All too often, companies base their marketing efforts on a series of attempts at different tactics, rather than measurable outcomes. These tactics don’t have the proper focus. Having a marketing process is key to your marketing program and its success. With processes in place, you’ll be able to stay better focused on all of the important aspects of your marketing plan. A solid marketing process begins with answering a few key questions.
Who are you targeting?
When you create your marketing strategy, it’s critical to know who you’re trying to reach. Creating buyer personas is an important part of that process. Not only do you want to know the type of person you’re targeting, you want to know their pain points (and what your business can do to solve them). A solid buyer persona will tell you critical information about your target audience based on your product or services. This might include their position within a company, their hobbies or more personal demographic information. Your buyer personas should contain exactly the information you need to create highly targeted content, from your email marketing strategies to your blog, social media and paid ads.
How are you targeting them?
Your marketing process doesn’t just address who you’re targeting. It also looks at how you’re targeting them. What methods are you using to reach your target audience? Since you understand your target audience, you understand where they can be found: on social media, through their email or directly through your website. Ideally, you want a comprehensive marketing plan that includes multiple different channels. It can take as many as 8 contacts just to get an initial meeting with a customer (depending on the industry), and it will take more than that to help move them through the sales funnel. Your plan for targeting your buyers should include a social media strategy, your blog, your email list and any other methods you plan to use to connect with your buyers.
Where are you bringing them?
Once you bring your buyers in, what’s next? What page on your website would you like them to reach? Do you have specific, SEO-optimized pages that are designed for target keywords? What about landing pages that will help guide your website visitors to exactly where you want them? Your landing page should:
- Be clean, with few distractions
- Contain exactly the information customers are expecting to find when they reach your page
- Offer specific links and directions so that customers will know exactly what is expected of them next
- Offer only the links that are necessary, rather than being packed with potential for customers to turn aside from your preferred path
With a solid marketing strategy, you’ll develop a better understanding of exactly what your landing pages need to look like and how many of them you need to have. You may need to have multiple landing pages based on specific campaigns, products and goals. Having a solid understanding of your marketing strategy will make it easier to accomplish those goals.
What’s your follow-up plan?
Once visitors arrive at your website, what’s next? Even if they make a purchase on that first visit, you still want to follow-up with your customers. Customer lifetime value is ideally worth significantly more than a single purchase alone. What does your follow-up plan look like? This could include:
- Emails triggered by specific actions
- Requests asking for reviews on products they’ve tried (which will in turn bring them back to your website)
- Future offers, including coupons earned from past purchases
- Product recommendations based on the products they’ve chosen
How can you use automation to improve your efforts?
Automation is a critical part of most of today’s marketing plans. With customers expecting more personal touches than ever before, it’s critical to automate processes that will allow customers to feel valued while still saving time and energy for your sales team. You may, for example, discover that it’s possible to automate a large percentage of the lead nurturing process. Automation can:
- Free up the sales team’s time to focus on direct customer interactions
- Improve customer connections
- Prevent you from missing out on important leads
- Make sure that no one falls through the cracks
- Provide more personalized information for each customer based on their behaviors and patterns
How will you measure success?
You’ve implemented a new marketing strategy. But how will you determine whether it has been effective? Your marketing process shouldn’t just include putting together your marketing efforts. It should also include a strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of your efforts, measuring the return on your investment, and determining which methods should be used again in the future. As you create your marketing strategy, you should include an estimate for what you think will happen based on your efforts. Then, evaluate how actual return matches up to your predictions. In the future, you’ll be able to shift your predictions to create more accurate forecasts, focusing your marketing efforts on the items that are genuinely successful.
Many marketing managers fail to execute the rigorous and detailed tactics and analysis that need to be part of a successful business marketing program. In many cases, this is for one simple reason: you lack the process to put everything together. Process is essential in order to drive the results you want from your marketing efforts. If you aren’t driving results, it’s time to start asking questions: do you lack a process? Does the process you have fail to meet your expectations? If your process isn’t working for you, where can you make changes to make your marketing efforts more effective?
If you’re struggling to create a more effective marketing process, don’t feel as though you have to do it on your own. Instead, contact us. We’ll work with you to discover new ways to drive customer engagement and improve your overall marketing efforts, ultimately making your marketing program more successful.