That is the question I wish I’d have an answer when I’ve just started my marketing career.
After 12 in marketing here are the 5 most important things I’ve learned.
1. Focus and leverage 80/20.
I saw so many wasted budgets, failed campaigns and marketing failures because of lack of focus.
From every corner, you can hear about new untapped marketing channel or strategy: Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Facebook communities, SEO, cold emails…There are so many temptations.
We see a social proof and the AHA moment comes.
Why we still didn’t use this strategy? We should be ahead of our competitors, let’s start it today.
That’s how it looks like in the real world and leads to failures.
Always remember about focus and 80/20 rule.
Spend 80% of your time and budget on the 20% of channels and strategies which have the biggest ROI for your company.
On the contrary, use 20% of your time and budget to test new tools and strategies.
This will help you at the same time keeping stable growth and find out new channels for boosting sales.
2. Segment your market and prioritize the segments.
Segmentation is the first important step you’d do when creating a marketing strategy.
First of all, you’ll see that all the segments are unique and have different needs. This means you’d create a different offer for every market segment you want to prospect.
Then, you’ll be able to prioritize them.
Some segments can generate more ROI but require more resources, and, on the contrary, some have less potential but you can generate revenue easily.
Most companies and marketers miss this step and try to create a “fit-for-all” offer. This always leads to marketing failures.
3. Always improve your product.
Jay Conrad Levinson once said:
“Marketing is a waste of time and money if you are going to offer the customers a poor quality product or service. Because in that case, the better your marketing is, the more people will know that you are selling rubbish, the sooner it will happen – and the sooner your firm will be ruined… “.
And this is one of the main mistakes many companies make. Even the best marketing won’t save a bad product.
So always work on product improvements:
- survey your customers,
- brainstorming on how to simplify the life of your customers with your product.
Even if your company is a market leader, don’t stop the product improvement process.
Aweber was founded in 1998 (3 years before the Mailchimp was founded) and was a market leader. But look at today stats.
The reason is they stopped to develop their product and lost their customers.
4. Marketing plan and marketing analytics must be your everyday routine.
If you’ll open charts about best-selling business books, you’ll find in the first place the books about self-improvement. More precisely, books on setting and achieving goals.
Because everybody knows that when we set clear goals, plan the steps to achieve them and control every day our progress, we can easily and quickly improve our lives.
But when it comes to marketing, so many companies forget about this.
The same like in our lives, we must set clear goals for our marketing campaigns, plan the steps how we’ll achieve them and control the results every day.
In other cases, your marketing would be chaotic and unpredictable. The same would be with the revenue of your company.
Here are 2 good posts about marketing analytics from B2B marketers&founders community:
5. Always improve your USP.
Remember Alec Baldwin from the “Glengarry Glenn Ross” telling the sales team the 3 most important letter in sales?
There are also the 3 most important letters in marketing – USP.
Sometimes I got a question like can a company do a business without a clear USP?
Yes, of course!
There would be only the one problem: you’d compete with other 95% noname companies from your market who can acquire the customers only by giving them the lowest price.
Because your prospect won’t see any difference between your services and competitors.
Clear USP distinguishes your company from the competition and allows to sell higher than average market prices.