As the new year fast approaches, all forms of planning are underway at companies large and small. Budgets are being considered, staffing levels reviewed, new products and services being made ready for launch and, most importantly, plans centered on a thorough marketing strategy
Our firm has a diverse and experienced team, some of whom have managed large marketing operations over the course of their careers, as well as engaged with successful startups, and second stage companies in the middle of reinvention. So, we are perfectly positioned to assist on both a strategic and tactical level, as you create next year’s marketing plans.
We see the best marketing plans as well-researched and well defined, but agile blueprints for branding success. A good plan is a guarantee for more sales, revenue, and profits. There are many actionable tactics that a strategic marketing plan contains. But the primary idea to keep in mind, is that the goal of your plan is to help your company, brand, initiatives, and campaigns “speak” to your potential prospects, and current customers.
There are many components to that plan development process. Let’s just focus on one for now: content creation and content management.
What is content creation, really? It is authentic storytelling. It is the ability to tell the story of why/how your organization is valuable, serves your customers and gives back to your bigger world/community. That’s it in a nutshell.
Remember, though, stories are not static. Your company narrative will hopefully never stand still. Your stories must constantly evolve as you, and your clients, evolve. For any good marketing initiative, the key word is salience. This is the “quality of being particularly noticeable, or important.” If you cultivate salience in your brand, and for your company, you should be able to nudge it or dynamically drive the brand into prominence – cutting through the noise of your competition and marketplace cacophony.
At Logos, we can offer experienced advice on how to cultivate salience in your stories. Let’s review a few of them.
Own your distinctiveness and the market
An essential piece of any good marketing plan is competitive analysis. If you are a lucky, unique “first-mover” in a market (which sometimes comes with its own negative consequences), you may not have any competitors, except inertia (the inability of a potential customer to decide to engage with your company). But it is exceedingly rare for the leaders of a company not to know to whom they already lose business or might lose in the future.
Competitive analysis is an important foundation for your marketing plan. It is essential foundation for a realistic SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) to drive your overall strategy, and marketing plan. That analysis should enable you to enumerate what makes you distinctive.
Do you have a new avenue for growth that the competition hasn’t thought of? Are characteristics of your brand out of the norm? Can you truthfully term your team as “innovators?” Talk about all of that. Share anecdotes, and stories, about it. And ensure that those stories resonate with the audiences you want to speak with, by making them as personal as possible to the audiences’ interests and predilections.
Is there a new set of challenges your customers and prospects are facing? Talk about that. Empathize, and listen, to the “voice of your customer” (VOC). Try and use as many tools as you can afford to analyze the factors affecting your potential clients, and existing customers. Then use that insight to make the prospect and/or existing customer feel “heard” and valued by your messages.
Speak with emotion
Remember you are talking to human beings who have both heads and hearts. Emotions, passions and feelings are a driving force in making brand decisions. In the consumer products world, the best consumer brands are experts in this.
Think about the Dove commercials appealing to “everyday women” in response to many of their customers previously feeling unheard. It has been a total home run for Procter and Gamble. In the B to B (business to business) world of selling, you are still talking to human decision makers. What resonates with that CEO, CIO, CMO, plant manager, procurement director, etc. can be critical.
There is an entire discipline, and voluminous research, about emotional decision-making disguised as data driven. Do your best to convey your authentic emotions, and the effects of doing business with you, as a human. It works.
Develop no more than 5-6 key themes around which you will tell your stories, with relevance, emphasizing the distinctions of your company/brand, and with passion/emotion. Then do it. Again, and again. Don’t worry about the fact that you “feel” repetitive. Repetition is the mother of trust when it comes to storytelling and brand strengthening.
If you need help know that we at Logos Communications are always ready to help you create and sustain your story in an impactful way.
In a recent award we were described as “precision communications surgeons who cut through the noise to achieve clarity on behalf of clients.” We can do that for you, as you create a winning marketing plan, and tactically deploy the stories that raise your organization above others. Contact us now so we can help with your planning.