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7 Things We Wish People Knew About Marketing

7 Things We Wish People Knew About Marketing

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7 Things We Wish People Knew About Marketing

It’s Marmalade Marketing’s 7th birthday! As we slice into our birthday cake, we're reflecting on the journey so far. Although today should really be all about us, we thought we should give something back.

In the spirit of celebration, we’re sharing seven marketing insights we wish more business owners knew. 

These aren't just any old insights either; they’re based on 7 years of experience running a successful marketing agency and even longer spent working brand-side for a multi-sector national recruitment agency, and that’s just me. As a team, we have over 100 years of recruitment marketing experience between us, so you can trust our take on things.

1. The Art of Storytelling in Branding

Ever heard a story so good you couldn’t forget it? That's the power of storytelling in marketing. But your brand's story isn't just what you tell people; it's what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. A compelling story can transform a basic service into a legacy. It’s about creating a narrative that resonates with your audience, making your brand memorable and relatable.

A great example is Airbnb's "Live There" campaign launched in 2016. This campaign shifted the focus from just accommodation to the experience of living like a local in the places travellers visit. Airbnb used real stories from hosts and guests to convey a sense of authenticity and connection, emphasising that travellers could have unique, personalised experiences rather than the standardised offerings of traditional hotels. This approach resonated with audiences seeking more immersive travel experiences, reinforcing Airbnb's position as a provider of unique, local travel experiences.


2. Content is King, but Engagement is Queen

In the realm of digital marketing, content reigns supreme. But what's a king without his queen? Engagement! It's not enough to just churn out content; you need to engage with your audience. Create content that sparks conversations, encourages shares, and genuinely adds value. Remember, the best content is the one that starts a dialogue.

An example of an engaging social media campaign is Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign. This campaign featured a forensic artist drawing women first based on their descriptions and then based on descriptions by strangers. The striking difference between the two sets of sketches highlighted the gap between how women view themselves and how others see them. This campaign resonated deeply with audiences, sparking conversations about self-image and beauty standards. It became one of the most-watched advertising videos at the time and significantly increased Dove's online engagement, demonstrating how powerful and engaging content can drive meaningful conversations.


3. The Magic of SEO

SEO isn’t just about keywords and backlinks; it's an art form. It's the magic that helps your content get discovered by the right people at the right time. Good SEO practices ensure that your website and content are not just visible but also relevant to those who are searching for what you offer. It's about being the needle and the magnet in the haystack of the internet.

Over time, Content and SEO strategies take the lead in driving traffic to a website, showing that while they require longer to take effect, they contribute to significant, sustainable growth in website traffic as time progresses. This graph underscores the importance of a balanced marketing approach that combines immediate, mid-term, and long-term strategies for steady growth.


4. Social Media – A Double-Edged Sword

Social media is a powerful tool, but it's a double-edged sword. It can build and foster communities, enhance brand visibility and drive engagement. However, it requires a strategy that aligns with your brand values and audience interests. The key? Authenticity. Be real, be you, and use social media to build genuine connections.

One of our pet hates at Marmalade is companies jumping on the bandwagon of every awareness day in the calendar. That is not a social media strategy and is a sure way to lose credibility with your audience. A much better strategy is to pick one or two causes that truly resonate with your values and culture and most importantly audience. 

Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear brand, is often cited for its authenticity on social media. It has garnered a large and loyal following by consistently promoting environmental activism, sustainable practices, and a commitment to quality and customer service. Through their content, they engage with issues that resonate with their community, such as land conservation and ethical manufacturing, and they use their platform to take a stand on environmental issues, which strengthens the authenticity of their brand voice.


5. Email Marketing – The Unsung Hero

In the age of social media, email marketing often gets overshadowed. But it's the unsung hero of digital marketing. With a targeted email strategy, you can reach your audience directly, providing personalised content that can drive conversions and build loyalty - it’s a method that is still favoured by many top brands. 

Email marketing continues to be a powerhouse in the digital space, with 4 billion individuals engaging with emails daily. Brands are recognising its potency, with 37% planning to increase their email budgets. The focus on crafting mobile-friendly emails aligns with the trend that most consumers prefer to interact with brands through their smartphones. 

Segmenting emails is not just a strategy; it's a game-changer, yielding 30% more opens and an impressive 50% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. Notably, 77% of marketers report a surge in email engagement within the past year, highlighting the channel's growing effectiveness. Think of it as a direct line to your audience's inbox – use it wisely!

Testing remains a critical component, as it significantly contributes to higher returns on investment.


6. The Power of Analytics

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - you have to measure your marketing activity (MROI)! Data isn’t just numbers; it’s the story of your campaign’s success and areas for improvement. Analytics help you understand your audience, track your performance, and make informed decisions. By harnessing the power of data, you can fine-tune your strategies and achieve better results. 

It’s also a must if you want to be taken seriously at the Board level. Want to increase your marketing budget next year?  You’re going to have to prove your activity is working. 

“I haven’t met an FD yet that fully embraces marketing spend on marketing R&D projects with agreed ROI metrics in place. It can see the battle often lost before the marketing warfare starts.”
Jo Perrotta

We practice what we preach by providing our clients with a monthly performance report tailored to their activity and quarterly and yearly reviews.


7. Adaptability and Continuous Learning:

The only constant in marketing is change. New platforms, trends, and algorithms are always on the horizon and that’s without the developments in AI.  Staying adaptable and committed to continuous learning is key. Keep experimenting, stay curious, and embrace the ever-evolving nature of marketing.

Here are some free courses we would recommend: 

HubSpot Academy's Content Marketing Course

Comprehensive and brilliant for beginners!
Find it here: https://lnkd.in/eaJeR-6k

Coursera's The Strategy of Content Marketing

Teaches you how to develop, organise and implement a content marketing strategy including how to analyse and measure effectiveness (essential!)
Find it here: https://lnkd.in/eSvWNXiw

Semrush's Content Marketing Principles for Business

Covers the essential principles of content marketing! Discover ways to research, develop, and align appropriate content for your target audience.
Find it here: https://lnkd.in/eHZmV43p

There you have it – seven marketing insights from our seven years in the industry. As we celebrate our birthday, we're reminded of the journey, the lessons learned, and the fun we have had along the way. Marketing, like a fine wine, gets better with time, trust us we’d know, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Here’s to more years of creating, innovating, and marketing with a twist!

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