I will share marketing strategy insights in a three-part blog to help you prepare your small business for success in 2012. I can be reached via email at email@example.com or by telephone at (704) 421-8353.
As a marketing consultant I am often asked how I manage the complexities of running a business, deal with employees, clients and manage my marketing programs. How do I manage networking, social media, and advertising and still find time to manage my business? It’s not easy!
My focus is goal centered and is always based on future sales growth and revenue projections. Once I’ve established my revenue projections, I focus on marketing strategy, tactics and development of a marketing calendar to keep my business on track for the new year.
This proven approach has consistently worked for my business and for my clients. Beginning this week I will share some specific points on marketing strategy, tactics and effective planning that will help you position your small business for success in 2012. We’ll begin where I suggest all business owners start – with strategy.
Part 1: Strategy
As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War,” All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” I like this quote because it places strategy as the key component to winning a battle. Marketing strategy often times is invisible to prospects and clients yet it drives business forward. In the words of John Jantsch, “a marketing strategy is a clear explanation of how you’re going to get there not where or what ‘there’ is.” It’s important to note, becoming a market leader or to double your customers in the coming year are not strategies but simply stated goals and objectives.
I start my strategic review with a review of my ideal target market and client. I ask the following series of questions of myself as well as my clients. My goal is to insure that my strategy is still focused on my ideal target market. For example:
- How has my target market changed in the past year?
- What are the common characteristics of my ideal client and target market?
- Did I add new products or programs that may have expanded my ideal target audience?
- Geographically do I need to expand or contract my target market in order to meet customer needs?
- What issues concern my target market?
- What challenges do they face?
- How can my business meet their needs and solve their concerns?
- My key differentiators, how have they changed and am I articulating this difference in my materials and messaging? Keep in mind that better isn’t better unless it’s different.
Once you have defined your strategy, you can focus on defining tactics that work.