Monday, December 21, 2015

The Power of Focus In Branding

I have had the opportunity more than once to focus an organization's marketing efforts and the results have been extraordinary. I have done this as vice president of marketing for an e-learning company, as the volunteer chair of two not-for-profit organizations' marketing committees and in helping multiple clients craft their brand plans.

It has been my observation that organizations spread their marketing budgets too thin. They invest in too many marketing activities which result in diminished impact and ROI. I worked with one not-for-profit organization that outlined dozens of disparate products and services targeted at as many or more target audiences. Their marketing budget was minuscule and they were trying to spend something for each of these products for each of these markets. I had them perform an analysis of participation, revenues, profits and alignment with core mission (and brand promise) for each product/customer bucket of marketing activities. This process made it clear where they should focus their resources. 

At the e-learning company, I reduced the number of trade shows we participated in from dozens and dozens to three or four key ones. I also focused our marketing efforts on two trade publications and two industry experts along with three industry analysts. We discovered each of these information sources to be the most influential in our customers' decision making in our category. This process helped us to move from one of hundreds of e-learning companies to one of the top five e-learning companies in less than two years. 

The scatter-gun approach to marketing spending demonstrates a lack of strategic thinking and a lack of discipline. 

As you are developing your brand management and marketing plans and budget requests for the upcoming year, consider cutting back on many activities so that you can become the industry leader in other more important activities. And focus on those marketing activities that produce the highest ROI. There is power in focus, not only for brand positioning and messaging, but also for customer targets and marketing activities. 

I wish you great success in unleashing the power of focus for your brand.

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