2019: Let’s get started.
It’s that time of year. Everyone is back in the office and back into the panic that comes with needing to stand out and succeed in the new year. Again. But this year is different. 2019 is the year where we don’t just want to keep up with the competition, we want to win.
So where does one start? How do we plan to be successful in the chaos that is digital marketing in 2019? And how do we even to begin to put together something that resembles a strategic plan in 2019? We are all out there competing in the same markets, we’re all working hard, looking to inspire our teams and lead the pack. Nobody goes out with the intent on failing, so why is it that there are clear winners and losers in every industry?
What do YOU need to do, to be a winner?
Get your brand in order
Ensuring that your brand is still correct and properly reflects your business should always be the first place to look before attempting any form of strategic planning. How can you attempt to attract your ideal customer base, if your brand doesn’t appeal to them?
Another thing to keep in mind is that just because your branding was correct, doesn’t mean it still is. Times have changed, the world is more demanding of brands now, than it has ever been. What is expected from logos, branding and the way a company communicates is extremely different from the old “a website is good enough” mentality.
Check out www.logo-and-brand-design.co.za for a quick, free audit of the current state of your brand. It’s a good place to get a quick overview of the current state of your brand, and what you can do to improve.
A good place to start is to audit your current brand and brand strategy, understand what’s working for your brand, and what’s holding it back, and don’t be scared to make adjustments where necessary, positive growth is better than remaining stagnant. Check out www.brand-and-logo-design.co.za for a completely free brand audit, it’s a great place to start.
Understand your competition
A key in staying ahead of the competition is understanding who you’re up against. Many businesses don’t realise that the more their competition markets, promotes, and advertises, the more understanding they can get about how to successfully market themselves in their industry. If your competition is posting images of products and services that aren’t doing well on Instagram, then it might not be a good idea for you to do the same. The same applies to just about every facet of what your competition is doing.
This does not mean that you should copy what your competition is doing – that is a great way to lose whatever brand equity you’ve built, by seeming like a copy-cat/knock-off brand. But you should use whatever information you can to your advantage.
Create measurable objectives
This step is often glossed over, as it creates a commitment that the business needs to stick to. Setting specific, measurable objectives - and then measuring the results, allows us to understand which of our marketing channels are working and where we should focus our efforts, with the added benefit of dropping or adjusting our focus away from ones that aren’t linked to the business’s strategy.
This then puts us in a position where we understand how and where to communicate with our target audience, and if need be, replicate the positive result of our marketing efforts.
Solidify your strategy
Possibly the most complex step, it involves using all of your market research to create a comprehensive communication strategy that allows you to achieve your objectives.
If you need to increase your conversion rate by 15%, what are the steps necessary to achieve this? How do you engage with new or existing customers that allow favourable transactions – and most importantly, how do you retain the new customers and uphold the positive image of your brand?
These days, the above needs to be a mix of both digital and physical interactions and transactions. For example, understanding how you can utilise your social media and point of sale marketing elements together, to increase conversions, so that you can achieve your objectives, is key in building a solid marketing strategy.
We need to understand that an opportunity to move us closer to achieving our objectives exists at every instance that the brand interacts with our target audience.
Ensure favourable engagements
The culmination of all the above steps is ensuring that the way your customers and consumers see you is favourable to executing your strategy and achieving your objectives. If your brand is one that is cutting edge, ahead of the competition etc. but your website is not responsive or incompatible with the latest devices, then you immediately create an unfavourable engagement with your core target market. In the same way, if your brand is (supposed to be) friendly, approachable, and happy, but your staff do not reflect this, there’s an immediate disconnect, creating an unfavourable engagement.
We need to understand that an opportunity to move us closer to achieving our objectives exists at every instance that the brand interacts with our target audience, a few of these interactions are; the logo, the website, emails, and brochures/catalogues etc. as well as face to face interactions. All of these need to reflect the brand we are creating to build positive brand equity, thereby allowing for an easier journey to accomplishing our objectives.
There’s no question that 2019 needs to be the year where we start to take our brands seriously, and the year where we begin to lay the foundations for continual success in building and achieving our objectives. If you need help understanding your brand or would like to discuss marketing strategy over a coffee, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s build something great in 2019.