4 Crucial Things Marketing Should Be Doing

Marketing has long been my passion and an area I’ve known from day one that I wanted to make a career out of. To me, marketing is more than just showcasing all of the great things about a company, but dives into understanding:

  • Target demographic broken down into buyer personas and mapping out the revenue potential associated with each buyer persona.
  • Creatively branding products/services as the best and one-of-a-kind out there on the market, i.e. your brand identity.
  • Understanding the competition and not become the subject of their game, but creating your own path for success.
  • Incrementally and directly impacting both the top as well as bottom line.

Though I don’t believe these four points are the end all be all, I believe that they are a great place to start and will help with shaping your ongoing marketing roadmap.

What does it mean to map out buyer personas?

Once you’ve identified who your target demographic is, the next thing to do is to break out this demographic into specific personas highlighting the lifecycle stages of each persona and revenue opportunities associated with each. Here’s a great example by HubSpot that lays buyer persona lifecycle stages:

Mapping Buyer Personas

One thing missing here is the revenue opportunities. Take that extra step to assign those to each lifecycle stage. As a marketer, it’ll help to understand what your expected spend and acquisition costs are within each stage.

What is your brand strategy?

Do you know who you are? Have you outlined the reasons “why” your buyer personas would buy from you? How do you want to be recognized and remembered? These are all extremely important questions to ask and especially answer. For example, let’s look at Apple and how Marketing Mind’s explains their brand strategy:

Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The starting point is how an Apple product experience makes you feel. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology.

The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers.

Knowing the exact triggers that push your customers to buy and also the type of content that tugs at their hearts emotionally are all key to a successful brand strategy. Work on identifying not only the opportunities your brand may have, but also the weaknesses, so that you can continue evolving as well as improving over time.

More specifically, be sure to layout the architecture of your brand as illustrated below:

Brand Architecture

What is the competitive landscape?

Knowing your unique selling point is important with differentiating your company from your competitors. Asking yourself why you of all the other companies and what problem you solve better than anyone else will help with laying out the foundational aspects of your USP.

As featured on OnStartUps, here’s a image that depicts how Buffer displayed their competitive landscape:

Competitive Landscape

How do you measure marketing success?

I typically break this down in two ways: incremental impact (e.g. lead generation and fostering sales) and direct impact (e.g. direct website purchase without sales help and ongoing nurture of customers as well as up-sells).

To get more granular, I recommend tracking KPIs along the way such as impressions, spend, engagement, amplification rate, etc. and then narrowing down specifically to gauge the following three metrics: CPL (cost per lead), CPA (cost per acquisition), and LTV (lifetime value of a customer). And finally, take this data to benchmark against the forecasted revenue opportunities by buyer persona lifecycle stages.

Know that the key takeaway here to utilize both gut and data driven approaches to not only improve your marketing implementations, but continuing on with what’s working well.

Have more suggestions? Tell me what I missed in the comments section below!

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