PROSPECT2PROMOTER MARKETING STRATEGY
Marketing Strategy Overview
Let’s Break It Down
Customer Perceptions & Beliefs Workshop
Promoter Perception Study
P2P Perception Map
Competitive Mindshare Map
“The Best Few” Initiatives
Attract more customers like your best customers.
In this eBook An Introductory Guide to Prospect2Promoter Marketing Strategy, you’ll learn how to measure customer value perceptions to help you attract more of your best customers, and how to identify the best few marketing initiatives to generate demand for your business.
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The Indispensable, Irrefutable Guide to Marketing Strategy.
A reference for directors of marketing and small business owners.
Ever feel like hiring an agency for a marketing strategy can be like a box of chocolates? You know, you never know what you’re going to get.
Let’s put an end to it. Other great agencies already have. Here we will share our perspectives.
We didn’t create another marketing plan pdf that you have to download or a marketing strategy ppt to follow. Instead, we put our thoughts below to make it easier for you to develop your marketing strategy.
We aren’t just giving you 7 steps of a marketing strategy process to follow. Yes, there are steps to a marketing process, and we’ve seen enough marketing plan steps pdfs.
Marketing works when it’s constant. The process is disciplined, but the application of the process will be unique to your business.
Finally, you won’t find any tricks here to get your email, just information you can use when developing your marketing strategies and plans. You could definitely call it a marketing strategy template.
Maybe you’re reluctant to hire an agency for marketing strategy because you don’t think there will ever be ROI?
That’s not uncommon. Small to medium-sized business owners often miss the opportunity to work with an agency with strategic chops. Why is that?
They often start by thinking about the tactics versus emphasizing the importance of marketing strategy or how to develop one.
Look, if you are not clear on how marketing will lead to a return, you’re probably wasting money. So let’s start with a few of the basics.
What is a marketing strategy?
A great marketing strategy is a distinct set of initiatives designed and deployed to distinguish you from your competition and connect emotionally with your prospective customers.
It feels like magic, but it results from a disciplined approach that puts the highest value on empathy for your customers.
It incorporates your brand strategy.
Your brand is the way people perceive you in the marketplace. How your business is perceived determines whether a prospect chooses you or your competitors.
Your marketing strategy is about delivering your brand to prospective customers so they will consider you. Your brand strategy is why they choose to do business with you. One without the other is like Bill without Ted, Superman without Lois Lane, or Tom Brady without Gronk. Marketing strategy and brand strategy just go together. You can’t be great at one without the other.
Marketing Strategy Steps
So how do you develop a marketing strategy? Or what are marketing strategy steps?
It all starts with your business objectives and the problems you think marketing can solve. There are many different types of marketing strategy, including direct response marketing, brand awareness marketing, demand generation marketing, product launch marketing, change management marketing, crisis management marketing, and more.
1. The first thing you need to confirm is your business objectives and align your marketing objectives to them.
One of our all-time favorites and possibly one of the best marketing strategies of all time is a marketing strategy example for food. Okay, it’s not really food, but my cousin Danny likes to say, “there’s a loaf of bread in every bottle.”
If you’re competing in the beer industry, brand awareness is essential to your business. Keeping your brand out in front of customers can lead to impulse buys and more sales at the retail counter. For example, in the late ’90s, Budweiser embraced the natural way friends talk to one another in an epic “Wassup” commercial.
The commercial only ran for a couple of years but it quickly became a part of the culture and transcended marketing altogether. It’s still one of the best marketing strategies used by companies in the beverage industry.
Another business objective that a strong marketing strategy can help achieve is
generating demand for a product or service. Often companies that sell through a dealer network will use a demand generation strategy to generate leads for prospective customers. Demand generation marketing often focuses on tools that help customers make decisions in their buying journey.
Thursday Pools, a client of MediaFuel, created tools to help customers make informed decisions while communicating transparently about the projected costs of buying one of their Fiberglass Pools. If you ask us, it’s one of the best marketing strategy examples for small businesses.
The short video illustrates the tools families use to make buying a pool easier.
As we generate leads, we distribute them to dealers for follow-up. But Thursday Pools didn’t stop there. We incorporated one of the essentials of marketing strategy, keeping your eye on the customer experience.
