The marketing world is in constant motion.

The trends, tactics, technology are ever-changing. A strategy that worked a couple of years ago may not give you the same results today.

That's why it is essential for any business that wants to stay ahead of the curve to keep up with the industry's latest developments.

The question is...

How can you be sure you're staying up to date with the times?

The best way to ensure that your brand remains relevant is to build a solid marketing strategy from the get-go.  On top of that, you must review your plan once in a while to make sure that you don't fall behind your competitors.

In this article, Harrison Baron, a digital marketing expert shares industry-dominating marketing tips to almost any business.

 

#1. Define Your Target Customer

 

Here's the thing...

You cannot create a marketing strategy for your business if you don't know your customer is.

So, before you put pen to paper, ask yourself, who am I trying to reach?

What demographics do my target clients have in common?

What are their pain points?

How is my product going to solve these challenges?

How does my ideal customer make his/her buying decision?

By knowing who you're talking to, you can structure your marketing messaging to understand your target customers.

On top of that, identifying who your prospects allow you to know which channels to use to ensure the message reaches your customer.

If you're targeting millennials, for instance, you may consider packaging your message in video format.

After all, millennials aged 26 to 35 years watch 10 to 20 hours of online video every week.

On the other hand, 57 percent of baby boomers are active on Facebook. In essence, this means you're likely to get a return on your investment if you reach this group of people through Facebook than YouTube or Pinterest.

 

#2. Know Your Product

 

Whether you're a startup or an established organization, you want to come across as an industry insider with in-depth knowledge about the topic.

The idea is to connect the dots between your product/services and end consumers. You see, product knowledge is essential because it allows you to create accurate and persuasive content.

Besides, potential customers tend to respond to enthusiastic content that shows how a product or service will solve their problems.

Ask yourself...

Why would a customer want your service or product?

In what way does the user's quality of life?

Would you buy this product? If not, why?

The "why not" may provide insights into potential downsides.

Who is most likely to buy the product? What's their age group? Where do they live?

How is your target market going about buying this type of product or service? Where do they get information to help them make a buying decision?

The point is, when you know your product inside out, it becomes easier to convince your target customer that the item offers the best solution for their problems.

 

#3. Research The Competition

 

Look...

You want to develop a marketing strategy for your business in the first place to outwit your competition.

You want to have a larger portion of the market. You want to have more customers. You want to stand out from your competition.

It makes perfect sense, therefore, to research your competition. The idea is to help you know what you're up against.

So, take time to study your competitor.

What are they doing?

Which marketing channels are they using?

How many customers are they reaching?

While you're at it, consider the location, quality of service, accessibility, values, and lifestyle. What will be most important to your target customers?

When you have enough data on your competition, the next step is to develop a marketing plan that will enable you to outperform them.

While it might take a while to come out on top, having a well-organized strategy increases your chance of standing out in the market.

Remember, you will never attract loyal customers if you don't have a unique selling point that makes you stand out from the rest.  And that takes us to our next point.

#4. Write Your USP

 

For starters, USP stands for Unique Selling Point.

More specifically, a USP is a compelling sentence that outlines the core values of your business. It focuses on what you serve, the benefits you offer to your customers, and why you're the most qualified business to provide the service.

Why do you need a USP?

Here's the thing, your USP is also your value proposition.

Put differently... it is what will drive your marketing efforts from messaging to branding.

Think of the USP as the values that guide your marketing plan. It can be the quality of your product, the excellent customer service desk, or the willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that you solve your client's pain points.

Here's an example of a compelling Unique Selling Proposition by FedEx Corporation.

How do you create a USP for your business?

You start with using the info you've collected about your customers, competition, and products.

 

#5. Outline Your Resources

 

You must know how much money you will need to actualize your marketing strategy.

It is essential to mention here that your budget ultimately determines how long your plan will run. Be sure to set realistic expectations with your budget.

As a rule of thumb, the bigger and well-funded your competitor is, the more you're likely to spend.

Therefore, it is crucial to set a budget to help your team follow through with your plan and reach essential goals.

Plus, when you know how much you will need, you don't run into debt. Most importantly, it will enable you to set marketing goals that are within your reach.

Speaking of a marketing budget, you should keep in mind that money isn't your only resource. Your competitor may be having a huge budget, but you can use other tactics to outperform them.

For instance, you can write better content, host educational webinars, and personal connections such as contacts in a leading media outlet.

Explore all the resources you can use to keep you ahead of the curve. Sometimes, it is the seemingly small things that can give an edge over your competitors.

 

#6. Build Buyer Personas

 

At this point, you want to get intimately familiar with the psychology of your target market. If you want your messaging to be effective and your brand enticing, you must know your customer better.

