We are a world made up of specialists. Contrary to some wishful thinking, not everyone can be great at everything. It is easy to look from afar and express an opinion that you could be just as good at something as the experienced professional, but not everyone has the background and skill set to be a great doctor, lawyer, mechanic, carpenter, financial advisor or maybe even a plumber. Have you ever attempted fixing a leaky pipe at home on a weekend only to experience a couple of days without showers and flushes? Yeah, I thought so. Me too!
Due to the emphasis on “Do it Yourself” programming over the past few decades, many closet want-to-be handymen and women have learned to develop respectable skills in a lot of professional arenas, given an abundance of additional time, extra money, and piles of left-over materials. It has been said that the biggest risk to many marketing professionals is that they make what they routinely do look easy. Being a marketer may not be brain surgery, but certainly one could speculate that not many brain surgeons are likely to be great marketers. So, what makes a great marketer?
Many may be surprised that creating the perfect pitch and blanketing the airways or digital highways with motivating pros is not the first and most important step. Listening to the targeted audience and researching the competition is where promotion begins. Today’s marketplace is a diverse and complex environment that cannot be reached with one-size-fits-all messages and campaigns. Great marketers know who the customer is and where they are listening. Consumers are very savvy in this digital era and are always mobile in both where and how they shop and where they are having conversations. Professionals focus on fine-tuning the targeted audience to prepare marketing collateral that meets customers’ expectations and engage in listening to social media channels to acquire feedback about the brands they represent.
Before making the first salvo, marketing pros make time to really study the competition to discover what they are very good at doing, particularly those that have been around for a while. Be different and innovate a unique proposition. The competitive field is littered with upstart failures who underestimated or ignored the competitors’ capabilities.
Develop a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. Those that adhere to the philosophy that “nothing gets done without first preparing a plan” are not fools. Investing in an effective, well-researched and targeted strategic plan is vital to ensure success in a competitive market environment. Embarking on any campaign without a clear plan which includes direction and sustainable goals is like setting out across a desert without so much as a simple compass to guide one’s journey. Nothing planned, little achieved, everything at risk.
Nurturing personal relationships with partners and customers will produce repeat business and provide endless opportunities to benefit from referrals. Social media channels are a great place to engage in conversations with loyal followers. Develop a preferred customer list and reach out via emails and text messages when appropriate.
Writing impactful content that can elevate a brand’s authority in a field is a hallmark of a great marketer. It can promote increased customer interactions and foster a better understanding of the needs of the audience. Creative writing is not a skill set that everyone can claim to be a long suit, but writing impactful website blogs, producing how-to videos, and utilizing sharp images to demonstrate a brand’s purpose is critical to remaining relative in a competitive environment.
Of all the advantages realized by the digital communication environment of the past decade, the most valuable benefit may be the ability for marketers to eliminate some key unknowns concerning the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. A comprehensive and careful analysis of raw data should be undertaken to ensure that it is properly interpreted. Misinterpretation of factual data can be costly and counterproductive. The professional marketer knows that consumer behavior can be fickle; they will be aware of how fluctuations in consumer trends can determine if you are focusing on the proper areas to be measured. A successful effort can predict where consumer demand will go based on credible analysis. Marketing analytics allows a marketer to understand customers better. A great marketer resolves to collect, analyze and optimize.
If your marketing expertise has proven to be lacking in expertise and leaking the marketing budget, it may be time to reconsider the price of your learning curve. More and more small- to mid-size companies are discovering the benefits of contracting with outside marketing services firms to remain relevant in an ever more competitive marketplace. By leveraging technology through an experienced digital marketing team, Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) executes smart, purpose-driven marketing strategies and campaigns. Our creative ideas, marketing solutions, and data-driven strategies have generated success for more than 300 brands for more than a dozen years. To learn more about what makes Junction a great, award-winning marketing agency, call 678-686-1125.