Every business starts with a plan. They have objectives and goals they want to achieve. It’s the vision of the business and essentially the roadmap to success.
A roadmap involves operating budgets, cash-flow, profit margins & sales projections. But where many businesses fail is because they lack an understanding of their customers.
According to an article in Forbes.com, one of the five reasons that 8 out of 10 businesses fail is that they are out of touch with their customers in deep dialogue. There’s no built relationship. Businesses don’t know what it’s like to walk in their customer’s shoes.
This is exactly why a marketing strategy is essential for every business. It’s exactly why businesses need to understand how marketing works for them and their customers.
A Marketing Strategy is About Understanding Who Your Ideal Customer is and How to Reach Them.
A business shouldn’t invest in marketing to every channel out there. It’s a waste of money and a poorly planned strategy. An effective strategy should involve specific customer targets and how you can build a relationship with them.
Here are key factors when your business crafts a marketing strategy:
Know your target customer.
Knowing your target customer is knowing how to empathize with them. You’ll understand their frustrations and how you can help them. Create a buyer persona for your business. This is essentially a representation of your ideal customer.
As you dive deeper into what your target customer likes and dislikes and how you can help them, you’ll discover more about your target market. For instance, where they are located, their gender and age, education level and more. Knowing more about your target customer will only help you identify how you can help them more.
Who are your competitors?
A marketing strategy should also involve understanding what your competition is offering. You have to remember, you aren’t the only brand in your market. Every niche has competition.
That’s why it’s even more important that you understand your competition; what they are doing on social media; how they are telling stories in their emails; what free guides or promotions they may offer.
You can use the tool Moz Open Site Explorer to see what external links your competitors are using with their SEO. It’s a great tool to see your competitor’s content strategy and what kind of content they are putting out.
More importantly, a tool like Moz as well as some research into their social media accounts and strategy can give you insight into what your competition is NOT doing. You can figure out how to solve your customers’ problems in a better way but also in a way that your competition is failing to do.
Figure out what platforms you are going to use.
Your business shouldn’t advertise or promote content on every channel unless your customer is hanging out on every social media platform. Another way to think of your marketing channels is to break it into 3 sections:
- paid advertising.
Earned media is mentions, shares, reposts & reviews on social media. Word-of-mouth is another example of people spreading information about your business that you haven’t paid for.
Owned media is when it’s within your control. For instance, your blog, website & email is under your control. You own this media and you can decide how much you want to advertise on what you own.
Paid media is display ads, paid influencers, social media ads & pay per click. It’s designed to reach a specific audience. It’s targeted to that audience. It’s spread brand awareness to that audience.
Understanding your marketing strategy and how to reach your audience is essential for a business to thrive. Your business, however, needs to be strategic in figuring out their core audience and how to advertise to them. They need to figure out how to build a relationship with that customer without alienating or bombarding them with advertising.
Each of these strategies I’ve mentioned can benefit your business. They can help your business thrive and scale. It’s why every business doesn’t just need a business strategy, it also needs a marketing strategy to develop and succeed.
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