Marketing. Where Should You Start?
MAKING GOOD STRATEGIC DECISIONS
What is the first piece of marketing you need for your business?
There is a 4 step process (see below) to follow if you are interested in creating a brand with successful, and profitable, marketing!
When starting a new business, launching a new product or service we tend to get excited. I mean why not, the idea of launching something new and successful is worth getting excited over.
Unfortunately for many there is an inclination to spend too much time and money on things that don’t provide results needed early on. For most this is usually on assets that we can see and show to others. Things like websites, logos, product mockups etc… All of which are very exciting but will they make your business or product and services successful? Or are they in fact the final steps in creating a brand with profitable marketing?
Let’s break it down and see!
If you start with your website first for example, what pages will you create? What massaging will you put on those pages to ensure it resonates with prospects and your website has a high conversion rate? What offers will you present? Will they be well thought out and irresistible to your customers because they have been well designed and are different from your competitors?
The answer is no…you haven’t yet crafted powerful and effective offers, messaging or anything else, so the website is not where you should be starting. Unfortunately it is where most find themselves, spending money on items that, at this stage, are more of an expense than the asset they should be.
There is actually a psychological reason why so many businesses make this mistake. What is focal is causal, or in other words what we see most of is what we believe to be most important. As consumers all we see are the ads, content, websites and logos or competitors, we then presume that those elements are the reason for their success. Due to this psychological bias we fail to consider the branding, positioning and marketing strategies that gave these elements their power.
This is actually a good thing, it means that the foundations to successful marketing does not need to be expensive as it only requires you to understand the concepts and think first of some solutions!
As Simon Sinek made popular, we want to ‘start with why’ then how, and finally the what. In marketing terms the why is the Branding and Positioning, then the how or the marketing plan and objectives, and finally the what or the assets like websites and advertising.
This ensures that we have thought about the key questions that determine our success before we have spent money just trying to guess the answers. Questions like who is this for? What problems are we solving? How will we target this market? How are we different from others? Really it stop wishful thinking, crossing our fingers, hoping we will be successful and provides us with information that we can use to ensure we are.
The 4 step process:
Breaking this down into 4 steps makes the process more fluid. Step 1 informs step 2 which informs step 3 and finally provides everything you need to be effective in step 4. So what are the 4 steps? They are:
- Branding & Positioning Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
STEP 1: Branding and Positioning. Is about positioning your business, products and services into a category of one. This is an essential step in ensuring customers do not view you as a commodity and as replaceable. It provides a deep understanding of the market and places you in a niche that will increase your ability to grow without being limited by a bad market or competition.
Next Branding. A Brand strategy develops clarity for a business in the form of a clear mission, vision, values, brand personality and methods for creating value and building loyalty with your customers. A brand strategy outlines and defines the future trajectory of the business.
By developing strong positioning and a defined brand you will have more clarity on your future direction. Better yet, you will have a framework for consistent decision making going forward, unlike most who change at every new shiny object that grabs their attention.
STEP 2: Marketing Strategy. The marketing strategy converts the why of the brand into the how. It takes the thinking already done in the branding and positioning to develop tactics that will be used to build a response from the market and extract value in the form of sales. A good marketing strategy develops a customer first approach to develop language, products/services that solves problems, offers that are irresistible, content plans and advertisements.
By the end of developing a marketing strategy you should know exactly how you will execute your marketing.
STEP 3: Objectives. The third step is taking the work done in our marketing strategy, like our offers, to create funnels that attract as many potential customers as possible and a user experience that customers appreciate. Our marketing strategy allows this process to be quick and easy, almost like a drag and drop approach. This is because all the work around messaging, offers and products/services has already been developed.
Once we have laid out the customer journey in our funnels we then know exactly what we need for step 4, without wasting time or money.
STEP 4: Deliverables. The customer journey has been designed and now we turn that into websites, content, email sequences and ads that make our marketing system visible from the perspective of the customers. We don’t have to waste time and money on useless elements that don’t actually provide us a return on investment, we only develop what we need. These elements are assets that are a part of a system to generate profit.
The result is a system that has been designed from the brand up, it is aligned with why we do what we do and how we will be most effective in doing it. We weren’t distracted by shiny objects like the campaigns our competitors were running, we were focused on delivering our brands products and services in the methods that best solve our customers problems.
So next time you want to launch a business, a new product and service stop, don’t think about the website, the content, or the funnels, instead think about the branding and positioning and how that can influence good decision making going forward.