People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest. You hit what you aim at, and if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.
— Zig Ziglar
1. Who Are We Talking To?
If your marketing strategy is going to be successful, you'll need to know who you are marketing to. This is without a doubt the most important question we must be asking ourselves. And if your plan is to market to "everybody" you have abandoned the world of marketing strategy and entered the world of hope. We recommend you narrow down your audience.
At Line 58 we we work closely with our clients to develop audience personas. APs are fictitious profiles we create that represent our true audience members. Once we have a strong understanding of who we will be communicating with, our efforts then have a much greater chance of being successful.
2. Why Might They Be Interested?
Once you understand who you are talking to, it should then be easier to identify why they might be interested in your products or services. Far too often, a company will know exactly who their audience is and will then try to squeeze an unlimited amount of messages about the brand into their marketing communications.
At Line 58 we develop a messaging matrix for our clients that includes priority messages for each audience persona. Each message is brand specific and crafted to meet audience needs, and we are able to then identify which messages reach which audience personas.
3. What Is Our Purpose?
Every business owner knows the value of a well-written statement of purpose. They also often have trouble articulating exactly what it is that their business does. Your purpose statement might be the single most important piece of marketing communications within your business. When you get it right, it can not only help lead key decision making, but it can also keep everyone within your organization moving in the same direction.
Draft a purpose statement that answers: "What do we do?" and "Why do we do it?" If your statement is clearly written, it will be easier to understand and easier for your team to live by. A purpose statement can be rewritten from time to time, but you should make every effort to draft a statement that will hold true even when the business environment changes.
4. What Are Our Goals?
An effective marketing strategy includes goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART).
5. Will Our Process Get Us There?
Take a good hard look at the inner workings of your business and keep in mind everything else we've covered: your audience and why they're interested in your business; your purpose statement; and your goals. Given everything that you now know about what you are setting out to accomplish, will your process need to change?
Process changes can vary tremendously from business to business and you need to understand what changes, if any, you will need to make in order to reach your SMART goals. Do your products and services currently meet the needs of your audience? Can you effectively reach your audience with your messaging? Will you need a strategic partner to help you execute a marketing communications strategy?
Success in business is never guaranteed, but if you are asking the right questions you can increase your chances in the marketplace.