Stay Informed to Stay Competitive

Kedran Whitten, CMO, Computer Services Inc
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Define clear goals

Marketers have countless communication platforms at their disposal, so to ensure you’re using the correct channels, you always start with your marketing strategy. By defining clear goals for any campaign, you can uncover which platforms will be the most effective for your efforts. For example, when we rebranded CSI in 2012, our strategy was to canvas the financial services market with messaging related to the new brand. Our strategy included online, offline and social components to ensure our messaging saturated the market; however, we often implement much more targeted campaigns that consist of fewer touch points and very specific messaging.

"From content and design to web presence and overall strategy, you need individuals who are experts in those specific areas bringing their perspective to the broader picture"

Organize your efforts around your strategy

Today’s campaigns rely on a blend of content, creative and personal connection. In my experience, modern programs require involvement from across (and sometimes beyond) the organization (sales, operations, account management) to be truly successful. For instance, our campaigns are multi-faceted and often include thought leadership in the form or a blog or white paper, which requires the input of our product experts and thought leaders, as well as include webinars where we invite customers or early adopters to share their experiences with webinar attendees. Additionally, our digital campaigns include the web team (links and analytics), the creative team (landing pages and ads), the content team (downloaded content and editing), and the marketing strategy team (placement and analysis). Today’s campaigns extend beyond the reach of the marketing team, so you have to organize your efforts around your strategy—before you begin, you have to determine the intended outcome, what elements to include, what teams will be involved and how all the pieces will fit into place cohesively.

Three points to focus when developing marketing programs

To stay competitive, you have to stay informed on the latest industry trends, and that’s why it’s so important to have a team that’s well versed on modern marketing. Consumer behavior is shifting rapidly, and as marketers, our responsibility is not only to understand those shifts, but also to help our companies navigate the changes. And that’s where “team” comes into play -- from content and design to web presence and overall strategy, you need individuals who are experts in those specific areas bringing their perspective to the broader picture. Having a cohesive team of individual who bring unique skill sets and talents to the table are a must for today’s marketing teams. So, when it comes to advice for developing a marketing program, I would say this: (1) hire the right people, (2) don’t be married to tradition, and (3) measure often by relying on a blend of analytics and intuition. If you focus on those three areas, you’ll find your campaigns are creative, fun to execute, and above all, highly effective.

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