Sharpen Your Marketing With Three R’s
Good marketing should boost recognition, reputation and rewards. Those three key factors should drive the shaping and sharpening of your marketing message and selection of activation channels. Before you green-light the next campaign, set aside time to elaborate on the following three questions:
- What will the effect be on recognition?
- What will the effect be on reputation?
- What are the rewards?
After over twenty years of building brands, I am of the opinion that everything you do, everything you say, everything and everyone you associate with will have an effect on how your audience perceives you and your brand (i.e. how it brands you). Be hyper-aware of these cause-and-effect principals when you shape your marketing message. It is also mission critical to regularly assess and reassess, how you are recognized, what your reputation is, and whether it provides the reward boosts that you are targeting. The tricky thing really lies in anticipating how that marketing message will be received in the minds of the audience and what message they–in turn–may share with others online and offline. Ask yourself: “Will the message in its current form and selection of channels provide the positive effects that we are looking for?”
By pure definition, recognition is NOT about what you think. Rather, it is about how the audience thinks of you and your brand. To sharpen the message, start out by defining what you would like your position to be in the marketplace. Next, define how you wish to be recognized, paying particular attention to the perceptions of your paying customers. Be sure to align that which you desire to something in which you can truly deliver. Should you want some inspiration and positive adjectives to help in your marketplace positioning or repositioning, look here.
Building a good reputation requires a consistent message and usually takes years of marketing activations, positive opinions, favorable reviews, and happy customers. Reputation-builders could come in the form of a satisfied, paying, high-profile customer speaking highly of you in a tweet. Or perhaps, reputation enhancements could come from a blogger’s positive mention or winning an award. The BIG caution and concern is that reputation takes a long time to build but can be destroyed very quickly. Assessing this risk can be of great help in guiding the decision-making process to answer the question of whether or not to embark on a particular marketing activation. It is worth pointing out that the risks of affecting your reputation negatively are, of course, higher when you engage in marketing campaigns associated with key opinion leaders or when you collaborate with other companies.
“A good reputation is more important than a clean shirt.
Unlike reputation, the shirt can be washed”
This factor can take many forms. Seek reward-boosts that are both psychological and financial in nature. Imagine you have just done a product release, the team has worked relentlessly for over twelve months, from concept to launch, and you get a favorable write-up by a reputable publication. Feels good, doesn’t it? Psychological or intangible rewards can often be even more powerful and a better motivator than financial rewards. However, feel-good stories and excitement alone is not enough. Rewards, as it relates to the amount of cash flow from paying customers in the longer term, will be the determining factor whether you will have the luxury to spend more time and resources to take your entity to the next level.
A carefully crafted marketing message, along with regularly monitoring of your audience sentiment, will do wonders for your recognition, reputation and rewards. These boosts may even have the compounding effect of setting the stage for you to broaden what you offer and potentially increase both average revenue per customer and your profit margins.