To perfect your marketing process, and ensure it yields the results you’re looking for, you’ll want to read through this comprehensive guide as we’ve compiled some of the best tips and tricks for converting interest to action.
Typically, your average marketing process will be made up of four different stages. These generally include strategic marketing analysis, marketing-mix planning, marketing implementation, and marketing control. We’ll provide tips throughout this guide as to how you can optimize your marketing process to build brand awareness and generate more sales.
Why is it important to build an effective and rewarding marketing process?
While we’ll cover the main benefits of building an effective marketing process, we’ll start by addressing the downsides of not having one.
If you don’t put time and resources into your marketing efforts, then your ability to build brand awareness and online visibility will be severely limited.
These days, it’s even harder to stand out than ever before with myriad online businesses popping up every day, each fighting for space and trying to get the word out about their services. Companies in the modern era are focusing heavily on digital means of marketing, which includes social media, email, and website optimization.
If for whatever reason you ignore these digital marketing avenues, your online visibility will suffer and you’ll have a hard time growing a reputation for your business and reaching new customers reliably.
So now, let’s dive into the benefits of developing an effective marketing process.
Growth for the majority of companies means increasing the bottom line.
If you aren’t able to generate more sales over time, then your business can start to stagnate.
How does marketing boost sales?
It’s simple, really.
The more people you are able to reach with your marketing efforts, the more likely it is that you will have more interest in your services. Of course, your success will depend on various factors such as the strength of your brand identity and messaging.
Raise Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is all about standing out from the crowd.
If you’re in an industry that’s teeming with competition, then brand identity is one area you can focus on to persuade prospective customers to choose you over your closest competitors.
For example, are you more likely to buy a pair of sports shoes from a brand you don’t know or a pair that brandish the Nike logo?
Of course, other factors such as price and comfort come into play, but at the end of the day, the strength of your brand alone can lead to sales.
Develop Social Proof
If you create an effective marketing process, you can develop social proof for your brand.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of social proof, it basically means that you have the backing of customers via positive reviews or testimonials which can in turn convince others to buy from you.
The more you get the word out about your business, the more likely it is that customers will want to leave feedback to help you grow and bolster your social proof.
What are the 5 steps of a rewarding marketing process?
If you want to create a rewarding marketing process, then you need to think every stage through thoroughly.
To give you a headstart, we’ve compiled a list of the five steps we believe are most important for successfully developing an effective marketing process.
1. Understand the marketplace and the customer needs
Before coming up with your marketing strategy, you need to get a feel for the lay of the land.
Carrying out market research is one of the most reliable ways of figuring out how to tackle your marketing process, as it will give you key information on what your competitors are doing and how you can respond to customer needs.
To do this, a common strategy is to establish what is known as an ‘ideal buyer persona’. Basically what this means is finding out who your average customer is, according to their spending habits, likes and dislikes, and other details.
Once you have this buyer persona, you can create a marketing strategy that accommodates it perfectly.
For example, if your buyer persona is an elderly man who is likely technophobic, then you know that social media marketing will be less of a priority.
You can also get useful insights simply by asking existing customers to fill out surveys and tell you exactly what they think about various issues and what their preferences are.
2. Create a marketing strategy that focuses on customers
A customer-focused marketing strategy is one that takes the customer’s needs into account.
Once you’ve established what their needs are, using the strategies detailed above, you can start to come up with marketing ideas that zero in on the customers.
Say for example you’re a software company and up until now you’ve taken a feature-heavy approach to growing your business. Your marketing has largely revolved around the addition of new features and upgrading of current ones in your app or on your website.
This is a perfectly acceptable marketing strategy.
However, if the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your business show that sales are slow and your marketing isn’t working, then you need to try something different.
In this case, listening to the customers and tracking key metrics will give you all the information you need to know.
It could simply be that existing customers can’t get to grips with certain elements of the software and that’s proved to be a sticking point for them. Or maybe that there are features that they aren’t even aware exist.
As such, your marketing strategy can adopt a customer-focus and highlight everything that the software currently does, and perhaps open customers eyes to other uses they might have missed out on.
3. Construct an integrated marketing plan
If you’re unfamiliar with the term integrated marketing, then you’ll want to grab a pen and a piece of paper as it can be an effective strategy for growth.
Basically, integrated marketing is a way of ensuring the message you put out as a brand is consistent across all platforms you use. One of the hallmarks of a strong brand is a unified message, regardless of the medium.
You want mobile users and desktop users to experience your brand in the same way, for example.
Without an integrated marketing plan, it’s likely that your message is scrambled across platforms, which weakens your brand identity and makes it less appealing for customers to do business with your company over the competition. Using marketing dashboards can help you track your efforts.
4. Build beneficial relationships
If you want what’s best for your business, then you’ll know how important it is to secure recurring purchases from loyal customers.
While some companies rely more on one-off purchases from new customers, this isn’t sustainable for most businesses who need loyal customers to keep them afloat.
The best way to keep customers on board is to get them to buy into your vision as a brand, and to cultivate beneficial relationships.
That means your marketing strategy should vary depending on whether you are trying to get a new prospect to take an action or an existing customer. Once you’ve sealed a purchase, you’ll want to mix up your marketing in a way that makes the new customer feel like they can buy from you on a regular basis instead of taking their business elsewhere.
5. Step of the marketing process: Value customers
For a marketing campaign or strategy to be successful, you need your customers to feel valued.
What’s the best way to make them feel valued?
Well, simply to offer value.
Many businesses underestimate the impact of providing value to the customer in the form of free content and resources.
For example, if you’re in the action camera industry, one way to provide value to your customers is to put on a regular live stream or event in which an athlete uses your action camera to stream the footage.
That way, customers not only get to see the product in action, but they also get to watch entertaining content you’ve put out for free which increases the likelihood that they’ll go with you, as they almost feel like they owe you something.
You can also offer free ebooks solving a common customer pain point with your product as the solution, free courses, or even just free merchandise.
How to implement the process?
To start your marketing process, you first need to make sure you have the resources you need to execute it successfully. If you don’t have the funds, then it’ll result in a failure to launch and you’ll have to change your approach.
You should also try and create a schedule, in which you outline what needs to happen at every step of the way. For example, your ideal buyer persona will go through various stages before they make a purchase: awareness, consideration, and decision.
At each of these stages, a slightly different marketing tactic will be required to convince them to stay on board. As such, you’ll want to plan out your marketing process so that you can guide the buyer through all of the stages successfully.