Marketing strategy is a big forest that you can easily get turned around and lost in. The good news is that after working with 100’s of Local Professionals over 16+ years, we know how to blaze a trail to what works. These are the 5 critical factors that our most successful Clients have in their marketing strategy…
Where The Game Is Really Won
Having a solid marketing strategy makes everything else so much easier and effective: your advertising almost writes itself, your sales cycle shortens, Customers seek you out, you have profit to use to grow even stronger.
But let’s be honest. Sharpening Strategy isn’t where most businesses turn to when they want (need?) to free themselves from the “hamster wheel of survival”. They’re looking for (and often need) short-term wins. Fair enough. There are certainly short-term wins to be had.
And that’s typically where we start with our Clients. Once you start getting more breathing space from having more Clients, it’s easier to start looking at sharpening your Strategy. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor will your Strategy. Like our approach to most everything else, we like to start with the easy wins that have a high payoff. Those wins give momentum and confidence in doing the harder things later.
The 5 Winning Factors of Marketing Strategy
Picking the right WHO to target is the single most important decision in your marketing strategy.
Once you know who it is exactly that you want to attract, you can wrap not just your marketing message but your whole service offering around that who. The deeper you understand your target market, the more effective your marketing can be.
Your Unique Selling Proposition is more than a tag line. It’s something that authentically sets you apart in the market. You want a USP that is:
- Meaningful to your target market
- Difficult to be copied.
While your USP might be expressed in your tag line, a good USP goes much deeper. The best USP is made up of several layers, each layer making it increasingly difficult for your competitors to rip off.
Do the economics of your business leave ample room for advertising and customer service?
For example, if your pricing is so razor thin that you rely on enough volume just to cover your overhead, there’s virtually no way to get out of the hamster wheel of survival.
Sometimes, it’s as easy as raising your prices. Often, a more thorough restructuring of your service offerings is needed: focusing on your higher margin services, dropping your money losers, value-adding your services to justify higher prices, and streamlining your fulfillment process to lower your cost structure.
For larger ticket and complex purchases, Buyers don’t just wake up one day ready to buy. They go through a process that can last weeks or months.
Most (just about all) advertising is focused at the 5% of Buyers who are ready to buy today. Imagine if you could have a list of the 95% of Buyers who are still “just looking” and be the one who educates and helps them navigate their buying journey? Marketing to people NOT ready to buy yet is a massive competitive advantage.
Your brand is much more than your business name and logo. Your brand is the FEELING people have about you. It’s what people BELIEVE about you.
Starting with the easy stuff, your business name should be distinct, easy to remember and descriptive of what you do. Your logo should be distinct, memorable, and easy for people to describe.
Beyond that, how you conduct your business influences how people will feel about you and what they come to believe about you. If your customers don’t have a strong, positive feeling about you, if they don’t have strong (positive) beliefs about you, then there’s work to be done to engineer your brand. Market Leaders have very strong brands.
A letter from Scott…
We’re Not Your Typical Marketing Agency
There’s a lot of marketing intelligence and know-how built into the websites and online advertising we do. But that hasn’t been enough. I get a lot of requests from Clients who want more. Until just recently, we’ve never hung a shingle advertising “Consulting” or “Coaching”. In fact, most of our Clients don’t like the word “consulting”—sounds expensive. But there’s been a growing demand for “Scott time” so we’re hanging up the shingle, officially.
First, let me tell you what we aren’t and what we don’t do. We’re not a “typical” marketing agency that does lengthy marketing analysis just to create a detailed marketing plan with pretty pie charts. Those are the plans that end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I don’t have the time or temperament for that kind of “academic” nonsense.
What you will get during our time together are probing questions, “Scott sketches”, needle-moving insights and action items for you to work on. Our sessions are very much about “rolling up our sleeves” and getting into it. It’s common to be given specific “homework assignments” to do and report back on.
The “10-Minute Back-Of-The-Napkin Business Turnaround”
Why do people come to me for this kind of strategic marketing advice?
Over the years, I’ve developed a knack for the “10-minute back-of-the-napkin Business Turnaround”. In very short order, I can diagnose what’s ailing a business and offer prescriptive remedies to fix it and make it successful.
After working with 100’s of Professionals & Contractors over the years, having hands on experience with marketing for over 20 years, and putting well over 1,000 hours of study into marketing, I’ve learned that there are a set of universal “patterns” that apply to all businesses. If your current business practices are significantly out of alignment with one of these patterns, then your business is suffering. I’m able to quickly spot where those misalignments are and suggest how to correct that misalignment.
But be warned…
Often, the prescriptions are uncomfortable. When we work together, there are no “600-pound Guerrillas in the room” that we won’t talk about. There are no “off-limits” topics.
It’s normal for us to develop our comfort zones—work within what’s familiar—and think about incremental changes. Chances are, if you want real needle-moving changes in your business, you’re going to have to venture out of your comfort zone and do some new things or do some old things in new ways.
Of course, the decisions are always yours. My job is to shine light on what I think the answers are.
To your prosperity,
“I’m interested. Let’s talk.“
Book An Intro Meeting with Jen
Book a time on Jen’s calendar and we can talk about what you’re looking for.