If you don’t have a marketing strategy you should stop marketing – now. It’s a bold statement to make and probably not one you expected to see me write. But it’s something I feel strongly about.
Does this sound familiar?
Let me put it into a context that you might relate to as a entrepreneur, sole trader or small business owner…
So, you’ve started your own business and you’ve heard about this great thing called Facebook. Everyone uses Facebook, right? So you promote your business on Facebook and pay to boost your adverts and you think to yourself, “I’ll surely be a millionaire by the time I wake up?”
But when you wake up, you realise you’ve made no sales and the only ‘people’ who have liked it are not your ideal audience. So what went wrong?
You might look at the post you boosted and tweak it or maybe you would even go to the extent of lowering the price of your product or service.
(If any of this sounds familiar then read on…)
Have you ever asked or said to yourself:
- Why does no one read my blog?
- I’ve got loads of Facebook likes but no sales
- My tweets don’t go anywhere
- My website is on page one of Google but I don’t make any sales
If you relate to some or all of the above then I would suspect you don’t have a marketing strategy.
What does your business look like without a marketing strategy?
There’s a scattergun approach to your marketing efforts without a strategy. You market to everyone and end up marketing to no one. There’s no focus or direction and your competition are leaps ahead of you.
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is something every business needs – yes even sole traders! It’s your business bible, your roadmap to success and the one thing every failing business is missing.
My definition of a marketing strategy is a plan that gives you direction to effectively use resources to generate opportunities to sell.
Let me break that down for you further…
First of all, it’s important to realise what marketing means. Marketing is all about creating opportunities to sell e.g. generating leads, brand/business awareness. Marketing is long term and promotion is short term e.g. advertising event tickets.
Getting a roadmap for your business (aka a marketing strategy) will give you a direction and focus to target the right audience, in the right places at the right time. To do this you need to know what resources are appropriate. So your marketing strategy will help you work out what channels and methods will work for your business.
It’s worth noting what a marketing strategy is not. It’s NOT a quick fix, it’s NOT a sales tool and it’s NOT something you do once and forget all about.
Why your business needs a marketing strategy
You’ll hear me say this a lot as I guess it’s become my mantra but here it is again…
If you market to everyone you end up marketing to no one
You might have a product or service that you believe everyone can benefit from but everyone is too broad an audience. We’re not all the same, are we? Give your business some focus and direction.
Here’s an example:
A confectionery business who sells sweets and chocolate thinks their products could be brought be anyone. All of their products are alcoholic. So, that rules out children and teenagers as a potential market. They sell their products online but can only deliver within 50 miles. So, that rules out anyone who doesn’t lives within a certain postcode range. And, non of their products are gluten-free or vegan friendly. So, there’s a good proportion of the over 18s market in the 50 mile radius that is not their market audience.
Can you start to see how easy it is to narrow your audience and be more specific?
By being specific about who you market to you will save time and money on your marketing efforts.
The confectionery business wasted money advertising to everyone instead of focussing locally.
Your marketing strategy will give you a plan and help you target better to generate leads.
Without a plan you will be running around in the dark or throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. This is when many businesses end up promoting all the time and thinking about the short term and miss out on the marketing opportunities for the long term.
The confectionery business only posted sales promotions and never offered value or insights into their business.
By creating a marketing strategy for your business you will be able to make the most of opportunities that come your way.
The confectionery business heard about a local food and drinks fair through a networking meeting and was able to book a stall because he had networking as part of this strategy.
Finally, your marketing strategy will help you run your business and beat the competition.
Too many businesses write a marketing strategy which ends up dusty in a draw or forgotten in the archives online. But if you do it right, then your marketing strategy becomes your business bible and roadmap to success.
So, are you ready to create a marketing strategy for your business?
I’ll be creating a KICK ASS marketing strategy manual to help you get there. Watch out for details on my website next week!