Tried & True Marketing Basics… Ignore At Your Peril.
Most businesses do not have a marketing strategy. Are they planning to fail?
Every business owner presumably wants to grow their business. Many entrepreneurs thrash about throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks all while looking for that Silver Bullet that’s going to drive every human on earth to their front door. Guess what?
It doesn’t exist.
Sure, there are some marketing tactics that work better than others. But, more often than not, business owners don’t do the hard work. The research, then build out their strategy. As a business and marketing consultant, I can tell you, not doing your research and creating a strategy is the absolute worst thing you can do. No, seriously.
Advertising, creating content, blogging, and posting stuff on the web without a strategy is like building a home with no blueprints. What are you going to build? How tall are the walls? How many windows does it have? What are the bedroom dimensions? The list is endless and your marketing is the same.
Your marketing strategy is your blueprint. I’ve spent the past 18 years off and on in the residential construction industry, on the marketing side mostly. But here’s one thing that I have learned… the more time and effort you spend on the “design” of the home, and the more detailed you are with your construction drawings (blueprints), the more money you will save, the fewer headaches you will have, and the more you will stay on budget and on schedule. There is a direct correlation.
Marketing Strategy vs Tactics
Every marketing initiative should be built in two major phases. The “strategy” (blueprints) which decides what your product is and how it fills a solution to your target audience’s problem. Then that strategy plans out the most effective way, and “how” you are going to “reach” your target audience.
Your marketing “tactics” are the actual implementation of your strategy. If the strategy is the blueprint, the tactics are the carpenters with hammers that build the home. Here’s the deal… almost every single post and article you read on the entire Internet is talking about “tactics”. That’s the easiest and funnest part of marketing. Figuring out “what” your message is, well that’s the hard part.
Another analogy. Imagine you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to Chicago. Would you just jump in the car and start driving (tactic) without any idea which way to go? Of course not. You would sit down and plan out how long it will take, which roads you’ll travel on, and how much gas will cost. (strategy) With no strategy, you might end up in Eugene Oregon stuck on the side of the road with no gas!
Marketing is the same way. What is your product? What is the pain-point your target audience is experiencing? How does your product fill that need? Who is your “Ideal Customer” that would purchase your product? How do you reach them? What does that cost?
As mentioned before, most of what business owners talk about is the fun stuff. They love to talk about Graphic design, but that’s a tactic. Advertising, tactic. Blog articles, tactics. Building a website, tactic. TV, radio, and direct mail, tactics. Digital Marketing, Social Media, Paid Search, SEO, Content Marketing, yes all of this are tactical endeavors borne out of a well planned marketing strategy.
So think about this concept, what the heck are you going to communicate to your target audience via any medium or tactic if you haven’t done your research and built your strategy? In theory, you would have no idea.
Doing requisite market research, looking at demographics, determining pain-points, and creating a living, a breathing strategy will make all of your tactics going forward a piece of cake.
- Margaret Thatcher said: “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”.
- Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.
Your marketing strategy and implementation of that strategy via tactics are tried and true fundamentals that have been around for hundreds of years. The only thing that has really changed is the tactics to reach your target audience. (think Internet)
Ignore at your peril.