After spending the last couple of weeks diving into some tactics for various marketing activities, and I realized that I should back up to consider the overall marketing strategy. Actually, that is a common mistake. So, here is the process we recommend to get you started:
- Set the Strategy
- Develop a Campaign
- Set Goals and Metrics
- Follow Through to Sales
Set the Strategy
Marketing success means having a competitive advantage such as location, historical establishment, and market-specific vertical expertise. To target customers, divide them into segments – customer groups who respond differently to competitive strategies. By segmenting your customers, you can tailor your strategy to meet their unmet needs. You must also consider your competitors and your corporate strengths and weaknesses in your approach.
Once you have decided your business goals and identified both customers and prospective customers, you are ready to create your marketing plan. The plan should encompass multiple campaigns that target the appropriate customer groups. With your marketing plan, you can:
- Track your expenditures. You can budget marketing expenses, keep control of your expenditures, manage your cash flow, track sales-to-marketing expense ratio, and measure your marketing effort success. You also ensure that you don’t waste product development dollars.
- Focus your marketing plan to give the company something to rally behind. It helps staff understand goals and focus on customers.
- Achieve success by charting your destination point and providing a step-by-step guide for your company’s success.
- See the big picture – in the daily routine of putting out fires, it is hard to turn your attention to the big picture. Writing your marketing plan helps determine your current business status and provides a roadmap for business goals.
- Improve and reuse it. Once the plan is complete, it will serve as a template and benchmark as you define your objectives and strategies for each coming year. It becomes a living document for measuring sales success, customer retention, product development, and sales initiatives.
Next week, we’ll talk about designing the campaign, goals, and metrics to ensure that your marketing strategy is successful.