In past blog posts and throughout much of our marketing materials, I talk a lot about how marketing is much more than just advertising. To be sure, it is an ongoing “marathon” rather than a single sprint – a matter of building a perception of who you are in the marketplace over a period of time.
To begin with you need to start with the basic checklist of what does – the products or services. Then you identify what you do well and what are your weaknesses. Of course you also need to know your competition – what they do better than you, or maybe not as well. You identify your target market(s) and make sure that you are able to service them to their expected level, while also being able to make some money!
Throughout this exercise you have begun to build your unique brand – including matching a logo and tag line that helps to explain who you are. You build a variety of materials over several media forms to help communicate this brand, and then you continue the process until you literally become tired of it – and that’s okay, because this only means that most everyone else has barely recognized you! It truly is a long haul, this thing we call marketing.
The purpose of my blog post today though, is really to concentrate on what you are doing to reinforce your identity. In other words, you have told the world about who you are and why you are different, but what have you done to “walk the walk?”
- Have you shared with client and prospects the actual results of your work?
- Do you do this regularly, or just when you first introduced your brand?
- Do you communicate the value of your work?
For each of us, we need to continually monitor our efforts – not just to create “touches” with clients and prospects, but to actually sell the brand. Give our target audience a reason to understand why we are different from the alternatives. Show them that they can benefit from using your services as opposed to your competition. After all, it is not so much about yourself, or even you client – it really is about their customer, their client, their donor. If you can help them improve those relationships through what you do, then your brand will be perceived as the one that “stands out in a crowd.”