This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.
Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image — an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful Blog and Podcast is a business and marketing bestseller. Follow Mitch here: www.twistimage.com/blog.
What is a Marketing Strategy and How Do I Get One 4
Without a lighthouse, how would ships (prior to GPS) know where landfall was? How would they know that they were headed in the right direction? What would have been their beacon? Think of your Marketing Strategy as a lighthouse… and not a GPS system. Businesses often make the mistake of confusing the two. See, a GPS will give you the exact directions to your exact destination with turn-by-turn accuracy, and while it would be nice if you could create a document/map for your business like this, it simply is not realistic in this day and age. A true Marketing Strategy is simply: a lighthouse. It’s a vision for where you business needs to be and how you’re going to get there (but we’re open to tweak and adjust on the journey).
A great Marketing strategy is built in two parts: the “why?” and the “how?” Knowing “why” you’re doing something (the core strategy and vision) will lead you to the “how” – or the tactics (the stuff you’re going to do to make the vision “come to life”). A great way to start, would be to ask some questions and to spend the time critically thinking (and writing down!) the answers.
Here are some great questions to get your Marketing Strategy rolling:
- What is the purpose of our business?
- Why do people love buying from us?
- If we could get them to buy more, what would we want them to buy and how much more money should they spend?
- How much of our sales are we willing to put into our Marketing?
- What are we willing to pay to find a brand new consumer?
- What are we willing to pay to keep an existing customer?
- What is the life-long value of a customer to us?
- What would be the ideal Marketing mix? (how much traditional vs. new media makes sense)?
- If we created a calendar, when we spend the most of our marketing budget and how would we spend it?
- Are there other new marketing opportunities that we should be looking at?
Start with those questions and as the answers become crystallized, try to format your thoughts into a serious plan (if you do a simple online search for “marketing strategy,” you’ll find many templates that you can “adopt” as your own).
Always remember, without a strategy, you’re just another ship sailing in the night… destination unknown.