Sharing a compelling and resonating story to your audience is a goal for any brand. Andrew Davis, a keynote speaker states, “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” From a business perspective, content creation is an integral part of presenting a brand.
Nowadays, content creation is a must-have thing to effectively communicate important information. This can be through various social media channels, blogs, digital presentations, and websites, etc.
What makes the content effective?
Content strategy should be a foundation in curating effective content. Content strategy helps in documenting your marketing plan as it gives you a structure and keeps things organized. There are different ways of how we can develop a content strategy.
Firstly, understanding the ‘why’ or the purpose behind your venture. Simon Sinek, an unshakable optimist describes a golden circle as Why, How, and What? He states, “Very few people or companies can verify why they do what they do.”
Now you’d be wondering how does this relates to creating effective content?
Imagine if you don’t clearly understand your business and the value proposition, you can’t expect your customers to understand your product/services. Delivering content is about clearly understanding the value it brings to the user. If you clearly articulate why it’s worth their time then it’s like hitting a jackpot.
Secondly, customers are enticed by the art of storytelling. If you’re able to sell a story to your customer, you build brand loyalty. Let’s take the example of Apple, Steve Jobs was the one who told those stories. We’re all emotional people and Apple has always targeted emotional intelligence to sell their story. How do they do it?
- Entice the audience first and then introduce the product
- Build suspense
- Resonate or focus your story on customers successfully using your product
We understood the why behind the content but what’s the guide behind curating effective content?
How many times have you read a blog halfway and realized that it doesn’t answer your questions? Often, right? This is how you can solve this issue:
What problem are you solving for your customer and how you’re unique
The product or the service you’re trying sell solves the customer’s problem. Your content acts as an educator for the customer. This can be for the new customers who are trying to understand your product/services or the existing user who is looking for solutions to the existing challenges.
Your content is a reinforcement of your solution and this is where is you can showcase your uniqueness as a brand. Competition is always a potential threat to the business so your customers need to know how you’re different or what makes your product/services better than others. This is where content can change the decision-making process. Your content needs to sell a story and prove why you’re worth their money and why you’re worth their time.
Find your target market and brainstorm their journey
Content is about understanding who your customers are and how they interact with your brand. Who will be reading your content and how many people would be reading it?
Your content should be more than one type of customer. In terms of selling sneakers, try to publish content that is relevant to different stages of the buyer’s journey. Effective content allows the customers in decision making and move ahead with the sales process. Make sure to use different calls to action as this engages the customer.
Provide your opinions on different things
As humans, we seek validation and encouragement every day. Try to provide your opinions, quotes, or attribute other sources so that the user can relate their problems with your solutions.
Try to curate content that is customized and humanizes their problems. Link your content with third parties which align with your core values, opinions, and create that sense of community.
Make sure it’s not self-centered content because the user would be more interested in validating their problems with your brand. Further answering users’ common questions in your content allows them to connect with your brand. These can be FAQs or blogs with your current existing challenges that users may face. While curating your content, be very selective as you’re trying to sell your unique value to them. Anything which is off-track will misguide the user.
Being elegant in the way you present
The interactivity of your blog, EDMs, social media channels depends on the style of typography.
Texts are a major source of information. Your text is the medium of communication and the fonts attract the readers. Interactivity through your text is an influential intellectual as it showcases the mood or feeling.
If we take the example of storytelling again, it carries a rhythm that creates value for the readers. On average, a person goes through 5000 ads each day so how can you make that one interaction count? Users remember the fonts that you present in your visuals. It specializes and acts as an identification for the brand. Once you have a good visual, selecting a good title will attract the readers.
Outsourcing has been the optimum solution for curating effective content.
The data from B2B and B2C Content Marketing 2020 suggests that 84% of companies outsource their content creation. Why?
There are several benefits of outsourcing your content creation:
- Businesses will have more time to work on other activities like sales and operations. Many SMEs don’t have the time and expertise to create content. Trying to save money they don’t realize that content creation takes a lot of research, analyzing, and writing which can be a full-time job.
- Outsourcing allows you to publish more content and create high-quality engagement. It’s important to utilize the time efficiently so that the content writer can provide the best content and businesses can work on creating an experience.
- Outsourcing will allow you to have a different point of view. Content experts work with different industries and are experienced with what works in the market.
- Outsourcing allows you to reach a wider audience and have customized content. One of the key benefits of reaching a wider audience is being able to experiment with your content with different users.
