Investing in marketing is often viewed as a ‘grudge purchase’. Much like household insurance or medical aid, it’s difficult to part with your cash when the benefits aren’t immediate – and the yield is long term.
We explore why marketing is sometimes treated like the ‘lost love’ when it should be treated as your ‘first love.’
The Boardroom Battle
We’re sure you are familiar with the standard boardroom talk: “We need to find somewhere to shave our expenses!” and too often, it times of austerity and cost-cutting, the marketing budget is most vulnerable. Marketing efforts are often hard to measure, and to justify the spend seems to be a constant battle.
For instance, how do you measure consumer demand and reputation? How do you prove that marketing activity was the precursor to the most recent sale?
The Heart of the Matter
In today’s global and digitised playground, everyone is competing in the gig market. Fortunately, companies are realising the power of a more holistic approach to create and maintain a strong brand identity, consumer loyalty, and effective competitive strategies.
One could argue that the brain of a business is its finance department, it’s personality the sales department and its body the product on offer. Continuing to follow the same analogy, the marketing department is the heart that pumps the oxygen and nutrients to the body.
Marketing no longer just deals with communication of the product to the public. Marketing is now the fuel that drives both the external and internal activities of the modern-day business.
Why Marketing Is The Heart of All Companies
Creating and Building a Brand
“A product is something that is made in a factory, a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A product can be copied by a competitor, a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated, a successful brand is timeless.” Stephen King (WPP Group)
Your brand is your most valuable asset- marketers are the custodians of your brand. The market is burgeoning with similar products to yours, and what makes a product stand out is your brand.
A brand is not simply a combination of a name, logo, and design, it’s about the brand-consumer relationship as well as the consumer’s opinion of your brand.
A brand’s ultimate goal is to cultivate a culture of brand loyalty.
You can develop the ‘perfect’ product – but who are you targeting as your potential customers?
You can identify who your target market is only through consumer insights and marketing analysis. Marketers know how to develop a perfect proposition to attract your target market. The traditional 4 P’s of a Marketing Mix (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) is just one of the many business perspectives marketers take in consideration when formulating the best plan of action for your business.
Talking With the Customer
With stiff competition out there, sometimes only a good communication strategy can cut through the clutter and make your brand stand out.
With additional communication platforms emerging through social media and smart devices, this idea has paved the way for more targeted communication strategies, that will allow you to see where and what engages your consumers – which will ultimately lead to more and better conversations.
Building Lasting Relationships
Marketing plays a very significant role in building a relationship between customers and the organization.
The role extends to working in tandem with the product team to deliver what’s promised, on time and to follow-up after the sale is made. Once the relationship is established, customers have more confidence in the brand to become repeat buyers.
Creating an efficient funnel
An additional benefit of digital marketing is that it narrows down the marketing funnel, as the awareness and interest part of the customer journey has already been achieved.
Image courtesy of: www.freedough.com
Reputation is King
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett
The role of marketing is integral to maintaining brand reputation.
Reputation is built by delivering on customer’s expectations, behaving in a socially responsible way so that customers develop pride in your products, or services. Having a golden reputation adds brand value. Longevity and success of a company are positively correlated to a company’s reputation and in turn brand equity.
Keeping Ahead of Competition
In a highly competitive market, many product’s features are so similar that a consumer responds to the way the feature is communicated rather than to the feature itself.
Marketing plays a vital role in mitigating competition by identifying the features to sell and develop strategies to enhance communication. Marketers need to be mindful of competitor strategies, but also anticipate any negative feedback from savvy customers who no longer respond to short-term sales tactics.
Penny Wise Pound Foolish
Reputation and brand equity are long term investments and invaluable assets. Assets take years to accrue, and if we don’t invest in maintaining them, they can be ruined in 5 minutes.
Knowing that, would you hand over your most valuable assets to inexperienced Asset Managers? By slashing marketing budgets, you are starving your products of oxygen and essential nutrition because communication is what gives life to your products and triggers sales.
Our multi-disciplinary team creates and builds brands in highly-competitive markets. Talk to us about building strategies that will ensure your brand’s longevity.
Email us today and let’s start the conversation.
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