Often times, a business’ goal is to fulfill their company mission. However, in order to fulfill that mission, they’ll need revenue. That’s where marketing comes in.
Marketing helps gain their customers’ attention. Although revenue is the lifeblood for any business, I also believe attention is becoming an important currency for success.
In this new attention-economy, it’s about the strategy and execution of your marketing campaign and some marketers continue to get this wrong.
Core areas of marketing
Marketing is an important part of your business’ success. You’ll need to invest in marketing in order to grow.
Luckily, it’s a very broad industry that can be broken down into eight different areas:
Product marketing is the intersection of marketing, sales, product, and engineering. This department intersection allows for the teams to get a collective understanding of what best serves their customers.
Marketing and sales can gain insights directly from their target market, so the team will know what their users are wanting and expecting.
As for the product and engineering teams: they’ll build the product, but also inform limitations and possibilities for the product.
Team activities usually involve:
- Conducting user research
- Identifying marketing opportunities
- Product packaging, pricing, messaging
- Product launches
- Maintaining a competitive advantage
If you look up the definition of brand, you’ll get a variety of definitions. In our case, we believe brand is what people feel about your company.
The digital landscape has made it ultra-competitive for many industries, and one of the best ways to differentiate your business is to establish a solid brand presence.
Everything your business does should be an extension of your brand message. This ranges from your website to marketing creatives to even how you interact with your customers.
Keeping a cohesive brand presence is important, especially when first starting out.
Imagine having different brand styles with little recognition in the market. You’re essentially changing your image on a regular basis, people won’t be able to recognize who you are.
Building a brand is a long-term play and needs to be consistent.
Some questions to ask when trying to establish a cohesive brand:
- How do we want to be perceived by the market?
- How do we achieve that?
- Through voice and tone
- Look and feel
- Awareness: How is your brand going to make an impact in the marketplace so you can build awareness from your target audience?
Demand generation can also be called lead generation or growth marketing. They all aim to bring customers to your business.
However, the method of doing this can vary. There are various marketing strategies that also have subsets that can bring in customers.
The basis of demand generation is getting people through your sales/marketing funnel. There are many examples of the marketing funnel.
One of the simpler funnels is broken down into 3 different phases:
A common framework in the startup field is called the ‘AARRR framework:’
Depending on your business type and goals, you want to make sure to select the funnel that fits your business the best.
Some core focuses within demand generation:
- Create a pipeline of leads for sales
- Optimize lead funnels
- Experiment with channels
- Nurture leads
Events & community
I firmly believe this area of marketing will be one of the best growth levers to use in 2021. Building a community around your brand is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business. You’re building a loyal customer base that trusts and respects what you have to say.
This is a tough area to focus on, but if you’re able to build that community, you’ll see great success.
Especially with COVID and social distancing in place, many people are looking to feel a part of something. Some areas that I’ve seen others build communities are on Twitter and within Slack.
A few examples include:
These have become great breeding grounds for community growth.
When building a community, you’d want to focus on:
- Connecting with prospects, customers, and others in the industry
- Online and offline
- Build a movement that supports company strategy
- Nurture influencers and power users/thought leaders
Sales enablement is typically associated with bigger companies and bigger price points. With this area, you’re looking to assist the sales team to close the deal.
Every aspect of the sales process from presentations, communication, case studies, and many more all help the sales team.
- Creates collateral for the sales teams like presentations and email templates
- Educate sales about market opportunities
- Train sales about product releases and marketing campaigns
- Write case studies
Public relations alone is a big marketing potential to tap into. PR is great for building awareness for your brand and getting your message across. However, it’s a tough channel to crack.
The reason being is because you need to have relationships to be successful in PR… or just a very newsworthy story and some grit. (This is something I plan on experimenting with later down the road)
PR allows you to get spikes of traffic and attention. The downside is that it’s just a spike of traffic. Often times you get a major surge from the coverage, but the media world moves quickly and they’re already onto the next story.
Some areas to focus on when using PR:
- Understand where customers consume information
- Secure coverage in relevant media
- Nurture media and analyst relationships
- Maintain calendar of newsworthy content
Content + creative
I’m a believer that marketing involves just about everything in a business. This ranges from your company culture, employees, finance reports (if this open to the public), and quite frankly anything that is available to the public. Feel free to message me on Twitter to get my thoughts around this!
This also includes the assets that your designers and writers create.
The creatives that you use in your ads, your marketing materials, and just anything else that gets put out to the public is considered marketing.
Some examples of creatives:
- Demand gen campaigns
- Polished sales enablement collateral
- Promotional content
- PR media kit
- Thought leadership pieces
- Brand materials
Operations + analytics
Your operations are a major part of your marketing strategy. Without solid operating procedures, you can often miss deadlines and cause more inefficiencies in the business and more money loss.
This also includes the tools you use to run your marketing activities. You want to make sure your tools are being used as efficiently as possible, so you can have a solid workflow for your team.
The beauty of the digital arena is that you can track just about everything. You can get insights that can set up your marketing strategy for success.
You’re able to track key performance indicators to make sure your campaigns are working. You’ll also be able to assess your data to make sure you are getting the insights you need to understand what is working well.
This was a very high-level overview of the marketing arena. However, don’t feel like you have to incorporate all of these at once to succeed.
When creating your marketing strategy, you want to make sure you have your business goals and objectives outlined, so you can decide on which area of marketing to focus on.