Tag Archives: marketing plan

Marketing – The Big 3 Questions

marketingThe answers to the 3 questions below are critical to conduct effective marketing. Often these answers will evolve over time, they are dynamic like your business.

Marketing is an ongoing experiment to better understand your customers and engage in conversations with them. The aim is to create enough trust that you have the solution to their problem so they are willing to buy from you.

It is worth spending a bit of time thinking about your own answers to these questions before you embark on your next marketing plan or activity.

  1. What do you offer and why is it important?
  2. Who is this relevant to?
  3. Why is it so important to these people?

For more advice on how to engage your potential customers see my post "What would my target customers like to hear from me and how?". Or for further help with identifying who your customers are in the first place see my post "Do you know who your Target Customer is?".

Failing that feel free to contact me, I would love to help! 

Marketing Strategy – Why Bother?

Marketing Strategy – What Is It?

I find that the easiest way to understand marketing strategy is to think of it like a map. You can explore various options and decide where you would like to go, then mark your destination on it and plot the route you would like to take to get there. It is completely up to you what time you decide to leave or aim to arrive, whether you take a scenic or the shortest route, which method of transport you choose or even who you take with you. The map, just like a marketing strategy is purely there to help you identify where you would like to go and enable you to plot your journey.

 Plan how to get there

Why Don't People Do It?

  • They are much too concerned with getting on and doing things.
  • They don't have enough time or never seem to get around to it.
  • They don't understand what it is.
  • They don't know the benefits.
  • They think it's not for them.
  • They think they can't change the plan once they've made it.
  • They think it isn't worth the time it takes!

Why Is It Important?

I think there are 6 key benefits to spending time creating a marketing strategy:

  1. Structure – It provides you with some structure to your marketing activities. Rather than flitting from one thing to the next you can put a plan in place of where you want to go, what you are going to do and when, and how each of the activities fit together or benefit one another. Please remember that once you have created a marketing strategy it is not fixed in stone and neither does your plan need to be highly detailed e.g. day by day or hour by hour. Find what works best for you.
  2. Prioritise – It forces you to prioritise your marketing ideas upfront. It enables you to work out which order to do things in or even whether it is worth doing them at all.
  3. Reminder – Your marketing strategy acts as a reminder about where you are trying to get to and how you thought you would achieve this. It helps to prevent your marketing activities from falling to the bottom of your to do list.
  4. Budget – Having a clear direction as well as a plan or at least spending the time to put together a plan means that you can work out what you actually have the time and money to do. It can help you to make decisions about activities and forces you to be creative if time and / or money are limited.
  5. Confidence – If you know who you are trying to target, why and how and you have an action plan it is a lot easier to feel confident about putting your best foot forward. It can also be more efficient because it removes the time you would usually spend wondering what to do next!
  6. Measure – Once you have a strategy you can create a plan of marketing activities along with their objectives. You can then track your progress to see what was achievable and what wasn't. Enabling you to do more of what is working and less of what isn't. Maximise your time, energy and budget!

How do I create a Marketing Strategy?

  1. Make sure you understand and can articulate the purpose of your business and what success looks like for you.
  2. Identify who your ideal customer(s) is and why they would benefit from your product or service (it is important to spend time really thinking about what is actually in it for them).
  3. Work out how and where to find the ideal customer(s) you have identified.
  4. Explore what powerful message you can create that will inspire them to buy from you (and on an ongoing basis).
  5. Test the above by creating a plan of marketing activities with SMART objectives to help you measure your progress.
  6. Adjust your approach based on your findings!

Have you created your own Marketing Strategy? Did you find it helpful? Did you encounter any obstacles? As always if you would like to find out how I can help you with this feel free to contact me.

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How Can I Help Your Business?

 

  • Are you an ambitious business owner putting in really long hours? 
  • Do you find yourself performing some crazy juggling act just to stay on top everything?
  • Do you feel like you never have enough time?
  • Does it seem that no matter what you do, you feel no closer to achieving your business goals?

 

I empower ambitious business owners to structure their business so they can focus on what is necessary to achieve their business ambitions.

 

For a free initial consultation please give me a call on 07880 735613 or complete the contact form

I look forward to working with you!

 

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© 2017 strategicmarketingadvice.co.uk 

Get in Touch

Are you an ambitious business owner working long hours and still no closer to achieving your goals?

I empower you to get everything in place so you can focus on what is necessary to achieve your business ambitions.

Please get in touch using the form below or give me a call on 07880 735613. 

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Testimonials

Some Nice Things That My Clients Have To Say About Me

"If I may say so you have been the most helpful/value for money consultant I think we have ever used. You may quote me on that."

