How To Stand Out As a Leader In a Saturated Online Market

Fit in, or stand out? Serve existing markets, or serve those in untapped markets? As the online marketplace becomes increasingly saturated for entrepreneurs, and the amount of information available to us online leaves us feeling increasingly overwhelmed, we reach a point where we have no choice but to pull back and reassess what is important to us.

What is commonly referred to as the red or blue ocean strategy, business owners can create an offer so unique and differentiated that they can stand out in the market instead of drowning in a blood-stained red ocean. 

Here are 3 ways you can stand out in a saturated market online, more so from a humane level rather than a strategic level.

Realize what is true for you, not what is true for others

It is easy for people to follow the cookie-cutter strategies of how things have always been done. But as the world, society, and humans evolve, so does the way we do business.

Many find this challenging because they lack a deep level of awareness and trust in themselves. They’re afraid that if they tapped into their own intuition and deep inner-knowing, it might not bring them the success they see everyone else achieving.

Long-lasting and sustainable success in business comes from doing what feels good to you, every step of the way. While you can achieve success following other strategies, if it doesn’t feel good to you, it will leave you feeling uninspired and unfulfilled.

Related: Go WIth Your Gut: How To Use Your Intuition To Succeed In Business

Challenge the status quo of business

As humanity evolves into heightened levels of awareness and consciousness, we naturally begin to create a new paradigm of business.

Challenging the status quo is not a common desire amongst leaders. According to Harvard Business Review, 72 percent of leaders say they rarely, or never or rarely challenge their status quo in business.

Leading and serving from the inside out means we learn to know ourselves first and foremost. This can be a fulfilling journey of self-discovery for many, finding their own purpose and truth, which can become largely suppressed when we work in a typical traditional job that isn’t aligned with our highest desires. 

To challenge the status quo of business comes with making one fearless and courageous decision at a time.

Related: Is Your Status Quo Killing Your Business?

Find your “Zone of Genius”

Gay Hendricks identifies 4 different zones of genius in his book, The Big Leap.

In the “zone of genius,” we can zone in on and capitalize on our innate gifts and abilities that come naturally to us. In this zone, we become in flow and realize what we are uniquely gifted at, often finding ourselves skilled in a specific area more so than others. 

In Hendricks’ book, he prompts you to ask yourself what you do you do that doesn’t seem like work, and what brings you ultimate joy, satisfaction, and abundance at the same time.

Related: 8 Reasons To Find Joy In Your Job

Ultimately, standing out in a saturated market online is about identifying what comes naturally to you and capitalizing on that unique gift and skill. We often attempt to do things that come naturally to other people, mimicking their steps and strategies while ignoring or denying our truest and inner-most skills and gifts. 

To live a whole and fulfilling life, we must enjoy what we do, including how we run our business on a day-to-day basis. By focusing on what feels good to you (and not others), we can ultimately achieve the levels of joy and freedom we are all seeking. 

Kelly Wing Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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If Your Marketing Plan Doesn’t Have These 5 Components It’s Doomed

When you want a new car, building one from scratch doesn’t figure high on the list of options. You’d need to be a serious expert mechanic to source all the different parts and put them together correctly, and even then, it would take a massive investment of time and energy.

Yet that’s effectively the scenario that marketing departments around the world have found themselves in. Modern marketers are living in an ever more complex environment, with more channels, more content, more touchpoints, and more tools than ever before. At the same time, marketing leaders are under more pressure than ever to drive real results and demonstrate their impact on the business.

Related: 3 Ways Your Small Business Can Pivot Toward Focusing More on Hispanic Consumers

The response of most marketing departments over time has been to reach for a grab bag of different solutions to address individual pain points. They might buy some analytical tools to get better reports, or workflow tools to tackle inefficient processes or institute quarterly off-site meetings to plot campaign strategy. And they can choose between around 8,000 different marketing technology tools on the market.

The problem is that these solutions only address parts of the marketing challenge, not the whole. Analytical tools are no use without data to build the reports, and those workflow tools and offsite meetings will be ineffective without a system that monitors the progress of campaigns and creates accountability around them.   

The two biggest pain points that top marketing executives consistently cite are a lack of visibility into campaign effectiveness, and the lengthy time it takes to get campaigns up and running.

