The digital era has connected everything and almost everyone to the online world, giving businesses an opportunity to reach a broader audience more than ever before. However, every business rushed to utilize the benefits of operating online, which made the market quite competitive and overcrowded. Nowadays, standing out in a crowd and getting the message heard is becoming increasingly difficult for all businesses. Not only do you need to cut through all the noise, but you also need to discover a way to become competitive and remain relevant to your target audience. As technology advances, customer needs, expectations, and demands become more prevalent, forcing you to adapt to changes in the marketplace. So how does any business break through the clutter and increase awareness? These businesses are resourceful, have a comprehensive marketing strategy, and follow these key tips:
Conduct thorough research
Today, every business on the market is trying to sell some kind of a product or service, while trying to convince their customers that they need your offering. This creates a lot of noise and custom offers, which makes it difficult for businesses to show value and relevance. However, the audience isn't easily swayed by this noise. Instead, they tend to dig deeper into offers and promotions until they can find what suits them best. If you want your business to stand out in a crowded market and pique the customer's interest, you'll have to conduct some thorough market research as part of your overall marketing strategy.
It's important to understand that online consumers seek out businesses that not only give discounts and favourable customer service, but also business that can offer solutions to relevant problems and answer important questions. If you manage to identify these key needs of your target audience and their concerns, you'll not only be able to obtain a unique selling proposition that will give you a competitive advantage, but you'll also be able to gain customer's favour by providing them with good value.
Find a way to stand out
A strong competitive advantage is hard to come by in a saturated market. However, it's important to know that you shouldn't strive to follow in your competitor's footsteps and wait for the chance to outrun them. Consumers constantly have to sort through thousands of similar offers with slight variances, whether it be on messaging, design, or channel.
Over time, this becomes dull and unattractive. Instead of mimicking others, draw attention to your business by making it different and unique. Fresh perspective easily draws customer attention, even with all the noise around them. That's why you need to keep a close eye on your competition and monitor their strategies and offering customers something your competitors haven't tried yet or can't offer their audience.
Rethink your social media strategy
Social media is a powerful business tool that allows both big and small companies to communicate with their audience and supply content, as well as launch marketing campaigns, advertisements and promotions. However, even cutting through the noise on social media and actively engaging with the customers is more difficult than ever. To make things even more difficult, social media platforms are limiting businesses organic reach. In fact, Facebook alone has decreased organic reach from businesses by 52% in 2016 and the trend seems to be continuing in this direction. That's why even big brands sometimes have trouble cutting through the noise.
For example, Lenovo a tech giant in the IT industry had difficulty being heard in the crowded market and wanted a way to effectively engage with their target consumer base. With the help from Isentia, Lenovo was able to restructure their content to suit the audience and engage with key influencers on social media to drive better engagement. In addition, by leveraging LinkedIn Sponsored Content program, Lenovo was able to gain 17% increase in brand's favourability. Simply put, you need to adequately optimize content for your audience on social media and identify their key interest so that you can reach out to them more effectively.
Choose the right niche
Competing in a crowded market can get overwhelming, especially for new businesses that are trying to increase exposure and awareness. Big brands and corporate giants already dominate the market, both with product and services, as well as marketing campaigns and promotional offers. Moreover, these big players have enough funds to support constant pressure on the market with their own marketing angle. Trying to outrun this type of competition is next to impossible for a business that's fresh on the market. In addition, there's really no need to compete that way.
Instead, bypass the big ones and choose a niche for your business, which gives you a unique edge. That way, you'll able to specialize in something specific and become an expert in the field your target audience has high interest in. Perhaps your business doesn't have what it takes to outrun popular brands, but it does have what it takes to attract the right customers and showcase value. After all, when your business is niche-specific, you won't have to cut through all the noise. Instead, your audience will do it for you and meet you halfway.
Add value through services
The rule of thumb in the business world is that customer always comes first. That mindset will help you cut through the crowded market and help you truly stand out. As mentioned before, consumers have high expectations, demands and needs. A lot of businesses oftentimes neglect those expectations or only deliver up to a certain point, while focusing their attention on profits. If you make an effort to meet or even exceed your customer's expectations and needs, you will gain a loyal consumer base.
Try offering additional value through your services, such as customer service, customer support, return policy and so on. Don't think that your customers won't notice that you're making an effort to ensure their satisfaction. As a sign of appreciation, they'll become more loyal and will help you cut through the noise further via word-of-mouth recommendations.
The market is a crowded and highly competitive place, but that shouldn't keep your business from reaching success. If you make an effort and if you analyze your surroundings carefully, you'll manage to find the gap in the noise that you need and make your business well-known.
Jolene Rutheford is a marketing specialist-turned blogger, currently writing for BizzmarkBlog and Tecnivorz. Interested in media and social media, digital marketing and psychology. Loves coffee, jazz, dystopian and fantasy movies.