Authors Adrienne Wilkerson and Jennifer Christensen, adapted for blog by Sara Jokela
Building Out Your Marketing Strategy for Effectiveness
Pulling together a cohesive plan and then implementing it can be a daunting subject for any business. There are many tools, tips, and tricks to use in your marketing efforts that will help as you’re looking at your plan’s foundation.
In addition, digital marketing channels have different strategies for presentation and we recommend that when deciding which way to approach each channel — ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What is your brand?
- What do you care about?
- What differentiates you from the crowd?
- What are you trying to express?
- What service are you providing?
- What solution are you sharing?
Digital Marketing Effectiveness Is Measured in Feedback
No matter the market you’re approaching, the effectiveness of marketing is measured by how a particular market responds to what you’re putting out there. Essentially, marketing strategy is a job in itself and it has to be constantly reviewed and adjusted to ensure a higher customer retention rate.
Marketing metrics are also a feedback tool to understand how effective your marketing efforts are. As such, you should consider metrics such as your marketing budget, cost per lead generation, cost per click, and conversion rates just to name a few.
It can be really easy to get sucked down into the weeds of metric analysis for all the different marketing campaigns. Thus, ensuring your foundational questions are considered during the analysis process is key. Remember, always go back to the basics.
Filtering Feedback Correctly
Focusing on the “True North” of your business foundation also acts as a filter for what feedback to engage with — and what to disregard.
When reviewing feedback, it’s important to know who your target audience is and who they are not. Keep in mind that there will always be trolls who want to throw you off your game. And you must be able to differentiate the trolls from the valuable feedback.
No Feedback Is Good Feedback
Should lack of feedback be considered a good thing? Yes! If you’re not getting feedback from your target market, something is missing.
When your target market is not communicating with you, your marketing effectiveness is off. Essentially, this means you’re missing the mark and not connecting with your audience.
At the end of the day, bouncing all these key metrics and marketing activities off your true north allows you to evaluate and reevaluate what feedback to implement and what to disregard.
Know Your Goals and Your Target Market
Feedback will come from anywhere and everywhere, including friends and family. Taking feedback from important people in your life can become complicated and it’s important to consider how much weight it will hold for your business.
As a result, implementing invaluable feedback just because it originated from valuable people can take you off course. And as with all feedback, it should be measured against your true north business goals.
Brand Awareness | Don’t Alienate Your Staff
At Beacon Media + Marketing, we had an experience with a small business client who was looking to refresh their brand after 20+ years of operation. The challenge with this particular client was that not all owners wanted to be involved in the process — which led to a mismatch of preference and brand awareness.
The husband and wife client are in the construction industry, he runs the field, and she runs the office and he prefers to leave the details of the brand refresh to her. We had to walk her through the brand awareness process for a male-dominant population to conclude that they would probably not want to wear the feminine colors that spoke to her.
Brand awareness has to complement the market served, the employees serving it, and the style of the owners, while also connecting with your target audience. It’s a careful balance of personal style and communication of your business personality. Again, referring to your goals and foundational identity will help you measure marketing effectiveness.
Effective Marketing Campaigns May Not Appeal to You
Generational considerations for your content marketing add another layer to measuring marketing effectiveness. Part of your audience consideration is the age-range demographic and how best to reach them.
For example, we had an incident where a staff member came up with a cute and quippy hiring post for LinkedIn that did not resonate with us at all, as owners. This staff member had a solid thought process and solid reasoning behind how they thought it would be effective to reach our target demographic so we approved it.
That particular ad got so many positive responses but didn’t necessarily translate into applications. Was it an effective marketing strategy? We believe it was because it piqued people’s interest while staying true to our company.
Context Is King When Measuring Marketing Effectiveness
When you consider content marketing that doesn’t resonate with you and may come from staff from another generation, ask them to give you context. Ask them to explain why they think they have an effective strategy and how it will reach the target market.
If they have a solid plan and the content aligns with your company’s values, take a chance on it! Track marketing effectiveness by the feedback you receive.
Consider Your Calendar When Planning Your Marketing Strategy
Once your strategy, foundational questions, and audience are identified, the next step is to decide how many hours you have to devote to marketing.
Necessary time and available time will most likely not match. This is why the Beacon Way approach looks at the growth goal of your company and your strengths and weaknesses.
More Time Than Money?
Analyzing desired growth versus your strengths is the approach we take to formulating a marketing plan. For example, if your strength is in sales and you can write compelling copy to persuade people, that may be a good place for you to make a marketing investment.
Writing great content, focusing on your website and social posts to engage new customers, getting qualified leads, and inbound marketing rolling will all be effective uses of your time.
