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Brand Quarterly

 

 

 

 

 

Brand Quarterly

8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success

More than 150 Marketing Pros Weigh In On "8 Mandates For Social Media Marketing Success" by Kent Huffman, with Eric Fletcher. More information.

Brand Quarterly Featured

SleeplessIf you’ve made it this far you’ve articulated specific objectives and identified the targets that will make those objectives real.  Now it’s time to get to know your targets.

In marketing terms…now we identify the Business Drivers.

What are Business Drivers?  The definition used earlier in our discussion is one of the best: Business Drivers are those compelling things that are so central to success that they keep your Target up at night.  They are top-of-mind. They are about productivity, cash flow, and ultimate profitability.  They are about liabilities today and securing tomorrow.  They are the issues that change the shape of industries.  They are local, and they are global.  And they are the keys to the measurable growth of your practice.

And (just to make it interesting), your Target may not connect them to your service.

 

But in a marketplace that is increasingly global, where technology levels and then changes the shape of the playing field, where the scope of each decision is seen in light of its impact on the bottom-line…in today’s environment your Target is searching for a partner that will help address the Drivers.

The reality is your Target wants a relationship that adds depth to endeavors and brings dimension to experience. From the perspective of your Target, this kind of partner is an asset.

A business partner is an architect of decisions…a participant in the process.  A business partner is involved in countless areas that may not be, on the face of it, connected to the way your Target views your business, service or profession.

Know what is compelling to your Target, and you hold the key to participating in the decisions that determine direction.  Understand the Business Drivers and you become a “team member” – a valued asset -- the coveted "trusted advisor."  Become a business partner, and your practice grows as your Target grows.

More Than the Negatives

By now it should be obvious that when we use the phrase “keeps your target up at night” we mean much more than just the problems.  Business Drivers are not inherently problematic; some of the most compelling come in the form of opportunities.  They revolve around larger market share, swifter product-to-market delivery, better cost-to-deliver ratios, and growth.

Your best marketing – the most cost effective and efficient – occurs when you are so in touch with the realities that operate in the business life of your Target that you are able to anticipate Business Drivers.  (This is the marketing version of “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”)

In the next section we talk about what it takes to craft Solutions that match these Drivers; but it’s worth underscoring here – the Driver is the compelling issue.  It is not the legal answer.

The key to connecting with your Target is basing your relationship – focusing your communication – on the Driver.  Understand the issues, and you instantly have something in common.  This commonality is the basis for partnership.  On the other hand…failure to connect to a Business Driver is the fastest way to ensure relegation to the preconceived pigeon-hole usually occupied by your profession.

Tips on How to Identify Business Drivers

Some of these are so obvious that it borders on insulting to even mention them here.  With that disclaimer noted, here are some proven methods of Driver identification.

The first, and often most effective, is to ask.  Remember…we’re talking compelling issues here – the kind of things that keep your Target up at night.  Today’s creative decision maker is looking for answers even when not overtly looking.  The reality is many will readily share the Business Drivers of the industry with you.  Cultivate the right relationship, ask at the right moment, in the right way, and it is likely you’ll get insight into what prevents your Target from getting a good night’s rest.

General information source – industry publications, web sites, corporate annual reports to name a few routinely reveal the issues that are driving a particular business or industry.

Basic company profiles, industry analysis, and a litigation analysis / legal snapshot are relatively accessible, and a great place to begin.  Careful study of these materials often reveals possible business drives.

Once you’ve honed in on your Targets, there is no substitute for reading, listening, and most importantly, being so invested and connected to a company or an industry that the needs become evident.  Google news alerts, industry reports can support this effort.

If it’s keeping your Target up at night, you should know it and understand it.

(A note of caution as you research Business Drivers: remove yourself – your personal “drivers,” your preconceived notions – and keep anecdotal information in perspective.  The single biggest mistake you can make in this area is letting YOUR reality cloud the way you see the reality of your Targets.)

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