Shooting in dark and getting lucky is not a good strategy.
At Recherche Digital we get regular requirements of websites and presentations, brochures, and most of them are one of the requirements.
Why do you even need marketing material? There are all sorts of marketing material belonging to print, digital, electronic, so how do you find which is best for your business?
Companies usually develop anything to everything without considering its final impact on their target audience, which is like designing anything which their competitors have developed, or their customer might have asked sometime, or they think it is easy to build or industry norms.
Honestly, check the last marketing material you built… Who was the driver for designing that?
Is it your customer (who himself looking for information and don’t know much about your company its vision)?
is it your competitors who himself might have copied it from somewhere else?
It was your idea after seeing some impressive piece of marketing material or hearing the success of that marketing material compelled to design it, thinking of repeating the same success?
Either way, chances are more that it is impulsive rather than well thought of or part of a larger plan.
There is no digital strategy involved, all those marketing material comes only with one objective, to fulfil any immediate marketing need, for example, to share with a customer who demanded a presentation or website or an exhibition coming up where these brochures are going to be distributed.
While having this marketing material quickly developed without a digital plan, serves the immediate need but in long run, it won’t play any strategic role.
Worse than that these marketing materials are developed without understanding the target audience and without any brand guild lines. Just a random copy of marketing material developed by one of the business competitors.
The problem in this approach is that these marketing materials are not developed as part of the digital marketing plan and are not placed in the customer journey strategically thus do not have a deep impact on the client.
This shallow impact now become the deterrent of customer decision making and in a later stage ( Evaluation stage) become the reason for dropping the company rather than including the company in “Shortlisting”
Your competitor might have a digital strategy in place and may get the benefit of marketing material, but it is highly unlikely that you get the same benefit by designing market material similar to them.
A well-thought marketing material, placed at a well-thought milestone can ensure success in business while opposite to that can hurt the business despite spending time & money on making marketing material.
Buyers’ journey becomes complex as product cost increases or product complexity increases and demands more persuasion, proof, time and trust with higher cost
From stranger to customer, it takes several millstones and if the road is not paved well then, there are good chances that the customer takes a wrong turn or wrong impression and loses the path.
Most companies leave the customer journey on luck which is the most unoptimized way of doing business. Your bucket will always have holes that will make it impossible to fill it.
You might have several marketing materials which sometimes gives you results but most of the time fails you and thus you see that you are running the business but there is slow growth or no growth.
The deals which can be closed, are keeping your company alive but deals that you are losing, keeping your company away from growth.
A well-thought strategy is designed by keeping all these factors in mind and its main objective is to
Research stage: Most buying decisions start with researching the available option and these days it is most likely from Google.
Buyer put the keyword in Google search bar and check out top 10 results. He/She only check out these top 10 results and start researching the companies for his requirement.
Based on helpful content provided in these websites, he/she gets the impression of the company ( note: How he comfortably ignores the other important facts like company capabilities, machinery or manpower and other needful information which is required to complete order)
It’s the initial educational material that forms his impression and not the overall strength of the company.
That is why you see a trader or small-time marketer is taking a big pie of your business despite they are not equipped with machines or skills required to complete the order and you left wondering why you are not getting orders.
Key here is
Think like a marketer first and then a manufacturer or professional or service provider.
Evaluation stage: It is the stage where the buyer has educated himself with the required information and identified a solution for his problem or need and is ready to identify various companies for his requirement fulfilment.
At the evaluation stage, he compares various companies on various parameters, like their brand, manufacturing or service delivery capability, any past work or case studies etc.
Based on his due diligence, he now moves to the next stage.
Shortlisting: The next stage is shortlisting companies that he feels are capable of fulfilling his need. These parameters are
Notice point number one & two are major driver for the client to move “from stranger to the customer” journey.
From here buyers, start sending out inquiries to these companies which in turn become the “leads” for companies.
We have seen an increasing number of complaints from companies about the lack of leads as a major business growth obstacle.
With the above customer journey, you can easily figure out where you are failing and what needs to improve in your business.
The strategy is the key here which is basically
Did you notice in a successful customer journey from stranger to buyer, it’s the fourth step where companies think of “marketing material” and not begin the marketing with it.
Think of Digital strategy as a thread that keeps relevant pearls and gems to give a perfect outlook
Marketing success = Strategy + Marketing material
SMB sector is guilty of neglecting Digital Marketing Strategy while corporate have this as the first thing in place. And that becomes one of the major reasons for SMB, their poor customer acquisition and slow death
We have got wonderful experience working with corporate, fortune 500 companies and we noticed that all of their marketing material is well thought of and well placed, in their digital marketing strategy.
Although Corporate have the luxury of hiring top talent who understands digital & marketing well resulting in regular development of top-notch marketing material; while SMB simply copies & trying 10 different things but goes nowhere, left wondering what is wrong with the approach?
I would love to share the information and help small-medium businesses and provide you with the roadmap at least on the generic level, to begin with.
This should help you get started in the right direction.
Here you can request a one-page generic digital marketing roadmap for free.
In a nutshell, if you are serious about getting results for your business then think of getting a digital marketing strategy first in place and then start building marketing material step by step.
Author : Harish K. Saini
Publishing Date : 08 March 2022