This is a guest blog bought to us by Laura Higgins, the Creative Director at The Inspired Hive.
Bamboozled by the mere idea of a marketing strategy? What even is that and why do you need one for your business?
Truth is, once you’ve got a good ‘un, you’ll wonder what took you so long to sort that sensational marketing strategy and activate it as a kickass plan.
A marketing strategy is your road map. Your destination? Business success. Like any map worth its salt, it shows you:
- Where you are and where you’re headed
So you can position your business and set cracking good goals.
- How to get there
So you can focus and refine your messages to find and appeal to your ideal audience.
A gosh-wow marketing strategy helps get your business vision out of your head or off the page. It gives it a super strong pulse, a serious pair of legs, loads of momentum and heaps of endurance.
In short, a sensational strategy gives your marketing direction, structure and style. And this dear reader kills overwhelm and anxiety stone dead.
A spot-on marketing strategy kills overwhelm and anxiety stone dead
Most clients coming to me for marketing mentoring or strategy-making are a little (or a lot) dazed and confused. They’ve had it with jumping on random marketing activities to try to get quick wins. They’ve tried to follow the latest hot trend and ended up with a hot mess. They’re sick of flops and feel defeated.
They’re desperate to make things work, and they do! We start with a solid strategy to get clear on:
- What they want to achieve
- Who they want to sell to
Then, based on their strategy, we plan and create content (aka all the stuff on social media and everywhere else) that talks to their ideal customers in lively, engaging, authentic ways.
Because as accomplished business strategist Brian Tracy (more on him in a minute) says,
‘Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!
The result of strategising and planning? You get to swap overwhelm and angst for showing up in style in places your once and future customers can find you.
Four foundations of a great marketing strategy
Bryan Tracy’s best-selling book Eat That Frog sets out the following four foundations for building a solid marketing strategy.
Specialisation – what’s your secret sauce?
You can’t be everything to everyone. How can you offer a specialised service or product that packs a punch like no other? Put simply, who are your customers? What tailored, transformative service or product can you offer them?
Sparkling and super-talented photographer Fiona Sexton has a health background and works with allied health professionals to capture the human body and movement in exquisite images that convey health, movement and mindfulness.
Differential – how can you be better?
Or, as I like to say, how can you go the extra mile for your customers? Can you offer short time frames or give your time generously? Can you support business humans who might otherwise struggle to access your levels of expertise and experience?
Marvellous Mary Cameron, aka The Wrinkly Writer, invests oodles of time and energy in creating faff-free, quirky copy for small businesses with hearts and smarts.
Segmentation – different strokes for different folks
Maybe your product or service meets the needs of very different sets of customers. That’s completely OK, as long as you understand each group’s beliefs, goals, and drivers.
I work with
- CEOs of Adult Community Education providers to develop marketing strategies that inform and engage adult learners and give them the confidence to explore and follow new paths
- Small business owners across multiple sectors to show them how to use socials to turn their curious followers into contented customers.
Concentration – where are your people?
Who needs your products and service the most? Your answer will set the tone and target for your messaging (what you say and to whom) and point to the platforms where your people hang out. Just as you can’t be all things to everyone, you can’t be everywhere. Do your research and decide if Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn (or somewhere else entirely) will work best for your business.