Businesses are all unique, no matter what they do. Whether they are selling products, providing services or creating tools, they are ultimately made up of a group of people. These people all have different goals, different values and different aims for their work. They also have a distinct set of skills that they offer their customers. This fact has a giant impact on a huge range of factors both internally and external to the business. It also impacts the way a company utilises digital marketing.
This is often counter-intuitive. After all, businesses (and the people who work in them) share a goal, primarily moving towards growth and business expansion. Most business leaders believe the biggest defining factors for their marketing are primarily to drive profits by focusing on sales and the activity which drives sales. There may also be some focus on the deliverables – ie. the products and services they provide – but the key goal for any marketing is to lead to greater sales.
When we sit down with a new client we will ask them about their ideas and how we can support them, only to hear them say ‘more sales’. This is a missed opportunity to discuss how a digital marketing campaign may be applied most effectively. Marketing activity should always align with the way a business operates and its overall objectives, or it can risk costing more and achieving less.
What is the purpose of digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a support mechanism that enhances and expands a company’s activity. This could mean helping explain what the company does to a greater audience in their existing market, reaching a new target market or even showing how they can meet a particular need effectively to their clients.
Digital marketing is often seen as a sales tool that can boost sales, but it can only ever expand something which already exists. For example, that would be showcasing a product, telling a story (finding the emotional triggers that lead to greater interest) or helping customers become part of the journey to an improved future.
The more clearly the message(s) and market are defined, the more effective any digital marketing will be at supporting the overall objective. If the right message is delivered at the right time to the right group of people, this can effectively supercharge sales.
Finding the right way to focus your time and attention with a digital marketing strategy often requires focusing on the business and the proposition. Again, the goal of digital marketing is to amplify what is already there and use it to create something remarkable. It needs to be something that your target market wants to engage with, talk about and share with their peers.
The best way to achieve this is to understand what kind of company you are.
Charming companies have a clear focus on their customer and the specific requirements they have. They often know the best elements of existing products and services and have tailored their offering for an audience to make a water-tight proposition that is hard to ignore. Their focus is often specific to those elements that they know will appeal to their core demographic.
These are also known as market-driven companies and are recognised for their ability to meet specific short-term needs exceptionally well. They often provide a single class of stable products and services which are easy to understand and explain.
Examples include: Quickbooks, IKEA, Starbucks, De Beers, Sony, Adobe, Apple.
Charismatic companies are product makers. They capture attention and lead the way with innovation. They may not have a specific market in mind but often have a handle on new tools and techniques. Their offerings can fundamentally change the way that companies think about challenges and the way solve them.
These companies tend to be thought of as market-makers and can offer huge potential to their clients. Their services and products can be harder to explain and also change often (adding new services and capabilities), which can make learning and utilisation more difficult.
Examples include: Chat GPT, Meta, Udemy, Spotify, Amazon, Canva.
Defining your marketing strategy
We live in a world where impact matters, but the speed at which you work matters a lot.
If you are a charming company with a narrow focus, then digital marketing is a powerful route to grow your business, through advertising and SEO. Defining your core goal as a business, listening to customer feedback and using this to refine a message and tools to stay on top of key industry trends will lead to long-term sustained growth.
“Three plus years ago, we were a company focused on tax and accounting, a platform company, but focused on solving those two fundamental problems. And we wanted to be a company that helped firms make ends meet, helped you save money, helped you get out of debt, and succeed as a small business. That shift led to our five big bets. For us, speed of impact is everything. We live in a world where impact matters, but the speed at which you work matters a lot.”
Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.
If you are a charismatic innovative company, then it can be more tricky to define the correct route and spending can easily get out of control. The best approach is to focus on your customer needs. This may mean creating up-to-date training, educational content and documentation to ensure they can use the products effectively.
“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”
– Jeff Bezos, Former CEO of Amazon
A community tends to form around innovative products that will need regular support and guidance. Having your marketing resources focused on community management with incentives such as referral bonuses is a cost-effective route to growing sales over time.
Have a meaningful discussion about your company
When it comes to the way we help companies grow, we ensure that we have the right strategy from day one. That means having discussions focused on outcomes for our clients. You can learn more about our client work in our case studies section, but we would love to set up a conversation and discuss how we can help you achieve the success you are looking for.