Last month, our four rules of pricing got some folks talking, so we thought we’d strike while the iron is hot and share our rules on marketing. As with most of our insights, we’ll try to keep it short, memorable, and helpful. And so, without further fanfare, this week we’d like to introduce you to our four rules of marketing.
Rule #1: “Know your place”
Marketing without strategy is just noise. Effective marketing must be informed by a solid sense of market dynamics, understanding who you are trying to attract, who you are up against, your core competency and how it helps your company uniquely deliver the benefits your customers will value.
Product-Market Fit is the foundation, and, without it, marketing is an uphill battle. Marketing goals, objectives and tactics serve, and must be consistent with, the overarching corporate strategy. As companies change over time (pursuing adjacent markets and evolving competencies), marketing must play a key role in this evolution (or revolution).
Rule #2: “Drink at their watering hole”
You are not your customer, so don’t assume ideas that resonate with you will resonate with them. While it’s tempting to rely on our own views, values, background and biases as a proxy for those of our target audience, doing so will often lead us astray. Marketing without research and measurement is lazy at best, and can be counterproductive.
Online tools like survey monkey have made it easy to get direct feedback from customers, and abundant secondary research often exists, so do some digging! Every interaction is an opportunity to learn (A-B testing, SEO, web engagement, response rates, etc.). There is always room for improvement, and this can only happen when we measure, measure, measure!
Of course, the ultimate measures of effectiveness are: funnel, sales, revenue growth, and retention. While measuring marketing attribution for these results can be tricky, it’s the best way to prove your effort is bearing fruit.
Rule #3: “Make them love you”
Selling is sales’ job. It’s up to marketing to nudge prospective customers along the buyer’s journey. Marketers (particularly those targeting B2B buyers) must strike a balance between appeals to reason and emotion. Your prospects are more likely to remember how you made them feel than what you actually said.
Building emotional attachment to your brand takes time and it begins with trust (no hype or overpromises). It requires striking an authentic brand voice that delivers relevant and useful content. Be bold and stand-out by avoiding jargon or messages that sound like the competition.
Rule #4: “Don’t seem needy”
Customers will be ready to engage at different times. The telecom B2B buyer journey can be, long and some prospects may not respond to your message, that’s OK. Respect your customer’s need for space and give your strategy enough time to play out. Marketers are sometimes an anxious bunch, so it’s important to avoid the temptation to oversteer when we don’t see immediate results.
Also, “don’t be creepy” (we all remember the CableGuy). With personalization and an abundance of data comes the ability to deliver relevant messages tailored to your audience’s specific needs and stage in the buyer journey-and the very real possibility of coming across like “Big Brother.” There’s a fine line between “spot on” and “too much.” Focus on educating your customers, helping them engage with your brand and experience your products. Excitement should be a natural reaction, don’t try to force it.
JP González, VP of Strategic Marketing