If you’re unsure how your company can benefit from content strategy. Get in touch with us! At Robotic Marketer, it is our mission is to be the best; empowering talented marketers to produce outstanding results for small and medium-sized businesses. By constantly improving how we work, our technology, systems, and processes, we deliver the best possible marketing solutions to our clients.
As 2020 draws to a close, many entrepreneurs and business leaders are coming to terms with the underperformance of marketing tactics for the year, most notably as a result of COVID-19. This has prompted many to rethink their marketing strategy and readjust their outcome expectations. In alignment with the cardinal evolutionary practice of adapting in order to survive, companies must now make a choice: to continue as though it’s ‘business as usual,’ or to build a smart, reactive and realistic marketing strategy which responds to the current economic situation and corresponding buyer behavior.
Naturally, the only real solution for businesses who wish to stay afloat is the latter choice, which commands smart marketing strategies as a means of generating leads, increasing brand awareness and fast-tracking business growth.
First things first.
Steps required for a business to build a suitable marketing strategy
A good place to start is by readjusting expectations for performance in 2021. The marketing strategy should necessarily keep pace with the times, and that means rethinking realistic business goals for the coming year.
Furthermore, maintaining discipline when it comes to the execution of your readjusted business plan and marketing strategy is key. As the holy grail of entrepreneurship has articulated, “Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless”.
Based upon the testimonials of over 70,000 companies which successfully scaled up whilst reducing entrepreneurial contact hours, The Rockefeller Habits outline a clear path to success:
- Ensure that your management team is healthy and aligned
- Set goals on what needs to be accomplished each quarter to achieve the year-end goal.
- Align management discussions and communication with the need to ensure that not only management is clear on the vision, but the people that make it happen are clear too.
- Use project management tools like ASANA to ensure that every facet of the organization has a person assigned with accountability for ensuring that goals are met.
- Collaborate with your team and ensure that employee input is welcome and considered to identify obstacles and any opportunities as they arise.
- Collate customer feedback and analyze across data points, financial data and surveys.
- Bring your core values alive and ensure that everyone on the team understands the purpose of your company.
- Continually provide platforms for employees to articulate the key components of the company’s strategy, to ensure that the message has not become diluted and off-track.
- Bring company culture to the forefront and ensure that employees are ‘heard and seen’ and that you know whether someone has had a good day or not.
1) Set short term and long term marketing goals as part of your marketing strategy.
Setting goals within your marketing strategy clarifies what tactics are being implemented and what purpose they serve. To execute this, ensure that your marketing goals are S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
According to CoSchedule research, setting goals can improve the likelihood of success by almost four times as much as those who do not.
2) Market research
While market research can be conducted in any number of ways, platforms like Robotic Marketer are a sure-fire way to efficiently produce comprehensive marketing strategies based upon in-depth collated data.
What can market research tell us about?
- The relationship between the economy and buyer behavior
- Competitor profiles
- The specifics of what consumers want
- What factors increase the likelihood of purchases
- What trends and challenges are most pertinent in the industry
- Who industry stakeholders are
3) Conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis
A S.W.O.T. analysis helps businesses identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Articulating a S.W.O.T. analysis is vital to ensuring that your company stays on track.
While it is easy to think of, it is equally as important to write down and refer back to frequently as a means of tracking your progress. Constant reminders of the opportunities that lie ahead will keep you invested and inspired.
4) Identify customer profiles
It is the perfect time to hone in on customer profiles, investigating who customers are in order to best market to them. When building a customer profile, it is important to consider the following:
- The name of the profile
- What would incentivize this profile to buy from your business
- Profile demographics
- Buyer patterns
- Purchasing references
5) Do a competitor analysis
If you are serious about growing your business and taking market share from competitors, you will dedicate time to learning about your competition in order to ‘beat’ them. Below is a list of useful comparative platforms:
- SEM Rush
- Sprout Social
- Social Blade
6) Develop strategies that support business and marketing goals
This is the fun part. Using your analysis of the market, customers and competitors, implement the 7P’s of marketing:
- Products/services: Use tactics for SEO, blogging, social media, website, email and lead generation.
- Price: Ascertain the price point of your products and/or services, how big your database needs to be to achieve the sales goals that you have set out for your business.
- Place: Where you are marketing.
- Promotion: How are you promoting your product or service? Through events, webinars, SEO, PPC?
