New Year is always a time for looking back – and looking forward! Personally and professionally, we all review the highs and lows of the previous 12 months and set new goals for the year ahead.
At Mogrify, we’ve been focusing on which strategies have – and haven’t – worked for our customers during 2018. We’ve put these learnings into six steps, so you can factor them into your marketing strategy resolutions for 2019.
Step 1: Know your message and your market
Before you embark on any marketing for your business, there are some key questions you need to ask.
Who is the target market?
Why are you targeting that particular demographic?
What’s your marketing message?
How does this all support your company values and vision?
It’s interesting how few companies actually think about these basics.
For successful marketing, companies need a clear view of who is being targeted, why, and with what, and what the overall message to the market should be. You need a clear and consistent message running through all your marketing, and you also need a list of what you need to produce, with rough timelines for each of them.
Check out our recent blog 'The marketing strategy musts for Australian IT businesses' for more about this vital first step.
Step 2: Message and strategy clear? Now, move on!
It is all too easy to get so caught up in messaging and strategy that you could easily spend the whole of 2019 discussing it. We don’t recommend this.
Obviously, you’ll need to have regular check-ins to make sure your messaging and strategy is on track, but don’t keep discussing it endlessly. Once you have clarity around it, move on. Read our blog 'Perfectionism is the enemy of good marketing' for help with this step – or book a strategy phone consultation with us. We can have your strategy set out within a month with a full plan of exactly what is being created, and actioned, and when.
Step 3: Create those assets
The next step is where Mogrify starts having real fun with our customers. It’s that of asset creation. Before creating great content, you need to ask yourself some questions.
What does your sales team need to convert more?
What does your company need to open up new conversations?
How is your company perceived in the market?
How does your business need to present itself in the market to lure people in?
Work out your asset creation priorities and then create beautifully branded assets you can be proud of (or get Mogrify to do it for you!).
Step 4: Make sure you’re ‘promotion and distribution-ready’
Sometimes companies can be so excited about new tools or activities they’ve read about such as SEO, telemarketing or digital ads that they start telling the world about themselves before they’ve actually got anything interesting or coherent to say. This can be a major fail. Arguably this is where we see businesses wasting the most money.
Always remember – the most interest the market is going to have in your content is right at the beginning when you first start making noise about it. Get that vital first impression wrong and it’s going to be a lot harder to nurture and convert people in the future.
So if your website looks rubbish and your content is all over the place (e.g. no CTA’s, not taking people on a journey), don’t start promoting. You’ll lose people straight away and could struggle to get them back.
Be patient and take the time to get it right.
Step 5: Promotion and distribution
Promotion and distribution should be a serious consideration. It’s an ongoing cost which once started, needs to be maintained. For example, once you start using email as a distribution tool (i.e. a monthly customer email), you can’t just suddenly stop. What’s more, there is no guarantee of success – you’re working on a percentage chance that the activity will convert to sales. Great underlying content assets will increase that percentage (see step 4) but you also need to think carefully about your promotion and distribution channels before releasing your content. Ask yourself the following questions:
Where does your content need to go to be seen by your target market?
Which mix of channels is going to be most effective?
How are you going to test/measure this stage?
It’s vital to think of promotion and distribution holistically – don’t, for example, regard SEO as being separate to social marketing. If you contact an agency to provide you with ‘SEO’, that’s all you’ll get. It’s like going to the doctor with a bad knee and telling them you want it treated with pain killers and nothing else. What you need is a proper diagnosis and a holistic treatment plan to increase the chance of success.
Marketing is no different. You can’t just use one tactic. You need to find the right mix to maximise the engagement you get with the strategy and content you’ve developed. This means you’ll sometimes need to seamlessly move your budget from one marketing tactic to another. So don’t work with an agency that specialises in just one element of the bigger picture, such as SEO. You need a marketing partner who can do it all and knows which parts to do when.
And be cautious about who you choose to partner with. Just because someone tells you they’re a social media guru, doesn’t mean they are. See our blog 'Tech companies, make sure you're not making this huge marketing investment mistake' for more about this.
Step 6: Evaluation and improvement
This is, in fact, part of every step - but we believe it’s important enough to be called out as a step in its own right. Do you have people looking at all of your marketing, evaluating it regularly and working out what has been successful and what hasn’t?
Do you have a marketing automation platform? Without one, ROI can be difficult to measure in marketing. That new lead could have come from 10 different places. But marketing automation works well if you want to better track what works and what doesn’t, enabling you to identify leads and business generated.
Mogrify are a partner of several marketing automation platforms. Once you have reached Step 5, we believe it’s increasingly essential to use one in order to evaluate effectively and improve upon mistakes.
We hope these steps will be of value as you start thinking about your strategy for 2019. If you’d like to get a quick overall view of your marketing in the all-important areas of messaging and strategy; asset creation; promotion and distribution; and evaluation and improvement, take our free B2B marketing assessment.