Posted on: October 19th, 2020
The word marketing has often been associated with the selling and promotion of products or services. However, there is much more to marketing than strictly generating sales. Those companies who fail to explore the additional benefits of a strong marketing program will miss out on the opportunity to build a brand and establish long-lasting customer relationships.
The right marketing strategy goes beyond the traditional focus on products and services and helps position your brand as respectable and trustworthy. The tactics below can help you build a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help you build relationships with your customers, and ultimately, increase sales.
A SWOT analysis refers to the process used to identify the strengths (S) and weaknesses (W) of your business, as well as the opportunities (O) open to it, and the threats (T) that it faces. You should examine your business and identify these factors to give you a thorough overview of your brand’s position.
By analyzing all these internal and external factors, you can create strategies that capitalize on your advantages and address your challenges. This examination also helps you understand your industry landscape and competitive positioning, which, ultimately, helps you define your target market and audience profiles.
You must know who your customers are to provide the right messaging for your products or services. Even though everyone who buys your products or services may not fit the same exact profile, it is still important to define these before creating a marketing strategy.
Luckily, with the internet and plenty of data in reach, determining your target market is not much of a guessing game. To fully understand who your audience is, do a thorough review of your services and products, the marketplace, your competitors, and your existing customer base. In addition to helping you streamline your messaging; this exercise can potentially expose opportunities for expanding your products or services that could continue to grow your customers’ loyalty and trust, and even your revenue.
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to decide how you will talk to them to generate trust and understanding. Customers these days expect communications to be personalized to their lifestyles, which is why it’s so important to first understand exactly who you are talking to. When you can effectively personalize your communications, you will build trust and establish a deeper customer relationship.
At first this may seem like a big task, but one way to ensure consistent messaging is to create a messaging and positioning framework (MPF). This document should then be used as the foundation for all marketing and PR communications and will include things such as your value proposition, product features and benefits, important keywords, and more.
Your voice and tone may or may not be stated exactly within but should always be viewed as an extension of your MPF.
Voice can be viewed as the personality of your communications; how do you want your audience to view your brand? This should reflect aspects of your brand that will never change and therefore will remain consistent in your messaging. To discover your voice, analyze the values of your business and how you want your brand to be portrayed.
Tone is the attitude of what you are saying in your email. Because attitude varies, tone will vary as well. Whether it’s playful or serious, you should establish your tone according to the attitude that is appropriate for your specific communications or audience.
One of the best ways to understand how your brand’s voice and tone is connecting with your customers is email marketing. You can send sales and promotions, introduce new products, provide general announcements, and product updates, giving you nearly limitless opportunities to put your brand in front of your target audience.
By measuring engagement through open rates, click-throughs, and sales, you can continually tweak your messaging to be more impactful for your specific audience.
Although the process of putting together an email marketing strategy may seem daunting, there are plenty of email marketing software companies who offer features such as segmenting audience lists, automation, personalization and more. Using these email marketing automation tools can increase revenue by 5-10x, making it a no-brainer for most modern brands who want to dive deeper with their customer communications.
Think about starting a loyalty program as you strengthen your consumer base and continue to grow your list of returning customers. This gives customers an incentive to continually do business with you as well as allowing you to acknowledge their devotion with personalized sales, promotions, or even early visibility into new products and services.
Traditional loyalty programs are especially impactful for retail and restaurants, where many customers may spread your brand by word of mouth, influencing others to come and join.
For B2B companies, loyalty programs can work but should include strategies such as requesting reviews or referrals and providing cash incentives or add-ons to your services as reward. You should also offer webinars or other training/informational material that keeps your customers engaged with your brand.
Just be sure that your program is consistent with how you want your company to be represented and includes foundational messaging from your MPF to help solidify your brand positioning.
Marketing your business should feel exciting. It requires a lot of hard work, but it is also a creative and fun opportunity. There are numerous resources to get inspiration if you need a little boost to come up with promotions or campaign ideas for building customer relationships. Using sites such as Pinterest, marketing blogs, or even reading through your promotional emails from brands that you follow can give you plenty of places to start.
You don’t have to do all of this alone! Partnering with an agency for everything from MPFs to email campaigns, PR, and more can help provide an unbiased view of your brand’s current positioning and how you can improve it to create long-lasting customer relationships. Reach out to Merit Mile to discover how we can help.