Published on June 8th, 2018
Your marketing strategy is at the heart of your company’s operations. Without a marketing plan, you are not going to notify your target market that you even exist. But a marketing strategy has to take into account your customers.
There are too many organizations thinking of a marketing strategy and only then considering what their customers want.
Here are the main reasons why your customers are actually the core of your marketing strategy.
The Truth About the Goal of a Marketing Plan Revealed
It may seem like a waste of time trying to explain what a marketing plan is, but it’s actually an extremely important part of the process.
One of the biggest myths is that a marketing plan is about gaining visibility. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Visibility doesn’t do anything for your bottom line. A marketing plan is about converting customers after they’ve seen you. You can be seen by millions of people per day, but if none of them are converting into customers your marketing plan is not working.
Your marketing plan should concentrate on the conversion path not gaining visibility.
1. Marketing is Social
Primarily, your marketing plan will revolve around social media. Social media is one way to market, and so it’s all about encouraging customers to engage with your ads and status updates. There are ways to create Instagram stories to brand your business.
Content is king and only the right content is going to stand out in a cluttered newsfeed. Ordinary people are naturally blind to conventional ads, which is why your strategy has to be less marketing-orientated and more people-orientated.
If you can create an effective marketing plan for social media, such as through using paid ads across the top social media sites, you will find that your conversion rate will increase.
2. Using Ideal Customer Personas
Companies are coming up with ideal customer personas. This is a concept of creating a fictional image of your perfect customer. You build it up using basic information like their ages, where they come from, and their likes/dislikes. Then you have to do some research to determine what social media channels your target customers are on and what time they are the most active.
There are many ways to build up an ideal customer persona, including:
- Using big data.
- Modeling your business off of the data of others.
- Creating multiple personas and split testing them against each other to find the best combination.
Only when you have an accurate customer persona can you convince someone that they need to buy something. Before you create a marketing strategy, you have to know who you’re promoting your product to in the first place.
3. Finding Your Direction
A marketing strategy needs direction if it’s going to succeed. You need to have a firm end goal and a time when each campaign comes to an end.
Your direction depends on your goal, and this is where you have to consider your customers. Finding your direction is about considering exactly where your campaign goals fit into your overall sales funnel.
4. Your Customers are Fluid
Every so often you will review your marketing plan to make sure that it’s still relevant. These days you won’t choose a specific time to review your marketing plan. Instead, you will approach your customers to make sure that they are the same people as before.
Trends have always existed, but now they are moving quicker and quicker. If you have the same marketing plan in place for a year, you may discover that your target market has completely moved on. Your customers are so fluid, and so you need to make sure that you are keeping tabs on them.
One company that has understood this is StarOfService. They have successfully turned its French model to suit other countries. And it all comes through understanding customer needs in different parts of the world.
5. What People Care About
An effective marketing plan is one that emphasizes what really matters. You may discover that while your product has the potential to save the environment your customers are more interested in the money-saving aspects.
Your products and services will have many benefits, but an effective marketing plan focuses on what people care about. Conduct customer surveys using software like SurveyMonkey and you’ll have a better idea of where your marketing plan should focus.
6. Your Competitors
It’s important to mention that while your customers are the main part of devising any marketing plan there’s so much more to it than that.
For example, one of the biggest aspects of a marketing plan is what your competitors are doing. You need to know what they are doing so you can do everything better. Only by examining the rest of the market can you find that gap to fill.
7. Your Budget
You also need to think about what you are capable of in the first place. You might be a startup bootstrapping your next marketing campaign, and so you need to get creative with how you come up with your marketing materials.
Devising a marketing strategy is one thing. Executing it is quite another.
8. A Marketing Plan Must Evolve
So let’s say that you have approached your customers and you have managed to come up with a marketing plan. At this point, you are likely feeling pretty good about yourself and you’re ready to go. But a marketing plan has to evolve. It has to be something that you can match up with the times.
With the landscape changing all the time, your marketing strategy has to be able to move with this landscape. A good marketing plan is not only reviewed regularly it’s pivoted regularly.
And do you know how you go about doing that?
It all goes back to your customers. Long gone are the days where you tell them what they want. Now they are telling you what they want, and if you can’t cater to that you are going to fall behind your competitors. They will find someone who will give them what they want.
How will you cater to your customers with your next marketing campaign?