I have stumbled upon (what feels like) a million blogs, books, whitepapers, infographics, and webinars all claiming to provide the secret formula for marketing success. Many first-time business owners frantically search for a guaranteed strategy that takes the guesswork out of their marketing efforts in order to increase brand visibility and accelerate sales. You probably clicked on my blog because the headline sparked your curiosity. Maybe it even filled your head with endless possibilities; what is the secret to marketing? How do I increase my sales with Facebook? What time should I post at? How do I get more likes? Radio or billboard? Let’s face it, we are living in a fast-paced society where practically everyone is desperately seeking out solutions to increase efficiency in all aspects of their lives. So why not jump on any opportunity you can to make your life a little easier and instantly achieve the results you want? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient/magic formula/guaranteed strategy to be successful in your marketing efforts. Why?
- Trends are constantly changing & emerging. Think about it for a second. What marketing mediums did many business owners use in the 90s to the late 2000s? The Yellow Pages, newspaper classifieds, billboards, direct mail, and with the boom of the internet, many companies invested all of their marketing dollars in e-commerce websites and online banners. Would all of these approaches work presently? Depending upon your business, probably not. Plus, there are many other mediums that now exist that will give you a much better ROI. What may have been the “perfect marketing strategy” in 2006 would render itself useless today.
- No two businesses are identical. Every single business requires their own marketing strategy based on the goals they wish to achieve and their allotted marketing budget. There are multiple factors that contribute to a business’ marketing strategy—the business’ brand, industry, demographics, and competitive environment to name a few—and each factor should contribute and impact each business’ marketing plan differently.
- Brand personality is important. If there really was a “cookie cutter formula” it would be just that—cookie cutter. Every single business would have the same branding, message, and personality. Branding is an absolutely critical component of a company’s marketing strategy. It is the responsibility of each business to create their own brand which is based upon the company’s vision, mission, culture, objectives and more. Your goal should be to differentiate your brand from all others. How could you accomplish this by using a strategy that all other businesses are using?
- Marketing is all about trial and error. Sure, a “perfectly crafted” marketing strategy that could be rolled out in a day would be great, but it would likely become stagnant at some point. Think about your favourite brand. How many times have they switched up their marketing? It’s important for businesses to experiment with various strategies and make changes as needed. That “perfect” strategy you use today may be irrelevant in a year or even months.
So what should you do? Firstly, don’t fall for the gimmicks of “guaranteed” strategies. Conduct research, don’t be afraid to jump in and take risks, make adjustments and tailor your marketing strategy in a way that suits your brand. Good luck!