Most entrepreneurs face the same challenges when it comes to marketing. They don't have the 1) time, 2) money or 3) knowledge to employ a marketing effort that will address their business’s needs. They find themselves stringing together marketing tactics and wondering why they're not getting results. “Let’s try social media. Everyone else is doing it.” Or, “I need a new website. Let’s set up a meeting to design one tomorrow." Trying something can be productive, but on it’s own will rarely produce the results you’re looking for.
The first thing I tell my clients is that tactical execution is important, but knowing WHY you are doing something is much more important. That means establishing goals that are based on your business challenges and creating solutions that will achieve those goals. I call this the WHY. It goes beyond the tactical and helps answer more important questions like 1) how should I grow my business organically? or 2) who are my customers and what do they really want?
I’ve gained inspiration from a quote by French writer, Antoine de Saint Exupéry:
"A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
To me, this means, if you don’t know the WHY and WHAT, you are hoping for good luck.
You are either a wisher or a planner.
So how do you develop an informed marketing plan that addresses your challenges and defines your goals?
It's not easy and it takes a little time, but it's worth the extra effort. Here are a few tips that will steer you in the right direction.
1. Know Your Own Business
Sounds obvious, right? But, you might not know your business as well as you think you do. To start the process, you have to really think about what your challenges are as a business and what are your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Know Your Customers
Do you truly know what motivates your customers? Do you know what their pain points are? Have you put them at the middle of everything that you do? My strong advice is to learn everything you can about your customers. It helps to create target personas that put a face and a name to who they are, what motivates them and how they relate to your brand. This will make you deliberately think about with whom you are trying to develop a relationship.
3. Know Your Competitors
Lastly, you need to look at who your competitors are and determine what it is they do better than you and what you do better than them. This will then help align where your position is in the category and define the best opportunities to grow your business.
Once you've thoroughly thought about your own business and brand, your customers and your competitors, you will go beyond just wishing and be prepared to define your goals and develop a plan that will provide solutions to address your challenges.
If you are interested in taking this approach and don't have the time to start it yourself, you can CONTACT US and we'll get you started on your own exploration.