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16 Elements of a Perfect Marketing Strategy

Your Marketing Plan

Marketing Strategies

Marketing Strategy is closely tied to the overall strategy of any business. Without customers, there is no business. Whether you sell a building product to the government or to construction companies, you still need a marketing strategy. Marketing strategy is much more than getting business leads. It defines what the product or service is, based on your customers’ needs. It defines your image to the public and also how to grow your business. It also specifies how you are going to get there.

If you don’t have a business plan or never wrote one, don’t panic. There are tons of resources out there. Many business owners and investors contact me for business loans or commercial real estate loans through Top 10 Funding with no business plan. If the plan is in your head, it may be a good idea to write it down if your are trying to get capital.

#1 Every Plan Has Goals & Objectives

Long-term goals are usually tied to your overall business goals. Short-term Objectives are measurable and are usually tied to measurable activities. This is Business-101. In business school we learned to analyze the heck out of everything. Start by evaluating yourself and your business. A SWOT & TOWS analysis is a good start. It stands for STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, and THREATS. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal, Opportunities and Threats are external. You should familiarize yourself with these tools and at the very least, do a competitive analysis. There’s a good article on this at https://www.business-to-you.com/swot-analysis/.

#2 Budget

Even the 300 Spartans had a budget to eat. Marketing managers have a difficult job to do and are sometimes expected to to do more with less. The leaders in every industry realize that effective marketing directly drives cash flow, but it can be expensive. There are ways you can try to get the biggest bang for your buck in marketing, however you will find that effective ads and strategies have a lifespan. Once other marketers start using the same types of ads, they lose their uniqueness and effectiveness.

Most of the time, clients will increase their marketing budget when they see the results. If a client thinks at a System Level, they will see how increased marketing with effective strategies will have long-term effects on the bottom line.

#3 Target Market

Targeting a specific audience is not only smart, it is the ONLY way you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you are selling shoes on Amazon, you need to control inventory by limiting the styles and sizes to a specific audience. Otherwise you will end up with tons of excess inventory.

The niche you choose should be defined at a personal level. Inbound Marketing is a term often used by agencies like HubSpot that focus on the client persona and getting into their heads. Facebook ads can be targeted to a specific audience with detailed demographics, such as 26 year-old females within a 25 mile radius who either live or visited the area, with interest in shoes and handbags. There is so much power in targeting and molding your business around the target audience.

#4 Online Strategy

According to Statista, at the time of this writing, the leading online social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Instagram. Take a look at the image for this post. Everyone reading this should be advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If your business is B2B, you should be on LinkedIn. If you sell products on an E-Commerce site, you should also use Pinterest, and SnapChat.

Most popular social networks worldwide as of JAnuary 2019, ranked by number of active users (in millions) by statista.com

#5 Research

Research your target industry and learn as much as you possibly can about your customers and what keywords they are using. Keyword research tools are easy to find. I’m not going to recommend one in this article, because I’m not particularly impressed by any single tool or website. Exactly how do you trust that the tool is providing accurate keyword phrases? Seems like we need a tool to evaluate the tools.

What metrics indicate success or failure?

Reach

On Facebook we measure Likes, Comments, and Shares. Facebook will show us the effectiveness of our ads by reporting on Page Visits, Reach, Likes, and how many people Engaged.

Engagement

Engagement should be measured on Social Media, Email drips, and website visits using Google Analytics. You should understand who is interested, how long they are there, and why they converted.

Conversion

Conversion is the goal, but is just the start. Customer service begins at the sale and continues through referrals. Poor conversion is a result of poor marketing performance and possibly errors in research or interpretation of data.

Sentiment Analysis

There is a company called Monkey Learn that does machine learning for sentiment analysis. Sentiment can be measured on social media comments, email responses and any other text extracted from your feeds. Yelp and Amazon feedback data can be extremely valuable.

Other KPIs

Key Performance Indicators that align with your business objectives should be measured and evaluated. KPIs such as, clicks, like, shares, comments, profile visits, brand mentions, and followers were invented by the social media platforms, but have become our fundamental metrics for measuring our success.

#6 Competition

Learn about your competitors and what they are doing to attract your customers. Your strategy should be to take them back home to you. Keep in mind, there are different types of competitors, such as direct, indirect, or replacement. I you sell shoes on Amazon, for example, you are competing with shoes or all apparel. You are also competing with items that “people who purchased this item also looked at.”

#7 Economics

If you are running your own business, you better know fundamental micro and macro Economics. It’s much more than supply, demand, and equilibrium. Opportunity costs, game theory, market structure, and economics of information are topics a good marketer should understand when developing a strategy for a company. Understanding the buying power of your customers is equally as important as the suppliers in your industry and how easy it is for others to duplicate your business.

Consider doing a PESTEL analysis. This includes Political Factors, Economic Factors, Social Factors, Technical Factors, Environmental Factors, and Legal Factors. There is a good article on this at https://www.business-to-you.com/scanning-the-environment-pestel-analysis/.

PESTEL analysis - political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal.

#8 Sales Forecast

Do you have multiple sales channels? If so, great! If others are going to sell for you, you should insist on having a forecast so you can measure progress and determine the cost of sales. You can’t get there if you don’t know where you’re going. Forecast do more than tie salespeople to their goals. Forecasts help us to evaluate our markets while measuring the performance of our marketing efforts.

#9 Customer Personas

Learn everything you can about people that have purchased your product and how they found you. You should design your content around this knowledge. Customer Personas should be created for every product and service you offer.

