By Dr. Jason Carthen
Are you gaining the type of traction that you want for your business? Do you have clients in the pipeline and maybe even some on the waiting list? If you answered yes; that’s excellent because you are in a good space! However, if you did not answer with an affirmative to either of those questions, lets pull back the covers and take a quick look at your marketing strategy.
Seven Key Aspects of Marketing
One of the most important aspects of your business plan are your marketing efforts. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, marketing has moved from a practice that takes place in a bubble under the watchful eye of the Chief Marketing Officer, to more of a collaborative decision making process across departments undergirded with strategy and planning for the greatest effectiveness. However, one of the biggest challenges that many organizations face is knowing exactly how to market effectively in alignment with their business strategy and overall capabilities. For that reason, I want to share with you seven key aspects of marketing that should be considered as you seek to develop or assess an existing marketing strategy.
1. Review existing brand literature:
Does it communicate what it is supposed to? Is it still relevant to what your messaging is trying to convey? If it does not, then it is time to retool, revise and edit accordingly.
2. Determine if all messaging is unified and in alignment with mission and vision:
Determine if new marketing initiative is in alignment with the company’s overall mission and vision. In the final analysis, does it take us where it is meant to as it relates to the mission and vision?
3. Review existing marketing plan process:
The process allows clarity and ultimately a clear path for execution. If the process is flawed, then expect your efforts to run into snags or potential barriers. Make sure the process makes sense before getting started.
4. Determine customer needs and buying behaviors:
Do your research! I share with my clients that data will not lie. it may not tell you want you would like to “hear”, but it will give you direction and input to make informed decisions about your customers or clients.
5. Assess secondary research data and then primary research data specific to your organization:
What’s happening across the industry as it relates to your business? Look for trends and possible entry points for your offering. Then drill down and do your research as it relates specifically to your organization/company.
6. Determine market segmentation based upon your goals and what your research reveals:
As the HBR article suggests, you need to work in concert with other departments and your marketing team to make sure alignment occurs with your overall strategy that has been informed by the data and realistic resource allocation. In other words be realistic, but leave it all on the table for maximum outcomes.
7. Now leverage your marketing competitive advantage:
Based upon your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) make sure your marketing effort answers the key question of how you will address the customers pain or what they need to address the most. In other words, be sure to outline your value proposition!
Please leave a comment or post on my Facebook Page and let me know how you approach marketing for your company or organization. Thanks for your ongoing support!