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One of the key factors in creating high impact marketing campaigns on a small budget is having a smart strategy.

Your marketing strategy certainly doesn’t need to be complicated or comprehensive.

In fact, I actually urge that it’s not complicated or comprehensive because nobody wants to sit there and read and engage with a 30-page marketing plan, including marketing consultants, or certainly this one anyway.

You don’t need anything complicated here.

You just need something really basic.

What a basic marketing strategy will allow you to do is it will help to actually guide your creative decisions.

You can come up with ideas continually. People always come up with ideas, and ideas are great, but you’ve got to action them.

Ideally, your idea actually needs to get you closer to where your business wants to go.

So, how do you know where your business wants to go?

Well, that’s all in your strategy.

We have to put the top-level information together first so that we know how to go out and choose our marketing channels, so that we know what messages to include with our marketing, what content to include, et cetera.

Your marketing strategy needs to outline the intersection between a couple of different things.

 

What is your company value?

So, your product, your price, your place and your promotion.

Probably more specifically your product, place and price need to all represent financial value to the organization.

When you’re creating your product, it needs to be a viable one.

When you’re pricing it, you need to ensure that there’s profit in there or opportunities for profit.

When you’re deciding where to distribute your product, you need to make sure that it’s somewhere that the customer is happy to meet you and purchase it from, but somewhere that’s also not going to send you broke.

So, there’s the company value that you need to consider.

From a business point of view, what’s your priority?

What are your financial goals?

Then you have the customer value.

The marketing plan is the intersection of both of those.

Ultimately our customers actually have to value our product or our service to be able to buy it.

The job of your marketing is to communicate the value of your product or service and the price. It also needs to communicate that it’s valuable and perceived as valuable to your customer, because if they don’t perceive it as valuable, then they’re not going to buy it.

So, your marketing strategy really doesn’t need to have more than say five key areas.

 

What are your business priorities?

We don’t want a hundred of them.

You might be an ambitious person and have all the business priorities in the world, but if you’re planning out a 12 month marketing plan, just pick one.

Pick one, nail it, move on.

Pick another one next year.

If you must, pick two or perhaps even three, but don’t pick more than that.

Keep it simple and make sure that you’re focused with your small budget.

We really can’t afford to be distracted with multiple different objectives, because then people start choosing which objective suits them and working on that, which might not be your specific objective.

Okay. One or two, or three at the most, business objectives and priorities.

Then we need to have a quick squizz around the market.

What are the market trends? What’s the forecast for your industry? What is your industry?

Have a bit of a look at the economic situation. No one could have predicted COVID, but now we’re here.

We can certainly make some considerations for the next 12 months and we would be very silly not to.

So, have a bit of a squizz at the market. While you’re there, check out your competition.

 

Run your own race

I don’t think we need to look at the competitors for any other reason than our customers look at them.

When our customers decide that they want to buy the kind of product or service that we sell, they’re going to go out to market.

Whether they ask their mates at a barbecue or whether they go onto Google and type in the key search terms, they’re on the hunt for what you sell.

Your competitors are fairly likely to come up within that hunt and they’re going to be seen.

So, it makes sense to go and see how your competitors are pitching their service or their product at your competitors.

What are they saying to your competitors?

Because when we run our own race, we want to turn up and ideally offer something different or something better than the competitors are offering.

We really don’t need to keep a constant eye on our competitors, unless there’s someone super close to our business and is perhaps copying everything we do or if someone is really threatening our market share.

It really does pay to just be in the know about what other choices your customer has.

Once we have that information about your business and the industry it’s in and who else is in that space, it’s imperative (and this is probably the most important part of your marketing strategy) that you then look at your target audience.

 

Who is your target audience?

Who are the specific people that are just right to be the customer for your business?

Your business is not for everyone.

You will spend a lot of money if you try and appeal to everyone.

I can guarantee that money will not be well spent because you can’t appeal to everyone with your marketing, no matter how much money you have.

What we need to do, particularly with small budgets, is be really focused on who is going to be best for our business, who is going to be a raving fan, who is going to come back again and again to buy from us because they’re perfect for us.

