Commentary

Focus On Marketing

Narrow your focus on marketing for the greatest impact says Christine Alemany, CEO at TBGA.

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Brand marketers are finding it increasingly challenging to meet rising customer communication expectations. According to Invesp, 95% of marketers say they understand the value of a multichannel approach, but only 73% have a vetted multichannel strategy ready to use. Quoting the study presented, a focused, "less is more" approach will be more beneficial than having your hands in everything. Determine how many channels you can handle, master them, cut them if they do not work, and add more as you are able.

 Cases in point

Sophia Amoruso's success story, starting with a shoestring budget, mastered each social media platform as her customers migrated to newer ones, and grew her company 500% each year from its inception to 2014.

 Trader Joe's took a similar approach to maintain its competitive pricing on high-quality goods, focusing on one channel, a newsletter, minimize marketing costs. Additionally, the company’s biggest marketing expense goes toward food sampling.

Understanding this "less is more" approach and tailoring it to your company's needs might be the breakthrough change that attracts and retains your most lucrative consumers.

Choosing the most efficient, cost-effective communication channels can be challenging. Here are some ways to determine which options are best for you:

  • Align with your value proposition.A clear value proposition helps your team enact its strategic plans. In order to present one face to consumers, your team members must align with the "what" and "why" behind your value proposition. According to Tenet Partners, only 28% of employees strongly agree that they know their company’s brand values. 
  • Map channels to established goals.To highlight how adventures contribute toward a healthy work-life balance and to promote its brand identity, the company introduced an employee program encouraging product managers to take their GoPros on mini-adventures during work hours. This not only engages employees with GoPro's brand identity and mission, but it also creates custom content to share across channels. 
  • Be realistic about your budget. According to Adweek, social media spending spiked by 60% year over year in the first quarter of 2017, and further growth is likely. Additionally, for paid search, a worthwhile investment starts at $3,000 to generate results. Invest in marketing technology that fits your team size and budget.
  • Build around your resources.Your team's collective skill set will determine your ability to execute a strategy. Augment your team with freelancers, consultants and agencies to fill the gaps. As the department matures and as technology advances, the team's skills will diversify. With this growth, your tactics (and channels) should become more robust and complex. 
  • Connect on common ground.Be thoughtful about the customer experience you offer. Guide team members to specific areas where your customers want to engage, and focus on excelling on those channels. Each interaction defines your brand and determines whether people will spread your message organically. 

 The communication channels that your customers prefer might surprise you, says the report. Though email has been a staple for reaching audiences, direct mail is making an impressive comeback, especially among millennials. Research by Royal Mail MarketReach and TNS found that 87% of consumers consider physical mail "believable," while only 48% feel the same about email.

 Marketing today requires staying vigilant and following consumer trends. The platform of choice might change, but for most companies, an approach that focuses on a carefully selected set of communication channels is most effective, concludes the report.

 

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