All Marketing Strategy Blogs

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 3: Be Flexible

At VI, we track our client’s customers by using a marketing funnel. In descending order, our funnel stages look like this: Attract, Educate, Engage and Convert. But… what happens after conversion? Sometimes we need to consider brand loyalty programs if one of our objectives is to cultivate loyalty.

Loyalty matters.

In 2009, during the heat of a recession, Hyundai started a promotion in conjunction with Walkaway USA that allowed anyone who purchased a Hyundai in the past year and suffered a job loss or bankruptcy to return the vehicle and walk away from the loan obligation. This, along with Hyundai’s unmatched 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty, helped the automaker go from the lowest-end option on the market in the 1990s to a trusted, dependable choice for middle-class Americans. The brand was reborn. This type of thinking comes from marketing that goes beyond the thought that the customer journey is a one-way street. Brands like Hyundai understand that winning trust, along with building and maintaining relationships, is the lifeblood of a brand.

Posted Nov 12, 2018

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 2: Understand Customer Journeys

At VI, we use a marketing funnel to help implement strategy and deploy tactics in a timely manner. Using the funnel as a marketing tool has served us well, but like every effective instrument, it’s healthy to fine-tune from time to time. We strive to stretch our thinking by trying to innovate regardless of our customer journey model. There are many other customer journey tools, approaches and theories around, and many of them offer valuable insight on the decision process.

Posted Oct 15, 2018

Defining Your Marketing Goals, Objectives, and KPIs

The goal of this blog is to educate you on the difference between marketing goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

The objective of this blog is to give you at least one real takeaway that helps you develop a marketing plan. That plan must be easily communicated and executed by any professional marketer who reads it.

Our key performance indicators for this blog are: the number of persons who click on it to read the entire blog on our website www.vimarketingandbranding.com; the number of persons who share this blog; and the number of comments the blog receives, all in the first 30 days of its publication.

 
Posted Oct 1, 2018

Fine-Tuning Your Marketing Funnel Part 1: Customers Hold the Control

At VI, we like to explain a customer journey as a marketing funnel. As with most things marketing-related, there are no sure things. Understanding the customer journey better, however, allows us to be much more accurate when it comes to predicting and projecting customer behavior. And that means a greater ROI for our clients. Here are a few things to keep in mind…

A customer journey is no longer linear or as predictable as it once was.

Customers can enter and exit their decision path (and do) anytime they please. They can change directions, and even turn around. While this might be unsettling for some brands and marketers — because it means things are less predictable — it also gives marketing more power to leverage the brand in unique ways. Understanding this new model of behavior will allow us to dream up new ways to reach our customers — above and beyond our current arsenal. When considering the current universe of options, it’s important to realize which channel is most favored for different brands/products. In other words, TV might be the best way to showcase a hospital while SEO might be a better approach when selling a car. It’s critical to focus on the most influential channels, that way we can become a brand under consideration.

Posted Sep 18, 2018

VIth Sense: It’s So Good to Hear Your (Brand) Voice

There’s a simple rule about consistency in advertising design: Each execution should have a similar look so that your campaign becomes recognizable, benefitting from the frequency of each impression with your target audience. Consistency results in familiarity, which leads to trust. We marketers know it and live it. That is, until it comes to the voice of the brand. Then, consistency hardly exists for most of them.

Brand voice is just as crucial to marketing communications as design, yet most people fail to define how their brands are represented in the written or spoken word.

Pause for a moment and listen to what’s going on in your office or home. You recognize the voices without even seeing who’s talking. The same should be true for your brand. Your prospects and customers should be able to get far more than words from how you ‘speak.’

Your brand voice represents your style and attitude.

The personality and tone of your ad copy, social media posts and website copy should become synonymous with your brand.

Posted Aug 23, 2018

How to Turn Data into Marketing Strategy

As a marketing strategist, or anyone who is working towards marketing goals, your marketing mix should strategically ladder up to your objectives. Finely crafted marketing strategies should guide every touchpoint you have with your prospects and existing customers. For example, if a tactic effort you are considering doesn't fall under one of the strategies you’ve chosen, you shouldn’t do it.

Strategies are the how to help you achieve your objectives.

Okay, so how do you get there? A strategy should never be a guess, an assumption or just an idea you've brainstormed. Success as a marketer requires many things, but without data and proper marketing planning, you're really just planning to fail. 

Posted Aug 2, 2018

VIth Sense: Tracking KPIs to Improve Marketing ROI

There is ever-increasing demand these days that marketing produces a provable ROI (return on investment). And rightfully so. Marketing is indeed an investment that should pay off. And since we can better measure the effects of our marketing activities each day, it’s right to expect proof of success from our marketing spend. We provided a simple formula in our blog about how to track marketing results.

Posted Jul 24, 2018

Planning for the Consumer

As marketers, we face the challenging reality that consumers have more control now than they’ve ever had before. Consumer feedback by way of ratings is drastically shifting how we satisfy our basic human needs. Yelp! influences where we eat. Uber, how we move. Rotten Tomatoes, how we’re entertained. Travelocity, where we vacation. Rate My Professor. how we learn. And perhaps most importantly, Amazon influences what we consume. The consumer’s search for transparency has collided with humanity’s advances in technology. Digital tools of due diligence, like Amazon reviews, have drastically narrowed the gap between consumer needs and the right product or service.

Advanced Customer Experience

Customer experience is the new competitive advantage. According to a 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey, in two years’ time, 81% of marketers expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX. On paper, this stat can seem ridiculous. But in practice, it couldn’t be more intuitive.

Posted Jul 7, 2018

Age Groups Respond to Messages Differently — Are You Prepared?

A study done by the Pew Research Center in 2010 asked four different generations what made them unique. The answers varied by generation, except for one thing — each generation said they were “smarter.”This was the first thing I found when researching various generations, and it was both a funny and interesting place to start.

Posted Jun 29, 2018

VIth Sense: If You Want to Track Marketing Results, Listen to Your Customers

The modern marketer believes that marketing is so much more difficult today than ever before. There’s no captive audience watching one of four networks during primetime. There’s no printed circular that bumps your sales each Wednesday. No radio remote- broadcast from your store where people flock to meet the deejay and maybe get a free t-shirt. No e-mail blast that overloads your website. Man, it’s hard… until you start listening to your prospect.

Posted Jun 26, 2018

VIth Sense: Ecommerce Business Changes in an Instant

Never go to the grocery market hungry. If you do, you'll come home with much more than you went for, and with some items that you would never buy. That’s because when you’re hungry, everything sounds good, right? And you’re not finished shopping until you’ve grabbed a few of the impulse items at the checkout stand. It’s too easy to grab the Kit Kat and throw it in your cart.

Posted May 23, 2018

VIth Sense: Marketing Data Is Creeping Along

When we discuss targeting capabilities of various digital platforms, clients often use the term ‘creepy.’ People can be a bit uneasy with the realization that they are being targeted with ads based on their own actions, purchases and self-reported information.

Posted Apr 17, 2018