Marketing is a science and an art. In today’s day and age, you have a plethora of channels, tools and customer target audiences at your beck and call. Therefore, it becomes all the more substantial to decide when, where and who to pitch to.
If you’ve been learning about marketing for a while, you’ll have come across the 7P’s. That’s product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence. But, these factors are a testament to the industrial age. Thanks to free-flowing information and the onset of business marketing social media sites, every market has moved from a product-based model to a customer-based one.
To bring you up to speed, we talked with premier marketing and communication firms to devise the 7C’s of marketing that now drives the conversations. These seven elements, when applied in synergy, ensure an outcome-based marketing strategy for your company.
Let’s dive right into it.
It goes without saying that your marketing plans and strategies should align with the needs and wants of the customer. Since you can’t possibly be selling to everyone at once, it is important to start client profiling from the get-go. This involves understanding the demographics and psychographics to come up with buyer personas. Once you have their interests and ideals at hand, all promotional content should be generated to maximize relatability at their ground level. The idea is to connect the customer with the brand proposition, ensuring recall and loyalty in the long run.
You can start by asking the following questions:
- Do you have an ideal customer in mind?
- Can you define their age, location and interests?
- What channels of communication do they prefer?
- When can you collect the insights from such customers?
- Can their shopping behavior be formed into a pattern?
As one of the biggest differentiators in the current landscape, convenience defines how your company is perceived by your target audience. The key here is to make all the brand and product information available before the prospect makes any inquiry. In the online space, accessibility forms the catalyst for engagement. It involves optimizing all the touchpoints, making navigation simple and efficient. A comprehensive marketing strategy must highlight your messaging at every brand interaction.
Marketing is all about generating value, and creative content sits at the apex of this phenomenon. Whether it be your website, blog, white paper or social media, the objective is to entice the prospect to come back for more. Creativity lies in leading your customers from the point of awareness to action. In this scenario, innovative content is the bridge that fills informational gaps in the journey. The idea here is to place yourself as a thought leader in the market. Once you portray your expertise in the field, lead generation would skyrocket automatically.
The advent of technology has leveled the playing field for everyone. Irrelevant of whether you’re an MNC or a startup, both have equal opportunities to reach the target audience. Therefore, the crux of the matter is how you differentiate your brand in a sea of similar fish. But, to discover methods that make your marketing efforts stand out, you first need to gauge what’s already being done by your business competition. By active comparison of business models, you will discover the opportunities and issues within your system.
Communications are now an inherent part of successful marketing. If you think about it – every aspect of your marketing strategy deals with messaging in one form or another. Therefore, communication is how you can alter the brand narrative and shape your customer’s perception effectively. It helps place your company as a trustworthy partner banking on an image that is transparent and reliable. Plus, when you’re in constant touch with the target audience, it helps build accountability which, in turn, leads to brand advocacy.
Pushing a consistent message across all channels and platforms helps create a sense of trust. Let’s put it this way – when the same brand makes different propositions, it confuses your audience, thus leading to incomplete journeys on their buying cycle. In contrast, a constant and clear message helps establish awareness and recognition. This includes all your mediums such as social media, PR, ads, etc.
Touted as one of the most critical facets of the 7C’s, most marketers believe credibility is the end goal of all strategies. To reverse engineer, credibility roots from expertise that is expressed through thought leadership content. Building credibility is what shall keep your brand relevant and resonant for the long run. It increases not only your customer engagement but also aids in referrals, retention and recall.
The marketing principles laid out here are only a place, to begin with. The next step is to tackle each and every vertical and shape them into your brand’s unique approach.
Remember that it is essential to create tangible brand differentiators at every touchpoint. Marketing strategies work when all your facets work in collaboration with one another. For instance, when devising a press release for credibility, your social media content should be consistent and creative, lending the customers a space to come back to.
At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules to marketing. The C’s stated above work best as guidelines to form a foundation for your plan. From there on, you can alter the tactics depending on how your audience perceives and prefers your brand communication.