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    Skot Waldron
    By Skot Waldron
    08.05.17

    5 Things I’ve Learned About Branding & Marketing Over The Past 17 Years

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    Whether you've been in the industry for a year or a decade, there are things that seem to be constant in the world of branding and marketing. While I realize that everyone has their “thing”, this is my list of “things" I hope I embody, and the essential advice I would pass on to people just getting started.

    1 // Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity (try saying that 10 times)

    People become inauthentic when they are trying too hard to sell their stuff. Your goal is to build customer loyalty. Loyalty comes from trust which comes from, you guessed it, authenticity. Don’t make your product out to be something it isn't. The irony is, inauthenticity never sells. Authenticity does. Your customers are cool, smart, hardworking people and the less you try and swindle or sweet talk them, the more they will want to buy from you. Always true, every time.

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    I dive deeper into authenticity and loyalty in one of my most popular posts:
    Are You In Brand Heaven or Hell?

    2 // Tell Stories 

    A tip I keep seeing circulating around the marketing community is the power of storytelling. It’s part of what makes us human. I believe this to be one of the most effective content marketing strategies, and I even experience firsthand how easily I get roped into blogs and other content pieces that start with a story. When creating content for your blog and newsletter, tell short stories to make your content easier to enjoy and digest. When you are creating a larger marketing strategy, tell the long story about the journey of the customer. Stories are relatable. As marketers, we tell stories to make content more fun and meaningful to read, but we also do it to be relatable for our customer. Putting a face, a name, and a life to the person (or people) behind the computer screen will help us become more personable and help people feel more comfortable buying from you.

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    Fast Company wrote a short little article about this. Check it out:
    Why Our Brains Crave Storytelling in Marketing

    3 // No amount of good marketing can cover up a bad product or a bad customer experience

    Marketing is all about announcing the benefits of your product and brand in the most effective way possible. It should never come at the cost of a good product or at the cost of your customer relations. The concept of false advertising is about more than just claiming your product or service is something it's not or can do something it can't. False advertising is the act of putting customer acquisition ahead of customer retention and caring more about winning over new customers than how you treat your loyal lifelong customers. This is when marketing gets ugly because it is used to rope people in only to spit them out. And this never works.   

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    Read this blog post for more about your online reputation:
    Your Online Reputation Will Make or Break You

    4 // Analyze and strategize

    Chances are you are doing some sort of data acquisition right now. Whatever KPI's you are collecting, it is absolutely imperative that you take the time to analyze your findings. Too many marketing teams start new campaigns without learning from the mistakes of their last one. Take the time to get information from your customers, and then build strategies based on what you find. 

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    KPIs are important. We all care about them. Read more on this post:
    Let’s Talk About Those Precious Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

    5 // Nurture leads through education

    Marketing should be about providing value to your customers while you build their trust. This is exactly what education based nurturing content does. When you want to turn a cold lead into a warm one, do it by sending them informative content that will make their life easier and set you up as an industry expert in their mind. It's a win/win for everyone involved.

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    Want to hear me rant a little about content marketing? Read this:
    The Top 467 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Is Annoying Me

    These foundational principles are what guide us at Multiple and what we use to guide our clients. We know nobody is perfect, but we sure as hell try to be. If nothing else I think these best practices should find their way into your strategy no matter what direction it goes in.

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    Want to be more effective with the time you have creating marketing strategies? You can read The 5 Step Process For a More Structured Marketing Strategy eBook for a more in-depth discussion of these concepts and how you can begin to implement them.   

     

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