Becky Graninger, a professional colleague with whom I’ve worked for years and whom I admire a great deal, recently went to work at Barton-Cotton. With a website tagline that says “momentum makes it happen,” Barton-Cotton is busy executing its “reversal of fortune.” To that end, Becky is part of a group of seasoned direct marketers who are coming on board to keep the momentum flowing. Becky’s title at Barton-Cotton is “strategist.”
First of all, I think “strategist” is a great position — one that deserves a spot in any contemporary marketing department. The title implies researching, noodling, and innovating — in short, “thinking.” In this era of direct marketing confusion, the ability to think isn’t a luxury. As it turns out, somebody has written an ebook on this very topic.
In October, I downloaded a pdf from square2marketing.com. Titled Strategy Before Tactics, this guide for agencies explores “how a killer marketing strategy dramatically improves the performance of inbound marketing.”
The first page of the eBook says, “Recent studies have shown that U.S. consumers are exposed to 3,000 advertisements a day. We are so numb to this constant bombardment that the old outbound marketing model is no longer effective. This is especially for smaller firms who don’t have the advertising budgets of McDonald’s or Apple. There has to be a better way, right? There is.”
Key points from the report:
1. Buyer behavior has changed. Most people don’t want to deal with a traditional salesperson. The most important emotion for marketers to target is safety. Marketers accomplish that by helping customers get to know, like, and trust products and services.
2. The old marketing model (advertising = sales) is broken. Today, advertising, PR, and referrals are used to provide free resources, which in turn build the marketing machine database .. which, in turn, = sales.
3. An effective marketing campaign requires careful planing, research, and a step-by-step approach. In other words, a strategy. “The point is: There are a lot of questions that need to be asked, answered, and discussed before you start any tactical marketing campaign.” Moreover, each solution needs to be “remarkable” [see below].
4. Every marketing strategy must be goal-oriented, quantifiable, able to deliver return on marketing investment, and be unique (remarkable) enough to blow the competition out of the running.
5. Being remarkable translates into interesting stories. “Features, benefits and specifications are complicated and easy to forget. Our brains don’t retain complex details nearly as well as they do a good story. This is the new marketing.”
I couldn’t agree more. I’m pretty sure Becky Graninger and other marketing strategists are looking, right now, for more ways to tell their story. Write on!