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How Can Your Business Survive Past Year Five? 15 Marketing Mix Secrets We’ve Learned Over the Past 15 Years to Help You Build a Successful Brand

Published Jul 21, 2017

A lot has changed in the past fifteen years, but one thing remains: many businesses are still struggling to survive past their first year of operation. As time goes by, the challenge to survive only increases: only 20% make it past year one, 34% make it past year two, and 50% make it past year five. So, how can a brand survive with these scary stats staring them in the face? As CMDS celebrates 15 years of business growth, we’ve learned all the marketing mix secrets along the way to help brands, like you, sail through over a decade of success.

How Many U.S. Businesses Survive?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics, the survival rate looks a bit dreary, but thankfully, we have the marketing mix secrets to help get you through!
• Approximately 80% (four-fifths) of businesses with employees will survive their first year in business.
• Approximately 66% (two-thirds) of businesses with employees will survive their second year in business.
• Approximately 50% (one-half) of businesses with employees will survive their fifth year in business.
• Approximately 30% (one-third) of businesses will survive their 10th year in business.

15 Marketing Mix Strategies to Build a Successful Brand

As you’re probably aware, the marketing mix concept has been around for decades. The 4 Ps of marketing used to be known as product, price, place and promotion and has now evolved to be personality, purpose, promise and patience. Strategically used to influence consumer’s decisions to purchase a product or use a service, a strong marketing mix can be the differentiating factor between surviving year five and making it through year fifteen.

Don’t Just Survive. Thrive!

So, to compliment all the P’s of the marketing mix, here are 15 secrets we’ve learned throughout the past 15 years that will help your brand thrive!

1. Make a Plan

Unfortunately, some businesses fail before they even get started due to a lack of planning. Instead of leaving it up to chance, make a plan. Successful short-term and long-term planning should include measurable goals and results with strategic to-do lists and deadlines.

2. Stay on It

But, never just “set it and forget it.” Continue reviewing those goals to ensure they’re always in sync with your evolving business initiatives and customer’s changing needs.

3. Establish Personality

The most successful brands are those that have created a strong voice with clearly defined traits, strong identity and a sense of culture. But it’s important to identify which personality traits build an emotional connection with customers and which ones may need some finessing.

4. Learn About Customers

When you gain deep insights into the minds of your audience, you have the chance to make a unique customer connection. Conduct consumer research to learn about demographic specifics and find out what they care about so you can drive the right kind of content and messaging.

5. Answer Questions

Become your customer’s practical solution by answering their questions with engaging content that keeps them coming back to learn more. But, don’t just stop there. Solve their problems before they even have a chance to ask and become their sole go-to resource that exceeds their needs.

6. Define Your Purpose

Go beyond answering questions and dig into the meat of things. Clearly define the unique characteristics that separate you from the competition. What do you offer that no one else can? With such a noisy marketplace today, brand purpose can be the defining factor for why a customer chooses you over someone else.

7. Sell an Experience

While it used to be enough to create an exceptional product (or service), today’s consumers want more than that. They expect to be immersed in a personal experience that seamlessly integrates across multiple channels. Give them an exceptional experience and they’re yours for life.

8. Prove Your Value

Price wars rarely deliver positive results. Take a moment to breathe and critically evaluate your competitor’s actions before you react to anything. Always put the focus on value versus price by showing customers WHY your product or service costs what it does and HOW your brand can positively impact their life. Use testimonials, statistics, reviews, and quality content to prove your unique value proposition.

9. Learn from Your Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable. But not all mistakes will force you close up shop; mistakes can actually enable a business to grow. Successful people may continue to make new mistakes, but they’ll never repeat an old one. Why? They analyze what went wrong, create a strong solution to prevent it from happening again and then let it go.

As Thomas Edison said after many unsuccessful attempts in creating the incandescent light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” So, the faster you recognize what doesn’t work, the faster you can discover out what will.

10. Evolve with Customers

Fifteen years ago, “place” used to refer to a store shelf. Today, it includes countless alternative means for consumers to learn about a brand: website, social media accounts, digital advertisements, search engines, etc. Successful businesses do their research and meet customers in their preferred environments (i.e. mobile) to evolve with them as they expand to new channels.

11. Listen

Whether you’re building brand engagement through social media engagement, driving more traffic to your website through retargeting ads or building customers relationships through engaging content, comprehensive listening is essential. Always pay attention to the analytics so you can see what’s working (and what needs to be adjusted).

12. Create Trust

Trust is essential for relationships to grow; this is no different when it comes to brands and their customers. While it can be easy to focus on acquiring a new customer base, building loyalty, trust and new revenue streams with an existing customer base can be a huge asset for thriving businesses. Never pretend to be something you aren’t, it will only confuse the market.

13. Stay Engaged

Perseverance is a necessity for branding. Whether you’re hoping for reactions from customers on social media, reviews on Google or clicks to your website, engagement can be tricky. To keep your audience involved, entertain them, educate them and inspire them at the right time, in the right place and with the right content.

14. Be Patient

It’s true that running a business can require long hours, but the DIY approach can only take you so far. As you fight through the challenges of making your entrepreneurial dream come true, you need to be able to know when to reach out for help. Successful businesses owners know that wearing too many hats is not only time consuming but also mind consuming, it takes a carefully planned and executed strategy.

15. Rock On

Let loose once and a while and remember to have fun. You started your business because you love what you do. Never lose sight of that passion that got you started in the first place.

Celebrating 15 Years of Marketing Success

CMDS reached a special milestone this month, celebrating 15 years of success and growth. Chris Mulvaney Design Solutions, founded in 2002 by Chris Mulvaney, has grown from the dreams of a one-person traditional advertising agency to a full-service digital marketing agency with a dedicated team of strategists, designers and marketers who share Mulvaney’s passion for creating digital experiences that reshape the connection between brands and their customers.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve had the honor to work with many clients worldwide and apply the same marketing strategies we have used to build our own brand. Named to the Inc. 5000 list in 2016, our dedication to success only continues to accelerate year after year.

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