We've all heard it before. The many voices of professional marketing, each touting a different buzzword as this year's great revolution in business. Frankly, we're as tired of them as you are.
At Load Bearing Creative, we do our best to avoid terminology and strategy that doesn't really mean anything. You won't hear much from us about the dynamism of permission-based channel relocations, whatever that's supposed to mean. Your business doesn't need that. What it needs is a practical plan for building sales and developing markets, and buzzwords aren't going to get you there.
Just as you wouldn't build a house without blueprints, or develop a new piece of automation machinery without a qualified and audited design, so too shouldn't you embark on a marketing campaign without a deliberate, practical strategy in hand. Magic and guesswork don't do much against heat, pressure, time and cost. Likewise, trends and media talking points don't do much to get products effectively to market.
So what can you do to create a reality-based marketing plan? Load Bearing Creative can help. Start with these basic steps in the right direction.
- Know the difference between a goal and a wish. If you have no real control over the outcome, it's not a goal - it's a wish. Doubling your annual revenue is a wish. Doubling your efforts to communicate clearly with more prospects and customers is a goal. Build your marketing strategy around goals, relying on factors over which you have direct control.
- Make the chain shorter and stronger. Imagine a chain, extending directly from your production center to the customer who will put your product to good use. Marketing, sales, production, customer support and shipping are all links in that chain. A weakness in any of those links - or a chain that is too long and unwieldy - increases the odds that the customer will leave.
Outline your chain realistically, and figure out how you can eliminate links and strengthen the ones that remain. Make the chain shorter and stronger, and your marketing strategy will be more effective as a result.
- Choose intention over attention. There's an old joke about the difference between involvement and commitment. Think of ham and eggs: the chicken is involved, but the pig's committed.
Much the same can be said of intention and attention. Too many businesses focus only on attention, on getting out there and in front of people. But what good is that if those people aren't motivated to use your product or service? Instead, concentrate your forces on intention. Look for who actually needs what you have to offer, and the conditions under which they use it. Don't get lost in attention pleas when your real goal instead should be determining and cultivating customer intention.
Of course, these are only very basic starting points for marketing a technology or industrial business. Practical doesn't have to mean complicated, or even expensive - it just has to have its head out of the clouds and its feet on the ground.