Jet skis, Hoovers and Velcro all have one thing in common. They’re all brand names that have become shorthand for their particular categories. No-one asks for a personal watercraft, a vacuum cleaner or a hook and loop fastener. We all fall back to the brand name, and everyone understands. Owning a category as these brands do is a differentiation paradise that is tough to achieve. But differentiation shouldn’t be ignored: it can make or break a business. Getting it wrong can gradually eat away at your bottom line to the point that you’re only competing one way: price. The good news? Marketing can help.
A lot of people think that marketing is all about the long-term. If you need short-term results, you should speak to sales. But while it’s true that marketing often works towards long-term goals, it can drive short-term growth.
Marketing Matters from The Marketing Centre is our initiative to provide SMEs with tactics that can be implemented now - it plans to offer insight, hints and tips from our 90-strong marketing directors as well as examples of businesses doing great things.
Customer retention versus customer acquisition: It’s a battle for the ages. We know that maintaining loyal customers can be easier and more profitable than finding new ones. Yet, many businesses still commit more resources to acquisition. It is very important that you balance your focus on customer acquisition and customer retention. Your loyal customers provide the most lifetime value, after all. So, while others work themselves to the bone trying to create leads, you can come up with an effective retention process.
A lot of people think that marketing is solely concerned with long-term growth. If you need short-term financial fixes, they say, you need to turn to sales. Marketing is not only a long-term growth strategy. And sales is not only a short-term financial fix. It is true that marketers do look at the bigger picture, but they can definitely also help businesses see an immediate positive change. A digital campaign, an emailer, a well thought out promotion - these are designed to have an impact on your sales pipeline in a matter of days or weeks.