Today, everyone knows we have to be smarter about how we spend marketing dollars regardless of whether we're increasing, decreasing or holding steady. But with an ever-changing media landscape and our
country in an economic slump, the question becomes: is now the time to focus on short-term success, or do we wait patiently with a long-term vision in place?
I would argue that short-term results
have now become a matter of survival for many companies both to satiate client demands and keep team morale going strong. But are brands laying the foundation for long-term results simply by focusing
on surviving the here and now? Is there a way to garner immediate success while still positioning a company or brand to come out on top six months, 12 months, three years down the road?
Although I believe we have to move the epicenter of our strategy to reprioritize our resources, there are certain strategies that can help garner immediate success, while raising brand awareness and
laying the foundation for achieving longer-term goals.
For example, have you considered changing a typical brand awareness campaign from targeting non-users to intersecting consumers already
in the consideration phase? It's easy to consider something like this today because digital has become second nature for both consumers and brands. Implementing this kind of strategy now (and in the
future) can help you save money, get more immediate results and grow your consumer base to include like-minded influencers as well as those with less brand awareness.
In addition, utilizing
a unique mix of traditional and non-traditional tools will help establish healthy marketing habits to keep you on the path to success regardless of extenuating circumstances. Consider these tips:
- Go direct. Digital media has opened up a whole new world of direct marketing tactics, everything from search to email to online lead generation and more. And, don't forget traditional
direct mail. It's still a highly effective, trackable, one-to-one option. But, be sure you have a strong segmentation strategy to help cut through the clutter. This is especially important when you
need your marketing dollars to work harder than ever.
- Know your consumer. Examine how your target's spending attitudes and behavior are changing. You may need to adapt your
messaging and offers/promotions to make them relevant for now. While "12 months same as cash" may have worked to drive business for scores of big ticket items in the past, it may not work as well
today. Establishing a system to continue to garner insights will help you massage messaging appropriately and keep engaging consumers for the long haul.
- Evaluate the POS
experience. Now that it's more critical than ever to convert your store traffic to sales, reevaluate the experience at the point-of-sale to make sure you're delivering the best customer experience.
- Make CRM a priority. Not only do you want your existing customers to buy more, you need them to be your advocates. You must let them know that you know who they are, what they want
from your brand, and most important, that you appreciate them. Consider giving them an incentive to recommend your product or service to other consumers. Having a CRM gut-check in place and a two-way
dialogue will ensure continued loyalty.
- Join the new media revolution. Don't stop experimenting with new media and other innovative methods. The digital world continues to change
at lightning speed. If you don't keep pace, you might find yourself lagging light years behind your competitors sooner than you think - not just 18-months from now but quite possibly two months. And
if at first you don't succeed, keep trying. Learnings from each initiative will help inform future new media programs and keep your brand and sales on-point.
- If you can't track
it, don't do it. You must put measures in place to track the effectiveness of the campaign while it's in the marketplace. Tracking provides short-term indicators and the opportunity to adjust
campaigns midstream for better results.
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