So it’s been a while since I updated this series but as I promised in my New Year, New Goals post, it shall be completed! At this point I think it’s worth reminding you of what we’ve discussed so far:
Part 1: The importance of having a plan and where to start
Part 2: ‘Waging war’ start marketing
Part 3: An introduction to marketing strategy
Part 4: An introduction to tactical marketing
Part 5: Creating a marketing map
Part 6: Create your own marketing path
Part 7: Organise and lead your way to marketing success
So, in this post I’m going to talk to you about varying your tactics, and by tactics I mean the actions you take to execute your marketing strategy. In warfare it’s prudent to vary your tactics, in order to avoid swift defeat. In business it’s prudent to do the same with your marketing tactics in order to maintain a competitive edge. I touched on this in part 5 when I spoke about using a mix of direct and indirect tactics as part of your marketing map. In this post I want to take that idea a little further with 4 top tips for switching it up a bit and getting creative with your marketing actions.
1. Markets change and your marketing needs to stay in sync
The fact of the matter is that rapid advancement in both technology and knowledge across many sectors means that markets change regularly. In turn, marketing tactics also need to change to remain relevant.
Example: The web hosting industry
Just a few years ago the main people interested in web hosting were web developers and designers, back then advertising in print titles like Web Designer and .NET was sufficient to reach this target group. However, since then the market has fragmented drastically, now many people want to host their own websites; from student to photographers, mummy bloggers to, one-man-bands. This means that print advertising alone is no longer an effective marketing strategy. Many web hosting companies still advertise in print but their marketing mix also includes, social media, content marketing, display advertising and so much more.
Tip: Vary your marketing in line with market trends
2. Your business will change and evolve your marketing should too
The marketing tactics that got you to your present may not be sufficient to get you to your future. For example when launching a business or product many companies use above the line channels such as TV, print, radio etc. to attract new customers. After launch the focus often moves to retaining and nurturing customers through tactics such as email newsletters, regular social media updates and special customer offers.
Starbucks social media success has been well documented and continues to be central to it’s marketing strategy. Gaining such a huge social media following has allowed the company to add to it’s marketing mix with initiatives such as My Starbucks Idea. A crowdsourcing initiative which is used to facilitate customer engagement, social media activity and market research.
Tip1: Vary your marketing tactics to match your changing business needs
Tip2: Add new tactics to complement and build on the success of old tactics
3. Sometimes it’s not the marketing channel that becomes redundant it’s the method
Sometimes it’s not that the channel isn’t working it’s the way it’s being used that isn’t working. Sometimes simply varying the way you use a channel is enough of a change.
- Instead of just posting social media updates try hosting a live Twitter Chat, The Content Marketing Institute do a great job of these, follow #CMWorld
- Instead of display/banner advertising try native advertising
- Instead of standard print ads try advertorials
Tip: Try a variety of tactics using the same channel
4. Be courageous ‘cowardice leads to capture’
Don’t be afraid to try something new, benchmarks are cool but don’t be afraid to create your own path. However a note of caution, don’t be reckless, start by testing and in addition don’t be provoked by your competitors into change.
Tip: The range of marketing tactics is broader than ever, experiment and have fun
As the saying goes ‘variety is the spice of life’ and it’s often a good thing to switch things up a bit, here are some great marketing examples that might inspire you.