A common business mantra is, as soon as you can, outsource your weaknesses. The encouragement here is to understand that marketing management won’t have to fall squarely on your shoulders forever. Marketing professionals, like Beacon Media + Marketing, are here to help you Grow + Scale + Thrive.
Choose the Path to Your Marketing Team
There are many available tools to assist with marketing campaigns for anyone willing to use initiative to leverage them. However, we do caution against entering a realm too far outside your strengths, like graphic design for instance — because this can really eat into the time you need to manage your business. Instead, focus your time and energy on what you’re good at and on getting your business up and running.
Freelancers, agencies, and in-house staff to run your marketing efforts are all great options for growing your marketing activities and there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Knowing your goals, your strengths, and your weaknesses will help you analyze which path to take depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. You may even find yourself going in several of these directions at once to achieve the results you’re looking for in your marketing plan.
What To Consider When Outsourcing Your Marketing
When designing your marketing plan, consider the pipeline growth you want to see, the paid channels you’ll utilize, and determine the effectiveness of click-through rates needed to satisfy your marketing goals.
Once you have a solid plan laid out, who would be the best fit to deliver on your business results and greater marketing ROI from your efforts?
A full marketing plan that is omnichannel and multi-platform may be best suited to an agency with the staff to handle the volume of content that needs to be managed. Picking the right expert in this field, who uses best practices in these areas, will increase your results and likely save you money.
A smaller, more conservative approach, like video and content, may be better suited to an in-house partnership or a freelancer who is equipped to produce and manage this type of plan.
The bottom line here is that you must know how you operate within your company, your goals, and yourself in order to determine how best to serve the marketing needs of your business for customer acquisition — and to bring more revenue through the door.
Niche Marketing Skills | Does One Person Have It All?
The marketing industry has become highly specialized with the addition of all the channels and marketing methods available. The skillsets needed to analyze data are very different from the ones needed to write effective blogs or create engaging social media content.
If your goal is to hit all the specialty areas available for your marketing plan, it’s important that you outsource to an agency group or several freelancers who specialize in each area. Typically, it won’t be possible to hire one person in-house who has all the specialized skills it will take to manage the multiple platforms effectively.
Creative + Analytical Thinking, the New Approach to Sales
Sales and marketing go hand in hand, but you can’t expect your marketer to be your sales team. That is yet another skill set that is highly specialized in the current marketing landscape.
According to a Zippia.com article, 81% of consumers research an item online before purchasing it. More and more, consumers want to be educated prior to talking with a sales department.
For this reason, it is imperative that your marketing campaign not only has the creative direction to capture the eye of potential customers — but also an analytical expert to analyze the back-end data for measuring marketing effectiveness. With these two pieces in place, you’ll be able to pivot your marketing strategy to impact your ability to increase lead generation and new sales.
Tips and Tricks to Investing Your Time for Marketing Effectiveness
We understand that time is limited in a lot of cases when starting a company. Here at Beacon Media + Marketing, our goal is to help companies Grow + Scale + Thrive. Here are some tips on how to increase your marketing effectiveness on a time constraint of five hours per week.
- Don’t try to do too much: When time is limited, be very specific and intentional about where you invest your marketing efforts.
- Focus on video and content: For B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a valuable resource. This platform has the ability to foster connections in the industry or industries you serve — and it’s easy to make a large impact with very little time by producing quality, relevant content.
- Service-based or consumer-based businesses, keep it simple: We recommend you pick one or two social media channels to find and target your desired customer. Spend the time to go deeper on those platforms to produce quality results.
- Leverage the content scheduling platforms: It is possible to create a lot of great content quickly, especially when utilizing video, but posting it can be time-consuming and consistency is key. By leveraging a scheduling platform, you can add quite a bit of content at one time, which leads us to our next tip. Consistency.
- Develop a consistent cadence of posting: It is much better to have less content on a consistent basis, than overwhelming content inconsistently. Schedule time blocking into your week so that you can develop consistent posting of content.
- Don’t quit when things are going well: Marketing campaign effectiveness is important so don’t be tempted to stop when things start to go well. Remember, it’s much easier to keep momentum than it is to restart it.
Results Will Come When Your Marketing Efforts are Consistent
No matter the message, consistency is key. For years, fitness experts have tried to get us to focus on nutrition to reach results, but we want to go to the gym and not change our nutrition. The saying “Abs are made in the kitchen” became popular for a reason and it’s the same with marketing. Consistent, step-by-step, non-sexy approaches to putting your information out there will yield results — but it takes time.
Make your plan, measure its effectiveness, leverage skill sets, and available tools — and never stop!
Check out our podcast, The Beacon Way, for more expert marketing advice.