They will value what we sell.

These are the people that we want to serve and can make the most impact with.

There are several ways that you can get to know your target audience.

I’m not going to cover them now, but there’ll be plenty of Snacktimes and other How To Do Marketing Show interviews that deep dive into that.

Okay. So, we’ve done business priorities, we’ve looked at the market and we’ve defined our target audience.

Now we need to actually look at what makes us different, unique and valuable to the customer.

 

What is your value proposition?

How are we actually going to pitch ourselves knowing what’s happening elsewhere in the market?

Knowing deeply what our customer’s problems are and how we can solve them, how are we actually going to position that value?

This should be a sentence or a couple of sentences at most.

I say that without undermining or underestimating the time that it will take to come up with that unique value proposition, but it’s a really key part of your marketing plan.

It’s something that you’ll navigate back to all the time to be able to make and guide your marketing and make good decisions. In fact, this whole document you’ll come back to.

After we’ve established that, we can actually go about setting some smart marketing goals.

Your marketing goals will take into consideration your business priorities and what it is that you want to achieve as a business, as well as your customer priorities and how you can actually best show up for your customers, both from a product and service delivery point of view, but also from a marketing point of view so that your marketing actually works and brings you a return on investment.

The other thing of note to mention here is you’re setting those marketing goals, so it does make sense to measure the impact of your marketing.

When you plan your marketing tactics, which you will off the back of that strategy, once you have that information, you can then go and say “right, because we know our customers are here, here, and here, and pay attention to this, this and this, we can choose this channel and this channel, this channel. Because we know our customers value this and we know as a business we want to sell this, here’s the copywriting that needs to go on the website, here’s the marketing campaign that we need to run”.

Then, your measurement and your optimization needs to be happening every month and every campaign to make sure that your marketing’s actually working.

 


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Podcast Transcript:

Jane Hillsdon:

One of the key factors in creating high impact marketing campaigns on a small budget is having a smart strategy and your marketing strategy certainly doesn’t need to be complicated or comprehensive. And in fact, I actually urge that it’s not complicated or comprehensive because nobody wants to sit there and read and engage with a 30 page marketing plan, including marketing consultants, or certainly this one anyway. So you don’t need anything complicated here. You just need something really basic. And what a basic marketing strategy will allow you to do is it will help to actually guide your creative decisions. You know, how you can kind of come up with ideas continually come up with ideas and people always come up with ideas and ideas are great, but you’ve got to action them. And ideally your idea actually needs to get you closer to where your business wants to go.

So how do you know where your business wants to go? Well, that’s all in your strategy. So we have to kind of put the top level information together first so that we know then how to go out and choose our marketing channels so that we know then what messages to include with our marketing, what content to include, et cetera, et cetera. So your marketing strategy kind of wants to outline the intersection between a couple of different things. And that’s one, you know, what is the business value, what’s the company value? So your product, your price, your place and your promotion. So probably more product place and, and price need to all represent financial value to the organisation. So when you’re creating your product, it needs to be a viable one. When you’re pricing it, you need to ensure that there’s profit in there or opportunities for profit.

When you’re deciding where to distribute your product, you need to make sure that it’s somewhere where the customers are happy to kind of meet you there and purchase it from, but that’s also not going to send you broke. So there’s the company value that you need to consider, you know, that’s also thinking about from a business point of view, what’s your priority? Like, what are your financial goals? et cetera, et cetera. Then there’s the customer value. And the marketing plan kind of is the intersection of both of those that the customer value is ultimately our customers actually have to value our product or our service to be able to buy it. So to you, the job of your marketing is to communicate the value of your product or service and the price, and communicate that, so that it’s valuable and perceived as valuable to your customer, because if they don’t perceive it as valuable, then they’re not going to buy it.

