Change is difficult for everyone. Each and every day we all have to adapt to the three-ring circus called life, which leaves very little time to take on much else. So, how do we better ourselves and make positive changes that affect our personal and professional lives? First, we have to take the focus off of everyone else and position the spotlight on ourselves.

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Mark Twain described personal change this way – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

They say that it takes 28 days to create a new habit, so change is not something that happens easily. To make improvements, the first order of business is to make an “all in” commitment, but once the seed is firmly planted it has to be nurtured. You have to fertilize the soil, water daily and make sure there is enough sunlight. Improving your marketing efforts takes that same kind of dedication. Below are three ideas that can open your mind up to new possibilities and help your marketing efforts flourish.

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

Will Rogers once said, “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where fruit is.”

One of the best ways to get attention with your marketing is to do things differently, so when your competition is zigging don’t be afraid to zag. Following your competition’s lead only makes you blend in with them and everyone else on the planet. Decide what your brand stands for and then make it your mission to tell the story that’s uniquely yours. Experiment, have fun and be genuine, that’s what gets you noticed. Try different creative approaches, utilize different media outlets and see what works. When that no longer works, try something else. If you’re advertising on Facebook, using a particular ad format, try one of the others. Heck, try a cross-section of various ad types, all at once, with different headlines and visuals, and see which one performs the best.  Start utilizing Facebook live and begin interacting with your consumers on a regular basis. Always look for new ways to stand out from the crowd and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, that’s the only way to learn.

Stop Thinking There’s A Magic Bullet

Our agency recently had a meeting where the marketing director told us that their company had made the decision to put their entire marketing budget into digital ads and social media. We immediately asked why, and we’re told, “because it can be measured and corporate wants to be able to see the results on everything we do.” Funny thing is, they never discussed their marketing objective, target demographics, or goals for their campaign, just tactics? To be successful with your marketing efforts you have to define your target personas and approach each one in a way that connects. Digital ads and social media may be a great way to reach your audience, but excluding all other methods can really backfire on you. You need to be able to use whatever means necessary, whether it be a 3D direct mailer, handwritten letter, or guerilla marketing. Be open to whatever has the best chance of motivating your audience.

Be Consistent Without Being Boring

In this day and time being consistent with your brand is paramount to its success. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day, so for your brand to be able to cut through the proverbial clutter, consistency is the name of the game. Change your visuals and messages, but make sure your brand and look stay intact. Think of Chick-fil-A and Target as great examples. It may seem boring to you, but managing your branding guidelines and ensuring that your logo, color palette, typography, and core messaging approach are adhered to is one way to outshine your competition. You may be dying to switch things up, but remember, consumers require consistency to actually see your message. You need to have a “campaign” instead of a “one-off” mentality and market yourself in a way that makes a real impact.

If you want to be a better marketer, be open to changing the way you think about marketing. Technology and media opportunities evolve daily, so do your homework and have fun experimenting. Try the three ideas above and let that be your starting point. Here’s to a great year of branding and marketing in 2018!

 

 Tom Lewis | Creative Director & Vice President | High Tide Creative

With over 25 years of professional advertising and design experience, Tom has spent much of his career working with companies throughout the southeast. His client list includes – Equifax, Georgia Pacific, Primerica, Weyerhaeuser, The Atlanta Hawks, Randstad Staffing, Hutchen’s Law Firm, New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, Carolina Orthopedics and UNC Lenoir Health Care.