Often, when I consult with clients who are struggling with getting enough customers or repeat business, they typically point the finger of blame at their marketing. You know, their brochures, SEO, direct mail programs, signage, website, or other tactical elements.
Look, before you even BEGIN to consider the role of marketing in growing your business, you need to consider two critical elements:
You must have a good “inside reality”. In other words, your products, services, and other offerings need to be relevant and deliver real value to your customers or supporters. If the reality of what you do for customers is not something remarkable; something people will talk about and come back for, it doesn’t matter what your marketing looks like. It doesn’t matter what your communications are saying. It doesn’t matter how slick your new tri-fold brochure is or how fancy your website is.
Second, you must couch this inside reality in a brand strategy that will resonate with your target market. Further, your brand platform—the foundation on which your business must be built—needs to be communicated consistently throughout all your marketing and communications. These are your “outside perceptions”. Your inside reality and your outside perceptions must match.
Look at it like a formula for marketing success:
The reality of your offering ⇒ expressed in a relevant, authentic, and differentiated brand position ⇒ consistently communicated in your marketing materials = better marketing results.
And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?
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