Archive for 101 marketing strategies
What is a ‘customer driven marketing strategy’ you ask?
It is a marketing strategy that keeps your customers squarely in the middle of everything you do… from the beginning stages right through the end… and it’s the only kind of strategy you will want to use for your business.
Here’s a bit about what goes into a customer driven marketing strategy:
Focused On Your Target Market
This means you know as much as you possibly can about who they are, what they want, what they need, what their preferences are and more. You understand all of the demographics and psychographics of your target market (you can read more about those here) that is possible, and you take every opportunity to learn more. Then, you make sure all of your marketing is planned and oriented toward them and what they want… sometimes that means forgetting completely about you and what you want if your market is different than you or varies from you and your wants, needs, and preferences.
Satisfying BIG Wants and Meeting BIG Needs
This means that all of your marketing is focused on helping your current and potential clients understand how what you have or what you do satisfies their most important wants and needs. Oftentimes people are more motivated to take care of their wants than their needs (Example? Most of us would rather buy a new dress, new shoes, or an awesome new smart phone than tires for our car…). Customer driven marketing strategy is all about educating your prospects and clients on how what you’ve got meets what THEY want and what THEY need.
Finding Out What THEY Think
With customer driven marketing strategy you are always interested in your people… so you ask them for feedback ALL THE TIME. You conduct surveys, you talk with them and ask questions, you find out how they are using your product or service, how it’s working for them and how you can make it better. This sounds challenging, but it’s really pretty easy – it’s about having conversations and focusing on collecting information all about THEM. People love to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, so you focus on giving them room to do it and you let that information guide your future product and service development and ALL of your marketing.
The Big Bang For Your Effort
Many things can come from customer driven marketing strategy… just a couple include building tremendous customer loyalty and raving fans. When people feel truly taken care of and understood they share their joy and delight with others, and they keep coming back for more.
How can you look at your marketing efforts and begin to shift them to customer driven marketing strategy?
So, what goes into your marketing plan?
Today I want to talk about the marketing funnel that goes into your marketing plan.
Your marketing funnel is generally a visual representation of the steps and stages a potential client (and then client) can travel through your business. It’s often pictured as a funnel (as in this picture below), or turned around the other way, making a pyramid shape.
At the top of the funnel is where you would have any free offers you are putting out to the world. You want to remember, as you put out those offers, they need to be very enticing and they need to connect deeply with one of the bigger wants and needs (if you can do both, all the better) of your target market. You also want to make sure that you are truly serving people – giving them some of your very best stuff. This is your chance to make a stellar impression, so don’t cheap out on this.
The next step in the funnel is something that is also easily accessible, so it may be a well-priced offer that gives a lot of great support and information as well. It lets people try you out in another way and begin to wade into the waters, without having to commit to something huge, or dive right in – which most people are just not ready or willing to do.
On occasion, someone will be ready, though, so you want to make sure that this funnel isn’t a requirement – it’s not set up like pre-requisite courses in college. You don’t HAVE to go through the 101 level to decide you want to dive into the deep end and go big. If you have someone who loves your work and they’re ready for the whole kit-and-caboodle, then let them go for it, and give them an awesome experience.
In the next level, you step things up a notch – both from the standpoint of the level of investment and the level of time and service involved. People that reach this stage have often invested before, they’ve tried you out and they’re ready to go into the waste deep water now. They’re making a commitment.
Then, as you continue to flow downward, you add premium offerings. As the funnel suggests, a smaller number of people will trickle down to that level, but it’s ok. The people that do are your best customers. These are the ones who are generally raving fans (there can be some at every level, but these folks are deeply invested in your products and services).
The idea behind this piece of your marketing plan is that once you get someone who is interested in you and what you offer, you want to make sure you continue to serve them in multiple ways. You want to find out as much as you can about what they want and what they need solved, and you want to create and offer products and services that give them what they want.
When you do, your business has depth, and you can build long-term relationships with your clients, giving them more of what they want, and in turn, building a business that grows and thrives.
I’ve been using a process for planning in the mornings for about 4-5 months now (which in and of itself is freaking UNBELIEVABLE), and I think one of the reasons I’ve been sticking with it is because it’s fun.
It’s a combination of tools pulled together from different places, and then augmented with sticky-notes (really awesome and fun ones), stickers, pictures from magazines, mementos from events, excursions and trips, and a wonderful book/journal as the basis.