Customer experience is what makes a good marketing strategy. Thursday Pools provided the dealers with tools that aligned with the tools the consumer was using. Every impression point in your marketing strategy has the opportunity to negatively or positively impact your customers’ perceptions. One of the essentials of marketing strategy is to map the customer journey and the impression points you will use to ensure a positive experience as the customer moves from consideration to evaluation, evaluation to purchase, and purchase to celebration.
Yes, your customers celebrate when they buy your products or services. They do it every time they recommend you to a friend.
2. Once you’ve clarified your business objectives, the second step is to understand how your organization aligns with how your customers identify and distinguish your business from competitors.
Taking this step will help you create a successful marketing campaign that will generate a higher return on investment. Unfortunately, companies will skip this step, and it can cause issues down the road.
One issue is that executives on your team will often have different snapshots of the customer journey and not be aware that customer perceptions change as their knowledge and experience with your organization increases. This can lead to false choices and slow down the agency responsible for developing a marketing strategy.
3. A third step in the process of developing a successful marketing strategy for your business is to conduct market research.
It takes time to do market research well, but qualitative insights can go a long way in helping you get the directionally correct information that leads to a more successful marketing strategy.
Yes, you can create a marketing strategy without conducting research.
4. The fourth step is to consider how your business is different from your competitors.
In his steps for a marketing plan, Kotler has been quoted saying, “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then the price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner.” Philp Kotler is known as the father of marketing.
In our experience, your customers have so much information at their disposal, they have a hard time distinguishing between you and your competitors. A competitive audit that looks at the perceptions your competition is trying to create goes a long way in determining what makes a good marketing strategy.
Don’t just look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, look at the perceptions and beliefs they are trying to create in the marketplace.
5. They are asking, are you going to answer? Or will you let your competitors? Remember your prospects and customers are using Google and other search engines to answer their questions. If you’re not answering them your competitors will.
Ever wonder if anyone actually reads the blogs or content on your website?
The answer is yes, as long as it’s written for search engines so people can easily find answers to their questions.
Not sure you’re getting the most out of your site or the right traffic to drive demand and sales?
If that’s true for you, then you might not have a solid foundation that includes three components of a marketing strategy for search engine optimization.
Those components include the keywords component, content component, and link component. Let’s look at each a bit more in-depth.
The keywords component is based on the questions your prospects are asking and the keywords they use to search for answers to their questions. You’re going to want to look at things like the volume of monthly searches and the difficulty to rank for each keyword. The volume of searches will give you a sense of how much traffic you might drive to your site by answering a particular question. The keyword difficulty will give you a sense of how difficult it will be for the content you are creating to get to a page one rank. To answer these questions you need to conduct keyword research.
The content component starts with the experience and information that will be compelling to your audience. As you’ve seen and experienced, we’ve provided you with some videos to watch, some questions that we’ve helped answer, and the text you’re reading to help you answer your questions. You’ll need to ensure that your content not only answers questions but that it follows your brand guidelines and that it’s based on a thorough understanding of your audience.
The link component shows google how different pieces of content on your website work together and how google should interpret that information. Google is trying to serve the best information possible to the questions your prospective customers are asking. A good link structure and strategy will ensure that your website is optimized to get you the highest traffic possible. More traffic converts to awareness and lead generation.
Synthesize your findings and turn them into a brand messaging strategy that crushes the competition in step six.
A marketing strategy without a brand strategy is like having courage without guts. Wait, can you actually have courage without guts? No, you can’t and that’s the point.
You might still be wondering what makes a good marketing strategy?
It’s a marketing strategy that embraces your brand strategy and communicates from the perspective of your customers. Your customers want to be educated, informed, entertained, or helped in some way or fashion to their benefit.
Communicating from the perspective of your customers means your communication is based on what is important to them and what gives them comfort and confidence to choose you.
A good marketing strategy takes the first five steps we’ve explored so far and synthesizes them into a messaging strategy that distinguishes your brand from competitors in the minds of your consumers.
One of the best examples of effective synthesis is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”. A synopsis of the theory Sinek puts forth is that the best brands in the world and the most effective movements in the world were winsome because they started with why.
Often business owners, software founders, and company visionaries will define a problem they solve based on what they do or how they do it. Instead, Sinek says you should start with why you do what you do as it gets to the “heart” of the matter.
Why we do what we do is driven by our passion to help others, to make things better, to be better people, and generally people follow movements that start with why.
