In our never-ending search for the “perfect marketing campaign,” we as marketers can occasionally get trapped into thinking that “outside the box” is better.
Sometimes, it’s simply better to focus on our core competencies. When push comes to shove, we as people, and as organizations as a whole, naturally gravitate to who we are and what we know best. We do this because it’s where our expertise lies.
Embracing the old cliché, “You are what you are,” isn’t always a bad thing in marketing—if who and what you are comes from a position of trust, integrity, innovation, and forward-thinking.
In business terms, “You are what you are” simply translates to, “Core competency.” We all have them, and they’re largely responsible for what make us the most money.
When we sell within our core competencies, we have the most success, and the least amount of resistance. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t step outside our core competencies, or that growth in other markets or verticals isn’t possible. But in the Digital Age of the “Long Tail,” growth into adjoining markets doesn’t happen if our own core competencies aren’t covered.
How do we monitor our success at our core competencies? The answers are basic, but bear reviewing:
- Be data-hungry. Grab as much data as you can reasonable manage.
- Make sure your systems are giving you the right data. Over the last two years, we have been consistently surprised by a number of performance metrics that we had never considered important to our marketing process, but ended up being critical.
- If there are gaps in your visibility, fill them. It continues to shock us here at XANT how much money people are willing to throw away on useless marketing because they didn’t want to spend what ultimately amounted to a pittance to get the right data management tools.
- Vigorously explore the end-to-end customer cycle, from lead and prospect responses early on, until the day the customer’s contract runs out. Align marketing and sales activities from square one. Are your salespeople’s actions and terminologies consistent with what’s being portrayed on your Google ads and landing pages? Do all of the patterns of communication you engage with your customers line up to hit your bottom line? Our company discovered that aligning marketing copy to what our sales people were actually selling paid huge dividends.
- Ask your clients–sincerely–where your most valuable contribution to their organization lies. We’ve based entire marketing campaigns on areas of value that we didn’t even realize we were addressing–until we talked to our clients.
To use another cliché in conclusion: Remember that if you’re going to fight a battle, make sure you’re fighting over the right territory.