Marketing is the lifeline to any startup company – without it, the company will surely fail. So, like any company you are probably eager to jump right in and see where your marketing efforts can take you.
The best way to start off any new company, or even new year for a more established company, is with a smart marketing strategy. Marketing is more than just paying for a few ads – it is careful attention to detail, smart spending, and a lot of strategizing.
If you are stuck on how to develop your first – or next – smart marketing strategy, here are a few tips:
1. Budget for a successful marketing strategy
Everything costs money. Develop a budget and ensure you have the people and the funds to follow through with it.
You can’t have filet mignon dreams with a sirloin budget – the bottom line is it just won’t work. You will find yourself and your team incredibly frustrated with your inability to meet your expectations.
Rather, base your budget on the amount of capital you have available to invest and how fast you want to see results.
2. Set goals and priorities for upcoming months
Plan, plan, plan – this can’t be reiterated enough. Part of developing a smart marketing strategy is developing a plan.
Make a list of goals and priorities for each client to ensure everyone is working toward the same bottom line. This improves efficiency, decreases the chances of error or failure, and also increases productivity as everyone has a clear plan already laid out for them.
Try using contactless smart cards to store your company goals and priorities allowing everyone easy access to the documents.
3. Review and revise your desired customer profile and personas
Review previous customers who have experienced the best results – what made them different and enjoyable to work with? Design your ideal customer profile and ensure your buyer personas are accurate according to the profile.
Continue to update these personas as needed to accurately reflect the type of customers you want to reach who will help you achieve your marketing growth goals.
4. Document your buyer’s journey
This step goes hand in hand with No. 3 – how can you look back on the methods used for successful clients without documenting them? This is vital for both your future endeavors and for the client to understand just why they are paying you.
5. Organize your marketing collateral
Ensure your digital and printed marketing content is designed and written to attract your ideal customers. Your marketing collateral should identify your company’s unique qualities, attracting prospects and customers.
Also, verify the copyright dates are updated and that everyone is using the current version.
6. Document your sales and new marketing strategies
Any new marketing strategy that is developed along the way – keep track of it. It might not be used later on, but if you decide to, there it is.
This is also a good thing to have handy when checking out competitors – is it something they have already come up with?
7. Check out your competitors
In order to beat the competition, you have to know what the competition is doing.
Check out your competitor’s new strategies, website, and social media Then, begin brainstorming ways to jump one step ahead of them.
8. Confirm what makes you unique
You will capitalize off of your unique factor. Determine what separates you from the competitors and let everyone know!
You aren’t the only marketing company out there – so, what is it that makes you special?
9. Review your online marketing and website
Similar to your marketing collateral – your website and online marketing content should match your desired customer profile and your company branding.
10. Explore your social media outlet options
As a marketing company, you should always be on top of “the next big thing” when it comes to social media.
11. Engage with clients and followers on social media
In today’s technology-driven world, social media is a huge part of successful marketing. Maintain your company social media sites, continuously engaging with followers and potential clients.
12. Review and document your sales process
Does your sales process match up to the quantity and quality of customers you need to reach your ultimate goals? Is everyone following the same process?
Analyze your sales process and ensure your CRM (customer relationship management) system is set up to support an efficient and effective process.
During this review, keep an eye out for “dark pools” – when a customer or prospect gets ignored or lost due to lack of resources or time – in your process.
13. Identify gaps in your marketing and sales documents
By identifying gaps, you can determine the cause for them. Did you have a recent decline in employment lowering your ability to maintain the same workload? Address any gaps and brainstorm on ways to avoid them.
Remember – gaps in successful marketing costs money.
14. Track your progress and evolve your current tactics
Tracking your progress is vital to determining if your strategies have been effective. This allows you to lay your tactics out and see what works and what doesn’t.
Take the tactics that haven’t worked and evolve those into something that will work. In part, you can do this by analyzing the reason(s) a tactic didn’t work and improving just that portion.
15. Define your company’s one-year company vision
While here and now visions and goals are important, long-term visions and goals are vital to the long-term success of a company. By making plans for where you want to be as a company in a year, you can better decide what you need to start doing now to be at that point in a year.
David Smith is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry, as well as content marketing manager in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. When not staring into a computer screen, David is an avid badminton player and photographer of natural landscapes.