Young student with science project
3:00 minutes

Stop And Smell the Competition

It’s not easy to be a good marketer and stay in touch with your customers.

Marketing changes quickly and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest tools and trends. There are so many demands on your time and resources, that big, ambitious goals may get lost as you deal with a barrage of little crisis.

There is no one road to marketing success, but small, effective habits can be surprisingly powerful. The key is to know what is happening in your particular business, as well as what is happening outside of your sphere.

Great marketing is the result of the right priorities, habits, and plenty of effort. Successful marketers start each day knowing what they must do for that day.

1. Listen via social media

Social media provides a constant stream of information about your brand and your industry. To benefit from this information, you have to listen. Everyone wants to be heard and being responsive to your prospects and customers is a great way to build trust. If, for example, your customer is complaining about your business on social media, you can join in the conversation and work to overcome their concerns. Listening to your customers is a great way to start your day. You can also use social media to answer people’s questions.

2. Make a list of ideas.

Some of your best, most innovative ideas may arrive during the night, or in the morning when you are refreshed. Whether it is a small idea or a stroke of genius, write it down. Keep a notebook and pen next to your bed so that you can make notes immediately. This list will be useful when you plan your goals.

3. Set or review your goals.

All good marketers set goals. Without goals, how will you know if your campaign has been successful? To work towards those goals, you must make a plan, every day, first thing in the morning. The plan should list what needs to be done. Because each day has only 24 hours, these tasks should be assigned a priority. According to Forbes, “80% of results come from just 20% of action.” You need to make the most of your time, as well as that of your team. Prioritizing helps you understand what projects are the most important and what tasks need to be done. Some tasks may need to be delegated or postponed.

4. Speak to your target audience.

Do you know who your target audience is? If not, you must identify your audience by creating a buyer persona. Your persona is a representation of your model customer, based on research and data. Once you have identified your persona, you can begin to communicate with him or her. Everything from your website design to your daily tweet should speak to the persona. The profile of your persona will determine when, where and how to reach your audience. When was the last time you spoke to your target audience? Get to know them, and you can focus on what they care about.

5. Create compelling content.

You need to create original, actionable, sharable and engaging content. Your content may include blog posts, ebooks, webinars, emails and more. If you are educating your customer, your content must be accurate so that you build trust. And always make sure the content supports your brand story.

6. Nurture relationships.

A good marketer is always nurturing relationships with prospects and customers. Nurturing starts from the first moment of contact and requires daily care to grow the relationship. Many marketers achieve this using automated emails, or, on a more personal level, with individual emails. Social media is also very useful for nurturing relationships.

7. Study and learn from your competition.

You have taken the time to learn who your prospects and customers are. Now learn about your competitors. Who is your competition? What types of marketing are they doing? You may choose to try similar tools or techniques. Or you may wish to try innovative marketing techniques that will set you apart from your competitor. Your customers are probably comparison shopping you, and begin to think in terms of Contextual Commerce. It is essential to know how you measure up.

8. Test, measure and analyze.

This part of a marketing campaign probably doesn’t sound fun, but it is. Think of it as a game. To make the best use of your marketing, you must understand what does and does not work. Testing may be as simple as changing the color or font. You can try out two different versions of your landing page. Or you can test the whole website.

The next step is measuring. Don’t ignore the numbers. They tell a story.  The numbers, such as emails that were read, links that were clicked, or content that was downloaded tell you how well your marketing campaign is performing. Once you have this information, you can analyze it and determine whether certain techniques should be continued or removed.

While you are testing and analyzing, don’t forget to measure your own performance. Now take another look at that list you had this morning. At the end of the day, what did you accomplish? What did you not achieve, and why?

Marketing and brand building are hard work. It is competitive and can be overwhelming. You should incorporate good marketing habits into your daily work, but you don’t have to do it all.  For questions or more information about your marketing needs, contact us. We want to help you grow.


What’s a Brand Guide? And Yes, You Need One!

Your brand guide, also known as a brand guideline or brand book, acts as a blueprint for your company’s identity. These guidelines include your company’s history, message, values, mission statement, and personality. A brand guide also details some design elements for print and web appearances such as logo, logo placement, color palette, fonts, and more.