The thought process among many is that all businesses need to continue to develop and grow otherwise they will eventually be seen to have died or; competitors will be preferred by those target market sectors that we generating revenues for the organisation. In consulting we look at various parameters within the business such as …
New Products & Services
Ideal Client Profiling
Digital Marketing Strategy Development
… and various other factors that can be thrown into the mix to determine how the business is to develop or why it is not !! For the purpose of this post let’s focus on some stated parameters in order to break this oh so important topic down so that the relevant takeaways can be utilised with immediate effect.
Develop Brand Equity
The Equity Of The Brand of an organisation enables the company to accomplish certain things within the market place that it would not otherwise have been able to do if the Brand Equity is not as high as it happens to be within the mind of the customer. We focus on what we consider to be the four main components of this business fundamental and that is …
One can see that 1) and 2) can be classified as based on the transactional nature of the relationship with the clients; this will tell us how we performing in relation to the competition. Having regular meetings based around these parameters and working towards building these metrics into the organisation will work on this aspect of the Brand Equity. Considering Parts 3) & 4) we one is able to determine that this is focused more on the outbound marketing and development of the core Value Propostion of the company. This is to ensure that this is continuously and effectively communicated to channel partners, customers, media and relevant parties using defined marketing promotion channels as appropriate.
Refine Customer Understanding
A main contributory factor leading to …
The loss of a major customer or of
Not being able to penetrate a market segment or the
Failure of a new product introduction
… can be traced to the lack of understanding of the target market customer. If a customer is already on board it is imperative to have processes and procedures in place that will aid in building on the needs, wants and expectations of the client base in order to always be on hand to present solutions and services that will change according to ongoing market driven requirements.
Digital channel Marketing
In consulting and training one of the things we strive to highlight is that of Applying Channel Marketing Principles To That Of Digital Marketing – in this case social media is a subset of digital marketing and within the social media marketing sub channel we can further segment to specific paths to reach the customer. It is important to take time out and utilise the data and information gathered in understand the customer and apply this to marketing activities within the social media marketing arena. This approach will drive which platforms and made use of, the type of content that is generated along with the frequency of output, the connection and a whole host of parameters that are necessary in order to drive an effective digital marketing campaign.
Email Marketing Strategies
If we have learned anything from recent changes in social media platform algorithms it is that as business owners and marketers we need to be in as much control as possible of how and when we are able to communicate with our pool of target market prospects. Leaving the decision as to whether or not our message is displayed to customers or having to solely rely on search engine ranking positioning [yes businesses should be continually engaging in search engine marketing and paid advertising should be a part of the marketing mix] is not something that is totally recommended. Put another way, as soon as it is possible we advocate developing a direct communication path with the customers and using email is a tried and tested method that will bypass other paths. All digital, direct, print, radio, tv etc, etc marketing should have a goal of getting the prospect to exchange their email address so that further marketing, promotions and product / service related education may be provided directly to email inboxes.
Build The Business Networking Contacts
Through the internet and via contacts, acquaintances & [ex] colleagues the business owners should continually be looking for how the company can be expanded through the link that can be made through the contacts built up within the rolodex. Always be on the lookout for connections and for how you can provide the opportunity to another business to expand and offer their products and services through one of your contacts. In this way you will be remembered and the contacts made on the internet can be brought to life and translated into real revenue generation.
When employed in the corporate world I recall vividly going through some of the first diversity training workshops put on by the company. These were all focused around the women versus men working together topic and the relevant issues which arose from that.
As things progressed the voices of individuals from the other many dimensions of diversity started to be heard and; now it is clearly acknowledged that we need to pay attention to employees from all of the dimensions Of diversity in order to craft out effective diversity strategies which lead organizations developing and maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Workplace Diversity Classifications
So what are these dimensions Of Diversity of which we speak? Well, there are many and here are some to consider …
Experiences growing up location wise
These dimensions Of diversity lead to us acting in a particular fashion and carrying out our day to day work activities in our own particular style.
Each individual whilst acting within their particular style according to their view of the world have the basic needs of being appreciated and acknowledged. Their ideas of how a company should design and develop and product or service and; sell that product or service into the marketplace need to be incorporated into the decision making process. This is especially important when we bear in mind that the organization’s products and services are being sold into an ever increasing diverse marketplace.
