I was asked recently how marketing has changed over the past 25 years. After laughing about how many ways I could answer that question, I said, “While the tools marketers use have changed, the challenges of marketing and communications have not.”
The key marketing challenges of any business have always been:
- To identify target markets, their key concerns and needs
- To communicate with clients and prospects simply and directly
- To educate and inform clients and prospects about all aspects of your business, your philosophy and your value-add to them
- To remind current clients why they do business with you
- To provide objective advice that will help your clients make the right decisions
Despite the fact that these challenges have not changed, our approach has evolved because of improvements in the tools we use. Technology provides us with more precise information about our clients and prospects. We can better understand our clients and prospects by studying their demographics and web usage patterns. Using vast amounts of data, we can determine who is most profitable to target in our marketing and what materials will appeal to them. We can now target them with direct mail, email, by telephone and targeted advertising both in print and online. We can then analyze our data and focus our search even further making our marketing much more efficient and effective.
So, how do we learn from our key marketing challenges and apply today’s marketing tools? Over the next few months, I will present you with a number of marketing case studies I have worked on over my career, explaining how we addressed the challenges then and how we would use technology and data knowledge to address these challenges today.
My first article in the series for April is about how to communicate complex financial products and services simply and directly.
I look forward to your comments and observations and to hearing some of your own experiences.
David C. Westcott
President & CMO