6 Ingredients Successful Marketing Strategies Have
It’s that time of year to assess how well you did in your business and then, start planning for next year. Part of that planning includes creating the right marketing strategy for growth. When developing a marketing strategy that helps you reach your goals, there are certain ingredients you need to have. Too often, I see people rely on one or two factors, when in reality, it takes several to make your strategy work. Here are six things your marketing strategy should have if you want it to be effective.
1. A clear target audience. The reality is, not everyone wants or needs what you have. If you’re not clear about this key factor, you’ll end up spending time and money on the wrong activities, and possibly targeting the wrong market. Market research is one of the most important aspects of your planning. Get clear on your target audience and then develop a marketing message that speaks directly to that audience.
2. Consistency. Once you clarify who you’re speaking to, then you need to be consistent in both how and how often you communicate with them. On average, it takes a potential customer seven interactions with your brand before they consider buying from you. That’s because, people want to know you, like you, and trust you before they will buy from you. Make sure that when you communicate with your target audience, your visuals, messaging and tone are also consistent with your brand marketing strategy.
3. Collaboration. A wise mentor has told me repeatedly that he never embarks on any new business, project or idea alone. He believes wholeheartedly that team work makes the dream work. It reminds me of one of my favorite African proverbs that states: “Many hands make light work.” When developing your marketing strategy consider ways you can partner with complimentary businesses/brands to extend your reach. Can you co-brand a marketing campaign and share the costs/workload? Can you co-host an event where you both get access to one another’s audiences? Can you partner on a project to expand your capabilities and capacity? There are a number of ways to collaborate with other businesses that align with your mission, vision and strategy. You just need to identify the right ones.
4. Passion. Unless a strategy has passion behind it, it just remains a document which probably took quite some time to think through and develop—but may never be implemented the way it should. Your passion should shine through in all you do. That means avoiding cliches and encouraging creativity. It takes people who are passionate about a common mission and vision to really make a process work.
5. Resources. While developing your strategy, you’ll need to determine if you have adequate human and financial resources. Although there are creative ways to market your business spending little to no money, keep in mind that they will still take time—and likely human resources. Make sure you’ve accounted for how much time and money you’ll need to implement your marketing strategy successfully.
6. Strategy. Have one. This might be stating the obvious, but I’ve seen many people (myself included) not define a proper strategy and then wonder why it’s not working. You need to have a plan on how you’re going to spend your time and money in order to reach your goals. Note that tactics are different from strategies. Here’s a simple analogy: Tactics = Bricks; Strategy = Architectural Plans; Goal = House. So saying you’re going to post on Twitter four times a day is a tactic; however, developing a robust social media strategy to drive brand awareness and increase profit by x% is a strategy.
We’re on the last leg of 2016. Now is the perfect time to assess how well your marketing strategy worked this year—and if you missed the mark, what will you do differently next year? As you begin to plan, make sure you’re: targeting the right audience, staying consistent, considering the right collaborations, showing your passion for your business, allocating the right resources, and developing a winning strategy. And if you need help creating an effective marketing strategy for 2017, contact me using the form below. Happy planning!
This article was also published on LinkedIn.