In the face of a challenging South African economy, businesses must take proactive steps to withstand the pressures and achieve an ambitious business vision. This article explores three fundamental marketing principles for building a resilient business in the 2023 South African economy.
As the market slowly climbs out of an economic recession, companies need to be mindful of the changing landscape and develop resilient plans for growth.
In the face of a challenging South African economy, a business must approach marketing with a nuanced approach and maximise alternative marketing disciplines.
Refine your target market.
Before you can create a marketing campaign, you need to understand who your target market is. Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product or service. To find your target market, you can use market research and surveys to learn more about them.
Too many marketers have too broad an audience as their target audience – hence we say “refine“, not “define” your audience. Take time to understand your customer data, refine the audience, what value they need and how you can fill that gap.
1st party data will become a massive asset to marketers at this point. As the marketing world continues to evolve, so does the importance of having accurate and up-to-date 1st party data. This data is essential to properly define target audiences and create marketing strategies to reach them effectively.
1st party data is collected directly from an individual through surveys, sign-ups, and other interactions. This data is used to create profiles of different customer types, which helps businesses better understand who their target audience is and what they are interested in.
Without 1st party data, businesses rely on second-hand information, which is often inaccurate and outdated, leading to wasted marketing efforts and a general lack of understanding of the customer base. The other alternative is third-party data which leaves us at the mercy of the big brother advertising engines – creating a cost for each data interaction.
In today’s competitive landscape, deeply understanding one’s target audience is more critical than ever. 1st party data is the key to unlocking this understanding and should be a priority for all businesses.
Once you know your target market, you can create messaging and customer engagements that focus on showcasing your value and meeting them at the right time when their need for your service presents itself.
By understanding your target market and creating campaigns that reach them, you can grow your business mindfully and profitably.
Focus on customer retention.
The first principle for achieving your business goals with marketing is to focus on customer retention. Especially in our current globally declining economy, new business seems almost impossible and closing the deal is getting more complex and challenging by the day. Innovative companies focus marketing efforts on keeping your existing customers happy and engaged with your brand. Loyalty programs, targeted communications, and outstanding customer experience are ways to improve customer retention. In every case, these are built from well-structured customer data in your CRM systems.
It’s important to remember that it costs far more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Therefore, focusing on customer retention is essential to growing your business profitably.
Invest in marketing automation.
Marketing automation can help you save time and money while growing your business profitably. If you’re not already using marketing automation, now is the time to invest in this powerful tool. Automation helps you leverage the insight you uncover when refining your audience in the following ways:
- Refining and organising your target audiences and creating buyer personas.
- Segmenting your leads and customers.
- Creating automated user journeys based on user actions interested in buying your services and products.
- Personalise your sales and marketing messages and content.
- Automating your marketing processes.
- Measuring your results and optimising your campaigns with real-time and AI-driven insights.
Marketing with Resilience
Marketing today is not just about leads and awareness. Marketers have an essential role in pivoting business to a resilient position. Growth is an achievable goal with the right approach; however, a more meaningful outlook for marketers today would be to build a resilient and agile business in their marketing frameworks.
Following the three principles outlined here, businesses can engage customers more effectively, improve efficiencies and drive better value to existing and new customers.
Be the champion of your company’s digital ascent – market resiliently.Mike Saunders