Refresh Your Strategic Thinking For The New Year
Written by Matteo Rinaldi & Paul Garrison
Marketing has changed a lot in the past few years. Perhaps the start of the new year is a good time to commit to a shift in strategic thinking. Customer centricity has highlighted how engagement communications has become an essential asset for businesses. The meaning of the word “marketing” is moving further and further away from the concept of promotion towards achieving a deep and lasting relationship with customers.
5 Ways To Grow Your Business Exponentially:
1. Set the strategic plans now, then think about the budget:
Budget may dictate the parameters or guidelines of a strategy’s implementation but it should never define what the strategy should be no more than the gauges on your car dashboard to determine where you’re going. Let’s think about the destination first – where we want our business to be - and then we can think about what kind of resources, or budget, we need to get there.
2. Focus on the outcomes
Many companies still focus on the activities they are doing, rather than focusing on the “output” that they produce. That’s one of the side effects of being budget-focused vs. strategy-focused. Activities fill budgets. But when you start with where you want to go, you begin to think in terms of what outcomes need to happen for you to reach your destination and then design/create activities to deliver those outcomes.
3. Focus on engagement throughout the buying process
There are no longer Above The Line or Below The Line communications. You have to switch towards a Through The Line approach as the customer moves from outside the selling environment to inside it. By understanding customers as walking, talking, living human beings, you can anticipate their attitudes and mindsets and determine when they are most open to messages about your brand and product category. Those attitudes and mindsets are constantly evolving, not only as they move around their world outside your selling environment, but also as they move through your physical or virtual selling space.
4. Create an emotional connection for the consumers with the Brand Values
Focus on brand value and stop worrying about brand awareness. People being aware of your brand is irrelevant. Potential customers knowing your brand’s value to them is what makes it relevant. Brands talk. They talk about you. They are an extension of how you relate to others and to your surroundings. If the values and benefits that a brand projects are not aligned with the values and needs of the targeted segment, you will never meaningfully connect with customers.
5. Forget about the competition - understand your customer better and be more meaningful to them!
It is not big news that almost every market out there is filled with competitors pushing to attract the customers’ attention. The key to volume growth is to focus much less on what the other guy is doing, and much more on how you can be more meaningful and relevant when delivering on the customer’s needs. Focusing on competitors is a distraction – a distraction from focusing on the customer. Engage with customers by understanding both their functional needs (category driven) and their emotional needs (lifestyle driven) – so much so that, as the love song goes, they ‘only have eyes for you.’