The road to transform your business and achieve your sales goals begins with a marketing plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail – but with the right marketing plan, you can build a framework to transform your marketing strategy and take your business to the next level. Linx combines elements of marketing and strategy to bring you 8 simple steps to bring your business to market.
1. Craft Your Value Propositions
The most effective way to create your value propositions is to ask questions, mostly about your company, your customers and their motivations.
Start with questions about your company:
- What does our company do?
- What unique benefits does our company have over the competition?
- What makes us the best choice for our ideal customer?
Next, ask questions about your customers:
- Who is our customer?
- What problem is our customer trying to solve?
- How can we solve our customer’s problem?
Finally, ask questions about your customer’s motivations:
- Why are our customers buying from us?
- What would we like our customers to do?
Answer these questions and you should have enough direction to craft your value propositions.
Note: You can take this step to the next level by checking your value propositions for the four key components: appeal, exclusivity, credibility and clarity.
If your value propositions cover these grounds, then you’re ready to start attracting leads.
2. Choose Your Marketing Tactics
Content marketing, tradeshows, PPC, direct mail, social media, SEO – there are plenty of marketing tactics available to drive both traffic and leads. You may choose one of these tactics or all of them, a decision that usually falls on the company’s resources and budget.
More important than which marketing tactics to implement is how you implement them.
Here’s a four-step process to get you started:
- Target your audience to reach the right people.
- Tailor your messaging and content to your target audience.
- Tell your audience how to respond with a call to action.
- Test your marketing mix for response rates.
At this point, your marketing bait is on the end of the hook, ready for you to toss it into the water.
3. Capture Leads with Incentives
Incentives go a long way in capturing leads, especially for a new company. A free gift, a coupon, a chance to win or some original content – these valuable items instill trust in visitors and encourage them to offer their contact information in return. Only after you capture leads can you then nurture those leads into customers.
Here are some tips:
- Use a simple, strong headline to promote the incentive.
- Request only minimal information (name, mailing address and email).
- Inspire trust with testimonials and credentials.
- Reward leads for providing their contact information.
Great job! You should have a few bites. It’s time to start reeling them in.
4. Nurture Prospects
Do you have a systematic approach to follow up with leads, develop trusting relationships and covert them into sales? Chances are the competition does, which puts them at a strategic advantage.
The key to nurturing prospects is following up with them both frequently and consistently.
Here’s a 3-step strategy:
- Create a consistent timeline that fulfills the needs of your customers and business.
- Designate the best medium/media to reach your target market. Cold calling, direct mail and email are three effective mediums that work even better when used together.
- Execute the plan, converting leads to customers.
Note: Customers respond best to personalized communications. Customize follow-up emails, direct mails and other methods to each person in your database, such as using their first name. Even a small change in customization can make a big impact.
5. Convert Leads into Customers
By now, you should have the “attract, capture and nurture” sequence down pat. The next step is to convert prospects into paying customers.
Depending on your business model, you might convert leads to sales via a retail store, online shopping cart, sales team or a combination of methods. Whichever method you choose – digital or physical – be sure to keep it simple, inviting, clean and organized. Always make it a priority to use consistent and logical navigation or signage throughout.
6. Promote Loyalty and Repeat Business
The marketing plan continues long after the sale. Happy customers are essentially advocates for your brand, driving referrals by sharing their positive experiences with family member, friends and colleagues. As a brand, you can promote loyalty and repeat business through a reality check on your customer service:
- Call your own phone number or place an order on your own website. Was the phone answered quickly and with a friendly tone? How easy or difficult was the online checkout process? Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- A customer service reality check can be as simple as talking to your customers. Ask how they are doing and learn their name. Listen and learn how you can promote a better customer experience.
- Inquire with your staff for suggestions on how you can improve business processes.
- Never make a promise you can’t keep.
You can also learn from other companies. Step out of your comfort zone, find a company you admire and adopt their most effective practices. You can then apply them to your own marketing strategy. You can even look outside your industry for new tactics and ideas.
7. Upsell Customers
There’s an old adage that 80% of company profits come from 20% of its customers. So, why spend extra time attracting and converting new customers when you can upsell existing ones?
Your job doesn’t end at delivering a positive customer experience. You also need to let satisfied customers know about the range of products and services you offer, especially the ones not immediately apparent.
Just as you nurtured leads, think about the sequence in how you reach out to customers and keep them coming back for more. A multi-touch campaign across multiple mediums can help get the message out to your customers.
8. Win Referrals
Referral marketing is the fruit of building a list of satisfied customers. Since a friend or colleague of a satisfied customer is more likely do business with you, referral marketing is among the most cost-effective methods to generate new leads and business.
Most satisfied customers are more than willing to help a company that delivered an outstanding product or service. You can encourage satisfied customers to make a referral simply by giving them an extra business card to pass along to a friend. Remember to reward the customer for making the referral, too.
Linx is more than a marketing consultant
More than “marketing advice” – Linx can test, pull back and adjust, perform risk/reward calculations and implement a plethora of our own market-driven business strategies. Contact us today for a market-driven business strategy to take your business to the next level.