Mind the Gap! The Marketing
You’re (Probably) Missing
Posted on: 25th Apr. 2023
Want to make your marketing more effective? Chief Happy, Karen Lambert looks at the gaps that will feel all too familiar to most scale-ups.
I’ve worked with a lot of business leaders. They share lots of traits: their organisations are typically scaling to and through £8 million. They are highly capable yet (in my experience) surprisingly humble. They shoulder the weight of their company’s most important decisions yet rarely let that weight show. They like processes, particularly repeatable processes, because those are things they can pin down, measure and refine.
There’s something else too. Unless they have a background in it, marketing is often something they don’t feel entirely comfortable with. As a result, marketing gaps creep into their business. Some are pure marketing gaps, others tread on the toes of other parts of the business – on customer services or HR or product development – but there’s always a marketing angle, and where’s there’s a marketing angle, there’s usually a marketing gap.
Here are some examples of what I mean.
1. The strategic/tactical gap
Here’s how marketing should work. You set the corporate strategy – to launch a new product, to grow business in a key sector or geographical area, to change the way the world sees you.
But in a growing SME, a lot of the strategy is often to be found in the business leader’s head. They can articulate it, but the details may sometimes be a little sketchy because they’re still refining it themselves. The team creates a campaign to deliver the strategy as it was briefed to them, but since they started work on it the strategy evolved and the numbers changed. The campaign will still work – sort of – but it’s no longer quite as tight a fit as it should have been.
A lack of a clear, definite strategy means your marketing risks doing most of the right things, but not necessarily in the right order, as Eric Morecambe nearly once said. It’s a gap that needs to be bridged.
2. The knowledge gap
Business leaders carry an incredible amount of knowledge about their business, but often that knowledge doesn’t make it to the people who need to hear about it. That’s not really surprising – it’s not easy to translate knowledge into marketing when marketing isn’t your first language – but it is important to acknowledge the gap.
82% of the customers who contact a business check them out first – often by watching their ‘how to’ videos, listening to their expert opinions in a podcast or reading about their views or successes in a blog post, case study or in the trade press.
None of this is possible unless an organisation can effectively share its knowledge, and that means creating a content strategy, using a broader palette of digital channels to engage, and getting comfortable with the idea of selling through content.
You’ll find lots of ideas for sharing more of your knowledge in our blog.
3. The customer gap
Every business grows because what it does strikes a chord with a certain group of customers. Yet for a business to scale successfully, it needs to do more than serve the same audience with same product, because the customers who got you this far may not be the customers who’ll take you further.
Market research, customer profiling and segmentation can all help you identify new markets for your existing products. They can help inspire new products and services, help upsell or cross sell (that is, increase the value of each customer relationship), and help you understand your most profitable customer groups.
The gap often comes from the fact that companies simply don’t “interrogate” the information they have available to enable them to do that. But the right marketing partner can help fill that customer analysis gap.
4. The values gap
Many SMEs have a set of corporate values. Perhaps they’re emblazoned on the board room wall. There’s nothing wrong with that – providing they don’t just live on the wall.
Authentic brand values can help create powerful connections with customers who share those values. They can help inspire your workforce. But you have to be able to bring those values to life, making sure they’re more than just words.
Authentic brand values mean authentic experiences. Across every touchpoint, not just a page on company’s website.
5. The activity gap
“We do a bit of marketing and then we stop when we get busy.” We hear that a lot. Something else we hear quite a lot is, “We’ve done lots of Facebook ads,” yet when you press the client on a) what the results have been like and b) why they chose that strategy it turns out that a) the results have been a bit underwhelming and b) they only chose Facebook ads because someone in the office, er, knows a bit about Facebook.
The gap here is that the marketing activity is often constrained by ability and capacity. You would do more (or do it differently) but you don’t know what, you don’t know how and you don’t have the people to do it anyway.
Fixing the gap is about focusing on what’s right for the business, rather than on what is currently doable. Yes, you may need some external marketing support to understand what that is – and to make it happen – but that has to be better than doing something purely because you’re not really sure how else to do it.
Fill the gap with RISUS
RISUS is Happy’s marketing model for growth. It drives engagement, leads and sales. It educates audiences and influences. It raises visibility and awareness,
Most importantly, it fills in the gaps between where you’re at now, and where a little marketing support could take you, all in a controlled and predictable way.
Because when you fill the gaps, you grow faster.
And if you have a marketing gap that needs filling, let’s chat. Say hello here
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