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Marketing Fundamentals

I was reading a recent Forbes article about how to win at nearly everything from golf to shuffleboard. I loved this quote from a golf pro.

"Winning in any game is a result of consistent execution of proper fundamentals…"
Hank Johnson

Business is a game, though rather more serious than sinking that next put. (Although that put may seem to be rather important at the time.) Like golf, business success is often a matter of executing the fundamentals.

Each area of business has its own fundamentals, just as each player in any team sport has their own tasks that they must perform well. I’ll leave the 4Ps to the academics. After 20 years in marketing, these are what I consider the fundamentals:

1. Know what success looks like for any project that you take on. This definition of success should be linked as tightly as possible to the objectives of the business. If you don’t have a goal that’s linked to the business objectives for every project you take on all you are adding no real value to the organization.

2. Treat marketing as much like a science as an art. The marketing profession draws so many creative types. However the art of creating compelling messages is as much a science filled with variables that can be measured and changed to alter the outcome. If you are not measuring and testing alongside your creative efforts you are only doing half the job.

3. Target market niches. In the B2B world, generally, the tighter you can segment your market the more effective your marketing is going to be. You may need to have several target segments to reach sales goals, but targeting niches is more effective than a mass messaging approach.

4. Know your prospect. Notice that I didn’t say know your customer. So many marketers limit their face-to-face time to their best customers. These best customers probably are not representative of the majority of your customer base. And, they almost certainly are not representative of the market that you have yet to reach. Find ways to spend face-to-face time with people in your target market who are not your customers. Associations, trade shows, market research, observing sales calls are all good ways to get to know this group.

5. Repetition. As much as being creative is good, there is such a thing as being too creative. We all know the axiom that it takes six impressions before a prospect begins to notice your message. That means six similar impressions, not different campaigns with a different look and feel and different messaging. Make sure your messages resonate by doing your homework on prospect needs and then give these messages time to work.

6. Consistency. Marketing success, like most things in life, requires that you keep at it. It takes a lot less time to slide back into oblivion than it does to build brand awareness.

I could go much more deeply into working habits that are keys to success. For example, none of the above six fundamentals means anything if you don’t develop the habit of effectively prioritizing and focusing on the task at hand. But, I think I’ll leave that for another post. Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo

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