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?”
So, here’s your complete guide to doing your own strategic marketing. If you find you can't or don’t want to do this alone - do give me a call.
1. Deeply understand your customers
Last month I wrote the 11 signs you don't understand your customers well enough. If any of these sound familiar then this could be where your marketing strategy is lacking.
2. Make sure that your product, and how you describe it, matches your ideal customer
If prospects are turning you down when you know that your product is perfect for them, this could be where the problem lies.
3. Understand your vision, values and positioning
What is your vision for your business?
What do you want your brand to mean in the eyes of your customer?
How will you position yourself compared to alternatives?
These questions are fundamental to your marketing strategy. Simon Sinek explains it eloquently in his book "Start With Why" (here's his excellent TED talk about it). If you can't articulate why you're in business, and why your customers should care about what you do, then they won't.
4. Set specific objectives and decide on a strategy that will achieve them
Then choose a strategy that will get you there.
5. Map out your customer's buying journey
For my business, it looks like this:
- People usually find me via social media, word of mouth or organic search.
- They typically go to my website and read a couple of blogs to see whether I know what I'm talking about (like you're doing right now!)
- Then they might download a free resource, like my Audience Profile Checklist, or sign up to my email newsletter to get to know me better and find out if I can add value to their business.
- Then they might get in touch with me, at which point I'll make sure we are a good match for one another and demonstrate my capability by giving them a few tips and pieces of advice over the phone.
- After this taster, I'll offer a 2-hour strategic sounding board session or they might choose to come along to one of my workshops.
- After that we'll talk about other ways I can help them in their business.
This tiered path to purchase allows my clients to make their buying decision comfortably, in their own time.
Sometimes clients will know exactly what they want from the outset and we skip stages. Other times prospects dance around 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, tiered path to purchase 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.
6. Plan your marketing measurements
Once you've decided on your measures, look back at your objectives and goals and check that they look reasonable.
Do you have the perspective you need to do this?
This is the bit that most business owners have difficulty with.
It's not about how much marketing knowledge or experience you have, although that's important, it's just about perspective. I will even admit that I struggle to do my own strategic marketing because I cannot get that perspective by myself! Luckily I have a pool of talented marketers in the Watertight Marketing Network to call on when I need a sounding board.
If you'd like to discuss your strategic marketing challenges and get some outside perspective on your business, drop me an email or phone call.
“Ros has helped our business grow more than we ever imagined. At first we weren't sure what we'd get out of using a marketing consultant as we both have marketing backgrounds but Ros has saved us time, money and our sanity!”
Karen Meager, Managing Director at Monkey Puzzle Training and Consultancy Ltd.