Problem Solving Skills, Not Latest Technology, the Key to Successful Marketing

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Which print, digital and mobile marketing techniques are still relevant in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing marketing world? Marketing professionals spend most of their time trying to find an answer to that question. But the Incite Summit, a conference held in Manhattan last week, encouraged attendees to think about marketing relevance in new ways.“The question you have to wake up every day and ask yourself is ‘Am I still relevant?’” marketing executive Ash EiDifrawi told the assembled group, emphasizing the importance of ongoing performance review. One day, he said, a marketer might come up with a brilliant idea only to find out the next “that 100 people have your idea and you are irrelevant.”

That’s a scary idea, he said, but it’s the only way to compete in a rapidly changing industry.

Focus on Problems and Solutions
But instead of measuring relevance based on the latest technology, EiDifrawi emphasized that successful marketing is based on providing solutions to potential customers’ problems — even if it’s a problem they didn’t know they had.

Another speaker, Alex Kaminsky of (formerly the Yellow Pages), agreed.

“There are a number of tools, most of them sound really great, most of them are really interesting, most of them are trendy, most of them feel sexy and give you some social credit that you know what is going on,” Kaminsky said. However, he continued, “The bottom line is unless you know what problem you are going to solve, you are going to spend your entire day yielding and vetting possibilities, and you are going to turn around and you are going to realize you haven’t done anything.”

The Message, Not the Medium
Ultimately, this means that despite the proliferation of digital marketing options — admittedly something that marketers can’t afford to ignore — good marketing comes down to more than whether something is presented on an old-school poster or the screens in an airplane (a market cornered by Gogo, of which EiDifrawi is executive vice president and chief commercial officer).

Kaminsky, who joined YP in 2013, said that the company’s previous blunders illustrate the pitfalls of an assumption that transitioning from print to digital formats automatically updates a brand.

“Don’t think of the platform,” Kaminsky advised. “Think of how the consumer uses the platform; think of how the consumer interfaces with the platform.”

In other words, the principles of good marketing cut across print and digital platforms.

“Print marketing is the best way to leave a visible and tangible impression with your market. Target your audience according to interest,” says Adam Sturm, President of Apple Visual Graphics. “A fully branded pop-up shop may be the best way to leave a lasting impact. We routinely print and install wide-format prints for walls, windows, and floors to fully immerse a customer in the brand.”

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