Marketing has many common principles that always apply—no matter the industry, product, or service. I’m often asked if marketing is actually a beneficial investment. Being a marketer, I may be biased, but the answer truthfully is yes! However, success in marketing takes great preparation and execution. There is no such thing as luck, just hard work.
Since it’s March—a time for luck and new growth—it seemed appropriate to write this post following the theme of a four leaf clover.
Roots & Stem – Your Brand is the Root of Everything.
Are you telling your story in a compelling manner? Do you have an appealing logo that represents your mission? Do you have a good reputation within your community and among your competitors? What has your marketing efforts already told your customers about you and your product? At 212, we break these questions down in the brand equation:
Story + Marketing + Reputation = Brand
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- When did your company begin?
- Why do you sell what you sell?
- What is your business’s personality style?
- What kind of customer experience do you offer?
Leaf 1 – Determine Your Market
This is where your identity and personality unite with your target audience. Who is your target audience? Are you sure? For example, your marketing strategy isn’t focused enough if you only say those in “health care” are your target market. Consider the many subcategories:
- Hospital systems
- Physicians offices
- Orthopedic engineering firms
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Specialty care
- Counseling centers
Even if your product meets a need all of these subcategories have, your marketing strategy must adapt to best attract each one.
Along with this, do you know where your target audience “hangs out” already? Gone are the days where you go door-to-door or call everyone in the phonebook peddling your wares. But your job can be made a ton easier if you simply think beyond the standard brick-and-mortar locations. For example, do your customers already spend time on:
Leaf 2 – Set Goals
Even if you think you already have concrete goals, you may not. Many set goals that are still in a shot in the dark—accompanied with high levels of hope that you’ll actually hit something.
Goals can come in many shapes and sizes. Like:
- How many leads do you want to generate in a certain time period?
- How many new Facebook likes do you want to get in a month’s time?
- How much income do you need to get in a four-month period?
Saying “I want more leads by the end of the first quarter” is too vague. Instead, strategically evaluate how many new leads you need to meet and exceed your budget demands. Something like “Sign 15 new leads by the end of the first quarter” would be a better goal.
Don’t be vague, make it attainable so you don’t have to rely on hopes/dreams/prayers. Above all, make it measurable. Set yourself up for success.
Leaf 3 – Craft Messaging
Every business has to communicate with their customers. The trick is doing it effectively. How will you present your goals to the customers in a way that reaches them, identifies with a felt need, and propels them to take action and interact with your business?
Crafting your messaging can be one of the hardest parts of your marketing efforts. A few tips to help bring extra oomph to your marketing messages include:
- Tell your story. People are drawn to a compelling story. But they also can tell when you’re not being genuine. If you feel like you have to tell someone else’s story as your own, you don’t know your true story. Get back to your roots and see your story as a way to connect with and inspire others.
- Keep your messaging simple. Get to the root of who you are and what you do, and why, and go with that. Customers want to identify with businesses because of a shared passion/commitment. (Think slogan, coupons, blogs, website content, etc…)
- Be concise. Everything relies on how well you’re able to communicate a lot in just a few words. For example, instead of saying “We will now be going to start offering a special discount of 20% off every Tuesday when you come into our store…” try “Now offering a 20% discount every Tuesday!”
- Be true to who you are. Avoid using language that doesn’t align with your company’s style.
- Choose your carrier wisely. Make sure your messaging carrier (online, print, video, social media, etc…) is geared toward and attracts the right customers. Don’t advertize in newspapers if your target audience hangs out on social media.
- Include a call to action. This helps direct the customer to do what you’re wanting, as well as provide you with measurable statistics.
Leaf 4 – Analyze Success and Make Changes
Marketing is never a one-and-done process. Instead, there must be intentional analyzing of the effectiveness of your goals. This takes time, a critical eye, and expertise in making changes.
Analyzing your efforts helps reveal customer preferences and changes, if your marketing message needs tweaking, and what just isn’t working. If you realize areas that require adjustments, set new goals with those adjustments in mind, and keep pushing forward.
Unless you know exactly what you’re looking at, this can be an overwhelming step. That’s something we can help you with (and with all the other steps as well)!
Let us come along side and help you passionately and effectively tell your story to the masses. We promise to help you reach your highest potential by developing your brand, building your reputation, and sharing it in a beautiful way.
Start the process by contacting us here!