By Sophy Edmonds (4 minute read).
Every organisation is different and faces its own set of unique marketing challenges. That said, as a group of experienced marketing consultants, we know from working in this field over many years, there are common challenges faced by many organisations. These include:
Promotion above planning
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
This is an important point because if you haven’t planned your marketing efforts sufficiently you will lack an understanding of what your key objectives are and who you’re gunning for. We find some employ a scattergun approach in the hope that by firing various guns in a few different directions, one of these will bear results.
Even for those focused on a tight budget, it’s really important to develop a focused marketing strategy and plan so that your resources are used as wisely as possible.
Even getting a content marketing plan off the ground benefits from a research and planning exercise. It enables you to really understand what it is you’re trying to express, and to whom, as well as how to put your best foot forward to gain maximum attention and exposure with your given resources. If you don’t, you can be sure your campaign efforts will likely appear as disparate group of activities that don’t create a coherent brand narrative. And you’ll lack the confidence and knowledge to inform your understanding of what’s working which leads me onto the next point.
Evaluation – measuring success and proving return on investment
If you don’t do the due diligence in the planning stages, then how can you successfully evaluate your campaign activity? On the other side, if you know what success looks like and what your supporting objectives and targets are, it makes it much easier to measure success.
Be sure to develop your campaign and communications around methods which will enable you to measure their impact. Today’s digital communications provide platforms to enable this but don’t be seduced by click through rates.
Ultimately these need to translate into customer enquiries and sign ups. it’s also a good idea to put processes in place to ensure that you are capturing key information about how customers are hearing about you so that you can use this intel to review and refine ongoing activity.
Be aware that most customers need one or several touchpoints before they’ll message or click on your ‘contact us’ box. That’s called brand building and it can often take time. Be sure to capture key information – while customers may have sought you out via google just before they called you, this doesn’t mean Google adwords is the magic panacea. Check exactly what their different touchpoints are. Did they also see the advert which appeared last week and the direct mail that was sent out last month or even last year?
Do you know who your competitors are and what they do well? Do you know how your organisation compares to them in the eyes of your target market? Every organisation has its competition. Some are acutely aware of this as they fight to maintain market share, attract and retain customers. I have heard people say on more than one occasion – “oh we don’t have any competition”. This is naïve. Everyone has competition even if it’s not offering the same service or product. This is known as a substitute competitor – any alternative that fills the same buyer need you fill but fills it in a different way.
A key challenge that every product or service faces is understanding how to compete effectively to drive sales. And in order to do so, it’s important to understand what your competitors are offering, what they’re doing well, how they’re performing and how your offering is perceived compared to your competition. Knowing your competition well and how you stack up against them in the eyes of your customer is immensely valuable.
Edmonds Marketing is a marketing consultancy team where the focus is on helping clients to define and differentiate their offering by using quality insights to inform strong communication campaigns.
For further information on how we can assist your organisation to deliver effective marketing, contact Sophy on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07 3175 9905.
Image source: Shutterstock#708373405.