Archive for marketing concepts
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.
Here’s a question I get all the time…
People ask, “What is a marketing plan and why is it important… is it like a business plan? Do I have to create one? What goes in it?”
I don’t even get to answer before there are about 5 more questions added on the end… it’s something people understand is important, but they don’t know enough about it to even decide if they want to learn more.
What Is A Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is basically a way to lay out (to plan) the marketing for your business, your products, and/or your services. It covers everything from information about your target market to specific step-by-step processes you will use to build certain marketing systems and strategies.
It is a document that helps to guide you while you build your marketing, it helps you stay on track to building a more successful business, and it helps you focus your attention on your marketing – which can be a pretty hard for many people.
A marketing plan, the way I help my clients build them, is for internal use within your business, and serves as a map to help you and your team get to the destination you’ve chosen for your business.
Why Is A Marketing Plan Important
Frankly, marketing is one of the single most important places you can focus your attention in your business. Particularly if you hope to create a successful business. Marketing equals money,when it is done right, and most businesses don’t put nearly enough attention on their marketing planning process, or on their marketing.
That means that creating a solid marketing plan that can help guide you throughout the year, and help you stay focused on building the systems you determined, would support your business growth the way you want it to go. It is one of the best ways to assure your success.
Marketing is challenging for most people, until they learn more about it and have some successful experiences… then they often become ‘converts’ and start singing the praises of marketing. Until then (which can take a little while) having a plan or a guide can make all the difference between focusing on the things that will create income and bring in customers, and the things that are perhaps easier to do, but that won’t have the same level of impact.
So, what is a marketing plan and why is it important? The bottom line is it is a guide to building a successful business, and it’s important because without one, you can get hopelessly lost and never reach your destination which in this case, is a level of success with your business that makes you happy.
And, speaking of marketing plans… we’re going to be talking about them and several other key tips to having marketing that really works to bring in the clients and increase your bottom line on my next webinar. If you’re interested, you can register for it 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.