4 main points of the modern marketing leader | Part 1

February 13, 2023
B2B Brand strategy

At BrandMatters we operate at the intersection of marketing and business strategy. As a result, it’s critical that we are able to offer clients solutions that both facilitate efficient marketing delivery, and align with the broader business strategy, driving business growth.

As a team, we’ve noticed four emerging themes among the challenges our clients are describing to us. These themes are drawn from clients of all sizes – from significant multi-nationals through to mid-tier professional service and IT firms.

The four themes are:

  1. Inefficient spend: “We’re expected to do more with less, but we aren’t sure how to become more targeted”
  2. Lack of distinctiveness: “Our market is getting more crowded and we aren’t standing out”
  3. No clear story: “Every time we create a new piece of marketing we’re starting from scratch. We have no consistent messaging to fall back on. Each team tells a different story and there isn’t anything that ties it all together”
  4. Uninspired design: “My marketing collateral just looks like everyone else in the category. If you put your thumb over our logo, our brochure could belong to any of our competitors”

In this post we’ll address the first two challenges: inefficient spend; and lack of distinctiveness.

1. Inefficient spend – “We’re expected to do more with less, but we aren’t sure how to become more targeted”

As much as it is a cliché, marketing budgets are not growing as they used to – and in many cases they are shrinking – yet the range of tactics required to reach multiple audiences continues to grow: print, social online, web, radio, TV, PR, events…

How can marketers ensure that every dollar they invest contributes towards achieving their objectives? How can they better target each and every piece of communication?

BrandMatters recently partnered with a software provider experiencing this challenge, and used a thorough but efficient quantitative research study to identify the pain points of over 500 current and prospective users.

This client’s category is facing significant disruption, from both technology and a growing, competitive market. To enable our client to build targeted messaging with pinpoint accuracy, we identified the pain points its customers were facing, and the opportunities this presented our client.

The study identified that our client itself was performing well against competitors when it came to the basic, expected services; but was falling down when it came to value-adds. The research also discovered three specific pain points experienced by their customers in their businesses, pain points that our client could assist them with.

Armed with these insights, our client was able to both adapt its business practices to address the identified customer concerns; and tailor its messaging to target specific client needs and communicate with its customers in a meaningful way.

Quantitative research of varying sizes and scales can identify insights that will help you to better understand the less well-known segments of your audience, and hone and refine your marketing and messaging. The BrandMatters in-house research and brand strategy team would be happy to discuss potential solutions that would suit your business category and size.

2. Lack of distinctiveness – “our market is getting more and more crowded and we aren’t standing out”

This is a common challenge, especially for mid-tier professional services and IT vendors. In a saturated market, if you can’t articulate a clear and compelling reason for your clients to choose you, you risk competing on price alone – a dangerous territory.

A mid-tier professional services client of BrandMatters was facing a similar challenge. A number of years after a merger, the client was confused about its offer, and was struggling to communicate to both clients and prospective employees what it was that made it truly different. It couldn’t give customers or prospects a strong enough ‘reason to believe’. BrandMatters partnered with the firm, and engaged closely with its employees and customers to define the essence of the firm’s brand – what set that firm apart from all its competitors. We then brought the essence to life across a new logo, identity and launch collateral.

BrandMatters approached this challenge by taking a deep dive into their industry using qualitative research. We spoke to 46 key stakeholders, both internal and external, using a combination of depth interviews and focus groups. We explored perceptions of the firm’s greatest strength and greatest weakness; and what participants felt made the firm unique.

One of the key insights gained from the research identified a key benefit that the firm was offering, that was strongly valued by a large number of clients, but was not being talked about or promoted by the firm.

This was just one of the insights that led to BrandMatters identifying the three prevailing qualities or themes that underpinned the essence of the firm. From these qualities, BrandMatters was able to build a compelling brand essence that united and reinvigorated the team, and positioned them for a new era of growth.

The positioning was then brought to life via key messaging and a refreshed and revitalised brand identity and collateral – building momentum and excitement to drive the new brand forward.

There are multiple ways for organisations to begin identifying what makes them distinctive. For example, at BrandMatters we often partner with smaller clients by using a team workshop to harness the energy of the team and begin exploring what makes a firm unique. Our strategy team would be happy to work with you to identify a right-sized solution for your brand.

In next week’s post, we’ll explore solutions for the remaining themes: no clear story; and uninspired design.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing any of the challenges we’ve described, or can think of another business that is, we’d be happy to meet to discuss potential solutions for solving the business challenge and aligning your marketing results with your business growth objectives. Contact us to arrange a discussion.

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