Don’t skip these marketing steps or you risk wasting money and time when advertising

Marketing campaigns begin by identifying the ideal customer, defining the business strategy, and identifying the right channels to use to target the right audience. But business owners sometimes get overly excited about building a business and either rush or skip these important marketing steps altogether. The issue may also be that as entrepreneurs we often get attached to an idea, and ignore anything that may prove the idea is not good enough and we risk running a business in a perpetual state of denial. Without completing these steps, entrepreneurs risk building dysfunctional businesses with a high chance of failure or businesses that stagnate. These steps are square one. This is the drawing board. Start here if you want to increase your chances of building a successful business. Here is how each step prevents wasting money and time when advertising.

Identifying the ideal customer

Say you are selling stylish sportswear for men. So who is your ideal customer? You say, “Men 30 to 40 years old.” While that may sound specific, it is not good enough. There are men in that age with many interests, not just men interested in wearing sportswear. What you should do is identify the demographic and psychographic of the ideal customer for your product or service. The Unique Selling Proposition Canvas from Strategyzer is an excellent visual aid to help you do just that.

Defining your business strategy

Changing business strategies in the middle of a marketing campaign is also incredibly wasteful. Making sure the business strategy is clear will make decisions easier to make. While having a detailed business plan full of charts and research is a good exercise, ultimately what you want to have is a clear business strategy that you can quickly recall whenever you have to make an executive business decision. Not having a clear strategy leads to either decision paralysis or a “see what sticks” attitude. Both lower your chances of success significantly.

Avoid bland mission and vision statements

Think hard about your mission statement. This will be the motivation that will keep you going when the tough gets tough. The vision statement lets your customers know where you plan to take the company, they then decide whether they want to support you in achieving your vision.

Choose the right strategy

You should know enough about your market to make an informed decision about the right strategy to implement for your business. Martin Reeves book, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy describes a framework for choosing the right strategy. With the right strategy, you’ll find it significantly faster to decide whether to advertise on Google, or Facebook, or email or all.

Identify the right channels

Knowing your ideal customer will allow you to select the ideal channels where you can find them. Impatient, burned out, and naive business owners often skip these steps, then blame the channels as ineffective.   There you have it, folks. Don’t self-sabotage your business execution. Putting effort into these steps will significantly improve your chances of executing your business successfully. It’s hard enough to run a business right, why make it way harder and less satisfying by skipping these important marketing steps.

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