"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" - Charles Darwin
In a world of constant change, disruption and re-invention, it’s important to hold fast to a ” few proven marketing principles which are guaranteed to help your business, keep you focused and ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Here are five principles that will not only help you survive but also thrive in these changing times.
1. Build a brand with meaning In a world where there is less incentive to be loyal, customers are firmly in control of their relationships with companies. They find it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, switching from brand to brand if their expectations aren’t being met. It is important to engage your audience on the issues that they care about, have a strong sense of purpose that resonates with them and be authentic to gain their trust. “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” (Seth Godin)
2. Dare to be different, dare to be you Why should people buy from you over your competitors, what makes you unique, what makes you, you? It is important to have a strong sense of purpose and understand why you started your business in the first place. Then make sure your team and your customers get it too. Remember that it is more important than ever to be authentic and to be you. “They laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at them because they are all the same” Anon.
3. Know your audience Demographics is dead, it’s all about mindsets and behaviours, so get to know your customers, what they are thinking and why. Go mass market or go niche but go after people who are showing intent for your product or service and are aligned with your brand values. To be successful you need to know who you are speaking to; not only when they are ready to buy but in the consideration stages prior to purchase. Customer insights have never been easier to glean. Use the technology, the platforms and the plethora of channels to really get to know your customers. People want to be treated like people’ so think about how you can personalise your communications and appeal to them as individuals.
4. Adopt a Customer-first approach Adopting a customer first approach is not just about attracting new customers, it is also about creating raving fans. First get to know your customers, and then when it comes to making the sale be sure to deliver a quality service and a great experience. This way you will not only foster loyalty but also have the power to turn them into your strongest advocates. When was the last time you checked your customer experience?
5. Measure, analyse and action improvements Ensure you have clear goals in place and then make sure you measure and analyse them. Don’t just have a set of KPI’s that you put into a report every month and pass on to the rest of the team. Take a good look at what story the data is telling you.
Once you have a good idea of what is really happening, what is working and what is not, then you can start to consider how to make improvements. Get into the habit of small but regular tests and look for every opportunity to learn from a mistake and make it better, be agile in your approach.
So, how do you measure up against these five key principles? Being aware is the first step. Be bold and don’t follow the crowd. Become famous for being you and if you need some support then get in touch.
Samantha Legget is an associate of 360 Growth Partners who develops and implements customercentric strategies for businesses to support their growth plans.