Marketing is not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Direct Mail or any of the other terms that are thrown around everyday.
Marketing consists of the Four P's which are product, price, place, and promotion. With that being said it is a full out system that must be thought out in order for it to be effective and most importantly a long term business.
Do not confuse marketing with marketing channels because optimizing for marketing channels does not mean you are doing good marketing.
You have to have several things in place in order to market your products and services successfully. The first thing you have to have if you ever want to succeed is you have to have product market fit.
If the product is serving a niche of people who need/want what you have then NO amount of Facebook ads, Direct Mail, or Public Relations will make it successful....period!
So you have to focus on getting the product market fit first before you try to attempt to ramp up your efforts. The best way to do this is to do very small tests to figure out who is going to buy and who is your product and service going to serve.
The funny thing about when you first start out is you have what I like to call your naive assumptions of who is going to be your customer and how everything is going to work out exactly how you plan it but then business life hits and after many different testing scenarios you end up figuring out that the people you thought were going to buy your product are not the people you "chose" but a different segment in the market.
Now the businesses that end up succeeding a lot of the times are the ones who are open and flexible enough to pivot with the market and then create an all out strategy to market and serve that niche.
Do not make the mistake of being so stubborn of who you want to serve that you miss out on great opportunities because of what you want (which is thinking too much about yourself) as opposed to what the market wants!
The market rewards those who put them first and serve their needs period, so coming up with a marketing strategy with that in mind is going to be extremely beneficial as you plan.
Once you have a product market fit you are then going to want to start thinking of a multi channel approach to get your products and services out there so you can build brand awareness.
For every channel that you use you are going to want to think through how the other channels and stages of when people are seeing you impact your messaging.
I believe that you should have a consistent message that will be memorable to your target audience but on each channel I believe you should try to switch up the type of content that is being put out and a slight variation of it.
For example, maybe on Facebook you are using a video marketing strategy and then on Instagram you are utilizing a picture/meme strategy and then in your direct mail pieces you are using a direct response to a website strategy and then on your blog you are using an SEO customer service strategy etc
The purpose is to think through all touch points and how that person is experiencing your brand and your marketing so the messages deepen the relationship and desire to do business with you.
Now the marketing does not end once you are trying and acquiring customers. The next and in my opinion the most important part of marketing is how to build brand loyalty so people stick around forever.
I think the mentality of trying to keep customers forever makes a huge difference in how you behave and how you market to your people.
Having the thought that customers are replaceable and not important is one of the most toxic behaviors and beliefs I have seen business owners use and it is no way to keep your customers around.
When you are developing a marketing strategy for existing customers think about how you can reward them during their experience with you and how you can make them into super fans.
Think of your customers more as your friends as opposed to just dollar signs and you will be able to create much more successful campaigns and of course the lifetime value of that customer will go up.
So here are some action steps that you can take to start building a marketing strategy
- research where your target customers are and then choose several different channels that you will use
- combine both online and offline styles of marketing into your overall plan
- create lead magnet offers to draw people into your business
- train your team and/or staff on customer service and follow up
- write down and create your numeric goals and targets such as acquisition costs, turnaround time, etc
- do as many marketing tests per week as possible while tracking and iterating the results