Synthesizing your messaging strategy is part science and part art. You have to look at the data you’ve gathered in the first five steps that we’ve covered which in summary includes.
- Confirm business objectives and align your marketing objectives to them.
- Understand how well your organization is aligned to how your customers identify and distinguish your business from competitors.
- Conduct market research.
- Distinguish your business from competitors.
- Answer the questions your customers are asking.
The first five steps provide you with qualitative customer and competitor insights data and quantitative customer search data.
You’ll combine this with a healthy dose of creative intuition and marketing strategy experience to formulate your messaging strategy.
Your brand messaging strategy starts with the characteristics that motivate your customers to do business with you. It’s based on what you offer but emphasizes what your customers think about what you offer. We buy things emotionally, but we rationalize our decisions.
As we move closer to the heart of a brand we get closer to the passion that lives within the brand itself and ultimately why it does what it does for the people it serves. From the characteristics that motivate your customers to do business with you, you’ll move into the second layer of your brand which includes the benefits your customers receive as a result of buying your products, services, or both.
Digging deeper you want to consider how your brand makes your customers feel as a result of the outcomes you provide for them.
Going further into your brand you’ll need to explore the personality characteristics your brand embraces. Is it inspiring, humble, confident, or original? Often the founder of the brand provides a proxy for the personality traits of a brand. Other times it’s an outgrowth of how customers have embraced it in social media and celebrated it with their friends.
The final layer of the brand is the soul or what is known as the essence.
Your brand essence is one of the essentials of marketing strategy. It embodies your company’s marketing strategy and helps you own an emotionally motivating position in the mind of your customer.
Marketing Strategy Examples
Let us share a few marketing strategy examples that are rooted in an overall brand strategy.
1. Walt Disney World
If you’ve ever been to a Walt Disney Resort and experienced a long day at the park to show up in your room and have your kids express pure joy at the towels that have been folded into animal shapes then you’ve experienced the essence of the Disney brand. That pure joy is a magical experience. And Disney’s brand essence is Magic.
Anyone can create brown carbonated water with sugar and just the right flavors to delight taste buds. Okay, not just anyone, but certainly it is hard to believe that Coca-Cola still stands apart from other bottled soda brands in this day and age. From Mean Joe Green tossing his jersey to an unexpected kid to beats that entice you to turn up your rhythm and dance with glee. Coca-Cola still stays true to its happiness brand essence.
Long recognized as one of the safest car manufacturers in the industry. Through the years, the brand has evolved, but it has remained true to the question, is it safe? Volvo embraces safety as its brand essence.
These are just three examples of brands whose brand essence has stood the test of time. Brand essence and the strategy that it embodies becomes a guide for your marketing communications strategy.
One thing is true when it comes to marketing strategy. There is never a shortage of ideas for what you can do when marketing your business.
Brand & Marketing Strategy Importance
How do we define your brand essence?
It is the soul of your brand that distinguishes your business from competitors and inspires your prospects, employees, and customers to choose you over your competitors.
Wondering if it’s necessary to go through these steps to distinguish your organization or whether it really makes a difference?
Here are 8 reasons why your marketing strategy must include your brand strategy.
- One: Your brand strategy becomes a guide for identifying the best few initiatives that you will deploy when you start marketing. It is your north star and helps you ensure that your messaging stays on target.You have a branding problem if you’re jumping from one initiative to the next and constantly rearranging your messaging.
- Two: It becomes a rallying point for your employees and embodies the culture of your organization.If you’re having a problem hiring and attracting the best talent, you may have a brand problem.
- Three: It increases the value of your organization and its products and services. Take the name Coca-Cola off of the can and just put cola on it. What happens? You can charge a higher price. Is it the same formula? Yes, what changed? The perception of your customers. They believe they are getting a better product because they believe in your brand and perceive it to be better than others.If you’re trying to sell your company but don’t feel like you’re getting what it’s worth, you may have a brand problem.
- Four: It leads to a consistent, reliable customer experience that improves customer perceptions and sustains growth. Tools, processes, and employee behavior work together to support your strategy. If Marketing is doing one thing, Sales another, and Customer Experience a slightly different version, all in the best interest of your customers, you will still experience inconsistent customer experiences. Your brand will help you achieve alignment to ensure you’re improving customer perceptions while delivering a consistent and reliable customer experience.Wondering why your customers seem so happy post-sale but suddenly are upset during the onboarding process? You may have a brand issue.
