You don’t need to have a killer strategy. You just need to have a strategy!
We’ve all heard the saying ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Not knowing what you want to achieve in the year ahead for your business is a case in point. You’re setting yourself up for a fall if you don’t know what your goals are and how you’re going to accomplish them.
It’s easy in this day and age – the age of technology, instant gratification and having the world at your fingertips – to forget that actually, not everything revolves around social media and its instant data-driven results. It should be part of your overall plan, a channel for the distribution of certain messages to sectors and audiences.
Agreeing your objectives and the basics of a plan in advance of any activity will set the tone for success. In this blog we’ll provide you with some tips to take away as food for thought.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
It’s easy to do this when something works well for your business. But consider wider opportunities: PR and marketing work well hand in hand and both activities can complement each other. Use PR to shout about your success, to drive your business into new markets and to raise awareness of your brand, product or service.
Consider all other aspects of marketing too. Just because social media campaigns deliver quick, easy and relatively cheap results, that doesn’t mean that’s all you should do. Focus on your target market: how do your customers digest information? What channels do they use to gain information from you?
The marketing mix.
Often overlooked and misunderstood, the marketing mix is a series of actions or tactics that businesses use to promote their brand. The traditional 4 Ps (assessing the Product, Price, Promotion and Placement of your product or service) that influence / make up the marketing mix are a great way to evaluate the market and the environment in which your business operates before creating a strategic advance.
Traditional marketing v digital marketing.
The truth is, both have a place in your marketing plan if you have an understanding of your product, business and audience. A well placed print advert can work just as well for your business as an online digital campaign, and if you’re using a mix of activities as part of a targeted campaign it can pay dividends for your business.
Traditional marketing such as business cards, referrals, networking, print advertising, billboards and flyers all still have their place. Sit those alongside digital marketing activities such as advertising across social media channels and YouTube and use digital advertising such as banner ads and website design and SEO.
A smashing example of this working well, albeit in a rather awkward circumstance, was the campaign for KFC by its agency Mother in 2018. Many stores had to close because of problems with chicken deliveries, and the PR problem for KFC was acute. A full-page advert in The Sun and The Metro carried an apology to customers. It’s simple application, using a play on the brand’s lettering, worked wonders and generated additional positive PR for them too.
One of the problems with the more traditional forms of marketing is that it’s not easily tracked – but this doesn’t mean you should shy away from it. Just be clever and ensure you track what you can. It’s a known fact that there are traditionally seven customer touch points, which can all influence someone’s decision as to whether to interact with your brand or not.
This is where the blend of traditional and digital marketing can work very well. For example, creating an advert for print and a series of radio adverts all complemented by digital advertising and fresh and engaging content online, can all work to drive new enquiries or sales of your product.
A point worth remembering is that a touchpoint is an interaction and a channel is the point or medium where that interaction happens. It’s imperative to remember that your touchpoints should be relevant, meaningful and appropriate to your audience.
There are some touchpoints that are out of your control, such as customer reviews, but that you can still influence. How you deal with online comments about your business are key to the perception of your business by others.
Data is your friend
Find out what works and don’t be afraid to change things around if you find something that’s not working for your business – don’t waste your time or money. The more traditional forms of marketing are quite difficult to track and can sometimes be viewed as detrimental or a waste of time and money. They’re not, if done well.
Although not everything is measurable, there are ways of tracking and attributing the impact your activity is having. Attribution is about combining data sources, looking for cause and effect and recognising correlation between two distinct data sets. A very simple example would be launching a radio advert, then analysing web traffic to compare results pre and post radio campaign. It’s worth noting that when dealing with attribution you will often experience lag, which means that a campaign can create results later down the line.
If you’d like to talk to us about implementing a marketing strategy or plan for your business, then give us a call!