CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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26 MAY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Marketing Savvy Marketing Savvy Build your marketing (including the sale) around a strategically based, customer- centric system, then technology becomes a true and valuable tool — and not a distraction. By Andy Slipher, Founder of Slipher Marketing What Has Changed About Marketing in the Past 100 Years? I n 1975, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a largely overlooked ruling that allowed Earth-orbiting antennas (aka satel- lites) to be used for broadcasting television over large areas. A round that same time, a little-know n regional broadcasting network called Home Box Office (HBO) took notice and decided to use the FCC 's landmark decision to begin distributing its ow n programming via satellite. HBO's innovative move would have a ripple effect that would spill over onto the landscape of marketing. Soon after, satellite networks proliferated, and with them, marketers were able to target in ways that were never previ- ously possible. Since that time, there has been so much technological innovation that marketers are faced with choices beyond measure. It can be blinding and bewildering for anyone charged with allocating marketing dollars on behalf of a business. And this very issue is what has caused marketers to go awry. is is an age of unprecedented commu- nications, and yet many still struggle to connect with one another. But this problem is not the real problem. e true problem is that too many marketers have failed to recognize that only one thing has changed in market- ing in the past 100 years: technology. at's it. Yes, you now have social media and tweets and followers and apps and branding and re-marketing and analytics and focus groups and return on investment (ROI) and customer relationship management (CRM) and customer personas and digital and so on. It's all certainly true, but what has enabled nearly every bit of this is technology. So prolific is the role of technol- og y in marketing that it has become, for some, an alluring distraction. Panic and peer pressure set in, and organizations pursue the latest and the greatest technolog y-based market- ing tactics w ithout taking the time to thoughtfully consider a strategic approach. As legendar y philosopher and strategist Sun Tzu once put it, " Tactics w ithout strateg y is the noise before defeat." Your marketing must ultimately get your coatings services into the hands of the customer: a real person. Marketers need to realize that it is way too easy to get distracted (via technol- ogy) from what is centrally important in marketing. e main goal is to generate a sale to a real person and, hopefully, repeating that process again and again to her or his delight. Your Marketing System Marketing strategy is not so much about a plan but a system. Build your marketing (including the sale) around a strategically based, customer-cen- tric system, then technology becomes a true and valuable tool — and not a distraction. If you want to plan your marketing communications on a more strategic level and with a more integrated and seamless approach, consider the follow- ing methods and means to do so. • Strategic Marketing Plan: This is full-on marketing guidance, meaning it's someone asking the right questions and enabling you to think critically about your industry, business, customers, competition, brand, and marketing activities. A strategic marketing plan answers both "What are we trying to do?" and "How are we going to achieve it?" in a thorough, resolute way that doesn't miss a lick (i.e., broad to specific). It facilitates a systematic way of measurably and methodi- cally moving your business's overall marketing activities from point A to point B. • Strategic Brand Plan: Marketers love to talk branding these days, but few truly understand what a brand is. At its core, a brand is simply a (strong) promise. Everything after that is embodying the promise or not. A brand plan helps your coatings company answer the whys and hows of your brand in a way that actively demonstrates its value. • Brand Landscape: This is a collab- orative document and process that combines visual (e.g., graphic and photographic) and distilled (aka

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