Identifying 5 places to start when thinking about your marketing strategy

When I am approached by new clients who are looking for marketing help, they usually come to our first meeting with a plan of what they want to do. Often, on the top of the list are two things: a logo redesign and launching Facebook ads. While those things are important and do have a place in the marketing strategy, they come into play much further down the line.

Whether you are a small start-up looking to get your name out there, or an established family business just looking for a refresh, I like to start all clients at the same place…the beginning.

I schedule a meeting where I bring five questions to ask and then I just listen. Listen to what they want, where they have been or ideas they have. It’s in this meeting where we really start to unpack things and realize where the true potential lies to take their business to the next level.

1).  What makes your business unique, or said differently – Why am I, the customer, choosing you over the next guy?

You would be surprised, but it doesn’t always come easy for business owners to tell me in a succinct manner what it is that makes them unique. They all have something that does, but often they do not let it shine for the world to see. Once we discover what that unique quality is, whether it’s a “one-stop-shop” model or a customer satisfaction program, we can build a strategy around this offering and target it to the appropriate audience.

Speaking of audience that brings me to my second point…

2). Who is the customer using your product/service and is that your desired target audience?

Remember those Facebook ads you proposed? Well, we can’t properly set those up and get good results without knowing who we’re going after.

Who is your customer? Think about both demographics and psychographics. Are they women or men? Older or younger? Do they have a high household income or lower? Are there kids in the house or not? What are their hobbies, likes, dislikes?

And…is this the customer base you want? Or do you want to redirect your business to a different segment? Understanding your desired audience so that we can properly reach them is such an important piece of the puzzle that cannot go overlooked.

3). What are your goals for your business and where do you see the business in 5-10 years?

This goes hand-in-hand with the desired target customer. Because if you have big dreams for your business and you would like to expand into different regional areas, you need to be aware of the different audience targets and how you’re going to attract them.

If you have a local boutique and you want to grow your online retail business, then obviously, your website design and eCommerce functionality need to be a primary focus of the marketing strategy.

Or if your goal is to be second-to-none in your industry with customer service, then we need to make sure your customers see that. It can start with a chatbot on your website where customers can easily reach employees with questions, it could mean having the owner’s personal number on any collateral, or maybe it’s empowering employees to satisfy the customer regardless of a policy.

Understanding and stating your goals is important to ensure the strategy we craft is pointed in the direction of meeting your goals.

4). What analytics and data reports do you currently have in place?

If the answer is none, this is where we need to start. We need to be tracking website behavior, social media behavior, sales behavior, etc. One of the first things I do with business owners is ask for all the analytical reports they have. These reports are like breadcrumbs…if you look at these and study them, they will tell you exactly where you need to go to improve your business. I promise!

5). Setting realistic expectations – from timing to budgets to sales.

As the saying goes…” Rome wasn’t built in a day” the same holds true for improving or building your business. Once we craft a plan, expect some wins, but also expect some losses. The key with those losses is this, learn something and move on quickly.

Also, make sure to set a realistic budget. I tell all my clients, any budget is a good budget, it just must match your expectations. If you have a modest budget, we can work with that, we just may focus our efforts on more cost-effective tactics.

These are just a few things to get you started on the right path with your marketing strategy. I hope you find them helpful when thinking about your business. To discuss how to take your business to the next level, give us a call. We’d love to help!