By STEPHANIE WOODCOCK
Clients are bustling, wanting sales materials, recruiting collateral, website updates, LinkedIn posts, award submissions and events in Q4. It’s nonstop for marketers right now.
Companies are spending the rest of their marketing dollars, recalibrating goals for 2024.
The Big Picture
Though the busy season demands attention to detail, don’t forget to assess the big picture before 2024 starts. Looking back and finding out what worked during 2023 is just as important as brainstorming new strategies for 2024.
What is the big picture? To drive business.
Get the right people to do the work. Create a culture that people want to engage in.
In 2023, one trend for employees is finding meaning in ourselves, our jobs and our work.
I recently read an article about motivation. Employees are motivated by three different types of intrinsic motivations – competence, connectivity and independence.
Part of an owner’s job is to ask the right questions and find out what motivates employees intrinsically. Create a path to produce more satisfaction, and ultimately ownership of their jobs. Job responsibilities and tasks turn into career milestones and achievements when the right motivators are fed. When people are motivated by their intrinsic needs and these needs compliment external job responsibilities, work feels more like personal success.
What does this have to do with marketing?
This article’s theme of finding the intrinsic meaning to produce external results is exactly what good marketing is supposed to do.
Sometimes, it takes the right questions at the right time to illuminate the real motivator of why people like doing a particular task and what drives them to be better. Discovering the intrinsic motivators helps us not only understand individuals, but drive them to be the best people they can be at the job they are in or going to be in.
This results in longevity, higher output, greater satisfaction and upward mobility.
When people feel appreciated and understood, making a difference becomes part of the core of who they are, and they grow to love their jobs. It turns a job into a mission.
What Makes Your Firm Tick?
A company is much like a person. What makes the company tick? They are all different. As marketers, we need to ask the right questions and find those answers so we can reap the best external results.
We need to first find out what intrinsically motivates a company to do what. Why do we do what we are doing?
To give people a living?
To make money?
To provide jobs?
To build projects?
To make the world a better place?
To provide innovative solutions to time tired problems?
To be sustainable?
When I go to a website, the first page I go to is the “About Us” page. I want to know why they are a company and what brought them together. The second page I seek is the “Culture” page. What makes them tick?
The last place a company wants to be is in the dreaded middle – where nothing separates you from your competition. You aren’t low bid, nor are you very loved through your brand because you haven’t put any effort into it. You don’t have “brand love” or a culture worth talking about.
As a company and business owner, find your mission first before you start handing out jobs and creating deliverables.
Find out what intangible marketing works to make tangible your big-picture goals.
What Worked in 2023?
Here’s how I would do it. See the big picture first through Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. Go back month by month and figure out what big marketing goal you accomplished each month or quarter.
Then ask yourself what was the most closely aligned marketing deliverable that contributed to the big-picture company goals. How did your firm accomplish that goal that quarter? Quarter to quarter, are your goals and results different?
What three things are you most proud of that your company accomplished in your marketing during 2023?
What can you build on in 2024? What can you repeat and make better?
Once you find your mission, figure out the best way to broadcast it. If your customers don’t know about it, what is the point? Don’t stay under the radar. People need to know what you stand for.
Brand Love over Loyalty
Press releases, website, video, LinkedIn, associations, sponsorships, charity involvements, employee events. All can create brand love and culture to make your firm a loved, respected and esteemed company.
Find your mission.
Broadcast your mission.
Live your mission.
It’s back to brand love over brand loyalty. What makes a customer love a company more than just being loyal to it?
Competence, connectivity, independence.
Like individual motivators, what motivates your company? The fact you can do things so well that you leave your competitors far behind (independence and competence). Have a culture that people want to engage in and admire (connectivity).
Engage marketing to accomplish these goals.
We need to fight to not be a commodity. We do that through our marketing. We need to make the right kind of noise that rings true with our mission. Our intrinsic goals need to be broadcasted with our external marketing strategies.
Competition is getting better.
Digital marketing is getting crowded.
2024 marketing strategies will grow in three major ways.
1) Digital Platforms
2) Social Sharing
3) Content Marketing
We can no longer just depend on facts and information. We have to tell the story of ‘Why’ and ‘About Us’ through authentic digital content. No one wants to read bullet points of how you are the greatest at what you do. That’s not authentic. Someone else will come along and be greater. But, someone will be interested in how you started, why you are doing what you are doing and what is your greater purpose.
That is emotional and has staying power. Facts don’t.
Don’t be a commodity. A widget. A disposable asset. Get to the top of mind in your market by making an external impression with your internal meaning.
Experience and emotion trump facts and figures every time.
Get on your digital platform to share your meaning so that your information resonates with your customer.
Don’t end up in the “dreaded middle.”
Marketing is an external impression of an internal meaning.
Let’s make 2024 mean something.