Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
The nuts and bolts of marketing: Reach, relevance, repetition
The following is a true conversation.
Client: We need your help with developing a marketing strategy. We’re struggling to create the perfect marketing plan for us. As soon it’s all detailed out we can get going. The plan has to be simple because we don’t have a lot of resources or time on our hands. And, I’d like to keep the written plan to less than thirty or forty pages. Oh, and we need fresh leads as soon as possible so we can grow faster.
Me: I have one question. Do you want a perfect marketing strategy or do you want a plan of action that works?
Client: There’s a difference?
Sometimes marketing feels pretty complicated. Yet, it isn’t complex at all. Really.
Sure, keeping up with the latest social media platforms, trying to update a website, or just writing an attention-getting advertisement can feel overwhelming at times. But that’s not marketing. These are just tools of the marketing game.
It’s always a challenge developing the perfect marketing action plan. To begin with, there is no such thing as perfection. Then there are the practical aspects to consider -- even if your budget was unlimited and team resources were plentiful a plan still has to be simple enough to implement that if becomes second nature.
Plus, if you really had all that money to pour into a marketing effort, the chances are it wouldn’t be very focused. Every tactic in the universe would be on the table, making real-world implementation a nightmare.
So, it’s a good thing you are on a budget both in terms of time and money!
The best marketing is action-oriented. It’s focused and practical. Your plan must recognize that you have the day-to-day running of a business as a top priority.
That requires a plan that is concise and to the point, but that doesn’t mean details are glossed over. The goal is to give you and your team a blueprint that is straightforward -- just like painting by numbers when you were a kid. And, when the use of outside resources are necessary, the focused step-by-step nature of the plan will help you keep everyone on the same page and minimize expenses too.
A great marketing plan boils down to reach, relevance, and repetition. All sitting on a foundation of knowing who your audience is and a message designed just for them.
Bake these five rules into your marketing plan and you’ll differentiate your company, touch more potential clients and customers more often, and grow revenues.
Know your audience. Before reaching out you must know exactly who is ripe for the message. Slice and dice the market to zero in on the demographics (the facts) as well as the psychographics (the emotions). Where does your audience hangout, what are their challenges, and what solutions are they looking for? Now you can get the right marketing message to right people.
Your marketing message is key. Now that you know what the ideal prospect looks like tailor a message just for them. The essence of your message is that you can get your audience from where they are to where they want to be. For your message to stand out from the competition keep it simple so it can be clearly understood, keep it short so it can be understood quickly, and stress the benefits in the buyer’s terms.
Connect with the people you aim for. You know who you’re targeting, where they are, and what to say once you get in front of them. That’s a great start, but how do you plan to reach them? The choices are almost endless -- networking, social media, direct mail, content marketing, search engine optimization, Internet advertising, speaking engagements, workshops, and the list goes on. Focus on three to five initiatives that work towards your goals. Place the emphasis on what gives you the best chance to build a trusted relationship with potential customers and where you’ll get the most results.
Reach without relevancy is money wasted. Relevancy goes beyond finding the most appropriate ways to connect with your buyers. Deliver your message, content, and programs only if they are important to the people that have a problem you can solve. It’s nice that you’ve been in business for ten years and your product has seven new features, but really who cares! Prospects respond when you speak to their needs and what’s happening in their world. This is what they’re searching for online and what will grab their attention at networking events. Your job is to make the truth about your offering fascinating for your customer.
Reach without frequency is money wasted. Stay top of mind by reaching out often and on a scheduled basis. Marketing is a process, not a one-time event, and regularity counts. Update your blog and post to LinkedIn several times a week. If networking is a great source of prospects and referrals decide which two or three meetings you’ll attend consistently. For all actions lay out an editorial/activity calendar so that there are no excuses. Then map out a follow-up schedule of emails, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings. Keep the relevancy rule in mind -- unless you have the resources and budget, opt for less reach and more frequency to a narrow but highly targeted audience.
Marketing is the best investment you can make. Doing it right doesn’t mean it has to be overly complicated.
Client: This is amazing. So I don’t need a thirty or forty page marketing plan?
Me: Not even a seven page plan. Just a solid strategy and plan of action that delivers the right message consistently to a targeted audience. Oh, and one other thing, let’s get going!
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.