Feeling overwhelmed by marketing?
Would you like to know how to simplify your marketing, so it is more understandable and manageable? Would you like to say goodbye to overwhelm and feel like you are getting somewhere, instead of worrying that you don’t know enough about marketing or have the time to do it.
First of all you need to understand marketing.
So what is marketing?
The Chartered Institute of Marketing gives a very good definition.
The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.
Some people think they don’t need to do marketing. However, if this was the case then there wouldn’t be hundreds of brands like Apple, Nike and Adidas with large market capitalization values. Marketing is the difference between creating a brand that creates value to just creating a company. It is important because:
Every product we buy, every store we visit, every media message we receive
and every choice we make in our consumer society
has been shaped by the forces of marketing.
If a customer found out about you by going to your website or on social media, that’s marketing. It is a way to show how you communicate value in words and images. It is the way to show you understand customer pains and desires. It is the continuous process of communicating with a prospect to encourage them to take the next step in the sales process.
So you may be doing some forms of marketing. But if you don’t understand that you’re ‘doing’ marketing or paying it any serious attention, it’s tricky to keep things consistent over time. Marketing on the hoof becomes less feasible as you grow.
There is no doubt that marketing has become more complex over the last decade. This may be is why it may feel like too much to manage.
However, there is one type of marketing that works and that is integrated marketing. This involves using all the different marketing mediums to get your message across. The results from increasing brand awareness, familiarity, consistency and purchase intent are far higher than when taking a less integrated approach which fails to coordinate.
This channels include:
- Search engine optimisation – to be found
- PR – to be discovered
- Social media – to be discovered and to engage with followers
- Events – to be discovered
- Email marketing – to continue the relationship
- Content marketing – to provide material for all of the above
- Ads – to attract attention
- Videos – to attract attention
You don’t have to do all these, but doing a few together will dramatically increase the amount of website traffic you receive.
So how does integrated marketing work?
Customers typically need 7 touchpoints with a brand to remember it, so this is why you need to use a variety of mediums to get your message across. Imagine reading a magazine, you see an ad on page 2, then on page 7 you see an article about that brand. That week you might go to an event and the brand has an exhibition stand, so you see the brand there too. Then someone posts something on social media and you see the brand again. After all this you may decide to do a search of the company name (direct search) and find it’s website. Then you go on Facebook and by chance there is an ad of that very company.
This is integrated marketing – using lots of different mediums with a message and a consistent look and feel.
Here are some tips to show you how to simplify your marketing so that it feels manageable.
1. Have a plan
They say that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Therefore having a marketing plan will help you understand everything you need to know about the external environment and your value proposition to start driving sales. A marketing plan consists of lots of different sections that include an assessment of the political, social, environmental, legal and technological environment. It also includes information about competitors, your target market, buyer personas, and market pains and drivers.
A marketing plan will give you what it says on the tin, a plan for all your various marketing activities. Just having a document with all this information in will give you reference material to refer to whenever you like. It also helps ground your thinking and make your view of the market realistic. It should include some findings from market research, be that desk research or from interviews with potential customers.
2. Understand your why
As Simon Sinek says in Find Your Why, Whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee, a leader of a team, or are looking to find clarity on your next move, your WHY is the one constant that will guide you toward fulfillment in your work and life.
By understanding your own why are more likely to be able to align with potential customers’ whys. But if you don’t know this you won’t be on a firm footing to define your brand and product/service proposition. Furthermore you can’t move to the How or What without understanding your why first.
3. Answer questions
It is really important to be found online and an easy way to be found is to answer questions your potential customers might have on your website. Google likes lists and the use of headings so be sure to use these on your website. There are lots of other things you can do to improve your chance of your site appearing when someone does a search. Search engine optimisation is a specialist area of marketing. But if you start with the questions people are looking for, you will already be creating useful content that you know that people are interested in.
4. Have a content strategy and plan
The way to not allow all the different marketing mediums to overwhelm you is to have a content strategy and plan. You can create content to resonate with customer pains and desires and then repurpose that content over the other mediums.
Stories are great for compelling content as everyone likes a good story. You can create a story in a case study, this is a great content piece in B2B marketing, especially to nurture prospects to convert into customers.
5. Outsource your marketing
If you are serious about getting customers and communicating with prospects in a way that resonates with them it is best to outsource it to an expert. The benefit of this is that it will save you money in the long term by helping you get it right first time. That person will have the experience and expertise to get you press coverage, liaise with designers and other parties to put in place the various activities.
It is important to start with some strategic marketing – a plan and competitor analysis. Here at Cambridge Startup Help we talk to your potential customers and do a brand sprint with you so that you can position your company effectively and appeal to customer desires and pains.
5. Focus on what works
Another way of how to simplify your marketing is to focus on what works. It is important to be constantly analysing what types of marketing are driving web traffic and what types of content are the most useful.
A great tip from American Express is to identifying five things to do every day that would have a big impact on your marketing in three months. That could for example be producing a lead magnet. This is a useful piece of content for a potential customer that they get in exchange for giving their email address. Or focusing on improving search engine optimisation.
6. Be consistent
After devising your plan, it’s important to be consistent with your marketing activities. You won’t see results without consistency.
For help with your marketing, do feel free to get in touch.