People often talk about “marketing strategy” when they really mean “marketing tactics.”
Business owners, or marketing managers, are lured in by tactics:
• Social media marketing
• Google Ads
• Email campaigns
• And more
Tactics are elements you use as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Without a clear, focused marketing strategy to guide you, your tactics will slowly kill your marketing.
A hard-to-resist tactic can easily become your sole focus.
That’s a BIG problem.
Tactics without a strategy will get you nowhere fast.
Tactics are nothing without a strategy to guide them.
Strategy-first thinking IS the way to approach marketing.
It’s how you make your marketing work.
So, how do you use strategy-first thinking to guide your marketing?
1. Define your ideal client.
The wrong customers stifle growth.
The right customers drive growth.
Trying to be all things to all people is a massive drain on you and your business.
- But if you focus on the right people…
- If you optimize your products and services for them…
- And create laser-focused marketing that speaks to them.
You’ll make your marketing work by focusing on your ideal buyer’s needs first.
By saying “Yes” to the right clients.
If you run a CPA firm, you might be targeting anyone who needs help with their taxes.
Your firm’s core expertise is working with high-net-worth individuals, and your rate reflects that.
But your website copy is not clear, and because of this, you’re attracting everyone. You need a website that tells a story that will appeal to your ideal client.
You do this by figuring out who this person is, defining their pain points, and then giving them a clear path to solving their issue.
Without this clarity, you will be attracting everyone, or even worse, get no site visitors.
Simply taking the time to define YOUR ideal customer can change everything.
That is why step one is defining who this person is. It’s where it all starts.
Learn how to create an ideal buyer persona.
2. Create your core message
How do you craft your core website message?
Words that speak to your ideal customer?
- What triggers someone to contact me?
- How, exactly, will I help them?
- What is the outcome of working with me?
- What do I want them to do next? (Sign-up to my email list? Get in touch for a free consultation? Buy my course?)
If you’re stuck, get your creative juices flowing by looking at your online reviews.
What words do customers use to describe your products? Your services? Your team?
If you have no reviews, look at your competitors’ reviews to help formulate your ideas.
What themes keep popping up?
Common themes become the foundation of your core message.
Now, write out the unique problem you solve using as few words as possible.
WHY should they buy from you?
HOW are you uniquely suited to fix their problem?
WHAT do you want them to do next?
A. Write out a paragraph.
B. Edit it down until you have a clear, focused sentence that speaks to your ideal customer.
You want a short, sweet, to-the-point sentence that fits at the top of your homepage.
This sentence is your primary homepage message. The front and center copy you need to set you apart from the competition!
Interview your customers to flesh this out even more!
3. Craft engaging content to guide them
I think that writing content built to answer your ideal customer’s questions is how you create a consistent flow of content that people will want to read.
Inform, educate, engage.
Focus on a Problem
What is your ideal customer looking for?
What does he need?
Why is she searching for answers?
Always, frame your writing around what they are looking for.
Ask yourself: If they are looking for a solution, what are they going to type into a search box?
The questions and your answers turn into your content
It really is that straightforward.
Learn how to write content that will drive traffic to your website.
4. Guide your visitors through the stages
Many marketing wizards have a multitude of complex strategies that promise to help you achieve your marketing goals.
Words laced with promises that your business will launch into the stratosphere if you follow their advice.
“Buy my system. Then your business will thrive.”
The premise of this sales pitch is that marketing is an overly complex beast needing to be tamed.
Marketing wizards and business owners overcomplicate marketing.
- So, I will take steps 1-3
- Add in a few more steps
- And provide a basic formula to guide your ideal customers the right way
Here are the steps:
1. Define your ideal customer.
2. Create a clear message that positions you as the expert who’s uniquely qualified to solve your ideal customer’s problems.
3. Craft engaging content that guides them.
4. Learn as much as you can about their journey.
5. Build a system around their journey. Show up where they are and inform, educate, and build trust.
6. Monitor what you do and measure the results.
7. Keep going!
Think of marketing as your most important system and make it a habit.
This post will help you formulate a marketing plan AND learn what to ask if you plan to hire someone to do it for you.
5. Then use tactics
As I wrote, marketing tactics are pieces of your overall marketing strategy.
They are the cogs needed to fill in the gaps along the customer journey.
- If someone finds your website, it might be because you’ve optimized your SEO (a tactic).
- Or maybe they found online reviews of your business (creating a review funnel is a tactic).
- And it’s possible they found you on LinkedIn and loved your message (again, social media as a tactic).
These examples are three tactics that might align with a comprehensive strategy.
Moving forward with a tactics-first approach is not the way.
You need a focused Marketing Strategy to guide you and employ the right tactics along the way.
Our Strategy-First system will help you create the right marketing framework for your business.
Here’s how the process works:
- We interview your customers.
- Use competitive research to study your competitors.
- Then we create ideal buyer personas.
- From this, we craft your core message—a promise that speaks to your ideal customer.
- We then map out the customer journey.
- And we work through a marketing hourglass process to find the gaps in your approach.
This strategy-first process gives you a solid foundation on which to implement the right tactics. A guiding process to move your business forward with strategy-first marketing.
Want to learn more?
Get in touch, so we can talk about how to do this for your business.
Strategy First Thinking.
It’s how you simplify your marketing.
It’s what we do.
Our quick and easy project assessment can help you create a personalized marketing strategy that will take you from frustration to elation.