Marketing has been given quite the stigma in recent years. When you say you work in marketing, people tend to assume you spend all day on the phone bothering people who don’t need your products or services. Another misconception is that you just want to make money off of promoting their business, riding their shirttails after years of hard work has started to pay off.
I’m here to put an end to this way of thinking. Marketing is critical to the success of a company. If nobody knows about your business, they most likely won’t purchase your products or services. Some can get by with word of mouth, but you have to start somewhere and there is no guarantee that this will give you the exposure you need to post a profit. In addition, Marketing requires research, customer service, promotions and networking; which are all time-consuming projects to say the least. Those who work in this field need people skills; which almost always translates into a desire to see those people succeed.
Marketers know that if you work hard enough and follow the proper processes that you can see a dramatic increase in sales and customer retention. Can you do this for your own company? Maybe, but do you really want to spend all of your free time working and learning these processes that are ever-changing with the times? We do.
In an effort to show you just what it takes to be successful in Marketing in this new economy, I have outlined the top 10 most important rules you should know about Smart Marketing, along with some of the processes or steps it takes to complete these tasks. This way, you can make an educated decision on what is better for your company; unending hours spent accomplishing these tasks or hiring a professional that already knows the steps and can save you time and money in doing it for you.
Because of the detail in which I go in for these rules, I have decided to make this into a blog series. I will be covering one to three rules per blog for a total of five blogs. So let’s get started:
Without constant growth, your business will not be profitable in the future. Growth is the result of a major investment in your company. This is one of the most important processes for your business.
Rule 1: Creating a Great Brand Requires Smart and Frequent Research
Step 1: Review and document your predictable look and customer experience system.
Branding is consistency of experience for your customer. When your customer does business with you, they always know what they are getting. Consistency of quality and the service they receive. Pre-recession it was fun to develop a brand, in a recession it is mandatory.
Your brand should be aimed at a targeted market. Your brand will not sell everyone; your brand should be developed to target your most profitable customer.
Branding includes logos/ taglines, attitude, experience and messages your customer receives from doing business with you.
In business, the lowest failure rate belongs to franchises. Why a franchise, because the brand, predictability and quality are documented and replicated. Example; McDonald’s, no matter where the McDonald’s is…the cheeseburger is going to taste, look and be delivered the same. It’s more than the “golden arches” it is the whole experience, whether you are a fan of McDonald’s or not; you always know what you are going to get. Deviation from the branding system is what causes disappointed customers. McDonald’s continues to post huge earning year after, why, consistency, predictability and excellent branding.
The franchise concept is used in all industries, such as; Aspen Dental, Roto Router, Mr. Electric, Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning, Lenscrafters, Doctor’s Express, and Belle Tire.
Predictable model – in the process of creating a brand to achieve predictability; branding systems continue regardless of personnel leaving or staying. (See page 15 of workbook)
Step 2: Document what makes you unique.
What makes you unique is what you do that differentiates you from others. It’s what sets you apart from your competition and in today’s market it will make all the difference between winning or losing a customer. It is something you deliver or provide consistently. It is the core purpose of your brand.
Unique messages can relate to your philosophy, people, products, services, alliance, endorsements or community involvement.
Step 3: Create your Competitive Advantage.
Creating a competitive advantage is included in what makes you unique, but it is also a standard you set to exceed in your industry. It is identifying what your customer expects from your industry and then establishing and documenting the ways you exceed that expectation. Once again, this is critical in branding because it becomes value to your customer. Some idea starters include: faster, higher quality, lower price, better design or more convenient.
Step 4: Add personality by adding your name along with your business name.
Simply put, personalize your brand so that your customers get to know you and feel more involved witht the success of an individual and not just a brand.
What are your thoughts? Experiences? We want to hear from you! Please comment and share… we can only make things better by working together! If you have questions, please feel free to contact me here, connect with me via social media or call me directly at: 989-791-2475 ext. 13 and ask for Gary.