What Is Your Story: The Foundation of A Successful Marketing Strategy

Rajesh Kanuru

Jan 13 . 8 min read

Key Points

· To run any effective marketing strategy, your message needs to stand out. Consumers are tired of cliches and fabricated narratives.

· Getting a loyal, and reliable consumer base takes effort, but it is a more sustainable strategy. The key to loyalty, is values alignment with your consumer base, or your tribe.

· Consumers want to feel that they know and are connected with whom they are working with.

· A “bad” strategy is defined by its lack of originality. What makes a good strategy is that it tells the specific message of your business and cannot be applied any other. If it can be used anywhere, then it’s a failure.

Sense of purpose and meaning

Businesses that want to “put something out there” or do some conventional marketing in order “to just get things rolling” are doomed to failure. This is especially true for new businesses that do not have a long term granular marketing strategy. Sometimes in our daily lives we get so used to routines that we forget our sense of purpose. Businesses are also guilty of this. They forget their own story and lose the chance to tell it. Instead, they churn out dull marketing that is alien to their values and sense of purpose. Over-used traditional and tired marketing ploys lack creativity and put us into autopilot. They do not pull us in and bore, or in extreme cases even annoy us. The results being loss of customers and revenue, and/or inefficient use of resources and capital.

Businesses that have been successful in marketing, even during these times, have defined their sense of purpose, remained true to their core, and loyal to their consumer base. They have found ways to effectively engage with consumers in an organic way that does not bore them, aligns with their own values and those of their consumers. Businesses that operate in a sincere and genuine way that aligns with their clearly defined values naturally draw in their tribe of loyal supporters. Businesses that try to sell a story that is not believable or is insincere, naturally repel potential support as consumers can sense the values are misaligned, and not a match.

Smart marketers, who use the evidence-based, data driven, scientific approach designed and implemented by Quantics know this. Instead of patronizing the masses as if they are an automated herd, they delve into detailed market segmentation to find their most loyal consumer base.

Businesses need to tell a story and then show their consumers that it is a real one. Consumers in many ways are more sophisticated and in tune than ever, and more and more skeptical. They need to see a business that is selling a genuine product or service, provided by people who they can relate to and trust.

Importance of the Message: Values Alignment

The message of your business is the foundation of any effective marketing strategy. As a business owner, you may have fallen into the trap of a standard business plan, and lost revenues, or inadvertently bored your consumers. You may have taken up the same cliches as many other businesses by telling consumers what you think they want to hear.

Your business strategy should not be something everyone has seen before. It should not sell basic standards that should be a given. It should be original. It should be real. It should reflect your genuine values, and consumers can sense that. A bad strategy is one that can be applied to any business. Your strategy should be tailored to your unique added value.

Like grocers saying their produce is “fresh” (um, why wouldn’t it be?) Or a nail salon saying their facility is “hygienic” (I sure would hope so…) A bakery trying to sell that it uses the “freshest” ingredients, or a security company trying to market its system as “meeting industry safety standards” does little to motivate consumers to choose you over your competitors. All those things are expected and stating the ability to meet basic standards should not be a selling point. In most cases, using themes based on quality or price will not set you apart. It may even make consumers suspicious. The best way to rapidly increase revenue, is not to compare yourself to the competition, instead, it is to show why you are unique.

The unique message of your business should guide every marketing strategy you have. People will always be pulled to a genuine story that they feel they can relate to. This fundamental truth holds no matter how much the market changes, how much data collection and analysis you perform, or how you change your interaction with your customers and clients.

Values alignment is the key to marketing success and getting a loyal consumer base. For example, what makes one bakery or security company more successful than another? Selling better quality, or even slightly cheaper products and services is not it. People are drawn to choose one competitor over another because of a genuine feeling of connection. This is what is meant by values alignment. Values alignment is a greater driving force than quality, or pricing. In most cases, themes such as quality or price will not set you apart.

What will set you apart is showing how you are unique in your own right and not merely differentiating yourself from competitors. For example, a security company with a built-in home alarm system was built around the need to respond to the need for home security systems among pet-lovers. Dog and cat owners often felt excluded from the home security market as their furry family members set off the motion detectors of conventional alarm systems. Thus, they developed a pet-resistant system that would still respond to home invasions. This differentiated themselves from competitors and set themselves up for success in aligning with the values of fellow pet lovers.

Consumers automatically feel a connection to a company that resonates with them, that they feel they can relate to, that they feel they belong to and that aligns with their values. It is all about finding your consumer base.

Finding your “tribe”

We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want our family, “our people,” a group who share our values and are like us. We are all looking for our tribe.

To differentiate yourself from your competitors, it is essential you develop your story, define a message, and clearly communicate what your values and purpose are, and what makes you unique as a business. To run any effective marketing strategy, your story needs to stand out. This is crucial to define your message and find your tribe.

To find your message, start with a few primal and personal questions.

1. What made you start this business?

2. What needs were you trying to respond to?

3. What problem were you trying to solve?

4. What made you passionate enough about this to take a risk and start a business?

5. What were the main challenges and risks you faced? How did you overcome them?

Once you can remember these things, you will be well on your way to finding your own special, and competitive message. You can find what your most core and unique values are. You can tap into your tribe, and generate a high level of loyalty, and sustainable support.

How NOT to define your message

The two most recognized industries where QR codes are being used are the hospitality and food-service industries.

We are all looking for something new. We are tired of hearing the same message repeatedly and bored with the old establishments. Consumers are sick of superficial cliches and overdone interactions.

The market is saturated, and in most cases, businesses are toting a product or service that is comparable with a whole plethora of others that have a similar price and quality. Consumers will not want to hear much about why yours is better or worse. They are not experts on the product you are buying, and long-winded explanations are not going to win their interest or keep their attention. Scientific explanations, exaggerations about quality comparison with competitors, or even a lower cost are not likely to motivate them. Furthermore, since sales gimmicks are so common and clichéd, consumers are likely even to be suspicious when hearing yet another reason that your product is the best value when compared to competitors.

Many marketers fail to strike the right balance when informing consumers about their products. They either get into long, complicated, and boring lectures or superficial cliches that are patronizing and cheesy. Finding the right balance can be difficult, especially if there is a wide target audience. This takes a lot of data and time to understand, and most marketing people do not understand how to do it. But taking the time and putting forth your message in a way that appeals to your tribe or your base, is exponentially worth it and it will show in your revenue and ROI.

Your real message is the best chance you have of developing a real connection with your consumers. And a real connection, amidst an ocean of superficial cliches, is what will increase the number of customers, unlock your revenue growth, and exponentially increase your ROI.

Conclusion

Trends and fads come and go. Different products and services go out of fashion, and businesses must adapt to meet real-time consumer needs. Yet businesses need to stay true to their original core values so that consumers do not become confused or suspicious. Long-term, loyal consumers may feel threatened or skeptical about too many changes that seem to fundamentally shift the values that pulled them in the first place. A business that changes too much without preserving its core values may lose credibility. Businesses need to find their soul; this is their core and their values. They need to tap into the consumer base who align with their values. That way, even when they need to adapt and grow, consumers can still relate to them, as the soul has stayed the same.

The way to maintain the ability to both adapt and maintain a loyal customer base is value alignment. Tell the story that reflects your values and maintain those values through time. That way, you will maintain your consumer base.

Be genuine, be consistent, and show that your adaptations are a growth of the same company, not a development of a brand new one that has abandoned its values, its core, and its loyal supporters. Show that changes over time align with the values of the company, the supporters, and the tribe

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