Before you begin selling products or services online, it’s key to nail down your business marketing strategy.
It’s imperative to start with a strategy before any implementation project — because your business strategy will define how you’ll market your products and services and who to market them to.
Many entrepreneurs skip the three most important steps of creating a small business advertising strategy. They market blindly to a similarly blind audience, without defining their detailed customer avatar, understanding the transformation story, and having a clear map of the customer journey.
Investing the time up front to build the foundation of your business, will create more success in a shorter time, down the road.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- How to create a small business advertising strategy
- How to nail business marketing
- Ideas for small business marketing
- What should be defined before you start any marketing automation implementation
The Challenge of Change and How it Impacts The Client Journey
Understanding the internal dilemma that many clients have of staying the same (status quo) or making a change is a key to developing your marketing strategy.
In general, people do not like change – especially when it is forced upon them. However, it is changing that creates transformation. The greater the change your products provide, the greater value you will be to your customers.
Change can be hard. You (or your buyer) may feel anxious, alone, or that they do not have enough resources to make the change. Sometimes, someone commits to change but then later reverts back to the way they were before.
There are five levels of change that impact the client journey:
- Knowledge: the easiest thing to change – you can read a book, watch a video, etc.
- Skill: the application of knowledge.
- Attitude: requires mental willingness to change.
- Behavior: the summation of knowledge + skill + attitude wrapped up in action.
- Habit: the continuous ability to apply all the levels of change, over and over again.
Addressing each of these levels of change for your customer, within your marketing strategy will help your buyer ascend into their journey creating long-lasting resources.
Creating Your Primary Customer Avatar & Buyer Persona
The next question you need to ask yourself is, “Who is my ideal customer?”
Once you figure that out, you’ll know exactly who you are marketing to. Even if you sell the best product or service in the world, your sales can fall flat if you’re not marketing yourself to the right audience.
This is why it’s so important to create your buyer persona, also known as a customer avatar.
Your buyer persona is a representation of all the characteristics that make up your target customer, including their demographics, personal goals, and pain points.
The more detailed your buyer persona, the better you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly who you’re marketing to.
Here’s a quick overview of the characteristics that make up your buyer persona:
- Goals and Values
- Sources of Information
- Demographic Information
- Challenges and Pain Points
- Objections and Roles
Understanding this information will give you the fuel necessary to power an efficient marketing strategy that’s tailored to your specific audience.
Building a Customer Transformation Story
You’ve studied your client’s buying behaviors and have created your buyer personas — but you’re not quite ready to build your business marketing strategy.
Next, you need to explore the transformation your customers will experience after buying your product or service. The “customer transformation” is the change that occurs once your customers begin using your product or service.
Your customers are investing in your company because they believe you can help them achieve the results they’re looking for. Therefore, you should take all the information you know about your buyer, and use it to write a narrative about the transformation you can give them.
Your customers will be more willing to invest in your offering when they hear about the wonderful transformation you can provide them.
You can craft this narrative customer through a transformation grid, or a series of prompts that define the before and after states of your buyers:
- Have: What your customer has before and after your product/service.
- Feel: How your customer feels before and after your product/service.
- Average Day: An average day before and after your product/service.
- Status: How your customer feels perceived in the world before and after your product/service.
- Good vs. Evil: A play on the hero vs. the villain and how that translates into your customer’s transformation.
The Customer Journey Roadmap
Your customer transformation story will help you build another piece of the puzzle: your customer journey.
Every time a customer purchases your products or services they have embarked on a complex journey to get there. They first came across your brand and interacted with it until they trusted in you enough to make a purchase.
Understanding this process is key to building a successful marketing strategy.
To build your customer journey, you’ll outline all the stages your customers should go through when buying your product or service, from the first point of contact to post-purchase communications.
If you’ve never mapped out a customer journey, I’ve created a strategy called The MOVEMENT Method that can help. Learn more about the step-by-step process here.
The Marketing Automation Map
It all comes together in your marketing automation — or the automated email communications you will use to move your customers along their journey.
Did you know marketing automation is an effective way to convert your email subscribers to loyal customers? In fact, it can lead to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity.
But to make that happen, you need to map out your marketing automations.
A marketing automation map is a roadmap that details how your marketing automation will support your customer journey. This involves setting up the proper automations to assist with each stage of your customer journey. These can include:
- Welcome series: A welcome message further introducing your brand.
- Promotional series: A series of emails persuading your contact to purchase your product or service.
- Thank you series: A thank you message that gets customers excited about their purchase.
- Onboarding series: Largely informational emails that explain how to begin using your product or service.
- Success series: Explanatory emails on how to access and use your product or service.
- Best practices series: Tips and insights that’ll help your customer achieve their goals with your product or service.
- Add-on series: Promotional series offering an add-on and upsell.
- Customer-only series: Customer-only communications that can be used to offer upsells like membership programs or offers and discounts encouraging repeat purchases.
Action Plan & Next Steps
Are you ready to begin building your business marketing strategy?
I can help you build this foundation for your business — including defining your customer persona, crafting your customer transformation story, mapping your customer journey, and building your marketing automation strategy.
We will design your ideal buyer demographics and create the brand messaging that will appeal to that ideal buyer persona.
We will also map out your customer journey that aligns with all aspects of your brand, messaging, marketing, and sales. Your marketing automation map will be created to support the movement of your customer to their next best action.
Finally, we’ll create a 30/60/90 day plan with a detailed strategy breaking down tasks, workflows, and behaviors for you to execute your business plan.
And just like that, you’ll have a bulletproof business plan and be ready to rock your client’s worlds.
Get in touch with me today. Let’s get started on your business marketing strategy.