You know the delightful feeling of biting into a tomato you just picked off the vine. The aroma is like no store-bought produce. You savor the deliciousness as you lick the juicy goodness off your face and fingertips. Now, imagine how you could super-charge your garden-variety marketing when you make it garden-fresh and appealing to your customers.
Keeping your brand marketing relevant in a rapidly changing world sounds like a thankless task. But, it’s a whole lot easier when you follow our “Nine Garden-Fresh Marketing” tips.
Talk to your customers often.
You might be terrific at what you do, but don’t assume you know what your customers want. Don’t think for them. Think with them and find solutions to their current problems—not the problems you assume you’ve been solving.
Ask questions in public forums across your social media channels. Show that you are engaged with customers and concerned with the challenges they’re facing. The information you receive will be important for your marketing and product positioning…and show the real value you’re providing.
It’s imperative that you’re listening to what customers need and delivering products or services that meet those needs. Follow your customers’ lead on what they’re looking for and then deliver products or services that address their current challenges and anticipate what’s next.
Stay up to date on your industry trends and brand marketing in general.
The marketing world is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. One way to ensure that your strategy remains relevant is by staying up to date on the trends and news in your industry and in the marketing industry.
A simple way to this is by monitoring social media and the web for certain keywords around your industry. Social Mention is a good resource for this type of monitoring. Twitter can also be a great resource to monitor trends. Create lists in Twitter of industry leaders to follow by topic and follow recent posts on LinkedIn, as well as subscribing to blogs and newsletters from industry leaders.
Go out on a limb.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if you’re unsure they will work. If you have an idea and it fails, it’s okay. Learn from the experience, make adjustments to your strategy, and try again.
Trying new things is at the heart of staying relevant. New perspectives on risk are important because what may have worked in the past may not work now.
A/B testing can be helpful when trying something new. Or, show it to your employees or business associates. Just keep trying new and exciting perspectives, approaches and offers.
Changing with the times and shifting your approach to marketing is integral to having a relevant brand. It means you’re paying attention to consumer behavior.
Take a stand.
AdWeek tells us that, “…companies can no longer—and should no longer—stay silent about broad-reaching social issues.” Today’s consumers have sent a very clear message to brands: Take a stand. And be authentic.
Millennials and Gen Z are civic-minded, active participants, and they’re moved by cause-related brands that are actively trying to make a difference. A survey by Sprout Social confirmed that most consumers today want brands to weigh in on social and political issues.
Clearly articulate why your brand exists, connecting the brand to culture in a larger way, and confronting relevant issues head-on. After all, belief-driven buyers are only going to respond to brands that show strongly held, passionate beliefs in their behavior, marketing and communications.
The key is to have a crystal-clear understanding of your brand marketing position and purpose. After the purpose is cemented, finding the right causes and issues to confront and align with becomes second nature.
Always look forward.
Does your marketing feel like it’s chasing the cultural conversation, or is it up to the minute? Today’s impactful, leading brands are always a few steps ahead, igniting, guiding and steering cultural conversations rather than reacting to them.
In order to be a brand that takes a leadership position on a cultural conversation or movement, it is key to focus not only on what it is that your consumers care about, but also what they’re going to care about six months from now and longer. Given the constantly changing marketplace that’s affected by increasing awareness in social responsibility and interaction, your marketing efforts must update the ways that they socialize with and captivate consumers.
Fine-tune your visual identity.
If you find out you’re not being perceived in the market how you want to be, simply adjust some of the visual cues of your brand to match the perception you desire. You can make subtle changes to your visual brand marketing that still adhere to your company’s overall brand.
For example, tweak colors in your collateral or your promotions to make them lighter or darker. Light and fresh colors can suggest collaboration, while darkening your colors can ground your brand and present it as more serious. Pull in secondary colors from your existing brand guidelines.
Likewise, you can update imagery and photography in your marketing communications and on your site or social channels. Change from pictures of inanimate objects, for example, to more photography of people.
Update your tone of voice.
Evaluate all of your content and see if it has a jumble of unmatched voices. This task might seem small and tedious, but it can actually lead to a revitalized sound and feel of your marketing.
Make sure you decide on a few common tone guidelines for anyone who writes on behalf of your brand. Ensure that this tone matches the image you’d like to present, as well as what will resonate with your target market. Then do an audit to refresh the copy in your most popular marketing efforts, moving down to those that are less impactful.
Be passionate about your brand.
Building a marketing platform rooted in the unique and passionate story that drives a brand plays a huge role in authenticity and connection. If you are passionate, then authenticity comes through naturally.
Relevant marketing takes ongoing care and feeding.
Just like a tending a garden, your company’s brand marketing takes ongoing care and feeding. You have to audit your marketing, remove the unnecessary growth, and update it regularly to keep it juicy and garden-fresh.