Inside Reality – Outside perception – Keys to Maximizing Your Marketing

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Inside Reality - Outside perception

Indeed, if your customers know more about how you go about doing your business it can add a human touch and add luster to the brand.

What are you doing to optimize your sales and marketing? Everyone agrees sales and marketing are important in driving the top line. But how are you really differentiating your product or service from the noise of competition? Over my many years as a consultant, one of my general observations is that marketing is missing the boat when it comes to presenting a full perception of a company. The following are some suggestions to help provide some often missed elements for differentiation.

In your mind, what do you think makes your company special? Maybe it’s the quality of your product or the level of your service? Perhaps you have an outstanding management team and above standard training programs? Whatever special attributes you think exist internally, chances are your customer base has no idea. You may think this is not important to the end user of the product or service. Oh, how wrong you are! Yes, what your company produces should be the sum of all the good things your company does, but customers normally aren’t familiar with those internal requirements that can affect the outcome. Indeed, the more good things customers and potential customers know about your company the better.

Make a list of internal differentiation elements

Take some time and ask employees and managers to take an anonymous survey. Ask them to rate on a scale of 1-5 (5 being highest score) those internal things about the company they see as essential to the success of the company. Add your input to the survey. Once the data is in, ask yourself if customers know about those good internal things. You may find that these internal factors can help differentiate your company from the pack. Indeed, the special internal and external positive aspects of your business should be marketed as a whole to the public.

Make a list of external differentiation elements

Of course, this is basic marketing but external factors can change. New competition, changing trends in customer preferences and new technologies can catch you napping. Sales may not show any trend changes but that doesn’t measure the lost opportunities of bringing in new customers or increasing revenue per sale. To help keep management aware of what is happening in the market for their goods and services, customers should be regularly surveyed. A new trend is leveraging social media for instant feedback from customers. Indeed, the old secret shopping input is being replaced by real-time digital input from customers and Brand Ambassadors. In fact, the self-agenda of advertising is giving way to peer review available via social media and the internet.

Understanding the concept of differentiation gets down to what makes you different and why customers should choose to do business with you. Consider both internal and external factors to help fashion the public perception.

It’s not just about providing customer satisfaction

Customers today want to be delighted and surprised by not only the product or service but also the whole buying experience. By rating your internal strengths (and weaknesses) you can effect and measure how your company is surpassing the “mediocre standard” of just providing customers with “satisfaction.” Satisfaction implies mediocre and building sales requires much more than just mediocre. Startle, surprise and delight your customers. Indeed, if your customers know more about how you go about doing your business it can add a human touch and add luster to the brand.


Additional Reading

B2B Digital Marketing Best Practices-CRM

Game Theory for Managers


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