Five things you can do to dramatically improve your marketing performance.
A few years ago, one of my high-end home brand clients was asked to participate in some benchmarking research from a leading management consulting firm. The consultants were studying a handful of leading consumer brands in order to capture some of the best practices for a large client in a similar category. I was fascinated with the findings and began building my own list of best practices, taken from my personal client experiences.
It’s true that many of the most successful home-related brands share similar traits and common characteristics. I’ve also found that to be a high-performing and successful home brand, you don’t have to necessarily adopt all of these best practices. In fact, even taking baby steps and achieving marginal improvement on two or three of these metrics can generate dramatic results. This being said, here are my chosen five:
1. Embrace Trial and Error
Many best practice companies emphasize a culture of experimentation across the marketing department, embracing new ideas and building upon failures. They tend to understand that an error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
2. Measure the Important Things
Benchmark companies love to track things, but more importantly, they love to track the right things. Some marketers track too little, but I’ve also seen marketers try to track too much. If you develop actionable metrics and keep track of their progress, you may be surprised with what you learn.
3. Focus on the Essence of Your Message
It’s not enough to refine your message to consumers. Best practice brands ensure that messages to internal audiences and the trade are equally as sharp. Make sure that your messaging is concise, straightforward, and has staying power.
4. Know Thy Funnel
Benchmark brands have a clear understanding – at a granular level – of the value and cost of each stage of the consumer’s path to purchase. They study the key influences, as well as key barriers, of each stage. And they know the degree to which different tactics move the needle.
5. Use the Right Carrot and Stick
Best practice brands tend to tie incentives to specific requirements, rather than simply pay them “just because everyone else does.” Smart marketers make dealer incentives contingent upon either desired behaviors or results.
I’d love to hear if your brand has achieved success using these or any other best practices.