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Your business’ marketing strategy has the potential to drive sales and put you in the spotlight. However, if your strategy is not well planned, you can inadvertently stop revenue and limit your own success. We have to be intentional about creating an effective marketing plan that will grow our business, especially in the world of startups. Plus, it’s all too easy to get distracted by shiny new marketing trends that promise to deliver more reach than ever before. But these trends often don’t support the business as a whole. The best marketing plan is created when we take a holistic approach that invests in every element of our business.
As I’ve built my business over the years, I’ve learned a lot of marketing lessons the hard way. While there’s no replacement for your own experience, if you want to develop a marketing plan that really works, read on.
Related: How to Create a Marketing Plan
The importance of taking a holistic view of your business and its marketing cannot be underestimated. Your marketing strategy should consider everything from the product itself to the ease of access to your website. In addition, from the cohesion of your social networks to the fluidity of the fulfillment of your order. If even one element of your business is out of sync, all the money you’re spending on marketing won’t be as successful as it can be. Every part of the customer journey, from first learning about your brand to receiving your first product, is vital to your success. If we only invest in some elements and not in others, we can lose potential customers and sources of income.
For example, when we first started marketing our product, we ran almost exclusively online ads, ignoring all other types of communication. But once we started adding SMS marketing, we saw an immediate increase in revenue. From there, we were able to continue to grow and generate a steady stream of income.
Of course, it’s also crucial to create a strong social media presence with content that reflects the nature of your business and engages audiences. Use ambassadors and influencers across all social media platforms to provide social proof of your product’s effectiveness. And, allocate resources to those who have the highest return. Finally, if customers come knocking on your door, you need to be ready to respond. Make sure you have the necessary infrastructure to serve customers who want to communicate. Create an email and text system that can support your advertising strategy and make customers feel supported.
Don’t limit yourself to just one aspect of marketing. Invest and include every element of your business in your marketing strategy. As a result, you’ll see how, in turn, each element of your business can work together to help you grow.
Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better For Your Business Than Social Media
How to create a holistic marketing approach
Now that you know the must-haves, it’s time to start taking action. As I’ve refined my marketing approach over the years, I’ve discovered that there are four crucial steps to creating a holistic marketing strategy:
- Make a plan: We can’t take action before we know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. It’s not enough to just throw anything against the wall and see what sticks. Sit down with your team and chart a course that isn’t based on happy accidents.
- Reach out to people who have successfully done what you’re trying to do: Every business is unique, but it wouldn’t help to ask someone who has completely different goals than yours for advice. Find those with businesses that you admire and would like to emulate. Talk to business owners who have already solved many of the problems in their strategies. You’ll be able to learn, grow, and hopefully avoid some of your costly mistakes.
- Don’t set it and forget it – make sure your marketing dollars are well spent by checking the return on investment. If something is working extremely well, it may be time to invest more in that avenue. Conversely, if a particular approach seems to fail, you’ll know it’s time to spend your time and effort elsewhere.
- Continually evaluate your plan for gaps or areas for improvement – the one constant we have in business is that we always change. We have to stay agile and be ready and willing to update our plans as needed.
Related: The Right Mix of Premium Content and Great Marketing Defines New Age Brands
know your brand
If you follow all the steps above but your product and marketing strategies don’t line up, your consumers will be more confused than interested. Your customer should have a positive and cohesive experience every time they encounter your marketing or your product. To reach your target audience, your marketing must be consistent with your values, culture, and the product you have to offer.
Understanding your brand will not only help your consumers find you, but it will also help you find them. What kind of person is looking for your product? How and where do they spend their time? What do they need help with? Knowing who you’re trying to target (and why) will help you focus your marketing strategy, increase your emotional power, and reach the people who really need what you have to offer.
A solid marketing plan has the potential to increase revenue and reach more customers than previously thought possible. However, we must be careful not to become so obsessed with formalizing the perfect marketing plan that we do almost nothing at all. We cannot grow without action, and sometimes that action will bring some bumps in the road. Take the time to create a holistic and intentional marketing plan. But stay nimble enough to adapt as you, your business, and the world around you evolve.