Sample Business Paper on Critical Changes to Improve Marketing Effectiveness

A company seeking to revolutionize or improve its marketing strategies needs to employ
specific changes that target its core weaknesses. For instance, one organization may assess its
internal capabilities and establish that its marketing suffers from a lack of a customer-centric
approach to big customers. Thus, the company changes its marketing approaches to comprise
elements such as effective customer care that focus primarily on the customer’s experience.
Likewise, another corporation may perform an analysis of its marketing trends and realize that it
does not reach its intended customers effectively, thereby adopting specific approaches such as
social media or network marketing. Therefore, every organization must assess the internal and
external influencers of its marketing capabilities, and implement necessary changes. Yet, there
exist new marketing strategies that depart from the established tried-and-tested methods that
have proved effective in enhancing the marketing efforts of an organization. This paper will
demonstrate that customer-centricity, psychology and emotion-based promotion, and target-
specific branding are the most important changes that a company can make to increase its
marketing effectiveness.


Customer-centric approaches to marketing utilize data and information to establish
customer trends, preferences, and buying patterns. Therefore, an organization needs to digitize its
marketing operations to be able to utilize data, which, in turn, informs the most appropriate
customer-centric approaches to take regarding a given target market (Edelman & Heller, 2015).
Yet, most organization still rely on old-fashioned promotional methods. While they are effective,
customer-centric marketing strategies are more efficient. According to Edelman and Heller
(2015) customer-centric approaches, especially those that rely on crucial data, result in almost
immediate and substantial results. The authors noted, "when done well, we've seen marketing
operations provide a 15 to 25 percent improvement in marketing effectiveness, as measured by
return on investment and customer-engagement metrics" (Edelman & Heller, 2015).
New or existing companies may use the customer-centric approach to target prospective
or existing customers. For a new enterprise, customer-centricity would primarily establish niche
market areas, customer preferences, and the existing narrative regarding competitor products
(Cannon, 2019). For existing companies, customer centricity would focus on re-establishing the
relationships, and this could be done by improving customer care, obtaining feedback, and
providing after-sale services, among other things. These elements would show appreciation for
the client, which would enhance their brand loyalty. Only a few companies have realized the
benefits of a customer-centric approach, and this can be ascertained from the fact that most
customers continue to utilize the older methods. However, those who realized the utility of
customer centricity have realized progress in their marketing efforts. For instance, Unilever
realized that it was lagging in customer acquisition and retention. Therefore, it participated in the
Insights2020 (i2020) program, where Google demonstrated how to utilize data to inform
marketing decisions. The company’s participation in the study was premised on the growing
realization that customer centricity had become a vital competitive advantage (Almquist et al.,
2016, p. 65). The research established that the insights engine was the most important factor in
driving customer-centric growth. Consequently, Unilever adopted the technology and
implemented it in its operations, and realized a 4.1% increase in sales in the year 2015 (Almquist
et al., 2016, p. 65). Rather than taking a trial-and-error approach, Unilever engaged customer-

centricity and identified exactly what its marketing lacked, thereby transforming its marketing
Unilever’s participation in the tech-based program by Google (i2020) was an appropriate
step for the company as it helped the company identify a crucial element in the contemporary
marketing environment, namely, customer-centricity. Also, the program outlined how best a
multinational corporation could implement a customer-centric approach to its products to
achieve the most promising results. As mentioned above, one of Unilever's strategy was adopting
the insights engine to enhance customer data analysis, which would, in turn, inform its marketing
decisions by utilizing customer-specific messaging and channels. It suffices to note that data
analysis has become an important element not only in the marketing activities of organizations
but also in other elements such as sales and finance (Bellack, 2017). Importantly, Unilever might
have adopted the tried-and-tested ways of marketing, which are relatively less effective, had it
not undertaken the project at Insight2020. Instead, the company utilized the technological
approach it learned, which is harnessing technology use in its product promotions to reach a wide
range of customers through a customer-centric approach to enhance the effectiveness of their
advertising efforts.
Therefore, customer centricity is an important concept in the marketing strategies of an
organization. New and established corporations benefit from appropriate customer-centric
approaches as they inform a wide range of factors such as promotional design, customer
satisfaction, and decision-making, among other things. Unilever demonstrated that customer
centricity had the potential to transform the firm's productivity by enhancing its reach to
customers. It is imperative, therefore, that any organization seeking to improve its marketing
effectiveness starts by changing the way it processes and utilizes data to inform its promotional

Psychology and Emotion-Based Advertising

"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what
you're doing, but nobody else does." – (Britt & Boyd, 1968, p. 95)
A well-thought-out advertisement may be the defining factor in the competition
among similar brands in the market. An advertisement is a social-centered engagement between
the firm and its customers (or prospective customers) that seeks to reassure them of the
availability, quality, and suitability of the product or service, as well as its superiority over
competitor product (Bertrand et al., 2010, p. 265). The most important component of advertising
is promoting brand awareness. Letting the customers know that your product exists in the market
is the first step. Convincing them that your product is better than the next follows, and then
maintaining that conviction is the ultimate goal. Proper advertising achieves brand awareness
and helps cultivate customer brand psychology over time. It is imperative, therefore, that
organizations figure out ways to appeal to their customers' thought and emotional processes
when they make their buying decision. This can best be implemented by using content that
resonates with the target audience’s thoughts and emotions.
According to Canon, (2019), an emotional message “is a summary answer to the
prospective customer’s primary and secondary buying questions.” This assessment implies that
the content that marketers produce will be more effective if it targets the emotions. However,
most advertisers focus on the information element of their advertising content, thereby failing to
capture the essential component of the customer's buying decision. According to Oetting (2019),
“people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make brand decisions — and that emotional
responses to ads are more influential on a person’s intent to buy than the content of an ad.” This

