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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Galland

2021 Marketing Strategies: Substance Over Sizzle

Creating an effective marketing strategy can no longer hinge on large media spends or glitzy promotions. Sorry, Don Draper. The sizzle is good, but there has to be some substance underneath. In 2021, it's about the whole brand experience.

2021 marketing strategy more substance than sizzle

A significant impact of the pandemic has been a shift in most consumers' values and needs. The development of an impactful whole brand experience is the first step in addressing these societal changes.

Building your experience strategy requires collaboration with, you guessed, the whole company—marketing working in tandem with sales, product development, operations, etc. to close the gap between your brand promise and the end result.

Many elements go into the development of a brand experience that generates both customers turned raving fans and employees that long to be brand evangelists. Focusing on identity, team, customers, quality, and innovation are at the top of the essential list.

5 Must-Haves for Brand Experience

1. Authentic Identity

  • Establish (and verify the validity of) your mission statement, values, and brand promise

  • Demonstrate mission and values through products, processes, and performance

  • Openly communicate your story and what you stand for

2. Inspired & Empowered Team

  • A corporate culture that places a high priority on experience for the customer and employee

  • An understanding that customer satisfaction is the responsibility of every employee, every day

  • Total buy-in on the company mission, values, and goals starting on day 1

  • Empowered your team through education, practical tools, and efficient processes

3. Customer Obsessed

  • Define your core customer(s) and develop products, services, and experiences with them in mind

  • Provide transparent processes and clear communication

  • Simplify the experience regardless of the complexity of your business

4. Reliable Quality

  • Deliver quality and value every time

  • When things go wrong, act quickly, communicate often, and do the right thing

5. Consistent Innovation

  • Collect regular feedback from customers and team members

  • Perform consistent journey mapping to identify the high and low points in the customer experience

  • Review internal processes to find operational efficiencies

  • Analyze survey data and industry trends to drive continuous innovation

Start-ups are always thinking about being innovative, it's how they started. Right now, the established companies are at a higher risk of missing the mark. Overlooking innovation and process improvement can be a costly mistake that allows a competitor to step in. Accenture defines a great customer experience:

A great experience is defined not by what you offer but by how well you enable your customers to achieve the outcomes most important to them.

Don't get left behind. If cross-departmental collaboration and focus on the whole brand strategy isn't part of your company culture, even if current performance doesn't indicate a need for change, now is the time to be bold and start that conversation.

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