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Marketing

Marketing has undergone a transformation with the advent of online business and social media. But the fundamentals of marketing remain. Branding, reputation, databases and sales – a business cannot afford to get these things wrong. These articles pull together the latest thinking on marketing from the world's brightest business brains.

Do marketers need to be industry experts?

Jiro Osuga

The move towards specialised marketing training is provoking a wider debate over the need for qualifications.

What skills and knowledge do you look for when hiring marketing executives? Do you favour candidates with generic, degree-level training? Can you see more benefit in them learning on the job, or would it be valuable to be versed in your industry before they even step through the...

How loyal customers can grow your business

Lineage by Julie Cockburn

Expensive marketing campaigns might bring you a stream of new customers, but it’s more cost-effective to sustain the loyalty of the ones you already have.

Winning fresh customers might seem the obvious way to expand, but research has shown that purchasers who come back repeatedly can be far more valuable to your business than a one-off customer.

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If you’re not using street teams, you could be missing a trick

Greenpeace

The world is choking on marketing materials, but a good street team can cut through the clutter like a breath of fresh air.

If you are looking to raise brand awareness, build loyalty and increase sales, you need to utilise the power of human engagement. Interact directly with consumers, enabling them to connect with your brand on a personal level, rather than via a computer screen....

Three ways to fix your inbound marketing strategy

Mathyas Kurmann

Converting leads into sales is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s chaotic digital landscape, writes Brian Hughes for Entrepreneur.

Even for the most seasoned marketing professionals, today’s digital landscape can seem daunting. Multiple marketing channels and constantly changing consumer behaviour and expectations can lead to confusion.

How to keep your customers

Kev Seto

In a world where consumers are continuously bombarded with choice, companies must invest in finding out why they are losing sales and how they can plug the gaps.

Advertising might persuade a customer to consider your brand, but there are several more steps they have to take before they click ‘buy’ on your website or hand over their cash to a member of your in-store sales staff.

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A guide to agile marketing

vegetable market stall

Companies competing in this era of disruption must adopt agile marketing practices or risk becoming irrelevant.

On average internet users decide whether or not to leave a web page after just three seconds’ browsing; the proliferation of information brought on by rapid technological innovation means that being able to get things done quickly has become more important than ever.

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How to redesign your company for service

coffee shop

If you want to build great consumer experiences, make customer service your company’s priority.

Despite the service industry’s predominance in the private sector, most service companies still use operating models designed for the manufacturing industry, where the focus is on the quantity and quality of goods produced rather than interactions with customers.

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Avoid the marketing skills gap

pottery

Digital disruption and the rapid pace of change mean no marketer can be an expert in every channel.

Writing for Marketing Week, Jonathan Bacon takes a look at how the rise of personalised marketing and digital channels has left employers facing an increasingly wide skills gap, as they struggle to identify exactly which skills they should be recruiting for.

Six secrets of brand longevity

Coca Cola bottle

What is it that keeps some brands alive for decades, or even centuries, while others suddenly emerge and just as quickly disappear? Steve Olenski, writing for Forbes, identifies six approaches that distinguish we-established brands from the rest.

Olenski sees brands as being pressured by the marketing hype surrounding each new trend, and by continuous demographic shifts.

 

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Understand what your customers really want

A customer is delighted to discover a new grocery delivery startup. He sends in suggestions he hopes will improve the service. In return he receives a stream of promotional emails. The customer feels ignored and cuts his order.

Use your brand to attack new markets

Kuala Lumpur

Innovation isn’t just for startups – established companies can attack new markets too.

Incumbent firms operating in mature, saturated markets should use the power of their brands to tap the growth potential of new sectors, say Jean-Baptiste Coumau, Victor Fabius and Thomas Meyer writing for McKinsey Insights.

How to put marketing on the map in your company

Marketing executives often fail to capture the hearts and minds of stakeholders, writes Lisa Nirell for Fast Company.

CMOs might be well versed in social media, content marketing and branding, but when it comes to conversations with fellow executives, it often seems as though they’re speaking another language.

Seven ways to become your industry’s next expert

Becoming the authority in your field is a great way to grow your business, says Brian Horn, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

The author outlines seven easy ways to become your industry’s next expert:

1) Educate. Offer your customers free and valuable information, via blog posts, seminars and newsletters.

AUTHORITY

Ten essential lessons for entrepreneurs

For some entrepreneurs, things seem to fall into place on their rise to financial success, observes Jayson Demers, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

However, in spite of appearances, their success is not down to luck but rather an understanding of the importance of learning, adapting and growing, says the author.

Why you need to get marketing and IT to work together – and how to do it

Marketing and IT will need to work better together if they want to generate big revenue from big data.

Big data necessitates a “marriage of convenience” between CMOs and CIOs – both of whom are responsible for turning this new resource into profit, explain Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey, writing for McKinsey Insights.

How to thrive in a slow-growth industry

Weak markets are not a valid excuse for a company’s slow growth, write Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh for Strategy+Business. With the right market proposition, you can achieve success, no matter what state your industry is in.

Is it time to reinvent your brand?

According to Lynn Russo Whylly, writing for ChiefExecutive.net, ignoring or missing a major consumer trend or behavioural shift can seriously damage a brand’s chances of survival.

Some big-name brands have endured by learning how to reinvent themselves, such as IBM, Apple and McDonald’s.

Winning new customers: your four-step strategy

Understanding how consumers make purchasing decisions will help your company win more customers and beat the competition, says Niraj Dawar, writing for Strategy+Business. The author provides a four-step marketing strategy, and it starts with getting to know your consideration set.

How to survive a social media crisis

On MIT Sloan Management Review, Gerald C. Kane reports from the 2014 South by Southwest festival where he attended a session entitled Tomorrow Is Another Day: Surviving A Social Media Crisis.

Four fundamentals for marketing a new business

Writing for Inc.com, Jon Miller outlines some marketing priorities to help a new business succeed:

1) Product value. Your product is the “bread and butter of the whole operation”, so you need to be clear about the real value it holds and the true need it solves. Once this value has been defined, you need to articulate it.

How to make your brand a religion

To compete with the giants in your industry, you need to make your company stand out, observes Will Yakowicz, writing for Inc.com. Your company’s brand, he insists, needs to be “a de facto religion, one with a dogma that’s easy to spread to the masses of lost souls looking for something to believe in”.

Why marketing managers can’t afford to ignore the power of online reviews

Online reviews and other sources of peer-to-peer information are a significant and growing force in consumer choices and spending decisions.

However, writing for Harvard Business Review, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen observe that many marketers are neglecting this trend and are still working much as they did ten years ago.

Why it's essential to identify your primary customer

You might think you have a customer-driven strategy, but it’s not always obvious who your most important customers are. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Robert Simons describes the term “customer” as one of the most elastic in management theory.

Can a great logo really improve company performance?

Think of a powerful company and it’s likely to have an equally powerful logo. Examples include the golden arches of McDonald’s, Starbucks’ mermaid and the bitten apple of – yes – Apple.

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