- Physical Evidence: How is your branding is working across all communications touchpoints. Is it consistent?
- Processes: What does your sales model look like? How does your marketing structure work? What processes do you have in place to make sure that your marketing department works like a well-oiled machine? What technologies do you use for project management?
- People: What people do you need to accelerate your marketing programs?
Having a powerful marketing strategy is one thing, but executing it is another. The discipline you and your team show will determine whether or not your marketing strategy is successful.
Testing ideas and campaigns are imperative to finding campaigns that have a higher chance of success. Robotic Marketer to develop marketing strategies not only for our company but for our clients. It is an easy to use tool, or if you prefer, you can have a marketing manager from Robotic Marketer facilitate your marketing workshop with your team.
Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that you allocate budget and resources to marketing, especially with the way in which business has changed in the past 12 months and how economies recover.
If you need any help, don’t be afraid to contact us.
It’s coming to the pointy end of 2020, and many technology companies haven’t taken full advantage of Market Development Funds (MDF Funds) made available by large multinational technology company vendors.
The most successful channel partners always use their Market Development Funds (MDF Funds) wisely to generate leads and accelerate their business growth.
Vendors have become more sophisticated in who they choose to service their channel partners by ensuring that suppliers such as marketing companies and marketing technologies are not only working in the best interest of their channel partner, but they actually achieve results.
Robotic Marketer is this years’ must use MDF Fund allotment. It is a technology platform that combines marketing strategy consulting with the development of a strategic marketing plan.
It helps companies set goals, plan, develop, deploy and track their digital marketing strategy, keeping the channel partner and any third-party providers on track.
Why use MDF Funds
They are made available to you so that you can reinvest in marketing your company, improve sales processes and enter new markets. By using MDF Funds you will be able to partner with experts in the field of sales and marketing who are typically experienced in your technology solution or service, to build out your sales pipeline and communicate most effectively to achieve ultimately more sales.
Why Vendors provide MDF Funds
Vendors use channel partners to expand their reach. Many go direct but know their true potential is in the channel and to ensure that it is working most effectively, generating sales, the channel often needs guidance.
By carefully evaluating suppliers to channel partners, and where possible providing MDF Funds to help with marketing and sales campaigns, the Vendor is investing in the success of the channel.
Vendors who don’t invest in MDF Funds for their high growth channel partners are setting themselves up to be disrupted or to have their channel partners pouched.
Vendors also want access to the relationships, connections, and to foster loyalty that channel partners have developed in a regional or vertical furthering their sales and marketing reach.
Each Vendor has a different MDF Criteria
How MDF Funds are allocated is often down to the sales and marketing performance of a channel partner. What business does the channel partner bring to the business? How much revenue does the channel partner account for? Is the channel partner in a market where the Vendor is not a market leader? Is the Vendor selling a solution that is new to the product suite?
Ultimately what the Vendor is looking for:
- Increased revenue: Having a strategic plan in place that you can present or share with your Vendor Partner Manager is important to securing MDF Funds for your business. Many Vendors have criteria around how much revenue a channel partner needs to achieve to receive MDF Funds.
- Commitment to growth: Vendors are more likely to bring channel partners into various funded programs or provide specific MDF Funds for companies that are not only committed to growth but are taking actions to achieve goals.
- Committed to Vendors solutions: Vendors are looking for true partners and often provide 50% of the funding for sales and marketing initiatives. If you are marketing their solutions and actively seeking new deals, the chances are that they too will come to the party.
- Alternatives to events: COVID has killed the events industry so Vendors are looking for alternative marketing strategies. Make sure you have one.
Leveraging MDF Funds is easy if you know how to. Many channel partnership programs are choosing Robotic Marketer to help partners develop marketing strategies aligned with business goals.
If the channel partner has the right plan in place, they are ¾ of the way there.
A good marketing strategy consists of a comprehensive collection of marketing techniques that enables a business to direct its resources towards the best opportunities in terms of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable advantage over the competition.
A marketing strategy consists of short term and long term activities that contribute towards achieving business objectives.
Remember developing a marketing plan for your business shouldn’t be complicated.
To help you generate an effective marketing strategy, here are eight basic components of any marketing strategy.
1. Market Research
An integral component of any good market strategy is market research. To lay the foundation for your strategy you must collect, organize and write down data about the market that is currently buying the products or services you intend to sell.
