Since marketing is changing so quickly, how do you create a brand that keeps up with the times? One that will allow you to rides the waves of change in marketing trends while helping you become the clear market leader. I recommend a single strategy that has allowed many of my best clients to become thought leaders in their markets. This single idea helps businesses during their early development but also allows more people in mature industries to grow and thrive even in the most challenging times. I help my clients develop a position as an expert in their industries. It allows them to maximize their visibility while leveraging their marketing and public relations across a number of media and technology platforms.
I also believe leaders today need to focus their efforts on both marketing and public relations. With the rise of social media and the many different platforms out there, your public relations efforts can provide your organization with significant value through your ability to communicate your ideas directly to your target market on a regular basis. But if you’re going to be the spokesperson for your market there are several key ideas that you need to know if you hope to be seen by both potential clients and partners.
The first thing you must do is create a place in your market for you. You have to be proactive in this creation process, and you must be consistent in how you present yourself to your market. With all the messages your market receives every day, you must be visible on a regular basis. You must position yourself as an expert in things that your market values.
When you consider what your market values, it must be something that they are interested in not always what you think they value. For many entrepreneurs, they are creating breakthrough products and services for their markets. Many times these breakthroughs address a long standing problem for their key markets. I’ve seen many software businesses so enamored with the wow around their products they miss they key problems they are solving for their customers. You as market leader must help people with both the tangible and intangibles of your service offering.
Actually, if you hope to build a following for your product or service you should build a following for your ideas and your personality. If you become interesting to your market people will be more likely to tune in when you have something important to say. We are now living in a personality driven world. Our celebrities have become our heroes. Many of my older clients get angry and tell me it shouldn’t be this way, but I tell them it is. I point out we’ve always had strong celebrity driven marketing, it’s just more obvious because we have so many different ways to connect with our consumers. Many of today’s exceptional marketers have become great story tellers for their brands. You have to look no further than many of the advertisers today for the Olympic Games in London to see outstanding examples of how individuals are highlighted in their marketing message, they have a strategic theme for their overall brand and they integrate the individual athlete’s story into the message to help people put themselves into the story.
The one advantage many consumer brands have that you don’t is a large marketing budget. They sell their products for premium prices and are able to invest more money into their customer acquisition process. They also sell products and services that a purchased more often. It’s a good lesson for entrepreneurs to learn on how to price their products and services. You must include in your price a margin that supports additional marketing costs. Do you know how much your average client is worth to your business? I know the consumer products companies do and it provides significant leverage when they decide how much to invest to get a customer.
Next week we will discuss how to develop a following for you and how to become more visible to your key markets. We will also provide you specific things to consider as you begin developing yourself into celebrity in your markets.