The object of marketing is to increase awareness and sales for your product. Pretty simple, right? Well the problem is that marketing without a clear cut strategy is like fishing without bait. You might catch something, but the results are iffy at best.
To effectively market your product or service, you need to clearly define a strategy. This includes answering questions like “who is your target market? What are their pain points or issues they are trying to solve? How can you product or service meet their needs? And where do you find them in the real world and online?
For any strategy to be effective, you need to align marketing and sales. In an inbound marketing context, this can include how you nurture your prospect through your lead funnel and when to turn a prospect over from marketing to your sales team.
As you develop your marketing strategy, it's important to keep several elements of your approach in mind. Let's take a look at some tips that can help you to better define your marketing strategy, align your sales and marketing team, and ultimately drive sales growth in a cost effective way.
First, Understand Your Customer
The first step towards developing any marketing strategy is understanding your buyer. Who they are, why your product is the perfect solution for their problem or pain point and where do they go to seek the information they need to address their problem. Here are some ideas to help you to better identify your ideal customer.
1. Understand That People Buy Benefits
Customer's don't buy products, they buy solutions. Start developing your marketing strategy by first defining your product or service from their perspective. Make a list of the benefits your customer will receive by purchasing your product or hiring your firm.
2. Create Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional archetypes you create based on your actual customer data. They are your ideal customer, the person most likely to buy your product. Be specific. How old are they? Male or female? Where do they live? What is their job title? Where do they search for information?. This will help you to better target your marketing.
3. Clearly Identify Their Problem
What problem does your potential customer have that you can solve? If you've identified your ideal customer correctly, they will pay you to solve their problem! Sometimes their problems are obvious, sometimes they are unclear. Dig deeply!
The more closely you can identify your ideal customer, the easier it is to target your message, your delivery channel, and your solution for their problem. Understanding your customer and their needs can increase sales.
Defining Your Competitive Advantage and Delivering Your Message
Why is your product better for you customers than your competitor's product? This is your competitive advantage. It can be price, customer service, delivery or ease of use. Define your competitive advantage clearly. This is a major part of your messaging. What are the specific benefits, results or outcomes that a potential customer will receive by purchasing your product or service that they would not receive from your competitor. Focus on the benefits!
Today you have more delivery channels than ever before. While newspaper and radio advertising are in decline, they may still be viable options for delivering your message. But more likely, content or inbound marketing will be a more powerful option. By understanding your customer and where they seek information you can target your message and deliver it through the channel where they are most likely to see it and act on it.
Marketing has shifted from a sales oriented medium, to an information sharing one. Customer purchases today begin online. To increase sales today is less about the hard sell, and more about building relationships and trust through social engagement and information sharing. Nurturing a client from discovery through a sale requires a process. If you understand your market (buyer personas) and define your product, social media engagement is the perfect delivery method. Content marketing gives you better access to qualified leads, more channels to sell your product and a lower cost to acquire customers.
By engaging with potential customers on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest you can drive potential customers to your website where your blog can provide information that will answer their questions, address their pain points, and offer solutions while building trust and building relationships that result in more sales.
Today, increasing sales requires personalizing your approach. When building your marketing strategies, start by defining your customers, understanding your product from their perspective, crafting your message to emphasize your competitive advantage and delivering that message through content on social media websites and your blog. By focusing your strategies on your customer's needs and delivering value you can increase sales and develop relationships that will last a lifetime.