I’ve been involved in aerospace and aviation marketing for 30 years, and here are 10 lessons that I think are worth sharing.1) Marketing is hard.
For some, marketing is what happens in a fun meeting where everyone kicks around ideas for ads or taglines. But marketing isn’t that easy. Although many parts of the marketing process involve creativity, marketing exists to bring a product to market and create an environment conducive to making sales. That process includes much more than creative brainstorming sessions. Instead, it encompasses market research, targeting and segmentation, goals, strategy, budget and measurement. It’s not easy. Instead it’s a complex program of interconnected activities that requires specialized knowledge and discipline.
2) Be careful who you ask.
It’s dangerous to ask internal colleagues “what they think” of a proposed marketing tactic or approach. That’s because everyone has an opinion about marketing, but not everyone has an informed opinion based on an in-depth understanding of the goals or target audience being addressed. Just because Joe in finance doesn’t like something does not mean it won’t accomplish established goals to increase awareness or drive leads.
3) More strategy, less tactics.
Tactics are commodities. The point is that lots of people can do a brochure or write and design an ad. Be careful not to get pigeonholed as the tactics person who meets the demands of other people. Instead, build your reputation as the thinking person who develops and drives smart strategy and backs it up with supporting tactics as needed and as appropriate. This , new for 2018, can help.
4) Not everything old school is bad.
Man has been telling stories since we lived in caves. And great storytelling is still at the heart of great marketing as it entices buyers and leads them on a compelling journey from prospect to sales qualified lead. The point is that not everything old school is automatically outdated and ineffective, and not everything new school is guaranteed to work. Pick and choose from all available tools and techniques based on what makes sense for your program and campaign. There is no silver bullet. Just smart marketing built on stellar strategy, creativity and tactics.
5) You can’t afford to ever stop learning.
From chat bots to experiential marketing, new tools and approaches are being introduced every day, and marketing is changing at an unprecedented pace. Dedicate time to keep up with what’s new, and don’t be afraid to try emerging techniques if it’s something that makes sense for your audience and goals. The Business Marketing Association recommends adopting a “core” and “edge” approach to developing a marketing technology roadmap that encompasses both fundamental technology and experimental projects.
6) The purpose of marketing is to enable sales.
We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Marketing can’t make the sale for you, but it can (and should) create an environment conducive to making the sale. That’s why marketing should be included in any discussion about sales effectiveness or ineffectiveness. They must work together.
7) Great photography is worth its weight in gold.
We still don’t understand why, but a lot of aerospace marketing professionals don’t value photography enough to pay for it. But they should. If you want your brand to look amateurish then that’s the photography to use. If you want to look like a technology innovator, turn to a professional and pay for quality work — it will be beyond worth it.
8) If you only do one thing well, make it your website.
Your website is likes a salesperson who never sleeps, It’s out there 24/7 speaking on your behalf. With that in mind, what is your website telling prospects about your business? Does it reflect an organization that is responsive and easy to work with? Does it convey who you are and what you do in three seconds or less? Is it compelling and memorable or boring and forgettable? Answer these questions honestly, and then let HubSpot’s Website Grader automatically assess your site’s performance.
9) It’s not about you, your organization, or what you want.
Your marketing shouldn’t be built around internal wants and needs (beyond high-level goals and objectives). Instead, make your marketing about the customer, and what he or she needs, wants and believes.
10) Technology can’t replace creativity in messaging and design.
Yes, there’s more to marketing than creativity. But, creativity is still incredibly important to giving your business a competitive edge. The folks at Headmark got it right when they said, “creativity is enhanced by technology rather than dependent on it. The idea always comes first. In the realm of advertising and marketing, working with the right creative talent who can use their ideas to talk directly to the market is something which technology simply cannot replicate.”
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