Every marketing effort that a company makes has a place in the world. However, just because the marketing avenue is useful to some does not mean it is right for you.
Marketing is NEVER ONE-SIZE-FITS ALL.
Here is how you can develop a marketing strategy that will save you money, time, and a lot of headache!
Every business has a certain amount of money they want to spend on marketing and creating leads. It is important that the budget is not frivolously spent on meaningless things. You must have purpose and strategy to every decision and every dollar spent.
There are three parts to developing a marketing strategy: understanding your market, understanding marketing avenues, and then develop the marketing plan!
1. Understand your market.
The way to develop this strategy and plan is to understand your market first and foremost. You want to know the very specifics about who they are, what they do, where they spend time, what do they value and what you can help them with. It is important to remember to connect directly with them and the only way to do this is to know them...and know them well.
Who are your consumers?
It is important to understand everything you can about your consumers. If you don't, it's like shooting at a target blindfolded. You must understand very specifically who they are so that you have a clear target. This helps you establish communication, strategy, content, design style, branding, and it helps you understand where and how to spend your money!
What do they do?
What are they doing with their lives? Are they young and ambitious, a fitness enthusiast, a working mom, a retiree, a business owner, an employee of a successful company? Understanding what they do and who they are is a major step in understanding how to reach them as a consumer.
What is your customer doing with their lives? What is their profession, hobbies, or lifestyle?
Where do they spend time?
Think about where they spend their days.
If they are young and just starting their professional life, they are probably spending a lot of time at work and they would spend much time on their phones. Someone like this will not be very receptive to a marketing avenue such as mailers, but they might be very receptive to social media or search engine optimization.
If they are a retiree, the opposite is true. They most likely won't be receptive to social media ads or content marketing, but they will be more receptive to avenues such as mail or paper ads.
If the consumer is a business owner, they might not be responsive to either. They might be much more receptive to someone who meets them at a networking event face to face. When they have a meeting, they would most likely be very responsive to well put together marketing materials and a professionally designed presentation.
So, these three examples are just a start of how marketing differs for different target markets. Focusing on the customer is important, but more importantly, you must understand how that customer's lifestyle relates to your business.
Think about who your customer is. Where is their time consumed and what do they spend their days doing?
What do they value?
Often, who they are shapes what they value. Understanding what they value will help you understand what will appeal to them about your business.
Consider what their life consists of, how they spend time, what do they care about?
If they are a working mom, they might value saved time. This will help you shape your writing, content and the offer you make to the consumer.
If they are a young male who enjoys body building, they might be more interested in results, quality and the time is takes to receive the results. This would help you shape the content you offer to them.
Think about your consumer. What do they care about? What sparks attention in their mind?
What problem can you solve for them?
The reality is that every person is selfish. We must always be appealing to their problems and how we can help them. Don't bore them with your business, help them see how you can help them!
This is where you put together all the questions above. Consider your answers to who they are, what do they do, how do they spend time, and what do they value. A combination of understanding these questions will help you see how you can help and what problem you can solve for them.
Every business should exist to solve a problem, and if they don't they will have a hard time finding success.
What is the problem you can solve for your consumer?
2. Understand the marketing avenues
We are drowned out by all the marketing options we have today. We see ads, we hear people talk about them, we get sales calls and emails. So deciding on what makes sense for your business is hard. You have to sift through the noise and find what is right for you.
Here are some categories and options that we see most often. This is not everything as marketing is a vast subject, but here is a place to start.
Organic Social Media
Social Media Ads
Search Engine Optimization
Linked in Sales Navigator
Online/In Person Seminars
Lunch and Learns
With some creativity, the possibilities never end. Each of these channels has many subcategories and many more ways to reach your current client.
So consider the questions above. Where are your customers spending time? What is their age? What is their lifestyle? These can help you decide which of these options would make the most sense for your business.
3. Develop your marketing plan!
How do these aspects apply to your marketing strategy?
From these conclusions you can understand the avenues in which you spend money.
A marketing plan is best if you have a very clear plan of action. We can sit around saying we will do something at some point but the more clear the plan is, the more obtainable and actionable it will be.
Create a plan of which avenues of marketing you will utilize.
Create a budget for what you can put into marketing.
Decide which avenues of marketing will be priority.
Determine how you will divide the budget among the marketing efforts you have determined.
Create a schedule for when you will start each marketing activity.
Make a plan for what needs to be done to be able to start or launch each marketing activity.
Make sure the content you have connects directly with your audience and who they are so that you don't waste money.
Begin your marketing plan!
Always...analyze and evolve.
Marketing is never one size fits all and it is never a simple plan that can be easily done perfectly the first time! Always be analyzing. Always be evolving.
But it is is also important to make sure you are giving yourself a chance. It takes risk and it takes money and it takes time. If you scare easy, are cheap and don't give your marketing efforts time to see real results, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
Analyze but give each avenue a chance to run its course and see results.
This is only the beginning of a marketing strategy.
The most effective way to market is to understand everything in depth about your brand. The way to do this is through brand strategy. Check out some other posts about brand strategy or contact us to have a professional brand strategy and marketing plan made for you.