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Toward a Best Informed Marketplace™: Enabling confidence and trust.


Buyer confidence and trust in a product or an organization is the very backbone of the brand. It is best expressed as an experiential expectation — what do I expect that my experience will be when I encounter this brand? The need to engage and motivate the marketplace, including its key stakeholders, makes effective public and marketing communications an absolute strategic imperative. Moreover, it’s not just what you tell the marketplace you are; it’s what you show them you are — or more accurately, it’s whom they know you to be. It’s the experiential expectation.

Best Informed Marketplace is an approach grounded in the reality that strong business relationships enable mission fulfillment and that word of mouth remains a very significant driver in how people make buying decisions.

Best Informed Marketplace seeks to help the market (as a whole and as individuals) understand your mission, engage your vision and trust in your products and/or capabilities. It lets them see evidence of your value and it lets them know how to access your brand experience.

While leveraging traditional media with your brand message, it is also important to reach out into the marketplace and create affinity with opinion leaders as well as the marketplace at large. Complementing marketing communications — and in many instances, driving it — is a proactive marketplace outreach strategy. Finding creative ways to create dialog with both opinion leaders and the marketplace in general and tell the brand story is the objective. Whatever the vehicle — the organization that delivers responsive and proactive information on issues important to opinion leaders and the marketplace in general will have a great competitive advantage.

Best Informed Marketplace also acknowledges that the sales/experience cycle represents an often-overlooked opportunity to communicate your story and engage prospects, customers and employees as advocates helping to build lasting relationships, one at a time.

Best Informed Marketplace™ is how you create engaged commercial communities and drive top-line performance.

Where to begin? There is no room for a bull in the china closet. Our experience has been that the best strategy is to start close to the vest initially. While you focus on creating a longer-term strategy, it is important to engage the events and activities that are part of your organization’s legacy. Simultaneously, in the very near term, focus on engaging the outreach promotion of your banner products/services and beginning to create the mind bridge to your opinion leaders and the marketplace.

One useful tool that we often recommend year one is to ramp up the ubiquitous company brochure. Instead of merely overviewing your organization and its products/services, make this your brand evidence showpiece. Use it to define the brand and the depth and breadth of your vision. Use it to define and support the experiential expectation. Then take it to the marketplace as a road show for industry groups, prospect clusters, key opinion leaders and stakeholders — the broad range of people and groups constituent to both the organization and a Best Informed Marketplace.

Another strategy is establishing an informal industry board of advisors — an assembly of key opinion leaders whom you can develop into brand evangelists and vision missionaries. Choose people whose impact and influence on the marketplace are significant, and you will not only take important steps toward engaging a Best Informed Marketplace, but you’ll also build a hotline to key influencers that is very useful and enduring.

Across all constituencies, however, because people are over loaded with information today, it’s important to determine and prioritize what outcomes are desired; then, in order to realize those outcomes, what strategic information each stakeholder group wants to know, what they need to know, what is expected or desired of them, and finally how best to deliver that information to them efficiently, consistently and effectively. Best Informed Marketplace acknowledges and respects the concerns and wants of stakeholders at all stages of engagement and creates meaningful dialog — opportunities driven by strategic communication — at key touch points.

In each case, it is important to examine and be responsive to the market’s needs at that specific touch point. Applying strategic communications against these touch points can remarkably improve engagement, alignment and brand preference — and by direct extension, sales performance. That thinking and opinion, that definition of, and delivery on, Best Informed Marketplace, shapes our approach to brand development, marketing planning and marketing communications execution for all of our clients.

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