Innovative thought-provoking marketing

Yee Group Ltd

I was asked the other day to list what I thought businesses could do to improve their marketing.

My focus has always been in two areas - innovation and execution.

Coming up with a creative idea is a great way of cutting through what other businesses are doing; and the 'noise' that they are creating. Many are simply bombarding customers with facts and information. Much of this is said to be done to satisfy their customers’ insatiable appetite for facts and detail.

This so-called noise generated in so many marketing channels is becoming a distraction.

Great marketing campaigns achieve their greatness through being seamlessly executed. From my experience, much can be achieved at the planning stage which should investigate each potential opportunity that can be exploited.  This will avoid any gaps in the execution of your plan which otherwise could undermine the final outcome.

What is sometimes disturbing is that businesses, from the top down, have no idea how innovative they could become. Staff on the front line may be telling them; but, they often don't pick up the message. It can seriously affect their sales activity where their back-room staff do have a major role to play. These teams have close interfaces with every customer and major insights on each of them. This fund of knowledge needs to be utilised.

Many staff really understand what gives the business its life and personality. Picking that up from them will provide you with a big bonus for your campaigns. It can provide real 'personality' for your campaign. It will ensure that your competitors can’t and won’t be in a position to copy you.

To make your campaign really successful, you need to research and understand the customers in the particular sector that you plan to ‘target’. Getting into that space and understanding them, successfully, has to be the number one priority of your research.

Otherwise, you are tempting fate and just throwing resources and activity in the general direction of all your customers; rather than the actual targets that you are looking to inform and inspire.

Of the many reports and surveys being published, those from senior marketing directors are showing confidence and optimism about the year ahead (2017 PR Week/Brands2Life). The respondents were keen to point out that amongst their key challenges are 'integrating channels with common messages and campaigns'; and 'building corporate reputation'.

Generally speaking, your campaign has to go beyond saying you do 'a great job', or that 'your customer service is outstanding'. Both those particular attributes are now taken as givens.

Customers are looking to receive, for example, a message that says what you have to offer them. This could be, for example, new technologies that can assist them to effectively run their businesses, or make better use of all types of their resources, financial, staff, and materials.

This shows your inventive streak with which they can immediately associate and realise the benefits. Your innovative approach will show how you have cut through all the other 'stuff' that potential suppliers are telling them that they need.

Taking a forensic microscope to your campaign will provide you with useful insights. Social Media can offer you particularly beneficial information that you can then follow up by mail, email, or telephone calls. I am impressed by campaigns that professionally combine different channels into their marketing mixes. It shows to me that they have fully investigated every aspect of their prospective campaign before launching it.

It is clear to me that Social Media offers many opportunities to be in contact with clients. There is the potential to use corporate Twitter accounts and individual accounts, within your business, so that you are constantly in touch and building individual relationships.

It is thus possible to engage with clients and build 'conversations'. Previously, marketing interactions were switched on and off; and were maybe less regular than they should have been. Now, it is possible to build regular connected relationships.

Now, there are so many more touch-points to develop to your mutual advantage. It is very exciting, and where this will lead is as yet unknown. There will be new opportunities to exploit.

This is all a good fit in the current circumstances surrounding Brexit and new opportunities that will undoubtedly surface. Effective online engagement will be critical with your target audiences in what may be newly defined markets and which require careful attention. Regular management that tailors all digital marketing to customers and their needs is about to come centre-stage; if it hasn’t done so already.

Watch this space …

Simon Chapman 
President, Burton & District Chamber of Commerce 
Managing Director, Yee Group Ltd