How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Strategy that Works
Has anyone else seen those ads that are like, “Here is the ONE thing you need to do to rocket your business to six figures!” This is trash.
Stop worrying about getting 10K followers on Instagram, and start focusing on an integrated marketing strategy that will impact your bottom line.
Every business is different. You have a unique market, audience(s), and value proposition. What works for one business and their audience(s) may or may not work for yours.
And if you’re doing marketing right, you should be doing more than one “thing.” Yes, you may find some channels and tactics work better than others and focus more energy there. But if there’s only one way you’re getting clients, that’s not a solid strategy.
Marketing is anything you’re doing to promote your business and sell your products/services — I believe in an integrated sales/marketing strategy. Marketing budgets are sometimes considered fluff — the last to be funded and the first to be cut. This is a huge mistake.
I don’t agree with “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” But if you’re not building the pipeline of potential customers who are aware of you and considering what you offer, you will run out of customers.
“If you do a bit more work up front, you will save yourself so much time, effort, energy, resources, headaches — and heartache”
So, how do you create a steady stream of interested leads? I got you.
Do your research
Develop your messaging and your marketing strategy
Create your Content
Launch, Monitor, Optimize
Step 1: Do your Research
You’ll notice this is a consistent theme with me. Did you think starting a business was a walk in the park? Sorry kid, there’s homework involved.
First, you really need to understand your ideal target audience(s). Who they are, what they know about you and what you offer, what would motivate them to purchase it, and what could hold them back. What questions do they have, and what’s important to them? Where do they look for information about this? Who will influence their decision? How are your competitors reaching them?
“Marketing is the entire underpinning for how your business will grow.”
You need to truly understand the journey of your ideal target audience. Right now, most people in the world are probably unaware of you and your business (outside of your mom/ dad/ friends/ partner/ pet hamster, of course). So you need to identify where, when, and how you should reach your ideal audience to make them aware of you. Then you need to know what they’re considering so you can take them from being just aware of you to considering working with you. What will you say or do to influence them to actually make the decision to purchase? And how will you ensure they have an excellent experience so they’re motivated to become a brand advocate, refer qualified leads to you, and reduce that pesky problem of people not knowing you exist?
Ok yeah, I know that was a lot for step 1. But what can I say, marketing is the entire underpinning for how your business will grow.
Step 2: Develop your messaging and your marketing strategy
Now that you really know your audience inside and out, you can develop effective messaging for every stage of the process. What you tell someone who’s never heard of you before and has no idea what you offer is going to be completely different from someone who is strongly considering working with you but has very specific concerns.
Creating your marketing strategy is about understanding the mindset of your ideal target audience and crafting the right message that will reach them at the right time and in the right place to move them down the journey from becoming aware of you, to considering working with you, to taking action and purchasing. Hopefully, they’ll have a great experience and become brand advocates.
So you need to design a strategy that uses the right channels and tactics to reach your audience based on where they are. For example, you might speak at a conference or write a guest blog for a relevant publication as a broad awareness tactic. Whereas for qualified leads you already have, you might reach out to them directly to offer them a discounted consultation so they can see if they like working with you.
Plan out your full marketing strategy. What are your business objectives and how will you achieve them? What types of audiences you will reach, when, where, and how? What channels and tactics will you use? When will you reach out to relevant organizations or partners and ask them to help you spread the word? How will you measure your success?
Step 3: Create Your Content
Ok, you’ve got the plan! Now you just need to create the actual content. Planning to post on social media? You’ll need images or graphics and copy. Planning to do search ads? Guess what, you need to write them, choose keywords, and figure out when they’ll run.
Create what you’re going to send/share, and plan out where and when.
Step 4: Share it with the world
Good job, you did all the hard work planning your marketing campaign. Now it’s time to launch!
Don’t just hit share though. Make sure you’re monitoring your campaign. What’s working? What questions are you getting? Is there something that’s not working that takes a lot of effort? Scrap it. How can you improve on what you’re already doing?
Marketing is not static. You improve it over time. It changes and evolves with you.
“Marketing is not static. You improve it over time. It changes and evolves with you.”