Amongst our diverse clientele, we have observed clear commonalities in successful marketing strategies and especially marketing challenges. Universities and private schools may be driving enrollment and annual giving campaigns. Nonprofits may be launching fundraisers and hosting events. And businesses may be rebranding or introducing new products.
Regardless of industry, the goals of any organization are to reach, resonate and move people to act – and meeting these goals is difficult in today’s marketing landscape. It’s crowded, complex and competitive out there, and client expectations have become enormously sophisticated.
What are successful marketers doing to break through the noise and turn heads?
Marketing gurus say it is no longer a choice but a necessity to move from ‘optimize’ to ‘prioritize’ in giving customers what they really want. The same applies in attracting new customers. Addressing what they need is essential to building a new base – and retaining the current base.
As I think about the latest sage advice, it occurs to me that effective marketing has always been about prioritizing customer needs. Right? I’m sure we can all think of companies whose marketing resonated with us, answered a burning need, or created a strong desire we didn’t know we had.
So, what has really changed?
A precious few seconds! Everything we put out there moves at the speed of light today, across a growing number of channels. It’s true whether we’re competing with online marketing, social media, direct mail or within any other marketing channel.
Smart marketers are not spending those seconds talking about themselves, their successes or offerings. Instead, their messages do what all effective marketing does and has always done since the invention of the printing press. They go straight to the hearts, desires and needs of the customer or potential customer.
An excellent article in Inc. magazine, 10 Things Every Customer Wants, reminds us of what customers and prospects want and need – and always will. The article was published in 2013 but was relevant long before and will remain central to what people value most from an organization, no matter the industry or offering.
As an aside, research cited in the article offers even more gems. In case you want to forego the opt-in required to access those reports, here are my CliffsNotes: How would your clients describe the following: 1) The importance of your relationship with them, 2) The level of partnership they have with your executive team in setting strategy and direction, and 3) Your impact on their success. I believe answers to these questions truly define the strengths or weaknesses in our client relationships, and inform the bigger picture for our outreach efforts.
I hope the Inc. article resonates with you, and that you can use it to create the most effective messaging and call-to-action for your next outreach or campaign.
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