The Best Way to Determine Which Marketing Channels to Choose

If you’re familiar with me or Indispensable Marketing, you are familiar with the “strategy then hustle” mantra and you’re probably aware of my point of view that you need a holistic integrated marketing approach, not just parts and pieces like social media, SEO, content, web design, and so on for success.

So much of what people buy under the heading of marketing today is really just one tactic or another. Real growth for start-ups and small businesses happen when the orchestration all of those moving parts (social media, SEO, content, web design) are under the umbrella of a unified strategy.

Good marketing always starts with strategy, and then building your entire channel plan around that.


When developing a marketing strategy for your company the following steps come into play.

Who makes an ideal client

Don’t waste time marketing and selling to people who will never buy. Save time and energy by understanding your ideal customer.

Every day, 98% of the people responsible for the marketing strategy of organizations end up implementing tactics that FAIL for one simple reason: these tactics do not appeal to their ideal customer.

The secret to increasing your profitability isn’t more marketing — it’s targeting. Don’t squander your marketing budget and hundreds of hours generating leads that take your business nowhere. Find your profitable client from the outset, and everyone wins.

What’s your unique selling proposition

After developing a profile of an ideal client it’s time to find a way to attract this group. In my experience the only sure-fire way to do this is by discovering or creating an unique selling proposition through your approach, market niche, product, service, message, delivery, or guarantee that clearly stands out in the mind of your customer.

In my opinion the best way to create a unique selling proposition that can’t be easily copied and stand out from the competition is to sit down with a handful of your best clients face to face or over the phone for about ten minutes and conduct an feedback interview of sorts.

Some other things to take into consideration:

  • create your own special way to treat customers,
  • create an experience that’s unique, or
  • create a totally new and convenient way for people to get a result.

Your company could be the one who always sends handwritten notes after an signed agreement. Your company could be the one who sends certificates after engaging a client thanking them for the completion of a program or project. These things are about being different, not being better.

If your business is receiving inquiries, and the first questions is, “How much does it cost?” there’s a strong possibility your difference strategy isn’t effective.

How to present your unique selling proposition and tell your story

The final step in the marketing strategy puzzle is to take what you’ve done previously — defining an ideal customer and creating a unique selling proposition — and turning it into action.

Awareness — This is the phase where sales, social media, content, networking, public relations will do well and even search, advertising and referrals start here.

  • Do your online and offline ads communicate the brand positioning? Do they target and offer to begin the relationship process with your ideal customers?
  • Do your social media outpost have consistent images and messages?
  • Are brand messages promoted on your website?
  • Are your networking or partner marketing efforts targeted towards your ideal customer?
  • Are your keywords consistent and focused on the phrases that actual prospects search for?
  • Do you have a formalize process to handle referrals that come in?

Education — This is the stage where once you attracted prospects to your website or location you have give them reasons to come back, reasons to relate and even reasons to like your team and also provide reviews, success stories and client testimonials.

  • Do your online and offline content assets include your message and brand identity?
  • Do your business email signatures and cards include your positioning?
  • Is your vision and unique differentiation documented on your website for your ideal customers to relate to?
  • Is your website showcasing reviews, success stories or testimonials?
  • Are your ongoing communication campaigns consistent with your website branding? Do these communication initiatives go out on a regular basis and include valuable content for your audience? Is there an opt-in incentive for your content?
  • Are your email campaigns consistent with your branding?
  • Do you follow a content creation system to establish your company as an expert on focused topics?
  • Do you regularly promote and monitor review sites?

Sample — Now that prospects are wondering how your solution might work for them it’s time to demonstrate to them with reports, eBooks, webinars and very detailed how to information. You might also have an assessment, audit, seminar, evaluation, trial version or low-cost offer here.

  • What is your offering for prospects to sample your expertise, product or service?
  • How do you encourage people to sign up for the offering?

Purchase — For this stage the focus is still on educating but from the standpoint of a new customer

  • Do your kits, contracts and invoices match your branding and communicate key information?
  • Do your new customer gain access to key personnel or content?
  • Do your new customer become part of an exclusive club?

Refer — The customer journey is ultimately about referrals

  • How do you encourage or motivate your current customers to refer?
  • Does your incentive for referrals connect with your culture in some way?


Trying to implement and execute on every new marketing channel leads to frustration and wasted resources — particularly when many of these marketing channels are a long-term play for achieving the immediate needs of most small businesses.

A far better approach is to set a goal of finding your primary marketing channel and go to work on mastering that channel.

One of my favorite ways to determine the primary marketing channel is to think through your top clients from the past 6 months. Simply making a list of your top 10 clients, then asking “how did they find me?” can cut through the confusion quickly!

For the greatest success, your marketing approach must be holistic. Your ideal customer, unique selling proposition, differentiation, content and offline efforts can’t be just one aspect of your work; they need to be infused into every facet of your business.