Diversity Management Leadership
With the makeup of the typical management structures of today’s companies it is critical to have the structure and processes in place which ensure that effective career progression, recognition, acknowledgment and reward for all employees. The higher level management will need to go through relevant training and to fully embrace diversity with the lead of the human resources department.
The way this is implemented will of course differ from organization to organization but we may well see management spending time with individuals in order to understand the world from their point of view. This could take the form of one of meetings and/or social events. However I would advise a mentoring / mentee relationship which gives both parties a view into each others world.
It may be the case that a high level corporate manager comes from a middle class background, attended private schools and went straight through to a prestigious university and from there through various programs is managing as expected. And it must be said, is well equipped to do so. However, this individual may well have no real life experience of dealing with members of the community that are not like themselves so, when they are faced with dealing with individuals like this within the workplace they are left outside of their comfort zones.
In the same organization you may have some other well educated individuals from say the black and ethnic minority communities who is very talented however, the manager may not have life experience of dealing with this type of individual.
(The above is for illustration purposes only, we could use an example where the managers are strictly religious and have to deal with employees who are well capable and may be in a gay relationship this could cause the manager not to value that individual and in turn that individual’s career may not be progressed as it otherwise would have and the company ends up not running in the most efficient way)
The way this individual’s ideas, suggestions and opinions are processed due to the manager’s bias may lead to inefficient development and marketing strategies. These will all in turn lead onto the company not operating in an as efficient a manner as it otherwise would be if all of the quality ideas and suggestions were taken on board.
This illustrated some of my thought processes behind devising an effective diversity strategy in bringing together the management team, human resources and individuals from the differing dimensions of diversity in order to improve company efficiency and overall employee satisfaction as well as enhancing the company’s competitive advantage.
With the needs, wants and desires of the customer continuing to change and evolve there is a corresponding impact on the company looking to get its message through to intended market segments. Those of you have watched some of my videos in the past or read my writings will be well aware that I form marketing campaigns and programmes around three main pillars i.e.
… of course within each pillar there are many variations to be considered but for the purposes of this article let’s focus in on the ever increasing important role that Digital Marketing has to play in promoting, branding and advertising the company.
With that said; it is important to note that I consider Digital Marketing as what it actually is and that is “another [ok it is a critically important one] channel to market [means of connecting with the customer] such as …
… and others in order to gain market intelligence and to educate and nurture the customer taking them through the marketing funnel each step taking the closer to become a paying client.
So back to the customer and the challenges that the company has when it is looking to continually develop and execute marketing campaigns.
First we have the larger companies that [may] have fully staffed marketing departments with marketing professionals that are able to keep up with the ever changing digital marketing landscape as well as looking at how the customer reacts to content, information, marketing and advertising so that however they end up viewing the brand of the company along with the associated products and services culminates in them favouring them over the competitors.
On the other hand we have organisations that maybe do not have a defined marketing department or, whose marketing is being taken care of as a side job or in addition to someone’s task; it may also be that the marketing’s task has been given to someone who may not be defined as a full blown marketing professional [not that someone who is not a marketing professional cannot perform the marketing task] – but the point being made is that at times we are need of falling back on disciplined marketing fundamentals in order to deal with the constant change within the [digital] marketing landscape.
When it comes to Digital Marketing we conveniently divide the activities into Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Within the two we have to deal with trends, content creation, video marketing, email marketing, podcasting, image / graphics marketing, blogging and more activities that have to be executed on a daily basis in order to keep up. In addition to this if a company [without a dedicated digital marketing professional] comes up against a company with a fully functioning marketing department it may be fighting losing battle.
The function of any business is to service its active set of clients and that is where the area of expertise will lie. In this technology enabled world most companies know that they need to have a website – even though there are many companies out there in the world who still do not even have a website for their business !! Company owners also know that the internet has a big part to play in making sure people actually know about the products and services that they have to offer.
This leads us on to how marketing and the ongoing development of business strategies have changed over time. This leaves business owners with a decision to make, spend the time learning about all of the complexities of pushing the marketing message of their company out to the internet or, bring in outside consultants [such as Stephen C Campbell Consulting] to look at their top level business strategies first, and from thereon look to be able to develop an internet strategy that will incorporate the [more traditional non internet] existing business strategies with what must be done online.