You should consider looking at marketing dynamics, customer demographics, market segments, target markets, needs and buying decisions.
In terms of products and services, you need to analyze the market to gauge what’s out there now and what the competition is currently offering. Identifying current sales and benchmarks in the industry in addition to suppliers that you will need to rely on will help you build a more substantial base in which you can effectively build a good marketing strategy.
2. Target and Positioning
Any good marketing strategy begins with the identification of a target audience. This is the most important component. There is no point in wasting your time and resources trying to market your products and services to an audience that isn’t interested in what you’re selling.
You should aim to sell to the market segments that will be most profitable for your business. Direct your marketing efforts towards people that are genuinely interested in your products or services. By narrowing your marketing efforts towards your ideal target audience you will greater optimize your time and resources.
Furthermore, defining your ideal target customer will allow you to adjust the overall style of your marketing strategy in a way that suits your target audience. Your content will be more targeted, using language that connects with your customers on a more personal level.
The ultimate business goal should be to gain the trust of your clients and create brand awareness among your target audience. A combination of traditional techniques like magazines, TV and word of mouth should be paired with online techniques to boost the awareness of your brand.
In today’s digital environment it’s imperative strategies prioritize online marketing. A business must have a website and a blog where you post high-quality content that connects with your audience and generates traffic. Additional visual and audio content like videos, podcasts, and infographics work to further generate brand awareness and leave a lasting impression in your target audience’s mind.
4. Unique Advantages
To win over your competitors you need to offer your target audience a set of unique advantages that your competitors aren’t offering. You need to distinguish your brand by offering your target audience valuable content that they can’t find elsewhere. Creating unique brand offerings will help distinguish your business from your competition.
Aim to identify one or two things that make your product or service different and promote them as much as possible. In doing so you can create more effective marketing strategies that greater reach your target audience.
5. Communicate With Your Clients
It’s imperative to know how and when to communicate with your target audience. You need to strategize the types of content you are making and how you are sharing them. Think about where your target audience hangs out most and utilize the platforms that will best reach them.
The connection you develop with your customers is a key aspect for the success of your marketing strategy. It’s important to promote your products and services as the best choice on the market, but it’s even more important to focus your attention on the needs and wants of your followers. Identify the problems they have and show them how your business offers the best solution to satisfy their needs.
6. Promotional Tactics
Once you have created your marketing strategy, you must decide which marketing activities will ensure your target audience knows about the products or services you offer, and why they meet their needs.
Aim to execute a combination of tactics such as various forms of advertising, public relations, maintaining an online presence, promotions and an effective point of sale strategy. Remember every action you take must align with your marketing strategy in order to be effective and convert customers. Aim to limit your activities to those methods you think will work best with your target market.
7. Monitoring and Evaluation
This is a key component of any type of strategy and something a lot of businesses overlook. Take the time to analyze how your strategy is performing in practice. Surveying customers, tracking sales, leads, visitors to your website and percentage of sale to impressions are all worthwhile tactics to consider.
Any successful marketer will continually review the status of their marketing strategies against their set objectives. Doing so will ensure ongoing improvements to marketing initiatives and benefit future market planning.
8. Marketing Plan
Once you have finalized your marketing strategy, draw up a marketing plan that outlines how you intend to execute the strategy and evaluate its success. Your marketing plan should be excessively reviewed and if necessary updated to respond to changes in customers’ attitudes and broader economic forces.
Fundamentally, all good things take time and a successful marketing strategy takes not only time but commitment as well. When developing your marketing strategy you must be ready to invest in order to reach your business goals. Focusing on the finer details of a good marketing strategy will allow you to develop a logical, effective plan that will lead your business to success.
It was 25 years ago, almost to the day, that I started as a young woman in the technology industry.
At the time, I was an ambitious, vibrant, enthusiastic technology marketing specialist keen to make my mark on the world. Everyone was so inviting back then and always ensured that I had the support needed to learn as much as possible about the industry and build life-long networks.
I was safely in a box. I was woman in the technology industry that did marketing and public relations.
Fast track to today, it’s a very different story.
I stepped outside my lane, used the knowledge I had gained over the years and my creative brain to do something that I thought was possible.
And it was.
Robotic Marketer – The Big Idea
I saw an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills that I had gained over two decades in the industry to come up with a solution that was AI-powered, fully utilizing the machine learning that was available through thousands of marketing strategies to automate a manual and ineffective process of developing a marketing strategy.
