Am I going overboard? Maybe. But from where I sit, I see companies- large and small- spend tons of time and money on marketing without a well-conceived strategy. It breaks my heart! And if they would just take some time to think about what they are doing, they could increase their effectiveness by leaps and bounds.
Here are some things to consider for smart marketing (instead of “wingin’ it”).
A marketing strategy helps you define the heart and soul of your business. I’ve heard CEO’s say, “we need to do more marketing” or “we need more leads”. Then, some advertising opportunity comes along and they think to themselves, “let’s try it!” So they fly out to an event, whip up an ad or blast out an email and WHAM!… marketing done! Check!
Did it work? Maybe. But one successful marketing effort doesn’t mean squat!
You’re in this for the long haul, right? So we recommend you sit down and THINK about what your company is really all about. You need to embrace the process of creating a strategic marketing plan. Dig deep to determine:
- who are your competitors
- how does your business compare
- what are your competitive advantages
- what are your features and benefits
- why should someone choose to work with or buy from you
- and- more importantly- what is the core of your company all about
I’m over-simplifying the process- I know. But I’m trying to get you to think for a minute because there’s so much that needs to come out of the strategy process you also need to consider your prospects:
- how big (or small) is your target market?
- who should you target and why?
- are they profitable targets?
- when and where should you try to reach them?
- how can you reach them?
- what’s the most cost-effective way to deliver your message?
Now that you know what the “heart and soul” of your company looks like, who you need to talk to and how to reach them… you need to figure out how to communicate with them.
- how can you get them into the purchasing process now?
- what messages will resonate?
- what offers will get them to raise their hands?
- what information can you provide to move them through the purchasing process faster?
You can’t just pull the trigger on marketing. THINK first. Create a strategy. Only then should you seek out tactics.