Too many companies think that marketing is the publication of content that draws audiences into a brand. While this is a simplified approach, marketing does much more than this in many respects. And that is why numerous campaigns fail. Here are some of the ramifications of marketing without alignment to content or goals.
1. It Confuses Audiences
One of the first problems that you might find with your publication of content without alignment to your content or goals, is that people get confused by your message. The best marketing has one clear message and that is linked to corporate ethics and values. When you market a brand without alignment to content or goals, you risk creating a two-tier set of communications that can contradict with each other.
For instance, you could publish content on your social media channels about hot weather being a great time to buy and use your product. But then you could also have content on your website that links best use of your product in cold weather. This is a mismatch that will confuse audiences into deciding when your product is best used.
Another example is sending out an email that promotes a webinar, but sending them to a landing page that advertises an ebook. Audiences will not know what they’re supposed to be doing. This can lower conversion rates and waste marketing budgets.
2. You Can Promote To The Wrong Audience
When you don’t align your marketing to set goals, ethics, or content on your site, you’re likely to attract the wrong audience. This can be particularly problematic if your content is centred on a certain set of demographics. For instance, you might market to small business leaders but then have content that is more relevant to multi-national companies.
This mismatch harms a commercial reputation and you can see your future marketing endeavours ignored by both sets of audiences. It can also take a lot of effort to improve your reputation once it has been tarnished.
If you do get some of the audience who engage with your marketing to subscribe to further content, then all you’re getting is bad data. These aren’t the people who can benefit from your products and services or they might not be in a position to make a purchase. Further marketing to these people is just expensive and a waste of your precious time.
3. It Makes Work Harder In Your Organisation
Productivity in your business is another key aspect to profitability. The more staff can do in a given time, the higher the revenues and the more profit you can make. However, if they are dealing with miscommunications because marketing has been produced with the wrong focus, they will waste time correcting it.
In addition, staff want to know that there is a singular approach to work. It helps them be more focused and buy-in to brand priorities. This in turn helps you as it improves staff engagement, retention and quality of work.
Just staff leaving your organisation can be a major cost, but staff will leave if they feel the company is not aligning goals with marketing. The cost of replacing staff can be the equivalent of 18 months’ of wages.
Aligning Marketing With Goals And Content Is Easy
The truth is that aligning marketing with your goals and content is fairly easy. It is about writing down what is important to your brand and basing everything on that one philosophy. So, if you want to help customers cut the time they’re spending doing taxes, that is the focus you should have on your marketing. Or if you want to sell customers ingredients to help them turn bland food into spicy creations, you need to sell that benefit.
Focus marketing using content you’ve already generated and the goals that are in the heart and soul of your business. It will give you better results.
How do you align marketing with goals and content? What do you create first?
Let us know in the comments below.
Marketing is an important part of your business’ growth. However, with so many companies conducting campaigns every single day – consumers can often become bored. Therefore, the best marketing campaigns can be a little unconventional.
Unconventional Ideas That Worked
Cards Against Humanity are experts at unconventional marketing ideas. One year, on Black Friday, instead of following the traditional trend of lowering costs, they increased them by $5. This strategy increased sales on the day and for a period afterwards.
Another year on Black Friday, the company invited customers to buy nothing for $5. The campaign raised $71,000 on the day, with some customers making multiple purchases. The company split the money between members of the team; most of whom donated the funds to charity.
Rudy’s BBQ demonstrated that you don’t have to be a big or global business to be successful at unconventional marketing either. They regularly use negative statements to promote their brand. One billboard expressed they were the worst BBQ in Texas while another misspelt sauce. They also regularly engage audiences on social media – even when they are in one of their restaurants.
Despite these negative terms within their marketing slogans, trade is high, and they have numerous positive reviews online. It has also helped them grow from one to three sites.
Why Does Unconventional Marketing Work So Well?
The two examples show exactly how unconventional marketing can improve sales. Both present an inverse of an established trend such as a seasonal sale or the positive re-enforcement of a brand’s service.
