Archive for January, 2010

Building solution-oriented comfort in your brand


The landscape of business is intensely challenged during a recession.  This process forces marketers to precisely redefine their brands and know exactly what they stand for during tough times.  There is a tremendous challenge to interacting with and engaging a nervous recessionary consumer without interrupting their life.  Build your brand personality to highlight ease of use and unmistakable experience to encourage your target consumer to spend time learning about your brand, even though they may be holding back on making a purchase in the short-term.

Post recession marketing presents a great opportunity to capitalize on economic growth that will quickly ensue as the consumer reenters the market.  Here are a few ideas to help keep you ahead of your competitors during this time.

Research the consumer confidence in your brand offering and expect that your target market has evolved their purchasing behaviors into a “new normal”.  Some industries may not recover the trust of the marketplace for years and years to come if they were dramatically effected by the downturn in the eyes of the public.  If this is your industry, make sure to test your creative in advance to measure if the copy content and imagery is building solution-oriented comfort in your brand.  There is no substitute for a well detailed analysis of your campaign before it goes to market.

Capturing new leads is essential to growing your business in a post recession economy.  If your target consumer has been out of the market for some time, there is the potential for pent-up demand to catch fire quickly if many return to the market at the same time.  The marketer that satisfies the needs of this demand consistently will position their company to gain market share quickly.  Measure the growth of the number of your leads scored against your ideal customer profile as sales-ready on a month-by-month basis.  Watch this measurement closely as a key velocity metric that demonstrates the momentum your brand is gaining.  Don’t be afraid to spend aggressively as the market finally shows signs of life through an increase in inquiries from campaign-specific landing pages.

Finally, anticipate that the laggard segment of the recession consumer base still believes they have more than they need and can postpone purchasing. Calibrate your value proposition so that it speaks clearly to the problem in their life that your brand can solve.  Consider co-branding promotions with “limited time only” offers that are simply too good to pass up to help motivate slow returning consumers back into the market.

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Engage your target audience and learn from their voice


Social Media has quickly changed the meaning of short-term reach and long-term success in modern marketing.  In today’s internet based society, daily users with no voice or medium ten years ago have become influencers on an unprecedented scale and speed due to outlets like Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.  Most consumers enjoy the sense of having their voice recognized and appreciated, especially after exchanging their hard-earned money for your product and investing their personal time engaging with your brand.

Companies from every corner of the world are recognizing this shift of voice and are finally engaging.   Executives are shifting budgets to embrace unique social mediums that pull the individual consumer’s attention through by initiating relevant dialogue and actively listening to the voice-of-the-customer.  Ten years ago words like Facebook and Twitter were unheard of.  Today, it is relatively impossible to imagine life in a technology based economy without some type of impact from their brands and communities.  So where do YOU start? You understand that you must be a good listener to be successful.  You have discovered that the answer more than likely isn’t found in how many people you have spoken to, but instead how many of those people have responded back.

Our philosophy is to engage your target audience and learn from their voice.  Pay close attention to quickly put out fires with brand detractors and increase the volume of positive user recommendations.  Get actively involved in the dialogue that is already happening about your brand.  Because social media connects everyday people with brand relationships in a way where trust is the bridge between the two, the value of your message can be perceived as negative if incorrectly spoken to the market.  Social media’s competitive advantages lie within the personal connections it amplifies….if done correctly.

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To push or to pull, that is the question


It is essential to understand the differences between a push strategy and a pull strategy, and which marketing tactics to use during each phase of the consumer purchase cycle.  This style of marketing analysis involves the transfer of content, and the nature of content that moves back and forth between your marketing team and the target audience.

A pull strategy involves tactics that engage your target audience to “come inside” and interact with your brand based on initial attributes that may be solutions to their needs.  Examples of pull tactics include case studies, white papers, and webinars.  These tactics help you prove the capabilities your target audience is searching for, typically when they are in the process of doing research and are highly engaged.  This demand creation content is essential to communicate before the audience can consider you a solution to their problem and ask about your product or service.

A push strategy involves tactics that actively increase the messaging being “transferred out” to the marketplace.  Examples of push tactics include newsletters, direct mailers, telemarketing, and email campaigns.  These tactics push content out to the audience whether the information was specifically requested at that time or not.  If delivered at the right phase of purchase cycle, push messaging can quickly drive your revenue and brand awareness.  However, since much of the content being transmitted in the digital realm is considered unwanted, make sure your audience is has opted-in to receiving your messaging to ensure delivery.

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Joby Semmler is a Butler MBA and marketing strategist based in Indianapolis.  For professional inquiries, please contact Joby at jsemmler@millerpierce.com.

http://www.twitter.com/joby_semmler

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Develop competitive advantages into a cohesive focus


Marketing strategy is the means of developing a cluster of competitive advantages into a single, cohesive business focus. Creating a compelling message that speaks directly to your value proposition is essential to a brand identity that creates comfort and confidence with the target user. Tough economic conditions are potentially a prosperous time for marketing teams who have a solid plan of attack and empower sales teams with the necessary tools to succeed. Marketers who are assertive during a downturn pave the path to increased growth during a future recovery. Today, more than ever, is the time to embrace your strategic vision and recalibrate your message to the needs of the voice-of-the-consumer.

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