(Watch the vlog, or read the transcript below, or do both for maximum marketing mastery!)
Hey, y’all. My name’s Tim Douglass and I own Fidelis Full Service Creative Agency. We are an integrated marketing agency. What that means is that we handle everything from naming companies, all the way through year 10, where we’re managing their advertising spend and budget and campaigns. I thought today that I would try to answer some pretty common questions for entrepreneurs, small business owners, anybody who has a product or service, even if you work inside of a large business and you have a marketing team there. I thought I would answer a common question that I get a lot, which is a marketing strategy and how to put one together. So let’s get into it. Today I’m going to talk about marketing strategies and the who, what, when, where, why, how, KPI, tracking, and ROI.
What is a marketing strategy?
This is going to get real business-heavy, so stick with me for a while and we’ll get through it! A marketing strategy is essentially a document that lays out all of the answers to as many questions as you can think of before you get started. So typically they’re laid out in a 12-months-at-a-time format, and you can think of it like a master business plan. Essentially it is just about how you approach the market. It’ll include things like if you want to position your product in a certain kind of way, it’ll include calendar dates, it’ll include different efforts and hopes and dreams and what you want your marketing efforts to produce. It will also include specifics and granular things like what platform you’ll be on and who your customer profile is and what you expect a person to engage with you, what their experience will be.
So who? What we like to typically do is a customer specialist, or the businesses based on past data and experience, or based on the entrepreneurs or the executive’s best estimations of who their customers are. What we like to do is build out profiles. These are avatars. It’s another thing you’ll also hear them called. These are the particular demographics, of course, that are in there. Where do they live and what is their age and income range and those sorts of things. But it’ll also dive a little bit deeper into things like, what do they care about? And if they drive, what do they drive? What kind of car do they drive in? Is that a potential in for your market?
One of the best stories I heard about this was a company that was trying to get a person nominated as a Heisman Trophy winner. So they went through a marketing campaign and they placed specific billboards based on where the judges and the highest voting counts for the Heisman Trophy winner. They placed billboards all up and down that highway in order to influence the vote for that Heisman Trophy winner. Which is kind of nuts and it totally worked.
We’re going to talk about what. So what is what I would call the, what’s the juice of the marketing strategy? So you’re going to take your product and your service, and you’re going to think through it. And you’re going to think through how, as this thing approaches out there in a dream scenario, this thing is perfectly positioned and it has the perfect copy and it has the perfect message. It has all those things. What is the format? Is this video? Is this copy? Is this billboard? Is this design? You can plan those things out so that whenever you get there, whenever you’re going to make it, you don’t lose time and you don’t lose money making a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really matter.
If you can coordinate your graphics, for instance, if you have a YouTube video running, but you pull the graphics from those things, and you also put them into your billboards, or you put them onto your website. Pulling all of the different standardized formats through all those different mediums and channels will save you a whole lot of headache, but also will give your customer a better user experience as they approach you. They see you everywhere. It’s not just your logo that looks the same. It’s everything else about your marketing strategy.
You can do a lot of discovery and a lot of understanding about when people are most excited to buy, or when are they most interested in researching you. You might be a business like Pop-a-lock. Well, a customer discovery will take you through what is the psychology of what people are interested in? You might be a restaurant. You might be thinking about, “Well, of course, people are interested in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But is there a special occasion that you can focus in on and really make special and make a bigger deal out of?”
Maybe you’re a candlelight restaurant and Valentine’s day should be every night of the week. Maybe if you’re a Christmas business, you can have Christmas in July. But mapping these things out into a big calendar of events- honestly, one of the biggest things it’ll do is make sure that your marketing doesn’t ever stop when you’re having a bad day or having a day where you got sick or something like that. By calendaring out these things, that’s one of the safe ways to make sure that your marketing strategies keep running, keep moving.
Where do you put these things? Okay, this is kind of the biggest issue. There’s something like 60 different platforms you could be running your marketing, and that’s just in digital. You could be thinking through traditional. I heard this great story about a business that painted an elephant. The where on that was the side of the elephant. Kind of nuts. But what you can do inside your marketing strategy is just enumerate all of the different places. A helpful tip here is write about the places you definitely will not be. Sometimes those are shorter list, but they’ll tell you more of a complete story of where your perfect market is, where your perfect campaigns are going to be placed.
Why is one of the most important questions on this list. You, as a company and you as a business need to be deeply in touch with why you are efforting to bring in business. It is not just ROI, although we definitely want to see that. Ideally, what you’re doing is really connecting the dots between you and your perfect market. Your customer deserves and needs you to be obvious to them. They’re out there looking, they’re out there having to solve their problems. They’re out there having to make their choices. And if you don’t get in front of them, their dollars are going to be poorly spent somewhere else, and that’s not you helping them. That’s not a good solution. You’re not doing right by your customer if you’re not actually marketing to them and helping them find you.
I love KPIs. These are key performance indicators. These are the kinds of things that our shop runs off of. But ideally, we want to look at how do you know that this is working? That’s the big question. When do you get to actually high five and say, “Hey, the efforts that we did actually worked.” KPIs are going to look like numbers of phone call that you were able to convert this month. They’re going to look like a number of audience build. Inside the digital world, how many people like your page? How many of those likes convert into conversations and how many conversations actually convert back into actual invoices or revenue for the business? Each one of those numbers needs to be tracked. And what you can do is you can set a goal for them and say, “You know what? We saw conversions last year at this rate. We want to see a percentage increase this year. If we clean up our act, if we effort in this new market, how are we going to engage that?” KPIs are just a business executive setting tone for what this should be doing. That is a good and healthy practice.
Tracking will help you hit your KPIs and actually help you keep eyeballs on what’s working and what’s not working. Every phone number should have a different phone number so that you can track the efficacy of your campaigns. Every URL should be different. Every page and ad should have its own QR code. Tracking gives you hands on a steering wheel for your marketing campaign. Implementing as much tracking and knowing where it goes is good and healthy kind of practice.
Ultimately, all of these efforts should produce a return on investment, not just a return on activity, not just a return on ad spend. What they should produce is an actual ROI for the business. They should be producing revenue. Don’t get distracted by vanity marketing. Don’t get distracted by just busy work or looking cool out on the interwebs. Focus, focus, focus on actually producing work for your business. Actually producing sales. All marketing is fun and useful, but the best kind of marketing actually produces work. So I hope this is helpful as you’re putting together your own marketing strategy for your business. If you need any help, you know where to find us. Fidelis Creative Agency.
We would love to do this kind of work with you!