Do you want to learn the 6 step process I use to create a robust marketing strategy with my clients? If you implement all the steps outlined in this blog then you won’t need to spend a penny on a marketing coach or consultant. Simple.
But why on earth would I do this? Am I trying to put myself out of business? Far from it!
I’m prepared to bet that the kind of ambitious business owner I’d like to work with will take one look at this and say, “That’s an awful lot of work Ros, I don’t have the time and besides, I need an outside perspective to do this effectively. Why don’t we talk?”
But let’s start with the basics. What is a marketing strategy and why do I need one?
A marketing strategy is the rudder that guides all your marketing activities. It forms the foundation of your marketing plan, which will help you effectively promote your business and sell your products and services. With a structured plan, you’ll be able to test which marketing approaches work best for your customers whilst ensuring your customers feel supported throughout their buyer journey. Why is this important? Because, particularly in a small business, the more of a trusted relationship you build with your customer, the more likely they are to turn into a happy, loyal customer who recommends you to all their friends!
So, here it is... Your complete guide to building your own marketing strategy. If you find you can't or don’t want to do this alone - do give me a call.
1. Deeply understand your customers
This is a fundamental starting block when building your marketing strategy. If you don't know exactly the kind of person you want to attract to your business then it's almost impossible to construct marketing messages that will resonate with them. Everyone has different needs, attitudes, challenges and pain points so unless you know who your ideal customers are then your marketing will fall flat.
2. Match your product to your customer
Make sure that you match your product, and how you describe it, with your ideal customer. If you aren't describing the benefits of your product in a way that is meaningful to your ideal customer then they just won't 'get it'. If prospects are turning you down when you know that your product is perfect for them, this could be where the problem lies.
3. Set SMART objectives
Setting strategic marketing objectives is so important in marketing as, without them, it’s impossible to answer the question ‘is my marketing working?’
When talking to clients I so often hear targets like “I want to get more sales” Great! But how many sales are ‘more sales’? Is this number realistic? Setting objectives like this is the equivalent of drawing a product spec on the back of a napkin - it’s fine to start there but it’s nowhere near sufficient to grow your business.
4. Map out your customer's buying journey
How will customers go from first hearing about you to buying from you and eventually becoming a raving fan? If your product is a fairly considered purchase then your buyer journey will be longer and you’ll need to support your customers more so they can make their buying decisions comfortably in their own time. You should be able to offer your customers a logical, low-risk next step at every stage of the buying process.
For my business, it looks like this:
These stepping stones allow my customers to make their buying decisions comfortably, in their own time.
Sometimes customers will skip a few of these stages. Other times they think about buying for a while before they're ready to take the next step. Either way is fine, but I have these stages built into my marketing so that customers can make that journey in a way that suits them.
If you haven't worked out a clear path to purchase, where each step builds trust and reduces the perceived risk, then customers will sometimes step out. They will decide that the next step is too big a jump for them and they'll walk away
5. Prioritise your tasks
Every business owner I’ve ever met can write a marketing wish list as long as my arm of the things they could do if they had unlimited time and money. But a list like that is overwhelming when you have no idea where to start.
Once you’ve worked out what improvements you need to make to your marketing, you need to prioritise. I always start by identifying the quick wins and then prioritising tasks in a logical order. There are a number of prioritisation methods but the important thing is to have a logical method you can trust so you can move out of overwhelm and start taking action
6. Plan your marketing measurements
Without measuring your marketing, how will you know if you have successfully achieved your objectives or whether your marketing has actually worked?
When measuring your marketing strategy you need to consider;
Once you've decided on your measures, look back at your objectives and goals and check that they look reasonable.
And there you have it, a complete guide to building a successful marketing strategy and plan - simple!
But not easy.
Creating a good strategy is not just about how much marketing knowledge or experience you have, although that's important, it's also about perspective. To create a robust marketing strategy you need the perspective to see what your business looks like from your customer's viewpoint. This is the bit that most business owners have difficulty with. I even struggle to do my own strategic marketing because I cannot get that perspective by myself! Luckily I have a network of talented marketers and strategists I can call on when I need a sounding board.
If you'd like to discuss your marketing strategy challenges and get some outside perspective on your business, book a Clarity Call.
Or click here to receive my free guide ‘How to do marketing that actually works’.
Get my latest blogs, news and events every month by signing up to my newsletter