Recognize when you’re in a self-deceiving cycle
All it takes is a little bit of business success and you’re at risk of getting trapped in a self-deceiving cycle. Only companies that recognize that they’re heading toward this cycle can sidestep marketing myopia.
The self-deceiving cycle usually begins as your products start to take off. Initially, you’ll see chances to increase sales with more consumer awareness. Then, you may think that your product is the best in the industry and has no competitors.
You may see mass production as the way forward, allowing you to take advantage of rapidly declining unit costs as output rises. After that, it’s all about boosting production at lower costs, often at the expense of what customers are looking for.
Don’t fall into that trap. Watch for any of these thought processes and banish them; prioritize delighting your customer base even as their needs change.
Make marketing research a top priority
Stay in tune with what your customers want and need by making marketing research a top priority. Research your target customers’ interests, needs, and challenges before launching your business. Then, repeat this process on at least a yearly basis.
Complete new research between these scheduled checks if you plan to enter a new market. It’s also a good idea to do this before launching a new product or service. The insights will let you know if any proposed changes are a solid investment and reveal barriers you may have to work around to reach your goals.
Also, consider brief quarterly checks whenever something seems to be shaking up your industry. Look for any emerging trends, new technology, or shifts in thinking that could impact what your customers expect from your company. Market research results can help you weather the storm or adapt to industry changes.
Look at competitors’ marketing efforts
Your customers aren’t the only thing to watch when trying to avoid marketing myopia. You can also benefit from looking at your competitors’ marketing efforts. Like market research, you want to complete your competitor analysis when launching your business—before changing anything and on a routine basis.
The initial analysis will help you identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can properly position your brand in the market. After that, it’s all about better understanding your customers and spotting market trends as they develop.
For the best results, go beyond a basic analysis by monitoring how each competitor brand operates in the digital space. Set up Google alerts, follow them on social media, and sign up for their marketing materials, like gated e-books, to stay in the loop.
Define your short- and long-term goals
Clearly define both your short- and long-term goals to avoid shortsighted perspectives. Although focusing solely on bringing in quick wins is tempting, it’s not a sustainable strategy. You need both. Your short-term goals maintain momentum, and your long-term goals keep you moving in the right direction.
Address both areas by looking far into the future and working backward
from there. Think about where you envision your business in 20 years. Ask yourself when you’ll know you’ve made it big. Set 5-year performance targets to plot the path forward.
Once you have that framework in place, you can work on your annual, quarterly, and monthly goals. As you do this, remember that while it’s good to have a plan, stay open to changing things as needed to stay relevant.
Experiment with innovative marketing strategies
Innovative marketing strategies can help you adopt a forward-thinking approach and stay ahead of the curve. By taking calculated risks, you can see what speaks to your customers most, giving you additional insights into their mindset and relationship with your brand.
- Real-time chatbot support
- Micro-moment marketing
- Social media live streams
- User-generated content
- Influencer collaborations
- Virtual reality campaigns
- Interactive content
When fresh marketing ideas appear, aim to be one of the first to try them out. Better yet, get your team together to dream up new ways to promote your products and make meaningful connections with your customers.
You don’t have to dump your whole marketing budget into trying each new idea. In fact, it’s better to just dip your toe in the water and test them out. To do that, set aside a small portion of your marketing budget each year for exploring innovative approaches.
Track and measure your marketing strategy success
When experimenting with new marketing strategies, try a little bit of everything at first. And don’t forget to unlock data insights with analytics and A/B testing. The objective data takes emotion out of the equation, allowing you to simply focus on what resonates with your audience—and what doesn’t.
Once you have an idea of what works, go full speed ahead in promoting your brand through those channels. All the while, keep in mind that what worked today might not work tomorrow. Keep tracking the data and be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice.
Ideally, the only thing you won’t end up changing through the years is your focus on your customers’ needs and preferences. Everything else is open for debate. Once a strategy stops working, let the data and current market conditions guide you to its replacement.
Keep your company focused on emerging trends
Staying in touch with what’s happening in your industry and the world at large can help you avoid marketing myopia. Cultural shifts, new technology, and industry innovations are all great things to watch if you want to stay prepared. However, it’s not a one-person job.
Having a diverse team on your side can make all the difference, especially if you actively promote team collaboration. Different perspectives and ideas can help you spot and understand all the newest trends as they occur. You just need to give your team a safe space to express their views.
Earmark a set amount of time each week to chat about any emerging trends your employees might have noticed. Consider monthly meetings to assess the trends for growth opportunities and determine how to adapt to the changes if necessary.
Close down shop from time to time and take your entire team to conferences, trade shows, and other industry events. The time you devote to reevaluating the market will pay you back in dividends by protecting your company from marketing myopia.
Prevent poor decision-making with fresh insights
Fresh insights from a trusted mentor can reveal things you’ve overlooked and prevent poor decision-making. The outside perspective lets you take a big step back from the day-to-day and see your business in a whole new light. You’ll be able to banish tunnel vision as a result and keep myopic thinking at bay.
Selecting the right mentor is essential in getting honest, targeted feedback to grow your business. While you could ask a fellow industry professional or even a longtime friend, actionable insights from a business coach could be more valuable. A coach has one job: to help you be the best business owner you can be.
They don’t have to worry about you swooping in to take their business or getting offended by especially candid feedback. They can reveal the realities of your situation without fear of rocking the boat, helping you make the changes needed to get through practically any industry shake-ups.
Clear vision is within your reach
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that life is full of changes. As time goes on, you’ll notice new trends, shifts in how peoplethink, and industries changing in response.
Avoiding marketing myopia is all about spotting the changing tides and capitalizing on growth opportunities to build a successful company. While it is sometimes challenging, clear vision is always within your reach. Focus on your customers and be ready to adapt—and you’ll do great in the ever-changing business world.