So, You Want to DIY Your Marketing?
A few tips for going it alone.
I get it. “It costs too much to hire someone.” I’ve heard it way too many times.
The consumer is evolving at a faster pace than ever and the shifting marketing landscape continues to prove that we only thought we knew what we knew before. Whether you’re going the route of doing your own marketing, building an in-house team, or engaging an agency or consultant, there are a few things that will help you make the most of the tools and resources at your disposal.
Understand Your Audience
Step one in creating a strong marketing plan is to understand your audience. Who are your customers and who do you want them to be? What are their struggles and how can you solve them? What questions are they asking and are you the resource they find when looking for answers?
The art and science of building personas may seem like a boondoggle, but understanding your audience and having a level of empathy for them will guide you to develop the type of marketing programs that will have appeal and to achieve the results your business needs.
Plant Your Brand Flag
Understanding what your brand is and isn’t is the key to strong brand positioning. Here, like with most good habits, consistency is key to cementing your position in the consumer’s mind. Keep in mind, it’s not the end of the world if you take a step back and realize your brand is all over the place. Breathe deeply and start the work. There are steps you can take to reign in the outliers and center your brand. Establish a purpose. Develop brand guidelines so that everyone involved will understand what is good and bad for the brand. Articulate the emotion you want your brand to create so that everyone on the team can make a deep connection to the brand. Involve employees. Be aware of the competition so that you can always stand apart from the crowd. Finally, be willing to be flexible so that the brand can continue to grow.
Digital Brand Knowledge
Digital brand knowledge is now mandatory. Marketers cannot control every single mention of their brands. Yelp, Google, Facebook and others have given consumers the platform to praise you as easily as criticize you. When a customer has a bad experience, they no longer have to go in search of “the manager” or a comment card. Today’s comment card is in everyone’s hand — as easy to submit as the touch of a button-like graphic. And just that fast, the whole world knows the good, the bad and the very ugly.
If you’ve been in the field of advertising or marketing for more than a year, you have undoubtedly come across articles entitled “Greatest Commercials of [Fill-In-The-Blank].” What most don’t realize, however, is that these kind of rankings are likely the result of some wow factor — a surprise appearance by a box office draw, unique use of special effects, technology or some other executional element.
Today’s typical CEO is now less attracted to awards and accolades and more attracted to reaching their business goals (and often their bonus). Creating marketing programs that make a business impact requires an understanding of data — how to gather it, interpret it and implement the learnings. Good marketing relies on good data.
If you think I’m going to suggest you take a painting or ceramics class, you’ve made a common assumption. Creativity is about curiosity and bringing new ideas to the table. It is a trait that can open new avenues for your marketing because you’re not limited to the status quo. Feed your creativity by reading excessively, watching movies, visiting new places, working with others or trying something new. Some of the best ideas can come to you when your brain is just open. These activities bring your guard down and allow you to see more than what you thought was there.
Learning all of these things will make you a better DIY marketer, but it can also make you a better client because you’ll be able to clearly give direction and measurable goals so that both you and your agency, consultant or marketing director can be successful.