By Emma Thompson, Marketing Director of OnBrand Marketing
What doesLewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat have to do with creating a successful marketing strategy?
Put simply. Without planning and a sound strategy, how can you know where you are going or what you need to do to get there?
Any successful small business looking to grow needs to understand the basics of building a marketing strategy. You just need creative thinking and a hunger to drive your business forward. Here are my six tips towards building your own marketing strategy.
Step 1: Set specific goals and objectives
Every marketing strategy has its own marketing goals which really should align with your business goals. As part of this you must first clearly define what you want the end result to be – for example, increase brand awareness, generate high-quality leads, or grow thought leadership in your industry.
Whatever your goals, identify what they are and how your business can work to achieve them over the next year.
Step 2: Establish Your Budget
This one is self-explanatory!
How much money do you need to make, and therefore how much are you willing to spend on product development, customer insight and marketing? Set and budget and stick to it.
Step 3: Get talking to your customers
In order to communicate effectively you need to know who your customers are and how they prefer to be communicated to.Setting a new strategy is about acknowledging what you know and challenging what you don’t, so use your existing customers to get the answers you need. These questions will take you a long way:
- What do they think of your product?
- How satisfied are they with the quality?
- Are the benefits apparent?
- How is your product effectively or not effectively meeting their needs?
If you can’t define who your audience is then create a profile of your ideal customer. Make sure you’ve gathered enough consumer data to develop a complete picture of who they are.Create a ‘buyer persona’ – write down everything about this customer – demographics, including age, type of job&income, location, interests and so on.
Step 4: Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
What’s special about your product? What are you uniquely doing to solve a problem or make things better for your customers?
Step 5: Pricing
Price isn’t clear cut. We can look at it in several ways, but ultimately it’s really around how much you charge vs the perceived cost vs the cost for you to actually produce the product/service
So a few things to consider:
- Competition: Make sure you know what your competitors are doing to make sure you’re not overcharging your customers.
- Satisfaction:What do you believe the cost should be to satisfy your customer?
- Sales promotion: What short-term incentives are you planning to encourage a purchase?
- Convenience: You need to be aware of how your target audience likes to make their purchases in order to make it convenient for them to buy
Step 6. Right message, best marketing channel
You’ve got clear goals. You’ve identified your USP. You know your pricing approach. You’ve nailed your audience. Now you need to make sure your messages align with customers needs and expectations.
Think about :
- Your Website:This is the first place your customers will try and find you so make sure your website is quick loading, impactful and easy to navigate
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):In order for customers to interact with your website, they must be able to find it first. Use descriptive keywords to help search engines
- Email Marketing: One of the quickest, most direct ways to communicate with leads and customers. Grow your database and make sure you stay in touch with them
- Social Media:Think about how you are using channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn for example and ensure the messages in each are aligned
- Blogging: Blogging will help your business stay top of mind by putting out regular content. Host the blog on your website and write good content, making sure to respond to each blog comment.
Now you’ve written your strategy, you can work to build on it. Create content, put yourself out there and talk to your customers. It isn’t rocket science – if you have something they want to buy and you market it well, then your business will succeed. Good luck!