Marketing without strategy is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Even if you post on every social media platform, create all kinds of content on your website, or spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on ads, implementing these tactics without a strategy will most likely drain you of your time and energy, and resources. Whether you choose social media, search engine optimization, Google ads, PR, or traditional marketing tactics, creating a marketing strategy gives purpose to all of those tactics that you deploy.
How do you start creating this marketing strategy? At Succeeding Small, we like to begin crafting our marketing strategy with the end in mind. In short, use your end goals to craft the strategy behind your marketing.
Identify Your Goals
What are your goals in business? What are you hoping to accomplish? Keep in mind that these goals are going to shape our marketing efforts in the future. To identify your goals, begin by asking two leading questions.
Number one, what do you need to see happen? What is the bare minimum goal that you need to achieve in order to keep your doors open? This necessity-focused goal may be something like “I need at least 15 paying customers every single month to keep my doors open.”
Whether you are a service-based business or a product-based business, think about your absolute financial necessities and how many customers you need in the door to be able to make that happen. This can also be applied to products or services such as – “How many products do you need to sell or services do you need to book?” You should also ask yourself, “What kind of customer do I need to attract to my business in order to achieve those goals. These questions should be analytically based and specific to your financial well-being in order to create a baseline objective that you can deploy in your marketing strategy.
The second question to ask is, what would you love to see happen in your business? This is where you can really think big picture. What are your goals long term? Where do you see yourself in your company in one year, in five years, or in 10 years? What does that legacy planning stage look like for you? Maybe you need 15 customers a month, but your larger goal is that you want to hire a new team of people. Or maybe you want a second or third location or to eventually franchise. Perhaps you want to grow your company to the point that you can pass it on to someone else and retire financially free. For this second set of questions, think big picture.
By identifying and merging your necessities and your overall vision, you can clarify your actual goals for the month, quarter, or year and use that to help mold your marketing strategy. At Succeeding Small, we love to make our goals SMART in order to ensure that each goal is – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By writing SMART goals, you are able to create an actually achievable vision. For example, if your goal is to grow your business, that’s still very broad and won’t give you any particular direction, especially when it comes to forming your marketing strategy. An example of a SMART goal would be “I need to get at least 30 leads every month in order to convert those into at least 15 paying clients; I will complete this through XYZ marketing strategies by the end of Quarter 2.”
Identify Your Target Customer
After identifying what sales quota you need to achieve, the next step in crafting a goal-driven marketing strategy is to determine who you are selling to. A great way to start is to create a buyer’s persona. Think about who your person is and give them a name; what’s their age, gender, and household income? What do they do for fun? What are their hobbies? But most importantly, what problems do they have, and how can you solve them? Once you identify this target customer, ask yourself, where do they spend their time? This can help you determine where you target them -what channels to market on and what your messaging needs to be in order to persuade them and ultimately accomplish your goals.
Choose Your Marketing Channels
Once you have figured out who your audience is, think about where they spend their time. Are they active each day on Instagram, or do they live on TikTok? Do they solve their problems with a search engine like Google? Are your customers a B2B industry that lives on LinkedIn? Who do they trust? What do they know? Piece together how your ideal customer gets their information and where they go to solve their problems. From here, the key is to tie back in your goals. For example, if your goal is to get more brand awareness, you may want to explore social media and PR to get in front of more people. If your goal is to promote an event, you may want to create an event on Eventbrite, run a Facebook ad, and be listed in directories that showcase local events. If your goal is to sell more products, you may want to create a Google ad campaign and set up social media stores on Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy.
Once you know your target customer, you can get an idea of what channel to market them on. Once you get an idea of the channel that you’re marketing on, you can better adapt your content to your target audience and all of this points back to your main goal. You can use your goal to be able to change how you talk to this person, how you show up on all of these different platforms, and what kind of marketing tactics you deploy, making sure they all point back towards that main objective.
Execute Your Strategy
Now it is time to start that marketing while keeping your goals in mind. You want to make sure that you are crafting campaigns that will ultimately drive your audience towards that final result that you are after. Whatever your objective is, you can adapt your presence, copy, calls to action, conversations with people, and essentially everything you do to make sure you require that action. At the end of the day, that’s going to help you accomplish your goals.
When it comes down to marketing your business, if you don’t have strategic intention behind your marketing strategy, then you are simply screaming into the void. Knowing your clear-cut specific objectives can help you make better choices when it comes to marketing your business and finding your ideal customers. If you are strategic right from the start, you can hone your efforts to ensure that you are getting the highest quality results when it comes down to investing in marketing. If you are interested in learning how Succeeding Small can help you market your business, contact us today for a free consultation!