Marketing Guru Pro Series #1 | Where do I begin?
Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great your marketing can be?
I know, I know. Your eyes are rolling. But here's what happened: I got the song stuck in my head when I wrote that title, took a walk down memory lane and smiled when I remembered just what an impression this movie left on my younger self. (Go ahead, take a peek! Love Story, with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, circa 1970). You can't deny. It's a classic.
Now it's your turn to make an impression on your audience. But don't just leap! Let's look first. Here are the three things you must do to ensure your marketing efforts are successful:
1) Define your budget.This is most commonly determined by applying a percentage of your annual sales, usually between 9 percent and 12 percent. If your company is new or in the start-up stages, you will need to devise a strategy first and place all marketing iniatives in order of priority. Then, you can methodically approach the necessary building of your marketing aresenal without falling into a reactionary mode of "Gee, that (insert your favorite late-night gimmicky ad here) sounds like a great deal!"
2) Plan your strategy. A critical component to your future marketing success, a detailed strategy will help you stay on course throughout the year. A proper strategy should be updated every year and include:
- A competitive analysis
- A demographic profile of your top three audiences/customers
- Details of your audience/customer's wants and needs
- A definition of your brand
- The top three things that set you apart from your competition
- A list of the marketing tactics that need your attention (i.e., tradeshows that are up and coming; website that needs updating) with a defined budget
- Monthly marketing iniatives that will keep you in front of your audience/customer
3) Execute your strategy consistently. Consistency is key.Your business needs the momentum achieved by diligent effort. The impact of your marketing will be greatly diminished if you approach your plan piecemeal rather than in an integrated manner, or do not devote the necessary time to implement the plan.
This brings to a close my first lesson in the Marketing Guru Pro Series. I hope you'll stay the course with me. I designed it with you in mind.
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