- Five: Your brand can become a way for your customers to express who they are as they celebrate your products and services. People choose one product over another because it resonates emotionally and solves a problem. Two t-shirts made the same way in the same factory with the same materials, but with different brand names on them will attract different customers. Your brand gives your customers a way to relate to your products. It helps them understand who you are and where you are willing to take a stand.If you’re frustrated and feeling like you’re not attracting the right prospects and customers, it’s likely a branding issue.
- Six: Your customers love a great story. Your brand gives them a story to believe and inspiration to follow. Often small business owners think that they are the hero in the story because they are solving problems for their customers. The reality is that great brands make their customers the hero. They start with the customer’s pain and act as the guide that is helping the customers achieve their goals.If you focus on the features and benefits of your products instead of telling compelling stories that make your customers think you probably have a branding problem.
- Seven: Brands that take a stand generate more demand and sell more products at higher margins. The best brands in the world have stayed true to their essence through time. Every organization’s heart is a founder who sees a problem or an opportunity to make things better. She rallied people through her passion and drive to make a difference and created that drive to sustain the company early in its growth stage.As companies grow and expand, it becomes more difficult for the leaders that started them to stay connected to the team and drive that passion. Steve Jobs might be the exception. A strong brand can illuminate that founder’s power to your employees and customers.
If your company is growing revenue but profitability is waning, you may have a problem with your brand.
- Eight: A brand makes you relevant to your customers. At JWT, we used to say, “Great brands don’t interrupt what people are interested in. They are what people are interested in.”Many small business owners start marketing without thinking about their customers at all. Then wonder why their marketing efforts are not as effective as they expected. Typically it’s because you are focusing on what you have to offer versus what your customers get.
If your brand awareness campaign isn’t as effective as you thought it would be, you may have a branding issue.
7. The next step of your marketing strategy, step seven, is identifying and inventorying the initiatives you will launch to achieve your objectives. As we noted earlier, everyone in your organization will have ideas about what you should do to get results.
Marketing always leads the way, and if you are a new marketing director or marketing manager, you should expect that everyone around you believes they have marketing expertise equal to yours.
Suppose you follow the first six steps of the marketing planning process with examples that we’ve shared. In that case, you’re also getting buy-in from your executive team members and corporate stakeholders as you build out your strategy. It makes launching your campaigns and initiatives much easier.
Small business owners often don’t want to look at a strategic marketing example and do the work to get to a plan because they are concerned it will take too long to get the results they want. Instead, they want to jump right to step seven of the marketing strategy process and get right to tactics.
Your role as a marketing director is to get results for the organization and build consensus and create alignment with your key stakeholders.
If you don’t have a marketing director in your organization you’ll want to find a marketing consultant or digital marketing agency that can help you get the results you want faster than you thought possible.
When you’ve built consensus and your key stakeholders understand the perceptions you’re trying to create or the beliefs you are looking to change with your initiatives you’ll find that not only do you get results faster but you also can make adjustments much more effectively to raise awareness, drive demand, improve conversions or change beliefs.
8. Choose the best marketing initiatives.
So, how do you choose the right initiatives that will get you the best results for a consumer product?
First let’s answer the question:
What is product marketing?
Product marketing is about creating awareness, generating demand among new or existing customers, and getting them to purchase for the first time or buy again. There are only two ways your organization can grow.
- Get new customers to buy for the first time.
- Get your existing customer to buy again.
In fact, your product is one of the essential answers to the question:
Why is 4Ps important in marketing?
The 4Ps of marketing for reference are product, price, promotion, and place.
Oreo answered that question in 2013, yes it’s been 8 years since this happened as of the original writing of this content. “What happened in 2013?” you ask? In February of 2013, the Superdome went dark during the Super Bowl. Oreo put its product front and center with a tweet that stole the stage and made its loyal fans, those that love to dunk an Oreo in milk the heroes of the story. As the lights went out in the stadium Oreo social media managers cleverly tweeted, Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.
Oreo demonstrated one of the most delightful aspects of its product, dunking it in a full glass of Milk, at the right place, lights out in Superdome, with a great promotional aspect that embraced the moment. It was brilliant social media marketing. And become known as one of the best “newsjacking” moments of all time.
