Kevin Kinsley: Take advantage of your competition’s inability to change Featured

11:56am EDT January 9, 2014
Kevin Kinsley, vice president/client development for Hitchcock, Fleming and Associates Inc. Kevin Kinsley, vice president/client development for Hitchcock, Fleming and Associates Inc.

Through the recent uncertain economic times, we have all had to adjust our budgets and personal spending choices. As a marketer, I can say that the mentality that has been applied to personal spending has also been present in the executive suite. Businesses are making calculated choices as they budget for marketing expenditures.

We have advised many clients to take advantage of today’s business climate by trying to steal market share from competition that has become passive and is relying on past success to fuel future business projections. In fact, now is a great time to recharge your marketing!

The world has changed and the economy is starting to move forward. Many of your competitors are still resting on their heels reluctant to change their marketing much, due to a lack of funding or understanding.

It’s time to take advantage of your competition’s inability to change. Try something new that connects with your customers in a relevant, meaningful way. Get your customers involved by asking them to write reviews, send photos or videos, attend live events and advocate for your brand.

The reality is that the price to participate and implement some of these common marketing tactics is lower than it has been for years, while the cost of doing nothing will leave you further behind. 

Think digital

Major players like Google have shifted to a “mobile first” strategy as smartphone sales have outpaced desktop computers. Therefore,. digital marketing needs to consider responsive designs that automatically adjust sizes to fit on various mobile and tablet screens.

And it’s not just the technology that has changed … consumers are rejecting the outdated transactional marketing (i.e., buy now!) in favor of a more relational form of marketing.

Traditional marketing consisted of developing messages that “spoke at” consumers. Successful marketers are embracing technologies that “speak with” customers and engage them in a way that gets them talking about a company or brand. This word-of-mouth approach is built on an understanding of what your customers are willing to do to advocate for your brand in social media.

Today you can easily engage your customers because the marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years with the introduction of new technologies and media options not available or proven two or three years ago.

Social, mobile, and local tools are now available to help you connect with potential customers in a more dynamic way targeting them by geography and behaviors. Most importantly, these new tools allow you to measure your message’s effectiveness and gain feedback instantly. 

Adopt a strategy

That’s why every business needs a social media strategy to take advantage of new opportunities and manage reputation management risks. Even if you don’t plan to participate in social media, you at least need to actively monitor your industry and what people are saying about your brand.

In the past, digital and online may have been a small part of the budget, but not today. It should be considered first and become heavily integrated with everything you are implementing.

The economy, marketing technology options, and consumer mindsets are better than ever.

Now is the time to explore and see how these new media options can factor into your existing marketing efforts. 

Kevin Kinsley is vice president/client development for Hitchcock, Fleming and Associates Inc. The son of a custom home builder and an avid DIYer, Kinsely likes to build things. So he understands the relevance of a strong foundation when building solid client strategy, campaigns and programs. Contact him at (888) 376-7601 or kkinsley@teamhfa.com.