Here are a few images of some of my planning pages and my ‘fun’ pages:
Here are some of the things coming into play:
The Daily Action Plan
Daily Do’s – What you’ll want are to figure out what the specific things are you want to do each day. For example, you may want to identify the 3 things that will move things forward for you in the quickest and most effective way. And, most likely, they are things that you might avoid if you don’t prioritize them. Think of the idea of ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy – get the tough things out of the way first, and you’ll find the rest of the day goes great.
Ships – Next, you’ll want to figure out 3 things that will get you and your product, service and business out into the world. There is a concept in Shelly Campbell’s book The Wealthy Spirit called ‘sending out ships’. If you aren’t sending out ships, there won’t be any to come back to port bearing treasures. So, be sure to put some focus on 3 things you can do today that will help you put the word out and will create opportunity for something to come back in your direction.
What I’ve Added
Daily ‘Poms’ – which you’ll see in the last picture. This is me tracking the number of segments I follow from the Pomodoro Technique (this is a simple and BRILLIANT time management process that has helped me be WAAAAYYY more productive in the last few months. Definitely suggest you check it out (the ebook that explains it is free – how about that!).
Daily Celebrations – this is something I’ve added recently. I noticed that I wasn’t really acknowledging my ‘wins’ on a daily basis. I was getting glum and bummed when things didn’t turn out EXACTLY as I wanted, and I wasn’t celebrating and appreciating what I had accomplished.
This is my place to write down the little wins I have during the day – like when I really didn’t want to write some copy and got myself into a good feeling place and then actually enjoyed doing it. That’s a BIG win, actually, and something I would have previously glossed over.
The Sticky-Notes (!!!)
This is a huge part of what makes this fun for me. I have a (ahem)… shall we say ‘sizeable’ collection of interesting, fun and playful post-its, some of which you see in the pictures. Where in the world, you ask, did I find such WONDERFUL things? Here are my sources (and please, don’t keep these a secret – I want them to make more and more and more varieties so I can have more and more and more FUN WITH THEM!):
I’m linking to Cavallini’s store on Amazon because a) I LOVE Amazon and b) You can buy from there, and you can’t buy directly off their website (unless you can and want to buy wholesale).
This company has wonderful stuff! A few different ‘brands’ underneath them and some really playful post-its and things. I love the variety and the fun designs. One thing though… the post-it glue isn’t the best, so they don’t stick too well. I glue most of my post-its down in my book anyway (the loose ends at least), so it doesn’t bother me. And, I happen to have a handy-dandy glue stick because…
The book is brilliant. All by itself it’s a fabulous piece of art. Each page is fun, whimsical, and new. It’s hard to put something on some of them (and, in a few cases, I haven’t). I use colored markers to fill things in sometimes (yes, I have a coloring book… ;- )), I doodle on the pages, I paste magazine pics, I create themes of images and colors, I add stickers – I make it FUN.
“What is this amazing and wonderful book,” you ask?
Well, I will not wait a second longer to tell you…
They have a wonderful video on their site here (you have to click ‘watch the video’).
All the books, rather ingeniously, come with a pen that is also a glue-stick that is attached to the book, so it’s always handy.
Smash books are FABULOUS! You can get them in a variety of places now including Target and Michaels – as well as online through places like Amazon.
I also like some of the accessories Smash Book has – my favorite is the Blank Smash Pad.
It’s awesome! (And, because I have that fab glue stick, I can use the pages right there in my book, just like the stickies. YAY!)
Ok, now that you know what an incredible geek I am, tell me how you are going to start making your planning process fun… so that you’ll actually do it. The FUN is up to you…
I’ll go cross off ‘blog post’ from my short list of today’s activities. :- )
And, as I work on my next marketing planning process, I’ll be making it more like arts & crafts – just for the FUN of it! There is absolutely no reason why the marketing planning process can’t include most (or ALL!) of these great tools.
P.S. Yes. I write small. Very very small.
(Nope. Pic has nothing to do with the topic. Just pretty… and maybe it will make you feel better after you read all the things that should be in a marketing plan… ;- ) )
I get the question, “What should be in a marketing plan?”, all the time…
Entrepreneurs understand that they will grow more reliably and effectively if they have a marketing plan (and a marketing calendar, along with a few other key pieces), but they really don’t know what belongs in one.
So, let’s talk about what should be in a marketing plan.
