1. Don’t be Narcissistic
Remember that insufferable first date—or dates—where the other person wouldn’t stop talking about themselves? How they droned on and on about their interests and goals, barely pausing long enough for you to get a word in edgewise? In the end, they walked away from the date knowing practically nothing about you and not caring one way or the other.
You’ve probably seen this in the marketing world, too, where businesses are only interested in talking about their own brands, products or services and they are utterly convinced that they’re the leaders in trend-setting. Needless to say, they see no value in collecting market data or understanding what their audience is trying to tell them.
“If you talk but don’t listen, the traps are obvious. You may end up as a solution in search of a problem. You may get blindsided by changes in market behavior. We see this among businesses across many industries that have failed to adapt to changing market tastes and styles.”
~ Ad Age
2. Don’t Be An Insecure Blank Slate
In the marketing world, the equivilent is businesses with robust audience research but no positioning or brand strategy. In other words, they know who their customers are, but they don’t know who their own company is. They search data for audience insights, but fail to align it with the necessary brand strategy, competitive positioning or a vision of what they stand for as a company.
“These brands often fall into the common trap of spinning on a dime whichever way the wind is blowing,” says Ad Age. “Without a solid positioning strategy, they struggle to stand on their own two feet, and they often find themselves chasing, rather than setting, trends.”
If you want to build a solid positioning strategy, you’ll need to pair market insights with a comprehensive understanding of not just the products and services your company offers, but also what your organization is deep down at its core.
Ask yourself what your company’s fundamental values and beliefs are. Brands, like people, must have a strong sense of self in order to avoid being blown sideways by every passing trend.
“Positioning strategies help brands understand which opportunities fit their business and which audience segments to pursue,” says Ad Age. “After all, nobody can build a relationship with a blank slate.”
“Good marketing strategy is like a good date,” remarks Ad Age. “It involves talking and listening, give and take, and that magical way that you just “click” with another person.”
Once you find the right balance of knowing your audience and knowing yourself, you’ll be able to communicate the appropriate message to the right people in relavant channels at the right time. And that’s when you’ll have a truly excellent shot at marketing success.
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