be understood and implemented more successfully—because your organization is driven by what your customers want.
Let Paragraphs Be Your Partner
This is what we do. This is what we are passionate about. Call us, and we’ll help you reach your goals. Whether helping you realign sales and marketing, speaking directly with your customers and prospects or helping you develop your message and brand—give us a call 312.527.4722. Let us help you drive revenue and sales.
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