By Christopher Doran, CEO of Invado Solutions, in collaboration with Megan Adler, CEO of Sublime Designs Media
Between a saturated and noisy marketplace and the times of economic uncertainty we find ourselves living in, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the most out of your current marketing investments.
As owners of two boutique marketing firms focused on our own specialized areas of expertise, we’ve recognized consistencies among the issues our respective customers face. In short, they’re putting the cart before the horse. Time, money, and energy are being wasted on things that deliver sub-optimal results. Driven by a desire to do things quickly – whether it’s build a website or create a journey on Salesforce Marketing Cloud – they are creating inefficiencies that will surely fail to move the needle.
Just as you wouldn’t write a book without first creating an outline, or start a journey somewhere new without a map, in order to ensure your marketing efforts are as effective and efficient as possible, a strong marketing foundation – comprised of who you are and who you’re selling to, to who you’re selling against, what you have to say, and what your ultimate goals are – is essential.
We believe there are 5 key elements that marketers should put in place to establish a strong marketing foundation:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): What are the tangible goals of your marketing efforts? Are they based around cost-per-customer acquisition, campaign ROI, email consumption, or optimization? Maybe your click-thru rates? Your KPIs will help you focus your efforts and make sure your campaign resonates with the right people.
- Competitive Analysis: Like we said in the beginning, it’s a crowded marketplace. As the saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Now, we’re not saying your competitors are your enemies, but the sentiment still applies. Make sure you know who’s out there doing or selling something similar to you. Use a competitive analysis to break down your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, what they’re doing right, where they could improve, and so on. This will give you a strategic advantage and allow you to be prepared and identify opportunities and threats they may pose.
- Persona Profiles: A persona is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use your website, brand, or product. Start by interviewing your current customers using targeted questions to gather all of the information you can in order to form your customer personas. What pain points do your customers have? What problem is your product or service solving for? Where do they get most of their information? From here, you’ll create persona profiles. These will inform all your marketing work by helping you understand who you’re talking to and how you approach them, whether it’s through your website, an email, or an ad campaign.
- Messaging: Your messaging framework should embody why you’re in business to begin with. This can include your mission statement, your values as a company, a positioning statement that sets you apart from your competitors, and your product or services’ unique promise to your customers. It’s your who, what, how, and why. This messaging framework will guide and inform every piece of marketing content you put out there, from email campaigns through Marketing Cloud and sales training materials, to website content and beyond, while keeping everything consistent.
- Brand Design: Contrary to what some may believe, your brand design extends beyond just your logo. It includes everything from colors and fonts to iconography and photography. They’re what makes you identifiable and memorable to customers, while differentiating you from competitors. When these elements come together on a consistent basis across all pieces of marketing, they create brand awareness over time.
While this list may seem overwhelming, or not applicable to you, building this foundation and doing this work up front will enable you to approach your marketing from a thoughtful and strategic vantage point that will lead to the results you want to see from your investments. It will help you drive the value of all your marketing initiatives. Invado Solutions can help support your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on how our experts can help you achieve your goals.