Marketing is warfare! 💣
Marketing is warfare; a bold statement, sure, but also a fundamental truth that every marketer must know. It is not only a strategic battle, but a tactical one as well, as it involves the coordination and deployment of multiple tools. Strategically, marketing is a delicate art and a calculating science as it requires multiple elements to work in symphony to propel the reach of a brand. Tactical tools include keyword research, hashtags for indexing, and social media influencers who can propel your brand on leading platforms and all throughout your target audiences. Later on, I will dive into some of those tools that I use both from a marketing perspective and a sales perspective. Yes, I did say marketing and sales in the same sentence. And in fact, I would consider them as being crucial to each other’s existence – especially as they relate to your brand identity and brand development.
Sales & Marketing 101
Sales and marketing are like peanut butter and jelly; they’re an integral staple of any and every business. As a sales person, you are selling a brand (marketing), and as marketer, you are trying to convince a consumer as to why your solution is better than the competition (sales). Regarding my sales example, we are selling a brand, a promise, and a guarantee of quality. In theory; this is the essence of marketing – brand equity. On the other hand, in my marketing example, we are using outbound techniques, which are much more closely related to sales – let’s think advertising, copywriting, and email campaigns.
For these reasons, I have become an advocate for the strategic implementation of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Unfortunately, as marketers, if we solely rely on the inbound method of attracting customers, we may never be able to scale our business. Let’s take a step back to gain an understanding of the crowded marketplace. There are over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone. And you know, the most mind-blowing thing is that this number will only continue to grow!
Keywords– What Are They?
Personally, I consider keywords as a cheat sheet of sorts, as it is how humans, computers, and algorithms tend to score and/or use them as judgement for web-based content. However, computers, like humans, can clearly identify when words are used as filler and not for their contextual importance. For this reason, it is critical to remember that unless you are a major multinational brand, it is rare that a consumer will specifically be looking for you. Rather, consumers are focused on searching for knowledge that helps them solve a household problem, a complex business decision, or even for fun.Think of your customer, their wants and needs, but most importantly, their pain points and how your solution must substantially reduce time spent or devoted to something. Your goal is to heal those pain points.
The strategic implications of marketing involves many elements, but at its very core, marketing strategies are all about finding the synergy between your consumer and your product. It can be argued that there is a market for almost anything in this world, but it is finding the manner in which it provides value that makes all the difference. Tactically, marketing is about email campaigns, advertising, copywriting, and all those little elements which make a piece of marketing collateral or communication shine. You must not lose sight of your end goal; to provide value in everything that you do for your prospects, customers, and company.
Marketing Strategies – Paying Attention To The Touch Points
Designing effective marketing strategies can become taxiing, worrisome, and even directionless at times. And in these times, we must go back to the foundation of marketing; improving and/or enhancing the touch points that we have with our consumers. Touch points can include advertisements, newsletters, chat bots, and any tool that interacts with a consumer. But primarily, our focus should be on customer service, answering questions, concerns, and doubts to help create more value for our customers. The concept of value is one in which we will cover extensively in later posts, as it is a true differentiator for any business. But who would I be if I didn’t at least supply some sort of the idea?
Steve Jobs once wrote: “To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So, we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.” Interestingly, adding further validity to this quote is the fact that a study by Microsoft Corp found that our attention span as humans is shorter than a goldfish.
Now, if you are the human – and I think you are – then your first thought might just be, “what can I do to stand-out?” Remember, humans are psychological creatures,meaning that we are driven by benefits, and not by a glossary full of features and functions. You and I buy products because it makes our lives easier, saves us time, or centralizes the process of analyzing and reporting metrics, which is a favorite activity of salespeople and marketers. Now, I do not want to understate the value of features, as they can often serve as the deciding factor in our purchases. BUT, the hook, and what compels us to consider a product, is and will always be emotion.
In the fast-moving world of marketing, we must find our niche to transform the lives of consumers for the better. By focusing on the customer first, and the brand second, you and I, as marketers, can craft a compelling value proposition. It is inevitable that no matter how much someone likes your product or service, they may consider other options, especially when this is a high-cost decision. However, by providing a stand-out experience, you will reduce the likelihood of such a choice because as Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
As marketers, we battle for positioning within the mind of the consumer – and appealing to emotion is a secret weapon. This concept was made popular by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. Positioning serves as the equalizer and differentiator in business by opening a window for your brand to anchor itself from. It forms, ties, and strengthens your bond of trust to the consumer by solving a pain in their life. So, before you begin your business journey, ask yourself the following question, “who do I want to serve and why?”