Why Are Buyer Personas Important? Targeting your audience should be tailored even further — to the special needs of your buyer. All of your marketing activities, content, and customer service should be based on the needs of the buyer. We all want to develop our business offering centered on the needs of our customers. For more information on this topic, visit Hubspot Academy: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-research .

#10 Product

This is the first P of the marketing mix. If you apply for a bank loan, your business plan must have the basics. Product development should always be based on market strategy and research. Develop a plan for your product offering and understand the needs of your customers before developing the product of service.

#11 Price

The second P of the marketing mix . The best price does not always win. Pricing must be right for the product, even if it is more than your competitor’s product. Pricing can influence perceived quality or the collectability of a product or indicate the demand for your service. It helps to have a real understanding of basic economics and how to measure supply and demand in your market.

#12 Place

The third P of the marketing mix . This is where your product is offered. Online, brick-and-mortar store, affiliate marketing, Amazon, and so on. The website, social media pages, and your personal brand all define the place. Keep in mind that reputation management is a big part of this.

#13 Promotion

The forth P of the marketing mix. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. The advertisements, colors, logo, business cards, and anything you do to promote yourself, online or steam-punk. There are no rules in promotion, only to attract, engage, and delight your customers.

#14 Positioning, the Fifth P.

In graduate school, I learned that the marketing mix, or the 4 P’s of marketing was missing something very important. Positioning your product in front of the right customer at the right time is your golden opportunity. Things like product placement in stories, blogs, videos, movies, or TV shows. Even using the eye-level shelf in the grocery store.

Use your SWOT to develop a strong positioning strategy. Your competitors are positioning against you and those like you. Turn it around and go on the offense. Evaluate the needs of your customers ,the market, and your capabilities. A great positioning strategy allows your company to leverage specific areas where you can stand out and beat your competition.

#15 Measurement and Analysis

One of the best tools in marketing is a marketing audit. There are many tools out there to measure and determine the effectiveness of a prospect’s marketing strategy. My favorite tools for Digital Audits are SEMrush, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs. The important thing to remember is that if you land the job, you will also need to show the effectiveness of your work.

#16 Adapt and Correct

When the numbers are not showing what your intended, change direction and fix it. Tucker Max said, “In training, there is no winning or losing. There is only learning. Marketing is both a science and an art. Technology is constantly evolving and we must always think about improving our processes and techniques.

in training, there is no winning or losing. There is only learning. Tucker Max.

Start With 16 Chess Pieces

Does a perfect marketing strategy need to be complex? Not at all. Some of the best performing strategies are simple and dynamic. If you are selling a home or leasing apartments, Facebook won’t allow you to advertise housing. You will need to advertise on other sites, like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com.

I thought is was a good idea to stop at 16. We can go on and on about the elements of a perfect strategy. Your strategy will be dynamic and personal. The Digital World is changing and people are depending more and more on social media, text messaging, chatbots, apps, and websites. Learn about Search Engine Optimization, PPC, Email automation, website design, and creating video ads. I’m sure that’s what brought you here.

I hope you found this information helpful. Please leave a comment and let me know if you would like to see more of this content.

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Why Video Marketing for Products is Essential

It may seem obvious to most of us in marketing that video marketing performs a multitude of times better than text and photos. Television ads can cost tens of thousands to produce and even more to air on TV. Of course TV has a huge audience and scheduling ads around popular shows is super expensive.

Control the Dialog

Video allows you the freedom to identify a product the way you want, answering questions that your audience may have before they even consider evaluating it. You have access to a medium that allows you to be creative with music, words, fonts, colors, and using character actors to relate to the audience.

Video on Social Media is Cheap

The cost of putting your ad in front of an audience on Facebook is peanuts compared to Cable TV. The biggest cost to you is the production. If you want to create close-up video with perfect lighting, colors, and music, the cost of equipment and editing is virtually limitless. PErfect video is not always necessary, especially for low priced items. The fact is, you can create simple ads with a smart-phone with quality that is totally acceptable on social media. In fact, for some products and services, cheesy and cheap ads may work better. Especially if the you want the audience to relate to your message. Of course, if you are selling luxury items, like branded handbags, watches, or expensive cars, maybe you should consider paying more for professional video.

Targeting on Social Media is Key

Facebook has removed some of the demographics targeting, but the platform lets you target the audience based on their interests. You can also exclude people in the audience based on their interests of their job title. For example, if I want to create an ad to sell dog treats, I can target people who are interested in dogs. I can also exclude people who work for my competitors. Facebook’s targeting and look-alike audience creation is a power tool for any marketer.

Good Graphics Design to Improve Video Quality

Using moving text and graphics in a video can enhance the overall quality and message of the advertisement. People will See, Hear, and Read your marketing message, that means better retainment. QVC was created specifically to sell products, and they do an excellent job of it. According to Statista.com, QVC sold $11.28 Billion in 2018. That speaks to the power of TV and video.

QVC SAles volume 2018 - statistica.com

Social Video Marketing is #1

Facebook expects that in 2 years, 90% of all advertising on Facebook and Instagram will be video. The tools on the platform are getting easier to use and smart phones apps are making it easier to edit videos right on your phone.

TV is still going to be around through 2025, but the audience is changing. People are opting out of the cable company’s bundle deals for Internet, TV, and Phone. Many people are buying only internet and subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, or other content delivery sites. As these platforms come out and compete in the market, it provides a relatively low cost advertising medium for product marketing.