For marketers, developing a sound strategy that engages, nurtures, converts, and retains customers is more important than ever in today’s volatile environment. We’ve identified five elements of a marketing strategy that sticks.
1. Know Your Customers or Risk Losing Them
To achieve relevance, marketing messages must be aligned with customers’ psychographics, not just their demographics. Many brands struggle to understand who they are serving and craft an effective marketing strategy that addresses their customers’ preferences. Embrace data and use customer segmentation tactics to learn how best to reach your customers, how to nurture them, and how to quickly solve their issues to ensure the best experience possible.
Creating a personal, authentic connection within your strategy requires you to define customer segments that describe people according to the factors that influence their purchasing behavior. Leveraging customer segmentation and personas can help you gain deeper insights to inform your strategy, drive your creative approaches, and execute your tactics.
2. Make Sure Your Brand Stands Behind Great Values
Brand loyalty has been challenged in unimaginable ways. Growing consumer awareness and activism have spurred a need for businesses to renew their focus on the values conveyed in their marketing messages. Quality, convenience, and price continue to play a big role in consumer choice, but factors like trust and social responsibility are increasingly important.
The message your brand stands behind is what makes you unique. Use data to inform what appeals to your customers, where, when, and how, and use what you learn to make meaningful human connections. Marketing has an opportunity to educate on and advocate for the importance of brand values when it comes to driving differentiation in today’s marketplace. Your marketing strategy is a tool to do so.
“The functional silos that exist in your business make the customer journey susceptible to disconnect.”
3. Put Customers at the Heart of Your Customer Journey
All brands claim to put the customer first. In reality, the functional silos that exist in your business make the customer journey susceptible to disconnect and utter breakdowns. Company politics, org charts, technologies, and geography all play a role. How do you address these risks to preserve the ideal customer experience?
Marketing is just the beginning of a relationship with the customer. You engage them, nurture them, convert them … and then hope to retain them. For that “hope” to become “reality,” you must collaborate on the full end-to-end journey, connecting the dots to ensure a seamless experience. Detailing the multiple touchpoints at which customers engage with a brand can help marketing optimally align with the business.
4. Gain C-Suite Buy-In for Marketing on the Growth Agenda
Marketing can play a critical role in opening and guiding the organization’s growth dialogue. But in some businesses, marketing is a cost center, charged with driving sales and maximizing return on investment. In tough periods, it is also often one of the first areas to be cut.
To ensure marketing is viewed as the essential function you know it to be, it is essential to gain executive buy-in. Elevating your marketing strategy to the C-suite agenda ensures you bring the voice of the customer to the C-suite, helping leaders adjust to threats and opportunities—and successfully navigate the business to growth and success.
5. Take an Agile and Adaptable Approach
A good marketing strategy requires strong alignment—a look, tone, approach that your customers immediately recognize. But even more importantly, a strong strategy requires flexibility—recognizing when to shift to meet changing circumstances and emerging needs.
However, it is not enough to transform on a one-time basis—you must be willing to adapt the company’s DNA, developing deep-rooted capabilities that allow you to flex to deal with whatever crisis comes along. Crafting a marketing strategy that leverages creativity and flexibility will help you respond to shifting consumer needs and sentiment. And operationally, this approach will drive faster decision cycles and more flexibility in execution.
Embracing these elements is critical to crafting a marketing strategy that sticks and drives success.
Author: Julie Didier, Managing Partner at Yuzer Group