Facebook page? Check. LinkedIn profile? Check. Blog posts? Check. SEO? Check.
But what do all of these marketing tactics have to do with your sales pipeline, customer acquisition and ultimately –your bottom line?
It’s OK to admit – as many businesses do –that you don’t really know. That is you aren’t able to tie your marketing efforts directly to customer wins.
We get that. In fact, that’s why we are here.
It boils down to your overall marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy – getting your product to market, reaching your customers, bringing your vision to life – requires the same attention as your original business plan. It should be a clear and precise plan that gives your team the right direction, the right tools, tactics and metrics, to enable them to effectively contribute to the overall success of your business.
Marketing strategies have many facets – branding, go to market, content marketing, advertising, etc. With all of the noise in the marketplace, it is important to create clear and compelling messaging and communicate through multiple platforms with a targeted and coordinated approach – print, social media, digital marketing channels to name a few.
That’s a lot to manage and your marketing dollars are tight. Which is precisely why it is critical to develop an overall Marketing Strategy to identify where to concentrate your efforts, help manage your tactics and effectively measure your outcomes.
A data-driven approach for your marketing strategy will clearly illustrate which aspects of marketing strategy and tactical execution are driving results and those that are not.
More than writing a Facebook post, sending out product info on LinkedIn, or wasting your days writing blog after blog with no actual plan, your Marketing Strategy gives direction and allows team members to establish/know their roles and how they will contribute to the overall success of the business – so you can successfully work towards and achieve your revenue goals.
Because otherwise – what’s the point? Without developing a plan and measuring your results in customer acquisition, sales and revenue, you don’t really know how your marketing efforts tie directly to customer wins.
So where to begin?
Here are 5 steps to start developing your Marketing Strategy
- Know thy audience:
Who is your customer? What do they like to eat, drink, wear, drive, read? What hobbies do they enjoy? How much money do they make? Creating profiles – or personas – of your audiences can help you define the message and format. 30-something techies who like video? 40-something execs who like white papers? 20-something entrepreneurs who like Twitter? Research and define your personas so you can deliver the right message, in the right format, at the right time – to the right person.
- Keep your friends close, and your competition in your “Favorites” bar:
You should read everything your competitors put out in order to fully understand the competitive landscape in your target market. The more you know, the more you will be able to identify and communicate your unique value to the same customer. Websites, articles, marketing materials, blogs, social media posts – read it all and then…
- Define your competitive advantage:
What makes you different from the competition? How do you measure up? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? Define what you do differently, and why it matters. Differentiate from your competition with clear content, brand tone and voice as well as graphics that identify your unique value proposition.
- Identify the right communication channels:
Once you have your branding, message, and your personas, you need to be able to update and share your content regularly through various marketing channels. This approach requires moderate content development of messaging on your website, in social channels, as well any print materials.
This means developing an overall tactical plan, that we will further detail in a subsequent post, that may include…
- Creating/updating your website: It should be customer friendly, linked to Google Analytics, and updated with new content for each audience on a regular basis. Develop your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) long-term strategy for paid as well as organic results to drive traffic and social engagement.
- Sharing content regularly: Your customers may not even know you exist. Help them find you. When you provide helpful information to customers without being too salesy – via email, articles, blogs, ads, it keeps you top of mind when they are ready to buy.
- Being Active on social media: Understand the pros and cons of each social media venue, and what your target audience is in to – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Build a schedule for all relevant social channels and deliver your message using branded imagery and content that aligns with your goals.
- Managing your leads: You’ve got them interested – now follow up with a call to action, targeted landing pages, or focused email campaigns to name a few. The message, format and follow up will depend on the audience and persona and will likely include integration with your sales tools.
- Track your data analytics and measure your success:
Measurement is critical to building any successful marketing and sales engine. The details are in the data and how you use data will show you what is/isn’t working and where you need to pivot. Let’s say you have increased sales by 2% by focusing targeted content on a specific audience. What got you there? How can you improve? Let the data lead you to where you need to go next.
Building out a marketing plan with a solid analytics structure that measures your marketing efforts by specific customer conversion gives you the ability to measure ROI, and adjust your content, terminology, and channel management based on actual data.
This data allows you to actually tie your marketing efforts directly to customer wins.
But remember, your marketing strategy will need to be consistently reviewed and updated based on the current market. Companies that disregard market and competitive shifts will fail. Your audience, technology, cultural landscapes are all constantly evolving. You need to evolve, too. By understanding what actions and activities contribute to pipeline revenue and sales results, you are able to redirect your brand positioning, messaging and tactics where needed.
At RenderTribe, our RenderLab process helps you identify the unique pieces that fit in your overall marketing strategy and align your plan with overall business objectives. We help build the foundation for measurement, expertise, and the tactical execution needed to support the plan.
Let us help you grow your bottom line. Contact us today.