Antiquated channels are always to blame but, in truth, the issue does not lie with the delivery. In fact, direct mail pieces including postcards, coupon mailers and sales letters are still the most effective ways to reach prospects. New technology like interactive advertising, widgets, and mini movies are also effective, when integrated in the total marketing plan. All of these marketing channels are fine, it’s the lack of message that’s the problem.

Corporate Identity Crisis

Aside from the lack luster measures companies are taking to target prospects, some of today’s marketing is just missing the mark because companies don’t understand how to approach consumers. Start-ups and established organizations imitate one another instead of setting themselves apart from the competition, which should be the ultimate goal. Copycat marketers simply ignore the fact that consumers want the best option, the remedy that best suits their situation. They want to the latest and greatest “thing”. Whether it makes life easier, more entertaining, or more convenient, consumers want to know “what’s new?” And they expect you to be able to tell them.

Interestingly, ineffective marketing sometimes reflects the internal conflicts of a company. When demand for a products that were the bread and butter of a company become obsolete, many tend to attempt to reinvent themselves, and in effect exhibit identity crises. Marketing departments appear to developing marketing without a plan. The tendency appears to be that rather than assess the competition to determine how to standout, the trend is to just do what the other guy is doing. If those guys are doing it wrong, guess what, so is everyone else borrowing those concepts.

It’s not reinventing the wheel to be different; setting yourself apart from the competition is the point of the whole thing. Unfortunately, many companies never understood that dynamic marketing isn’t reserved for the “cool” trendy companies selling the latest, “got to have it gadget.” No, marketing is a necessary component of any sound business initiative. Conservative marketing doesn’t have to be boring, but it does have to be appropriate for your organization. The reality is that what’s may be great for the other guy may be all wrong for you. Corporate identity must coincide with every outreach effort, which may result from advertising, marketing, PR and so on.

Fundamental Market Assessment

Know the situation.

Whether your company is service-oriented or manufactures products, having an understanding of why customers want or need your product or service is the key. Lots of companies have great products and services to offer, but have no idea of how to effectively communicate to prospective customers. It’s important to first begin by having a brainstorming session with your staff. Determine what your company culture and image currently is and what you intend to become during this meeting as well.

Know the objectives.

Be certain that every department is aware of the company’s goals and the direction it is moving towards. Help the employees feel like they are part of the team, and that their contributions impact the success of the business. By keeping employees in the loop, the effectiveness of any marketing campaign will increase. The greatest companies realize that sales can originate from anyone, not just the sales force—it’s called referral.

Know the customers.

Identify the target market using market research from outside sources and internal data. Surveys current and prospective customers to determine their expectations. Prepare a S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on the basis of what you learn form the customers. This will help you to develop a new approach for marketing purposes.

Know the strategy.

Once you have a general idea of who your customers are and the market conditions, write up a plan. But remember, it won’t matter how flashy the campaign is if the execution is shoddy. So it’s pertinent to track the results of the plan, and compare it with certain benchmarks to determine if the company is on track.