Today I attended the Business in Vancouver Business Excellence series event on Marketing. This event was a great opportunity to connect with new people in a wide variety of industries but also to hear more about how three very different companies are facing current marketing challenges.
Over breakfast I had the opportunity to meet 6 other energetic business leaders. Obviously with marketing as the focus of the event, each person had a marketing role within their organization, from Director of Marketing to business owner, all of us in different sized businesses/organizations. Despite this we all had so many similarities in our marketing wants and desired outcomes.
The major outcome desired from marketing – to connect and build relationships with our ideal client which, ultimately leads to business.
During the panel discussion, advertising and marketing were interchanged, yet they are different with different outcomes. Advertising shares information about a product or service. It traditionally uses a push strategy. On the other hand, marketing, if done well, focuses on connecting, sharing value and building relationships. Marketing frequently utilizes a pull strategy.
There were three key messages shared
1. You are opposite to your client/customer. You need to focus on the client’s wants and need (WIIFM – what’s in it for me) in all marketing communications. In other words, you must learn what your client wants/needs and why they want it and respond to them with the desired information. This information can be provided in either traditional or new media formats. Provide the information in a format that works for them.
2. Be authentic in all communication. Your clients/customers want to know they are dealing with a real person not a big (or small) business void of personality. Even as a professional, your communication can reflect your values and be clear and effective without being stiff and boring.
3. Be clear and add value. Every marketing message should add value to the lives of your client/customer. What information can you add that will inform, educate or reinforce your message but is not sales focused. No matter what you are communicating it is vital that you ensure your message is clear and easily understood by the receiver.
How are you using traditional and social media?
Is your marketing reaching your ideal customer in the form they want to receive it?
What changes will you make to improve your outcomes?