7 Steps to Evolve Your Digital Marketing While Your Company is Growing (Part 1)May 25, 2016
Retaining Meaningful DNA
Recently, my brother (aka “Mr. Professor”) was discussing the science behind cell reproduction and DNA shortening. I am no valedictorian in science, so my brother kindly gave me the “dummies” version of his ad hoc biology lesson.
He explained that during replication, cells gradually lose more and more of their original selves. As a side effect of replication, cells tend to cut away bits and pieces of “junk DNA” while protecting its “meaningful DNA.”
Learn More: Telomere Shortening in DNA Replication
I started thinking about how this sounds awfully familiar – not just in science, but in marketing. Marketers are constantly aiming to optimize and scale their successes, meanwhile cutting away the elements that aren’t working for them (“junk DNA”). As their teams, capabilities, and influence rapidly expand, they need to quickly—but wisely—advance their marketing.
The Big Challenge
Any growing company must learn to scale its marketing without letting its messaging or branding run amok. The challenge is: You no longer have a singular focus for your marketing, but several. You no longer have one target audience, but five. You must analyze the past, be in the present, and plan for the future – all at once.
You risk being too many things for too many people, and may even dip your toes into multiple fields of expertise, without diving head deep into any one thing. Rest assured, that all is not lost even if you get to this point.
If you can identify the problem, hit “pause,” and regroup your team, you can just as quickly pivot your marketing to start embracing and propelling change, rather than letting change rule you.
Scaling Success while Staying True to Your Roots
So how does a marketing team keep its composure amid its company’s rapid growth? Sometimes moving forward requires taking a step back and reflecting on the things that are currently working for and against you.
Consider the below steps for evaluating and evolving your digital marketing:
- Know your brand story.
- Know your mission.
- Define your key audience(s).
- Define success.
- Create an agile strategy.
- Stay focused.
- Benchmark & track your performance over time.
1. Know Your Brand’s Story.
Knowing your brand’s story is the first line of defense and offense in your marketing. If ever your company is growing so fast, and needs to be reminded of its roots – you need to know where the roots lie. Otherwise, your brand identity and marketing, which stem from your culture, will lack an anchor.
Do you know when your company founded? Why and by whom? What problem were your founders looking to solve, and how has it evolved since then?
You should know the history of your company like the back of your hand before attempting to share it with anyone else. Remember the old Telephone game? Imagine that you’re sitting fifth in line, eagerly awaiting your turn. The person behind you leans in and whispers their version of the message in your ear, and you excitedly pass it off to the next person – only to find out that by the end of the line, the message has been horribly altered.
The moral of the game still remains true today: it’s easy to distort an original tale or message over time, especially after it has been retold by multiple people. That’s why from the beginning, you should gain a strong grasp of your company’s roots in order to better (and more speedily) make marketing and branding decisions down the road. You should also be able to defend each “next step” your team takes by relating it back to your company’s purpose.
Read Also: The New Zoomph: Homegrown, Just for You.
2. Know Your Mission & Values.
Start with your existing mission statement. If you feel as though your brand has evolved beyond this statement, adjust it. But avoid changing it too casually or frequently.
Also, do not steal your competitor’s mission. I’ve often looked at competitor’s mission statements for inspiration and examples of how brands tightly align their mission to their marketing. However, I would never encourage a company to take another’s mission statement and leaf through a thesaurus to find different words to say the same thing.
Doing so means admitting defeat to competition, and letting someone else define the purpose of your organization.
A mission statement, as hard as it can be to create, should come naturally with deep consideration to your team’s unique strengths, history, and values.
Going hand-in-hand with your mission, you should have a definitive answer to the question, “What are your values?” In other words, what characteristics are you fostering among your team? What is your company willing and not willing to do to achieve its goals? Why do you do everything that you do?
Pro Tip: Using social listening tools, you can see what your audience already admires about your brand, and what values and pain points they have. Knowing this information can help you hone in on the things that your company brings to the table, and ensure that you work towards an achievable goal.
3. Define Your Key Audiences.
Who are your current clients, and who are your social media influencers? Which audiences make sense to go after, and who are just nice-to-haves?
List out your audiences and map out their key characteristics, pain points, and value to your company. Also, evaluate what your company can offer them. Your interests should intersect with your audience’s – providing a natural and solid base for current and future relationships.
At Zoomph, we utilize Author Cards and Follower Insights to see if our audiences share our values. While we invite nearly anyone who needs help monitoring, measuring, and managing their social activity to borrow our toolkit, we check to see that our targets have a real need for our services.
After all, our purpose is to help and make a positive impact with our platform. Should ever a client take advantage our tools to do something negative or malicious – we would revoke his/her privileges immediately.
Remember, a brand is only as good as the people it associates with.
So, if your target audience doesn’t agree with your values, or has no need for your services, consider walking away. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated and bending over backwards to meet their demands—all while your heart isn’t in it.