Sometimes new marketing ideas give me pause for thought. I know a lot of “best practices.” But best practices change. And just knowing them is different from taking action on them. And implementing them at all is different from doing them well.
I want to share a few of the fresh perspectives from this year’s Business Marketing Association conference that made me think about the marketing programs I’m working on – and hopefully spark a new idea or two for you.
Create Emotional Connections
This isn’t your old-school notion of using logic and reason to convince a target audience that your solution is better than the competition’s solution because of X, Y and Z features. While your audience will, at some point in their buyer’s journey, need to know the nitty-gritty details of your offering and how it works, in the new era of marketing, it’s just as important to create an emotional connection. As the lines between our work and personal lives gray, we find ourselves presented with an opportunity to engage prospects in a moving brand experience – one that shows how your solution ties into their everyday lives. When you make a meaningful connection, your prospect will bother to learn more about you and your offering.
That subtitle – Millennials Matter – may sound like a generalization… but it’s true. By the end of next year, two thirds of business decisions will be made by Millennials, according to Jim Lecinski, VP Americas Customer Solutions at Google. And that’s why you CAN’T generalize when it comes to targeting them. Statistics and best practices around communicating with Millennals abound. But as is always the case when considering the buyers making the purchase decisions, different segments are driven by different motivations. Always err on the side of a hyper-targeted approach and consider the unique attributes of your audiences.
A Tool That’s Not Technology
As marketing and sales technologies have proliferated, much focus has been placed on which to choose to help us execute and optimize our programs. But there’s one tool that goes un-talked about – your own gut. When technology is leading you down a path that doesn’t seem right, take a step back and ask yourself why. Put thinking first. You’re the one with experience marketing to your prospects and with the knowledge to put together the complex marketing puzzle – of which technology is just one piece.
My Last Note
As I saw at the BMA conference, many organizations are making major marketing strides. You can too. Just challenge your assumptions about “best practices,” and push your team to take risks. In the end, you’ll be writing the new best practices.
About the Author
Kelly creates ambitious and unique strategies to hit business goals. She’s passionate about understanding what makes people tick and connecting clients to their top prospects.