Whether you're an executive at a Fortune 500 company, a mid-level manager at your organization, or even an entrepreneur running your own business, you know the value that effective marketing can bring. Building a strong brand and aligning it with the proper key messaging to your customers is a vital element to the success of any business, but being good at it isn't always as easy or simple as it can seem.
The strategies and tactics organizations use in their marketing differ for every company, market, and industry. Amongst these factors, however, lies a common goal: seeing proven results from their strategic marketing initiatives. And in today's ever-evolving digital landscape, staying on top of news and trends is crucial for every professional marketer and the companies they serve.
We asked 11 marketing experts for their top tips to deliver successful marketing results. Read on to see how they answered!
1. Change is a constant: Embrace it at all levels
"Over the past few years, we have seen exponential change across industries, faster and more frequently than ever before. It is now the norm for organizations to deal with continual shifting due to factors such as technology, politics, pandemics, and globalization. Companies and individuals often avoid addressing disruption because it is messy and uncomfortable. But the worst thing business leaders and executives can do is convince their crew that the problem will take care of itself. While many organizations feel that change is a threat, others that generally succeed operate under the belief that change brings opportunities to improve products, services, technologies, people, and processes to realize a sustainable competitive advantage.
In recent years, many businesses have focused on transforming and optimizing their operations to meet evolving market demands or to keep up with changes in their environments.
Many of these efforts fail because one or more of the following three pillars do not get leadership's proper attention: Strategies and Tactics; Delivery and Project Management; and Culture, Capabilities, and Change Management. It is a three-legged stool: in order for organizations to be stable and deliver their objectives, all of the elements in each category must be addressed with adequate balance."
Rias Attar, President - sayAplus Business Consulting & Transformation
2. Start with the goal first, then work up towards it
"When the goal of your marketing strategy is revenue, use the following formula to find where you need to tweak your strategy:
Revenue = (Online Traffic) x (Conversion Rate) x (Order Value)
"Digital marketing for growth is an interesting space. I've seen and spoken to a lot of founders who view aspects of their marketing strategy in silos. They may want to run ads on Facebook or decide they need a great video to tell their story, but the best way to implement a digital marketing strategy is to always start with the goal of their digital roadmap in mind first."
Archit Batlaw, Founder & Digital/Growth Marketing Expert - Reach Digital
3. Be likeable and trustworthy before trying to sell anything
"As a business leader, you have to constantly be aware of the ways you can add value to your audience on a consistent basis. By providing consistent value - whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly - providing meaningful information that helps them in some way, and taking that to the next level through your product or service boosts the overall impact of your brand. They key is being able to do that in a way that doesn't come off as overly-salesy, cringey, or needy.
One of the ways to build likeability and trust without coming off in that kind of way is to always ask the question of, 'how can I best support you at the moment?' Most people will be stunned you asked that question, but when they answer that question in a thoughtful way, it will give you more information you can use to help them. When you offer to help someone without condition, that is the first crucial step in building lasting relationships rooted in a foundation of trust."
Erica Castner, Founder - Castner Consulting
4. Let customers' questions drive your content strategy
"You always need to listen to your customers to always have a finger on the pulse of what's going on with your customers. This includes your prospective customers, as well. We regularly speak with our sales and customer service teams to see what the pain points of our customers and prospects are, which we can understand from the questions those customers ask us, and use that information to decide what topics we want to focus on in the content we produce.
"Engaging with customers, whether through polls on your social media or even just replying to comments they leave on your content, is vital in understanding what problem(s) your customers face that they want you to help solve. Using their input and feedback to drive your content strategy helps make their experience with your company and brand all the more valuable."
Henry Ma, CEO - Ricoma International Corporation
5. Make value front-and-center in your strategy
"Aspects of your business like sales quotas and objectives, while needed, can create an environment where it becomes easy to skip steps in your sales or CRM pipeline. A value-first strategy means you need to create an environment designed to influence and enlighten customers through your sales process. You wouldn't ask someone you just met to marry you, so why would you miss crucial sales opportunities because they fail to ensure they are giving value to their potential customers before going in for the close?
"No customer wants to buy a product or service that does not provide value to them in some aspect of their life. Establishing the value that your brand brings the customer first (prior to hitting them with your pitch) is absolutely necessary. Establishing that value first in your business's marketing strategy allows you to then more easily and effectively funnel your customers towards a sales transaction."
