Instead of “here is my marketing strategy and plan”, usually the first thing I hear from small businesses,dentists and other professionals is that they must have a website. I hear that almost as much as Facebook pages and the latest Social Media flavor of the day. My usual question is yes, but why. Because Harry down the street has one or for what purpose I ask. The answer is usually the same , because my competitors do and they might take business away from me.
I sit back and say okay but ask what is your marketing strategy for your business and what makes you different from your competitors. I want to know if you know who your target market is and where they live and play. That means both in real life and in their digital spaces.
What is your ideal customer I ask and what do you do to satisfy that customers needs? These are questions that will help you define your market, your method of dealing with your business and what generates the best return. All to often small business people are too busy fighting fires to notice the strategic issues.
Once again I turn to Wikipedia for my definition of Marketing Strategy.” Marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be centered around the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal.”
.You should develop this kind of strategy in order to maximize the efficiency of your time and resources and to let you do what you do best, a In consideration we must ask several questions.
Who do we want to serve.? What market is the one that we want to find our ideal client from. This narrowing of our focus allows us to serve clients that value our services . These are clients that need and want what we have to offer to solve their issues. Our product as professionals is the service that we provide that clients see value from and will exchange their resources for.
By defining the practice or area of expertise and developing a strategic marketing plan we can then focus on where we wish to draw our client base from, what makes us different from others in that area and what actions do we have to take to dominate.
This component of strategy also allows us to determine how we are going to achieve our objectives, what resources we need to accomplish this and what particular plan of attack we have to have. You might think that all the verbiage that I am using has a definite sound of battle or war. It does because it is simply focusing our resources and marshalling our talents to deliver what we have to offer to people that need our help while providing us the income and satisfaction we need.
Our marketing strategy will also define what tactics we are going to deploy to best serve ourselves and our clients.
Tactics include items like websites, social media ,advertising, hours of service,promotional mail or postcards, and educational content we put out for the market we wish to serve. So to give you the quick answer to why a website, the website serves as a digital outpost,indexed by search engines, and used primarily for lead generation or if you sell from it ,ecommerce. It can also drive customers into a brick and mortar business location, provide information to build up our social proof. Website marketing strategies give customers the ability to know,like and trust us on their terms and turf.
But it in itself is only one arrow in your quiver of tactics that allow you to hit your target.
The objective of our strategy and marketing plan thus is a series of tactics that will allow our market to know, like and trust us.. Once they become clients , the next effort is to make the experience so useful to these clients that they will become repeat clients and come back again and again as their needs require. The way we do this and the planning to accomplish this objective results in happy clients and more free promotion of our service by the best marketing tactic possible. That is referral by them to their family and friends to grow a base of raving fans.
In my next post I will talk about systemizing all your marketing activities so they become second nature in your daily activity.