The tweet as simple as it was also answers the question how do you choose the right initiatives that will get you the best results for a consumer product?
You choose the right initiatives by understanding these three components of your marketing strategy.
- The characteristics of your brand that motivate purchase. In this case, dunking an Oreo in a glass of milk.
- The compelling creative elements that trigger an emotional reaction. Oreo embraced the moment to create a hilarious moment during a power outage that reminded everyone to relax, “it’s just a game.”
- The right media with the right message. Oreo embraced the media as the message and delivered it to football fans. It’s likely they had some new people try the product and some loyal fans buy more.
Together these three components show that you simply know your audience. Without proper planning Oreo might never have had the opportunity to take advantage of the unique outage that occurred during the Super Bowl.
9. The last step in every great marketing campaign or strategy is measurement. If you don’t know what you should expect then you’re not going to know how to adjust and make changes to achieve your goals.
How you measure your success in marketing is going to depend on the types of campaigns you are running. For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness you might want to take a look at your website traffic before you launch your campaign. An easy way to see if your campaign is raising awareness is to check and see whether there was a lift in your website traffic as the campaign was launched, established, and sustained.
That might mean trying some new channels to drive traffic. In the first quarter of 2021 Nerf, the toy manufacturer that makes the famous blaster guns that turn every Dad, son, and daughter into playmates, recognized it needed some help upgrading its marketing skills in social media channels, particularly Tik Tok.
To do so they put out a search for a Tik Tok aficionado that could become a brand ambassador through the social media channel.
In an article that appeared in Newsweek and Forbes Teresa Pearson, Nerf’s senior director of global brand strategy and marketing, said in a statement about the hiring decision, “While the Nerf global marketing team really is best-in-class at what they do in terms of creativity and connecting with our fans, we admit we could use some help as the brand steps into the world of TikTok.”
What are some effective ways to measure a Tik Tok marketing campaign?
To measure the effectiveness of a Tik Tok campaign you might look at things such as campaign reach, additional user-generated content, and a spike in organic traffic from Tik Tok to your site.
What are effective ways to measure lead (demand) generation campaigns?
Lead generation campaigns are another type of marketing campaign where you will want to understand the difference between leading and lagging indicators. Software as a service (SaaS) and Manufacturers with dealers typically implement these campaigns to generate marketing qualified leads that convert to sales qualified leads.
What is a leading indicator for a demand generation campaign?
Leading indicators deal with change and provide you with an idea of where the campaign is heading during the initial stages of launch.
What are examples of leading indicators?
Examples of leading indicators include consumer confidence, purchase intent, familiarity with your brand, website traffic, social media engagement.
What is a lag indicator for a demand generation strategy?
Lag indicators tell when something has happened. They confirm that you are on or off track to achieve your objectives.
Leading indicators tell you whether you are on the right track and your lag indicators confirm whether you’ll meet your key performance indicators.
A demand generation campaign typically drives traffic back to your website using paid advertising, social media, PR, affiliate marketing, video marketing, search engine optimization, account-based marketing campaigns, and more to drive traffic. Then the content on your website is used to convert that traffic into leads.
Demand generation and brand awareness campaigns are two of many types of marketing campaigns you can use to drive business growth. The key is whether you view marketing as an investment or an expense.
If you view it as an expense you’ll likely hop from one marketing strategy to another frustrated that you can’t ever get an ROI.
Marketing works best when it is done consistently.
Keys to Successful Marketing
Maybe after all this you’re asking what are the keys to success in marketing?
Here they are in summary.
Know your audience
- What compels them to buy?
- What are their media preferences?
- What are their creative preferences?
- How will you engage their emotions?
Distinguish your brand from competitors
- If you cover up the logo on your ads could your customers tell the difference between you and your competitors?
Answer questions your customers are asking
- Search engine optimization begins here
Tie your brand essence to the purpose of your organization
- Recognize that brand strategy is a business strategy.
- Align your employees and everything your organization does to the essence of your purpose, based on your customers’ perspective.
Choose the best few to get the highest return on your investment
- Marketing is an investment, not an expense, if you’re not getting a return you’re doing something wrong.
Inspect what you expect
- Most marketing efforts can be easily measured.
- Clarify your expectations and the outcomes you expect so you can measure progress effectively.