Over the course of my career, I have worked with many different types of clients, and the ones who are most often successful are those who remain open to change. Being open to change can be a key strategy in your marketing success. This does not necessarily equate to risk taking (although good marketing requires taking some risks), but speaks more to the need to remain flexible in thought and approach to developing marketing strategies.
One thing’s certain and that is, things have changed over the years. Most basically, the method of reaching customers is no longer based solely on an “interruption” model but is now more of an “inbound” approach. And you will always hear us say at Haley, in staffing the best approach tends to be a mix of inbound and targeted direct marketing designed to create attraction. Because of this, we consider that the client has a clear shift in power. They can determine both how and what they see. However, that part may not be too much of a change, as the client has always had the option of throwing away your mailings without reading them. Until recently, you really had no ability to see open rates, or track on a truly intimate level the amount of success with any marketing you may have done in the past.
While we note that things have changed, know that marketing fundamentals are really the same; it’s only the media landscape that has changed. Savvy marketing does not rely on the tools used, but in knowing which tools to use, for what purpose and when. Recognizing not only who your audience is, but also how they choose to communicate, and then being willing to make a shift or try different things, can make for a successful marketing campaign.
Here are some things to consider in taking an open-minded approach to your marketing:
- Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t get trapped in a routine of doing things simply because they have worked in the past. Ask yourself if you are taking the same approach, simply because that’s the way you have always done things. Typically, to reach a new audience and grow your business, you will have to reach out in a new way.
- Remember to speak to your audience, not yourself. Educate yourself about your audience. Find out where they are, what they like and dislike, and decide how you can creatively reach them. Just because something appeals to you (colors, images, phrases) does not mean it will appeal to the audience you are trying to attract.
- Embrace the unknown and trust your instincts. Nothing in life is certain. Accept that you may not know exactly what will work until you try it. This can be difficult, but if you are working with a good marketing team they will be honest with you about potential results in any given approach and be able to advise you and develop a sound plan. Sometimes you must try different things to learn what will work best.
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Perhaps intelligent marketing is measured by the ability to change the way you are marketing. Again, being open to change does not mean you have opened yourself to risk. It simply means you are willing to listen to new ideas and shift into something new. One thing in marketing will always remain the same – whatever mechanism you choose to reach your customers, it must be engaging and attract their attention. I also suspect there will always be a need to remain flexible and creative in marketing approaches, to be able to grow any business.