What is marketing? According to the American Marketing Association (from Wikipedia)...
"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market, as in shopping, or going to a market to buy or sell goods or services."
I like to think of marketing as being in a constant state of “attraction”. Marketers have fascinating yet challenging jobs that essentially boil down to making a business work. It’s the spark. It’s the catalyst. It’s what gets your audience’s attention. I was thinking about a few things that marketers can do to help improve their game and wanted to share those things with you.
Know Technology Like Thyself.
Technology is shaping how we market to and build relationships with our clients. We have tools that let you communicate to the world instantly, social networks that allow you to build fan pages, online advertising tools that can put a buyer right at the footstep of your website (front door), applications that can tell what store carries a particular product and for how much, intelligence that follows you from site to site just to put a familiar ad in your face, etc. As a marketer you need to be aware of the new technologies out there and how they could potentially impact how you do business.
To ENGAGE is Divine.
We are bombarded everyday with thousands of marketing messages, so much so that our brains have created filters to protect us from the noise. TMI… shuts us down. Broadcast messages are dead, they are just too easy to ignore and tune out. Instead of focusing on creating broadcast messages to large groups of people, shift strategies and try to create conversations with your marketing tactics. Blogs, social media, forums… the more flow of information you can create the better.
Track with Vigilence.
Part of being an effective marketer is the ability to show results. You do this by identifying metrics that tie in with your marketing objectives and then showing those metrics increasing. How do you justify the cost for a billboard ad or a television commercial? How do you justify creating a Facebook ad or using Google Adwords? You need to figure this out or hire someone who can help. Analytical tools can help you see where you’re headed. And remember – you can’t know where you’re headed unless you know where you’ve been. Analytical tools can help set the baseline for all things to come.
Leverage the Power of Constant Q&A
As a marketer you should be keenly listening to, observing, and engaging in the conversations and discussions that are going on around your product or service. Pay attention to what your clients want and don't want what they like and don't like. Technology has created virtually free ways for marketers to monitor their brand and create online focus groups. I like survey tools like Survey Monkey and Zoomerang. They’re inexpensive and can provide a great vehicle for you to establish good communication with your clients. Much of the information you seek can be obtained through surveys and the results can be communicated on your blog as lead generation information and social proof for new visitors. If your customers complain, listen, if they talk to you, respond. This is how you can keep your conversations from turning into reputation management issues on those review sites.
If You Want to Dramatically Increase Your Results,
Dramatically Improve Your Offer.
Vito Corleone said it best in the Godfather… “I’m gonna make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.” Marketing’s power comes from delivering a focused, clear and compelling offer to a hungry marketplace. Your message must include all the key elements of copy such as: using emotion instead of logic, getting attention with a headline, social proof through testimonials, guarantees and risk-reversing, a call to action. The most proficient marketers always use a checklist. Offers are key, but buyers can be finicky. The only way to know what will work is through testing. TEST, TEST, TEST.
These are some of the items I plucked off the top of my head. There are several other things that can be added to this list but I'd rather hear from you. What are some of your tips for becoming a better a marketer?