You could have the most exciting and innovative product in the world but without marketing, you might as well not have a business at all. If no one knows about your business, they can’t and won’t buy from you—it’s that simple.   Some products seem to just sell themselves, but there’s usually a lot more to the story than that. Skilled marketers know how to speak to the needs of their ideal buyers.  They do it in a way that isn’t obviously “salesy”. Some products are better than others.  But without stepping up your marketing game and implementing an effective strategy, your revenue and growth may be lacklustre.

If you’re feeling like your marketing game could be stronger, then you need to look at your strategy and make some changes. Here are three simple steps to take your marketing from “meh” to amazing.

1. Implement social marketing into your overall strategy 

Social marketing, which is not to be confused with social media marketing, intends to actually change consumers’ behaviour, rather than just convincing them to buy. Companies using social marketing aren’t just selling a product, they’re selling a way of life.

Psychology is important in marketing. We buy products and services to fulfil certain needs—we’re emotional buyers. Marketers can use this fact to sell us things that are either good or bad for us—and social marketing can be a powerful force.

A good example of social marketing would be anti-smoking campaigns.  These campaigns have helped to reduce cigarette use in the United States. An example of a for-profit company using social marketing might be an eco-friendly cleaning company trying to get customers to be greener in their cleaning choices. By appealing to concerns consumers already have, companies can leverage social marketing to encourage the behaviour they want (such as buying green products)

As people, we are constantly seeking to become better versions of ourselves. Social marketing taps into that need and can help people to change their behaviour for the better. Marketers who want to use this technique need to understand the desires and fears of their target audience in order to modify their behaviour and present their product or service as a solution.

2. Are You Getting All You Can Out of Big Data? 

Most business owners today know just how important big data is for modern digital marketing. Unfortunately, many marketers simply don’t have the big data skills they need to effectively use the raw data they collect during their campaigns.

If you’re sitting on marketing data that hasn’t been analyzed, then you’re ignoring a lot of potential value. It’s important to hire or train marketers who can gather the right kind of information. Then they need to be able to analyze it for useful insights.

To step up your marketing game, take stock of the data you’re collecting. Are you collecting data with purpose, or just holding onto everything and leaving it in its unstructured form? To better use your data, take some time to figure out what kind of information is most important to your business. You can then restructure how you collect and analyze data.

These days, you can’t afford to let data go to waste!

3. Start Studying AI Marketing 

It’s a brave new world in marketing, and the potential for AI (artificial intelligence) tools in the field is huge. If you’re not already studying and using AI marketing, then you may be missing out on efficiency and ROI. Not too many companies are using AI for marketing yet, which is why it’s a great time to jump in and claim a competitive edge.

Lots of people are afraid of using AI in marketing, thinking it will make their jobs obsolete. This is a huge missed opportunity for marketers, however, as these tools can actually make them more effective and eliminate time-consuming, tedious tasks that most people don’t want to do in the first place.

AI can help marketers to automate campaigns and answer basic questions for leads. It can also tie in with data collection and analysis, helping to reduce the burden of analyzing data on marketing professionals. Integrating AI effectively can be a large undertaking, but it yields huge benefits in the long run.

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving landscape. If you want to be a leader in the marketing space and have other companies look up to you, while serving your customers and growing your business, then you have to be on the cutting-edge of new trends. Don’t let your marketing practices go stale—you WILL be left behind.

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.