How to Use Marketing

 

The RMR Marketing Advisor Newsletters

How to Use Marketing to Add Value to Your Company
By Robyn M. Sachs
President, RMR & Associates, Inc.

Windows of opportunity are fleeting. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are even more elusive. When InSoft challenged AT&T for a bite of the desktop video conferencing market, effective marketing had not only positioned InSoft products as industry leaders, it had positioned the company as a leader.

 

Thanks to product and corporate positioning campaigns conducted by RMR & Associates, InSoft garnered press coverage in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other premier media outlets, gaining the attention of Web browser giant Netscape. After the dust settled, Netscape had purchased the $7 million InSoft for 23 times earnings — an astounding $161 million.

 

Such serendipitous financial gain doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, you can bet effective marketing played a key role, as it did with InSoft, preparing them to meet the opportunity.

 

RMR defines marketing as the business of attracting, converting and keeping customers. When people think about marketing they automatically imagine advertising, public relations or direct mail. But all of that is not marketing — it’s merely the vehicles we use to drive home the marketing. Marketing is a strategy.

 

Marketing is actually a strategy spelled out in a written plan – a plan that you are committed to consistently investing in for at least one year. You need to look at your program as an investment that pays off over time. After a year you will start to see a positive correlation between your commitment and your investment. You must remember “the rule of seven” when developing a marketing strategy. This rule says that it takes seven consistent impressions over 12 months for consumers to recognize your message. Frequency over time is the equation that multiplies marketing results. Commitment to investing in both is what separates the winners from the losers.

 

Once committed to creating a year-long marketing plan, make sure you cover the following key points:

When writing a marketing plan for a high tech company, remember that high tech has a significantly higher FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) than consumer marketing.

 

People are not going to agonize over buying a tube of toothpaste or a different brand of diapers. But they will agonize over buying technology.

 

High tech marketing can really help with the FUD Factor by offering a combination of comfort, stability and confidence. High tech marketing also helps with positioning in the public’s mind.

 

Positioning starts with the product (quick, name a round, hard candy with a hole in it), moves to the market (quick, name the car rental company who is #2 and tries harder) and finally, to corporate positioning (quick, name the leading manufacturer of PC microprocessors).

 

Typically, your marketing plan will call for positioning in this order of product, market, corporate. But if the market is hot, you can sometimes skip steps getting to corporate positioning faster — the place that can lead to acquisitions, public stock offerings and increased investment capital.

 

Once happy with your marketing plan, you’re ready to develop your marketing communications strategy.

 

How will you present your message to your prospects? Consider these key points:

What marketing communications should do for you, if it’s done right, is funnel out your best leads. This has been seen time and time again.

 

If you begin to use higher reach vehicles like the Internet, advertising and public relations, you will get more and higher quality leads that will literally lower your cost of selling.

 

Once the marketing plan has been written, it is important to evaluate the program at least once a year. In particularly volatile markets, evaluation may need to be done even more frequently. Markets are not stagnant, so effective marketing plans cannot afford to be either.

 

By using these tools and keeping yourself informed about the markets you are in, as well as the markets you would like to play in, you can add value to your company and help build image and awareness and ensure that you too are positioned to take advantage of opportunities.

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5870 Hubbard Drive
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 230-0045
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