the challenge Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) is a storied organization with an incredible legacy. When they came to us with the goal of recruiting more athletes, volunteers and donors of all demographics—we grasped the opportunity to do something extraordinary. We...
How to Build an Earned Media Strategy for Your Business
Let’s face it, today’s business landscape is fiercely competitive – and the secret to finding and maintaining success is developing a strong brand. A well-established brand identity differentiates you from competitors, fosters trust and loyalty, and builds customer recognition. However, there is no magic pill to achieve this goal. Instead, a consistent and intentional brand marketing strategy is necessary to set your brand up for long-term success. As an innovative and experienced brand development agency, we understand what it takes to develop an unbeatable brand image. Stay with us as we explore the essence of a strong brand and five effective marketing habits to achieve the goal.
What Makes a Strong Brand?
The benefits of a strong brand are invaluable, such as its ability to leave a lasting impression, build trust, and create an emotional connection. By securing customer recognition and loyalty, gaining a competitive advantage, and boosting employee pride, a strong brand allows you to stand out and thrive in the marketplace. So, what are the secret ingredients to achieving these goals?
- Consistency in messaging and visuals
- Maintaining a reliable customer experience
- Establishing clear and well-defined brand positioning and value proposition
- Authentic and transparent communication
- Conducting ongoing market research to understand customer needs best
- Embracing an innovative and agile approach to evolving market trends
Five Effective Marketing Habits
Healthy marketing habits lay the foundation for crafting a brand. An integrated marketing strategy involves a coordinated approach to using multiple marketing channels and efforts. The end result is a consistent message and powerful brand image. This strategic approach involves the following healthy marketing habits.
1. Effective Planning
In the same way that you would plan a wedding before getting hitched, or prepare a meal when hosting a dinner party, so does effective planning play a monumental role in building a healthy brand. By investing time and effort into strategic planning, you can optimize marketing efforts to achieve the desired outcome. The process involves a clear understanding of the brand’s goals, target audience, and market landscape. Market research and competitor analysis provide valuable insights into market trends, helping shape the marketing strategy. Setting SMART goals makes it easier to define clear objectives and develop a comprehensive marketing plan. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. A comprehensive marketing plan should outline strategies, tactics, timelines, and allocated resources to drive the business toward success — but that’s not all. The plan should also be regularly reviewed and adjusted based on performance metrics and market changes to make informed decisions and ensure marketing activities achieve maximum impact.
2. Gathering Customer Feedback
A brand’s customer base plays a significant role in determining its success and reputation. By actively seeking feedback and listening to customers’ opinions, preferences, and experiences, you open your business up to invaluable insights. Insights gathered from customer marketing efforts help refine strategies, improve products and services, and strengthen customer relations. To make the most of customer feedback, use various feedback collection methods, such as surveys, focus groups, social media listening, and customer reviews. Some brands offer incentives or rewards for honest and detailed feedback. Once collected, feedback should be analyzed thoroughly to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Acting promptly on these insights demonstrates a brand’s commitment to continuous improvement. Adopting a customer-centric approach goes a long way to tailor offerings to meet customer needs and build long-lasting relationships based on mutual trust and understanding.
3. Continuous Testing
Continuous testing is a healthy marketing habit that allows brands to stay agile, adapt to changing market dynamics, and consistently improve marketing efforts to achieve their goals. A healthy, growing brand is always refining and optimizing its strategies, ensuring they lead with their best foot forward. Effective ways to continuously test your strategy involves embracing a culture of experimentation, gathering valuable insights, and making informed decisions to drive better marketing options. Establishing clear objectives for the testing process is essential to make the most out of the experience. Before executing any type of testing, there should be an obvious hypothesis, whether you conduct A/B, multivariate, or user tests. With each iteration of testing, you’ll gain insights into what works and what doesn’t, giving you the key to make data-driven optimizations and refinements to your marketing strategy. Taking it one step further, these findings should be shared across the whole organization, creating a culture of knowledge sharing and unity.
4. Competitor Analysis
Before you connect with customers, you must get them to notice you, which means standing out from competitors. By understanding your competitors’ strategies, strengths, and weaknesses, you can make informed decisions, identify market trends, and uncover opportunities for differentiation. Make the most out of competitor analysis by identifying key competitors in the industry. Take the time to analyze their marketing strategies, messaging, position, target audience, and unique selling propositions. Assess their online presence, social media engagement, content marketing efforts, and customers’ opinions about their products or services. Are there weaknesses in your competitors’ offerings that you can fill? Are there strengths that you can implement? These are important questions to ask throughout the analysis. Benchmark your brand against these findings and identify areas where they outperform you or differentiate themselves. In addition to zoning in on a handful of competitors, it’s also useful to take a step back and assess the industry as a whole. Stay current on industry trends, market developments, and emerging competitors. Use these insights to review and adjust your strategies, ensuring you stay ahead of the game.
5. Community Outreach
The importance of community relations in connection with a healthy marketing strategy can not be understated. Community outreach allows brands to connect with their target audience on a deeper level, build meaningful relationships, and establish a positive brand image. Community outreach extends beyond your customer base and involves actively engaging in community outreach initiatives. Businesses that demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility generate goodwill and customer loyalty. However, community outreach is a delicate strategy and demands thought and care to build authentic relationships. For example, using market research, surveys, or direct engagement is important to identify and understand the community’s needs. After identifying the need, you can partner with local organizations, sponsor events, or volunteer for relevant causes that help your brand become an active and valued community member. If you’re managing a global or dispersed team, consider leveraging digital platforms and social media to amplify the reach and the impact of your efforts!
Example of a Healthy Brand: CityGate
Sometimes, you may want to adapt your brand image to attract a new customer base. Consider CITYGATE, a brand with a reputation for offering unique entertainment venues for corporate, black-tie guests. Wanting to pivot and attract a younger crowd, CITYGATE worked with MACLYN to execute a revised brand launch strategy. Taking advantage of various MACLYN services, including strategy, brand development, and more, CITYGATE developed an omnichannel brand presence that attracted a younger, business-minded audience. The approach included strategic marketing efforts such as thorough research, creative brand development, implementing a loyalty program, promoting products, sending targeted messaging, and providing a cross-selling experience. Through these efforts, CITYGATE transformed from a corporate and elite business to a modern and upbeat brand.
Build a Healthy Brand With MACLYN
Are you looking for an experienced marketing agency in Naperville or Des Moines? Our brilliant team is experienced with large and small business marketing plans — from conception and execution to celebrating successes. Whether you want to reinvent your brand, build healthy marketing efforts, or maintain a competitive edge — we’d love to hear from you. Contact the MACLYN team today to get started!
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