Whether you are in startup mode or your brand is fully established, your overall goal as a CMO is to help grow it into something bigger that solves problems for more people and provides a greater source of revenue and profitability as a return on the investment of your time and money. Yes I know, easier said than done.
And, while some growth has happened for your company, you might be feeling like you’ve hit a plateau and could use some new marketing strategies that will stimulate further business.
Here are 10 ways that you can change your marketing strategies to stimulate further growth:
1. Expand, but not to serve everyone, everything. When planning which markets and audience demographics to target, it's a big mistake to think you need to go into niches that are beyond your comfort zone or where you are not necessarily the entire audience will even be interested in the product or service you are marketing.
Your business can’t be everything to everybody because you will end up doing everything badly and dilute the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.
Don’t multitask your way to business growth but thoughtfully expand with additions to your business that enhance and align with your current offering through ongoing market research that provides credible evidence that the marketing will provide significant ROI.
2. Measure your current marketing initiatives and test new ones. In order to know how to change your trajectory with your marketing efforts, it’s critical that you determine what’s stimulating growth and what isn’t. In the past, marketing was a hit and miss approach because, with some tactics, you never really knew if it was making a difference despite spending all that money.
3. Invest in talent: It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of new products, markets, and audience segments as central to your growth strategy when, in actual fact, investing in new talent could be one of the most effective strategies on this list. It’s an investment that pays one of the largest returns because it's the talent is what offers good ideas, passionately enacts your strategies, and builds relationships with the audience. To ensure that your growth plans are aligned with your budget, consider using freelancers and other outsource talent that you can find on sites like iFreelance and Guru where there is a world of marketing talent that you can leverage. Later on, you can consider adding these freelancers in a full-time position as your resources allow.
4. Take a vacation. It may sound like the last thing you’d want to do since you are in the midst of helping to grow the company, but you need some downtime to decompress, step away, reflect and recharge. As a marketer, you need time away to stimulate that creativity and passion that is required for your position. While it is ok to burn that midnight oil from time to time, your mental and physical exhaustion could be stopping you from a light bulb moment or have you operating at a much lower cognitive rate to drive growth. After all, when you work your muscles at the gym, it’s sleep that helps them build themselves up into something bigger from all that effort you expelled. The same goes for how you work out at your business.
5. Inspire the marketing and sales team to greatness. While adding the aforementioned talent above is a great growth strategy, it’s not enough to just hire a bunch of people to build out your marketing and sales team. You need to incite them to do more and elevate their passion for motivating them further. Their effort and enthusiasm can then propel the company forward because customers will feel their infectious excitement for what they are doing plus the products and services you produce will be that much better for it.
Spend time with your team, listen to their needs and deliver on them, and share your dreams with them. They look to you for direction and inspiration.
6. Add channels where it makes sense. If you are an offline business, consider including and marketing an online channel to reach more prospects. If you are completely online, you might also want to think about a pop-up shop or kiosks to reach new audience members or just simply offer an additional way for your customers to shop with you.
Don’t forget that mobile has become one of the largest channels so have a mobile marketing strategy to interact with customers here. Today’s audiences don’t necessarily prefer one channel over the other so expanding your marketing and sales efforts into multiple channels is a way to capture more of these fickle customers.
7. Enhance the experience effect of doing business with you. The recent trends have illustrated that growth definitely doesn’t have to come from new products and services but simply from creating a memorable experience for your customers. This involves doing more for them that increases those “feel good” intangibles that come from interacting with a store, retailer, or service provider. Your marketing strategies should include personalizing and customizing each customer’s experience to their liking based on the data that you have been compiling on them. This might be individual promotions based on special dates in their life or past purchases. Tailoring content that they can also use is another good example of enhancing the customer experience for ongoing purchases.
8. Turn to technology to streamline processes for more personalized campaigns. Make the most from the new technology available that uses machine learning to more quickly understand your audience and then deliver the most personalized interactions possible. This is the way marketing is going so it’s time to jump on board now with the use of chatbots, automated messaging, and personalized content delivery. This technology can do what a human or even large team of humans could never achieve, so take advantage of it to reach more people quickly with messaging just for them.
9. Spend more time on direct customer and prospect interaction. Since there is technology to automate and even do some of the most basic marketing work, use the additional time you now have to focus more on direct interaction with customers and prospects. Joining social media conversations and hosting online live video chats are two ways to spend more one-on-one time with the audience and start nurturing more personal relationships with those who you want to call customers.
10. Form a strategic partnership or alliance. The idea is that two or more are always better than one in terms of sharing resources, knowledge, networks and skill sets. Often, marketing can use these alliances to create exciting campaigns where the audiences of both brands get value from the partnership, including shared promotions. Aligning with a similar type of business where your products and/or services complement each other can generate significant growth opportunities. This can mean putting a fitness product and workout plan together or perhaps it’s a meal delivery service and a catering company. In both cases, each business is helping fuel the growth of the other by combining forces and offering something of greater value to a larger audience.
While you may not plan on enacting all these growth strategies because they are not applicable to your business type or available resources, many of them can provide the necessary boost to your growth platform to take your company to its next level.
Today’s Chief Marketing Officer is tasked with many demands, made even more challenging with the ever-evolving digital domain.
Download The Data Driven CMO to see how leading CMOs skillfully decipher, understand, and leverage the abundance of available data to engage with customers.