As it stands at the time of writing we are seeing a shift from the dominance of online Search Engine Optimization to that of the ‘votes that any company receives in terms of online reputation and reviews based on the comments and feedback given to the company online by its previous and existing clientele.
We are also seeing a major shift towards mobile, that is to say – the number of people accessing the internet from mobile devices will overtake that of the desktop very soon. So how does the business owner cope with just these two [major] shifts ?? With all that there is to learn in the world of Mobile Apps development and Mobile Optimized Website design, the standard business would have to diver their attention from their core competencies.
At times a company can afford to hire an expert which works at times but very often leaves the company at a disadvantage as this person becomes locked into industry specific activities and modes of operation.
As we run in house strategic level business training in the fields of :-
Business To Business Branding
Internet Strategy Development [how to incorporate with existing strategies]
… we have seen our service business grow as more and more companies need the internet marketing based benefits such as
Search Engine Optimization
Reputation Management and Marketing
Mobile Websites Design
Text Message Marketing
Mobile Apps for Business
… to propel their operations forward. We see the growth in the future of acting as the marketing arm of businesses as we have the inhouse expertise of the core services as well as the know how of blending the online activities with what needs to be done on the internet.
It is what we consider to be exciting times when it comes to our own company’s marketing strategy development as well as what we see when working to build the businesses of the organizations that we partner with.
Looking to make more use of the internet in your business ? do you have a website that was implemented by a designer and you have not yet seen any real changes in your business in terms of …
Online Reputation Management
Customer Satisfaction Rating
…. then feel free to get in touch with us so we can have a conversation to see how/where we can work with you to help your business grow.
Google is expected to release an early version of the operating system for computers and cellphones next year and the final version in 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal. This makes interesting reading while we look at Google’s decision and that which lies behind it so, let’s take some time to consider and expand. There is of course method and marketing strategy behind all that Google does, the company continually accumulates data and the profile of end users that interacts with its products and services.
The Android operating system being developed for smart phones and mobile devices represents one of the growth areas in terms of hardware device purchases which directly relates to the widespread usage of the Android operating system. Android of course is utilised by many mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung which gives it a truly wide market acceptance and penetration.
The move marks an effort at Google to reduce the number of independent platforms it has to maintain, sources said.
This forms two main functions as we see it, a) helping Google with its operations b) providing excellence for its target market sectors and users. Points that can be raised can be centred around what functions and processes exist within your business that can be streamlined for the purpose of making your business processes more efficient, this will enable the business to get more done with a given set of resources as well as producing more, operational savings are often seen leading to increased overall profits.
As for your target market sectors, Google can be seen to be making steps that will result in a more pleasing customer experience with the impending merger of the operating systems mentioned. Irrespective of what one thinks about Google itself or indeed the decision to merge the Chrome & Android operating systems.
One of the areas of focus for many companies is that of reputation management marketing, this essentially focuses on what is being said about the company at large in the digital media sphere by the company itself, the media as well as the consumers of products and services sold into the marketplace by the marketing organisation. This ties directly into the widespread employment and usage of digital marketing and social media agencies that company’s use to execute services such as reputation management marketing on their behalf.
There are for sure lessons that we can learn for serving the customer better and for getting more out of the operations that exist within our businesses; we believe it makes good sense to learn from the likes of Google when it comes to business, operations and marketing excellence.
BT Group’s takeover of mobile phone network EE has been provisionally cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA said the £12.5bn deal, first announced in February, was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the UK”. BT shares were up 3% at midday in the wake of the CMA statement. The deal is set to create a communications giant covering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. The takeover more than trebles BT’s retail customers adding the 10 million it already had to EE’s 24.5 million direct mobile subscribers.
This causes us to look at things from a digital marketing agency perspective in relation to the development of digital marketing channels and in particular the adoption of mobile marketing strategies as we see the widespread use of technology, mobile devices and smart phones. The business fundamental of Channel marketing looks at the avenues that any company will adopt to connect with target market customers, with EE’s customer base added to BT’s technology one can imagine how the mobile marketing channel will become more and more refined from that which we see today.
The continued adoption of the faster 4G network allows effortless usage of ….. Video marketing
Social media marketing SMS text message marketing
….. all of which for the most part are accessed via the mobile devices of the consumer at large, this in turn is presenting the opportunity for companies to develop and execute specific marketing strategies that have been targeted for the mobile devices.