Andrew Elder, Director of Marketing & Co-founder of Bongo IT

"Sarah 'gets' my business and me. She very quickly understood what my business is about and what the underlying values and vision are. As a result her advice suited my business perfectly. She's an excellent listener and very easy to talk to, probably because of her positive, open-minded and friendly nature. 

I was amazed at the number of topics we covered during our talk. It was a very dynamic session with lots of ideas flowing back and forth. But at the same time there was also a clear direction and purpose to the conversation. 

I'm convinced that I'll be working with Sarah again in the future and on a regular basis, as she provides such a good and interactive sounding board. I see Sarah as a helpful and strategic partner of my business. "

Bart Schroeven, Cocoon Of Light

"Sarah has been invaluable in getting my business off the ground. She's a fantastic ideas person and is great at drawing out the essence of your business and making it accessible and understandable for your target audience. If you need any help with marketing, she's your woman."

Rachel Windsor-Knott, My Animal Matters

"Over the past three years I have developed a brand and built a strong and reputable business. However, marketing has always been an area that I have worried about: "How do I reach more people?" "How do I validate my business on google?" "Am I doing enough?". The constant self comparison to other businesses is something that can lead to a fogginess in your own unique selling point, and a feeling of self-doubt that you're "not doing it right". 

However, the marketing sessions that I was able to have as a result of the FLOURISH FUND were wonderful! Not only did Sarah give me hints and tips on areas where I could be doing more, she also gave me a much needed nudge of self-confidence. The three sessions with Sarah have been filled with tips, tools and strategies that I will be using a lot more of in the future!"

Emma-Jane Greig, Director of Body Politic

"I have worked with Sarah on three on-going projects over the course of 2015 and found her to be exceptional in her field of marketing. Sarah is one of those people in life you can delegate responsibilities to and be sure the job will be done to a high standard. 

I have outsourced to Sarah, marketing consultation for our business community, event management, and she is currently heading up our marketing section of our community project. In all three areas Sarah has delivered to a high standard. I recommend Sarah, to anyone looking to outsource marketing for their business, or if they simply need someone to help them form a marketing strategy. Sarah is generous, professional, friendly and easy to work with."

Ben Molyneux, Founder and Director of The Oxfordshire Project Ltd

"Sarah not only has great ideas and positive energy, but she is a good listener and really focused on what I was trying to achieve before providing valuable suggestions I hadn't considered. Highly recommend her!"

Tina Wells, Tai Chi Chih Oxford UK

"Going from employed to self-employed was quite a big leap for me and although I have an unfaltering passion for what I do, I felt I didn't have the skills to get my message out nor the understanding of where to target. Sarah was superb at listening to what I wanted to happen and skilled at breaking it down into bite size pieces. I went from feeling overwhelmed and a little lost to empowered and focused. Sarah gave me the confidence to move forward at a pace I was comfortable with and sparked my imagination. I would highly recommend Sarah if you feel your business needs fine-tuning, getting off the ground or just needs a boost."

Rachel Windsor-Knott, My Animal Matters

"Sarah helped me to focus my marketing activities and think about my USP, and also provided some useful suggestions and contacts."

Maggie Newton, Red Clematis Coaching Services Ltd

"Sarah was a pleasure to meet but importantly she helped me with great advice about how to market my latest service. Sarah also sent me a programme detailing all the marketing actions AND a timetable for me to implement. If you need marketing advice I recommend Sarah Crowther."

Fiona McKenzie, Director, Blue Note Solutions

"I had a fantastic session with Sarah looking at my Marketing strategy and what I needed to do to move my fledgling business forward. Up until our meeting I was spending a lot of time getting completely overwhelmed and not really getting anything done. After my session with Sarah, I had a clear list of tasks and priorities which made the whole process much less daunting and more achievable."

Gemma Ferrier, The Music Room Eynsham

"I just want to say a big thanks to Sarah Crowther whom I met up with yesterday for some strategic marketing advice. Taken as one of my membership rewards, the advice Sarah gave me was simple and fits with my business perfectly. I'm already looking forward to our next meeting."

William Mankelow, Shot At An Angle

"Sarah is an energetic, enthusiastic, focused, strategic thinker and project planner with a wealth and depth of knowledge and experience in Marketing."

Wendy Dawson, Chief Executive, The Ley Community

 

Not sure where to begin with your marketing plan? I would love to help! For a free 30 minute consultation please give me a call on 07880 735613 or fill in the contact form.

 

Lovely photo taken by nikreations

© 2017 strategicmarketingadvice.co.uk