Laying the foundations for marketing success
The success of your marketing efforts isn’t just down to how well you and your team have executed the tactics. In fact, the majority of your success is based on actions that happen well before you release your highly-polished assets into the world. Without paying close attention to the work that comes before marketing activity, even the most beautiful marketing pieces are likely to fall short.
Laying the foundation for marketing success requires diligent forethought and consideration. These are the areas you need to pay attention to in order to ensure your marketing efforts are effective:
Your audience is the key to your marketing success and everything that you do needs to be centred around them. To help keep your focus and gain deeper insight into your target audience, mapping out the specifics of who those people might be is important.
There are different templates and tools that can help you with this, but the two main things to focus on are:
Personas are semi-fictional representations of your target audience. They help you define your target audience, understand their needs and challenges, and assist you with overcoming common objections to your services. You can use them to ensure you are creating content that adds value to their lives and to be certain that your messaging will hit the mark.
To create a persona, there are a series of questions that you need to answer about who your ideal buyer is and what they need. You can make working with them feel more personal by giving them defining names like ‘Business Owner Bernard’ or ‘Young Professional Yvette.’ The alliteration isn’t necessary, but it does make the process more fun.
Once you have a clear idea of who your target persona is, you’ll need to map out their buyer journey. The buyer journey is the culmination of the steps that these personas take to move from realising they have a problem to becoming clients.
This journey can be broken down into the following stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. In the Awareness stage, your audience is just beginning to realise that something is amiss. When they move onto the Consideration stage, they have now fully realised what their problem is and are looking for ways to solve it. One of these ways should be your services. As they move onto the Decision stage, this buyer has decided on a solution and is looking for providers.
It’s vital that you pay attention to the needs of the prospect in each stage and produce content that will bring them further along that journey.
Another important facet of your behind-the-scenes work is to undertake competitor analysis. It’s important to consider who your closest competitors are as well as aspirational competitors. When beginning your competitor analysis, you may want to look at:
Once you’ve gathered this information, take some time to consider why certain activities are being done, why others aren’t, and why things have either failed or been successful. That will give you better insight into what works with your shared audience.
As you begin considering tactics, be sure to do research into the channels you might use. Look at social, email, content, ads, PR, etc. to get a better idea of what your ideal activity will look like. It’s important at this stage to pay close attention to the channels most frequently used by your buyer persona and how they use them. Keep in mind:
Strategy and planning
The next step of your marketing preparations is putting together your strategy and translating that into a plan. Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan.
A marketing strategy is what you need to achieve through marketing and is led by business goals and needs. A marketing plan, on the other hand, is the collection of tactics that you’ll use to implement your strategy.
Having the right technology in place can make a world of difference to your marketing endeavours. From implementing automation and chatbots to having the right email marketing tool, using the right technology for the job is imperative. The tech that you use should both be able to do the job now and be scalable for the future.
The final piece of the puzzle before you get moving is to have your processes streamlined. Focus on areas that are known to cause friction more often than others. This is especially important around sales and marketing alignment. Consider these key questions to help guide your thinking:
Doing the discovery and research ahead of embarking on any marketing activities can be a big task. It requires you and your team to really understand the nature of both your business and your clients to make it work effectively. However, once you have all of these pieces in play, you’ll be well on your way to your most successful marketing yet.
Interested in getting help with your digital marketing? Get in touch and see how we can help take your marketing efforts to the next level.
This content was originally published here.