As businesses focus on the age-old question of how they should ensure they are selling in the niches that they want to, the answer always comes up to be marketing! Marketing is the field of getting information out there, whether that is cold calling, emailing, pounding the pavement, or posting on social media and the web to get people to notice a brand, product, or service.
However, marketing is hard. Even with a winning strategy that will provide the best results, it still takes time. Businesses can throw a lot of marketing work at the wall, but it will take time to stick. They need to find an effective way to connect with their audience, but they also need the audience to see it and want to connect with it.
It can be very easy for businesses to feel discouraged about marketing and worry that no one is seeing the content they are taking so much time to put out. Alternatively, it can also be extremely easy to burn out and release so much marketing content that the business just doesn’t want to do any more. But for marketing to be a useful tool, and not just something to slog through, businesses need to make sure that they are adapting.
Adaptation in the marketing industry comes with a lot of benefits, and it is extremely important for many businesses. But how exactly do marketers adapt marketing to different niches and circumstances? And why exactly is it so impactful? This article covers everything marketers (or prospective marketers) need to know!
What is adaptability?
Many people think they know what being adaptable means, but they often don’t know how to connect that to the world of business. Adaptability is defined in the dictionary as “the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.”Basically, if an individual is adaptable, they can better respond to the various conditions of the world. If they are not, then they will have a hard time adjusting to change, and by the time they are comfortable with it, their peers will have already incorporated the change into their businesses and lives.
Having an adaptable marketing platform helps businesses reach as many people as possible because there is nothing that changes as much as people’s minds. People might adore a product and respond eagerly to marketing attempts in one area, and then the next day, those same customers have moved on. Along with the standard laws of supply and demand, the law of marketing can be a massive influencer as well.
Marketing tastes and formats change very quickly, and while a business might be able to get by for a while without changing, eventually they will need to adapt to keep their customers. If a business can take on these unpredictable changes without flinching and continue to produce output, then it can continue to work without any trouble!
How to learn about marketing
Whether an individual wants to learn about marketing to start their own business, or is making a career change to marketing and wants to focus on marketing the business itself, education is the first step. For many people, the best way to learn all about marketing is through accredited courses, like the online Master of Arts in Communication offered at St. Bonaventure University. This program will equip students with all the knowledge they need to know about marketing, from how to find a niche, to how to focus on connecting with the audience. Additionally, those who want to focus on making marketing for companies a full-time job will learn everything they need to learn about the career side of marketing.
However, being knowledgeable about marketing doesn’t automatically translate to adaptability. This is a skill that often needs to be learned in a trial by fire, but there are other ways to hone adaptation skills.
Becoming adaptable in the marketing industry
Students will learn what marketing is and why they need to do it, as well as how to identify with their niche, connect to customers, and use marketing to reach the higher goals of business. However, being adaptable is a skill that can be very hard to teach because it requires a lot of time spent in difficult and stressful situations.
To make a mark in the marketing industry, marketers need to do research, pitch ideas, get to know their niche, and craft marketing tactics months in advance. All of this is done to make sure that they can get the eyes of their target audience on their plan, and then focus on getting them down the marketing funnel as quickly as possible.
All the time and energy invested into the world of marketing can be gone in an instant if the circumstances change, so marketers must make sure that they know what to do. A marketing plan doesn’t always survive if the economic environment changes and the boat is rocked, and that is where adaptability comes in. Rather than having to start from scratch, they can instead focus on keeping things flexible.
Accept changes and work with them
It can be extremely easy to get angry at changes and decide that all changes are bad things. Instead, marketers should treat changes as inevitable and focus on anticipating the response. Keeping a close eye on the industry and competitors can help with that. For example, if they see competitors starting to make moves in their marketing industry, or they notice a shift in customer attitude, they can jump the gun on what that might mean.
Accepting changes is one thing, but when actively looking for these disruptions, marketers can react the second they see them. A faster reaction provides more time to adapt, versus finding out what is going on at the last minute and then having to adapt very quickly to the changes.
Marketers shouldn’t be afraid to investigate the data around their business, company, and customers, because the more they know, the easier it is to embrace changes. They can then tweak the marketing strategy, rather than having to rebuild it all from square one.
Move fast and respond quickly
Marketers may be tempted to simply stop what they are doing when a crisis hits and get paralyzed by indecision. There are often so many scenarios to consider, along with the emotional toll of knowing that the work they have spent so much time on is now gone. Plus, now they need to do even more work to react to the changes!
