The 2012 Toolkit
In today’s global market, shifts in economic power have forced companies to alter their brand strategy. However, although there is rising uncertainty, there are still many things to be positive about. New markets and channels can allow companies greater creativity and opportunities if harnessed properly. To help with this here is a ten point toolkit for ideas and best practice in marketing.
Due to consumer segmentation, product innovation as well as communications should be developed with multiple audiences in mind. Additionally, it can be beneficial identifying consumers in emerging markets as well as established markets.
Also, it is important to consider your consumer’s media consumption as not all segments consume media in the same way.
2. Brand Management
Know what your brand stands for both internationally and locally. Dropping a pan-regional campaign in favour of a more local approach may be more beneficial. Additionally ensuring there are structures in place to share consumer insights and best practices across markets can prove useful. Finally, ensure everything you do is right for your brand and your product or services category.
Integration of old media and new media channels (paid, owned and earned) has become increasingly difficult. However it is extremely important to fully integrate traditional and digital channels to ensure coherency. Though it should be recognised that each channel has different strengths which need to be identified and utilised. Finally, do not underestimate or ignore paid media as when used well it can drive earned and owned media.
Product or service innovations are becoming an effective marketing tool. Even small innovations, provided they are grounded in consumer insights can be particularly effective. For example Apps can be relatively cheap to produce and a good one can deliver many benefits.
Setting aside a budget for testing new product or service ideas can be beneficial, however you should be prepared for a high failure rate.
Effectiveness in this sense refers to effectiveness of sponsorship. 2012 was a major year for sponsorship due to the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championship. Undoubtedly sponsorship can be effective, however this marketing tool does suffer from a lack of measurement. Generally, advertising metrics such as awareness are used to gauge sponsorship success. But it is suggested that results in the form of increased customer loyalty and shareholder value are more telling in terms of effectiveness.
Encouraging consumers to recommend a brand to friends and acquaintances has never been more important for brands. Additionally, it is important to be aware of offline word of mouth as in some cases it can be more beneficial than online word of mouth. Finally, it is important to remember than a consumer orientated company will generate more positive WOM.
Content should be both relevant and remarkable or people won’t share it. Also, having your marketing and PR functions working together in a content strategy is advisable.
The new technological environment can provide an abundance of measurable channels. However, don’t look for an all-encompassing measure of social media ROI, set different KPIs for each initiative that uses social media. If you build a community, you need to keep them so make sure you regularly engage them.
New media technology such as mobile, tablets and social networking impact all areas of business, not just communications. It is important to know what to do with the data these technologies produce. Qualitative data needs to be managed carefully to be useful. Finally, data does not replace strategy, strategy is a response to data.
Don’t assume a catch-all ‘emotional’ positioning will be the best way to engage and connect with consumers. Look for where your brand’s core strengths meet a cultural insight.
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