Use Marketing Conversations to Build a Memorable Brand


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Twenty years ago, a brand concept might have included a color and particular font so customers could recognize a company’s storefront. But today’s brand isn’t just external imagery and a few consistent words. The most powerful brands today are made of conversations taking place in every possible marketing platform. For consumer brands, think of Red Bull: The company is not satisfied with people thinking of its brand as just another energy drink. Not only is it meeting consumers online and in broadcast ads, but it also drive conversations about its daring image by sponsoring athletes to skydive from space. That activity gets people thinking about the brand, and more importantly, talking about it.

The current state of brand conversations

Brand conversations are often still too one-dimensional. After meeting the initial needs of the client, there’s typically no effort to evolve or change the client’s perception of the service provider. After all, marketing’s end goal is to get the client’s attention – so you’re already failing if you’re not doing anything bigger with that interest in mind.

It’s also been widely discussed that the millennial generation has changed the way marketing must be handled. This generation wants instant information, continual access to your products and services, and immediate updates to your offerings. They never want to feel out of touch or out of the loop, so it’s become your job to keep them involved with your brand through regular social media updates and emails that inform, entertain, and engage.

After meeting the initial needs of the client, there’s typically no effort to evolve or change the client’s perception of the service provider.

Perhaps it’s also time to consider adopting a “land and expand” approach. This is where the brand and value proposition can really take root for a client. Once you have a client’s interest with something they know you do well, you can then introduce new service offerings as a way to continue to shape the way clients think about you. Businesses continue to grow and change, and you have to make sure the perception of your brand does as well.

In a marketing services business, for instance, some customers might think you’re merely experts at CRM implementation. But once you impress them with your expertise in that area, you’re in a much better position to let them know you also offer branding overhauls, website services, and copywriting. Creating an inside sales cycles depends on doing a great job both at what a client thinks you do and what you suggest you can do for them next.

Nurture your brand in the minds of your customers

The term “nurture” applies here, because that’s exactly what you’re doing: nurturing your position, your message and the clients’ trust. This is much more likely to be effective in the middle of the lifecycle, after the initial introduction to the brand, because it’s backed up by product and service utilization. The client has had time to kick the tires, and is now ready to buy the full car. If you let the client believe you only sold tires, you’d be doing the company a disservice and underselling your value and expertise.

Building a conversation as a brand means not being satisfied with what people already think about your company. It’s a good start to have people already talking about your products and services. But you also have to listen to what they’re saying and tailor your content and messaging based on that.

If a client says, “oh, I didn’t know you offered marketing automation training,” create a new piece of content about how that training has helped other clients. Consider bringing in a customer who has benefited from your marketing automation training, and creating a case study or blog post on how he used it to accelerate his lead generation pipeline and increase sales. A customer’s story will lend credibility to your wide range of offerings and show that your messaging isn’t just branding fluff. If your outward messaging is based on your clients’ misconceptions, you know that you are directing engagement in a brand conversation.

Complacency kills opportunity

Don’t become so invested in what you think your marketing is saying that you can’t see the complete picture. Try engaging with a social listening tool like Radian6 to determine what the social world is saying about your products or services. Or you can even perform organic research by taking advantage of, entering queries about your company into Google, or looking up your company’s name and keywords in to get a handle on the dialogues that are happening around your brand.

Create specific pieces of content to promote your whole business, not just what you’re already known for.

By stepping away from your own perceptions of what others are saying about you, and not merely relying upon limited feedback from select clients, you can honestly assess your brand’s image. From this, you’ll have what you need to adjust your marketing tactics based on what people in the market are actually hearing. If the takeaway is that those who interact with your brand aren’t receiving the messages you want them to, it’s time for a messaging revamp.

Accelerating your brand to your customer base means being agile enough to not just talk at your market. It means listening to what people know about your brand and making adjustments in response to what they actually think, not what you hope they think. Create specific pieces of content to promote your whole business, not just what you’re already known for.

Say, for instance, that most customers are coming to you for ebooks and whitepapers around sales best practices. You are their go-to resource on this subject. While that’s great, to stop here is to let the rest of your expertise languish on the shelf. Instead, you listen to your market and discover they need help in many areas of the sales cycle, from writing the first email to cultivating a long-term customer relationship. So you respond by creating videos, ebooks and other pieces that start with CRM implementation and continue all the way through marketing automation. Instead of becoming frozen as the “sales best practices” resource, you’ve built out your thought leadership space and influenced customer perception. This is true branding agility: being flexible and nimble enough to shape your brand in response to your market.

Ultimately brand conversations are just that, conversations, not monologues. Listen to what clients are saying and respond with the appropriate marketing messaging, and you’ll imbue your brand with a magnetic power customers remember.


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