Strategic Planning Insights

It’s no secret that today’s consumers are more empowered and informed than ever before regarding their purchase decisions. Information is available with abundance, and buyers have what seems like an infinite amount of choices available to them thanks to this little thing called the internet.

The internet provides consumers with a constant flow of information that can be accessed in an instant. Mobile devices and apps add an even faster dimension to every aspect of the experience. Consumers can access pricing, detailed specs, and reviews about products and services anywhere or anytime with just a few clicks. And social media gives them the opportunity to shout out about their experience to anyone listening – positive or negative. By the time a consumer reaches your website, makes a call or stops by your place of business, chances are, they will have already developed perceptions and expectations about your brand. It’s up to your marketing, to not only get them in the door, but to set positive expectations as well.

To win in today’s over-saturated and cluttered marketplace, businesses need to become obsessed with their customers, focused on understanding them and engaging with them better than anyone else.

If you need help getting your business moving in the right direction, give us a call.

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The Marketing Cycle

Step 1 – Situation Analysis

Conduct a thorough review with you your current situation. Marketplace positioning – what is the current situation and what are the needs. What are the problems and what / where are the opportunities.

 

Step 2 – Segmentation – Profiling

Identifying who your customers are and what motivates them to buy is a crucial and often overlooked part of the marketing process. This means pouring through internal and external data sources to analyze consumer behavior and buying patterns as they relate to your existing and future customer base. Distinguishing between buyer personas and developing a strategy for targeting each. It’s kind of like what the FBI does with profiling – without the bad guys.

 

Step 3 – Message Crafting

Crafting the right message to resonate with the right audience is one of the most important steps in the marketing cycle. Your messaging must be impactful and creative enough to draw the attention of those you are trying to reach, otherwise you are throwing money down the drain. Take what you learn during the segmentation process and develop strategically targeted messaging for each unique segment group to drive the best results. A big part of that messaging is the CTA (Call to Action). If the messaging doesn’t include an effective call to action, there’s not much point in putting the message out there.

 

Step 4 – Defining Audience Reach

Identifying and planning which communication vehicles are going to carry the messages to the right audiences. Determine which vehicles are going to generate the best return on investment in accordance with your marketing budget. This may include developing a paid search campaign in Google and Bing, making a programmatic media buy in targeted digital publications, establishing persona-driven email campaigns, creating amazing brochures, running a direct mail campaign, pushing content, creating a knock-out social media campaign, or broadcasting your message on the Super Bowl with a $2 million ad (hey, it was worth a shot).

 

Step 5 – Execution (Phase 2)

The next step in the marketing cycle, is the execution. It’s all hands-on deck here. This is where you start to physically execute the plan to drive results. This includes creative production, buying media, drafting amazing content, managing social and PPC campaigns, etc.

 

Step 6 – Performance Measurement & Refinement

The “let it ride” strategy may work in Vegas, but for marketing, it’s the wrong bet. One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is that you have the opportunity to make real-time adjustments as necessary. Ad impressions can be guaranteed, but results can’t. It’s critically important to make tweaks and adjustments when and where you can. If you’re running a search campaign in google and you’re getting a lot of click-throughs, but hardly any takers…you need to find out why and make adjustments as necessary. The problem could be in the ad copy, the CTA could be a bit off, the landing page might be lacking focus, or maybe the ads simply aren’t targeting the right people. It could be a number of things.  What’s important is to continually analyze the data and make adjustments.

 

Step 7 – Loyalty & Retention

By “loyalty”, we don’t necessarily mean you need to have a loyalty program in place. When we say loyalty, we are talking about customer retention. It is extremely important to stay engaged with your current customer base and to maintain their trust in your product or service. You need to make sure you are engaging effectively with your existing customer base through email, on social media and at the point of sale.

 

Have questions about your marketing strategy? Hit us up.