6 marketing goals you should set in 2021 to support your business vision
Increase brand awareness
Empower your email subscribers
Build brand ambassadors
Boost your sales through referral programs
Identify customer behaviour change
Increase website traffic with guest content
Let’s talk about each of them.
1. Increase brand awareness
If a stranger approached you in the street offering to be your friend would you accept? I can’t speak for you but I’m sure my answer would be I can’t be friends with someone I don’t know.
It’s the same with your brand: why do expect your customers to buy your products if they are not aware of your brand? That’s why brand awareness is an essential part of brand building. Brand awareness is a process leading to sales. The first stage of an effective sales funnel is awareness followed by interest, decision and action.
Brand awareness is also an ongoing process. Coca-Cola is the leading global soft drinks company and has been on the market for 128 years. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t drunk a bottle of Coke in their life or is unable to recognize the brand’s iconic logo. This happens thanks to the company investing billions of dollars in campaigns. More precisely, $4 billion each year since 2015 to market its drinks to consumers around the world. If the company didn’t commit to this goal of maintaining and increasing brand awareness year after year, it would quickly lose the top spot and market share.
So how do you increase your brand’s awareness? It certainly helps to have a big budget but that’s not everything.
Let’s explore ways that you can increase awareness for your brand!
Share of voice
Marketing effectiveness expert Les Binet recommends that brands should run both sales activation and brand building campaigns but tweak the balance to 75% brand building and 25% activation.
Binet’s research found that sales activation delivers short-term sales volume while brand-building campaigns lead to long-term growth and higher sales volumes. Learn about brand awareness and why SOV (share of voice) is important for your brand (with examples).
As a business owner, you are competing with other businesses in your market for the attention of your customer base. What if you took a different approach and choose to build brand partnerships instead of competing with each other?
Here are 9 benefits of brand partnerships:
- Sharing customer bases;
- Break into new markets;
- Expanding your customer base;
- Lead-generating opportunities;
- Brand strengths are amplified through collaboration;
- A great experience for the customers;
- Enhanced brand awareness and exposure.
If you decide that partnering is a good strategy for your company, there are factors you need to consider for a successful brand partnership before you draft your first contract.
Standing up for your brand’s values
Brands are no longer setting the pace for its consumers. In fact, it’s the other way around – consumers have the upper hand over brands.
Over the past few years, consumer behaviour reports have highlighted this fact: it’s important for consumers to see their favourite brands act on their beliefs and values.
A 2018 study from Shelton Group found that 86% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues and said they’d purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.
There are many examples of big brands taking a stand on social issues and receiving praise from the public (Nike’s Dream Crazy, UK supermarket chain Iceland and its Say Hello to Rang-tan ad, Barbie’s Close the dream gap) while other brands are facing backlash for failing to engage with their customers’ needs and expectations and their outdated marketing (Victoria’s Secret).
2. Empower your email subscribers
Email marketing done right outperforms social media in terms of reach, CTR, conversion rate and ROI.
And by outperforming ROI I mean 42:1 which means for every dollar spent, your company’s return is 42 dollars.
To get this high of an ROI, you need to focus on the words done right.
First, make sure you don’t make these 5 email marketing mistakes and second, update your buyer’s persona especially at the pain points and dreams categories.
What stands between them and their goals? What are they dreaming to achieve? What do they need to meet their objectives? Find out what they need and give it to them.
Of course, your email marketing strategy should include sales-focused emails, but maintain a balance between promotional content and non-promotional content. If you don’t know what that balance is, you can start with the 80-20 rule of thumb: 20% sales content and 80% empowering content.
Once you have identified what empowering content looks like for your customers, invest your resources into designing the ways in which to deliver that content. Infographics, video, expert quotes, listicles, how-tos, links to in-depth articles etc.
Find a way in line with your brand goals to reward your most engaged subscribers.
Also, create the opportunity for your subscribers to get to know each other. The end objective of your email marketing strategy is to empower your subscribers individually and transform them into a community.
3. Build brand ambassadors
In 2018, marketing software provider Hubspot said goodbye to the marketing funnel and hello to the customer flywheel.
The shift happened when the company noticed that customers were purchasing HubSpot products after they have been recommended by their friends, already HubSpot customers.
The situation was that word of mouth was selling HubSpot products instead of the company’s marketing efforts.
The customer flywheel is not a funnel but a process where customers feed growth. The Customer Flywheel leverages the enthusiasm of existing customers and turns it into a driving force for attracting new customers.
What makes the flywheel spin faster and faster? Increased force and reduced friction. The more force with less friction applies to the flywheel, the faster it spins.
Once the flywheel gains momentum, it can spin forever with little effort from the company. Momentum comes from retaining customers and transforming them into brand ambassadors leading to increased customer retention and brand loyalty.
4. Boost your sales through referral programs
A referral program is a word-of-mouth marketing tactic that encourages customers to advocate on behalf of your brand.
The purpose of a referral program is to attract new leads. Compared to other lead generation tactics, the leads that referral programs generate are better because their profile is more likely to match that of your customers.
This means more qualified leads and less time and resources used by your company to nurture and engage them.
Referral programs have higher chances to succeed because they leverage the power of peer-to-peer marketing and one of Cialdini’s Principles of Influence: social proof. The social proof principle states that people will look to the actions of others to determine their own. Man is by nature a social animal: we are influenced by our environment and our friends.
Statistics support this: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads (Nielsen).
5. Identify customer behaviour change
Thomas Cook was the world’s first travel agency, one of the leading companies in the leisure travel industry present in 17 countries, owned an airline and operated thousands of hotels around the world.
In 2019, Thomas Cook ceased its operations leaving around 600,000 tourists overseas including 150,000 British citizens. It was the UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation.
One of the reasons that led to Thomas Cook’s failure was this: the company missed the opportunity to include Millennials among its customers.
When Millennials entered the market, it was obvious that the market had to change. The Millennials would rather take more short trips i.e. city breaks throughout the year rather than one big vacation package. Also, Millennials behaved differently than their parents or grandparents in that they planned their own itineraries, used digital tools (like Airbnb or Booking.com), focused on transformational experiences and were influenced by social media or user-generated content (source).
The company failed to acknowledge this change in behaviour and adapt its offer to cater to the needs of this new type of customer. This and other factors contributed to the failure of Thomas Cook.
6. Increase website traffic with guest content
Does your company use social media as a marketing channel? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.
According to the latest statistics, 77.6% of small businesses report using social media to promote their businesses.
What would your company do if Facebook, Instagram or YouTube suddenly disappeared?
That’s right, all your efforts would have been in vain. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t use any social media channels for your company. Only that you shouldn’t invest all your resources in them.
What you should do is invest a large portion of your resources into driving traffic to your website. Remember that social media platforms are rented space whereas your website is owned, you control what happens in your house.
To increase your website traffic consider featuring guest content on your company blog.
Guest content is a great way to expand your reach and increase brand awareness.
In order to achieve this goal, it’s essential that you choose the right contributing authors for your brand.
Whoever you choose, note that your brand will be associated with that particular contributor.
Make sure that your brand’s values are aligned with your contributor’s values.
And most importantly: the best guest content contributor is the one that your audience follows organically.
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