Many companies, big and small, do not understand the important differences between brand and marketing.
Brand and marketing, and the difference between the two, is not just misunderstood in business. It is misunderstood in most companies and even in their own marketing departments.
Branding: a promise delivered
Common definition of a brand is that it is a "promise delivered". This is the best definition of what a brand is that I have come across in my career. You make a promise to customers and colleagues with everything you do and, to be successful, you must deliver on that promise every single time. The idea that a brand is a badge, a name or a colour is just a tiny fraction of what a brand actually is.
Your brand is "only everything" within your company. As a result, it's imperative to define what it stands for. You have to identify your target audience and what they want, say why you are better than your competitors and come up with a short statement that describes your brand's purpose.
Some businesses know what they are from day one and as long as they stay small and keep the same employees, then they may not need to repeat this exercise. However, for most firms, things change - sales drop, people leave or a competitor threatens your patch. Then what do you do? If you define what your brand stands for then it becomes easier to make decisions - who you should hire, what products to sell, how your communications should sound and even what your office environment should look like.
The key to unlocking the power of your brand is involving your employees. Take them with you through this process and have a brand expert on hand to help guide you. This does not need to be costly or take up too much time. However, once this is done, it could set up a brand strategy for your business that lasts for years.
What marketing delivers
Marketing is defined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as "The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably".
Marketing, then, is an integral part of your brand. It helps you to communicate the promise that you want customers and prospects to know about. Your marketing should also be based on your brand positioning, personality, values and tone of voice that have all been defined and communicated among your staff.
In essence, marketing is what you do to get your message or promise to customers, while your brand is how you keep the promise made through delivery to customers and colleagues.
What is your company’s mission?
While it’s easy to focus on specific tasks such as improving lead conversion for a client, it’s sometimes easy to forget the larger picture. In other words, your clients have their own goals and mission for their business. Will the marketing strategy you create for the client fulfill that overarching mission?
Who is your ideal customer?
It’s important to avoid making assumptions about your clients and their ideal audience. It’s important to ask for their ideal client so that you can adjust the marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, it wouldn’t be wise to target all prospective homeowners for a homebuilding company, especially if the homebuilders specialize in luxury homes. Specificity is key.
Will you be introducing new products or services soon?
As you embark on a marketing strategy, it’s important to be aware of any company updates that could affect the way you market a company or product. If you’re aware of any upcoming releases or services, you can better create a strategy for lead conversion.
What are issues that customer service regularly faces?
One of the key strategies in lead conversion is addressing common concerns among prospective buyers. When you work with the customer service department, you can accurately assess issues that you will face as crafting a marketing strategy. By familiarizing yourself with these issues, you can proactively create a marketing strategy that alleviates consumer doubts.
Who are your competitors?
By learning the specific competitors of a client, you can create a marketing strategy that is not only competitive, but aggressively reaches into the market. This will help boost your client’s lead-conversion rates, resulting in a happier client and a successful marketing strategy.
What is your voice?
One of the key factors in any marketing strategy is the voice that is used. You’ll want to stay as close as possible to your client’s voice to ensure consistency not only within their website, but throughout their marketing outreach as well. Consistency is one of the key factors that makes a powerful impression on prospective clients, improving lead conversion. If you’re unsure about a client’s voice, ask for samples so that you can embrace the personality of their business. If possible, get more than one sample so that you have more examples to pull from.
What is your specific goal?
Does the client simply want to increase exposure? Are they expecting sales to double? Improve lead conversion by 27.5 percent? By knowing the client’s specific goal, you can create a marketing strategy to fulfill that need. No matter how great of a job you do, if those goals aren’t met, the client will be dissatisfied, so being clear about this is crucial!
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