It was easy already

Although honestly, it’s never easy for marketers. The pandemic has left its mark on us and the whole economic system, and we will continue to experience its aftereffects for years to come. As we look to 2023 in these times of economic upheaval, geopolitical risk, and climate change, it always means one and the same thing for marketing: cuts, cuts, cuts. Meaning budget cuts, resource cuts, team cuts and even more pressure to generate results and sales leads. In practice, there are fewer resources and more competition in the market in every industry. The story repeats itself every time a crisis comes: the marketing budget is the first one to be cut. Now marketers have to stand out and make their brand visible in the crowd. They need to find ways to build trust and credibility in the eyes of customers and get their attention even more than before. This year will be full of challenges so it’s worth taking a step back and focusing on what is truly important in marketing.

Get back to fundamentals

Product and fulfilled promises

Attracting the audience’s attention is the result of proper marketing communication. In the past few years the term “marketing of attention” has become increasingly more popular. With high competition levels, all marketing activities are focused on attracting audiences and keeping their attention. However, what about the marketers’ attention? What to focus on with limited resources and budgets, and what to let go of? At the beginning of the year marketers will take a look at what didn’t work and on what did work. It’s time for the most important strategic decision and call of the year. At the beginning, there was a product … 

We marketers like to talk about innovation, new marketing channels, advertising formats, marketing automation, data, AI, tools, or creativity. We are always trying to innovate to grow our businesses by introducing new marketing channels and tools. That is the tip of the iceberg and we often don’t look at the product because it already exists. Someone else has created it and someone is constantly developing it. Nevertheless, customers will always choose the product that gives the most value for the same price. This is an obvious truth that we often forget in between new marketing projects and advertising campaigns. We focus on advertising tools and forms instead. In difficult times, however, it is even more worth stopping for a moment and looking at what our product is like, and what can be improved in it at a reasonable cost to give real value to customers. Inflation eats up the budgets of our clients too and they will also cut costs. 

Give value to customers

Clients will only stick to those purchases that are important to them and give real value to their organisation, adequate to the price. That is why I believe that product marketing should have a comeback, not only to communicate about the product but also in the form of the marketing and sales departments having a real influence on the shape of the product. It is the sales, customer care, and marketing departments that are on the front line and listen to the voices of customers, seeing trends first. In many companies those voices are overlooked and the vision of how to develop a product ends up being far from market expectations. 

Marketing is used to communicate what is, while sales are expected to sell what the company has created. Product verification and improvement can be the engine of business transformation and its growth in difficult times. Marketers’ and sales teams’ voices should be listened to by product development in order to help create new value for customers. Moreover, customer care teams’ voices can help shape a better customer experience. Marketing of attention and fulfilled promises will be the theme of 2023 for many marketers.

This was a reminder of what is important in marketing and what has a huge impact on business and company results. There are a few other equally important areas that need to be addressed by marketers this year, and we will focus on them in the upcoming articles.