One of the cornerstones of doing business is creating a strategy to get the word out about a product or service. But there’s often a gap between the product or service and the actual marketing strategy – and that gap is the people doing the marketing. Let’s take a look at an extremely important step in developing a marketing strategy: developing a marketing culture that fosters both creativity and analysis.
Why Marketing Culture Is Important
You spend a lot of time branding your product and your business, but this branding doesn’t happen in a vacuum. People – specifically, marketing teams – create brands, and the output is necessarily reflective of its origins. Think about gardening, if you will. You can’t make beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables from poor soil. The same goes for branding! The secret to successful marketing, then, is to make sure that your garden (marketing culture) can support the seeds you want to grow (marketing campaigns). Still with me? Here are five ways that you can build your marketing culture.
At its core, marketing is a creative endeavor. The beauty of creativity is that anything is possible, but from a business perspective, creativity doesn’t always mesh with playing by the rules. Accept the fact that calculated risk-taking needs to be a part of marketing. After all, the ads that go viral are the ones that resulted from marketers thinking outside the box and toeing the line, not the ones that emerged from playing it safe.
…But Encourage Numbers, Too
That said, marketers also need to look at the value of data. Your marketing culture should, ideally, see good data as a springboard, though, rather than a constraint. Encourage your team to look at what has historically worked and what’s bringing in sales, and to then build on it and take it a step further.
Look At Your Surroundings
Culture comes from your office, too. While not every business or agency is going to have the budget to do a total remodel with creativity in mind (or look like the inside of a modern art museum), it’s a good idea to think about the smaller aspects of office design that inspire new ideas. Places to stand and chat away from desks, opportunities for collaborative relaxation like a pool table or board games, and natural lighting and greenery can all put teammates in the mood for brainstorming.
Hire to Fit Your Culture
Presumably you have an idea of what you want your marketing culture to look like. When you add new members to the team, make sure they fit the culture. It’s a good idea to mix up personality types and backgrounds, for sure, but if you like to foster a relaxed atmosphere, a high-stress colleague might not be the best choice. Similarly, if you prefer a super focused team, don’t hire the person who wishes they were working from the beach.
Stop Thinking About Marketing
Finally, throw away the attitude that marketing is a means to sales. Marketing takes finesse, and pushing too hard will get you nowhere. Instead, create a marketing culture that focuses on building a loveable, meaningful brand that you’re proud of. With good branding, your product will sell itself; focus too much on the end result, and you’ll instantly become the business equivalent of that pushy, creepy guy at the bar that no one wants to talk to.
What does your marketing culture look like, and how did you get there? Share your experiences in the comments section!
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