Yet, both businesses succeed.
One of the main reasons for this is because unconventional marketing disrupts normal consumer expectations.
The human brain is conditioned to identify patterns, so people expect to see certain marketing promises and slogans. Therefore, audiences tend to ignore much of the marketing materials presented to them.
However, unconventional tactics break the familiar pattern. This forces the audience to examine the marketing literature presented more closely.
As they pay more attention; the audience remembers the brand more effectively.
In addition, thanks to social media, unusual and humorous items are shared more frequently. Therefore, the reach of such campaigns can grow organically. The more people that see your marketing materials, the greater the sales.
Finally, consumers sometimes want to test your assertions. If you claim to be the worst, they’ll want to see for themselves.
Unconventional Tricks You Can Make
The above two examples aren’t the only unconventional tactics you can try. There are numerous other tactics you could use; here are some examples:
Weird Discounts: You don’t have to increase prices to stand out in a sale. Most discounts are presented as a multiple of five (5%, 10%, 15%, etc). Instead, try for a different discount like 6.22% or 10.91%; something that is a little more unusual. These tend to work because the consumer concentrates more on the fraction rather than the whole number.
Market Another Brand: Create another brand and market that one. An excellent example of this would be Compare The Market. They advertised Compare The Meerkat instead, where a loveable meerkat would complain about all the people accidentally landing on his site instead of Compare The Market. The campaign took off so much that even after several years the characters are still around.
Send Them Cake: If you’re a local brand, and you have a marketing list, why not send a small gift. Cakes, doughnuts and flowers are typical options, but you can be creative.
Sometimes typical marketing tactics just don’t work. Instead, you have to be a little less conventional to grab the attention of your target audience. Unconventional marketing can take many forms and is only limited by your imagination.
What unconventional marketing tactic have you tried? What will you try next?
Let us know in the comments below.
The difference between a salesperson and a savvy marketer is the way they deliver their message. The ultimate goal is the same across the board – to sell product, or promote the company – but the way each department ends up going about it can be quite different, or at least that’s been the case in my experiences.
Last spring, the retail sales division of the company I worked for approached the marketing department because they wanted to start a biweekly email campaign. That’s an excellent idea, I said. And all was well and good until the two departments sat down to discuss the contents of the email.
“We were envisioning an email that features about 20 different products, with pictures and complete descriptions, every two weeks. And a 700-word or so article. And a coupon. And maybe a video of a dancing cat.”
Several jaws hit the floor. One of our designers actually passed out. Many heads tilted in confusion.
“Well…we just love our product so much and we know our customers do too, so we want to offer them as much as we possibly can!”
Ah, and therein lies the issue. Being passionate about what you do is so important. Loving your company and what they offer is a great thing, and for certain something to be proud of. But if you try to show your customers too much at once, you will scare them.
Think about the last marketing email you opened in your personal inbox and actually spent time examining. Did it feature a multitude of images, three page scrolls worth of text and about 15 different fonts? Or did it feature a clean, dominate image, a small amount of catchy copy and worthwhile links?
There’s no real rule about the limit on the amount of email content. But, think about the things going into your email as actual objects on your desk. A few nice, well placed and helpful items are pleasant, and probably tools you’ll utilize (since they’re on your desk and all). However, the more items you add the more cluttered your desk becomes, and the less you’re able to prioritize and sort out everything that’s there.
If you feel like you have too much to say and not enough room to say it, make a list of everything you want to include. Read through it, and try to prioritize one by one. Is there anything that is timely and needs to be mentioned right away? Is there anything that relates to a current news item? What can I put into a blog post instead of this email (because links are your friend!)?
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who loves your company and wants to hear everything you have to say about it. But think of this email marketing relationship you have with your consumers like a real relationship – if you spill everything on your first date, there’s a good chance they won’t stick around for too long.
Photo: Puuikibeach, Flickr Creative Commons