In The Market For Marketing?

Posted by Zoe Mack on 01/04/2017

In The Market For Marketing?

Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development.  It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.”  — Wikipedia

Marketing is everything.” — Regis McKenna 

If you agree with these statements, I’m going to assume you also agree that marketing is important for YOUR business. As important as it is, it can also get a bit overwhelming. Let’s face it, it’s not 1980 anymore, and the opportunities for enhancing your brand in today’s market are more plentiful [and confusing] than ever.

If you want to tackle this beast, and overcome the confusion, try starting with these three basic steps.

  1. BUILD A STRATEGY

The “Inward-Looking” Strategy: No one knows your business as well as you do; your strengths, weaknesses, advantages, challenges, and goals. Take the time to explore and document each of these facets about your business [include all key personnel in the discussion]. Be honest with yourself and you’ll be on your way to crafting the message you want your marketplace to hear. This is also a great time to start thinking about creating a marketing budget – after all, building your brand isn’t free!

The “Outward-Looking” Strategy: Now we focus on the most important part of your marketing strategy – the customer. Create a communication plan that emphasizes the needs and desires of your customers over those of your business. Ask yourself a few simple questions – how would I define my ideal customer, how do they consume information [traditional media / digital media], what is most important to them, and how can I create loyalty among them? The closer you get to these answers, the closer you are to engaging with your most important asset – the consumer.

  1. BUILD A DREAM TEAM

This part is easier said than done. Once you have a grasp on your inward/outward-looking strategies, it’s time for implementation. If you’re like most business owners you hardly have time to do your day job, much less handle the marketing responsibilities as well. This is why you need a team; and you have two options.

Option 1: Determine the level of expertise and number of employees you’ll need to implement the strategies you identified in exercise 1 above. Consider these possible team members: Social Media Specialist, Online Advertising Manager, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Data Specialist [see exercise 3 below], Media Buyer, Videographer…and the list goes on. Once you’ve accomplished this task, you’ll need to search for the best candidates for each position. Salary consideration is a key focus at this point – determine what you can allow for compensation, and begin by first hiring the most critical positions needed to accomplish your goals. If this gets overwhelming, you may want to skip to Option 2.

Option 2: Outsource the entire marketing process. Interview several marketing firms with the track record and expertise you need the most. Compare fees, qualifications and company history…and always get a complete scope of work document. Remember, this is about your brand, so the lowest priced provider isn’t always the best. Once you find a group you can trust, leverage their knowledge to help you communicate your message in the most efficient and effective way possible.      

  1. TRACK EVERYTHING

This part is typically not very fun; but extremely critical. Your marketing effectiveness will be determined largely by return on investment {ROI]. Keep in mind, it’s not 1980 anymore and nearly every piece of marketing/advertising you try is trackable. While numbers don’t tell the entire story, they provide valuable insight into consumer behaviors, and are invaluable in helping drive your always changing strategies.

In today’s world, you can track everything from clicks to phone calls to website visitors to e-mail respondents – and you should! Start building a plan today to determine the data that is most important to your brand and use it guide your marketing efforts for the future.    

If you want to explore these concepts further, join the discussion on January 24th and the Edmond Chamber of Commerce Business Luncheon. Bring your ideas and questions as we learn more about how to tame the marketing beast!

Sean Conrad is the owner and founder of RadVine Strategies, a strategic marketing firm in Edmond, Oklahoma. You can visit RadVine at www.RadVineStrategies.com

Post A Comment
(Will not be published)
 Refresh CAPTCHA Image
Captcha Image
 
Cancel