Strategic Marketing: Seven Steps to Effective Marketing

Step 1: Focus on your core product.

An Arizona Advertising pro told me that a very successful
e-newsletter entrepreneur has built his business around this
mantra: “Prospects buy when they trust your value is applicable
to them and believe your company is stable.” This strong
position allows him to constantly check up on the services and
value he’s providing his customers. Keep this statement in mind
as we go through the rest of the seven steps, because
internalizing this mantra is the key to a solid plan.

Step 2: Keep your pitch simple.

The last time you asked someone at a party what their company
does, did you get a clear, concise response? Or did your eyes
glaze over by the time they got to the end of their explanation?
Now imagine that same pitch being presented to prospects who
don’t have a glass of wine in their hands to distract them! It’s
not a pretty picture.

33-plus years in Phoenix marketing circles has demonstrated that
what every company needs is a simple pitch that’s a short,
concise message that can communicate your message to a prospect
in 30 seconds or less. It explains the value your product or
service provides so the prospect understands why it’s applicable
to them.

Step 3: Stay true to who you are.

Marketing agency types seem to agree that knowing who you are
and what gets you excited (and bores you to tears) will help you
reach your goals. Nothing can derail a growth plan more than
discomfort and procrastination-it’s simply human nature to
procrastinate over things that cause discomfort. And there are
dozens of daily business requirements that every business owner
detests. If you’re finding yourself putting things off, it’s
time to start delegating

Step 4: Map it.

Arizona Public relations pros I have known generally declare
that mapping your capabilities with your target clients’ needs
is an excellent way for you to determine your service strategy.
You’ll find that while you may be perfectly skilled in many
areas, you’re going after customers who don’t need your
particular expertise.

Marketing consultants see one common trait among many
entrepreneurs. It is the urge to “cast a wide net” by being all
things to all companies. In almost every case, however, a small
business flourishes because it has a narrower service offering.
Remember, a small company’s value is that it can specialize in
unique, top-quality services.

Step 5: Utilize marketing tools that work best for you.

When deciding on a marketing strategy, or drafting a marketing
plan, implement one that fits your personality and the customers
you serve. For instance, if you’re terrified of getting up in
front of a crowd, don’t schedule yourself to participate on a
panel in the hopes of generating business. You’ll derail your
efforts if you don’t perform well.

Identify the top two marketing tools you’ve used in the past
that have worked for your company. Then start adding new ideas
for a fresh perspective. When selecting your marketing tools,
also evaluate them from a financial and cost basis.

Step 6: Implement a plan of action.

Your marketing plan will also give you the map you can use to
measure your progress.

Establish goals that can be reviewed at three and six months. At
incremental points within each three-month period, keep checking
your plan to see if you’re meeting your goals. If you find
you’re missing the target, ask why. Were the tools appropriate
for your target customer? Did you integrate the strategy, or did
you just focus on one of the tools? And don’t forget to plug in
specific actions that you’ll do every day to help you meet your
goals. That daily strategy will keep the goals of the plan top
of mind.

Step 7: Exercise the plan.

Leading advertising agencies implore their clients to “Just do
it!”: Complete the daily actions, and then do something extra to
accelerate your success plan. If you approach your plan and get
butterflies in your stomach, either get over it or substitute an
action that you’re comfortable with so you stay on course. Don’t
let unplanned tasks waste precious time that should be applied
toward reaching your goal. And most of all-enjoy the process!

About the author:
Allan Starr founded Marketing Partners in 1976. The
Phoenix-based firm provides local, regional, national and
international strategic marketing, advertising, public relations
and sales promotion services for a diverse client list. He also
has been a nationally known photographer, award winning
copywriter and editor/publisher of national trade magazines. <a

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