Certain Marketing in Uncertain Times

What has caused the marketing industry to self-reflect more than any other issue or time period? The recent Pandemic, of course. Life will never be the same for the world of Marketing. As a result, marketers have taken away valuable insight from this period of time and established new truths to combat the existing rules about consumer relationships and building brands. Since there’s no more normal, here are 10 truths to assist with our revised marketing world…

  1. Old truth: Marketing begins with knowing your customer.
    New truth: Marketing begins with knowing your customer segment.

Brands must purpose multiple dimensions such as: target specific consumers based on their circumstances and what is most relevant to them, and must communicate in precise and local terms instead of opposed to demographics. This can bring a much deeper insight to media strategies and creative marketing approaches.

  1. Old truth: You are competing with your competitors.
    New truth: You are competing with the last best experience your customer had.

Consumers want personalized, anticipatory experiences across their entire customer journey. Ensuring the quality of your product or service is top notch and that your customer service is at its highest level will ensure each experience is the best possible for your customer.

  1. Old truth: Customers hope you have what they want.
    New truth: Customers expect you to have exactly what they want.

Customers are concerned with only getting what they want and when they want it. By creating these experiences, companies need to place data and technology at the coe of their organization. Data enables creation of more relevant experiences across one or more dimensions of the four Cs:

  • Content (that can be provided in experiences like emails or mobile apps);
  • Commerce (such as physical retail, e-commerce, or a hybrid experience);
  • Community (such as convening B2B buyers at a virtual trade show or hosting a webinar on home repair for consumers); and
  • Convenience (like offering consumers coupons or benefits from a loyalty program).
  1. Old truth: Courting customers is just like dating.
    New truth: Courting customers is just like online dating.

Traditionally, marketing was primarily about buying mass reach or targeted reach at the best rates in media and hoping to convert it. Modern marketing has become more about data and algorithms and finding a balance of brand and performance marketing that delivers the best results.

  1. Old truth: Customers must sit at the heart of your marketing strategy.
    New truth: Customers must sit at the heart of your customer journey.

Marketing is just the beginning of a relationship with the customer and should drive changes.

  1. Old truth: Relationships matter.
    New truth: Relationships are everything.

It is vital to not only build relationships with the customers, but found these relationships on trust, which plays a tremendous role. Trust will be built by those who listen to the customer needs and then generate solutions to meet those needs.

  1. Old truth: Agility is a technology process.
    New truth: Agility is a modern marketing approach.

Marketing requires a new mindset that includes consumer listening and demand sensing, along with faster decision cycles and more flexibility. Being accessible to your consumer where they are shopping is crucial for the success of your business.

  1. Old truth: Your brand should stand behind great products.
    New truth: Your brand should stand behind great values.

Key themes from research show that while quality, prices, and convenience are still vital to consumers, other factors have become increasingly important, such as trust, ethical sourcing, sustainability, and social responsibility.

  1. Old truth: You need the right tech stack to drive modern marketing success.
    New truth: You need the right balance of factors (including your tech stack) to drive modern marketing success.

In order for your technology architecture to drive the desired results, it must be “matched with sufficient scale in data to fuel its success, the right use cases to drive results, and the right approach to human enablement” (the most important criteria).

  1. Old truth: Marketing is important for growth.
    New truth: Marketing is at the center of the growth agenda for the full C-suite.

Unfortunately, once upon a time, marketing was a “cost center within companies for which the principal accountability was to maximize return on investment. In tough periods when topline results were compromised, it was often one of the first areas to get cut.” However, during the pandemic, marketing was exalted within the “C-suite as a driver of digital transformation, a key leader of the customer journey, and the voice of the consumer.

The correlation between the pandemic recovery and long-term success in marketing relies on the ability of companies and marketers to balance the old knowledge with the new, and to enact them in a timely manner.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Coach Jason Ballard to schedule a complimentary goal planning session.