If I had a dollar for every marketing strategy or tactic I tried and didn’t work, I’d have a lot of cash in my pocket. Let’s face it, not all marketing strategies are going to be home runs — some work and others fail somewhere along the way.
The difference isn’t necessarily the budget, and sometimes it’s not about the time or effort invested, either. It’s not necessarily about whether they are managed by a marketing expert, a small business owner, or a fifty-something entrepreneur; good marketing strategies share certain characteristics even when they are wildly different in their intent. Discover the seven key characteristics below.
An Actual Need For the Product You’re Selling
That’s right. There’s got to be a need for what you’re selling! As long as the product you’re selling solves a problem, you’ll have an audience for it. Some companies and small local businesses wonder why their marketing isn’t working without realizing that the world just doesn’t need what they are offering. This may be harsh to hear, but if you’re a fifty-something entrepreneur who’s just starting a business, chances are you’ve fueled your product development with your experience and passion to create something that is useful.
A Well-Defined Target Audience
Marketing products and services today has become cheaper and easier than ever, especially since the advent of the web. Now everyone’s marketing something. Your marketing will get lost in all that marketing noise if you don’t know exactly who you’re targeting. Is your target audience predominantly male or female? What about their age, location, and income? Once you are clear about the target audience demographics and psychographics, go to where they are hanging out.
Multiple Marketing Channels
Ideally, you want to market to your audience both online and offline. Online, you don’t want to get stuck on one marketing channel, i.e. Google Ads. Good marketing campaigns use a combination of channels, including website, blog, and social media marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, social ads, video marketing, audio marketing, and more. Now before you start freaking out, know that you don’t have to do everything. I recommend that you choose three things that you can do well and consistently. There is no written rule that says you’ve got to do every tactic under the sun.
An Understanding of Your Buyer’s Journey
How do people become aware of your products? How do they research them? What are the decisive factors that determine whether they buy or not? When you know all these, you can build your marketing from the ground up to make it as easy as possible for people to buy your products. Bear in mind that the buyer’s journey can be different for different products in your catalog, retail store, or the services you offer.
Knowledge of the Competition
Most businesses have at least one or two competitors. Even if we’re talking about small local competitors, they are probably using some form of marketing as well. In fact, they may have been using one marketing channel for so long that they’ve become so good at it that trying to out-market them on that channel can only end in failure. Know your competitors’ weak and strong points. Do an analysis and comparison of your competitors’ marketing practices before starting your own marketing campaign.
Sustainable Approach That Builds Credibility
A sustainable marketing plan is one that you can carry out without running out of money or time to manage it. It uses marketing automation and online marketing tools that help you reach more people faster and at a lower cost. At the same time, your marketing plan has to be about the people you serve. It must put people at the center of your marketing effort and address the real needs of real people. If people can’t connect with your marketing materials on a personal level, you need relook at your marketing plan.
Easily Measurable From Kickoff
The metrics you use to measure your marketing efforts have to be easy to understand and relevant. Simple metrics like traffic, open rates, or bounce rates aren’t enough to give you a clear picture of whether your marketing campaign is working or not. Whether your run a small business or a big company, you have to be able to measure your marketing at any time of day and without any effort. If you have to rely on someone else to generate marketing reports, you’re not moving fast enough. Use instead a marketing tracking and analytics tool that generates numbers in real time.
Does your marketing strategy have what it takes to succeed? If you’ve fallen short of one or more of the points above, don’t worry — marketing campaigns today are more dynamic than ever, and you can always change them on the go. Now go get moving.