SSW Marketing – Strategies, Branding, And More.
Marketing can be a very broad and complicated topic. Everyday technology is constantly changing the way we market businesses, with new vs. old advertising, automation tools, social media algorithms, how AI impacts social media networks, and much more. Marketing is an iterative process. After marketing became mainly digital, and the introduction of new terms like ‘customer journey, ‘ROI’, and ‘social media engagement’, we understand that altogether, it can be hard to follow.
So much has changed over the last years; an online presence has become key to success; with a new focus on branding consistency and credibility. Due to this, the cost of marketing has increased a lot, on top of all of the knowledge you now need to have as a marketer.
With this set of rules, we aim to help you cut through the maze of marketing jargon and to help you reach your goals faster.
Strategy – Do you have a marketing plan?
If you were going to build a house, you would hope that the architect and builders were working together using architectural plans and blueprints as their guide. So why would trying to build a solid customer base or market share be any different?
You should know that a marketing plan is of monumental importance. Although we recognize that in many cases marketing plans get filed away in the closet until it’s time to get a business loan, they’re most effective when they act as a blueprint for all the marketing activities a company undertakes.
Here are some of the important points to consider in a marketing plan:
- Set out your marketing goals and objectives then align them with your overall business goals and strategy
- Set out a time frame for achieving those goals
- Identify a target market and segmentation strategy
- Define how you will position and differentiate your product
- Use competitor and industry analysis
- Identify current and proposed marketing methods
- Include marketing reports (historical and forecasts)
- Set the criteria against which the plan will be assessed for success or failure
The most important thing to remember about a marketing plan is that it is a work in progress, always needing to be reassessed and changed to adapt to the dynamic business environment.
Strategy – Do you identify your target market?
It’s important to identify the market which will gain you the maximum amount of benefit if captured. It should be the focal point of most of your marketing efforts. The target market needs to be clearly identified with a justification as to why they are your specified target market.
At SSW our target market comprises of IT Managers and Developers who look for Microsoft backed solutions. They’re the ones we focus our marketing energies on because we’ve found that they’re the key decision makers when it comes to adopting new technologies and often act as the gate keepers to information being relayed to upper management.
If we gain their approval, it’s often much easier to secure a deal. Part of our penetration strategy towards this target market is to hold Tech Breakfasts and User Group meetings.
When Disney releases a new blockbuster cartoon like the Lion King or Aladdin who do you think the target market is?
Many would say it’s the young children that the movies are made for. But the truth is that Disney’s target market often includes the decision makers – the parents who take the children to the movies and buy the merchandise.
Disney knows that it’s one thing to make a great movie that kids are excited about but the efforts often fall short if parents don’t approve of it.
Branding – Do you have a consistent brand image?
Once you have figured out your brand image we think that the most important thing is sticking to it and applying it to every little facet of your business. As you’re surfing the SSW website you’ll notice a very consistent approach to branding. Our fonts, tables and headings are in exactly the same format and we have applied this to our email signatures, product banners, newsletters and company brochures. This consistency extends to other marketing materials as well, including social media graphics, print ads, and even QR codes.
It is very important to have a consistent brand image across all media, whether earned, paid or owned media.
Know more on Rules To Better Branding.
Do you plan in advance for your marketing campaigns?
In marketing, good timing is the key to a successful campaign. As a smart marketer you need to remember that some campaigns can take weeks or even months to start heating up, whilst others can take just a few days.
For example, SSW have found that when we plan to market our training events, the best time for an aggressive direct mail and telemarketing campaign is 4 weeks prior to the event. Any sooner than that and the prospects will often ask you to call again when it is closer to the date. If you start marketing your events too late, for example 5 days prior to the event, your chances of making a sale decrease significantly. Remember that people often need to gain management approval for leave and expenses. Only rarely will you find someone willing to book just a few days prior to an event.
A good rule of thumb:
- Plan early, and aim to create campaigns that are advertised early.
- Don’t plan late.
Do you use Lead Magnets as part of your marketing strategy?
In today’s overcrowded marketplace there are dozens of businesses offering the same goods and services with little to no variety, and for a consumer, this can result in it being hard to decide which one will provide the best value and service. Which is why Lead Magnets, if used correctly – can be a powerful addition to your overall Marketing Strategy.
One way to gain a consumer’s trust is to offer them something related to your service for free prior to them making a purchase.
For example, you could use a marketing technique called a Lead Magnet.
A Lead Magnet refers to any content piece; webinar, eBook, infographic, or initial consultation, you offer to your potential customers.
Lead Magnets not only provide a starting place for consumers to solve their initial problem, but also build trust between the consumer and your brand, increasing the likelihood of a return customer, and increasing your potential revenue.
Do you know how to discover your perfect prospect’s pain points?
Before you move onto this step, first have your target audience information right next to you. Understanding your prospects most pressing pain points should be huge priority. Start thinking – what do they want? What are their frustrations? What are their aspirations? And finally, what do they fear? Write down all the ideas you might come up with.
Use the template below to brainstorm with your team or your client:
- Pain Point Pinpointer
- You have a few some ways of doing this, you can:
- Brainstorm with your employees
- Research online
Ask your clients directly in person, or to have an open conversation through social media (remember to reply and engage with them, though!)
Do you know why you need to understand your perfect prospects pain points?
There is a great quote by Wyatt Wood small which says:
“When you can articulate another person’s problem better than they can, they automatically and unconsciously credit you with knowing the solution.”
When you are promoting your services to a prospect, the worst thing you can do is to talk about your business or products and services promoting them and not listen to what they actually have to say. People don’t generally care about your business, they care about how you are able to solve their problems. If you can show your prospect how you can help make their lives a little easier, your services will thrive.
If you can show them that you understand their problem, they will automatically assume you have the solution, or that you make your best to help them.
Think about the last visit you made to your doctor. Why did you trust the doctor in the beginning? Why did you do what he/she recommended? Because he/she asked you a series of questions and described your problem. The more the doctor described your symptoms, the greater your trust in his/her knowledge and you believed he/she had the answer.
The same is true for effective marketing. If your advertising describes your prospect’s pain points so well that they identify with your message, they will click the ad, join the webinar or buy your product – or do what your Call-To-Action (CTA) says. And that’s why they will be perfect for targeting your audience.
Spend some time to understand your target’s pain points and use them in your advertising to get their attention and try to convert them with your CTA’s.
Do you know how to test which pain points are relevant to your prospect?
Once you have documented your prospect’s pain points, choose the best ones . The greatest way to test if they are good enough is to run a social media ad campaign targeting your most engaged audience with your top 7 pain points. The pain point that gets the most engagement, is the one that people relate to the most. But keep in mind, this is just a indicator – sometimes customers have several pain-points that vary.
Facebook ads, for example, are a really cheap way to test quickly (you should run a quick campaign for 2 or 3 days) which headlines are the best performing within your target market.
The winning ad is your hottest pain point for your target market.
Take the winner and complete the marketing campaign and show this campaign to all your audiences. You can also use these headlines to create content for your target audience and get leads out of it when they download your content.
One of the most effective ways of launching an effective marketing campaign is to follow a checklist that includes company tried and tested strategies. This checklist should be filled out with the campaign details and then followed to execute the campaign.
Also read: PayManager – Details, Download, And More.
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