Whether the business that you run or work for is looking to develop specific marketing strategies that are focused around mobile, for sure the more targeted the marketing strategy is the more success and effectiveness will result from the marketing campaigns whether they be for lead generation, brand building, immediate purchase leading to the growth of the company in terms of market awareness and revenue growth.
“It is great that they also notice that electric cars will be cheaper to run,” Pearson said to Go Ultra Low, which conducted a survey of 800 teens, who indicated a preference for electric cars. So interesting to see how things are shaping up for the future as we continue to push forwards the boundaries of technologies and its applications come to play in our every day lives. Of course, one of the main driving forces behind the current and future increases in the use of electric cars is that of the capacity of batteries, its ability to charge and to release its energies.
Technological advances have also been shown to affect our lives with the increase and reach of the usage of the internet, this has lead to the redefinition of what call channel marketing … we can now add a new marketing channel to the marketing mix which we term the digital marketing channel …
Channel marketing comes in two forms
A channel to communicate to target market segments
A channel to deliver products and services to those target market segments
The evolution of the internet has given to the social media & digital marketing agency that sits alongside the other ways [marketing channels] that companies had been using to reach clients. In considering the title of this post, it makes sense to consider what marketing will look like in 11 years time !!
Will there be a need for businesses to sign up for a digital marketing newsletter and will there be such a need for the expert business strategy consultant that companies bring in to help them to accelerate with their business growth ? For sure we assume that in the near future there will be an increased need for branding digital strategy development and execution as we see that the digital marketing channel has grown and will continue to be one of the major marketing channels that businesses all over the world make use of to use their products and services to make an impact with their chosen target market segments.
So as the demand for electric cars look set to increase we can also consider how the consumer will develop preferences for how companies communicate with them and how they consume that which they purchase from companies, how much of a part will digital media and social social media marketing have to play in that which companies do as dictated by the wants and needs of the consumer.
One thing is for sure, channel marketing will continue to evolve, and companies will continue to look for the most effective ways that they can use to most effectively increase their business through sales of products and services and the wide spreading message of the brand.
The third-quarter growth figure of 6.9 percent, as reported by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, was a decline from the first half of the fiscal year, and the country’s lowest since 2009.
This post is of particular interest to me and brings back memories of consulting and training in China with one of the world’s leading watch designers and manufacturers as they looked to take full advantage of digital marketing to reach their intended target market segments. During the time I spent in Shanghai we indeed discussed macro economic dependencies i.e. China’s GDP growth and how that relates to the amount of money consumers have to spend on good and services related to the client’s core offerings.
In relation to our UK Digital Marketing Agency when consulting with clients we attempt to at all times to provide a consultative approach when developing digital marketing and social media campaigns for our clients. It is interesting to note though how many companies and business leaders actually do not take a tops down, market driven, supply & demand approach to …
The Category Marketing Positioning Of Their Products/Services
… as more and more of the marketing attention and focus is put into Digital Strategies and often a ‘shot gun’ approach undertaken, it has become more important to look at the viability of the market as dictated by the overall economic growth and this feeds down into what people are able to spend in the marketplace at large.
As China’s economy is seeming to stutter, we will have to wait to see how the knock on effect ripples over into the western economies and as a consequence end up having eight a positive or negative impact on our own business or on the company that we are employees for.
The use of the internet for marketing is of course one of the topics that is always on the agenda of the executives and management of companies worldwide. Due to the complexities of digital marketing, social media, search engine marketing, reputation management, search engine marketing and more. We see that many companies are wisely making use of digital marketing agencies in order to ensure that they get the most out of this complex form of marketing.
So what are some of the things that businesses should look for and be aware of when it comes to selecting and working with a digital marketing services company [such as our sister company Capid Houser]. In reference to the social media and digital marketing campaigns service offering that Capid Houser executes for businesses there are a number of components that we feel are of the utmost importance. One of the main aspects of digital media marketing for business is to ensure that all activities are trackable and this is accomplished through the use of a Customer Relationship Management system that analyses and details responses to paid advertising, email marketing and posts.
The creation of relevant and engaging content always poses a problem and this is accomplished as we analyse some of the most successful and engaging social media campaigns within a particular market category, and then use this as a basis for creating and posting the best content that is applicable to the market sector of the clients using the system.
One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??
At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-
Channels To Market
… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.
Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.
Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.
So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.
In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.
To your marketing strategy development success,
Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.