Identify the Who, What, Why, and How
To keep your business growing and thriving, you must know how to create effective marketing strategies that identify and engage your target audience.
Before you decide how to engage your audience, you must first determine who it is you are engaging. Who are your existing customers? Who is your ideal customer? Once you have identified this group or groups, determine what your audience values in the product or service your business provides. If they value speed and efficiency in a service, for example, how does your business deliver better than the competition? Identify why your business is right for this audience, then make this the focus of your marketing strategy. Effective marketing strategies outline how you will take the steps needed to engage your target audience to generate new leads that result in more growth.
Determining how to engage your audience requires insight into how they think and behave. Are your ideal customers 30-somethings active on Facebook and Twitter? Or are they retirees who respond better to traditional advertisements such as billboards, magazine ad placements, or television commercials? Choose your platforms based on what will best convey your message to your target audience. Be sure to create and stick to a budget, tracking the effectiveness of your marketing strategy to make your dollar stretch further.
Forming Effective Marketing Strategies
When it comes time to put pen to paper and draw out the details of your strategy, a good place to start is by making a list of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Consider the following questions:
- What is the competition doing?
- What changes are on the horizon for your industry?
- How can you stay ahead?
- How can you better your product or service?
- What are the strengths of your team?
- What parts of the plan are they best suited to oversee?
- How can you track the effectiveness of your strategy?
- How will you adjust and adapt your plan to account for pitfalls?
- What ideas do your marketing specialists bring to the table?
- Could your marketing strategies benefit from a neutral, outside view?
- How does your strategy differ from that of the competition?
Overcoming Mental Block
If you find yourself unable to generate anything creative when planning your marketing strategy, consider the following ways to boost your ability to think outside the box:
- Partner with allies. Is there a business you can partner with so that both parties have something to gain?
- Consult your coworkers and marketing team.
- Help customers solve a problem. Answer questions or show how your business fulfills their needs.
- Ask your audience. You can get direct feedback by creating a poll on social media or simply requesting feedback.
- Try something different. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If something doesn’t work, you can always adjust the strategy later, but if playing it safe hasn’t helped your business so far, clearly something needs to change.
- Share a story. Engage your audience with testimonials or the story of how your business came to be. This way they feel involved in something personal rather than just being hit with more talking points from a faceless corporation.
- Consult a mentor or trusted outside source.
Need help crafting your marketing strategy?
Chuck Hunter and Stacey McKibbin use their years of diverse leadership and marketing experience to help clients generate new creative energy. We can help you craft marketing strategies that help your business grow and thrive by standing out from the crowd. Whatever your budget, goals, or needs, we have the skills to help you create effective marketing strategies sure to engage your ideal clients. Give us a call to get started today!