Once you know these objectives for your business, you can then start thinking about your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a business strategy it is harder to create a marketing strategy as you don’t really have an understanding of where you see the business heading and how you can then support that growth with marketing.
So, once you have established this we can then start thinking about our marketing, but what are the key areas we need to consider to create a marketing strategy? Here are three important factors to consider.
1 – Aims
Ideally at this stage you’ve got some solid “business” aims – things like turnover, sales forecasts etc, but within the marketing strategy we need to think of specific aims for marketing. If we don’t have any aims, how do we know if our marketing has been effective?
For example, aims could be things like raising brand awareness, generating more press coverage, improving open rate for our email, getting more traffic to our website. They are all specific marketing, rather than business aims. By being really clear on your marketing aims, you are able to see clearly if your marketing is working for your business. If you don’t have these aims, you are stabbing in the dark and don’t really have anything to measure your marketing against.
2 – Target customer
Another really important area to consider is your target customer. Often people say to me my ideal customer is ‘everyone’. But it would be impossible to target everyone in the world or the country you live in – we need to be a lot more specific.
Now sometimes ‘target customer’ can be a bit confusing, so I’m going to try and make it a bit easier to understand.
Often you hear of “Ideal Client Avatar”. This is the idea of your ideal customer. Who is that one person you’d like to pick up the phone and book you, click on your website and buy a product. They may have a persona, a name, a job, hobbies etc. It gives you a really clear understanding of who your marketing should be aimed at.
Target customer is slightly different. This can be different groups of people. You may categorise people into different sets. You may have women 40+ in Cumbria, or 16-25 year olds. You may have a business-to-business customer and a consumer customer. You may have a couple of different types of customers you want to target, but your marketing would then be different for each group, as they have different wants and needs. You would tailor what marketing tactics you do for each group.
I’ve also been asked “how do I know who my target customer is”. Well, if you’re more established in business, think about who buys your products and services? What type of person are they, how old are they, where do they live? By doing this you can then perhaps identify any gaps or new areas you want to target with your marketing too.
If you are a new business, do some market research. Look at similar companies and what they are doing, who is following them, buying from them, engaging with them? Ask your audience if you have one. Think about your product and service and who it has been designed for. Then once you start, you’ll soon get an idea of who your customer is.
3 – Key Messages/Brand values
The next important area to think about is your key messages. I always think this is one of the most important things you can do as it underpins all your marketing.
I want you to think about all the things you’d want to shout from the rooftops about your business, product or service. What makes it special or different from anything else? What are the stand-out features? How do you give excellent customer service? Really delve down deep – there would be no point me saying I’m professional, organised and efficient as you would hope a Marketing Consultant would be and in fact most people could say that. Think about the things that really set you apart from the competition. Those are your key messages and should be the main messages used in all your marketing going forward.
We’ve talked about aims for your marketing, identified who your target customer is and what the messages are that will underpin your marketing. Once you have these nailed you’ve started your very own marketing strategy. Going forward your marketing should be a lot more focused and less scattergun in approach and then you can really figure out what marketing is going to work for your business.
If you want to know more about how to plan your marketing or how to implement tactics successfully, check out my courses, which are all available on demand. Click here to find out more.