For marketing executives seeking to build their brand in today’s frenzied, message-cluttered jungle, resting on their laurels seemed to be enough until not long ago — especially if they were meeting their goals, seamlessly executing ambitious programs, and keeping staff members happy enough to ward off corporate raiders. Nowadays, conditions are vastly different. To prove your worth as a marketer and brand builder, you need to tap into your entrepreneurial side.
Seven rules for marketing and brand building, based on a fundamental for entrepreneurial success, are now essential for compelling customers to embrace your brand.
Embrace 3-D marketing
Entrepreneurs are obsessed with building lasting, face-to-face relationships, a principle that only 3-D marketers can leverage to full advantage. 3-D marketing—encompassing events, exhibits, displays, merchandising, premiums, target market research, prospect follow-up and much more—enables marketers to truly “touch” their customers in ways that traditional mass marketing does not. It’s the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal for creating customer relationships and building brand image on a face-to-face basis.
Make ROI your mantra
Entrepreneurs are notoriously impatient to maximize the return on every investment they make. Amazingly, in the world of 3D marketing, executives often forgo measuring ROI until called to the carpet — and by then, they have no assurance that they are looking at meaningful indicators of brand participation or brand loyalty.
Dive into your industry
Stellar entrepreneurs study their target industries in minute detail, zero in on the marketplace needs they’re uniquely positioned to fill, and develop brands that showcase their added value. Do you know what your brand is, what it isn’t, and what it needs to be? How should you be promoting your brand so that it resonates with a changing marketplace of prospects and buyers?
Focus resources through end-to-end planning
In the new world of 3-D marketing, you must champion end-to-end planning processes—beginning with market research and message development, graduating to creative conceptualization and implementation, and ending with customer follow-up and results measurement. As part of your marketing effort, you should be spearheading an end-to-end planning approach for each one.
Remember the vision
Entrepreneurs are “big idea” people with a compelling vision and the drive to see it through. Too often, marketing executives lose their dedication to understanding their corporation’s vision and strategy—and advancing them through several integrated tactics with a common set of underlying messages.
Seek new paradigms for achieving teamwork and synergy
The teambuilding spirit typical of entrepreneurs is a requirement for marketers, who should be taking it to the next level. Do you, for instance, organize on-site “pep-rally briefings” of your sales team just before major events—reinforcing the brand messages most likely to draw customers in? While sales would normally lead these meetings, your intimate branding knowledge should be compelling you to initiate this out-of-the-box approach.
Honor the team members
Like entrepreneurs, you depend on your team to help you shine. Learn to nurture and empower the people who work with you every day—encouraging them to take your ideas further, to continually focus on overall returns, and to develop new approaches. As the rules for brand-building success take a dramatic turn, you’ll need their talents to help you capitalize on future opportunities—and to maintain the luster of your brand.