Business owners know that they can have a great product, but they need a marketing strategy––a way to get the word out about their product––to sell their product. When you have a specific and cohesive marketing strategy, you can successfully advertise your brand to a qualified and ready-to-buy audience. Your marketing strategy is a key component to business management, and will help you generate and sustain sales, accelerating the scope of advertising to draw in a specific audience and showcase your core offer.
One of the most common pitfalls of entrepreneurs and small business owners is while they might be fairly marketing savvy, it is somewhat of a “shotgun approach”––they cast their nets too wide, posting haphazardly on social media and sending emails lacking a clear focus. This might result in some sales, but there are several huge problems with this approach:
It is more difficult to develop and maintain your business’s messaging around its core offer (i.e. primary product or service). When you are marketing without a clear roadmap, you can do your product or service a disservice by not communicating its value consistently and effectively.
Each channel of marketing (Facebook, Twitter, blog, email, etc.) is distinctly different and your audience engages with each platform in very different ways. Without a cohesive marketing strategy, it is much harder to adapt to the varying communication styles of each channel while also still talking about your core offer in the same way at its most basic level.
It is nearly impossible to measure the results and return on investment (ROI) on your marketing efforts and even harder to adjust your marketing without losing focus and letting your sales suffer.
Why you need a marketing strategy
To consistently present your core offer while establishing yourself as an authority
When you have a thorough plan, you avoid scattered marketing, which has the following pitfalls:
Going in too many directions at once, which often makes your focus––and your sales––suffer
Depriving yourself of the ability to build a brand––it is much harder to create and maintain consistency
When you have an effective marketing plan, you position yourself to cohesively and effectively present your core offer, while at the same time moving towards becoming an authority on the unique issues that your target market faces:
Strategically creating clear focuses and a timeline for each focus effectively positioning you to become an authority on the issues your target market faces
Honing in on the most effective approaches in order to appropriately focus your resources (time, energy, and money)
Concentrating on the most concise way to present and converse about your offer
To strategically choose which approaches and marketing channels to utilize
There are more marketing channels now than ever before. Simply put, marketing channels are the various platforms you use to get the word out about your business (social media, blogs, email, etc.).
You have to choose which channels you use and how you use each one to fit the platform and its audience. When developing your marketing strategy, you’ll need to consider how you’ll approach each channel by:
Posting different and customized content
Posting to correspond with the regularity at which people check that channel
Choosing which platforms to advertise paid ads
Ensuring that no matter what channels you’re using, you create value for your audience. This means making sure to provide valuable information and content to them rather than just selling to them.
While you will take slightly different approaches to each channel, it is important that the core way you communicate your offer remains consistent. This means that while the foundational content you offer through different channels will be the same, you’ll need to make sure to present it differently between the channels (for example, you don’t want to share the same social media post ver batim on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
To evaluate your marketing initiatives and adjust them as necessary
The golden rule of marketing is testing. More important than testing is responding to those results. What I often see is people making adjustments in response to results while losing focus. When this occurs, it opens up the potential for the following issues:
Ambiguity ensues, creating a disconnect between how you talk about the core offer and what the core offer actually is
They begin to fall back into the habit of scattered marketing (shotgun approach). This results in nobody obtaining a clear understanding of what the core offer is.
When you do have a comprehensive marketing strategy including criteria for evaluation and adjustment, you’re able to:
Know which metrics to pay the most attention to and how to measure success
Build on and improve upon what is already complete rather than going back to the drawing board (which is time-consuming, expensive, and often unnecessary)
Adjust the way you talk about and present your offer without losing your business’s/product’s identity and core messaging/brand. This ensures that both you and your audience understand who you are and what you are selling
Improve upon your existing marketing focus without losing or changing it
Once you have a precise marketing strategy catered towards your brand, you can proactively build and enhance your product or business to reach its fullest potential. Closely tracking all marketing channels of communication will assist in customers’ reception of your brand, making it easier for them to understand not only what you’re selling, but the value that it will bring to them. When you have a marketing strategy designed from the ground up to present your core offer and grow your authority through strategically chosen marketing channels, you position yourself to grow your business and get your message in front of more people than you ever thought possible.