The Challenges to Formulating a Marketing Strategy that Makes an Impact

779px-Impact_Studies_-_GPN-2000-001643-1-e1398178868999By Maria Florio

Reprinted with permission from

If you were asked: do marketers look to effectively communicate with their online communities to make a difference in their lives or do they try to communicate the company’s message more effectively and make it engaging, which one would you pick?

Some people would say the two questions are one in the same; however I can’t help but disagree. I came across an article by Jeff Bullas that made a similar point to the above question. As he stated, marketers need to stop marketing and start solving problems. What has differentiated great brands from average ones has always been touching the heart and soul of their community; one way to do this is through problem solving.

If marketers (online or not) wish to truly make an impact, then they must keep the human component in front of their efforts; and in order to do this, they need to confront a couple recurring challenges that seem to keep them stuck in the marketing zone and not the heart and soul zone.

  • Challenge 1: Focus on sales and numbers
    Without money a business will go under. However, focusing on those sales is not going to get you any closer to your objective than you’d hope. Furthermore, the pressure that comes from not selling the amount you want or expect from your marketing efforts is going to distract you from your solution.
  • Challenge 2: The next best thing
    It’s true that the marketer who sees a mile ahead of others will be able to tap into something truly unique (and stand out); but if you’re focusing too much time on testing new ideas or trends, you are once more taking away the focus from what should be your starting point: your target audiences’ needs for solutions to their problems.

The need to keep numbers in mind, to learn from your data and to know who you are talking to are all necessary to be unique and capture your audience; but formulating your starting point in this very way, is exactly what leads marketers off track. It puts you under pressure, it makes you lose sight of the human component and it makes you focus on the strategy the same way a mathematician focuses and formulates a calculation. But if there’s anything we know about the difference between human kind and anything else we have compared it to through time (machines, animals, etc.); it’s that humanity does not stick to logic or calculations. Humans are not static, nor are they driven by numbers.

In order to touch a human being, marketers need to tap into their heart and soul, what makes them tick, what makes them cry, what makes them move. At the end of the day, that’s how it is for you too; just go check out the brands you love the most and why you love them so much.

What are some of the challenges you face in keeping the heart and soul as the starting point of your marketing efforts?