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Developing a Marketing Strategy

Grab a cup of coffee, turn off communication from the world and follow the steps below to create your Marketing Strategy:

1. Create a customer profile

Start by writing tidbits about your customers, interesting facts that might set them apart. You are looking for patterns which if found can be very valuable. Find patterns in age, gender, geographic area, hobbies, income, interests, lifestyle, health, etc.

2. Match your customer profile with media outlets

Traditional media outlets include newspapers, magazines, outdoor billboard, radio and television. Non-traditional outlets might include leaving information on community bulletin boards, cinema, direct mail (your own invoicing can market), social media, brochures, trade promotion, e-mail, car wraps, clothing, etc.

Your goal is to find niche outlets for your audience. Niche publications would be media outlets that directly cater to your customers. Sometimes it is easy. If you sell golf merchandise, a golf magazine would be a niche outlet. Other times it’s more difficult to find a niche outlet. Just remember that the more “niche” you can get with your media outlets, the less your advertising dollars are wasted.

Knowledge is power when matching your customers with media outlets. The more educated you are with the media outlets, the better decisions you can make. Some of the most niche media outlets for you might not be easy to find. Research the geographic area you are wanting to target and don’t forget about smaller outlets like recital or sports programs, church bulletins and as mentioned above trade promotion. Trade promotion is when you find a non-competing business that shares the same customer profile and you advertise in each others business. Usually near the point of sale.

3. Create a marketing purpose statement

In “Duct Tape Marketing” by John Jantsch, the purpose statement is described as your rallying cry in the boardroom. Mr Jantsch is correct in saying “This is how you want to be perceived in plain English, not polished marketing rhetoric.” His example:

We’re custom home remodelers, and we want to be know as the “we-show-up-when-we-say, no-mess, no-trash, we’ll-make -your neighbors-happy, contractor” We have hired the most professional people in the industry, and they stand out whenever we compete for business or do work for a customer. We take our ShopVac into a sales call to help demonstrate clean!

The purpose statement is not the copy you want to have in your ad but it’s used to help designers or producers when developing ads. The purpose statement can help create synergy in your advertising mix by keeping all your ad messages on track. Make sure to write the purpose statement and display it where it can regularly be seen by employees.

4. Implement strategy

You should have a customer profile, media outlets you know that reach the audience and a marketing purpose statement that states the perception you want to demonstrate in your ads. Implementing the strategy consists of developing a media schedule with the outlets, creating ads that work with your marketing purpose and running the ads.

Make sure ALL your marketing material is on the same page as your marketing purpose statement, including your website or blog.

Hey, it’s just four steps… How tough can it be?!