5 Easy Tips for Creating a Marketing Strategy That Actually Works
A marketing strategy builds brand awareness and captures customers by communicating the value of your product or service. To develop a successful marketing strategy, you need to understand the purpose of your business and how your product or service meets your customers’ needs. Though there are numerous ways to create a successful marketing strategy, these five simple tips work – and are a great, easy way to get started.
1.) Develop a strategy that is rooted in your company’s mission and vision.
While you may have considered the importance of your mission and vision statement related to your business plan, it is also integral to your marketing strategy. You must be clear on what your business does, what it hopes to achieve, and why. Only then will you be able to fully connect with your customer base by conveying a message that articulates:
- Who your company is; and
- Why your customers should care.
Many companies have shallow, empty mission and vision statements. Yours needs to be more specific by conveying your company’s values and goals in detail. This will help define what your business offers, how it offers it, and who it benefits – and serve as the foundation for your marketing strategy.
2.) Analyze your products and services based on the 4Ps (otherwise known as the marketing mix).
The four Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) have been widely used by marketers since the 1960s. While some components of this theory are a bit outdated (for example, customers no longer need to go to a physical “place” or location to purchase an item, and marketers are certainly not in charge of setting a product price), the concept behind this theory is still applicable today.
In essence, the goal of the 4Ps is for the marketer to focus on the key elements of the company, product, or service to showcase the value to the consumer. So, to create a marketing strategy that works, you will have to take some time to analyze your business offerings (as well as the marketing initiatives you have in place) based on this marketing mix.
Review your product or service features, as well as the cost, availability, quality, and appearance, so that you can understand the appeal (or lack thereof) to customers. Then, compare what you are offering to that of competitors, both large and small so that you are aware of what sets you apart from others.
What problems do your products or services solve?
Is there a unique aspect to the product or service you are offering or something unique about your company? How can the value of this product or service be communicated to a potential customer? What makes your company the clear choice to do business with?
What is your product’s market potential?
How many customers can benefit from your product or service? Are there opportunities you have not considered? Are there opportunities you have missed? Take some time to determine if you fail to capture customers in any given area and why.
Is there room for improvement?
When it comes to the products or services you offer, what can you improve? Could it be the pricing? The customer experience? Community involvement? This can differentiate you from the competition.
3.) Understand your customers on a deeper level through market segmentation, customer segmentation, and buyer personas.
Market segmentation divides your market based on demographics, needs, priorities, shared interests, and other behavioral criteria. Customer segmentation breaks it down further by focusing on specific customer characteristics, which you can use to develop customer personas. Customer personas can help you understand your product or service related to your customer’s goals (on a deeper, more emotional level).
Who is your target customer, specifically?
Be as detailed as possible: age, gender, socio-economic status, employment status, location, behavioral traits, and objectives (personal and professional). In a B2B setting, this would represent the goals of the company you are selling to.
When creating your customer personas, remember that your product or service may appeal more to a niche market than the masses. If this is the case, you may need to define your market further, based on values, hobbies, or even a quality.
Customers want to feel connected to a brand beyond their purchase. So, learning what drives your customer’s behavior is what will help you connect more deeply. As you create your persona and understand who they are, be mindful of the “why” behind what they do.
What are your customer’s needs?
How does your product or service help meet a specific need? How could you position your company to demonstrate the value of this product or service to your target customer, long-term? Impeccable service? A dedication to ESG initiatives?
What prevents your customer from moving forward with the sale? Is it a failure to understand the value that your product or service provides or something else that hinders them from taking the next step?
What is the best way to reach your target customer? In other words, how do they consume content? Is it through social media? Live events? How can you influence them? Think about various market opportunities that may present themselves and how you can convey your core competencies.
4.) Determine your message and the customer’s journey.
Once you know who your customer is and what they need, you will have to figure out how to craft your message. This should go beyond just the solution your product or service provides. It needs to showcase the value your company can give the customer, too – not just the sale. The message should be clear, concise, and consistent across platforms.
View the customer journey from the perspective of new prospects – who have never heard of your company, warm prospects – who are familiar with your offerings but have yet to commit, and hot prospects – who are on the cusp of purchase to determine if your message captures customers across cycles.
Feel free to request feedback from a small group of target customers, keep your launch regional to gauge, use a targeted marketing program to evaluate performance, or simply conduct an internet survey. Then, based on testing, you can tweak your messaging for greater appeal.
5.) Outline your marketing plan (and budget).
So, what makes a marketing strategy work when it’s finally executed? A detailed marketing plan. A marketing strategy and a marketing plan are not the same. Your marketing strategy is essentially the reason behind your marketing efforts, while your marketing plan is the roadmap used to execute that strategy. To make sure your plan is successful, you must:
Have the right people on the right teams.
