Your brand strategy is in place. Now, how will you take your brand to the world (or your community)? How will you put it in front of all the right people? You’ll need a marketing strategy, and your first order of business will be to develop a foundation that will make it strong, effective and resilient.
Too often, there’s a reliance on intuition—or what you think might work—when developing a marketing strategy. You may think you know how to reach your target audience, but without thorough research, you’ll never really know. Then there’s the spray-and-pray method, which maintains no focus…only tries a lot of different methods in the hopes that something will stick. And let’s not forget the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach, which relies on the idea that you’ll start by sinking all of your marketing resources into one path, and if that doesn’t work, you’ll move on. The problem is that you may not have the capital to move forward with your next ‘plan.’
So what’s the soundest way to develop a marketing strategy that will make the best use of your resources whilst delivering the highest possible ROI (Return on Investment)?
Let’s look into that.
Your Marketing Strategy Development Plan
Your killer brand is ready to accept loyal clients. Your branding strategy is set to influence brand perceptions and build that brand into a strong market leader. Now you need an efficient and effective marketing strategy—so that all the right people will see and experience your brand.
The following points must be established (‘developed’) before writing your marketing strategy:
- USP (Unique Selling Proposition): It’s crucial to have a good handle on this concept, because it’s what will separate you from your competition in the market. It can also be referred to as positioning. What do you do better than the competition? What do you do differently than the competition? What gap are you filling that the competition has overlooked? In what innovative new way are you serving the market? If you don’t have answers to these questions, get back to your branding strategy…because without a USP, you will fail to outshine (and outsell) the competition.
- Target Market: This could also be called your ‘ideal client.’ Who experiences (and is quite bothered by) the problem(s) that your brand solves? Who shares your brand’s values? What types of language does this person use? What emotions will most effectively stir this person to action? When you know the answers to these questions—and you feel that you really know your ideal client—then you will be better prepared to write every marketing campaign as if you’re speaking directly to that person. Members of your target audience will feel that you’re speaking directly to them, and will make an effort to reach out to your brand. You will then use what you know about your ideal client to make deeper connections—to establish the types of business relationships that will result in long-term brand loyalty. Take the time to do this, and your brand will be revered by those who it’s been created for. Ignore this step, and your brand will never experience the type of connections that are necessary for prosperity.
- Emotional Engagement: Today’s consumers are not driven by hard facts so much as they are by how brands make them feel—and the brands that get it right are rewarded with patronage and loyalty. Every consumer is waiting for a brand to come along and stir up the emotion they’re longing to feel, and this is your chance to do the research, name the emotion(s), stir the emotion(s) and make your target audience feel a connection to your brand.
- Benefits: Consumers are not only looking for emotional connections, they want to know What’s in it for me? When any potential client looks at a brand, it must be evident, quickly, that the net benefit (Benefits Received – Time and Money Invested = Net Benefit) is in their favour (i.e. a net-positive number). This doesn’t have to all play out in money; it can include things like avoided stress, status improvement, luxury advantages…and more. Your brand has value, and that factors into the equation, too. In short, the consumer MUST feel they will be ‘better off’ after any transaction with your brand than they were before that transaction.
- Marketing Methods: This decision will heavily depend upon where your target audience members are ‘hanging out.’ Where will you find them? At what times will they be most receptive to your message? How will they prefer to hear from you? You might choose direct mail marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, pay-per-click marketing, public relations marketing, or practically any other way of making contact. The important thing to remember here is this: It’s not about your preference; it’s about how your ideal client will prefer to interact with your brand and what will make them feel most open to your message. Again—nearly impossible to determine without serious market research.
- Measurement: Even the most brilliant marketer will not get a grasp on what’s working well (and not working at all) without measurement and adjustment. Determine how you can best gauge the effectiveness of every marketing channel, and set a plan in place for contrasting each to the other channels. Get a good handle on what methods are resulting in the most conversions…but that’s not all. Remember that engagement is important, too. It’s the start of relationships, which lead to loyalty, which leads to word-of-mouth advertising, which leads to a marketing campaign that is run primarily by your brand champions.
Are you getting ready to develop a marketing campaign? Or are you concerned that your existing one isn’t getting the job done? Start with our One-Day B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass, to fast-track your business and get it right the first time. Enrol here.