Marketing is a necessary evil. When P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” he was talking about the target audience for marketing!

You have to follow a road map to get where you need to go and marketing is much the same process. Trying to do everything, on a whim, is not only taxing, but may have a detrimental effect on the end goal…positive engagement with customers.

Before you stop reading…and go back to whatever you were doing before this…take a look at my straightforward 5 Step Marketing Strategy and see if it makes sense for your business? It takes a minute to set the initial plan to paper, but in the end (especially if you want to base your strategy on science) it will take you exactly where you need to go.

Step 1: Define Your Marketing Goals

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What opportunities can you identify?
  • What challenges will you face?

Your marketing goals are what you want to accomplish through customer engagement. Set measurable goals or objectives so you will know if/when you succeed.

  • Non-measurable Goals: Do better at responding on social media (better than what?)
  • Measurable Goals: Reduce response time on social media to 90 minutes

Step 2: Determine Your Target Audience(s)

  • Define audience demographics – who is your ideal audience
  • Pinpoint desired audience behaviors and habits
  • Identify problem to solve

Which of the following is your business most interested in marketing to? Learn the details of their behaviors, habits, attitudes. If you understand the journey your customer takes to get to you, you’ll be better able to “meet them where they are” in the funnel.

Business to consumer (b2c) target audience indicators:

  • Demographics, habits, expendable income, attitudes toward your product

Business to business (b2b) target audience indicators:

  • Industry demographics, geo location, size of business, buying process, attitudes toward your product

Step 3: Plan Your Approach

  • Who’s your ideal customer and where do they hang out?
  • What’s your promotional “Competitive Advantage?”
  • Do people want or need your product?

Where do you need to be to get your business in front of the right audience, at the right time, at the right price and to create an awareness of your business? Take a deep look at how the sales funnel from top to bottom looks for your business.

  • Do some primary market research – data you collect yourself about competition, audience, pricing…and more.
  • Do some secondary market research – data from trusted sources about competition, audience, pricing…and more.

Step 4: Craft Your Message

  • Determine style and voice
  • Create standardized brand
  • Test messages with sample audiences

Get to the WHY? Does your product or service save time or money? Improve quality of life? Increase personal satisfaction? If you can solve a problem, you can make a sale. What benefits can you provide?

  • Features tell/benefits sell
  • Use a measurable call to action
  • Find your voice and be true to your brand
  • Repetition is key. Test and retest your messaging
  • Don’t be afraid to pivot if what you’re saying isn’t resonating. Fine tuning your message takes time.

Step 5: Evaluate Your Results

Evaluating your efforts with data is the only way to determine your return on investment (ROI). Measurable objectives will show clearly whether your sales (or other) goal was satisfied.

  • How are you measuring success? What will satisfy the goal?
  • What will meet the objective?
  • What do the analytics show?
  • Use pixels, custom UTMs, and conversions to measure success

Remember the Rule of 7?

It says that a customer will need to be exposed to your message at least 7 times before they take action. According to The Interaction Design Foundation, a ‘touchpoint’ is “Places of interaction with your brand rather than ‘channels’ which are planned points of interaction.”

Now, however, the number 7 isn’t cast in stone. Today, it can take up to 17-21 touches for a customer to commit to making the buying decision! The truth of the “Rule of Seven” is you can’t just engage in a marketing activity and then be done. You have to repeat, repeat, and repeat.

So let’s do it!

If you think your business could benefit from a 5 Step Marketing Strategy, let’s talk! Send me an email today or Download your free e-book on The 5 Step Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses with more explanations of the steps.

Let’s talk. I love to discuss strategy hannahgoldcommunications@gmail.com or give us a call at 269-341-3786,.