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Plan Your Year Part 4 - Marketing

December 28, 2011

Through this series we have been talking about planning out your strategy for developing your business.  First we looked at current customers, second was customer service and third was sales.  Now we look at marketing.

Marketing Ideas Knowledge Target CrosswordBeing marketing consultants and coaches, we would argue that everything you business does is marketing, but not everyone sees it that way. So for the sake of simplicity with this blog series, we’ll say that marketing is about your message, your brand (image, marks, web presence including social media), your new lead generation tactics and the process you employ to nurture leads through the buying process until your sales team takes over holding their hands.

So, here are the questions we’ll put out for you to think through.

First, how are you going to better target and recruit your ideal customer from your pool of prospective ones? Can you write a description of your perfect customer? What they are like; what their hopes and dreams are; how your product or service helps them realize that?

Sit down and write an autobiography of your ideal customer - one that will help everyone know who you want to talk to and why they will care what you say.

Then, consider how are you going to differentiate yourself from your competition - for once and for good. If you aren't different, you are competing on price. Go back to why. (google “Simon Sinek and TED” if you need help with what we mean by why.

Why did you start your business? Or if you didn't start it, what do you want every customer to say about your company in terms of the value you deliver?

Now, how are you going to make sure you are creating visible, tangible, processes, systems and proof that you do deliver.

How are you measuring quality, because not all leads are equal? What tactics are you using and which work best? Is it time to try to some new tactics (or retry old ones with a new twist)

What are you doing to build your email list (with permission of course)? How many names do you want to add this year –write the number in blood - and what will you do to get them? Then, once you get them, how are you managing the process of staying in contact (see the CRM comment under sales)?

What are the goals for your website? Why do you even have one in the first place? Make sure you have that clearly defined, and that the content and flow match your goals.

Finally, a key part of marketing is taking in feedback from the marketplace to learn. So how are you listening to your marketplace? Do you have a way set up to hear the conversation that goes on in social media?

Of course, if you’d like some help with these questions, you can engage with us to help. We offer a free 45 minute marketing and brand audit – just sign up for it right from the website (it’s the big silver button on the right)

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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