How do you do that?

Establish a profile of your ideal customer.

Collect enough data to help you form definite conclusions about potential customers. What trait do you expect the average member of your target audience to have?

Let's say you're targeting Gen Z.

Some of the traits to guide your content:

- They love video – 85 percent of teenagers are actively on YouTube.

- They're interested in experiences, not products.

- They trust influencers more than celebrities.

What's more?

When promoting your content for this audience, you're better at using platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

As a business owner, the takeaway is that you're likely to achieve more success if your audience's most intimate characteristics are correct.

Some free tools you can use to build buyer personas include:

 

- DigitalMarkter's Customer Avatar Sheet

- FileStage's Effective Buyer Persona Template

- Hubspot's Make My Persona Tool

 

#7. Talk To Your Customers

 

While most of your potential customers are likely to face the same pain point, these problems' primary causes can vary from one customer to another.

That's why blog market research is a crucial component of identifying your customer pain points.

You can get the information you need to help you pinpoint your customer's problem by:

 

Conducting Qualitative Customer Research

 

You can learn your prospect's problems by listening to them. When you have a one on one chat with customers, you can get detailed truths instead of using questionnaires.

Conducting Qualitative Sales Research

If you have a sales team, you can ask them for feedback on your audience's pain points. The sales reps are in the frontline, interacting with customers every day, making them a valuable information source.

Other ways to identify you can talk to your customers include;

- Social listening

- Participating in relevant conversations on platforms such as Quora, Reddit, etc.

- Using Audience Data to Create/ Improve Content

 

#8. Determine Your Pricing

 

Here's where most people creating a business marketing strategy fail.

You want to price your product in a way that guarantees a profit. Even so, you want a reasonable profit margin.

When it comes to pricing, research how much your competition charges and determine what works for you.

You have to be smart about this. High prices may chase your customers, while ridiculously low rates will make your clients think your product's quality is substandard.

How do you make sure that you're selling at a price your customers can afford?

 

Look At The Demographics

 

The best way to know who needs your products or service is to do a demographic analysis. Factors that can help you determine who is most likely to buy from you include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Ethnicity

 With this information, you can narrow down your target customer's day to day activities and buying decisions.

Communicate With Your Target Customer Using Psychographics

 

Demographics enable you to know who is buying your products or services. Psychographics, on the other hand, tell you why they purchase it.

The more insights you can get about your potential customer, the easier it is to fix the price. Psychographics include;

  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Hobbies
  • Personality

Psychographic profiling is all about putting yourself in a buyer's shoes to determine what motivates them to buy.

 

#9. Define Your Marketing Methods

 

Now that you understand your target customer, market, budget, and price, it is time to choose the marketing mix. This is a strategy that will best promote your business and showcase your Unique Selling Proposition.

How will you show your target client the value of what you're selling and convince them to buy? Will you use direct mail, SEO, online advertising, trade shows, or TV ads?

The best way to determine which marketing method to use is to look at your competition. What strategy are they using? Can you replicate this tactic? Will it work for your business model, or do you need an entirely different approach?

When you establish the correct marketing mix, roll out your plan to attract the right customers, differentiate your business from competitors, and position your enterprise as the ideal solution for your client's pain points.

 

#10. Update Your Marketing Strategy

 

A good business marketing plan needs to evolve and change over time, keeping up with your industry and market changes.

So, be sure to revisit your strategy once every quarter to see if you're achieving your goals as per your budget. Here's how you review your marketing strategy. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the same number of opportunities and leads as when you started your business?
  • Are the market dynamics in your industry changing?
  • Is the plan working well?
  • Is your business generating the expected results?
  • Is your business generating the expected income?
  • Do you need to change or tweak your marketing strategy? How long will it take to implement the changes?

 

The Bottom Line

 

Failure to plan is planning to fail, so they say.

If you don't have a marketing strategy, it will be challenging to fulfill your business's goals. The last thing you want to do is run a business with to clear, actionable path to success.

The strategies above are easy to implement and are a sure way to experience a positive ROI.

As stated, your customer, competition, and market keep changing, so your marketing efforts should change.

When you review and update your marketing strategy, you can meet your business and target customers' needs.

Need Help With Your Marketing Strategy?

Are you a startup looking to learn the ropes of creating a marketing strategy?

Are you a busy business owner who doesn't have the time to prepare a marketing plan?

No worries!

GrowthGenerators comprise a team that'll help you develop marketing tactics to help propel your business to the next level.

Hit the contact us button today to connect with one of our digital marketing experts, and we'll keep it up from there.

See you one the other end!

Published on:

Friday, November 20, 2020