Brand Strategy

Take the scare out of marketing

How to create an effective marketing strategy.

The task of developing a comprehensive marketing strategy can seem less daunting when broken down into two key points: 1. identify what you do best and 2. communicate your strengths to your target audience in a way that will be understood and received. These two areas embody the foundation of any successful marketing strategy. What makes it scary is that it involves some exposure which puts most people into an uncomfortable place.

However, when you truly commit to a marketing strategy, making it real for you, your customers, and your target market, you increase your changes for success. The more real your marketing approach, and somewhat vulnerable it makes you, the better prepared you are for success.

Here are a few points to help you develop a worthwhile marketing strategy:

Who. Are you able to identify your ideal customer? Taking a look into your past client or customer history may help reveal the answer. Who has been the easiest customer for your organization to service? For whom do you enjoy working? If you have been in business awhile, describe one (or several) of your long-time clients. Your ideal customer should be easy for you and your organization to spot. You may be able to develop a couple ideal profiles that possess a common thread. Having an answer to this question is important because it will affect the other two points.

What. Your message should be crafted around your core value proposition as well as your target audience. Imagery and brand will help support this message and make it memorable. What would a successful customer relationship with your organization mean to your target audience, and how can you communicate this message?

Why. Why you? Why you over the competition? What unique qualities do you and your organization possess that would cause prospects to seek you out? What do you do better than your competitors in your product or service category? Perhaps you offer the same product or service, but you have a better brand, or you have packaged your solutions or services in a way that improves the overall customer experience. Why is the critical question because it probes into what separates you and makes you unique.

How. What is your approach? How does it differ from what your competition offers? What makes you different? Perhaps you or your company possess a few characteristics that make for a unique and desirable mix to potential customers. Whatever that mix is, make sure you can communicate it simply, effectively and often to your target.

Any marketing strategy that doesn’t scare, move you from your comfort zone or require anything remarkable of you, won’t be worth achieving. Set your marketing goals high, make them authentic, allow them to make you feel vulnerable. Every marketing task should get you one step closer to achieving your goals and help you to ask the critical questions (i.e. Is my direct mail copy right? Do my Twitter posts support my message?) Using scary as an gauge, although somewhat unconventional, may be a good indication that you are headed in the right direction.

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