Brand marketing challenge #1
It's a fact, most markets are saturated. Pick any product, any sector and you will find that the market is pretty much saturated. Maxed out, full, no more room at the Inn so to speak. Yet every year we compile our business plans (yes agencies do this, too) and look for ways of attaining greater year-on-year growth.
If we can agree that most market sectors are saturated, then surely the only way any of us have to achieve our growth goals is to steal market share. Sure you can change the products and services you offer, you can improve them or you can even create new ones. But ultimately, if you want to grow your market share you are going to have to fight and steal it away from somebody else.
Brand marketing challenge #2
Growth is generally only achieved by stealing market share. So, with that established, why are brands so reluctant to make proper provision for it in their planning?
After all, it stands to reason that if your competitors have equally bold plans for growth that they will place a majority of their marketing efforts and funds in targeting and enticing your customers. Hence, the first priority in any consumer planning should be asking this simple question: how much do you need to invest in engagement to ensure we retain as many of our customers as possible?
Brand marketing challenge #3
If we are honest, very few brands have the ability or budget to put customer loyalty at the core of everything they do. To be fair, not all brands have the ability to create direct dialogue with their consumers or the budget to do so. On the other hand, every brand does have the opportunity to capture data cost effectively through promotional activity, and this data can be invaluable in terms of building up simple real life data. Once captured, it can also be used to amplify promotional messaging and cost effectively drive engagement in future promotional activity or negotiate and secure improved distribution and promotion with retailers.
Brand marketing challenge #4
Brand focus so much on acquisition in their planning. Brands work on the assumption that once they have hooked a customer they will remain loyal. Sure they understand that they are going to lose a few, but brands work on the basis that they will keep far more than they will gain. But this isn’t the only reason that their focus is weighted against acquisition.
Shareholder pressure plays a large role, as does the fact that targeting new customers is a somewhat more rewarding challenge than keeping your existing satisfied. So which is more important?
The answer is obvious, brand marketing requires you to do both!
The answer is simple; brands have to do both if they wish to achieve consistent and strong growth. They must invest as heavily in customer retention as they do in acquisition. Especially as it costs far more to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one.
The best way to achieve this is to continually find relevant ways to engage with audiences and maintain this relevant dialogue. Brands that do this well generally put customer loyalty at the core of everything that they do. Those who follow this step generally achieve greater levels of loyalty through a platform of consistent, but exciting and relevant promotions.
Sometimes there is no tangible ROI for an activity; it’s the overall performance that counts.
The hardest part in the quest for growth is maintaining relevance. From a promotional aspect you won’t always get it right. Right offer, right audience, right time. But every promotion or loyalty initiative you run will provide greater insight and a better understanding of how to engage more closely with your audience. As long as the overall ROI for the year is achieved it doesn’t matter if one or two initiatives fail to hit their mark commercially. After all, every initiative is a dialogue and these build like waves to drive relevance and build loyalty.
It’s OK to have fun! Sometimes we forget that we are fortunate enough to work in marketing services. The whole idea is that we are experts in formulating and capturing consumer excitement. Sure, there is a science to the work we do but we should never forget that we are also consumers and there is a great deal to be said in terms of trusting your instincts as well. So challenge everything! Be prepared to take a few risks and perhaps break a few rules along the way. After all, that is how most brands surface in the first place.
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