However, as much as it might feel utterly ridiculous to move quickly and go with the first idea that is ‘good enough’ rather than thinking things through, moving fast is the key. If a marketer lags behind when reacting to a change, it can be a massive problem for the business. They won’t be able to get everything perfect, but they can work to get the message out to clients.
Finally, marketers should focus on the customers, because they need to be at the forefront of everything. They should constantly be asking what their customers’ responses will be. How are they going to respond to these new marketing changes? The more that marketers know their audience, the better they can adapt to changes.
Focus on improvisation
While improvisation might not sound like a great idea in the well thought out field of marketing, being able to improvise is a key skill that marketers might need to fall back on whenever things go wrong. They might not be able to get it right or even roll out a perfect product, but they will be able to get something done. Then they can focus on fine tuning and fixing all of the issues leftover.
It can be hard to adapt, especially in a high stress situation that needs immediate answers, but the more a marketer focuses on adaptation and improvisation, the better it will be for them and their company. They should just remember to breathe, focus, and do the best they can with the information and tools they currently have.
How does adaptation come into play in the marketing industry?
While marketers might need to adapt marketing plans during a massive crisis, they will also find that adaptation has their back during the smaller moments in business life as well.
Adaptability is a skill that can benefit all areas of business and life. Life throws curveballs, and it is how an individual reacts to them that matters. They can complain and get angry and focus on the mistakes and missteps, or they can focus on preparing for the future. An adaptable individual might be able to pivot their course and turn the curveball into one awesome advantage!
Learning new technology
With the world of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) being so prevalent in many businesses and industries, it goes without saying that marketers need to learn to take on these various changes. Additionally, many AI changes bring with them a host of new rules and regulations that marketers need to understand. So, how do they focus on learning all these changes quickly?
Adaptability is key here, as they don’t want to be lagging behind while learning, especially if this new technology can support the business. So, marketers shouldn’t be afraid to adapt to new technology. They can focus on what they do know about existing technology and use it to make the new technology work for them.
They might need to move their entire system into a new system or put all of their marketing data into another website’s spreadsheet, for example. While this can be extremely frustrating and might change the plans, the more adaptable a marketer is, the easier the transition will be.
They can then focus on making the most out of the new change, as a brand-new piece of technology may help them do more. If they can do more marketing in less time, then they will make more money and will also find that they have a serious advantage over competitors.
Understanding security risks with marketing
The marketing industry is just as vulnerable as the rest of the business, and there are plenty of security and privacy issues to take on. No one wants the marketing data they are collecting to be stolen or have unauthorized eyes on it. This is especially important when collecting IP information, contact details, or banking information with marketing tools. All this data can cause serious problems for the business and its customers if the wrong people get hold of it.
Cybersecurity threats are getting harder to counter, and one mistake with sensitive data can very easily cause a lot of problems. However, when these massive issues happen, marketers need to ensure they are moving quickly and adapting to the plan to protect the data.
Data privacy is important for marketers, so they must ensure that customers know that their data is safe with the business. Ensuring that they know how to protect the data is one thing, but focusing on responding to a crisis is another.
Marketers need to be adaptable and drop everything to get the work done during a data breach. The longer the marketer and the business wait, even if they are waiting for an expert, the more risk they are taking on. Every business should have a plan for what happens during a security risk, and make sure that it can be followed.
Adapting improves communication
Finally, there are plenty of new methods of communication to work within any business. From phone calls to emails to video calls, businesses communicate with one another as well as their customers in countless ways. More methods of communication are being used by businesses around the globe.
Knowing how to communicate is certainly a skill that can be learned, but adaptation with methods of communication helps marketers always get their message across. Even if they don’t know how to use a new communication method, they can focus on using their skills in different ways, such as verbal communication. Additionally, being able to adapt communication will help marketers reach out to others in the business.
For example, if they find that they are only communicating with clients through blog posts and text-based social media posts, then they will likely find some success… until customers decide they want to focus on video and audio content.
Instead of being sunk, focus on adapting the content to fit the new mold. Can blog posts be turned into a podcast? Can the marketing department make videos on social media instead of blocks of text? Can they make a video and link back to the post on the website? With the content already produced, they might as well use it in a different way. This is a prime example of using adaptability to maintain communications with customers.
The marketing industry must adapt
The world of marketing is frequently changing. Even if everything that could ever affect marketing went into stasis, the concept of supply and demand would still raise the demand for change. So, whether a marketer is marketing for a company or is marketing for their own small business, they need to focus on being adaptable.
The more that they can ensure plans and skills are flexible, the more they will find that the marketing industry throws serious success their way, because adaptation is one of the most important things that a business can do. For students, the more they can learn about marketing, the more value they will bring to the industry, using adaptation along the way.