The internet is awash in ‘proven marketing strategies’ and the latest trendy tactics to grow your business. But with so many ideas, it can be hard to know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are not a good fit for the way your business runs and the market you’re in. And many tactics just don’t translate to every business. So which ones to pick?
Well, let’s start with the fundamental.
Communicate your big ‘Why’…clearly.
As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” For most businesses, the story of why the owner or founder started the business and the mission the business continues to carry out through all of its products and services can be one of the most powerful tools in the marketing toolbox.
If there’s an underlying belief or value system that drives your business, use it. Make it part of all your communications and infuse it into the entire culture of your company – so much so that it becomes second nature to your staff’s planning, decisions, and behaviors. This culture will propel your brand to a whole new level of remarkable (and success) for every stakeholder, whether that’s employees, customers, owners, investors, partners, or vendors. When everyone sees the value and benefits of your mission they’ll be more bought-in, more loyal, and can better convey your unique story to others.
If you’re not sure you have a compelling mission or purpose behind your business, now is as good a time as any to discover yours. And this isn’t just for the sake of feeling better about yourself. Businesses that are purpose-driven – with a core set of values and mission driving their behavior – are more likely to be successful and out-perform their purpose-less competitors. There’s a whole litany of reasons for this and I suggest this article from Fast Company to help you unpack those.
Looking for a way to start discovering your purpose? Pull together your leadership team and start brainstorming for a couple hours to start the discovery process. Take a look at other purpose-driven companies like Patagonia, Thinx, Truce, and even B2B brands like IBM.
Find a specific audience to serve.
If you try to do what you do for everyone, you’ll find yourself attracting no one. But focusing on a particular niche or group of people (especially those that are underserved by your competitors) can put you at the top of the list when people are considering your product or service. Not only will you be proven an expert with this group, but they will be drawn to your empathy for them and the particular situations and context they find themselves in everyday. Be creative in finding your niche – think about the groups of people you already know, are passionate about, and can relate to. This can be a great starting point for finding your tribe – the group that you serve best for now. You can always target additional audiences later.
Only spend your marketing dollars where your audience is.
Once you define a niche to serve, you’ll find your marketing budget is much more focused. You only need to spend money on ads, content, events, and campaigns where your particular audience hangs out. If your audience uses LinkedIn way more than Twitter, don’t spend money on the latter and invest your money and time in the former. If your audience attends certain events, be there. And get creative – you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get in front of people. If there’s a certain conference your audience attends and renting booth is just not in your budget, you can still attend and do some creative social and digital ad campaigns around the event that attendees will notice and check out.
If you need an outside perspective or some clarity on a way forward, give me a holler. Happy Branding!