2. Competition continues to heat up amid the economic recovery from the Great Recession, forcing business leaders and marketers to take novel approaches to branding that prevent them from gaining visibility in their industries.
3. Despite the resurgent economy, companies have been presented with a wealth of challenges, in a relatively short period of time, as saturation has become one of the more complex obstacles standing in the way of maximum revenues.
4. However, trends are taking shape quickly and certain firms are showing what it takes to navigate this challenging market, without falling behind the eight ball.
5. Regardless of which industry a business might be competing within, certain best practices and guiding strategies can help to bolster virtually all companies' performances in these areas.
6. The following are nine tricks that you can put to use when trying to bolster your brand's visibility, conversion rates and loyalty through diverse marketing programs.
7. Adapting them to your specific objectives, values and needs is key, but this should at least work to get the gears turning.
8. 1. Analyze data in real-time More companies are beginning to leverage advanced analytics solutions for marketing purposes, and you ought to as well. One study from InfoTech, reported on by Better Buys, revealed that roughly three-quarters of businesses that do not embrace business intelligence solutions will struggle to keep pace with competition. In the realm of branding, there is so much internally generated and externally accessible data out there to analyze, so get to it and watch decision-making improve as a result.
9. 2. Integrate A failure to create cohesion between various marketing ventures can end up working against the brand rather than for it. The image should always be consistent, and that demands plenty of planning and strategic oversight when using various channels and mediums such as email, social media and direct mail marketing tools. Always focus on integration at the earliest stages of marketing strategy creation, and adhere closely to the strategy over time for maximum consistency.
10. 3. Use email as the foundation Social media will likely be the core medium for marketing strategies in the future, but this is not the case right now. Rather, your best option to act as the foundation of your branding program - characterized as being the main conduit for customer communications and notifications - is email marketing right now. Whenever you have a new deal, promotion or otherwise, get the word out through email.
11. 4. Measure engagement If you are not surveying your loyal clientele, as well as newly converted prospects, chances are you are not coming close to your full potential with respect to successful branding. Always make sure you are keeping a finger on the pulse of your target market and especially the individuals who have been customers for a long time. This will always provide the quickest, most direct and accurate insights into what you can be doing better.
12. 5. Target mobiles For email and social media marketing programs, always ensure the processes and communications are properly targeting mobile devices, as a higher rate of consumers are now using their smartphones and tablets for these types of activities. Additionally, aside from the actual configuration that needs to take place, businesses will also want to craft mobile-targeted ad communications uniquely to the devices, rather than using the same tactics as approaching personal computers.
13. 6. Play to social's strengths One of the more important components of branding today involves retention and communication with existing clientele, and social media is perhaps the greatest stage for these shows to perform upon. Make sure you are devoting social media efforts mostly to communications with existing clientele, and only partially leveraging it as a marketing tool when most befitting.
14. 7. ABC For a brief aside, marketers: Never forget the immortal words of David Mamet's character Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross - Always Be Closing. Be persistent and try new things, as competition and saturation leave no room for the meek.
15. 8. Remain agile Structure is critical to ensure brand consistency and to closely control the performance of each venture, but markets move too quickly to remain stagnant. As such, work hard to strike a balance between structure and flexibility, maintaining a high level of agility to move quickly on new trends and opportunities. This will work to ensure the brand remains relevant over time.
16. 9. Do not rule out direct mail Many firms have moved away from direct mail marketing in the past few years, seemingly believing that the medium is dead or no longer that effective. This is a pretty serious error, as studies indicate that direct mail is still indeed a preferable medium among consumers of all ages. Adapt the programs to be relevant in the modern era, but do not allow yourself to believe that direct mail cannot be an asset in your branding program.