Unconventional business strategies can ignite growth. Developing a culture that promotes and rewards creativity and innovation is critical in today’s turbulent global business environment. Moving faster than your competitors and developing creative strategies and products will force competitors to continuously react. As you continually surprise and disrupt the market, your organization will drive forward while competitors remain flat-footed. Stop relying on outdated and routine strategies. Reignite your organization with unconventional methodologies. Embrace discomfort and ambiguity. Connect disparate pieces of information. Rethink how you think.
In an AutoNews article by Jennifer Vuong, the author interviewed Steve Kalafer who owns eight automotive dealerships in New Jersey. Kalafer discussed the current state of the automotive industry and issues he has experienced over the past 41 years. Key areas of concern Kalafer noted was the increasing amount of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) incentives and subprime loans.
When resources are scarce, the time to get creative and leverage non-traditional marketing strategies should excite marketing leaders and teams. The opportunity to do more with less and demonstrate to senior leaders the effectiveness of marketing, will lead to increased resources. Asymmetric marketing is an excellent method to “do more with less” and leverage speed and surprise to outmaneuver competitors, excite customers, and demonstrate the effectiveness of “guerilla marketing”.
The market is getting increasingly competitive and dynamic. Consumers are inundated with a constant flow of information. It is becoming harder to get people’s attention and turn them into qualified sales leads. Worse, marketing departments are operating with smaller budgets and bare-bone teams. So, how do you get through all the noise to reach and engage with customers? Inbound marketing.
Product managers are the tip of the marketing spear. You develop overall product strategy, identify target customers, develop positioning and messaging direction, and create the roadmap for sales and marketing teams. As the unnamed (and often unheralded) marketing expert within the company, the product manager is tasked to ensure customer-focused products are developed and effective sales and marketing tactics are deployed for optimal market success.
Like most skills, it is helpful to study and attend training classes to accelerate learning. Market Research (MR) includes multiple specialties and requires a variety of skills (e.g., designing questionnaires, interviewing, creating reports, moderating focus groups). The more you can improve your MR skills, the greater insights you will uncover which will help you make better decisions.
Most marketers on the “coasts” do not truly understand the mid-west consumer. If you are marketing products or services towards the mid-western consumer, you need to get out of the office and spend some time with this massive demographic. Put aside your assumptions and learn first-hand what makes this massive segment tick and how you can better align with their needs.
Paul Jankowski wrote an excellent book titled, Speak American Too: Your Guide to Building Powerful Brands in the New Heartland. For marketers targeting the “Heartland” or rural America, this should be a required reading. It is a great read that presents a real and actionable overview of a target segment that most brands stereotype incorrectly or just avoid.