5 Ways to Future-Proof Your Marketing
1. Double Down On Your Purpose
As our Managing Partner Lynn Kozak stated in a recent blog post, companies who had established a clearly defined brand prior to the COVID-19 pandemic had a strong platform from which to speak when the crisis hit. They didn’t need to find their voice amongst the backdrop of continuous political and corporate messages. Instead, they focused on serving and supporting their customers from an already-established footing, and on supporting their employees.
Ensuring that your brand positioning and messaging are clearly defined will make your organization more resilient and ultimately more agile to mitigated change. At the same time, despite the deafening siren’s call for all things demand, brand couldn’t be any more important than in often commoditized and overcrowded supply chain markets. For example, there are more than 6,000 freight forwarders on the Transpacific East Bound trade lane alone. Brand is the difference.
2. Own an Issue, Publish Often
People don’t often wake up in the morning thinking, “I need a new freight forwarder!” or “Get me a new solution for hiring and retaining my hourly workers!” They do wake up thinking how they can be better at their jobs. How the current state of the economy is affecting their business. How uncertainty and volatility might throw a wrench in their plans. Start there! Because then, when a customer is looking for whatever you’re selling, you’ve given them something of value that they will remember you by.
For example, amid the US-China trade war, we partnered with Flexport to create TariffInsider.com – a ‘one-stop-shopping’ news and content microsite for customers and prospects. The Tariff Insider site generated scores of content downloads and service consultation requests – ultimately delivering dozens of sales opportunities for freight, customs and trade finance services. In fact, 25% of site visitors navigated to Flexport.com, where they converted at a rate 2.4X higher than regular traffic.
ALSO – don’t assume that great content and thought leadership only serve the “top of the funnel.” The content experiences you create can start new sales conversations, aid cross-sell and upsell, and increase share of wallet, not to mention loyalty.
3. Diversify Your Content and Contributors
Different people prefer different formats. Written. Video. Audio. What’s more, they appreciate different points of view. Where can your content come from – and how do you distribute it? Build a strong content team with an agency partner who can seamlessly collaborate with your marketing team and subject matter experts.
And, don’t shy away from your frontline employees who interact with customers every day – and are the gate keepers of enabling customer stories. Or the customers themselves! Maximize every bit of brainpower to scale your brand and content, without massively expanding your costs. Everyone in this ecosystem contributes to and amplifies the power of your content experiences.
4. Make Yourself Useful
Think of ways you can offer brand and content experiences that make you integral to how your customers do business – even without your product or service. Newsletters, blogs, and LinkedIn groups or communities are all ways to bring real-time information and guidance to customers and prospects.
Another way to be useful: educate. Consider creating a help center, set of FAQs or glossary for complex subject matter and issues. The great thing about this: not only do clients value the content, so does Google. Google’s algorithm values educational content and is a tremendous SEO driver.
5. Democratize Your Brand and Content
Lastly, don’t keep your content to yourself. Marketing shouldn’t be your only content marketers, everyone can sell! Share out content to sales with “News You Can Use.” Package campaigns for sales, but also send weekly bulletins with new and useful content, along with prepacked copy for sales outreach emails.
Even better, try implementing a social media sharing solution, such as Dynamic Signal, to enable everyone to broadly distribute your content. This helps you drive demand and help them build their own personal brands as thought leaders.