If I asked you to guess the number one difficulty businesses face when it comes to their marketing strategy, I’m sure you would guess a number of things: getting the website right, making the direct mail pieces pop, choosing the right social media platform, etc. The truth is, it’s something much more basic. It’s commitment.
You want to attract the right customers? You’re definitely going to need an targeted approach and message. But that’s just the starting point. The real challenge businesses face with their marketing strategy is the commitment to develop one. Today’s customer has adjusted their buying to reward businesses that have personalized services, content, products, processes, and touchpoints which means if you want to earn their attention, and gain repeat and referral business you can’t appeal to everyone. You always have to be thinking about how you personally serve and attract a narrowly defined customer group. Just like with getting fit, achieving the best results requires a commitment to a specific plan and implementation of the plan.
Here are 5 steps to get you started on the right path.
Adopt an Marketing Strategy mindset.
Most businesses hear marketing strategy and immediately think email newsletter, copy, LinkedIn and promotions — you know, tactics. Heck, most well known marketers do the same thing. Today, I’m here to affirm that none of your tactics matter until you are crystal clear about two things.
- Who is your ideal customer? One of the most important elements of a marketing strategy is the development of an ideal customer profile. Understanding who makes an ideal customer allows you to build your entire business, message, product, services, sales and support around attracting and serving this narrowly defined customer group.
- What makes your business different? The market needs a way to compare and differ and if you don’t give them one they’ll default to price comparison. Discover and create your unique positioning and it must be developed after you’ve defined your ideal customer. Scheduling some time to ask your best customers why they do business with you, may offer some insight into how you are different in ways that will attract other potential customers.
Establish a holistic marketing strategy and commit to it for the long term.
It seems like everywhere you look or listen, people are pushing easy marketing tactics. But investing time and resources in tactics without a larger marketing strategy to filter and guide them is like a plane taking off in the sky and letting it drift aimlessly. Who knows where it will end up?
You need clearly defined goals by which to measure success and an overall strategy to direct your efforts. Start with your overall objectives. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Generate more leads? Close more sales? Next set goals, i.e. specifically defined and measurable targets to attain those objectives. Then focus on those tactics that will best help you achieve those goals.
For the greatest success, your marketing strategy must be holistic. Your ideal customer profile, messaging, 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.
Bake strategy into your processes and touchpoints.
Once you’ve nailed down your marketing strategy, it needs to be woven into the DNA of your marketing, sales and service processes and touchpoints from top to bottom. Although there tends to be a lot of emphasis on graphic design, the processes and touchpoints of your business is much more important for your Marketing Strategy. Your processes and touchpoints are your lifeblood — all of your marketing tactics should be integrated there so it delivers what your customer is seeking. In order to achieve obvious choice status, not what you sell, but the way you sell must differentiate you from your competitors.
Create a detailed tactical action plan.
Once you have your business goals, marketing goals and marketing strategy in place, you can get down into the tactical jungle. Considering your resources, the environment, and your competition, what are the best ways in which you can go about achieving your goals? Popular marketing tactics include networking, speaking, advertising, email marketing, websites, promotions, social media marketing, and landing page creation. An effective tactical plan incorporates multiple efforts, including public relations, mobile, and referral marketing. These are all critical to marketing and will help you convert prospects into customers.
Make Marketing Strategy a part of your daily routine.
Everyone at the company should be making Marketing Strategy part of their daily routine. There are so many simple tasks that can be done throughout the day, like educating prospects about the core difference over the phone, engaging in relevant social media conversations, and asking clients for feedback. Note frequently ask questions for potential marketing material, and connect with targeted companies on social networking platforms. Make Marketing Strategy focus a deliberate intention daily until it becomes second nature. When these little efforts become routine, day-by-day and week-by-week, they add up to a major marketing boost.
It’s never easy to exercise commitment in any new area. But the good news is, it gets easier over time. And the better news? It pays great revenue dividends.