The practice, if not the profession, of marketing is probably nearly as old as human civilization itself. Humans have been bartering and trading for millennia, but you can’t profit off your goods and services if your target audience doesn’t know about them.
Now, however, we’ve entered a new millennium and a new era of globalization in business, meaning that companies today face unprecedented levels of competition. The marketplace has become, at last, a truly global one.
The significance of this reality for marketers is profound. Tried and true methods of marketing, those driven by and centered upon your company’s product portfolio, simply don’t have the impact they once did. Today’s consumers need, expect and want more. So if you want a marketing strategy that gets results, then there are four things you need to incorporate into your campaigns starting today.
1. Organizational goals
It used to be that consumers’ primary interest when determining which companies to give their hard-earned money to was whether the business in question produced the best products and the most affordable prices. The relationship, in other words, was largely transactional. The consumer’s principal goal was to maximize value; the producer’s goal was to maximize profits.
The relationship between businesses and consumers today, however, looks quite different. Nowadays, consumers want more than a mere profit motive from the businesses they support.
Rather, they’re looking for a clear corporate identity, a mission and a purpose that defines and directs the organization. That is why it’s imperative to illuminate and underscore your company’s vision in your marketing strategy.
By establishing global, company-wide goals and strongly integrating them into your marketing platforms, you’re going to be increasing your brand differentiation efficacy, while also supporting customer communication and awareness. Your target audience, in other words, will know who you are, what you stand for, and why you operate as you do.
2. Online customer experience
Today’s consumers aren’t just looking to do business with a company that has a definitive purpose beyond the goal of making money. They also want to patronize businesses that they have a relationship with.
This means that your marketing platform must highlight the online customer experience that your business provides to its established and prospective clients. An important attribute of this rests in elucidating how your company utilizes consumer feedback, such as through its use of online customer reviews to facilitate product development.
In this way, you demonstrate that not only can customers expect to be able to communicate with your company through direct and immediate online access, such as through the use of social media, but also that consumers can expect to be heard by the company. Showing consumers that their feedback matters is a powerful tool for demonstrating that your company truly cares about its customers and their needs. There’s perhaps no better way to win new clients and retain existing ones than that.
3. How you treat your employees
Ours truly is the era of the conscious consumer. Customers want to put their money where their heart is. They want to feel good when they make a purchase or order a service. Above all, they don’t want their money to go to some heartless, greedy corporation that abuses or exploits its employees for the sake of profit.
So one of the best ways to tailor your marketing strategy to the values of today’s consumers is to highlight how well your company treats its employees.
Outlining, for example, employee perks, such as tuition remission, free childcare or diversity and inclusivity hiring practices, will not only help you to market your company as an employer of choice but will also help attract customers who seek to do business with companies whose values align with theirs.
4. Company investment in social issues
Just as having a clear mission, definitive goals and a corporate ethos that prioritizes employee well-being will be instrumental in enhancing your marketing strategy with today’s consumers, so too will the promotion of your company’s investment in social issues.
As we’ve already seen, today’s consumers are looking for businesses with a heart, those that seek to do more than just maximize revenue. Today’s conscious consumers want to see how companies use their profits for the good of the community, for the benefit of the human family, not just their own.
For this reason, your marketing platforms should incorporate and heavily promote operational and outreach initiatives designed to advance social justice and redress societal ills. For instance, your platforms might underscore operating strategies designed to reduce carbon emissions or enhance sustainability. Similarly, if your company engages with philanthropic organizations, then the activities related to them, such as community food drives or clean-up efforts, should be documented and integrated into your marketing
The world of business has changed significantly in this era of globalization and the rise of the conscious consumer. To keep pace, you must adapt your marketing strategy. This should include the integration of four key elements into your marketing campaigns today: organizational goals, online customer experience, how you treat your employees and your company’s investment in social issues.