While the holidays were festive and bright, they were also a prime time for ignoring your business, let alone planning your marketing strategy. That might have been okay while you indulged in some eggnog, but now’s the time to refresh your mindset and start the New Year on the right foot.
As you take a step back into the “real world,” do you know what to think about while planning your marketing strategy? If not, here are a few questions and tidbits to guide you through the process.
#1: How Well Do You Know Your Customers?
It never ceases to amaze me how little we actually know about one another. Perhaps technology is to blame for sucking our attention away from the present moment. Or, perhaps we’re not exploring deep enough.
When it comes to your customers, having an intimate understanding of what makes them tick is essential to your success. Think about:
- How does your customer start her journey looking for your business?
- What obstacles stand in her way from buying from you?
- What will she get out of opening her wallet to you? NOTE: It’s NOT the product or service you sell. It’s a feeling or emotion.
- What are her hopes, goals, and ambitions?
- What is her biggest frustration? Bonus points if you can describe how you ease that frustration and make it better.
- What does her social circle look like?
- Where does she find her information?
Your customers are more than numbers and stats. They’re living, breathing humans. For your marketing to be successful, you should have a solid grip on exactly how you help each person on a deeper level.
#2: How Will You Put Your Company Name Front and Center?
I have a secret for you – if you want to stand out from the competition, you might need to start investing in media.
In the past, marketers and public relations firms worked hard to earn a spot in an article on a top website. Not anymore. Now, marketers are paying their way to the top. If you want to stay front and center, you either need to pull out the big bucks, or craft a story that’s so compelling the media wants to talk about it for free.
That’s where content marketing comes into play.
The way you strategize your content has a direct impact on your success in the market and in the media. Speak directly to your target market with stories that cut to the core of what you offer (and if you’re not sure how to tell that story, you might need to revisit point #1).
To carve your path in the media and gain the exposure you need to stand out from the competition, you must tell an interesting, heartwarming, and captivating story for your brand.
#3: Take a Load Off
Imagine this: What if a machine could follow up with your leads and prospects? Doesn’t sound too sexy, does it?
Now, consider this: What if the machine could use your words, your voice, and your sales copy in a way that nurtured each and every one of your leads through the sales process until they bought from you? Sounds a little bit better, right?
Marketing automation continues to mature and with it, marketers and sales teams are being given a much-needed break.
Now, instead of having to follow up manually with each new lead or prospect that comes into your funnel, you can create a highly automated, smart system.
As you plan for 2015, consider what you want your sales funnel to look like. How many times do you want to follow up with each customer that lurks but never buys? What message do you want to tell at each stage in the process?
Create a crystal clear definition of what your sales funnel will look like. Then, fill in the gaps with persuasive content, such as emails and blog posts. Turn that content into a strategic system that operates seamlessly in the background and you have a recipe for modern day marketing success.
Marketing and sales are merging. With the majority of the sales process finished by the time you know a prospect is considering buying from you, it’s more important than ever before to have compelling, persuasive content on the forefront of your marketing efforts. Without it, you could leave opportunities on the table and in the hands of your competitors. That’s why planning your marketing strategy should be an ongoing effort.