Writing an Effective Marketing Plan
Carleen Greenidge Provides 6 Tips for Crafting Marketing Plans
Many business owners spend a great deal of time perfecting their product, only to consider marketing strategies as a mere after-thought. In reality, entrepreneurs should adopt a holistic marketing model, which ensures consistency between your brand image, user interface, key messages, distribution channels, pricing strategy, promotions, and more. At the same time, an effective marketing plan will help you differentiate your products and services from the competition. Ultimately, businesses should be able to identify what makes them unique and which gaps they are filling in the market. According to Carleen Greenidge, the lines between product and marketing become blurred when you have an effective strategy in place. Greenidge is a well-respected Logistics entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in their field. Here, Greenidge shares six valuable marketing tips to help you launch a lucrative business venture.
1. Define your marketing goals
Think of your marketing strategy like a road map and consider where you would like to end up. In the early stages of your business, your main goal might be to raise awareness or acquire new customers, in contrast, further down the road, your chief goal may be to improve customer loyalty or enhance the customer service experience. If you decide that raising brand awareness is a priority, then your marketing strategy will involve getting people to recognize your brand name, logo, and products. In essence, you want your brand to start coming to mind when consumers think about your product category. Moreover, start-ups that have already garnered some brand recognition might choose to focus on converting leads into paying customers and signing them up for occasional product updates. Greenidge recommends creating persuasive design and copy to encourage individuals to engage with your brand.
2. Identify your target audience
Before you can even begin to define your target audience, you need to understand what it is you do best and why customers would be interested in purchasing from you. Ideally, you want to answer the following questions: what are you offering? Who will benefit from your offering? And what problems are you solving for consumers? Once you have answered these important questions, you can begin to distinguish your target market. Greenidge suggests building a buyer persona, which involves creating a detailed profile of your perfect customer as if he or she is an actual person. Since several groups may purchase your products and services for different reasons, you will need to create more than one persona. This technique will allow you to craft targeted marketing messages to various consumers using the right tone of voice and by addressing their specific needs. Finally, when you are developing each persona, make sure to include demographic details like age and gender, their personality, likes and dislikes, motivations, pain points, and purchase behavior.
3. Use Facebook Advertising to segment the market
According to Facebook, more than one billion people actively use their platform, 100 billion messages are shared every day, and 160 million businesses employ Facebook apps to grow. Regardless of who your customers are or how niche your product is, your clients are using Facebook. One of the greatest advantages of Facebook advertising is the ability to target your exact audience. For example, you can choose specific age ranges, locations, interests, and behaviors to ensure you are not wasting advertising dollars on mass audiences that have no interest in your product. Additionally, you could run identical advertisements to several different audience segments and use conversion tracking to determine which segment is the most likely to convert. Finally, “if you want to reach customers fast, Facebook is your best bet,” says Greenidge. If you are looking to increase brand awareness quickly, Facebook can help you reach thousands of individuals in just one day.
4. Identify Customer Objections
If you have website traffic, but your visitors are not being converted into paying customers, then it is time to identify customer objections. “The quickest way to determine why prospective clients are not converting is by asking them,” says Greenidge. For example, you might want to consider installing instant messaging on your website, which allows employees and potential clients to chat in real-time. Or, ask visitors to fill out a comprehensive survey using giveaways or product discounts as an incentive for participating. Eventually, once you have figured out why your leads are not converting, counter their objections by revisiting your marketing strategy, making changes to your landing page, or emphasizing some call to action.
5. Ask for referrals
While consumers are typically enthusiastic about adopting new products, they are generally less inclined to try new brands. According to a study by Nielsen, 77% of respondents said that recommendations from family and friends are the most persuasive source of new product information, followed by active Internet searches, and traditional television ads. “To get a referral, not only do you need an excellent product, but you must have excellent customer service,” says Greenidge. Customers will only provide referrals if they have had a positive experience with your brand, so all customers must receive a high level of care. Essentially, if you start to notice several clients are purchasing your goods based on client referrals, then you know you are doing things right.
6. Content Marketing
“The secret to content marketing is adding value,” says Greenidge. Content marketing is a type of advertising that involves the creation of online material like videos, blogs, and social media posts that do not overtly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in a certain product category. Content marketing is beneficial for startups because it raises brand awareness and helps consumers become more informed about the types of products you sell. Greenidge stresses not to concentrate on selling, but focus on becoming a trusted source of information in your industry. “You will know your content is good when customers begin to comment on your work and genuinely enjoy reading it,” says Greenidge.
Greenidge notes that there are several marketing tactics available to you. The objective is to determine what works best for your particular business or industry. The more you market your product or service, the more you will understand what works and what does not. Remember, for your marketing to be effective, it is crucial to reach the right people with the right message.