I spend a lot of time doing competitor benchmarking for my clients. And one of the first things that always jumps out is which companies are squarely focused on marketing.
They understand their brand value
They’re able to clearly and concisely articulate why they exist and distill everything down into a few core themes that permeate all of the marketing messaging while also consistently reinforcing their brand value.
Just the other day I was looking at marketing messaging for a company and was really impressed with how they were able to highlight their core themes throughout their website, videos, and all of their marketing content. If we asked people to describe that business based on their marketing materials, you better believe those same themes would come up time and time again.
They understand the importance of content marketing
It’s one thing to describe what you do—to talk about your products and services—but it’s another to actually get people excited about them. For that to happen, you’ve actually got to be excited about them.
Once you identify those core themes that are central to your business brand, you’ve got to look for opportunities to establish credibility, communicate value to prospective customers, and differentiate yourself from your competition. For example, you can “work with brands” or you can “partner with the world’s best brands.” Which one would grab your attention?
They align their marketing and business goals
What do you ultimately want people to do when they visit your website, read your brochure, or watch your video? I know it might sound obvious, but I’m always surprised at how many companies either don’t include a targeted call-to-action or bury it so far down on their website that it will never see the light of day.
If you want people to request a demo, make sure that’s the primary call-to-action on your website. That includes your top-level navigation and any relevant pages. Where it makes sense, incorporate any supporting materials you think would increase the likelihood that someone will take action including testimonials, awards, and screenshots (especially effective for SaaS companies).
They understand their competition
In most cases they have an intimate knowledge of who and what they’re up against. That way they’re able to quickly identify opportunities and gaps, and take action to stay ahead of the game.
If your marketing is going to get people to take action, you need to be able to understand your brand value, communicate that value through your content and messaging, align your marketing efforts to your business goals, and know your competition.
How will your marketing move the crowd?
[Image: Flickr user Martin Fisch]