Brightside Marketing
Brightside Marketing

Marketing is About More than Money

Over the years we’ve seen significant shifts in marketing but perhaps the biggest shift in recent times is that marketing is about more than money.

Best-selling author Seth Godin once said, “The brand of the future is patient, consistent, connected, and trusted. The new brand is based on the truth that only comes from experiencing the product, not just yelling about it. Word of mouth is more important (by a factor of 20) than TV advertising, and the remarkability word of mouth demands comes from what we experience, not from spin or taglines or a campaign slogan.”

As you look at your marketing efforts for the year, here are 4 things you should be focusing on:

1. Rethink the budget

Gone are the days when you could up your marketing spend and see an exponential return on investment. It’s no longer about who’s got the biggest budget, but who can connect best with the target audience. Instead of pouring money into ad hoc marketing efforts, spend time (and maybe redistribute some budget into) researching your target market and what makes your customers tick. Understand their “pain points” and then strategise about how you can solve their greatest problems. Let that guide your marketing strategy.

2. Focus on customer experience

The definition of marketing is changing. It’s not about creating a hot campaign or having a celebrity endorsement anymore. Brand loyalty rests on the complete customer experience – are you adding value and going above and beyond? Are you agile enough to adapt to shifting customer needs? Improving your customer experience is the most effective marketing you can do today.

3. Prove yourself trustworthy

Today, in a rapidly changing world riddled with uncertainties, customers stay with brands not because they are the cheapest or the best looking, but because they are trustworthy. They seek out authenticity, dependability, and honesty. Your brand needs to deliver those qualities to have a hope of keeping customers loyal. This means apologising when you make a mistake, and proving to your target market again and again that you care – not just about the money customers can deliver to you, but about the customers themselves.

4. Differentiation is everything

If your customers can’t tell exactly what sets you apart from competitors (and I’m not talking about your brand colours), you’re not distinctive, and that means you’re not going to be memorable. Brands that get forgotten get left behind. Focus on finding that “X factor” that distinguishes you from competitors and on creating ways to innovate. Don’t be scared to try something disruptive if it makes sense for your brand. But don’t disrupt just for the sake of it – remember that consistency is key in brand building, so every marketing activity needs to tie into your core brand values.

It’s important to note that marketing never stands still. What makes sense this year may not work next year. The trick is to keep measuring and evaluating your efforts and to constantly tune in to what your target market is looking for.

Remember…

You don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money for your marketing to make a difference. All you need is to ensure that you consistently work on your customer experience, focusing on their needs, make sure that people know you are reliable and trustworthy, and make your company and brand stand out within your industry and market as a whole. As Seth Godin says, “The key to success is being patient, consistent, connected, and trusted.”