I got asked this question: what’s the most appropriate marketing mix?

I got asked this question: what’s the most appropriate marketing mix?

Is there one? A perfect everlasting marketing mix? I am afraid not. And also happy. Because that is why we, marketers, still have a job: we continue to test, test, and test in search of the most appropriate marketing mix, the one that drives better ROMI.

Audiences’ behavior change – platforms they are active on, motivations, messages they react to in the current context (the pandemic taught us as much!).

Marketing channels change, too. For example, right now influencer marketing in Russia changed dramatically because influencers lost access to the platforms they had built audiences on. I know these seem dramatic examples, but they are real. They are around us.

What I believe you can work with is a work frame to determine the most appropriate marketing mix for your own brand. Below are some of the steps I would take:

1)    Goals: what are our short-term goals? How about the long-term goals?

You might need to get 100 leads in the next 3 months for your business/department to stay alive. You might also need your brand to be top of mind and increase Share of Voice to 20% because you know there is one competitor that is claiming they are providing the same quality product/services you do. Each of these goals will guide your marketing mix in a different manner.

2)    Brand communication background: learn from what the brand or its competitors are doing. Do an audit and a competitor review to learn from history.

3)    Resources and deadlines: you need an understanding of what resources are available and the time constrictions. Here are a couple of questions you might ask yourself:

  • What people do you have working on your team? What are their strengths/weaknesses?
  • What is the available budget and target ROMI? If you have a smaller budget, that might instruct your marketing mix more than what industry case studies tell you it is best practice.

4)    Strategy: after you replied to all the questions above, you come up with a strategy and stick with it for at least 6 months if not more if brand-building goals are involved.

For example, one scenario: You are a brand with a 20% Share of Voice in the cybersecurity industry, target audiences seem to be interested in your products & services, but they do not trust you. Your top competitor has 45% SOV and has been on the market for a very long time.  You, on the other hand, have a team of 2 people working on marketing, one is a specialist in content marketing, the other in paid media.

Your approved strategy might be to invest in a brand campaign focused on building trust with the brand in the coming 6 months: increase SOV by 20% in the coming 6 months and increase NPR score by 5 ppt.

Your marketing mix might be the following:

  • Customer support/care: 20% of your budget. You need to hire a consultant or work with a specialist.
  • Content marketing: 40% of your budget. Work with your in-house specialist to create content for your top channels identified in the audit/competitor review stage. These might be: thought leadership content (brand blog & LinkedIn), cybersec publications and events, podcasts, etc
  • Syndication of content – 40% of your budget. The paid media specialist will work to make sure the best platforms are included in the paid media mix, in this case, it might be programmatic, social (LinkedIn & Twitter), podcast promotion
Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too (Revisiting Marketing Basics)

Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too (Revisiting Marketing Basics)

More than 12 years ago a Marketing Professor claimed business owners should look at their business as a layered cake. She did this in a late evening lecture with more than 100 hungry people.

Advertising is just icing on the cake” she said.

She went on to explain the age old idea of Kotler’s 4Ps of marketing. She went on to say that without the first three layers – product, price, placement, no advertising campaign, no matter how creative, could guarantee ROMI.

Fast forward to today. Her words come to mind each time a stakeholder asks for an advertising campaign without them having a go to market strategy with business goals and marketing objectives. They expect the icing on the cake to be enough and replace all the other layers. But it doesn’t. All good cooks will tell you that if the first layer – the product, in our scenario, is too soft, all the layers on top of it will succomb and the heavy icing will come tumbling down on your plate because it is too heavy.

Now the analogy makes more sense than ever.

If you put all your efforts into the ad campaign, but you do not develop the product to be a good market fit, with the right pricing and and the right moment for promotion, as well as placement of your product, ads will not do anything for you. I cannot do anything for you as a social advertising professional. You as a business owner cannot blame me or the marketing channel for this.

What can you do? Work on the product, price and placement, of course. AND share all of that know-how with me. That way the icing I create can work to enhance everything that you built, not become too expensive or complicated for the layers supposed to support its weight.

Here’s a top of mind list of questions that might help some of you create your cake and eat it, too:

  • What is SO special about your product/solution? Why would someone buy it? Why wouldn’t they?
  • What are the direct & indirect competitors and what is the added value your product/solutions bring?
  • Where and to whom do you want to sell? Are there any specificities that you need to understand? How about your advertising team, do they understand?
  • Where can people buy your product? In what conditions? Online/offline? Discounts available? Partnerships?
  • I you only sell online. how good is your website? How is the user experience with your website? (Unfortunately, far too often websites load way too slow, do not provide much needed prodyct info, do not engage and convince them of why they should trust the brand and products)

That’s it. My quick Friday rant down memory lane. Hope it helps someone out there. It definitely helped me vent. Now, let me go eat some real cake. 🙂

Content Is Not Marketing. Stop Acting Like It Is.

Content Is Not Marketing. Stop Acting Like It Is.

For what seems to be a decade now people have been lobbying for content. Produce valuable content for your audiences, that is the key to success. At least that is what you read/hear. What they seem to forget is the marketing in content marketing.

This becomes an issue, a really big issue because:

  • you focus way too much on creating content and therefore you pay way too much for amazing looking content that does not deliver the desired results because you do NOT know what the desired results are. You focus way too much on deliverables and not enough on marketing strategy and ROMI
  • you lose klout within your organisation – what other teams care about is business results, not content shareability. Unless you can speak on how the content you as a marketer produce helps support their own KPIs, you will only be a team of one
  • you hire teams skilled in content production, not in content marketing. And that is an error you will pay for dearly. You and the company you work for.

Content marketing needs more than just content. It needs strategy and goals, it needs structure and analytics, it needs long term planning and execution, it needs courage and processes, workflows, and zooming in on the entire sales funnel, not just the glitzy parts that produce vanity metrics that look good on paper, but deliver 0 ROMI.