Strategic marketing may be marketing jargon to many, but perhaps this blog will explain it more clearly. In a recent chat over a hot cup of coffee on a cold, snowy winter day in a local coffee shop, a good friend of mine introduced me to a colleague of his. She had some great questions about starting up her new business. During this discussion, I found myself sharing the same message I have repeated numerous times with other clients. I really didn’t mind, but after having many of these similar conversations; sharing about what is required for small business marketing, I thought it might be a good idea to pass on these words of ‘strategic marketing’ wisdom with you.
Strategic marketing today
Marketing your small business today is really not much different than it was over the past several decades. Much has stayed the same, but much has changed too. The current tools have changed, perhaps the market is more competition and marketing is focused on in-bound rather than push marketing. Similar aspects in marketing over the years are that we need to watch out for the scammers and charlatans trying to take our money, not providing the results we asked for and simply making a beeline to and laughing all the way to the bank.
Small business marketing
The intent in this post is not to provide a list of best of brands and my own marketing services, but help you understand that marketing is about a process not products. Today’s small businesses and owners need to have a clear path, follow a planned process and make time for honest reflection so that going forward, your moves are strategic not random.
Therefore, begin your marketing with a strategic marketing plan based on your objections and work backwards figuring out what processes and tools need to be in place to make your plan successful. Once this has been thought out and written (typed) down, It’s important to note that setting up your process is all about how to attract your online traffic (inbound marketing). You want to provide the leads required to close your business and increase revenues/profits. How you do that depends on your business model, your company mission and organization philosophy. Having said that, I recommend multiple channels of attraction, monitoring results and allocating funds on the most desirable channel that has the best results per $ spent.
I recommend your process should include a current mobile friendly website that tells your story well and including organic SEO setup to make sure your website gets found. Social media pages can improve your branding, but paid ads and search advertising will improve your lead generation. Email marketing and automation will save your time and will proactively increase sales revenues reaching out to existing customers and educating potential new ones. After all is said and done, regularly reviewing of your results, analyzing the successes and failures and tweaking ongoing efforts is a step not to be missed or your efforts will just simply be in vane. It’s all about strategy.
So what’s next?
If you have not done so, the new year is a good time to look at your marketing planning process and review. Keep it simple and execute it well. Perhaps hire a marketing coach to have a third party objectively look to find areas that have been overlooked or seek troubled areas that need improvement.
Your thoughts? Or should I say Your Move?