There are many reasons to start a business. Some entrepreneurs see their business purely as a revenue stream. Others, however, have a genuine passion for their market. They don't just want to succeed; they want to build a support system for their customers’ success. For them, it's not about making money but leaving a legacy that will endure for generations.
While the end goals may be different, they both have one thing in common: they need their business to thrive. Whether your plan is generating additional sources of income or cornering the market, the pathway to your destination is good marketing.
A public-facing business will live or die by its marketing efforts. The general consumer base will give a startup corporation a certain amount of trust. That trust, however, will quickly erode if the marketing is poor.
Consider that your marketing is the "main face" of your business. Long before a patron ever walks through your doors or places an order, they will have seen some form of your marketing.
These first impressions are crucial to building trust and solid customer relationships.
An effective marketing strategy expresses to your potential customer how your product or service can solve their problem or improve their life.
The customer should not doubt why your product is the right choice for them, and they shouldn't feel like they are coerced or pressured into that decision.
One of the common mistakes that many new marketers make is to try too hard to convince the customer from a sales perspective. Instead, a soft sales approach that focuses on your product or services' merits allows the customer to make a positive choice.
The customer experience is the first and most essential aspect of your marketing strategy. Read on as we explore each segment of what comprises effectual marketing and boost your business to the next level.
What Is A Marketing Strategy?
Effective marketing can be quite challenging! Though your product or service might be groundbreaking, convincing people to purchase from you is the main hurdle.
Getting your business in front of people is an excellent first step, but marketing goes further than that. A comprehensive marketing strategy expounds on your vision, clarifies your mission, and plans the steps to achieve them.
A marketing strategy is a set of goals and guidelines laid out for marketing a product or service. It differs from a marketing plan, which describes the actions and steps to implement a marketing strategy.
Creating and implementing a full-fledged marketing strategy requires expertise and planning, often needing more human resources, knowledge, and time than smaller companies can dedicate.
Marketing Operations Consulting can be a worthwhile option for those lacking the time and budget for a dedicated in-house marketing team. A marketing operations team can help with strategy development, including maximizing your reach and tracking results.
A coordinated marketing strategy involves building data-metrics which can be tracked and correlated over time. Using this data, you can follow your marketing's performance to ensure that you are hitting your target goals and delivering a message that resonates with your audience. If you don’t see the results you expect, your marketing strategy can also help inform you how to take corrective action.
The Best Marketing Strategies
There's no shortage of people claiming to have great marketing strategies, but the real proof is in the numbers. It doesn't matter how good you think your marketing is; the results speak for themselves.
Obviously, in today's digital age, social media and internet marketing factor heavily into modern strategy development. But just making posts on social media isn't enough. You must be able to leverage the medium to convey your message effectively.
Additionally, each aspect of your marketing campaign should have a "multi-pronged" approach. You shouldn't rely purely on one strategy while forsaking the rest. By diversifying your marketing, you have a higher likelihood of greater returns.
With that said, here are some of the best marketing strategies which have proven themselves to be worthwhile investments in the long-term.
Social Media and Digital Marketing
It's no secret that social media is a huge market today. With the average user accessing social media platforms eight times per day, most people spend much time viewing social media every day.
Knowing this, it makes sense to have a strong social media presence. Good social media marketing is more challenging than it seems at first. There's a significant amount of research required to craft an engaging social media presence. With an enormous amount of competition on the world-wide-web, a marketing consultant can help set your company apart from the glut.
This strategic marketing approach focuses on the generation and distribution of relevant and consistent content aiming to attract or maintain customers. Content marketing seeks to create trust, which will enable the audience to become potential customers (leads), and convert them to paying customers (sales).
Using this strategy, your company rises and falls by the content you generate. Consistently creating unique content is crucial to success with this strategy.
Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are several ways to conduct search engine marketing, and the method you choose depends on your business's particular goal.
First, there is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing in which the clicks and traffic serve to generate leads for your company. Here, advertisers pay for a position on search engine results pages via a never ending bidding system. The algorithm determines costs based on total number of clicks available against the bidding amounts of all potential bidders.
The second type of search engine marketing is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. A basic definition of SEO is where you carefully craft your web content, using specific keywords and phrases while providing the highest value to the reader in order to boost your page rank.
As your website grows in notoriety, it will attract more visitors, leading to more customers. While SEO marketing can potentially be less expensive to implement, you do not have guaranteed pay-per-click views.
Your marketing consultant will discuss the pros and cons of each strategy for your campaign.
Targeted marketing is another effective strategy that determines the business's target demographic and solely advertises to those most likely to buy your products or services. Targeted marketing is generally a "low risk, low reward" type of strategy. Since your target demographic is already inclined to buy from you, it is not a risky proposition. However, because you are only targeting this group, your customer pool is smaller.
