By Russel Cooke
Whenever people are in need of inspiration, they often turn to the wisdom of great leaders (or at least those leaders’ speechwriters) for a powerful phrase that gives them the strength to accomplish amazing things. And few leaders can match the bar set by former American President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had to deal with a nation torn apart by war, and as a result, his speeches were often about reconciliation and the need to work together.
Inspiration is all well and good, but would you believe that following Lincoln’s advice can actually help you put together a killer marketing strategy?
It may sound far-fetched, but consider the following choice quotes that can be applied directly to your next marketing campaign.
Be True to Your Word.
“Reputation is like fine china, once broken it’s very hard to repair.”
Making bold claims and promising to deliver amazing results is a great way to attract attention to your brand. Failing to meet those same expectations will also attract plenty of attention, but certainly not the good kind.
You don’t want to be known as a brand that says it does more than it can, and if you set expectations and then don’t meet them, it can be extremely difficult to reverse the impression those actions give both current and potential customers. Especially in today’s society of multiple online reviews and public word-of-mouth, you should always try to make sure your customers have more positive things to say about you than anything else.
Don’t Compromise Your Values to Appeal to Others.
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
It’s always tempting to try and reach out to demographics and groups that might not know the value of your brand, but sometimes a bad fit is just a bad fit. If your brand shines in the B2B marketplace, then diverting attention away from that to appeal to individual consumers might sound like a low-risk maneuver, but can make your current users feel neglected while the ones you’re marketing to just might not care.
This isn’t to say that branching out and trying new things is a bad idea, but if your current business plan or marketing campaign doesn’t account for a certain group of consumers, stretching too thin to try to reach them could cause your brand’s image to appear unfocused or confused.
Don’t Wait for Results, Work for Them.
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Once you’ve developed a strategy and released it into the wild, it’s tempting to just kick back and see how things work, but there’s more to marketing than waiting for results. Continue to study what parts of your campaign are effective and which ones fall flat. Plan for enhancements or adjustments, plot out the next campaign, and never settle for current results.
There’s no such thing as a perfect marketing strategy, and consistently tweaking and improving an idea once it’s in effect is the best way to keep it fresh and make it as optimal as it can be at any given time. Even if it’s going great, there’s never a good reason to sit back and rest on your laurels.
Although leading a business and leading a nation are two very different things, we all need to learn from our mistakes and improve upon them. And when it comes to following the best advice, who better to follow than one of the greatest U.S. presidents? If your marketing strategy isn’t providing you with the results you want for your business, take these words to heart and apply them to your own leadership.
Russel Cooke, a writer who is experienced with online marketing, often shares his knowledge about effective branding and marketing tactics with other businesses.