What’s the difference between your brand and that of, let’s say, Coke?
Size? Sure, but you don’t think Coke has always been a billion dollar a year company do you? What else?
Budget? Staff? Investors? All acquired through growth.
So maybe the question should be, “Why aren’t you as big as Coke?” What would be your answer?
Without a lot of drama and fanfare, the answer is simply marketing. Coke made (and still makes) Marketing a Priority. (Here’s their 2013 annual report just to verify.) And you can look at the annual reports of Pepsi, Doritos, General Motors, IBM, Apple, or a slew of other “Big Dogs” and see the same results.
MARKETING… Yes, marketing is, has been, and always will be a large percentage investment to successful companies.
Around our office, “Marketing Communications” is the act of making your brand known through channels most accepted by your target audience. So… Why wouldn’t you make that a priority?
Ironically enough, many companies don’t make marketing a priority. Some go as far as to avoid it all together, worrying about effectiveness or even cost (gasp).
Successful companies understand the importance of making marketing a high priority. They can’t play the “Launch and hope for the best” game and expect to succeed for long. Your marketing has to be planned and consistent in order to capture your target market and keep them with you by creating strong brand advocacy.
How you Market your product is key; if you study the success of the big dogs, they understand this and invest strategically. By using the correct marketing tools and well-thought-out strategy some have even created outstanding worldwide brands. The only difference between you and them is their consistent and strategic use of marketing. And even if your intention is not to become a worldwide brand, in order to promote and sell your product in your own “world” you still have to market and be consistent within your targeted demographic.
Many think that Marketing is only about reaching and getting new clients, but it’s also about branding, about staying “top of mind,” continuously reminding your audience that you are there and that you should be their first choice.
3 essentials for marketing that makes an impact and lasts:
1. Consistency. Keep marketing and communicating and marketing and communicating, never stop! Even if you are going through some “tighten our belts” days in order for your company to be successful, you should always be marketing in one way or another. If strategically planned, it can be done within a reasonable budget that will still make an impact.
2. Synergy. Extremely important. Coordinate all of your marketing efforts under the same message and goal. There’s no point in doing a little here and a little there – where it’s convenient. Before you begin make sure you have a plan – and stick to it.
“Now, the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.” — Sun Tzu – The Art of War
Plan the plan. Test the plan, and execute THE PLAN!
3. Brand. A buzz word? Maybe. But it is an important concept! People have to understand your brand. From the logo on down to how you answer the phone, this enhances the message and builds the foundation of what you, your product, or service means to your customer.
Being a “Big Dog” isn’t easy. Getting there is most of the battle. But without marketing, the journey will never get off on the right foot. The Cokes and General Motors of the world know this. Now, you do too.
Food for thought…
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef