Whenever I work with a small business you are just so keen to get into the tactics of a Facebook Page or a google search campaign or a referral program rather than the strategy behind this activity. It is understandable because it is easy to see that marketing activities create action, leads and sales.However, it is critical to get clear about your marketing strategy first, if you want to attract the right clients and have a plan that will work for the long term.
Here are the steps I go through when building a marketing strategy for a small business.
1. Understand who you are
One of the first keys to developing a great marketing strategy is understanding who you are, what you do and why you do it. It is this insight that helps to determine why people will work with you and how to attract them.You need to ask yourself the following questions: What is the personal aim of your business? Why did you start it? What is the company aim of your business? It is important to start here because it often gives you the insights why you are special. Many business owners lose sight of in this because of the grind of running their business.
Tip: use my True North as a tool for uncovering this and visit StartwithWhy.com.au
2. Who is your ideal client
Once you understand your business and the value you are trying to provide, you can profile those people that you will best serve. Note: this is not everyone with a pulse! Who are those customers that motivate you, that are most likely to succeed by using your products or services? Narrow your focus to these.
Tip use my template: profile your ideal customers.
3. What do you want to be known for: Brand
You can only choose one thing that you want to be known for in the eyes of your customers. If it is one thing, what would that be?
4. Where are you going?
What is your vision for your business? Have you thought about where you are going? Do you know what business model you need to achieve your vision. Use this vision planning template
5. How do you do what you do?
People buy because of the experience they have. It is the how you do something that is as important as the what. Those customer touch-points where you have the chance to show how you do things differently are chances to build a real point of difference. These are embedded in a culture of your business. Culture is created by behaviour and values. Use this strategy planner template.
6. Steps in building your marketing plan for your business.
There are so many marketing tactics you can choose from to build your business. I have put them into several categories. Your marketing strategy, Marketing and sales tools, Customer Insight and Innovation, and your brand identity. To learn more about these steps visit my e-book Steps in Building your business.
7. Core marketing messages.
Once you know who you are, what you stand for and how you are different you can start to tailor your marketing messages to your ideal customers. Core marketing messages template.
8. Marketing planner
Which is how you record the tactics of how to attract your ideal customers can then be planned out. Marketing planner template
9. Forecast and Measure.
You need to measure all that you do and it is a good habit to get into. These days most things can be measured, particularly things we do online. Get the best feedback you can from all the marketing activities you do. Remember to always ask your customers and employees for their feedback. Here is my forecasting template
Everyone needs a helping hand in business. You need someone to bounce ideas off and collaborate. Networking can provide you with some of this but I find having a mentor or coach is a great way to keep you focused and on-track. It is all about having an investment mindset.