Now, you already know the problem we are all trying to hack. For all the marketing hackers, the next step is to create a plan and strategize your solution. But how do you do it? How do you institute the right strategy to market a company or brand?
Consider these hacks to build an effective marketing strategy, from Robert Adams, a serial entrepreneur.
1. It embeds a strong storyline
No matter what plan is put into place, the basis of a successful implementation is founded upon the existence of a strong storyline. What do you or your brand stand for? What’s the story behind it all? Is there an encompassing journey? What led you to this specific point in time?
This is your back story or your legend, with a central character that’s pivotal in building a storyline that your customers can build a relationship with. Every part of the marketing message should be designed around the storyline. The story or the central character in that story is a crucial piece in a company’s potential for success.
2. It builds an emotional attachment
There are two types of buyers in this world. There are logical buyers and there are emotional buyers. While logical buyers will surface in any business, what you’re after should be to build an emotional attachment with buyers who eventually become raving fans. No strategy for marketing should be enacted without working to create and strengthen this emotional bond.
Part of that bond is born from the storyline. But the other part is born by being transparent, honest and working to help solve a problem or fill a need, and ultimately providing immense amounts of value. That emotional attachment is strengthened and reinforce through the use of powerful brand imagery, sales copy and other tactics that play into the central storyline.
3. It’s consumer-centric
No matter how you go about positioning your company or what type of media you go after, you have to ensure that the company is consumer-centric. It needs to always be adding value. If you’re not helping the consumer at the end of the day, and they’re not getting more in return than what they paid you for, you’re largely wasting your time.
Every strategy must place the consumer at the heart of the message. Every product, service or piece of information that’s offered has to keep the consumer at its heart and mind. Once the message shifts to a business-centric one, the company begins to fail and sales inevitably decline into a free fall.
Sam Walton, the iconic entrepreneur behind Walmart, once said that, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” The more your strategies adhere to this central principle, the more likely you’ll be to succeed.
4. It’s multi-channeled and multi-platformed
Whatever plan you put into place, it also needs to be multi-channeled and exist on multiple platforms. You don’t want to put all your eggs into one proverbial basket. You want to reach customers on different platforms such as Facebook and Adwords, for example, but also advertise to them on other channels like YouTube, Instagram and anywhere else they might congregate.
This is also the power of re-targeting and frequency of views. When people see your re-targeted ad on different platforms, and you’re effectively “following them around” on the internet after they’ve shown an interest in your business, it sends a powerful subconscious message and helps to convert those browsers into buyers.
5. It’s scalable
Any effective marketing strategy must be scalable. Where people make the biggest mistakes are first in the failure to understand the marketplace and their target demographics, but second in trying to throw money at ads before properly ensuring that they convert.
Small tests need to be done before doing a big ad spend. Once you have an offer that converts, you can scale that offer to infinity. Afterwards, the more you spend, the more you make. But you need to ensure that it’s scalable in the first place and that it’s producing a profit. Beyond that, the steps are rather simple and straightforward.
6. It’s agile
Every plan needs to be agile. When a business fails to adapt and be agile enough to changing market climates or increasing competition, they fail. Case in point is Kodak. The company failed to adapt its marketing plan to the major shift from film to digital. Because of that, the company was unable to sustain its footing in the marketplace.
Today, with the internet, shifts that once took decades to occur are happening within months and years. You have to be prepared to pivot your plan and be agile enough to move things around. Don’t overcommit to something and be so entrenched that you’re unable to pivot when necessary. It doesn’t mean that your goals need to change; rather, the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
7. It leverages thought-leaders
Everyone’s heard of influencer marketing. You can also call these people thought-leaders. However, it isn’t just about influencers, it’s also about power users. All of these people can help you to spread your message, but it isn’t easy connecting with them on a whim. It takes work and you can’t have a give-me mentality when approaching them.
However, by getting the right thought-leader on board, you can really take your marketing reach to the next level. That’s why celebrities and influencers are paid big bucks because companies know that those followings can make a significant difference in sales with the right endorsement from the right person.