I once worked for a company that changed their tagline just about every year. By doing so, they unknowingly demonstrated a lack of focus and left people wondering what they really stood for. By chasing the shiny objects on the hill and declaring, “Us, too!” they risked losing their unique identity and authoritative voice. A business that should have taken off and changed their market floundered instead.
It’s always a good idea to take a step back and be more introspective about your unique qualities and strengths. By looking beyond short-term distractions, we often discover that we still have a place to fit in.
Try taking an unbiased view of your brand promise and what it means to your clients and prospects. If your message is high-level (think 30,000 feet), you can withstand lower-level market change and still have flexibility to adapt. If you find yourself constantly retooling in reaction the latest trend, then, perhaps, your message isn’t broad enough. If even a small amount of change risks confusing your audience, then you have most likely marketed yourself into a corner (think 10,000 feet).
What is that deep-down characteristic that makes you the expert? Why does it matter to your audience? What makes you the go-to resource? How can you build on your marketing without creating confusion? Can you do it yourself, or would you benefit from the objectivity an outside consultant brings? How about surveying your best clients to see why they’ve stuck with you over the years? Sometimes, we find that the best way to see our own business is through the eyes of others.
It seems that market dynamics are constantly shifting. That’s the reality of today’s fast-moving world. But, with it comes huge opportunities. Those who fail to embrace change and seize the moment to reinforce their role will quickly be marginalized.
We’ve collected a number of the more salient points from our blog and are presenting them as a marketing reality check list. A good number of these apply to new or small businesses. But you’ll also find that some of the largest corporations in the world make many of the same missteps.
We often get too close to our business to see it the way others do. We build a virtual bubble around ourselves and lose the perspective needed to make sound strategic decisions.
When you meet new prospects, network or attend industry events, the moment you hand out your business card, your credibility will be on the line. If you’ve taken a long time to build a first-rate reputation, don’t let a second-rate website undo it.
Common clichés, tired sales pitches and unrealistic claims no longer work. In fact, they’ll likely be viewed as disingenuous and undermine your marketing efforts. Here, we’ve outlined five ineffective marketing messages and what you can do to avoid using them.
Even if you’ve been able to put a check mark next to that spanking-new website on your marketing to-do list, get out your eraser. Your work has only just begun. A successful website is never once-and-done.
As the calendar year winds down, it always a good idea to take a step back to revisit and refresh your marketing. Your business will be better off by doing so. But, don’t go overboard and be too disruptive.
Never Make Assumptions about Your Audience. That seems like an obvious rule, right? But, we all do it to some degree. It’s human nature. We follow our gut instincts. We proceed without having the data to back up our actions. Remember New Coke?
You cannot do it all and do it all well. Nobody can. I certainly can’t. Instead, I’m spending my time doing what I do best to make money and hire seasoned professionals to help with the rest.
Why aren’t you?
Building a great brand is never once-and-done. It’s more than a name, logo and graphics. It’s a frame of mind — an experience — with a narrative that stays relevant and makes its audience part of the story.