1. The Basics
The first pieces you want to include in your marketing plan are the basics. You want to get super clear on your target market, your ideal customer or client, and the message you are conveying to them. This information serves as a reminder to always focus your marketing efforts toward the people you want to reach and to always keep your primary message in mind as you draft different types of marketing.
This section also needs to include your goals. It can be helpful to have not just your overarching business goals here, but also short and long term business and marketing goals. These can include anything from very strategic pieces to very tactical pieces.
These are the pieces that will help you stay motivated and keep you on track.
2. Differentiators, Core Strategy & Brand Strategy
This is where you will get clear on what is known as your USP – your Unique Selling Proposition. This is the thing that makes you different, that helps you stand out from competitors, and will make you memorable to potential clients.
Here you will also include the core strategy behind the work that you and your business does as well as your brand strategy and how it will help to set you apart. It will also include elements like your story and how you relate to your ideal clients.
3. The Guts
This is where we start to get into the nitty-gritty of what should be in a marketing plan.
This section can vary depending on you and your business, but generally will include some or all of the following:
- Features & Benefits
- Marketing Materials
- Web/Online Strategy
- Lead Generation Strategy & Plan
- Lead Conversion Plan
- Referral Plan
- Customer Service Plan
- JV Plan
- Marketing Funnel
- Continuity Program
- Frequent Buyer/Rewards Program
- PR Strategy
- Marketing Calendar
- and more…
4. The Final Pieces
The final pieces that belong in your marketing plan include your testing and tracking systems for key metrics you will watch, your budget information, and any forecasts for your business that are related to your marketing (like your sales forecasts).
As you dig into what should be in your marketing plan, it’s important to understand that as you start out you may not need or want to include all of these pieces in your plan. This can be overwhelming, and therefore, end up counter-productive to your overall process. Your marketing plan should support you, help you to stay on track, and help to keep you accountable to yourself and anyone else who may be involved in your business.
If taking on all of these pieces is too much at the beginning, pick a few sections that will support you now and begin to work with them, setting an appointment in your calendar to re-visit the pieces and work on incorporating more on a monthly or quarterly basis until you have all the bases covered.
And, if you are curious about how to figure out what should go into YOUR marketing plan, check out my upcoming Marketing in the Morning™ webinar here. It’s free and I’m going to be sharing some of my BEST TIPS on making your marketing work – for you and for your bottom line. Don’t miss it – sign up here.
I am frequently asked questions about how to develop marketing strategies for small businesses, entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs.
So, in today’s post, I’ll share a few tips with you.
How to Develop Marketing Strategies – Step 1
The first thing you need to do is determine the basics – the 3 M’s of marketing – your market, your message and your media. You can read more about these items in my ‘Marketing Concepts‘ posts and articles.
Once you are clear on who your target market is, what the message is that you want to share and some of the media through which you can reach your target audience, you can start to build your strategy.
How to Develop Marketing Strategies – Step 2
The next step is to take a closer look at the media options you have selected. Now you want to determine, step-by-step, what you will do to get your message out through the different types of media.
As an example, lets say you’ve chosen direct mail as your media. Now you have almost unlimited options about what you can send and when you will send it.
Since most strategies will work best with multiple steps, the process of developing the marketing strategy will really be about figuring out the steps and touch-points you want in your direct mail campaign.
What you include will, in part, depend on the product or service you are marketing. You could include 1 or more post cards, letters, gifts (which could really include anything)…and basically anything from a rock with a message and postage on it to a prescription bottle with a message in it. The more creative you are the more likely it is that your mail will be opened and your message will be seen.
As you plan out the steps, you also should determine the timing for each piece, creating a calendar to follow as you implement.
How to Develop Marketing Strategies – Step 3
Now all you need to do is work on creating the marketing pieces themselves, with or without the support of others – including copy writers, graphic designers, direct mail specialists, etc., and begin to implement your marketing strategy.
If developing marketing strategy for your business is something that challenges you, you can work with a marketing consultant or coach to help you not just create them, but learn how to do it moving forward. Then, you can take what you learn and implement those strategies on your own or with your team.
When it comes to knowing how to develop a marketing strategy, it’s really pretty straight-forward. It’s a step-by-step process, like most other things in business and in life. You have choices and decisions to make, and once you put things out there, you will want to track the results and make incremental changes to continue to make your strategies more and more effective.
If you are curious about building strong marketing strategies for your business, then you’ll want to check out my upcoming Marketing in the Morning™ webinar – it’s live and free – you can register here.