In episode 5 of the Accelerating Value podcast series, we spoke to Joe Tran, Chief Marketing Strategist at Brandigy.
We spoke about how he helps clients find value in a changing marketplace, the need for the right online presence, enhancing ROI on marketing spend, and the power of brand culture and perception. Our full conversation revealed many important takeaways for marketers and businesses trying to create value in today's digital world.
Here are some of the key points from this discussion.
So, let's start with how things have changed when you work with clients before Covid and after Covid. When it comes to the pressure that they're under to create value and how they're going about developing strategies to create the value, do you see a contrast?
In general, I think, what's happening more is, like everything else that we see in the marketplace, everything is shifting more online because of necessity. And this includes your local mom-and-pop to a lot of your Fortune 500. If they don't have enough presence, they’re trying to expand more and from that, they're trying to figure out what's profitable. What's really working, so you know the value is where it should be. Basically, it's being more present online.
How are they thinking about all the variables that they don't control at all and the impact on value that those have? How do you see all this evolving, not just in terms of tactical choices, but in terms of the way that the marketers are thinking about all this?
Everything still comes down to performance and results and different KPIs. This whole ecosystem, pre-Covid and post-Covid, is forcing people to really understand the user and the individual side. So you have to understand the needs of the individual before you talk to them and once you start engaging with them, you want to know where they are in the pipeline. So bringing more awareness, not just as a marketer but overall as an organization to the needs of the individual.
And so tell me how you're advising your customers to do that? So, you're really talking about an ICP (ideal customer profile). So when you're sitting down talking about that with a marketing team or even a sales team, or both, what does that look like these days?
Well, it's really defining who your target market is. To be specific, say it comes back to the 80/20 rule, especially during Covid. You really don't want to be all things to all people. You want to be able to understand who you can benefit the most and go after that and improve within that.
So you can listen within the marketplace (social listening), you can create content to make sure your message and your solutions can fulfill your customer’s objectives. You can look at doing a little bit more of a deep search within the customer behaviors and user intent, and you can do that using data that you have available. So in general, you want to make sure your message is hitting the right target audience within the right framework at the right time.
How do you feel your customers are thinking about risk these days? So there's ROI on marketing spend, and there's also the risk of not getting that return that people are wrestling with right now. Given the volatility in the market, how are you seeing them deal with that?
So there's the risk of not doing something and the risk of missing the opportunity. Most of the time people think about risk as: “I'm going to spend this money and not going to get anything back”, but a lot of people don't think about the risk of opportunity. An easy way to solve those problems is to jump in there fast and jump in there with a defined KPI. So establish what you can define as a win, try to do that with a small spend, and then accelerate from that.
When you're talking with a client, one of the things that people really care a lot about today is time to value, which is also about mitigating the risk of a bad decision. When you develop strategies for your customers, do you feel like that's something that you're planning? Is it the same as before, or is it a bigger part now? How are people thinking about this?
To me, it's always been adding more things to the value to gain that success. So every campaign, every industry, offers some commonalities. First: how do you get that visibility? Second: once you get the visibility, how can you improve the process within the pipeline?
So with all of that, you want to make sure that you have things in place as we're leveraging multi-channel attributions, as well as multi-channel contact. So we know at what stage they are at, so we can communicate to them more efficiently, and by doing that, you're not wasting money on things that they don't want and you're not wasting time. So you can be really laser-focused, not just in attracting the client, but also once they come into the pipeline too.
So one of the things that we're talking about a lot here is what a lot of marketers would call performance marketing. How do you think about brand marketing these days?
The brand is definitely the distinguisher. You can always have performance marketing (“What am I getting for my money?”). The brand aspect should be carried across throughout the whole organization and every touchpoint. So as far as the brand goes, it's not just what you see, but it's also about the culture, so the culture should be there so that you know the people will like you.
It’s kind of a challenging period for marketers, but the pressure to create value and the opportunity to create value - do you see it as being just as significant as it always was?
I think so, and I think once you get over that hurdle of change, what you need to do with the initial investment, goes back to the question: “what should I invest? Am I going to get the return in value?” and also that question of how much we should test.
Joe Tran has loads of experience in value creation for clients and knows the secrets behind creating real value in today's ever-changing landscape. The full conversation revealed unique insights on branding, data, and maximizing marketing ROI.
The Accelerating Value podcast series focuses on how we see, create, and plan value. Every week we talk to new guests, who are leaders across various disciplines. We understand their definition of value and showcase their expert insights to help you in your own quest to create value.