How to Take the Zzzzzz Out of Your X Factor

x factorSo, the wait is over.  We know who has won the X factor for another year and, whether or not you care who got the most votes on the night, it’s clear that the well-worn TV format has an enduring appeal to its target demographic. X Factor’s success over a ten year tenure at the top of the TV ratings is all about understanding the target audience and adapting to fit in with changing tastes. The acts, the judges and the songs are all chosen to reflect the preferences of a popular mass market audience and it is they who define the eponymous X factor as much as any TV exec.

In the commercial world, there is the same imperative for a business to define itself based on what the market wants as well as what the company itself perceives as its strengths. Taking a step back to understand the marketplace’s preferences and look objectively at how your business can answer them can be a significant challenge. And often it requires the impartial eye of a third party that knows your sector but is not influenced by your company’s history or its day-to-day.

Bringing in a marketing expert that can help you define your company’s proposition in a market-focused way is fundamental to setting out a strategy that will help you engage effectively with the right audiences.  The process may involve market research and will certainly include a candid look at what’s been going right for the company and where you’re not achieving your goals. It should also incorporate an analysis of the competitive landscape as it’s always useful to learn from what your competitors are doing right and where they’re going wrong.  Done correctly, this process will not only flush out your strengths and weaknesses but will also highlight where the opportunities lie.

But the job doesn’t end with defining your proposition; you need to communicate it too.Figuring out what your X factor is can help you develop your commercial strategy but it’s only the first step on the road to an effective marketing strategy.

So if you want to unlock the secret defining and communicating your company’s customer appeal in 2014 you need to:

  • Engage with your potential customers and find out what matters most to them
  • Understand your competitors and define what makes you different
  • Take that knowledge to build a unique proposition backed up by quality of product/service and customer care
  • Communicate that proposition effectively with key messages that are consistent across all activity and tactics that are relevant to your marketplace