To keep your brand fresh, relevant and at the forefront of customers’ minds, it is vital to have strong links between core brand values and positive customer experiences. The brand is brought to life through innovative products which are developed and driven by the brand strategy or action plan. Your brand strategy is the discipline of planning, of setting a course for the long term to achieve specific brand goals which are aligned to the business plan.
You can’t have a strategy without a clear objective. Restating a goal is not strategy, execution is not strategy and tactics are not strategy. A brand cannot function without a strategy and the function of brand management is to implement brand strategy. Without a clear and compelling brand strategy your company is just another fish swimming around aimlessly in crowded waters.
Developing a brand strategy can be one of the most challenging steps in the marketing plan process but it’s a vital step in creating the company brand. Your brand will be repeatedly communicated, in multiple ways throughout the life of your business and that communication must be consistent in all it’s forms and frequency congruent with core brand values. Part of a successful brand strategy is defining what is immutable and what is flexible. Execution may change while the brand strategy remains the same. Tactics may vary but the brand strategy remains the same.
% Media Coverage
Choosing which media or type of advertising to use can be challenging for small firms with limited budgets and know-how. Large-market television and newspapers are often too expensive for a company that services only a small area (although local newspapers can be used). Magazines, unless local, usually cover too much territory to be cost-efficient for a small firm, although some national publications offer regional or city editions. Since the advent of social media, small firms with limited budgets may benefit from using social media advertising as it is cost effective, easy to manage, accurate and offers great ROI.
The fundamental purpose of a media plan is to determine the best way to convey a message to the target audience. A media plan sets out a systematic process that synchronizes all contributing elements in order to achieve this specific goal. The media plan is broken down into four stages; market analysis, establishment of media objectives, media strategy development and implementation, and evaluation and follow-up.
Similarities can be made to other marketing concepts such as the consumer decision-making process with comparisons such as, increasing brand awareness, improving brand image, and the maximization of customer satisfaction.
One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to attempt to appeal to everyone at once. Without a target audience, a campaign may come up empty because it casts too wide a net. The most-efficient way to reach more qualified consumers is to target smaller, more specific groups. “There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market,”
Businesses typically use demographic information to define their target audience. Examples of common demographic information include:
- Education level
- Marital status
Since it’s impossible to reach everyone at once, narrowing your focus to a core audience helps you to develop an effective marketing strategy. It helps your company craft a messaging strategy that appeals directly to the type of consumers who are more likely to convert into customers. For example, Facebook Ads allow you to target users according to their interests.
It is also more cost-effective to refine your audience, because your campaigns are run on a smaller, more focused scale. Instead of sending direct mail to every local household, you will receive a better return on investment by targeting consumers who may already have an interest in your type of products or services.
Event marketing describes the process of developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization leveraging in-person engagement. Events can occur online or offline, and can be participated in, hosted, or sponsored. The promotion of these activities can occur through various inbound and outbound marketing techniques.
In today’s buyer-empowered world, marketers need to seize every opportunity to build relationships, generate goodwill, and earn the trust of prospective buyers and customers. The modern consumer wants more than a pitch when evaluating solutions or making purchasing decisions. Events offer a unique opportunity for them to interact with brands to get a firsthand sense of a company’s focus, perspective, and personality. Event marketing needs to be an integral part of the demand generation mix, and a strategic combination of offline and online events are essential to any company’s bottom line.
Marketing has evolved from a creative process into a highly data-driven process. Marketing organizations use analytics to determine the outcomes of campaigns or efforts and to guide decisions for investment and consumer targeting. Demographic studies, customer segmentation, conjoint analysis and other techniques allow marketers to use large amounts of consumer purchase, survey and panel data to understand and communicate marketing strategy.
Web analytics allows marketers to collect session-level information about interactions on a website using an operation called sessionization. Google Analytics is an example of a popular free analytics tool that marketers use for this purpose. Those interactions provide web analytics information systems with the information necessary to track the referrer, search keywords, identify IP address, and track activities of the visitor. With this information, a marketer can improve marketing campaigns, website creative content, and information architecture.
Analysis techniques frequently used in marketing include marketing mix modeling, pricing and promotion analyses, sales force optimization and customer analytics e.g.: segmentation. Web analytics and optimization of web sites and online campaigns now frequently work hand in hand with the more traditional marketing analysis techniques. A focus on digital media has slightly changed the vocabulary so that marketing mix modeling is commonly referred to as attribution modeling in the digital or marketing mix modeling context.