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In part one of this blog post series, we presented the eleven marketing “death traps” to avoid.

This post shifts gears to discuss how to overcome obstacles to marketing success and move your marketing into the “win” column.

It’s a well-known fact that marketing is an ever-moving target requiring constant vigilance, adaptation, testing and improvement. It’s also a well-known fact that great marketing produces great results.

In working with clients for over 25 years, we’ve discovered those things that always contribute to marketing success that delivers tangible value to the business. Here they are

1. Know Your Business. Identify, validate and package the value proposition for your business, products and services. Be specific, clear and simple such that people can readily understand it. Ensure your value proposition is true and sustainable in that you actually deliver the value proposition and your customers can attest to benefiting from you. This exercise leads to internal clarity of purpose and external reputation growth.

2. Know Your Market. Never assume that your business is a stand out and uniquely suited to meet the demands of the marketplace. Become a student of your competitors and their value propositions and products, understand the nuances of the markets you serve, learn about the challenges and problems that your markets have and what they’ve tried to do to overcome their challenges. This information reveals where opportunity is and how to go for it.

3. Precise, Simple Competitive Positioning. Stop chasing your competitors and what they’re doing. Stop trying to be “all things to all people.” And, stop positioning your company and its value proposition into the same space as your largest and most active competitors. Chart your own path, create your own new positioning and vigorously promote and defend it—putting the competition on the defense, reacting to you.

4. Accurate Targeting. Instead of looking at markets in a homogeneous, large-sized manner, create segmentation models (including sub-segments) and understand their unique characteristics, evaluation and purchasing habits and major challenges. Adapt your messaging to each segment to precisely express your value in context to a segment’s needs, requirements and expectations.

5. Forget Marketing Trends. Technologies and tools come and go. Each providing opportunity that often turns to distractions for a business. Blaze your own path by creating your own trends for how technology and tools are applied in your business and marketing activities.

6. Make an Emotional Connection. Studies show that the facts of a product or service account for only 44% of the purchase decision. The other 56% deals with issues of perceived value, personal benefit, professional risk and how the decision and resulting action will “feel.” If you don’t connect to this reality in your marketing you’re already at a severe disadvantage to achieving success.

7. It’s the Customer Experience that Counts. In the past the product or user experience determined choice, satisfaction and loyalty. These days are gone. It is now the totality of the entire customer experience—from first connect through purchase through adoption and use to after sale care—that creates choice, satisfaction and loyalty. Marketing is where the proper expectations are initially established and where loyalty and satisfaction are measured. Drive and deliver superior customer experiences and watch opportunity grow.

8. Create a New Vision for a New Future. We’ve noticed that many businesses tend to market and sell into the past. That is, into existing and known need that is often on its way to commoditization. Market leaders create a new future vision and invite their prospects and customers into it. Market leaders lead markets, prospects and customers into a new reality that delivers superior value, benefit and business value growth.

9. Execute with Excellence. It goes almost without saying that execution is key to success. It sure is in marketing. Critical to marketing effectiveness is a rigorous focus on outcomes and results, not deliverables; to have cross-functional integration (product through sales and customer care) for consistent customer experiences; and, to deliver predictable, sustainable opportunity to a business.

10. Test, Measure, Adapt and Try Again. Everything must be validated, tested and improved. Marketing can often be a leader when it comes to outbound technology to reach markets but a laggard when it comes to measurement, reporting and improvement. Fully integrate predictive analysis tools, competitive and market intelligence tools, artificial intelligence, customer management platforms, marketing management platforms and bring your customers into your planning, execution and measurement process. Be smarter, more accurate and more successful. The data, tools and help are there…use them.

And, yes, there is one more. Strive for simplicity. Markets are crowded and noisy with complex and misdirected marketing. Stand out in your simple, clear and actionable approach to your markets, prospects and customers. Fight hard for simplicity—even when you have complex products and services—so that opportunity doesn’t go elsewhere.

The Afterburner Group has making marketing work within companies in the technology, energy, services, manufacturing and non-profit industries for over 25 years.

If you think that your marketing efforts are suffering and in need of a boost in strategy, plans and tactics that lead to greater impact, fill out the contact form below and we’ll let you know what that might look like and how you’d benefit.

Marketing can work, now.

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