Strategic Marketing for Small Businesses: Conclusion
So far in our series on strategic marketing for small businesses, we have discussed, first in the introduction, how to be on the same page initially with all departments and study your competition; then we discussed how to study and reach your audience; and next, we got into how to choose the right media and integrate them properly. For this final piece of the series, we will discuss the final considerations you need to make in polishing a marketing campaign: how to collaborate, distribute, and test.
From the concept to the completion, you must invest a spirit of passion and possibility in the marketing of your small business. This spirit creates an incentive for productivity in your marketing team and can have any incredible impact on your small business’s ROI for marketing. Encourage standards and ideals in your project management team, so that all members are on board. Embed your team with project management skills by incorporating the following:
Making a Dime
Begin earning your “bread and butter” for the campaign by assigning projects to select members within your marketing team. Assign a “head” for each project. Have the “heads” delegate the “tails.” The “tails” are the professional “doers” of the campaign who will bring all projects to ultimate fruition and earn that daily dime.
The key here is efficiency through delegation. Having the right team members performing the right tasks is key to profitability. Even the smallest of firms can benefit with this philosophy. You may not have the right amount of talent in your company, or you may only be a company of one, so your best bet may be to outsource to an appropriate third party. Marketing is a strategic effort requiring special knowledge and experience, and marketing firms will certainly have these key elements in place.
Planning a Pathway
Once the heads and tails of each project are set, create a definitive pathway for the campaign. Line out each goal and develop a game plan for meeting each one. Pinpoint all requirements, all deadlines, and each and every process and procedure. Having a game plan keeps you on the same path, not independently chasing down rabbit trails.
The plan can change as you go, but it’s critical that a master plan is in place. This is true whether you’re running a small team in-house or a complex team involving multiple third parties. The plan keeps all groups aligned and focused.
Executing the Pathway
Once the plan and path are defined, begin blazing the trail with your well-informed and prepared marketing team. Begin producing your projects, and be open and able to take the bends and bumps that will undoubtedly occur. Recording the bumps, while also recognizing bests, allow you to roll, regroup, reformat, and continue pounding the same path efficiently and effectively.
Open communication during execution is absolutely vital. As various teams report their successes and struggles, other team members may be able to pick up slack, recommend solutions, or just support as needed.
Keep all your team’s work in “checks and balances.” By taking heed of all progress and all deadlines, you can determine where a push, a shove (out of love, of course), and some fine-tuned tinkering are needed. Within the whirlwinds of work, you can be the eye that ensures that progress is being made in a timely manner.
This also means that the right information is flowing up to decision-makers who have the authority and experience to implement the pathway. This is especially true when you have third parties involved. New ideas, shifts in the plan, and hiccups are going to occur. Make sure you have a process in place for adjusting as you go that ensures the right people keep the plan in place.
Closeout and Reflection
At the end of all the time and toil, “The Day” arrives. Deliver your team’s marketing project in its entirety. After all is said and done, take time to reflect on the goals of the marketing campaign and on all the bests and busts of the project before filing it away in your experience index. Analyze the following:
- What were the barriers to entering your product in each distributional channel?
- What was the cost of each distributional channel?
- Should the distribution of the product be wider or more focused?
- Does your product have a cycle? How does its life cycle compare to the competitors’?
- Consider the ROI against your profit. Is your form of communication and persuasion on target or could it be honed or less harnessed?
If your ROI was lower than expected, try changing only ONE aspect of that specific marketing medium. For instance, if most visitors exit out of your landing page rather than following your call to action, then try making your call to action clearer or re-write your landing page message or create a simpler design. You can even try all of these changes, but only one at a time; otherwise, you will have no way of telling which changes increased your ROI.
To earn your dime and keep your project on time, keep all members on board. The spirit of productivity for marketing your product is evident when powerful payoffs are received, and morale is not spoken, but believed.
Read the other articles in this series:
Strategic Marketing for Small Businesses: Introduction
Strategic Marketing for Small Businesses: Know Your Audience
Strategic Marketing for Small Businesses: Media Integration
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