Master marketers have it goin’ on. They seem to know just what to say, just how to say it, just whom to say it to, and just when to say it. In other words, they push all the right buttons. Are they born with this? Is it a gift? Or do they know something you don’t?
If your marketing strategy hasn’t been as effective as you’d like, there’s something you need to know:
Having the optimal marketing strategy means having a message that speaks with all the focus of a laser beam, all the emotional stimulus of an intolerable problem and all the support of a trusted friend.
If your marketing strategy does all of this, you’re strides ahead of the competition. If it doesn’t, your ideal customers are slipping away on a daily basis.
Let’s talk about how you can construct a marketing strategy that hits all the right buttons, for all the best results.
Features Shared by all the Best Marketing Strategies
There’s no reason you can’t have a killer marketing strategy, and creating it can be as simple as putting some sound advice to work in your communications.
Here are the tenets that I’ve come to believe are necessary to every stellar marketing strategy:
- Know your ideal customer. Your marketing content should speak directly to this person, so he or she feels that every piece of media has been created exclusively for them. This will require research and time spent amongst your audience; however, it will repay your brand in dividends when you’re considered the brand that knows them best.
- Focus on benefits. This is what your audience really cares about. They want to know what’s in it for them—so tell them, concisely and with clarity. When you developed your brand strategy, you named your strengths. The benefits enjoyed by your customers should align with your strengths.
- Know what you want to achieve. This should not be directly stated to customers in marketing materials; however, it’s important to know where you’d like to land, as a result of the actions contained within your marketing strategy. This will keep you focussed and ensure that all activity moves your brand forward, on a straight path.
- Always name the problem. Your ideal customers need to know that you understand their struggle(s) and that you empathise with what they’re feeling. They also need to know that you have THE solution to their problem. Do this (name the problem and expand upon its complications) early in all your marketing pieces.
- Forget about fringe prospects. Your brand has a distinct set of values, and your ideal customers will share and appreciate those values. Everyone else doesn’t matter to your brand. Stop trying to please them all and instead focus on those who fit your ideal customer profile. Sure, you will alienate some; however, those who embrace your business will become nothing short of brand champions. Remember: quality over quantity.
- Choose marketing channels based on your ideal customer’s preferences. How does your target prefer to consume information? Hard copy, social media, text message, PPC ads, organic internet search? Conduct research into the behaviour of your ideal customer to ensure A) you’re reaching them and B) you’re presenting your brand in a form they will welcome.
- Make considerations for different phases of the customer journey. Not every prospect or customer will have the same needs at the same time. Design your marketing strategy so that it caters to a number of segments within your audience, so you’re not speaking to every member as if they’re just starting out (or ready for a top-tier product).
- Familiarise yourself with the competition’s marketing strategy. This is NOT for the purpose of copying their marketing strategies, but rather an attempt to predict what their next moves will be, so you can operate ahead of the curve.
- Monitor, measure and modify. It is highly unlikely that your marketing strategy will be “perfect” the first time out. It will probably require a few tweaks. Follow the results of every aspect of your strategy in order to magnify what’s working best and eliminate those aspects that aren’t working well at all.
- Leave room for flexibility and evolution. Consumer trends and markets will shift. Industry “rules” will change. Your ideal client’s needs will evolve. In order to remain relevant, your marketing strategy will need to respond to these developments, whilst remaining true to your brand’s values and promises.
- Steer clear of a price war mentality. Engage in a price war, or make your marketing focus all about price point, and your brand will be devalued. You may experience an increase in sales at first; however, profits will suffer and you’ll soon be forced to drop your prices even more, in order to “compete.” Your ideal customers will no longer see your brand for its benefits and values; their gaze will have shifted to your higher-value competition.
As a general rule, always keep your ideal customer’s needs in mind, as well as your brand’s corporate values, and you’ll speak effectively and efficiently with words and images that move all the right people to action. You will push buttons.
The advice above represents general points to consider as you begin to construct your marketing strategy. For more support, click here to get the FREE Marketing Planning Wheel, a tool you can print out and use to tick off tasks that you’ll complete as you create your brand’s marketing strategy.