You’re always under pressure. It’s never easy leaving a marketing meeting, with all the expectation on you. Leaving with the one goal to convert your marketing strategy into actual results.
In an environment that is ever-changing and in a world where customer expectations increase daily, it’s hard to produce a sustainable strategy that evolves with your business and customers.
That’s why numerous businesses fade into the background over time. They find it difficult to develop a marketing strategy that sustains growth. Whether it’s a shotgun strategy to boost rapid traction or a campaign that moves as slowly as you expect, you’re probably always putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
But if you’re able to get your marketing strategy right, and continue to deploy it in a way that matters, you’ll set yourself up to create a consistent growth pattern for your business.
Some ways successful companies have truly gained sustainability is through brand building, customer experience and retention. These marketing pillars have become more evident as the decade rolls on.
Take a look at these companies who got sustainable marketing strategy right.
Dollar Shave Club and their Brand Building Strategy
Michael Dubin, founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club (DSC), had a clear focus from the day DSC launched. He aimed to solve the purchasing problem of shaving tools. His initiative was elevated by his ability to create a brand around shaving and comedy. And we think you can agree that there’s nothing overly sexy about shaving tools.
So how did DSC create a following around shaving?
They focused on creating a clever, humorous brand using video marketing to share their message. From the launch of their initial video, they have kept to their brand, circling in on their two most motivating points for their target buyer – affordable razors, delivered straight to your door. And they’ve done it with clever scripting, relatable characters and conversations from the bathroom to normal life.
Their continued ability to focus on social media to elevate their brand with witty comments and savvy communication also allowed DSC to push their brand from the screen to their words, amassing a subscriber base that grew from its initial 12,000 (48 hours after launch) to 3.9 million.
Considering their current growth rate of 10%, it speaks volumes for how they’ve developed their marketing to bring in the right audience.
With videos like this, how can they go wrong?
Southwest changed the way people traveled.
If you’re located outside the U.S., you may not be aware of Southwest Airlines. Unless you’ve scrolled through social media to find this great rapping video, you’re allowed to miss the impact their marketing and customer experience can bring.
Southwest was a modest airline before it took off with a unique competitive strategy. That specific strategy: cost leadership.
So how did this strategy translate a sound marketing strategy?
As a company focused on low costs and correspondingly low prices, they provided a marketing strategy that went far beyond words. Running ad campaigns, they developed a way to leverage their marketing through tailored customer experiences.
Using this strategy, they deployed empathy at the heart of all their campaigns – from the video above to them putting their customers’ joy and special moments at the forefront of their marketing campaign.
Here are some more examples of how Southwest infuses empathy into their brand:
- Holding a plane for a passenger going to see their dying grandson.
- Recognizing the artistic efforts of a young passenger.
- Stepping up to help a customer with a special need with JOY.
- Party with a purpose.
- A Creative Extra for a Customers’ Birthday
Not only was this a great way to showcase their brand and what Southwest is all about. Sharing these experiences allowed potential customers to have a window into the experience that is Southwest, leading to an increased customer base and increased revenue of 8% from 2016 to 2020.
Infusing empathy as part of their marketing strategy, and acting on their words and message, was key to transforming this modest brand into the leading provider of travel across the U.S.
Stripe’s path to a recurring customer base.
Not all companies are brand savvy or as emblematic as Apple or Nike. Some companies are simply superb at providing an awesome service that gets raved about.
Stripe is a payment processor for millions of small and large companies in the e-commerce, SAAS and non-profit space. What Stripe uses for growth isn’t hinged on the comical or show stopping marketing gimmicks. They were highly focused on understanding their customer and the type of problems their market encountered and spoke directly to that problem.
Stripe leveraged their product by marketing their easy payments solution software and installation process to business owners and developers who could have their business up and running in a couple of hours. Effective. Simple. Yet brilliant.
What makes Stripe a leader in their fintech space is their ability to grow with their customers – a marketing strategy focused on analysis, understanding and development of solutions to their customer base’s evolving problems. A strategy which resulted in 150% growth in transactions between 2016 and 2017.
With any marketing strategy, the big question is – what next? What comes after your initial marketing success? How do you continue to market to your existing audience? How do you continue to provide them value?
Stripe deployed new campaigns on the back of new products. Products like Stripe Atlas deliver more value to their existing client base, especially to those based outside the United States. Analyzing product campaigns like Atlas helped them understand not just how their own customers responded to their products, but how their customers’ customers reacted.
Stripe’s ability to adapt their product and their marketing message to the changes within their clients lives helped them become more influential in their users.
How can these 3 companies help you?
These 3 companies have cracked the code to sustainable growth with unique and innovative marketing strategies. With a focus on brand development (DSC), great customer experience (Southwest) and feedback (Stripe), they were able to grab hold of their market to provide significant value and keep customers coming back.
If you’re looking to get a competitive advantage within your industry, especially in our local market, it would be good to take a look at your marketing strategy and ask yourself if your focus is on brand or sales? What is your marketing message incorporating when it comes to customer experience? And are you gathering the right information from your existing clients to continue evolving your message?
Surveying your customers to find out their problems is a great step to gather the right type of information about your product. Additionally, if you can find a way to set your brand apart, either by creating a unique campaign or applying empathy to your brand, you’ll be able to better resonate with your audience. Lastly, taking a page from Stripe’s book, continuous feedback from your avid users will inform your marketing and product decisions moving forward.