Most serious to reasonable planning efforts start with either a problem or an opportunity needing a response. Both can have inherent blind spots, miss critical objectivity or fail to offer a rounded view. When we work with experienced startups, some do a great job depicting the product and to some extent the market. They cover pricing, channels, competition, and other basics rather well. Sometimes companies fail to assess what it takes to convince a market, get past an obstacle, support a web site, a blog or social network strategy and are initially excited about the promise of each.
We see assessments as critical as objectivity and insight. We all have to think some things through and then how we document them matters when we need the help of others to implement. Documenting all of that makes for effective informational transfers between you and sales, channel, third party or marketing partners, like us. However you get there, your success will be tied to your ability to make sound assessments. Your ability to grow will be tied to ongoing assessments as aligned to market dynamics. Any marketing firm will be better served and more productive as you develop competencies here. We go the extra mile to help you develop the insight you need to make those assessments across all areas of your business, your markets and things that influence how they see you. Whether you use us to implement, or someone else, the roadmap is suddenly clearer and easier to manage.
Many organizations struggle with this.
- Should we set conservative objectives that are easily reached or inspire greatness that we fail to achieve?
- Are the objectives manageable as backed by solid implementation across all functions?
- Do your customers and influencers agree with the benefits of that objective?
We listen carefully to what you want to accomplish and dial it up or down as based on how well you can support what is really needed. We look at key upstream and downstream factors and look to engineer support and advocacy. It is important for internal and external forces to be understood, engaged and affected to the positive.
Classic examples of short sighted directives that are interpreted as objectives can include phrases such as “dominate our market space”, or the common notion one is “in” several markets without a plan or investment capacity to actually be seen as a player.
While a lot of due attention is given to how cool a company can seem, thus great attention to creative branding, little is done to assure that brand resonates with the market that in effect, will position those same companies. For some that is a vicious circle and for others an opportunity. We often take new clients down a few potential paths as designed to earn credibility and ideally, advocacy. Once a decision is made, we craft brands that reflect market intelligence on a value position that is achievable, fresh, valued and continually relevant. Now that’s cool.
Other times, when we find a client is a small part of something important, we explore if a larger connection can help. That may lead us to strategic alliances. One of our clients is in an M&A stage now with a Fortune 100 company because of a strategic fit we will help them to attain.
Looking back, every great strategy we ever initiated had components that changed the game or the way your customers see and value things; not as a surprise, but as a better way to help understanding and engagement happen. Rather than list many examples that worked once, we wil assure every client gets that same original effort to define and apply strategies to increase the value customers derive when you communicate.
Sure, some businesses only marketing resides in Facebook or in Google AdWords. For a majority of others it is but one methodology balanced with others. The best map all to one ultimate purpose while keeping that relevant to all that you communicate with. Some only bank on PR as they perceive it as “free”. Far from it. Establishing your mix can seem like an adventure. Knowing who, how and where your market is influenced can help you to surround them with credibility and relevance or at least reach them where they prefer.
One thing to avoid as one takes on an “integrated” approach is forcing a cookie cutter approach. A poster or billboard, a web site or video, brochure or direct mail each have their own criteria for success. You breathe life into your brand when each is connected to the brands emotional value and like real people, each conversation is fresh yet from a trusted source. OK, so some people beat a topic to death. Don’t do that with your brand mix.
Be true to who you are!
Sure, we are amazed by those web ads that follow us (remarketing), and that spontaneously connect when we search for life insurance, a car or mortgage (cookies). But, let's be real here. Most of us also feel invaded, bothered and frustrated when these approaches annoy us more than help us. Sure, in the right hands and in moderation versus stalking, they can be useful but it would be a leap to say "wise". They can easily backfire and cause negative publicity. Sure, there are advertisers who swear by it until you ask them to be accountable to your reputation. Whoops, where did they go?
No, we see far better ways to create value while respecting your customer. They see that too and in turn respect you.
Don't trade off integrity for slick ways to chase customers.