Your team will need to implement your strategy well for it to be effective. So, if you don’t have the right individuals in the right places, your strategy will fall apart – regardless of how well thought out it is. You can achieve this by assigning a single owner for the project to ensure all components fall into place – overseeing timelines and quality.
Focus on one or two metrics.
When gauging the success of your marketing strategy, it is vital to remain focused on one or two metrics. If you continuously add new or change performance metrics, it will be difficult to measure your success. The main factors to observe are the impact on existing customers and new business while remaining focused on your big picture.
Adjust as needed.
The best plans are regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure they align with and achieve marketing objectives. So, as you track performance, adjust parts of your project as needed to ensure that you are on the right track – all while keeping the end goal in mind.
At 97 Degrees West, we can provide you with the insight needed to engage your customers and showcase your value. Contact us today to learn more.
Why your marketing needs to satisfy your customer’s basic needs first.
Developing a marketing strategy can be a challenge. Many companies try to engage customers at every touchpoint, creating campaigns that maximize their presence and reach. While this approach isn’t wrong, often, it doesn’t capture and retain customers. The reason why is simple. It fails to satisfy the customer’s basic needs.
Needs vs. Solutions – How marketing confuses the two.
Companies often place their customers in a box – only thinking of them related to purchasing their products or services. The trouble is, when companies only view their customers on a transactional basis, they fail to build a long-term partnership.
Your customers aren’t just looking for a product or service.
If targeting a business, that business wants to see why that product or service will enhance their company’s value. They want to feel that you are committed to their success. When targeting individual customers, the customers want to feel as if you care about them, on an individual basis, beyond just the product or service you are providing.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a way to understand human behavior.
Maslow’s Hierarchy has been around since 1943. You have likely learned about it in high school or college. While other studies have been conducted since then that adds to our overall understanding of human behavior, Maslow’s theory is still relevant in terms of human needs fulfillment and how that provides satisfaction.
Since Maslow depicts these needs within a hierarchy, to show how they relate to one another, it demonstrates how these needs impact human behavior on every level. As such, Maslow’s Hierarchy serves as an excellent resource for marketers to refer to as they work to understand consumer behavior.
How to merge Maslow’s Hierarchy and Marketing to maximize success.
Though only a theory, it is safe to say that consumer behavior and decision-making processes are driven by needs that run deeper than a product or service. So, as a Marketer, if you can identify what appeals to and motivates your customer, your marketing will be more successful.
Here’s how to get started:
Go beyond the data when creating customer personas.
Hard data is the driving force behind understanding consumer behavior. However, while building consumer personas based on data, we can sometimes lose sight of the human component behind those facts. This is where Maslow’s Hierarchy comes into play.
When reviewing hard data to develop a customer persona, think about where the customer’s needs fall into play at a basic, human level. This will help you understand your customers physically, psychologically, socially, and economically, allowing you to connect with customers more deeply. So, when creating a persona for your customers, ask yourself:
- What does the customer do? Understand their life, business, goals, and objectives – whether personal or professional, as they target their own customers, achieve personal milestones, expand their business, or simply tend to their families.
- What are some of their pain points? Take some time to research the customer’s challenges so you can formulate a meaningful solution. This solution shouldn’t just be transactional – but demonstrate a real value to them, long-term.
- Why now? Usually, the reason behind a customer wanting a product or service is a triggering event. When you identify the triggering event, you can identify the customer’s need at this present point in time.
Triggering events are vulnerable times for any customer that your messaging could be built around. This will not only capture your customers’ attention but showcase the value of your brand. Think about Maslow: When a customer’s needs are “met,” they can move up the Hierarchy towards better things. Your product or service can help them achieve that.
Triggering events can range from a competitor launching a new product to a merger or acquisition or even an expansion or relocation. It can be a family welcoming a new baby, being ready for a job interview, or the first time buying a home.
Make sure your message is clear so that you can overcome any barriers.
Be clear and captivating with your communication. Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy, individuals stay within one level or another, so targeting multiple needs can be difficult if the messaging is not clear. To keep messaging on track, revisit these two questions:
- Is our messaging addressing the customer’s needs? It should recognize the “trigger” and pain points to convey why your product or service is necessary for success.
- Does the messaging convey value beyond the solution? You want to make sure what you are sharing is not just transactional (you need “A,” we provide “A”). It must represent the long-term value of your company. Otherwise, you’ve missed an opportunity to capture your target market.
Remember, every customer has a “barrier” that prevents them from moving forward with a service. For some, it may be the price. For others, the timeline. Some customers may even push back due to poor experiences in the past where other companies failed to deliver. As you keep Maslow in mind, you can determine what that barrier may be. Then, you can showcase why that barrier does not apply as you market your own product or service to them.
Here at 97° West, our customer-centric approach to branding and marketing is specially designed to present your product or service as a long-term solution. Contact us today to learn more.