The marketing process…before you spend a dime!

H2 It all begins with the right marketing strategy…

The marketing process begins with developing a strategy. What does the competitive situation look like? Are you playing offense and going after the market leader in your category? Are you playing defense that requires defending your position against new competition? What tactics will you employ to execute your strategy? What does success look like? What timeline are you willing to commit to? Is your marketing budget somewhat fluid depending on the idea, or is it rigid? What do you know about the buying habits of your target consumer group? These are just a few of the many questions that need to thought through and answered BEFORE you even commit resources. But often they are not. Don’t make this mistake!

H2 The right Marketing Consultant can make all the difference…

Ideally you want a Marketing Consultant who can manage and execute the marketing strategy from start to finish, including creative messaging, production, buy placement, metric measurements and strategy. This begins with determining your USP (unique selling proposition), which is your primary point of differentiation. What clearly sets you apart from your competition, and is indisputable? Your USP should be focused on a CREDENTIAL that your business is known for. Credentials are benefits with credibility. “Tastes great, saves money, lighter, faster, cheaper” all may be important to customers, but they aren’t rooted in credibility, thus they are often ignored. The most powerful credential to aim for is category “LEADERSHIP”. Consumers love to follow the leader in any category. If you can drill down and find a benefit your business can be the leader in, you’ve found your credential to build around. Keep in mind, your credentials need to be things that can’t be duplicated or even exceeded by a competitor! Say that phrase to yourself over and over as you determine your primary credential. The right credential also gives your brand validity and staying power.

H2 It’s all about EMOTION!

Without evoking some kind of emotional response from the consumer, your messaging evaporates almost instantly in the consumer’s mind. You need to determine what emotion you’re trying to evoke with your messaging. Humor is always a great emotion to attempt, but it doesn’t always fit the product or service your business offers. Fear, envy, hope, anger, excitement…. are all acceptable emotions to message around. You have to determine which emotional tactic has the best chance to activate your target consumer, and craft your messaging with that emotion through the filter of the consumer’s mind.

H2 Pick the right media platform…

You’ll need to consider which media platform(s) is the best vehicle to distribute your marketing message. There are differences in the way your message is presented on radio or tv, and on social media and other digital platforms. You need to understand what those differences are, and how to maximize them. You need to be prepared to use different approaches to deliver your primary marketing message based on the platform delivering it. The “keep it simple stupid” notion doesn’t apply here. Each media platform has it’s own unique aspects that need to be considered in your media planning. Just make sure your primary marketing message is consistent on all platforms.

H2 Media planning matters more than you might think…

You need to have a marketing strategy in your media planning, and specifics for each platform. There are many occasions when the highest rated station/platform is not the best option for you. Studies have shown that you can attain a solid R.O.I. from a lower rated/ranked station if your messaging is effective. Almost any radio, tv, digital or social media outlet has enough users to deliver at least decent return on investment, if the messaging is truly activating. The key is to look for efficiency in your advertising placement and return. This requires some knowledge of how any particular media outlet’s audience is known to react to certain messaging techniques. There are fundamental reasons how audiences use and engage with media platforms. Always ask for any information your media rep has on audience behavior BEFORE you place your buy!

H2 Your website is your best sales tool!

To have a sound marketing strategy you must have an exceptional website that has maximized it’s functional performance! It’s your first impression. Without a fine tuned website that has lightning fast page speed and exceptional user experience, and is mobile friendly, your consumer marketing success will be diluted more than you can even imagine. Keep in mind, all of your advertising will likely direct consumers to your website. It only takes one bad experience to turn a potential customer away. I work with an incredible company at www.ideapro.com. They are the absolute masters at maximizing website performance, and at unbelievably affordable rates! I’m not a salesperson, but I know an expert website architect and builder is essential to marketing success today. You can’t afford to screw this part up!