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3 Things to Remember When Marketing Your Brand

image credit: Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Marketing is a fascinating career. Throughout my time in the field, I’ve had the privilege of working within a variety of industries – agriculture, biotech, electric utilities, oil and gas, telecom, financial services and analytics.

Some hiring managers look for a subject matter expert in a given industry as their primary search criteria for hiring a marketer, I would argue that a top marketer can succeed in any industry if you remember three basic things (of course there’s more than that but come on – I’m in marketing – people like things in threes).

Keep it simple. Why do we like to overcomplicate things? Companies often rely on industry jargon, long-winded explanations and – THE WORST – acronyms to drive their marketing campaings.  

“Casey, this is the utility industry. Everyone knows what an AMI MDMS solution with a DERMS SaaS offering is. No need to spell any of that out in the sell sheet.”

Really? I have been told this type of thing so many times across so many industries. Even if my colleagues were correct – that the acronyms were easily understood – how boring! What about instead focusing on why we’re different, what problems we’re solving and why our customers need us?

Think about it as an ordinary consumer. We are bombarded with messages daily on what gym to join, car to buy or bank to trust. Most of the time, we lead with our personal feelings or connection to a brand. That can be equated to our business lives as well. If our customers don’t understand what our company or product can do for them, how can they start to feel connected?

Be real and go where your customers are. This builds off my first point. Who says we can’t use conversational tone of voice in B2B marketing? We’re all human. And most of us like to speak to humans, not robots – and dare I say we even appreciate humor?

That is one of the main reasons for the rise in influencer marketing. It’s really a fascinating phenomenon. In addition to my friends, local businesses and Pink, I follow a few random people/”influencers” on Instagram because they are funny, have interesting content or share my mutual loves of food and fitness. And then suddenly, BAM they hit me with a meal kit delivery ad (swipe up and use my code for 20% off at Hello Fresh) or workout clothes (#fableticsambassador). And even if I wasn’t considering these purchases previously, I am clicking the link to learn more. (Maybe I do need some new yoga pants…)

My point is, if you can find a way to meet your audience where they already are, and present your brand in an appealing, real, conversational way, potential customers who may have not normally considered your product are more likely to at least give your link a click.

Listen, learn and adjust. This one can be tough. Everyone has his or her own agenda. It’s unavoidable. But try your best to push it to the side and listen to others. It’s one of the best ways to learn and ultimately grow your brand or make it more appealing. This could be at an industry conference, when visiting a customer or when a peer is presenting in a meeting.

I honed this craft over many years as an interviewer. Remember when I mentioned I worked in agriculture? Well, one of my tasks in that role was to drive across states like Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois and interview farmers. (Looking back at it 10+ years later I feel like this was pretty darn dangerous. I was a twenty-something traveling through the middle of nowhere alone in a car before GPS technology was mainstream… But I digress.)

Though it may seem like interviewing is easy – just read off your list of questions, record the answers and your done – it is so much more than that. While you may start off with your initial list of questions, as you listen to the responses, a good interview builds organically. There have been so many times that I’ve thrown the questions out the window because I got the answers, I needed from focusing on the conversation – not the question set.

The second part to listening is using what you learned to improve. This feedback loop is broken at so many companies. Imagine all the conversations your employees are having with customers. How could you effectively capture that information to improve your product or customer experience? If you can figure that out as a company, you will find major advantage over your competitors.   

Interested in talking marketing? Connect with me on LinkedIn or leave me a comment!

Casey Novak's picture

Thank Casey for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 10, 2020 11:17 pm GMT

Companies often rely on industry jargon, long-winded explanations and – THE WORST – acronyms to drive their marketing campaings.  

You mean not everyone likes the alphabet soup that seems to define utility conversations? Just kidding, but yes these are hard enough for those in the industry to keep straight, and it's always better to break down barriers to entry to understanding what's going on, not build them up

Casey Novak's picture
Casey Novak on Feb 11, 2020 12:09 am GMT

Thanks for the read, Matt!

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