Cracking the code to successful marketing in five steps
A brand new year means well-intentioned resolutions for your business, and, in particular, for marketing your business. Do any of these sound familiar?
- This year, I’m going to post more regularly on social media.
- This year, I’m going to send out my newsletter every [insert week/month/fortnight].
- This year, I’m going to revamp my website.
The list probably goes on, and I don’t want to put a dampener on it for you, but you’re going to fail to do all the things you planned until you do one really important thing.
Plan for marketing success. It’s the single, most important thing that you need to do before you get in touch with your web developer, spend money on a marketing platform or start writing down your blog post topics for January.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying. And it’s true. Think about all the effort you put into planning your business. That same amount of effort needs to be applied to your marketing if you’re going to get results.
There are five things you need to put some thought into to help you create successful marketing activities. Without these five things, your marketing will be less impactful, less targeted and produce poor results.
So, what are the five things? I’m going to tell you.
1. The first thing you need to think about is who your ideal customer is. If you already have customers, then think about the types of people who buy from you. What do they have in common? What types of things do they buy? What do they typically spend? How often do they buy? If you’re just getting started, answer these questions by painting a picture of the type of person you’d like to appeal to. The idea here is to be as specific as possible. If your customers don’t fit into one type, that’s OK. Go through this exercise as many time as you need to, so you understand your customers completely.
2. Now you need to turn your thoughts to what you want to achieve. I always talk about specific measurable goals, and this is where you need to set them. I know you’ll be reading this and thinking, “well, I want to sell more,” but that isn’t enough to be your what. You need your goal to be SMART.
For example, increase sales of x products to existing customers by 15% in the next six months. Now you know what you’re trying to achieve, and by when.
3. This is where you think about why people would want to buy from you instead of your competitors. What makes your business different? Putting in some effort into your thinking here is really going to be able to help you. You’ll be able to tell potential customers what makes your business unique and you’ll be able to give current customers even better service.
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4. You’re now ready to work out where your customers can be reached – physically and online. There’s a really simple way to find out. By asking them. You might be asking yourself why you need to know where your existing customers are. The reason is that if they read a specific magazine, or to a specific event or are active on a specific social media channel, it’s likely other people like them are there too. These are your potential customers, so knowing where you can find them will make your marketing more effective.
5. Now you get to look at all the tools in your armoury to help you reach all those people, new and current, with your marketing activities. Write down all the ways you have at your disposal – website, social media, email marketing, blog, advertising, events and so on.
Follow these five simple steps to make sure your marketing activities are always a hit with your audience.