Like it or not, marketing is everywhere and we’re immersed in hundreds of marketing messages daily. In order to get people to know about the amazing benefits of your business, you have to do marketing in some capacity.
Being in the marketing field for a while now and before that sales, I’ve seen some people who “do it all right”. They put in the time and the effort and they get no real results out of it. And a light bulb finally went off that the area that’s lacking for 99.9% of them is-strategy.
So many people (to be candid, myself included when I first launched my business), just set up the posts, write the blog article, retweet without having a real plan about how it all cohesively works together. We can spend hours like rats on a wheel going round and round and not going anywhere without strategy.
I read an article on 5 ways you’re getting in your own way when it comes to your marketing strategy. It made several interesting points that I feel small businesses in particular struggle with. These are the 5 points the author mentions where the strategy is lacking, that I’ll unpack for you in a minute from a customer experience perspective:
- Consider The Message
- “Shiny Object Syndrome
- ”Clarity of Your Objective‘
- Jocking’Their Style
- Not Getting Help When You Need it
First Things First; Your Message:
It’s not just who you are and what you do that matters to today’s customers, why you do it is what matters. The why is what drives your message to make a deep connection from day one with prospective customers.
Many times, businesses want to focus on the benefits and features of their product or service, because your product is amazing and of course everyone wants it. But here’s the thing, what you offer isn’t for everyone. By focusing solely on your benefits, you’ll get some sales, but it will be undermined as soon as someone offers what appears to be the same thing at a lower price point.
Be very clear and focused on your niche market, and who your product will connect with best. I recommend a ‘who’s the person’ exercise and creating a bio for your primary and secondary targets so your entire team is very clear and intentional about who your business actually serves. Don’t just stop at “What is your message and what do you stand for?” Follow it up with WHY do you stand for that?
I’ll add that the marketing message and strategy is about people. As part of your overall marketing message, I believe you need to implement and tell a service message that goes with it. Make yourself available to answer questions people have. As the article mentions, “if it’s not clear even to yourself, then you are confusing your intended audience…. If they are confused, they will not buy from you.” By being available to respond to questions, you create a culture of service that is customer-centric.
“Shiny Object Syndrome”
I saw a video featuring the owner of Stella & Chewy’s (the natural dog food brand) and she said that she focuses on what she’s good at and brings on other staff to do what they’re good at so the whole business can make more a profit at the end of the day. Could she take the time to DIY it? Sure. But, she chooses to focus on the tasks she likes, and feels she’s good at.
Instead of getting distracted by the ideas, emails, courses, newest products, etc. Stop the cycle of overwhelm and be laser focused. I highly recommend a book called The One Thing. It was instrumental for me in concentrating on my goals and projects one step at a time with structured committed time to complete the task. Way easier than the stop and start I used to fall into when something new and shiny showed up.
Being disciplined is a big part of successful strategy! When you create a plan, follow through on it.
Clarity, Clarity, Clarity
Clarify what your objective is. Think about it, when you create a Facebook ad it asks you’re your objective is. Once you know the objective, then you can create the outline of your strategy. Focus it around why you’re taking that step. Be like a two year old and ask why for everything:
Why will growing my online following help my business?
Why do I need a sales funnel?
Why do I need to start with Facebook ads?
Why write this blog article?
Why is this is this the best fit for my customer?
As always, once you know the why then you can figure out how. Do you have the resources to grow your audience? Will images or video better serve my target audience? How will what I create to grow my following impact other parts of my overall marketing strategy? Once you have this clarity, then you can decide if it’s a great idea, but just not something you need to do right now.
‘Jocking’ Someone’s Style
This is a big one….You are the only you; don’t try to mimic someone else. Your customers want to know you and your brand. If you’re just mimicking someone else, then that’s not an authentic customer experience you’re creating. These buyers might as well be so-and-so’s customers. Be yourself to attract the right group of customers.
That’s why I recommend focusing on your ‘why’ because that will set you apart in an overcrowded world every time. The right people will begin to see your message and buy from you because they believe what you believe.
Now that’s not to say there aren’t times that you can take best practices of someone who’s killing it, and create a sales funnel or banner ad that you know works, but you absolutely must put your spin and voice to what you’re creating. Part of the customer experience is the consistent feel of the brand and if you adopt someone else’s tone, you disrupt the perception of who people thought you were.
Not Getting Help
This is probably one of the best steps you can take to remove the road blocks you create for yourself. You can’t do it all and you have to invest in your business with people who are the experts. You may be the best doctor, dentist, programmer, but you may not realize your full potential until you start investing the in right help for your overall strategy.
This doesn’t mean that you have to invest money, it may be an investment in your time. One of the best things you can do is find a mentor in your field (hugs, Rebecca) or another entrepreneur who can help you combat the struggle and effort you’re sure to face as you launch a new brand or product line.
From a customer experience perspective, you need to align yourself with the right people who feel the same way you do so you have a cohesive experience at every level of the organization. It’s not just your team that can help you; it’s your customers. It’s okay to ask them for help and I’ve seen them be the best asset you have for your marketing strategy.
Read the full article here to get even more thoughts on potential marketing strategy killers.