assessment has been corroborated by different studies. Therefore, firms should depart from
ordinary messaging in their ad content to more emotional messages.
For instance, Chipotle adopted this strategy by having promotional messages on their
soda cups that appealed to children and the hip urban environment, thereby overtaking Taco Bell
as the leader in the fast food business. This happened even though Chipotle's products were more
expensive than Taco Bell's, and that Taco Bell had been in the industry longer. One critical
element of Chipotle's use of psychology and emotion in its messages was the use of graffiti and
drawings targeting specific customers. For instance, it had cups with dinosaur drawings and
other fictional figures such as Superman and Batman, which were primarily meant for children
(Collman, 2019). Moreover, it had other cups with informational messages and ‘did you know’
facts, which mainly served college students and young adults. In this regard, every age group felt
represented at Chipotle, as the promotional messages appealed to each one of them. This way,
the company was able to command a huge following of loyal customers. In contrast, Taco Bell
did not change its promotional messages and used the same containers it had always been using,
and also used billboards as the main promotional tool. This made it easy for Chipotle to utilize
the novel marketing ideas to beat Taco Bell in the market. It is imperative, therefore, that
advertisers change the content of their promotional messages and adopt effective ways to
endorse their products using memorable images, phrases, and music that appeal to the feelings
and thoughts of their customers.

Target-Specific Branding

As a marketing concept, branding involves the name, phrase, design, logo, symbol, or
other distinctive elements that help in differentiating a company’s goods or services from those
of other sellers. Branding involves deliberate activities employed towards creating a positive
feeling among people about a service, product or company (Schmitt, 2012, p. 9). Despite
companies not being in control of customer perceptions and feelings towards their products, they
can influence their brand’s reception through effective steps to communicate the qualities
distinguishing their products from those of competing entities. According to Canon (2019), “the
true cost of ineffective branding is between 10% and 20% of a company’s annual revenue.” This
is a hefty sum of money to spend on a venture that does not have a favorable ROI. Therefore,
organizations should change their branding approaches from the generic forms to innovative
target-specific methods that distinguish them from their competitors.
For instance, Simple Inc. realized that the banking industry was replete with old-
fashioned banking approaches such as credit and debit cards, online-based banking, and
numerous other products that were too many to choose from, thereby somehow stressing the
customer. The established banks had not changed their marketing strategy. Therefore, Simple
Inc. implemented a novel target-specific branding strategy that departed from the established
approaches. It introduced purely mobile-based banking services that targeted the millions of
people who own smartphones. Moreover, Simple presented its mobile banking app with the
slogan "Your Money Made Easy," which differentiated it from the outmoded, cumbersome
banking services. Ultimately, Simple out-performed the Bank of America, who insisted on the
traditional methods (Roberts, 2018). Simple realized that mobile-based banking would appeal to
most people due to the convenience it offers, and more importantly because most people today
use a smartphone, which meant that people's smartphones would serve as their banks. In contrast,
the bank of America offered various credit and debit cards, each having different features and
capabilities. Simple Inc. branding strategy convinced the customers that the hard work of
researching the different benefits and shortcoming of the various cards in the industry had

already been done, and they could access their money easily through their phones. This approach
appealed to many smartphone users, which explains why Simple Inc. competes favorably against
older banking institutions in mobile banking services in the US. Therefore, changing the
branding strategy from the generic to innovative and target-specific approaches offers a company
a completive edge in the market by improving its marketing effectiveness.
Branding is an integral part of effective marketing. It helps firms differentiate their core
capabilities through distinctive brand identity. It is imperative that an organization establishes
brand loyalty with the customers, and this can be achieved by maintaining positive interactions
with the customers. Moreover, the customer psychology of brand is a critical issue that
companies need to watch out for in their marketing strategies. A proper approach would be to
identify the needs of a given market segment and providing branding that appeals to their needs.
This would create an emotional and psychological connection with the goods, thereby
strengthening the firm's presence in the market. Importantly, a company should modify its
branding strategy to conform to operational, modern, and practical approaches that depart from
the established and outmoded branding strategies that are awash with ineffectiveness and


Although every firm must assess its internal and external environments to establish the
most appropriate course of action in every given circumstance, it suffices to note that some
business elements cut-across all organizations. Similarly, in marketing, firms may have specific
issues affecting them. However, as this paper has demonstrated, customer-centricity, psychology
and emotion-based promotion, and target-specific branding are crucial marketing elements that
every firm must address to transform its marketing strategies. Each of the three elements may be
addressed at any point in the firms’ life cycles. More importantly, companies should strive to
move away from the established ways of doing things and adopt modern, effective strategies that
are innovative and efficient. Therefore, in my view, the three most important changes a company
should make to improve its marketing effectiveness are adopting a customer-centric approach,
utilizing psychology and emotion-based promotion, and target-specific branding



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