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Jul
05
2018
Basics of Marketing: Getting Back to Fundamentals

Digital Marketing is a constantly changing field. In a world where Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have brought innovation to the forefront of community engagement, of course we will modify the way we reach consumers. As each company focuses their marketing efforts on SEO and digital strategy, it’s easy to forget the marketing basics. It’s vital to have digital capability, but if your company can’t pass Marketing 101 then it will be close to impossible to master the skills that will take you to the top.

 

SOLID FOUNDATIONS

We’re talking Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”. More than knowing what your company does or how your company does it, know the core of your values. That will lead you to an in-depth understanding of your strengths and weaknesses which will help you pursue basic digital capabilities more effectively.

Building your brand is an essential part of marketing capabilities, but it’s not just choosing colors and using a few buzzwords. Your brand includes your purpose, what differentiates you from those that already exist, your process and how you work. Your brand should emanate through each part of your business strategy and be recognizable to your consumers. For instance, branding isn’t necessarily recognizing the McDonald’s golden arch, but the emotions and memories elicited based on that recognition.

Knowing the in’s and outs of your brand and what makes it valuable to your customers is the only way you can provide the information they’re looking for. Brands are constantly seeking to think outside of the box, hoping to have that one clever line or ploy that makes them a dinner table conversation. However, it’s impossible for an innovative idea to be set into motion if you can’t define your strategy. It’s like telling a story through improvisation. Marketing Basics Tip: build your brand. It sounds intimidating, but MAKE has experts that are here to help.

 

Desk Basics

 

RESEARCH REIGNS

There’s a well-told tale that says “Content is King”, but we’d like to add to that. It’s not just enough to write good content anymore, it has to be relevant. What purpose does a well-crafted tweet serve if it references an event that no one is talking about?

Relevant content means knowing your consumer and that requires dedicated research. As marketers, we understand the importance of individualization. While it’s simple to group your potential consumers together, not all of them will respond the same way. Always remember who you’re trying to talk to, and never underestimate them. The teenagers that make up Gen Z aren’t just kids anymore, they’re consumers, and if you haven’t changed your content to adapt it won’t be long before they have moved on.

Know what your consumers are paying attention to and know what they’re looking for in a brand experience. Research allows you to be thoughtful in your pursuit of customers, which is why brands should prioritize it. You might think you have great content, but research can help you elevate that to create a stronger connection with your market. Research transforms a one-way message into a conversation. Marketing Basics Tip: If you’re aware of what your consumers believe, you can translate that into a positive brand strategy.

 

Research Basics

 

WATCH THE GAME FILM

Truly great teams analyze their own film and their competitor’s film. Once you know your own strengths, you can see how they stand out within your industry. With competitor analysis, you can make sure you aren’t wasting time bragging about a capability that your competition does better. Your competitive advantage is relative to the rest of your industry, so determining what capabilities to market is impossible without awareness of your competitors. It would be like Apple bragging about their prices instead of their innovation.

This isn’t something to do once, either. It’s important to keep a continues inventory of your competition and their capabilities, not only to measure them against your own offerings but to make sure you’re promulgating the best scope of your brand relative to existing companies. As technology evolves, so will brand capabilities, so it’s necessary to know the strengths of the other team.

They go hand in hand. It’s important to know your competitor value, but without knowing your own value, that information isn’t as helpful. It takes a combination to be fully equipped for your digital strategies. Marketing basics indicate that you should combine your game film with your in-depth research and you’ll know how to talk to your customers better than your competition.

 

Competition Research Basics

 

MORE PICTURE BOOKS FEWER TEXT BOOKS

While the importance of visual connection has dramatically increased with the introduction of digital capability, it’s frankly an old-school tactic. It’s crucial for brands to be storytellers, and the authors of today are fighting way too much noise to rely on text. When it comes to younger consumers, you’re working with a shocking eight-second attention span. That means you have eight seconds to make yourself relevant and text-only content is not going to cut it.

Visuals appeal emotionally to consumers and help them to connect better to a brand’s message or purpose. Images attract 94% more clicks and 40x more shares than text-only posts, and on top of that, conversion rates for companies using custom visuals are 7x higher.

It’s not only younger generations either. As a world, we’re just more attracted to visual images. Marketing Basics Tip: show don’t tell.
How should you do visual? Well, MAKE has some thoughts.

 

Pictures

 

CALL THE RIGHT NUMBER

Say we’re best friends and you’re walking through the mall. You pass my favorite store and they’re having a 50% off sale – so you call me to let me know. You have valuable information, but you’re in such a rush that you dial the wrong number. No good.

You have to be reaching consumers through their communication channels. No matter how these channels evolve as technological capabilities continue to develop, you have to choose the right one if you want your customers to get the message. College students don’t get their information from the same place as their parents or their little brothers. Know who you’re talking to and how you plan to reach them.

If you want engagement, your channels should be interactive. The best, most innovative ideas can be wasted if it’s delivered on the wrong channel. Your medium is as important as the message you’re sending through it. In many ways, your target market chooses your channel for you. Marketing Basics Tip: meet them where they’re at.

 

Taking Action on the basics

Each of these fundamentals is vital and integrated. If you successfully do one, that’s great, but not always useful unless you’re checking the other boxes as well. You can check out more of MAKE’s marketing insights here.

Just because they’re marketing fundamentals doesn’t mean they’re simple tasks. MAKE’s capabilities can help serve as an extension of your marketing team. See what services we can provide here.