Like any smart entrepreneur, I tested the concept by having the Queensland University of Technology develop a prototype. This was an incredible process that allowed us to prove the concept.
From there, I employed a bunch of technology professionals including python operators, data scientists, machine learning experts – to work as a team to redevelop the prototype as a smarter, faster and more effective software.
My role was clear, I was the solutions architect. I wrote every single line for the data entry of company information and explained in detail exactly what I needed this knowledge to do. Remember, I have been in the technology industry for a long time and I knew the basics of what various technologies do. I used this knowledge and my skills in marketing to feed my team the information needed for them to build code.
When the first marketing strategy popped up in my inbox, I was so pleased with myself. In fact, I would say that it was the first time in my life that I felt like I truly accomplished something.
I had an idea and I followed it through.
As I traveled the world, I found sophisticated global companies like SAP and Oracle to be incredible to deal with. They were excited by the technology and were keen to use it in their businesses especially for their Channel Partnership programs.
They not only liked what they saw, they were as passionate about the output and outcomes as I.
A great partnership was formed and we continued to build out global companies that use the technology in their businesses.
When I went to events, people were interested in the technology. But I have to say that I was shocked to see the faces of people when I said I owned the company and was the founder.
A Woman in Technology
Each and every time, the person on the other side asked if I had a company that was my partner or if there was a man who owned the company with me too. At first, it was water off a duck’s back, but after the tenth time, I became frustrated and a little disheartened.
I was constantly asked how I funded the business to which I would answer “my own money” that is until 12 months ago when I took on an investor who now owns a minority of the business. He’s the best!
The strangest situation once occurred at a venture capital event not too long ago. As a smart businessman and former NFL player, the natural assumption is often that it is his company. It is – that part is true, but as the “brain” behind the business in addition to being its founder, Robotic Marketer would not be here without me (and my team).
As we left the event that day, he mentioned that he noticed how they talked to him more, almost mocking my contribution to the conversation on artificial intelligence and trying to catch me out on my knowledge. They failed, and I took pride in that. But, it did leave me a little bruised.
From that moment on I became all too aware that it was hard for men and sometimes women to believe that I had built this phenomenal global company.
The highlights of getting a valuation for the company and winning deals became overshadowed by the fact that in the real world, people found it hard to believe that this company was built by a woman.
The real kicker was when I had an introductory call with a third party supplier to Government who was employed to evaluate companies for government grants.
Not only did he talk over me for the entire 43 minutes, but he was also condescending and plain rude.
After out meeting, he then sent me an email stating:
- “You should join an incubator” – I have over 10 employees in the company and it’s running just fine – thank you!
- “You should consider the R&D Grant” – I informed him in the few times that I had a chance to speak that I was already the recipient of the R&D Grant.
- “You should work with a university to get endorsement for the technology” – As I mentioned to him in the first 5 minutes, not only had a prestigious University built the prototype, they had endorsed the fact that it is the first in the world and it would take years for another company to get to our stage in development.
The list went on.
I got off the phone and cried.
I was crushed. He hadn’t listened to anything I said and as he said during the conversation, he didn’t think we had a product. Let’s get this straight… not only have we got a product, but also a full sales pipeline of very interested customers.
I knew having a tech start-up would be hard, but I never thought that I would have to overcome the biggest hurdle of all and that is being a woman.
My glass is half full, but I have found that the constant rejection in various ways to be really hard to handle, mostly at the hands of men.
Women in fairness ask the same question as to whether I have a man as a partner, but they are more subtle in their approach. This is more often than not followed by, “Is this your family’s business?”
For 22 years in business, I have been the biggest supporter of men. I refuse to talk at International Women’s Day because we don’t have International Men’s Day, and I will use my voice over and over again to support men so that they are not sidelined.
I would go as far as to say only a handful of times have I been treated poorly because I am a woman – in my life until I started a technology company.
The Road Ahead
I won’t give up and if anything, I am determined to prove myself. But life is hard enough without having to fight for your seat at the table because of your gender. The world needs more women as leaders and they need to support women who are doing innovative things in areas that are world-leading.
This won’t stop until more people speak up and voices are heard. The road will be bumpy, but my plight to continue on this path with Robotic Marketer is one that I intend to finish, but along the way, I will bring women with me and I will make a point to ensure that other women entrepreneurs are not treated so poorly.