Cory Mosley, CEO & Principal - Mosley Consulting Group
6. Always test new digital trends before implementing them
"Be careful not to get too caught up in the newest or shiniest product, platform, or service. Marketing leaders are constantly inundated with new trends and technology; however, there is certainly a right (and wrong) way to implement new game-changing innovations. If you've properly defined your strategy and created strong funnels, adopting new elements or adding steps within a pre-existing process can disrupt what may otherwise be a well-oiled machine which took months - if not years - to perfect.
"Always fully vet any new service or technology. Begin to redevelop and test additional funnels and strategies with this new piece as a more centralized component rather than an add-on simply thrown into the mix. It may eat into your budget, it may take additional time, but in the end, you will yield greater results than those who may have jumped a bit too soon at becoming early adopters."
Devin Leonardi, Marketing Director - Otter Public Relations
7. Have a simple funnel on every page of your website
"The function of any website, for any business, isn't to look pretty or bombard your customers with content or messaging. The main function of any website is to produce leads. Even though our website [for Photo Booth International] isn't the 'prettiest,' we still receive hundreds of fresh leads every month because our call-to-action is impossible to ignore, regardless of which page of our website you're on.
"Funnels for leads and sales on your website are very easy to make and implement. When it comes to converting leads to sales, simplicity isn't only key - it will be your best friend. Whether you create the funnel yourself or hire someone to do it for you, the goal and method needs to be the same."
Josh Pather, Serial Entrepreneur & Founder - Photo Booth International
8. Remain agile and adaptable to avoid burnout
"My tipping point, when I started seeing positive results happened when I learned the ability to follow trends. If you can't, and you're only producing new products, then you won't be successful. If something isn't broken, don't fix it, but you have to be able to adapt. If something in your process isn't working, you have to allow yourself to let it go and move on to the next project. You can always come back to your project once you've gotten a new idea or come up with another innovative idea.
"Don't allow your work or your process to become repetitive, and constantly try new things to avoid burnout. Trying to remain hyper-focused on an idea or project that isn't working out - especially when you could spend that time being productive somewhere else - will burn you out."
Steven Ridzyowski, Founder & E-Commerce Expert - Ecommerce Marketing Agency
9. Negotiate on the front end with advertisers
"For many businesses, uncertainty can have a huge impact on budgets for advertising and marketing campaigns. This uncertainty was only further heightened throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It became clear that advertisers and their client-companies needed to work together to meet their goals and fulfill their customers' needs.
"Identifying key elements, such as audience size and certain buying parameters, to base negotiations on to get lower rates for all clients is something that can be key to your business's marketing campaigns and strategies. Once you lower your rate, your cost per response will decrease and then your ROI and profitability will skyrocket."
Christina Ross, President & Marketing Director - Silver Frog Marketing
10. Put your people and purpose first, and the profits will follow
"Your organization's profits have to serve a greater purpose than revenue. Otherwise, your success will likely never come, or if it does, it will be either short-lived or unfulfilling - or both. I originally purchased Tumbles because I saw the potential it had for financial success, but ultimately decided to buy it because of the mission and purpose they serve.
"While profits are a necessity for any business looking to survive and thrive, my focus for Tumbles since acquiring it has been to make it as accessible, affordable, and family-centric as possible. With goals such as this at the forefront of your business's mission and purpose, you can let your passion for its purpose drive the profits."
Manish Vakil, Owner & CEO - Tumbles
11. Never underestimate the value of a business-wide SEO audit
"Every business owner wants to make sure their website can capture and keep viewer's attention long enough to turn their digital traffic into quantifiable sales. One of the easiest ways to improve your website's traffic is with SEO, but even the most SEO-savvy business owners can fall victim to any number or combination of technical issues that harm their SEO, which can lead to a drop in SEO rankings and digital monetary sales.
"You can easily perform an SEO audit for your business's website using a few easy steps: make sure Google properly indexes your website's pages, ensure that your all pages of your website are mobile-friendly, analyzing backlinks and content for inaccuracy and other issues, and tracking your keyword rankings is a great place to start. From there, focus on creating an award-winning experience for the customers who visit your website."
Steve Wiideman, Co-Founder & Senior SEO Strategist - Wiideman Consulting Group