We know, we know – it seems like everybody and their best friend quotes Benjamin Franklin – but that might be because the guy knew a lot that’s really relevant to today’s business owner. Our current Franklin quote is “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This concept is absolutely central to how successful your 2014 marketing campaigns are going to be. Do the groundwork, and chances are your campaigns will resonate with your market, driving sales and building your brand. Fail to do the ground work, and things won’t be so pretty.
So what exactly is the groundwork where business marketing is involved? There are four critical components:
Know Your Customer
All successful marketing begins with a deep, nuanced understanding of who your customers are and what they value. Look back at 2013. How did your customers behave through the year? Was there a time when business was particularly good or not so great? What factors were influencing your customers at that time? This analysis can help you see the world through your customer’s eyes: a critical component of effective marketing.
Know Your Business
What makes your brand unique? It’s critical to know what your company does well, and what can be improved upon. Consider how your business compares to other businesses like yours, as well as businesses that serve the public in a similar way. For example, a movie theater owner isn’t only competing with other movie theaters, but other recreation providers as well. Look at your marketing over 2013, and look at theirs. Who had a better year? What can you learn from your competition’s marketing? What campaigns appear to be particularly effective? These insights can help you craft specific campaigns that hit the same compelling emotional tone while conveying your brand’s unique positioning.
Know Your Assets
It’s time to do inventory. Make a list of all of the marketing you’ve engaged in during 2013. Include both online and offline tools: social media, directory listings, print advertising, SMS marketing, SEM efforts and more. List all sites where you have established presences, making special note of any venues that have consistently provided superior results. As a business owner, it’s a good idea to have a firm grasp of how you’re spending your marketing energy (and dollars!) Eliminate what doesn’t work, and invest more heavily in what does. Before you cross any tool off the list, ask yourself as objectively as possible if you know how to use the tool properly: you may need instruction or assistance to realize any marketing vehicle’s full potential.
Know Your Strategy
After analyzing your customer, your business’ unique appeal, and your existing marketing tools, the next step is to craft a strategy that will allow you to communicate effectively and consistently with the people most likely to buy from you. Once you develop that strategy, you want to be sure it’s communicated internally so that every interaction customers have with your brand has the same tone and direction. Consistency in communication across all channels is key. If you need help making this happen for your team, give us a call. We can help you make it happen!