In what we’re still calling the “new” digital age (although let’s get real, we’ve been in the digital age for a while now), it’s easy for even the smartest marketers to lose sight of the basic principles that guide successful marketing efforts. As you look toward building your new marketing strategy for next year, be sure to keep these ten commandments of marketing at top of mind.
And now onto the 10 Commandments
- Above all else, honor thy customer. Your current customers are not only your company’s best prospects for future business, but also can help shape the voice of your current business. Don’t just forget about them after the sale is complete. Your customers should be treated as their own “exclusive club” and offered special incentives, a referral program, or anything that shows your company’s sincere appreciation for their business.
- Thou shalt not steal from the marketing budget. When business needs to make budget cuts, a lot of times marketing used to be the first to go. Luckily, we live in a digital age now where marketing efforts are more important than ever. But in order to remain relevant, marketing needs to create a proven budget each year and do their best to stick to it. Marketing is expensive, endless ideas cost endless money so be sure you have the resources to pay for each big decision.
- Thou shalt not lack a plan. How many times have you heard the phrase “oh, Marketing can probably do that”. Well, believe it or not, marketing teams aren’t just sitting around waiting for tasks to work on. Companies shouldn’t look to marketing for the quick fix. Instead, marketing should work with other teams (especially sales … remember all that talk about sales and marketing alignment?) to develop short and long-term strategic marketing plans for your company, products and services. Growth doesn’t happen in an instant, it takes time and a plan.
- Use social media wisely. Since the beginning of time, business has always been built on relationships. Now, social media gives us a digital way to maintain the relationships and keep clients invested in your brand. Social media allows marketers to easily engage with their target market on the platforms they use. It’s also a place to post original content, photos of your business, videos, etc. to show the personality and face of your brand.
- Thou shalt not spam the audience. Odds are, if customers signed up for your emails, subscribed to your blog or follow you on social media, they already know what product you sell. Rather than inundate them with constant reminders of what you’re selling, share your knowledge – tips and tricks about your product, best practices about your industry, easily accessible how-to guides and eBooks. Be a thought leader and build trust with your audience.
- Be original. Create your own content and messaging. Don’t jump on the bandwagon and copy what your competitors are doing. Just because it’s working for them doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Now we don’t mean that if you’re a little late to a major industry trend to just not talk about it. Instead, we mean put your own spin on it.
- Be consistent. Be consistent with your content creation, your organizational tone and voice, your social media updates, your email marketing programs, your audience engagement … with everything in marketing, consistency is key. Once you have figured out the balance between consistency and over-indulgence, you will have unlocked marketing’s golden secret.
- Be adaptable. Programs, technology, messaging, major statistics … the world in general is always updating and changing. Don’t get stuck in your old ways and be left in the dust while competitors are keeping up with the times. Be ready to change your strategy and stay updated at any moment.
- Design carefully. Keep the user experience in mind. Keeping the right design (especially with your website) is a must. Try different ads, graphics and text to find the most effective design for your viewers.
- Thou shalt not go unmeasured. From leads to MQLs and SQLs, website engagement, social interaction, SEO rankings and more, marketing should be tracking everything always. How else will you prove your return on investment and create new goals for next year?
Regardless of what the new trends are or the latest buzzwords you should be using in your content, what ultimately determines marketing success will forever stay the same. Apply these ten commandments to your marketing efforts and you will have the key to creating winning strategies for years to come.