Three words that guide all marketing strategy today

three words

By Mark Schaefer

I’ve been thinking a lot about the malignant complexity of our business world. I get to visit with marketing leaders at companies all over the country (and beyond) and they all seem to share a frustration that they are falling behind. There is an insecurity about what works today, and what’s next.

There are three words that keep rolling through my head as I meet with these friends. The more I think about it, it seems that our marketing direction can be boiled down to these imperatives, despite the complexity of our world.

I think we are beyond the days where we need to insist that market messaging has to be honest, authentic, human, creative, etc. That’s a given. But if you’re looking for a way to focus your marketing and branding strategy, I think is a simple elegance in these three words …

Relevant.

You need to provide meaning, perhaps even a sense of belonging, to an audience. This doesn’t mean you appeal to everyone, but to the people who are attracted to your brand, your product needs to occupy some defined, differentiated space in their lives. What do you mean? What do you stand for? Why is that relevant to anybody?

Superior.

If you provide a product in a profitable niche, you will rapidly attract competitors. All that hard work you’ve put into your business will be jeopardized unless you remain relentlessly superior to the competition. It’s so easy to discover new products and services today that you can never, ever stop innovating. Move forward or become replaced.

Consistent.

The aim today is to become a habit, part of the fabric of a customer’s life. That means you always have to be there. You can’t ever let your customers down. You must be reliable and you need to keep your promises every day, everywhere, in every format and channel.

I think it is that simple. If you’re struggling with a marketing strategy, it might help to ask these questions:

  1. What makes us relevant? Who thinks we are relevant? Are we sure about that?
  2. The people who love us — how are their needs changing? What do we need to do remain relentlessly superior against all possible disruptions?
  3. How do we express who we are in every single thing that we do? Every customer touchpoint is marketing. Do our customers see a consistent expression of our love for them in every interaction?

Whether you are B2B or B2C, high tech or low tech, a blogger or a movie studio, I think this is the appropriate focus.

Is this helpful? Let me know your thoughts.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Unsplash.com

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