The Marketing Hourglass is a powerful tool to map out your marketing efforts in a way that makes sense to everyone in your organization. Most marketers view the customer experience as a funnel, but we at Duct Tape Marketing know that the customer experience ideally goes beyond the point of sale.
Mapping it out in this way has helped many small businesses think about and improve upon their method of guiding customers. Having a game plan for your customers to know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer you is necessary to ensure your customers are taken care of across all levels of the customer journey.
Keeping tabs on how your brand is represented within the Hourglass mindset is equally important. Follow the steps below to conduct your own Marketing Hourglass Brand Audit:
Before you get started on the Marketing Hourglass:
Step 1: Define and sketch the makeup and personality of your ideal clients
Step 2: Discover your perfect value proposition
Step 3: Brainstorm and document your vision and goals
Step 4: Create your brand personality that represents your culture statement
Step 5: Outline branding guidelines – ie colors, fonts, images, etc.
Step 6: Create a brand positioning statement including all the elements above
Once you complete the brand positioning statement, run through the following questions of the Hourglass to ensure your brand is consistent across all stages. These questions are meant to get you started thinking through each stage. You may want to add more questions in as you go through the process.
– Do your ads communicate the brand positioning statement? Do they target and connect with your ideal clients?
– Do your social media accounts have consistent images and messages? Are they promoted on your website?
– Are your guest post contributions targeted towards your ideal clients audience base?
– Are your keywords consistent and focused on monthly themes?
– Are your local directories complete with your core difference and branding guidelines?
– Do you have a systemized plan to handle all referrals that come in?
– Do your print assets include your core message and brand personality?
– Is your website consistent to your brand positioning statement and your writing style guide?
– Do your logo and company name represent your brand positioning?
– Do your business cards include your core difference?
– Are your email signatures and tag lines consistent across your entire team?
– Is your vision documented on your website for your ideal clients to relate to?
– Is your website mobile responsive?
– Are your newsletters consistent with your website branding? Does the newsletter go out on a regular basis and include valuable content for your audience? Is there an opt-in incentive for your newsletter?
– Are your email campaigns consistent with you branding guidelines?
– Do you follow monthly themes on your blog to establish your company as an expert on focused topics?
– Do you regularly promote and monitor review sites?
– What is your free or trial offering? How do you encourage people to sign up for the free trial?
– Is your follow up for the free trial consistent with your brand positioning?
– Do your PowerPoint presentations match your website branding?
– What is your starter offering?
– What is your core offering?
– What is your members-only offering?
– Do your contracts and invoices match your brand positioning statement?
– Do you have a detailed new customer kit once someone signs on as a customer? If so, does this follow your brand positioning?
– What are your add-ons to increase value?
– What is your “make it easy to switch” offering?
– What is your surprise gift to encourage repeat customers?
– Do you have a targeted process to upsell to your current clients?
– What are our strategic partner pairings?
– How do you encourage your current customers to refer? Do you share your ideal client personas?
– Does your incentive for referrals tie in your branding and/or culture in some way?
The point of the hourglass metaphor is to get you thinking not only about how to generate and close deals but how to create the best possible experience as part of the plan.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Shaping the Customer Journey.
Sara Jantsch is the Director of Community at Duct Tape Marketing. She is also a Marketing Consultant and has a strong passion for working with small business owners. Interested in developing your own Marketing Hourglass with the Duct Tape team? Click here to learn why a Duct Tape Marketing plan my be perfect for your business.