Once you've done that, you need to define your specification.
An engineering specification or functional design specification will typically include everything you want the product to do, how it should work, how it should be manufactured, timescales, cost restrictions and any other pertinent requirements.
In my last blog, I used the example of designing a keyboard. In this scenario, I'd need my specification to describe...
- The type of computer or tablet it was going to be suitable for
- Whether it'd be wired or wireless
- The keyboard layout
- The colour, size, shape and ergonomics
- Whether it would include any extra functionality such as media buttons or an integrated mousepad
It's always tempting to sidestep this phase or start with a rough outline of what you want to achieve, However, the consequences of this approach can be costly.
Marketing is no different.
If you want your marketing to deliver results quickly and cost-efficiently then you need a detailed specification.
There are two kinds of specifications in marketing: your strategic objectives and your tactical objectives.
Your strategic objectives look at the big picture of all your marketing, sales and aftersales processes. This is the equivalent of how your whole product will work.
Your tactical objectives look at each individual marketing activity or campaign.
You should set objectives for each individual email campaign, advertising campaign or exhibition. These are the equivalent of your component or subassembly specifications.
Without strategic objectives, you can’t measure the success of your marketing as a whole. Without tactical objectives you can't measure the success of your individual marketing activities.
Set your strategic objectives
Say your business objectives are to increase turnover by 20% year-on-year for the next 3 years. Then your marketing objectives for the next 12 months might be to:
- Increase sales to existing customers by 5%
- Increase conversions of qualified warm leads by 5%
- Increase new enquiries by 10%
Since those objectives will build on each other, combined they equate to more than 20% increase in turnover.
Define your audience
In creating a customer persona, don’t focus on demographic information. In my experience, this is usually the least important way to define an ideal customer. Instead, consider…
- Their attitudes to your industry and your product
- The specific problem you solve for your customer, and how they feel about that problem
- How this problem affects their life
- How long do they take to make their buying decision?
- What is the impact of a poor buying decision?
- Who else will they consult in the decision?
- What questions or concerns will they have?
Download my “Customer Persona Checklist” for more guidance on doing this exercise.
I’ll come back to setting tactical objectives later on in this series, once we’ve worked out which activities we need to do.
If you're struggling to set your strategic objectives, please get in touch. I'd love to talk to you and see if I can help.
This blog is taken from the soon-to-be-published ebook, "How to Engineer Your Marketing". If you'd like a copy when it's released, sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll be the first to be sent a copy. (You can unsubscribe at any time).