I’d like to welcome my very special and entirely virtual friend (well, not entirely virtual, she does exist!) Kaarina Dillabough to the blog today. It blows my mind that through the power of the social web you can connect with like-minded people and foster relationships with them. And Kaarina Dillabough is proof positive of this phenomenon.
Kaarina’s blog ‘Decide 2 Do’ is a regular read for me, especially since I came across her brilliant idea of Team Blog Jack! And she is also a member of one of the tribes I am a member of on the fabulous Triberr platform.
Our membership of the tribe has led to each of us sharing the others blogs to our followers, and commenting on stuff that we’ve enjoyed when we’ve read it. This regular engagement has resulted in us forming this unique relationship as friends and colleagues, and I am delighted to introduce you to her today.
Make sure you check Kaarina’s blog out too – its well worth it.
What is Marketing Strategy?
How many times have you thought about your marketing mechanisms – things like brochures, business cards, advertisements, website and the like – independent of an overall plan or strategy?
That’s a tactical approach, and it’s like placing money on a windowsill, opening the window and watching your money fly away.
In absence of an over-arching strategy, tactics “might” bring results, but it’s a hit and miss game.
I liken it to a jigsaw puzzle.
A marketing strategy is like the photograph on the puzzle box.
You know what the end result will look like from the outset. You begin with the end in mind.
Then, guided by the intended results, you place each piece of the puzzle into place, in order to achieve the desired result.
Sometimes the pieces fit. Sometimes they don’t.
But you proceed by trying different combinations until you achieve success.
The same goes for marketing.
Some things will work. Some won’t. But your chances of success…of getting sales and making money in your business are far greater when you have a strategy in place. As the saying goes: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
How do you create a marketing strategy?
First of all, you need to delve into the “why”…Why will you choose to do one thing over another? After all, if you don’t know the ‘why’ the ‘how’ doesn’t matter.
I’ve encountered many clients in the past who quickly jump on the bandwagon with the latest tactic, without serious consideration of the question: What significant, beneficial difference will this initiative make to the life of the customer, and hence to the profitability of my company?
And there are really only a few ways in which we can increase revenues and profits:
- By getting our current customers to buy more
- By getting our current customers to buy more frequently
- By getting more/new customers
- By wooing back our former customers
In absence of a marketing strategy, and a clear identification of the purpose (the ‘why) for our tactics, we can expend a great deal of time, money and energy with very little return.
Think of it this way.
Your marketing strategy should be based on your company goals. What is that you want to achieve, in both qualitative and quantitative measures? What’s the purpose of your business? What does it stand for? What’s its mission? Are your activities and initiatives aligned with a company culture of purpose and values?
Your marketing plan is simply the roadmap to get you there.
Strategy is about the thinking.
Planning is about the doing.
And I often joke that we’re marketing 24-7. Everything we do, say, wear and express are representations of our company and what it stands for.
For example…that the person who cut you off in traffic and to whom you flipped the bird will be the very person to whom you’ll be pitching your product to. That person who rammed their shopping cart into the back of your heel by mistake, and to whom you swore a blue streak to, will be the CEO of the company you’ll be meeting with later that day.
Our marketing strategy should be inextricably tied to our values, purpose and mission, and each and every person in the company should realize the critical role they play in delivering the message, each and every day.
So the next time you think about twitter, Facebook, google+, LinkedIn, brochures, websites, trade shows, advertisements, press releases and on and on and on and on…Remember: these are all tactics.
You need to be where your customers need you to be. And like the jigsaw puzzle, you must have a clear picture of what that looks like.
Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario, Canada. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life. Check out her Blog or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Email contact: kaarina (at) kaarinadillabough (dot) com