At Only Marketing we’re passionate about working with entrepreneurial businesses to develop hard-hitting marketing strategies that really propel growth.
Time and again, we find that a key stumbling block to success for our clients is a lack of proper planning prior to rolling out their marketing strategy. In my experience, many businesses – large and small – seem to jump the gun when it comes to the strategic thinking side of things, and excitedly hurl full-steam ahead launching a series of ill-thought-out tactics which lack a robust baseline strategy behind them.
To ensure you’re geared up for success from the outset, my advice is to ask yourself three simple questions before getting started:
Who am I?
This will no doubt seem glaringly obvious, but self-assessment is such an important first step for all businesses to take when developing a marketing plan.
It’s crucial that you’re very clear on who you are, what your business is poised to accomplish, what your points of differentiation are from the competition and ultimately what problem it is that you seek to solve. Without clarity of these points, how can you expect to reach your desired customers with the right message to achieve your goals?
Who am I talking to?
Next it’s time to turn the focus to your customers, and align your goals and values with the people you’re trying to reach.
What is their need and why should they care about you? Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to figure out where to find them. I suggest you review which platforms and channels they spend time on, looking for data trends and common themes which will enable you to bundle them into segmented sets for targeting purposes.
Understanding what the different needs of your various audience segments are over time will help you to plan out what content you need to engage with them through their customer journey so you’re presenting them with the right message in the right place at the right time.
What do I want to achieve?
Having worked with businesses large and small across a wide range of sectors, it never fails to amaze me how many don’t track progress of their marketing strategy against KPIs. Without defining upfront what success looks like how will you know if your strategy is working? I really can’t emphasise enough the importance of setting goals and tracking progress against them.
It’s also worth bearing in mind is that the route to success is rarely a linear path. I believe it was Thomas Edison who said, ‘I failed my way to success’, and this entrepreneurial mantra is one we adopt at Only Marketing. By applying a cyclical ‘test and scale’ model to everything we do, constantly reviewing, testing and tweaking our campaigns, we maintain regular alignment against objectives ensuring that our clients get the best possible return on their investment. We can very quickly identify if a certain tactic isn’t working, and are not ashamed to be fully transparent about it before moving on and trying something else. In short, remaining quick on our feet and having that ‘fail fast’ mentality is why we get such great results.
My advice therefore is, having identified at the outset what you want to achieve, staying agile in your pursuit of it will only help you get there.
Once you’ve answered these three questions, remember to document the answers! Don’t underestimate how useful it will be to have this to refer back to as your business and growth strategy evolves.
Here at Only Marketing, we love partnering with dynamic businesses that keep us on our toes. If you’d like to learn more about how we could work together to take your business to the next level please contact me on 0800 612 9890 or via email.