My whole career I have worked to employ a cross-functional strategic approach to marketing that can drive businesses to the next level. Sounds fancy, right? And a little boring too, huh? It really is just common sense. If you focus on creating an organization that is centered on the customer and not just what promotions you offer you will build lasting relationships, not short-term sales. This customer-centric approach helps you as an entrepreneur ensure that you are managing and planning for all stages of the brand relationship. This creates a competitive advantage by establishing those profitable long-term relationships you seek.
Here is a quick overview of how the way we look at marketing has changed. It is best done by studying the 4 C’s of marketing based on the work of Robert Lauterborn.
We used to create Products and then find customers to buy them. Now we work to really understand our target market, who they are and what their needs and wants are to help tailor our product, service, or solution specifically for them.
Price in dollars used to be the only factor we considered when looking at what a product would cost the customer. In today’s marketplace, we now understand that consumers measure many factors when evaluating costs. Factors like time investment and perceived value play a role in decision making.
Place or the old adage location, location, location used to be king in marketing. But as more and more businesses offer their products and services in a less brick and mortar setting convenience plays a huge role in the purchase decision. We live in a fast-pasted instant society that businesses have to fit their offerings into.
Promotion is a one-way path from your business to the consumer. Communications are two way. They are about not only creating clear, consistent messages that resonate with your customers and set you apart from the competition but listening and adapting to feedback.