Marketing plays an integral role in the success of any business. In today’s competitive environment, it is extremely important for businesses to stay ahead of their competition and create strategies to help them stand out. However; staying ahead of the competition is becoming increasingly challenging as customers are becoming more demanding and competitors more strategic.
With the recent economic uncertainty, business owners face huge challenges. For many businesses, it’s becoming harder and harder to compete; especially for those industries that are oversaturated with similar products and services. Here are three marketing best practices that will help businesses to succeed, even in tough times:
Create Value for Customers
What does it mean to create value for a customer? What a customer values most can differ from person to person. Companies try to create customer value by producing products and services that will benefit their customers. Due to the Internet and other emerging technologies, consumers are better able to educate themselves on products. People are conducting more product comparisons and research in an effort to maximize the return on their investment. They want the product that will deliver the most value for what they spend.
Profitable companies have one major thing in common—they are successful at growing their business. Providing value to their customers is top priority because they know that customer loyalty and satisfaction is the key to their company’s performance. Yet due to our economic climate, growing customer value has become less of a priority for many companies as cutting costs and rebuilding balance sheets has moved to the top of the list. Now is a fantastic time for businesses to create new and improved customer-centered strategies. Companies should seek to provide higher customer satisfaction than their competitors.
Build a High Brand Equity
A former CEO of McDonald’s™ once stated, “If every asset we own, every building, and every piece of equipment were destroyed in a terrible natural disaster, we would be able to borrow all of the money to replace it very quickly because of the value of our brand….The brand is more valuable than the totality of all these assets.” Brand equity is an intangible asset. Creating a strong brand is extremely important for businesses because brands have identities and they build confidence in customers.
Brands are also recognizable and they label a product. Customers are often willing to pay more for a brand that they are familiar with, and they believe delivers quality. Companies with strong brands, such as McDonald’s™, continue to attract customers and increase sales, even when “disaster” hits.
Utilize Smart Promotional Tactics
With the growth of technology, traditional methods of promotion may not be the most effective. A survey released by the Association of National Advertisers in 2006 showed that 78 percent of advertisers felt that advertising had become less effective. There was also a separate study that showed that due to pre-recorded television shows more than 90 percent of commercials were skipped by viewers.
Internet marketing is no exception. Consumers often safeguard their computers with pop-up blockers and spam filters, making banner and pop up ads ineffective.
There are major factors that are altering the face of traditional marketing communications. It is important that businesses stay on top of trends and technological advancements. Companies that are successful are able to adapt and leverage these changes to their advantage. They are able to utilize tools such as, social media and the Internet to shape their promotional strategies.
If smart marketing tactics are implemented, businesses will not only capture customer value, but they will also attract, keep, and grow their customer base. They key is for companies to be strategic in their marketing approach. While other companies are cutting back on their spending, a good best practice would be for a competing company to amplify their customer relationship management programs and activities; or increase their level of smart advertising and promotion. With sound marketing practices, businesses are more likely to rise above their competition and increase their market share.
Philip Kotler, G. A. (2010). Principles of Marketing. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.
About the Author: Venus Fisher is an instructor at Rasmussen College – School of Business in Romeoville, IL college campus. In this role, she instructs students seeking a business degree. She has worked in the field of Business for over 12 years as an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and manager. Venus Fisher also holds a MBA with a Marketing concentration from Roosevelt University. In addition to teaching courses, Venus serves as the Chair of the Romeoville Campus Learning and Teaching Committee and is a member of the Academic Assessment Committee at Rasmussen College.