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The Overlooked Side of Marketing That Needs More Attention

Marketing

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I often get asked, “what is it that you do exactly?”

I am not a designer and I cannot code and build websites, even though I have working partnerships with great people who do. People are often confused, “But, isn’t that marketing?” they ask. It certainly is, but brochures, websites, television ads, and radio campaigns are the tactical side of marketing, or “marketing implementation”.

Marketing is both a strategy (thought) and a tactic (action). So what is the strategy part all about? Marketing strategy is a core business function, as the task of strategic marketing planning is centered on driving business growth.

All people in an organization are to some degree responsible for marketing and as such could be considered “marketers.” Sales, customer service, any staff member that impacts, in any way shape or form, on the customer experience, are in essence a ‘marketer,’ for your organization.

This is because they contribute towards “creating customer value.” Marketing frequently gets relegated to only one dimension of its role; communications – one-pagers, advertising assets, PR and sales materials. “Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last-minute add-on.” (via Seth Godin).

Not just a pretty face:
Often marketing is seen as nothing more than the wrapping for the business, or sometimes it is even referred to as the “pretty pictures department.” However the more strategic dimension of the marketer’s role is to ensure the organization is actively anticipating, creating and delivering products and services that consumers and customers want and need.

The strategic marketing process provides many insights into:

  • your business capabilities and drivers
  • the creation of new product and service propositions
  • opportunities to create value in innovative and differentiated ways

The consumer driven strategic planning phase does of course hugely influence the tactical part of marketing; the communications. As a result of the strategic planning process you will be able to identify:

  • how to position your business in a unique way in the mind of your audience
  • the problems that your business solves for your customer
  • how to really engage and emotionally connect with your client
  • how to develop communication that is relevant, timely and appealing

It is through the consistent communication of superior brand benefits, values and experiences that organizations create value for their customers.

What we hear business owners say:
“I have tried marketing my business and it just doesn’t work for me. It’s costly and I cannot identify which part is working and which isn’t and besides it just takes up too much time.”

Once we are able to understand what the business has done, in the majority of cases we learn that they are undertaking ‘spray and pray’ marketing tactics. This means there is: NO strategic plan… NO understanding of the target market… NO measurable marketing to determine ROI… NO brand values… NO unique positioning… NO understanding of the problem you solve… NO consistent messaging.

Develop laser-sharp focus:
I recently helped a client better understand their position in the market through the strategic marketing planning process: “In response to the insights from our customers, employees, suppliers and industry we were able to really understand our core strengths and deliver a product that our customers told us they really valued. We needed to make some tough decisions and overcome some barriers along the way, but now we really have a sharp focus on where we are headed, which really helps with decision making on a day to day basis.”

The author, Sara Berry has worked in the communications industry since the early ‘90s.  A graduate of the prestigious Watford advertising course, she established Marketing Sense to help businesses achieve ‘big budget style communication strategies’ at an affordable price, through the flexibility of outsourced marketing. For more information, visit the Marketing Sense website on www.marketingsense.com.au.




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