What do you resolve to do differently or better with your aerospace marketing programs in 2018? We asked seven BDN team members for their top three resolutions for the year ahead — and this is what they said.
Kyle Davis, Partner
1. Make your marketing more customer-centric in 2018.
Did you know that company-centric marketing is the root cause of most ineffective marketing programs? Don’t doom your marketing by making it all about you. Instead, filter everything through a customer lens. Learn about his or her problems, challenges and pain points and clearly show how your product or service can help make things better. It’s not easy to get this right, but once you align your messaging with your customer’s needs, you can build your marketing program on a solid foundation of content that will naturally draw customers to you. Want to learn more about this process? Download our Guide to Developing a Value Proposition for help.
2. Understand the buying committee.
As Edelman correctly points out, “the days of a single decision-maker are gone,” and, in the interest of being customer-centric we need to adjust the way we market accordingly. “As the number of people involved in purchase decisions grows, (B2B) marketers need to consider the roles, functions, and needs of the buying committee when developing content and outreach strategies. Start by building out an ecosystem of the organization as it relates to your product or service, then define the different individual buyers’ roles to determine how content should relate to each persona and how it impacts the buyer’s journey.”
3. Resolve to say “no” more.
In addition to thinking about what new things you should be doing that you are not doing now, consider what you are doing that is no longer necessary. While it may be important to accomplishing your awareness objectives, print advertising is a big expenditure that deserves a second look. The next time your rep calls with a proposal, and before you commit to spending more, challenge him or her to show you what you are getting in return for your investment. The same goes for trade shows. We are pro trade show, but are against putting your annual schedule on autopilot. Scrutinize every show every year and keep going back to those that deliver a return.
Elizabeth Anne Hill, Account Director
4. Set measurable goals and report on them.
A lot of people don’t like marketing because they don’t feel they can measure every dollar that’s spent. It is true that you may not be able to attribute every dollar to a specific spend in a given marketing channel. However, that shouldn’t keep you from setting measurable goals around all of your activities. For example, we all know that trade show investments can be hefty. Next time you are planning to exhibit at a show, send an email to new sales prospects offering them a distinct giveaway or promotional item if they stop by your booth and mention the email. Only give those items to those potential customers so you can understand the effectiveness of the email (outside of open rates, click through rates, landing page visitation, etc.) Also, calculate the number of new sales leads you get at the show and how many of those turn into viable prospects over the next six months, depending on your sales cycle. You can then go back and actually look at your costs per acquisition for the different measurable activities to see which investments performed best across the different shows and compare these to your leads from other sources. The data may not be always be apples-to-apples but you are getting a ballpark indication of how your marketing investments are performing.
5. Refresh your website with good, SEO focused content.
Some businesses build a new website, people are excited, and then everyone thinks they are done. That’s like building a house and not filling it with furniture! Websites evolve just like businesses evolve and telling good stories about your business and what you do well will allow you to be “found” by prospective customers. Even though aerospace can be traditional as an industry, millennials are joining aerospace businesses and their first instinct is to search online for everything, whether it be sourcing a new part or checking the background of a supplier who is coming to a meeting. Make sure your business has its best foot forward online at all times. That means not only creating a flow of good, search-optimized content for your website but also tapping into external channels where relevant too (LinkedIn is a good one.) An updated presence across the digital spectrum will ensure your business not only looks professional from all angles but also will allow you to be found by your next customer. Want to learn more? Download this Website Sales Killers reference.
6. Set aside 5 percent of your marketing budget for testing something new.
We all know that marketing is evolving quicker than ever. It seems like every week we hear about a new channel or capability that’s come to life. Not every channel is right for every business but there is a lot to be said for testing. Task your team to come up with a new idea or campaign that they would like to try. Tell them they can use 5 percent of their marketing budget to set up a campaign and launch it. At worst, the results may tell you it’s not worth allocating more resources in the same way in the future. At best, you’ve motivated your team to think of new ideas, stay up to speed with new developments in marketing, and allowed them to take ownership of a small activity or campaign that may be worth reinvestment in the future. It’s a win-win either way.
