The Path to Success
The sad truth is that too many businesses tackle marketing as a series of stand-alone projects, and it shows! Door-to-door salespeople and phone-soliciting newspaper ad-teams target small business owners, talking them into all sorts of a-la-carte marketing programs. It is not uncommon for the average business to engage numerous vendors to design and produce various unrelated marketing elements without any communication or overarching guidance. So, what happens? Each well-meaning vendor, left to their own devices, offers a helping hand, adding their personal spin to the brand, resulting in a mish-mosh of costly, ineffective marketing.
Your strategy should not be an afterthought. It is the starting place for any successful endeavor. We have a great process for this — one that is helping many businesses. Our approach allows us to capture a snapshot of your customers, the market, and your competition to determine what marketing messages and channels will be most likely to help your company stand out from the crowd.
The result is a Marketing Action Plan or MAP — it literally becomes our shared map for navigating the complicated realm of digital marketing together.
Your Marketing Action Plan
Development of your Marketing Action Plan involves four conveniently scheduled 90-minute consultation sessions. During these meetings, expect to engage in an invigorating dialogue while we work together on a robust plan to achieve your business goals.
The process begins by articulating your goals and objectives, including sales targets. It is important that we establish your marketing budget up front to be sure our recommendations fall within an achievable scope. Next, we will work together to determine your brand’s unique selling points, who your customers are, and the best marketing messages to attract them.
Key elements of every MAP document include:
- Defined goals and objectives for your company
- Snapshots of your customer profiles and buyer personas
- Descriptions and data about your target markets
- Competitor information
- Positioning and Marketing Messages
- Marketing strategies for SEO, Content, SEM and Social Media
- Tactical Recommendations to match your goals
- Budget - along with researched costs and estimated timeline
The Importance of a MAP
If you have ever done any residential landscaping, regardless of budget, the first step is to come up with a landscaping plot, or plan. This diagram lays out all the landscaping elements: hardscape, water features, trees, and shrubs, in the context of traffic patterns, light, and shade, elevations, etc.. With this plan in hand, even a DIY landscaper understands what comes first and what's next — when to buy the Japanese Maple and exactly where to place it!
In many ways, marketing your business is similar to landscaping. You know you need the “plants and shrubs” of marketing: logos, business cards, product photography, websites, social media, mobile apps, etc.
But how do all of these elements work together? What messages are they communicating and to whom? How should you prioritize and sequence these marketing deliverables? And just like landscaping, you'd be wise to consider the ongoing cost of care and feeding and who’s going to be responsible. You need a MAP.
With your MAP in hand, you will not only know how all the puzzle pieces fit together but also the sequence of marketing priorities and relative costs.
Stop wasting time and money with fragmented marketing efforts.
The old adage, "Plan your work and work your plan" applies just as well to marketing as it does to most worthwhile endeavors. That is why we suggest putting all the tactical stuff on hold while we work together to develop a Marketing Action Plan for your business.
If you already have a written plan, "Great!" Please share it and we can hit the ground running. If not, this is where every engagement begins.
For a reasonable cost, your MAP provides managers, investors, sales agents and marketing partners a digestible marketing overview of your business — something that can be grasped in minutes as opposed to the weeks of dialog and synthesis required to create it. The goal is to provide enough detail to be useful without burdening readers with too much detail.