Let’s start off by discussing what marketing is. According to the American Marketing Association (from Wikipedia)…
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market, as in shopping, or going to a market to buy or sell goods or services.”
The above tasks are by no means easy, especially now during our less than stellar economy. Marketers have fascinating yet challenging jobs that essentially boil down to making business work. I was thinking about a few things that marketers can do to help improve their game and wanted to share those things with you.
Stay up to date with technology
Technology is shaping how we market to and build relationships with our users. We have tools that let you communicate to the world instantly, social networks that allow you to build fan pages, applications that can tell what store carries a particular product and for how much, etc. As a marketer you need to be aware of the new technologies out there and how they could potentially impact how you do business.
Create conversations not broadcasts
Broadcast messages are dead, they are just too easy to ignore and tune out. Instead of focusing on creating broadcast messages to large groups of people, shift strategies and try to create conversations with your marketing tactics. The more flow of information you can create the better.
Communicating the new
It’s no secret that the marketing landscape is changing. It’s not enough to just want to be a part of the new type of marketing. You have to be able to understand why you want to be a part of it and how to communicate that to senior execs. Take twitter as a simple example. Would you be able to justify using twitter for business to your boss? Part of marketing is being unique and standing out, being the “purple cow;” the other part is communicating why and how you are going to become that “purple cow.” Desire and ideas will only get you so far, you have to back up your actions and decisions.
Metrics and measurement
Part of being an effective marketer is the ability to show results. How do you do this? by identifying metrics that tie in with your marketing objectives and then showing those metrics increasing. How do you justify the cost for a billboard ad or a television commercial? How do you justify creating a facebook fan page or a twitter account? Learn how to use online analytics and measurement tools and make sure you understand how to correlate your metrics with your actions.
Listening and responding
As a marketer you should be keenly listening to, observing, and engaging in the conversations and discussions that are going on around your product or service. Pay attention to what your users want and don’t want what they like and don’t like. Technology has created virtually free ways for marketers to monitor their brand and create online focus groups. Much of the information a marker needs can be found online for free (or can be gathered). If your customers complain, listen, if they talk to you, respond. This is how you can keep your conversations from turning into broadcasts.
There are several other things that can be added to this list but I’d rather hear from you. What are some of your tips for becoming a better a marketer?