It can take a while to wrap your head around the fact that marketing never ends. As long as you’re in business, you don’t just execute a marketing campaign once and then stop. Consistent, active marketing is vital to your company’s success. This applies to marketing as a whole, and equally to every marketing campaign and initiative you carry out.
Why is this? Obviously, most companies want to keep growing. And marketing is a key engine for growth, whether it’s increasing the number of customers, growing revenue, or boosting market share.
But while growth is an important reason to market your company, there are plenty of other reasons you should focus on active marketing.
Active Marketing to Maintain a Reputation
Your reputation is important to the success of your business, especially your internet presence. All day long, customers and prospects can search the web to learn more about your company — and what they find could mean the difference between serious growth and serious loss. For instance, 90 percent of prospective customers will fail to convert if they see your business, product, or service has mostly 1-star or 2-star reviews.
Fortunately, if you’re active in marketing your company, then you get a say in how it’s perceived in the marketplace. Proactively reach out and shape your reputation online. Don’t allow customers, competitors, and the public at large to dominate the conversation about your brand, for better or for worse. Reputation management requires marketing.
Take Action: Take hold of the media you can control — your own. Direct mail marketing isn’t subject to all the rule changes of SEO and online marketing. While you must establish and maintain a two-way conversation on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others, it’s important to fully utilize the media that give you the most control over your messaging. Communicate regularly with your audience through every applicable channel, and use quality branded material to make a great impression and cultivate your brand story.
Active Marketing to Attract the Right Audience
Are you waiting for customers to come to you? Then you’re at somewhat of a disadvantage. If you’re not evolving and implementing new marketing strategies, you won’t be able to attract the audience you want. You may focus your efforts on adding a new, different target audience. Or it might mean starting over with a completely new customer base. Either way, your messaging, visuals, and strategy should change when you’re trying to reach a new audience.
For example, a lot of companies are doing their best to consciously court millennials. But you’ll find it difficult to get them on board if you don’t adapt your approach to incorporate millennials’ values as well as mobile and social sharing. This requires an active approach to marketing.
Take Action: Create a buyer persona with a name. For instance, Alexis is a 55-year-old career woman with an advanced degree. Where does she shop? What problems is she trying to solve? Then develop a story that speaks to that persona specifically. Focus on what you do for them, not just what you do. By fleshing out a buyer persona and crafting a brand story with that persona in mind, your marketing will better resonate with your target audience.
Active Marketing to Keep Up With Changes
There are all kinds of changes that occur in the course of doing business, from releasing a new product, to adjusting an internal process, to alterations in the competitive landscape. These can have a significant effect on what you need to communicate to your audience.
How will your audience find out about these updates? There are all kinds of marketing channels, but you might consider print newsletters. They are particularly beneficial to a company’s marketing efforts, because they allow you to communicate in a way that’s received as informative and helpful, rather than salesy.
Another complication is that marketing itself doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’ll find it helpful to tweak your message or marketing channel as these changes happen. Similarly, the world around you is changing. Google’s regular algorithm changes alone require you to change your approach to content marketing. You’ll need marketing in order to keep up with these changes.
Take Action: Subscribe to a marketing blog. If you don’t stay in tune with what’s new, you can’t act on the latest information. Education helps you stay on top of the game. Read through these resources every day. Try writing down one strategy each week that you’d like to explore. Here are a few marketing blogs worth following:
Active Marketing to Make It Better
No matter how successful your marketing campaigns are right now, they can always be better. If you have a list of great marketing ideas you haven’t had a chance to try yet, make it a priority to test some of them. Even if your reputation, audience, and existing marketing plans are all fine, innovative marketing ideas may lead to even better results.
The process of reviewing your marketing can follow three simple steps:
- Review the goals you set.
- Analyze the metrics and overall growth of your company to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
- Set new goals and get to tracking. Remember to adjust as you go along.
Try to follow this simple sequence every three to six months. If you wait a whole year, you may find yourself far afield from where you should be — especially in today’s fast-paced environment.
Take Action: Put a review process in place for every marketing initiative you implement, and make sure to schedule a follow-up so you follow through. Here’s an example: Printpapa has a system in place for preparing and attending conferences and tradeshows. But it’s not a static process. Every time we attend a new conference, we fine-tune our strategy and focus on answering the question, “How can we better engage our audience?”
As you can see, marketing is so much more than just a way to grow your business. It’s truly the lifeblood of a business at any stage. From strategizing to implementation to analysis, every facet of the marketing process is constantly in a state of flux.
If you treat your marketing as perpetually in motion, your business can achieve the greatness it deserves.