Mar 15, 2016

Marketers, Assemble: 9 Superheroes Your Strategy Needs

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Everyone loves a superhero team-up. Although Superman and Captain America are pretty powerful on their own, they’re even stronger when working with other members of the Justice League and Avengers.

Superhero teams show how individuals with distinct strengths, expertise and perspectives can overcome their differences to unite and serve all humankind.

Although your marketing team isn’t battling large-scale robot attacks or alien invasions, there’s a lot to learn from the success of superhero team-ups.

Modern marketers are called on to be buyer-focused and data-driven as they create increasingly compelling content, distribute it over a growing number of channels, and gather analytics for reporting and optimization efforts.

A single person can’t create and promote content, build a brand’s leads pipeline, shorten sales cycles and drive revenue growth alone.

When assembling the ultimate marketing team, look for marketing masters that embody the following super powers.

Shrewd Strategist: “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Then be Batman.” Let’s be honest: Bruce Wayne, aka the Dark Knight, is the hero we all want to be.

He doesn’t have alien or mutant powers, but triumphs with intellect and strategy. He arms himself with the right tools and technology and understands the strengths and weaknesses of his team members and adversaries.

Every team needs a Batman that can connect the dots of their audience’s many challenges, and create a strategy that fulfills their needs today and looks ahead to tomorrow.

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Compelling Storytellers: Your audience has a large and varied appetite for content. Because of this, your content team won’t survive on the back of one storyteller.

From Lois Lane’s Pulitzer-prize winning, hard-hitting storytelling to Spider-Man’s snappy wit and photojournalism skills, your marketing team must tap into a range of voices, expertise, and content formats to deliver a brand story that inspires.

Versatile Designer: Our latest State of Multimedia results show that 42% of press releases included visual elements. This uptick in multimedia usage requires marketers to evolve their visual storytelling.

Work with a designer before you even begin writing to determine what graphics, photos and video your target audience is most likely to act on.

And don’t focus solely on form; function is equally – if not more — important.

Find your brand’s Janet van Dyne. In addition to being Marvel’s astonishing Wasp, Janet was a gifted fashion designer who created her own and other heroes’ costumes.

The best creative managers know how to fashion visuals that are both attractive and functional, while creating a rich and consistent visual story across your website, events and individual pieces of content.

Ingenious Engineer: In CMO Essentials for Optimizing Your Content Marketing Program, PR Newswire’s SVP of Marketing Ken Wincko wrote, “While your focus should be on creating high-quality content, a sustainable marketing program is impossible if you don’t invest in the right technology, processes, and people.”

Half-man, half-machine, all hero: DC Comics’ Cyborg is who you want at the center of this marketing infrastructure.

Find someone who can seamlessly integrate marketing automation and other technology with your content’s storytelling to build out the most powerful user experience possible.

Multi-channel Master: It’s not enough to develop strategy, systems, processes and content. You must be serving up your content across the multitude of channels your audience uses.

Take a note from Marvel’s Multiple Man and map out a synchronized strategy across paid, social, digital, earned media that will lift both your overall traffic and leads.

And while it’s important to maintain message consistency, remember that every channel has its differences. Don’t duplicate, but tailor your promotion to each channel’s specifications.  

Speedy Connector: For your promotions to work, you also need to offer your audiences a chance to connect and engage in conversation with your brand.

Community management, advocacy marketing, and sales enablement are all ways to connect with external and internal audiences and develop brand advocates.

The biggest key here is to remain agile. Channel the Flash and be speedy, but thorough in how you listen, respond, and develop relationships with journalists, influencers, potential and current customers, and your colleagues.

The (Not-So-)Mad Scientist: With the increased depth and breadth of data available to marketers, there’s no excuse for sitting back, satisfied with your accomplishments.

You can always do more.

Hire an innovator like Iron Man who knows how to turn data into actionable insights and can offer up optimization experiments to improve your performance.

Audience Advocate:  Unlike Superman, who came from Krypton as a baby, DC Comics’ Martian Manhunter adopted Earth as a second home as an adult. This gave him a unique perspective on how and why he protected the people of Earth when fighting alongside the Justice League.

Similarly, your marketing team needs an outside perspective to play Devil’s Advocate when planning your strategy. As technology and best practices change, it can be easy to stray from your marketing’s original mission.

Having someone who can step back and take an objective look at what you’re doing will ensure you don’t lose sight of the people who matter most — your audience.

Ultimate Unifier: As marketing continues to incorporate other responsibilities under its umbrella, keeping everyone and their projects aligned will become a bigger and bigger challenge.

Because of this, your marketing team must have an organized leader who can foster a collaborative environment and unify everyone around the central goals of serving your audience and driving more revenue.

To significantly impact company revenue and build engaging, long-lasting relationships with customers, you need a super-powered marketing team using super-powered tools.

Step up your marketing game with the power of PR and content promotion. Download High-Impact PR Planning that Drives Demand Generation to learn how to pick the right content platforms and promotion channels to strengthen your marketing programs.

Author Amanda Hicken is PR Newswire’s senior manager of strategic content and managing editor of Beyond PR. Follow her on Twitter @ADHicken for tweets about marketing, the media, Cleveland, and comic books.

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