Before you do any marketing or publicity, you’ve got to have a smart plan of attack.
Let’s get down to basics.
Recently, a lighting company contacted me about crafting their marketing strategy. When I asked for background on the company, the owner sent me a recently written press release, and at our meeting today, showed me their logo, website, postcards, and briefed me on recent events, none of which were on point to resonate with their target audience.
I died a little inside. This potential client had wasted thousands of dollars playing pin the tail on donkey when he should have been shooting at a target.
While selling chandeliers is somewhat different than selling other services, I saw a teachable moment for all of you, and here it is:
When preparing to sell a product, service, event, or yourself, you must begin by identifying your overall strategy. Immediately after you develop your product, strategy shapes what actions you will take to capture the attention of those who will ultimately buy, pay, attend, subscribe.
Here is a short list of marketing tactics that should not occur before you determine your overall strategy:
Hiring marketing vendors
“But Ciaraaaaa, I’m scared that if I don’t start tweeting IMMEDIATELY the world will implode. IMPLODE.”
Fine. But here’s what you risk: turning off your target audience, and ultimately wasting time, money, and resources on tactics that should match your (focused, clear, on-brand) message.
When you start by defining your strategy, every successive action falls under its cozy, comforting umbrella. You know whether each action you take contributes to the whole because you’ve already defined what it is – and what it isn’t.
When you have a marketing strategy, you know your brand and your target audiences intimately. You know where to find them, you know how to communicate with them. Your actions are more effective. Your marketing dollars are better spent. You don’t lie awake at night wondering where you’re going to find people who might want to buy your product.
When you don’t have a strategy, your actions are all over the place. You’re inconsistent. You post on Facebook ten times a day when your sales are low and then go off the radar for a month. You waste money on one-off ads that don’t generate leads. You lose money by discounting. You spam potentially valuable press contacts. You panic. You frustrate yourself, your team, and lose loyalty with current clients.
Strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does have to be doable, focused, and sold through to your entire team, from marketing to sales to customer service. Do yourself, your business, and your budget a favor and start with a well-defined, thorough, audience-oriented strategy.
>Need help clarifying your strategy? Drop me a line, let’s figure it out.