The benefit of targeted marketing is that it can save you time and resources by focusing on the people most likely to be potential customers.
Growing your install base with targeted marketing often relies heavily on word-of-mouth, as your customers spread awareness of your products to like-minded people.
Define Your Business and Marketing Goals
The most fundamental aspect of effective strategy development is establishing clear goals and objectives.
By clarifying your marketing objectives, you eliminate ambiguities that can cause delays and confusion later on.
Ultimately your marketing goals should serve to accomplish your business goals, whether establishing a particular market share, stock price, or whatever your goals are.
The critical point here is that your goals meet specific criteria. Though it's relatively easy to set goals, it is rather challenging to set goals well. While a correctly set goal can be a terrific motivator to achieve results, a poorly defined goal can be disastrous.
An easy to remember acrostic, which we use to assist in goal-setting, is SMART:
- Specific - Set unambiguous goals that are straightforward, clear, and unmistakable.
- Measurable - Gauge your results over time to measure your progress.
- Achievable - Set realistic goals that serve as motivators towards future success.
- Relevant - Set goals that directly lead to your desired result without being distracted.
- Time-bound - Set a deadline to accomplish your goal, and stick to it.
Using SMART goals, you can accurately gauge your progress and your marketing campaigns' success.
Marketing goals tend to be long-term since it usually takes a few years to achieve success. They could include goals such as market development or increased market penetration. The former involves the sale of existing products and services to additional target markets, while the latter entails increased sales of existing products to current customers. These marketing goals must also be clear, practical, time-bound, relevant, and measurable, just like your business goals.
While you should monitor the progress of your marketing strategy, it should not require much alteration. A well-developed plan should already have provisions in place for any foreseen circumstances which may arise during execution.
Marketing hurdles, such as economic downturns and changes in demographics, should be considered as part of your strategy. This is another reason why marketing consulting is a valuable investment. Your consultant can "crunch the numbers" and prepare coherent action plans for any marketing issues that may arise, allowing you to take quick and decisive action.
Conduct A Market and Competitor Research
During strategy development, you should conduct extensive market research and compile detailed data about your customer base.
Typical areas of study include:
- Social trends,
- Market size,
- Demographics (gender, age, household income, and purchasing habits)
While this may seem like a costly prospect at first, good market research can save you a great deal of wasted revenue. For example, if you aren't aware of your market's income level, you could price yourself out of a market unknowingly.
Additionally, social trends can vary widely and be unpredictable, which is why we utilize AI-powered data-analysis. Using our state-of-the-art technology, we can reliably predict changing trends, allowing you always to stay ahead of the curve (and your competitors!)
Speaking of your competitors, when developing a marketing strategy, it's equally important to profile your competitors as much as you would with your customers. To compete appropriately, you should understand their supply chains, marketing tactics, pricing, and variety of products offered.
This data allows you to compare the strength of their brand, market saturation, and average marketing trends.
Competitor research enables you to identify your opportunities and strengths against your competitors.
In the process, you may also get to recognize your weaknesses. Conducting the appropriate research can show you valuable details regarding the current landscape and let you proactively prepare ahead of time.
Identify Your Tactical Marketing Mix
The final key to strategy development is your tactical marketing mix. While this may sound like a complicated term, it merely refers to combining several marketing tactics into one synergistic plan.
Your marketing strategy is more likely to be successful if you incorporate complementary marketing tactics. There's strength in numbers, and this adage is also true in marketing.
Consider the various aspects we've covered so far, such as:
- The products you promote
- The price you sell them that
- Your online presentation
Each of these plays a role in how your potential customers view your business. These aspects have some influence individually, and combined, their impact increases exponentially. Therefore, we cannot overstate the power of understanding your tactical marketing mix.
Just as a chair is supported with multiple legs, so too is your marketing strategy better supported with various techniques. The more aspects you employ in your tactical marketing mix, the stronger foundation your marketing will have, and the higher likelihood of success.
It's at this point where everything we have discussed comes together. When you have gathered all of the various data-metrics, leveraging that data is where it truly pays off. This is where a skilled marketing operations consultant can be worth their weight in gold. All of the data in the world is useless unless it can be appropriately interpreted and understood.
At Universal Creative Solutions, we conduct extensive online research on marketing tactics during strategy development. We are able to analyze, test, and process your data, ultimately predicting the best possible path to reach your goals.
Use Your Data to Reach Your Dreams
We specialize in using data to identify and solve problems, allowing our clients to achieve their dreams. Contact us today, and let our team of expert consultants put their knowledge and resources to work for you.