An essential guide to marketing for development in 2021

 An essential guide to marketing for development in 2021

The economic picture may have been sombre, but we saw
the entrepreneurial and adaptive better of Australia's businesses. Some pivoted
to offer new products and services; many of those which had long been in-store
only made the jump to the web economy; people that had lost their jobs
finally launched that side hustle they'd been talking about for years.

As Australian economic conditions approach relative normality, the atmosphere is bouncing back. Roy Morgan reports that – in December 2021 – business confidence was at its highest monthly reading for 3 years.

2021, then, is the year of recent opportunities. It's the year businesses could be more open to taking risks. It is the year businesses will be developing growth strategies centered on long-term success, not just short-term survival.

Here are a few tips on where to start with marketing
for growth this season:

Establish your goals

Ask yourself: what is the main role of marketing for
my company?

Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive
traffic, increase sales or diversify customer demographics, set SMART goals
(specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely). Then keep it fresh:
choose a goal and concentrate your efforts on achieving it; when you see
traction, introduce another goal.

Keep your customers close, and your competitors in the rearview

Your customer is your world and ensuring you provide the best product, service and brand experience should be where you focus your attention. Being obsessive about what your competitors are doing will require focus away from making magic. Be familiar with who else is vying for the target customers' attention but don't let it be all-consuming. Look at your closest competitors and critically evaluate their business and marketing approach and how your brand differentiates from theirs. What are they doing well? What isn't working? How do they compare on price and offering?

This intel can help you determine where you sit in
the marketplace, and how you can make the most of the position.

Establish your brand purpose and positioning

Once you know your customers and competitors, you can
work on fine-tuning your unique selling proposition. This is the central
marketing message that encapsulates your brand values. Think about: what's the
most important part of your business that the competitors cannot offer their

Today, customers are interested from companies that not only offer great products and value but are socially responsible. Brands that are socially aware, that practice sustainability, inclusion and diversity with their actions – along with their digital campaigns – will win.

To ensure your brand stays ahead of competition, consider your customers' values and where your business values align. Double recorded on them, and you'll create more meaningful connections with prospective customers.

Experiment, test and measure

The way that businesses accustomed to market themselves is changing rapidly. Counting on paths well-trodden won't give you the roi that it used to.

Businesses should be inventive and test new methods for marketing. Adjust the tone inside your communications, experiment with new channels, test new audiences. Anything you change, one thing is critical: you must establish a measurement framework for the marketing activity (for example 10 per cent growth in web traffic or 15 percent uplift in Instagram likes) and be disciplined in assessing rapid, medium and long term impact. As you learn what works for your customers as well as your brand, you can iterate and evolve your strategy and tactics.

Running your business is hard work, but it's empowering and enriching. The way you approach your marketing can help you unlock the greatest growth and set you on a path to long-term success. The initial step is to plan.

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