So your marketing strategy really doesn’t need to have more than say five key areas. First of all, we need to know what your business priorities are. We don’t want a hundred of them, and you might have, you might be an ambitious person and have all the business priorities in the world. But if you’re planning out a 12 month marketing plan, just pick one, nail it, move on, pick another one next year. If you must pick two, perhaps even three, don’t pick more than that. Keep it simple, make sure that you’re focused with your small, small budget. We really can’t afford to kind of be distracted with multiple different objectives, because then people start choosing which objective suits them and working on that, which might not be your specific objective. Okay. One or two or three at the most business objectives and priorities.

Then we need to have just a quick squeeze around at the market. So what are the market trends? What’s the forecast for your industry? What is your industry? What industry are you actually in? So have a bit of a look at the economic situation. You know, no one could have predicted COVID, but now we’re here. We can certainly make some considerations for the next 12 months and we would be very silly not to. So have a bit of a squeeze at the market while you’re there. Check out your competition. Now again, run your own race. I don’t think we need to look at the competitors for any other reason than our customers look at them. So when our customers decide that they want to buy the kind of product or service that we sell, they’re going to go out to market.

And whether they ask their mates at a barbecue or whether they go onto Google and type in the key search terms, they’re on the hunt for for what you sell. And your competitors are fairly likely to come up within that hunt. And they’re going to be saying, so it kind of makes sense to go and say, well, how are your competitors pitching their service or their product at your competitors? What are they saying to your competitors? Because when we run our own race. We want to turn up and an offer, ideally something different or something better than the competitors are offering. We really don’t need to keep a constant eye on our competitors, unless there’s someone like that super, super close to our business and is perhaps, you know, copying everything we do or whatever, or is really threatening our market share.

But it really does pay to just be in the know about what other choices your customer has. So once we have that kind of information about your business and the industry it’s in and who else is in that space. It’s imperative. And this is probably the most important part of your marketing strategy. Really, really important that you then look at your target audience, who is it, who were the specific people that are just right to be the customer for your business. Your business is not for everyone. You will spend a lot of money if you try and appeal to everyone. And I can guarantee that money will not be well spent because you can’t appeal to everyone with your marketing, no matter how much money you have. So what we need to do, particularly with small budgets is be really, really focused on who is best for our business, who are going to be the raving fans, who are going to be the people that come back again and again, and again to buy from us because they’re perfect for us.

They’ll value what we sell. These are the people that we want to serve and can make the most impact with. There are several ways that you can get to know your target audience. I’m not going to cover them now, but there’ll be plenty of snack times and other How to do Marketing Show interviews that deep dive into that. Okay. So done, business priorities. We’ve looked at the market and we’ve defined our target audience. Now we need to actually look at what makes us different, unique and valuable to the customer. So our value proposition, how are we actually going to pitch ourselves knowing what’s happening elsewhere in the market, but knowing deeply what our customer’s problems are and how we can solve them, how are we actually going to position that value? And this is a sentence, you know, a couple of sentences at most.

I say that without kind of undermining the time that it will take or underestimating the time that it will take to come up with that unique value proposition. But it’s a really key part of your marketing plan and it’s something that you’ll navigate back to all the time to be able to make, you know, and guide your marketing and make good decisions. In fact, this whole document you’ll come back to and then after we’ve kind of established that we can actually go about setting some smart marketing goals. So these marketing goals will take into all of that consideration in terms of your business priorities and what it is that you want to achieve as a business, as well as your customer priorities and how you can actually best to show up for your customers, both from a product and service delivery point of view, but also from a marketing point of view so that your marketing actually works and brings you a return on investment.

The other thing of note to mention here is you will, you’re setting those marketing goals. So it does make sense to measure what the impact of your marketing. So when you actually go out and plan your, your tactical marketing, your marketing tactics, which you will off the back of that strategy. So once you have that information, you can then go and say, right, because we know our customers, you know, are here, here, and here, and pay attention to this, this and this. We can choose this channel and this channel because we know our customers value this. And we know as a business, we want to sell this. Here’s the copywriting that needs to go on the website. Here’s the marketing campaign that we need to run. And then your measurement and your optimisation needs to be happening every month, every campaign to make sure that your marketing’s actually working.

 

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