Risk Is Another Way To Say Opportunity
2020 is a minefield of risks for marketing teams, and while it is true that ‘risk’ is often a synonym for ‘opportunity’, it is equally true that a minefield is a strong motivator to choose each step carefully. A solid understanding of the risks, challenges, and issues of 2020 is your highway through the danger zone, and we’re here to help you rev up your marketing engine and navigate to success!
Truth And Authenticity: Staying On The Right Message
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, your customers are often looking for the right solutions to their problems, and a lot of problems need solving in turbulent times. If you can present your product as a viable solution, customers will beat down your door.
The flip side of this is that you risk damaging your credibility, or even facing legal issues if you make misleading claims about your product. For example, let’s say you run an e-commerce storefront for vitamins and supplements. It’s OK to state the benefits of your product that are backed up by credible scientific research, even if they’re broad claims such as ‘this multivitamin will help boost your immune system.’ You’re getting into murkier waters, however, if you extrapolate from this to claim your product can help protect you from specific illnesses, without specific scientific research backing up your claims.
Before you get too clever in the gray areas, many subject matter experts caution that lawsuits can be won even if you skirt the letter of the law. If you put out content marketing pieces that spend the first half discussing a specific illness and how it suppresses the immune system, and the second half discussing how your product protects the immune system, it’s easy to make the case that you’re implying your product will cure or treat that illness, even though you didn’t outright say it.
There are ways to stay on the side of truth and still use trending topics to build your brand. Using this same example, you might use your platform as a vitamin and supplement guru to provide general information about illnesses trending in the public eye, gaining brand awareness and building credibility for your thought leadership. And you can definitely leverage increased public interest in wellness and health to boost your revenue. That’s just a smart business strategy. Taking great care in messaging, however, can help you avoid legal entanglements.
Optimizing Email Communication and Building Client Relationships
One of the big trends in 2020 is a focus on customer experience. People don’t want to be sold to. They do, however, want a positive experience in every interaction with your company. That experience starts before they become your customer; consistently positive experiences in initial interactions build trust in the customer that those experiences will continue. Capitalizing on this trend is a golden opportunity, but missing out is a chance to fall behind the competition.
Marketing isn’t the be-all and end-all of exceptional customer experience. Simple payment systems, efficiency, and great customer service, among other factors, play a major part as well. However, the marketing team is where great CX starts, and communication and relationship-building are two threads that run through every element of customer experience.
Building relationships starts with timely, relevant and personalized communication. And a great communications tool kit can make this a lot easier. Try using a follow up email extension to schedule automated, customized follow up with customers on a pre-set sequence after your initial interactions. A tool like this will help ensure opportunities to wow every customer with timely follow-ups that usher them along their own buyer’s journey, and even provide useful data to optimize your email message through an integrated dashboard that analyzes open rates and link click-through rates.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Social media gives marketers incredible reach and engagement capabilities, but it also provides a channel for a snafu to spread fast. You might build a phenomenal ad, that every stakeholder signs off on and which sounds great in every meeting, but you can’t think of everything. If there’s any way to misinterpret your marketing or anything in your messaging that might offend a group of people, someone will find it and blast you on Twitter, and if it goes viral…well, they say there’s no such thing as bad press, but the CMOs of Peloton or DiGiorno Pizza might disagree.
You can’t always rely on your internal team to catch any potentially problematic elements of your marketing, especially if you’re a small team with similar worldviews. And sometimes you don’t have the time to exhaustively review something like a social media post taking advantage of a trending topic. There’s an old saying, though: measure twice, cut once. The equivalent in marketing is to, where possible, test marketing campaigns, ads, and posts with a wide and diverse audience before you launch them. Monitor conversations about your brand regularly, so you can catch negative chatter early.
The internet is forever and screenshots are a thing, so while a quick deletion may seem like enough, you probably won’t get away with pretending it didn’t happen. If you do mess up, your best bet is to not only delete the offending post but to offer when appropriate a heartfelt apology that shows empathy and ownership of the mistake. A sincere and appropriate response might even boost your brand image in some consumers’ eyes, as it shows a willingness to listen to feedback and make things right.
Let’s Make 2020 Your Year To Shine
Every year holds its share of risks in the marketing sector, with both perennial challenges and fresh new ways to make a misstep. However, with forethought and the right toolset, you’ve got what it takes to become a modern master marketer. Let’s get out there and flip those risks to opportunities!