Marketing a business in today’s competitive environment can be challenging. The exponentially growing number of tools designed to help you reach new customers and build new online relationships can be overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with the intricacies.
Smartphones, search engines, and social media platforms dominate daily life, with marketing automation software and website analytics programs running in the background.
Using these new tools, and the user data each channel provides to make better sales and marketing decisions moving forward is how companies are getting ahead.
Communicating a clear message to your audience and finding new ways to creatively execute your marketing are also significant challenges faced by today’s businesses. Below is a little more about the biggest modern-day marketing challenges, and what your business can do to overcome them.
Identifying and Managing Technologies that Drive Revenue
According to research, too many options can lead people to feeling overwhelmed. Psychologists call the phenomenon the Paradox of Choice. Think about the Starbucks menu, and the people who look at it while muttering to themselves: “I just want coffee.”
This often results in a delay in taking action, or non-participation altogether. This can lead to disaster for today’s business owner in a digital economy that is constantly evolving and becoming more complex.
There are a growing number of software and applications that will claim they have the power to accelerate success for your business. The challenge for most companies is discovering which programs and applications will solve the respective problem and result in the best possible return on investment.
These technologies can serve vastly different functions, some of which can become critical to the operations of your business. It’s easy for companies to fall into the trap of technology overload, when they try to incorporate too many platforms into their routine. Instead, it’s better to master a select handful that can truly have an impact on the bottom line.
The Top Three Digital Channels Proven to Drive Growth and Revenue
Pay Per Click (PPC) – This is the solution for attracting targeted leads now.
You can picture this as Google’s Yellow Pages. You’re paying the world’s largest search engine for placement of your ads based on the users search intent. When someone looks up the keyword that you’ve selected, they find your ad. The only difference is that with pay-per-click, you bid for visibility among the most relevant Google searches instead of paying the publisher of the phone book for the ad space.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is the solution for attracting targeted leads later.
When someone searches for your industry, or information about the products or services you sell, you want your brand to be front and center in organic search results. SEO is the practice of increasing the visibility of your website for specific high-value keywords and phrases where over 3/4 of the clicks take place- below the ads.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – This solution maximizes the lifetime value of your leads and clients.
There are numerous applications and platforms that can help you organize and score lead with data that makes it easier and more cost-effective to cultivate stronger customer relationships. Salesforce, HubSpot, and SharpSpring all have built powerful customer relationship management software solutions proven to accelerate success and increase revenue for businesses of all sizes.
Communicating A Clear and Coordinated Message
Many small businesses do not have a brand standards guide. There is no central, unique value proposition that reflects their core values. They lack a consistent voice and image that originate in branding guidelines established by professional designers or marketers. In the absence of such standards, it’s possible to deviate from a centralized, core message.
Here are some statistics from Forbes Magazine that give you an idea just how important consistent brand standards are to your marketing campaigns:
- Consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent.
- Color improves brand recognition by up to 80 percent.
- 64 percent of consumers say that shared values create a trusted relationship with a brand.
In a world with more ways to connect than ever before, a clear and coordinated message is critical to your company’s marketing success moving forward.
All of your brand’s marketing should be done with the company’s central vision in mind. The questions below should help you to hone-in on your vision.
What are your core values?
It’s remarkable how many businesses don’t have an adequate answer, or they haven’t fully thought about it. Simply knowing how to answer this question can help you arrive at the right message.
How are your core values reflected in your messaging?
Making sure that your core values are behind every communication can help develop a consistent message that resonates with your target market. Your brand identity is shaped by the words and images you use.
Do you have one “Northern Star” set of guidelines for company culture and employee engagement?
When employees understand the expectations on how to engage with employees, they can communicate the brand message more effectively. This helps keep all online, print, and employee-to-customer communication consistent.
How well do you visually communicate with your audience?
Photos, design, and other visual elements play a critical role in communicating your message. This is what makes infographics so powerful. As mentioned above, color improves brand recognition by up to 80 percent.
“A brand does not exist within a company or organization. A brand exists in the minds of your customers. A brand is the sum total of impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have had with you, your company, and your products.” -Lucidpress
It’s important to make sure that your messaging remains relevant to your core audiences over the various emerging marketing channels, and represents your company in the best possible light. As customers experience these multiple marketing channels, this consistent approach can help multiply the effect of your efforts.
A consistent approach to digital marketing, print, and event marketing across the company can help improve brand image and strengthen your results. Striking the right messaging with your audience transcends your marketing efforts. It can help you to create a more meaningful corporate life.
It all starts with a meaningful brand discovery process. Once you understand the values behind your mission and messaging, everything else becomes clearer.
Winning the Attention War with Creative Advertising
What’s the one tool you can’t buy off a shelf or website to increase visibility, revenue, and customer loyalty that cuts through today’s noise and thoughtless advertising?
Companies that foster creativity enjoy 1.5x greater market share. Design-driven businesses have outperformed the S&P Index by 219 percent over 10 years. The data is in: organizations that embrace new ideas, technologies and trends win the war for your attention.
Using creativity as a catalyst for business success requires ideas. Good ones, and hopefully great ones. It requires pulling yourself out of the mindset that all of your company’s messaging must follow a similar tone and style as your competitors. Copycat marketing never differentiated any business from the herd. Instead, think about what makes you, you – and capitalize on that.
How can you more genuinely communicate with your audience in a way that will help you to stand out from the competition? Think about what takeaway you want the audience to receive, and how you can help them leave with that takeaway.
Give them a powerful reason to think differently about your brand, like Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign did.
In addition, make sure that you are using the mediums that your audience will be most receptive to. Make sure that you are visible in the places that your customers spend their time. Video is a timeless approach – that is until a form of telekinesis marketing takes hold. You can also think about what social media platforms are most relevant to your audience. In order to maximize your creativity, it’s important to reach potential customers where they’re spending time.
What creative steps can you take today to give your website more appeal to your target audience? Consider everything from your content to your logo and design. All of it is part of your branding efforts.
For some, creativity may not come natural. You need the right people to create messaging for your brand, whether that is in house or outsourced. From time to time, your company may benefit from an outside spark of creativity, and that is why you hire a creative marketing agency.
Implement Effective Marketing Solutions For Your Business
No matter your industry, the competition is becoming increasingly intense. Marketing is where you have the opportunity to stand out and attract more attention. When you master the appropriate tools and understand the techniques that will help you better communicate with your audience, anything is possible.
It’s important to understand that the software and methods that work today may not work tomorrow. The marketing industry is changing faster than ever, and every decade or so, something comes along that truly changes the way we interact with the world. Think Google and Facebook.
In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a changin’. Be open to experimenting with new technology and strategies to discover what works best for your brand. The only way to find new solutions is to try new strategies.