A marketing strategy is a business necessity, so if you don’t have one for your business, read on. So many entrepreneurs get caught in the same trap, they have an idea, they launch their business and then they start to look for customers. WRONG! Why? Because they don’t even know who their customer is!
So why is a marketing strategy necessary?
A marketing strategy is something that needs to help establish your business, because alongside your idea, you want to understand what the market is doing already and how you can differentiate yourself. You want to identify who your target market is and what it is they really need or want. Then you want to package your offering and messaging to talk to this ideal target market, because as we quickly learn, not everyone is your ideal customer. So, this is how a marketing strategy can help mould your business, marketing and finding the right customer.
Step 1: Idea
As I said earlier, this is always the easier part, as an entrepreneur we have an idea, and we know what it is we want to do to help people. So be sure to know what this is before we dig deeper into the next 4 steps, I’d even suggest at this early stage, ask a few people who you think may need your product or service what do they think about it, and you may also want to do this under an NDA if it is a rather new concept or idea.
Step 2: Market
Now this is where things get interesting, because it allows you to now dig your claws in and see what the market is doing, identifying direct or even indirect competitors and see what they are doing, or perhaps not doing. I have the most fun here, because this gives us the opportunity to really unpack the idea and weigh it up to the market to see how you really can launch something that is unique or just different to the market. It could also give you information that may make your idea obsolete in a couple of years, so it is important to spend a bit of time here and get to know the industry and the market you are in.
Step 3: Message
Although the title of this step is message, a key factor to be established at this step before we can produce a message, is our target market. So based on your idea, your findings in Step 2, now you should have a better idea who would be your ideal target market, because as I said above, not everyone is and even if you think they are, trust me you don’t want to do that because it will create overwhelm and you will not move forward in your business. So, this is a critical step to identify your ideal target markets, then break it down even further and define a primary and secondary target market. Yes, because the more specific you are going to be, the easier it is going to be for you to create your message, establish your media and find the right customers.
Once you have decided on your primary and secondary target markets and created a target persona for each one, so you deeply understand who they are and what it is they want, now you are ready to establish your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) and message.
This is a critical step that is missed when businesses go to market with an idea, because then they don’t establish what makes them unique and they don’t create a message that is relevant to their target market and in so doing, they don’t really ‘talk to anyone’ and so they feel they are not being seen or heard. This step is a must before moving along.
Step 4: Media
Now the steps are starting to make sense, because without a clear understanding of your market, the target market you are trying to get the attention of with a very specific message, now you want to identify media that they are using.
But not only media, this is where we use our customer persona to identify a customer journey and put ourselves in the shoes of our target market and map out a customer journey they would follow. We also then need to identify the different touchpoints our customers will engage with throughout the journey, or with a clear target market in mind determine which touchpoints you want them to engage with through their journey. Then it is time to establish these and fill the gaps where you can. Another key area many businesses omit, they launch with a website and social media pages and hope for the best! It doesn’t work like that…Google has millions of URL’s indexed, why should it send someone to yours, have you given it a reason to?
Step 5: Manage
Lastly, as with any well-run business, it needs to be well managed. So, for your marketing to run well, it also needs to be managed. You can’t implement your marketing based on the above key findings and sit back, you must continually review your insights, review what is working and what is not and of course test and measure to ensure the best results. Because even if you have the best idea, for the right market with an appealing message and the best media, you still need to manage this process continuously to ensure it gets the attention it deserves because in return your business will get the customers it wants.
How can you create a marketing strategy?
With a marketing mentor or guide by your side it makes it so much easier, so I am here to help my clients put these steps back into their business to re-establish themselves so they can move forward in their business with a clear marketing strategy. Because as I say, marketing will set you apart, not your business.
Join our free weekly sessions at Mi Lifeline Learning to learn all things marketing or visit our website to see what online programs we have to offer you to create the business of your dreams.
Know your customer – Attract your customer.