Without a roadmap you wouldn’t know how to reach your destination, but many businesses launch into their marketing with little idea of where they are going, let alone how to get there. At Rethink Marketing, we have put together a straight forward process, based on some of the most successful marketing models. We can either help you work through these steps, or work with you to understand what is needed in your business to do it yourself. Either way we want to see you succeed at this vital activity.
Step 1. Know your Market!
All good marketing strategies begin by deeply understanding your customers and most importantly the problems you plan to solve for them, your competition. During this step you will need to evaluate your market size and trends and your competitors and potential partners. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can also be a useful tool to help crystallise your thoughts.
Step 2. Know you Competition
You can’t know where you fit (or don’t fit) in a market without knowing the space your competitors currently occupy. During this step, you need to identify all of your competitors, including those hidden ones you often forget about…the substation competitors (e.g. Bunnings competes with Harvey Norman, for a share of their customers discretionary spending money. Who competes with your business for your customers spend?).
Step 3. Know thy Customer
It is vital to have a really really detailed picture of your ideal target customer: those customers you want to win and keep. The customers you love doing business with. The customers who make you 80% of your profit for 20% of your effort. Knowing your customers, and being able to define exactly what drives them to do business with you, will give you a big edge over your competitors who haven’t done their homework.
Step 4. Describe Your Value Proposition
Once you know your target customer, and the specific pain points that your product or service addresses, then you can define your Value Proposition to these customers (sometimes this is called a Unique Selling Proposition or USP). Your Value Proposition should be a succinct description of the ways in which your product or service is the best at solving that pain point, described in terms of customer benefits. Always be aware of the difference between features, advantages and benefits, and make sure that your focus is on the benefits to the customer at this stage!
Step 5. Set Your Marketing Goals
Where do you want to go with your marketing efforts? National brand recognition or increased customer loyalty, the choice is yours but you need to make it. Are you trying to grow revenues and profits from existing customers? Are you seeking to generate new leads? Is your goal to grow market share, increase revenue, increase customer lifetime value, or something else? This is the stage to reflect and decide on the destination for your marketing journey.
Step 6. Identify Your Marketing Strategies
Now that you know your market, competitors, customers, your value proposition and the destination you want to arrive at, you can begin to define how you will go about achieving this with a marketing strategy. But don’t get to carried away…at Rethink Marketing we believe the best marketing strategies can be defined in no more than one paragraph, so keep it concise!
Step 7. Define Your Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is often referred to as the 4 Ps – Product, Promotion, Price and Place (also known as distribution). Some marketing experts believe that the rise of social media and customer relationship management have led to the creation of a 5th P namely People. .Whether you subscribe to this view or not, you will need to consider how your strategy is going to address each of these areas in the marketing mix, and use them to create a competitive advantage
Step 8. Write down Your Marketing Plan
The final step in the process is to write down your marketing plan, which will become a written record of the steps above, and identify the key marketing activities you plan to drive over the next 6 to 18 months. This article goes over how to write your marketing plan.
Step 9. Review Marketing Results & Re-assess Your Plan
Your marketing plan is now a living breathing document, treat it accordingly. You will need to measure results from your marketing tactics, and continually re-assess your plan on at least a quarterly basis to increase its effectiveness.