“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.
When creating a business, whether small, medium, or big, many aspects are in the game. Lots of time, resources, money, ideas, great expectations, hopes, dreams, and the list goes on.
Some businesspeople usually say go big or home, but I like to think of it as plan your business or go home.
Starting a business is not an easy task; honestly, it’s challenging and sometimes overwhelming. From ancient times, we have seen how experience and mistakes have made us aware of every situation, showing us how in order to succeed most of the time, we have to plan.
Building a business plan is key as it will shape your vision and help you achieve it, but once that’s covered, how can you start getting some attention from clients and start growing?
The answer to your question.
Marketing is a great tool to get there, but a common mistake is to think of it as just posting cool graphics on social media or creating some google ads and expecting people to contact you.
In fact, it’s a broad area full of hues that you must apply according to your business’s context and characterization; in a very organized way, as marketing is a process that needs a series of cohesive and synchronized elements to work properly instead of enhancing an adverse effect.
How can I start using Marketing for my business?
A marketing strategy might be what you need.
We have already seen how many companies use it to get new customers, engagement, sales, top of mind, and many other benefits. Still, they don’t show us all the hard work and research done within their marketing areas; as part of a bigger picture called strategy.
Think, If you want to get somewhere, you better clarify where, why, when, and how. That’s mostly what a marketing strategy is all about.
Anita Cambell, CEO of Small Business Trends, defines it as the path to achieving your business goals through marketing. Starting by identifying your business goals and then breaking them into organized and conceptualized marketing activities to support those business goals.
These activities might involve communication, social media, research branding, among others. According to the American Marketing Association, these must provide a roadmap to creating and delivering true value to distinct customer groups. All successful marketing strategies must begin and end with the customer.
How can I start my Marketing Strategy?
First of all, create a business plan, as it will let you know your overall business goals and direction. Once you have it, we shall start with the fun.
1.Know where you’re standing:
You got to love yourself to love others is a common saying; we listen out there, and in fact, we want to make our customers love us. To do so, you have to start defining in clear short paragraphs:
- What your business is.
- Your service(s) and/or product(s).
- The industry you belong to.
- Your target audience (Deeply, literally stalk them, just kidding; but really get a hold on what they like, dislike, profiles, anything you can get, their social media and consumer preferences, etc.)
- How much budget you have.
- Your weaknesses, strengths, things you can improve.
- Your vision.
- Are you just starting a brand, or do you have some online presence?
- Any information that can robust your self exploring process is mighty fine.
- Any previous marketing efforts, analyze what has worked and whatnot.
With this information, you might be ready to set your business’s marketing strategy goals to help you get where your mind already is. Do not forget these objectives must be realistic and measurable.
An excellent tool that can help you have an idea of where to direct your marketing efforts can be using the Marketing Funnel:
2.Time to know the others.
Now that you know about yourself, it’s time to research the competition. This is an essential task to do to dive into the market research and create a consistent strategy.
You must get to know what your other companies similar to you offer, how they work, their audience, strategies, marketing tactics, social media platforms, their strengths, their weaknesses, what makes you a better option, what makes you different compared to what makes you strong and weak. Where they come from, what they aim to do, their branding process, what people think of them, etc.
Get all the details, location, services, products. Analyze every aspect that has made your competition stand out or not. You can also study some international companies’ cases, as they can provide you with fresh ideas and inspire you even more.
Don’t forget to study your community as it will be the territory where your marketing strategy will develop, whether online or offline; this can get you the lead in many ways.
3.Take time to read, interpret and analyze the collected information and start brainstorming into possible ideas.
Look for reference inspiration, and then start creating and linking them with your marketing objectives. Don’t forget to document them.
4.Look into your financials.
Now that you have an idea of what you might implement be sure to check how many monetary resources you possess to determine a budget. Marketing is not cheap, whether it’s traditional offline or online; it can get expensive; you must be aware of the money you want to invest in it for future surprises not to happen.
We all dream of complete and wholesome organic marketing growth, but sometimes our natural efforts need a boost.
Consider all your options if you need to put some money. Check different alternatives and analyze them properly. You don’t want to put your money in the wrong place.
5.Establish your strategy tactics and tools.
With the previous research and processes, you will know which are the most appropriate actions for your business now.
Your results and analysis will help you define what tools will be the ones you’ll be implementing: Digital marketing, cold calling, email marketing, lead generation, all of them, just two of them, perhaps three; link them with your previous brainstorming and more important to your goals.
Set a timeline. This will be good for you to check the effectiveness of your tactics and measure them. Please be realistic, don’t expect everything to change from day to night, Marketing is a process, and it requires a great investment in time.
7.Implement, study and Refresh
Hands-on, the wheel, start making everything happen while keeping an eye on its development. Write down what’s going good, what is not, any changes in the market, trends, and anything that may impact your process. New ideas, new options, new tools, the world is yours.
Analyze your information and vamp your marketing strategy for the better.
Don’t feel overwhelmed but give the best you can.
A marketing strategy can be a complex tool to grow inside the market as it has many elements to take into account. On the other hand, it can be fun and beneficial.
If you feel like not wanting to do this all alone, you might need a helping hand, and on Steams Online (Link), we are happy to comply.
Our marketing experts and graphic designers will join you on your journey to build a consistent brand and identity, while our Marketing 360 will use some of the best marketing channels to get some students and new clients.