Marketing strategy is about more than just brand awareness and turning leads into customers. Marketing strategy is about your presence in the community and how your business represents the values of that community. Your brand isn’t just a logo, letterhead, and business cards, it’s the way people perceive your business, it’s what people think of when they see that logo, letterhead or business card.

How is Branding more than my Logo and Pantone selection?

Some brands stand for more than just their product. Coca-Cola stands for Americana, nostalgia; when you see the Coca-Cola brand, you not only know the product you’ll get, there’s also a positive and wholesome feeling associated with the brand. There’s an excitement that comes with drinking a Coke, something sentimental and an almost palpable sense of anticipation when you’re about to open one and hear that crisp sound. Suddenly, you get a flash of your childhood, begging your parents for your own can of that sweet nectar, maybe your grandma winks and ‘sneaks’ you a few sips as your parents roll their eyes. That feeling is not by accident. That feeling was cultivated with a well-thought-out branding and marketing strategy. That is how you not only get new customers, but true brand loyalty.

Developing a Comprehensive Presence for your Business.

Your marketing strategy should be all-encompassing, consisting of not only a plan but branding, campaign goals, social media engagement, analytics, etc. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your marketing strategy is just setting up a system and letting it play itself out. Marketing strategy is a living, breathing beast. It needs constant guidance, someone there to massage every email response and Facebook comment into the right representation of what you and your business stand for.

An effective marketing strategist takes into account all of the variables that can sometimes make or break a business. Social media is full of viral content, but virality doesn’t mean good marketing. In today’s climate, you can’t afford to come off as tone-deaf or uninformed. The last thing you need is to be on the receiving end of a rage hashtag on Twitter, and things on Twitter can change drastically in a matter of minutes. While that might sound scary, having the right people in your corner can make all the difference. Social media is here to stay, Google is only becoming more targeted, and consumers are savvier than ever. Your marketing strategy has to be solid and consistent, but also flexible enough to stand out.

Don’t be Afraid to be a Badass!

Some of the companies that make the biggest impact are the ones that are unapologetically themselves. Nowadays, people appreciate an honest brand that stands out over a cookie-cutter company that looks just like all the others. Pushing boundaries is encouraged and rewarded when done well. Vanilla is out, it’s all about the mint chocolate chip – and don’t be afraid to add some of that Hershey’s magic shell, that shit is delicious. Note: We are not sponsored by Hershey’s but if they would like to send me a year’s supply of magic shell, I am definitely open to that discussion.

Written by: Randi Zimmerman

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