Nick Markwardt, Art Director
7. Empathize more.
Listen attentively when clients or teammates are explaining their challenges. Your expertise may allow you to draw conclusions, spot weaknesses, and develop solutions quickly, but you need to share your process — and do so convincingly — if you want everyone else to get on board. Part of being an expert is the ability share your knowledge with others — take the time to do that.
8. Speak up.
Let others know where you stand. While empathy is an important skill, it’s just as important to communicate with others when you have questions or concerns. Practice doing so graciously. Check your ego, stand in your truth, and always remember that speaking your mind is not the same as getting your way.
9. Take a walk.
Sometimes the best way to gain perspective is to shift yours. Unless you’re working under a taskmaster, not every minute of your work day needs to take place at your desk. When you’re tackling a tough problem, dealing with writer’s block, or just feeling overwhelmed, get up and get some fresh air. Go outside or simply take a stroll around your office. Make a daily habit of it.
Stephanie Segars, Account Coordinator
10. Utilize your metrics.
Don’t implement a marketing tactic just for the sake of feeling like you have to implement something. Leverage the data from previous campaigns to build upon the next one. Did your new video or print ad garner the engagement you were expecting? If not, change things up to shift the results and adjust your marketing planning accordingly. It’s OK to step away from the status quo and get away from implementing tactics because that’s what has always been done. Make sure that you’re using the right reports in order to properly measure and validate the success of a tactic.
11. Leverage your data.
Through all of your marketing efforts, you likely have a good amount of data you have gained from your customers. But, are you using it? Resolve in 2018 to dive deeper into the data you already have and use it to your advantage when executing your marketing tactics.
12. Listen to your customers.
Do you know what your customers are saying about your brand? Take a deep dive into what your customers are thinking and how it impacts their buying decisions. Conduct surveys or focus groups to gain insights into how customers are making decisions. The process can be enlightening and feed into the decision of what marketing tactics to implement for the coming year.
Lisa Sifuentes, VP, Client Services
13. Provide more insight to your customer.
Help them see that you truly understand their business and are not just there to sell them on your latest offering. People in today’s world are surrounded with information and sales opportunities, so offer value your customer can’t get anywhere else – this doesn’t have to take on the form of a new capability, either.
14. Push harder.
Not physically, but mentally. Resolve to not be OK with the status quo. Be OK with change and allow others to challenge your thought process. Some of the best and most effective ideas have resulted from a different way of thinking. Fight to do better and be better, even if that makes you unpopular.
15. Less is more.
Executing a lot of tactics just to do them does not equate success. Give careful thought to what your audience may want from you along with where they interact with information the most. This is why planning — thoughtful planning — is important, while also optimizing the use of always-limited resources.
Sarah Stanczyk, Digital Marketing Specialist
16. Conduct more A/B testing.
While there is an incredible amount of content available on best practices, the most effective information is data specific to your own company and audience. Marketers need to better understand what drives their audience to act, and what better way to do that than test the market yourself?
17. Be more purposeful.
When executed correctly, a digital marketing campaign can provide more than just leads — it can give insight into how your audiences think and what causes them to act. Before executing a digital tactic, plan out what information you want to learn in the process and make sure to set up tracking to help you gauge that insight.
18. Make data-driven decisions.
In today's marketing world, the amount of data available is incredibly vast. Marketers should utilize the data to learn what is working and what isn't working and leverage information to be more strategic and efficient in decision-making.
Grace Nakazawa, Partner
19. Try something new.
It’s easy to get into a rut and do the same things year after year. In 2018 introduce a new element into your marketing program, something you haven’t tried before. Produce a podcast, create a video, or hold a webinar. Find a new way that your audience can engage with your company.
20. Avoid random acts of marketing.
Vow not to perform any marketing tactics that aren’t part of your strategic marketing plan. They might address an immediate need, but they tend to be a drain on existing resources. Stick to your plan and measure your results.
21. Develop Content.
If a content calendar feels overwhelming and you’re not sure how to begin, just start small. Plan on creating at least four pieces of content this year, one per quarter. Try developing a case study, producing a how-to video, taking a survey and sharing the results, making a checklist, or an infographic. Whatever it is make sure it’s useful to your audience. Want to learn more? Download the “14 Types of Content to Engage Your Audience” in our marketing toolkit.