Behind every great marketing success story is a great business — an organization with such a strong foundation that the marketing (almost) comes easy.
According to Fortune Magazine, these companies excel at innovation, product and service quality, people management, and global competitiveness, among other factors.
They also excel at marketing – and that’s not a coincidence.
Here are five fundamentals of a successful business that are essential for a smart marketing strategy, based on my experience as a marketing consultant.
- An outstanding product or service: The most important element of success in business or marketing is a product or service that solves the customer’s problems better than anything else. Even a brilliant marketing campaign can’t sell a bad product.
- A consistently superior customer experience: Not every Southwest flight arrives on time. Starbucks occasionally messes up a drink. But most of the time, these companies deliver the first-rate experience their customers expect. Consistent excellence drives brand loyalty.
- Deep knowledge of customers and their needs: Smart marketers know their customers so well they can come up with products and services people want before they know they want them. You didn’t know you needed an iPod or a tablet computer, but Apple knew you did. Apple’s engineering prowess and their knowledge of how people use technology have created entirely new categories of must-have products.
- Commitment to customer satisfaction: Successful marketers have a bend-over-backwards commitment to satisfying their customers and staffs that know how to do it. By setting the bar for excellence in customer service, companies like Disney and FedEx are businesses customers trust.
- Clear differentiation from competitors: There’s only one Amazon, one Google, one IBM. These companies have created so much distinctive value in the services and products they provide – and they deliver that value so masterfully – that they define their category and stand apart from anyone else in their space.
Creating Your Marketing Success Story
You don’t have to be a FORTUNE® 500 company to create your own marketing success story. If you focus on the fundamentals of building a great business, smart marketing is sure to follow.