Visibility is obscured by the multiple functions — more than 20 in big marketing departments — that specialize in different parts of the marketing puzzle. Speed to market is slowed by inefficient workflows and processes, leading to an average time of 12 weeks from campaign ideation to activation, according to a recent Sirkin Research report that we commissioned. Too many marketers still spend the bulk of their time writing emails, composing PowerPoints, and having meetings about meetings rather than doing the actual work of marketing.

When you ask marketers at big firms about their pain points, the gap between the dream and reality becomes starkly clear. In a survey of over 300 marketing leaders at large firms, we found some 88% of respondents said that easily consolidating and reporting on campaign effectiveness is important, but only 24% said they are able to do so well or very well.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Again, 88% of leaders said that speeding up campaigns across channels is important, while just 37% said they’ve been able to do so well, with the COVID pandemic adding significantly to that challenge. Big gaps between importance and reality also showed up in the interoperability of martech, the ease of managing content and campaigns, and aligning strategy to budgeting and plans, as well, according to the research.

Related: How to Know If Your Company Needs a B2B Marketing Agency

While there are individual tools that might help fix those issues, the problems won’t be fundamentally solved without an orchestrated approach. In today’s marketing world, where technology is driving the collapse and convergence of traditional silos, firms need a holistic, orchestrated approach to execute more efficiently and drive results.

To return to the car analogy, your vehicle won’t get very far unless the wheels, engine, steering wheel, and brakes are working in harmony.

Drawing on the experience of the most successful marketing leaders, it’s possible to identify the five necessary pillars of an orchestrated approach.

Team collaboration

It’s vital to have a team that collaborates well, with clear workflows and visibility into what is being done. It’s important to know what’s on track, what’s behind schedule and where the bottlenecks are.

Content

The importance and quantity of content mean that it is still king in marketing, whether it’s aimed at enabling sales or for demand generation programs. Collaboration needs to happen around content as well as in teams. Governance of the content, whether brand or legal compliance, needs to be incorporated into the workflows in order to keeps content flowing.

Channels

Content has no value unless it’s being pushed somewhere, whether that is through websites, social media channels, or to your sales team. Transitioning seamlessly from the orchestration of content to the orchestration of channel distribution is a critical component of marketing orchestration.

Related: Ocean Spray Gifts Longboarder a Truck After TikTok Video Goes Viral

Integration

Good integration at the planning, team, and campaign execution levels is essential to a successful orchestrated approach. This encompasses proper integration of the crowded marketing technology stack, which can cause kinks in execution when poorly integrated.

Data

If content is king, then data is now the queen of marketing. Good data is essential across all the pillars of orchestration to acquire visibility into how campaigns, content, and teams are working.  

If any of these elements break down, the whole marketing operation is going to be hobbled. Conversely, if they are all performing well and being orchestrated effectively it empowers marketing teams to close those huge gaps between priorities and reality that show up in surveys. Marketing leaders also get what they want – to be able to do their planning on the front end, navigate accordingly as things change, and report back effectively on the back end.

Technology may be the biggest enabler of this change, but it doesn’t describe the approach. The approach is orchestration, and it’s the only real way for modern marketing teams to navigate the growing complexity they face and to drive better results.

By: Matt Malanga Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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These are the 6 steps often used in my webinars of strategic marketing planning. Every strategic marketing model has a place in one of these steps. Make sure you know where a model belongs to not make any mistakes. Have a look at my webinars concerning these models: Michael Porter’s Generic Strategies explained: https://youtu.be/Nz53CopmFig Treacy & Wiersema’s Value strategies explained: https://youtu.be/NtuArGXUP9Y Ansoff’s growth matrix explained: https://youtu.be/htp5YTvIymQ Blue Ocean Strategy: https://youtu.be/sBftiA7wmt4 The Value Chain of Porter explained: https://youtu.be/aERoUQwvQyk Michael Porter’s 5 Forces model explained: https://youtu.be/33XmkfbzwO8 The BCG Model explained: https://youtu.be/tKO5TpR2UwE 7S model of McKinsey: https://youtu.be/yGceFEDmtIM SWOT Analysis explained: https://youtu.be/bunYnEGaEvs Abell’s Business Definition explained: https://youtu.be/pzKymyGLaBg MABA Portfolio analysis explained: https://youtu.be/dWWg2dPSfgI Please subscribe to my channel for future webinars and like this video if it is valuable for you! You can also leave your comments or requests in the section below to ask for any other models which you would like to have explained in a webinar.

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