Anyone can come up with great ideas, but the execution is where the magic happens. Here’s how to get your marketing on point.
Marketing is all about the follow through. To create a buzz around your business you will need to put in some real footwork. Consistency in your marketing strategy can mean the difference in between 10 sales and 100. There are various pieces to creating a marketing strategy and you can break down these pieces into three phases. The pre-planning phase, in which you’ll include the creation of the actual plan, and budget. The circulating phase, which includes implementation of the plan, analytics, and goal tracking. The last phase of the plan is one most new entrepreneurs forget; the post-campaign.
The pre-planning phase is the preparation. You’ll likely spend most of your time in this phase. In this phase, you will put together a detailed plan. The plan should include what item you are marketing, what methods you want to use to market those items and what your budget will be. Take some time in choosing whether you want to market your business as a whole or only a single product. In marketing, be specific with what you do or your results will be all over the place.
If you make a general statement and say, “I want to market everything” your scope or purpose is too large and you will get a variety of results that may or may not leave you feeling underwhelmed. A better route would be “I want to market my new digital class”. With a statement this specific, you can target the audience you want to market to. When you move through the next two phases of the plan, you can measure your analytics, and review the success of your marketing campaign. If you don’t know what methods to choose when marketing, check out our previous blog posts on free and paid marketing methods.
The circulating phase is the piece the general population sees. When we see ads on television or receive emails from subscriptions, this is the circulating phase. All your interaction with your audience happens here. During the circulation phase, it is very important to stay consistent with your efforts. It’s easy to lose steam during this phase because you are at a point where you have done a mass of work and you just want to hit the “Run ad” button and sit back and watch the results happen. Don’t give in to that temptation! There’s no “sit back” moment here. It’s all GO, GO, GO! The results from your marketing campaigns are a direct reflection of how detailed and targeted you are.
In this phase, keep track of your analytics. Details about page views, bounce rate, and average session duration will help you determine whether your marketing campaign is hitting home with your ideal clients. These are all statistics reported by Google Analytics. There are various tools you can use to measure the activities of consumers consumers on your website. Keep an eye on the goals you set for yourself in the pre-planning phase. You may need to alter your marketing strategies in the midst of running an ad to increase its performance.
The post campaign phase is mostly forgotten. New entrepreneurs run ads and gain sales from them deeming the marketing campaign a success but when you look at things that way, you won’t ever be able to measure any real progress. Success is in the details. After your run, use a SWOT analysis. SWOT analyses are also great to do after an event or big product launch. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These can either be separated into a T-chart or simply written on different pieces of paper.
In the strengths, column write down all of the things that went well. Write down your knowledge, competitive advantage over other businesses, and company culture. These are things that make your business what it is and you should keep these attributes consistent from campaign to campaign.
In the next column, write down your vulnerabilities, the things you think you need to work on. Make note of the mistakes you made, limited resources you may have experienced and what needs improvement.
In the opportunities column, write down new technologies or methods you may want to try out for your next campaign. Here is where you may want to do some research and find ways to fix the things you listed in the weaknesses column. This should be filled with new things that you have never tried before. Step outside the box.
In the threats column, write down some challenges you may foresee. This is a column that friends and family may be able to help you with. Take note of other competitors in the market, changes in consumer behavior like people looking for new products or moving in a new direction.
A SWOT analysis is a great way to get closure from a campaign. Whether big or small there is always a need to review and renew!
Failures in marketing are inevitable. Not every campaign will be a winner, but you will find your secret formula and every campaign thereafter will go off with a bang. Every business is different and everyone has a different story so marketing campaigns will vary. Even within a business your marketing campaigns will vary in between products. Remember to stay detailed, consistent, target specific, and always, always, always review your campaigns in the post-campaign phase! Reviewing your strengths and weaknesses will make your preceding campaigns stronger.