Vidur Vyas is responsible for overseeing the company’s global growth and ensuring NorthSide delivers on its mission. He was formerly the Chief Marketing Officer at PepsiCo India Foods, Sr. Director Global Nutrition Group & Beverage Innovation, PepsiCo India Region, and VP Marketing, hike. Vidur has also got rich consulting experience with Accenture and as an external advisor to Bain & Company. A thought leader, he was invited to be part of panel discussions on brand building and e-commerce at the Harvard Business School.
A solid strategy and a strong team with the ability to execute the marketing strategy are the key ingredients for a startup to succeed. None of the “ingredients” is complete without the other.
The proper implementation of the marketing strategy could be substantially hampered by scarce resources, low visibility, bandwidth, and other problems related to finding the right expertise and partners. Marketing execution must be done well the first time in order to have a long-lasting effect and a sustainable ROI.
Invest Behind Consumer Insights
For every brand to succeed, getting consumer insights has been and continues to be a major source of competitive advantage for businesses. Obtaining relevant consumer insights is a two-step process.
The first step is gathering “hard data” from various sources, and in the modern world, there are numerous places where data can be obtained. Shopper data, social media monitoring on your own brand pages, quantitative polls, and occasionally conducted tracks are a few of the common data sources. The best businesses provide easy data mining for everyone within the firm by organizing this data efficiently.
In order to understand the consumer journey and the “reason why” behind consumers’ behaviors, one should speak with consumers using conventional approaches like focus groups, depth interviews, and consumer observation as part of the second parallel process. Both types of data are frequently used together to get the right insights that will have the maximum impact on the business.
Utilizing the 3R model—the insight should be real, it should resonate, and it should be relevant to most of your consumers—is a fantastic method to focus on what matters most. The three Rs can be verified using qualitative interaction modules and even verified through quantitative methods.
The majority of businesses today have a lot of “hard data,” but they don’t spend enough time getting to know their consumers and truly comprehending the “why” behind their behavior. The combination of “soft data” with “hard data” creates a competitive edge that is hard to replicate. In addition to driving marketing, strong insights are essential for developing the capabilities required to create a consumer-centric culture.
Positioning with a Higher-Order Purpose
Brands with strong positioning have a place in consumers’ minds. In order to stand out from a crowded field of competitors, start-up companies must have a positioning that clearly articulates the functional advantage of their product or service, the emotional benefit, and a higher-order purpose (the reason why the planet needs the brand).
Brand positioning is a difficult exercise that can occasionally be left to entrepreneurs’ intuitive thinking, but is typically something that needs to be worked on using tools and improved through time.
By carefully evaluating the target audience, their daily routines, and discovering in-use occasions where the product or service fits in, brands can find relevant functional and emotional benefits. Many companies dig deep and concentrate only on usage and usage scenarios to uncover the crucial functional and emotional benefits.
The issue of establishing the positioning is occasionally postponed indefinitely in a rush to get early revenue, which is a mistake because it creates confusion among stakeholders and consumers about what the brand actually stands for. This, eventually, hurts the company.
Getting the Marketing Execution Right
The strategy and execution teams need to be completely in sync and have well-defined priorities that shouldn’t exceed three for execution to be successful. The execution team frequently becomes confused when there are too many priorities.
Because of this, it’s critical—especially at start-ups—that the strategy team and execution team work together as a single unit or are connected at the hip and stay focused on getting the top priorities executed well.
Finding the point in the consumer journey where investment is needed to acquire clients is the second crucial operational requirement. For many years, businesses acquired their initial customers by first investing in brand recognition to get consumers to try their product, and then investing more to get brand loyalty. While that is still necessary, consumers are replacing the awareness phase with a prolonged assessment phase using new-age media. They search for what they need, whether it be a need or a category rather than a specific brand, research a number of brands, and then choose one.
For start-ups and SMEs, understanding this new consumer buying cycle and investing in getting their brand evaluation right is critical to getting consumers. In the initial years, this is also the more cost-efficient way of building a consumer base rather than spending more on generating just awareness.
Investing in integrated marketing may help you examine the process holistically, ask the necessary questions to ensure that the brand experience is consistent across different channels, and figure out what needs to be done to fix any discrepancies. To obtain a competitive edge, marketing teams also need to execute their positioning properly and create an execution template for their brand.
Your target consumers will purchase, review, recommend, and repurchase your brand when the insight is strong, the brand is well-positioned, and the market execution is effective. Making the time, effort, and financial investment to get the ideal team for the execution of a marketing strategy makes excellent business sense.