As a small or new business owner, sometimes creating an effective marketing plan and strategy can be extremely overwhelming. In this interview, we delve into branding, content marketing, uniqueness, budgeting and more. Joining us is Lisa Schuck, with over a decade of experience in helping businesses strengthen their marketing strategies.
Introducing Lisa Schuck: Marketing Expert
Lisa Schuck, the owner of Enthusias, a marketing company that creates plans to boost revenue and elevate brands. Lisa shares her valuable insights into marketing for small business owners and overwhelmed marketing managers. So, whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing professional wearing multiple hats, this blog is packed with tips to help you move your marketing efforts forward.
The Importance of Having a Strategy
Lisa kicks off our discussion by emphasizing the critical role of having a marketing strategy. She highlights that many small businesses and overwhelmed marketing managers often resort to a haphazard approach, throwing various marketing tactics at the wall to see what sticks. However, Lisa reveals a powerful statistic: businesses with a well-defined marketing strategy are 313% more likely to achieve their marketing goals.
To clarify, Lisa explains that a marketing strategy consists of:
- Strategy: Define an overarching strategy, such as “attracting the ideal target audience through multi-channel opportunities.”
- Goal: Set clear, measurable goals aligned with your business objectives. For example, “Increase ideal customer leads by 10%.”
- Objectives: Determine how you’ll achieve your goal, specifying actions like account-based marketing, leveraging social media, and clarifying website messaging.
- Tactical Plans: Finally, identify the specific tactics and resources needed to execute your objectives.
This structured approach, Lisa explains, ensures your marketing efforts are coordinated, comprehensive, and resource-efficient.
Identifying and Targeting Ideal Clients
Moving on, Lisa provides valuable advice on identifying and targeting your ideal clients. She suggests diving deep into your top 10-20 customer accounts to understand your most profitable products or services, the companies buying them, and the roles involved in the purchase. This analysis helps you create detailed customer personas, which are essential for crafting targeted marketing messages.
Lisa also recommends considering psychographics to understand the personality traits, behaviors, and preferences of your ideal clients. By defining these personas, you can tailor your marketing content and messaging to resonate with your audience effectively.
Key Elements of a Successful Marketing Plan
Lisa emphasizes that a successful marketing plan comprises several key elements:
- Strategy with a Goal: Develop an overarching strategy with a clear goal that aligns with your business strategy.
- Objectives, Projects, and Deliverables: Break down your strategy into objectives, projects, and deliverables to ensure you have a detailed roadmap.
- Timeline: Create a timeline for your marketing activities, breaking them down into manageable phases.
- Resources: Determine the resources required for each task, both internal and external.
- Responsibilities: Assign responsibilities for each project to ensure accountability.
- Budget: Allocate a budget based on your specific marketing goals and needs.
This comprehensive approach ensures your marketing plan is actionable and measurable.
Expectations for Marketing Results
When discussing expectations for marketing results, Lisa reminds us that consistency is crucial. Results depend on your specific goals and the tactics you’re employing. Immediate results are possible for certain metrics, like website visits, but overall marketing ROI typically becomes evident after 90 days or more. She cautions against expecting instant gratification and encourages businesses to adopt a long-term perspective.
Leveraging Content Marketing
Content marketing is a buzzword today, but what does it mean? Lisa defines content marketing as creating valuable content that addresses your audience’s questions and needs. She recommends following Marcus Sheraton’s “They Ask You Answer” approach, where you respond to common customer questions and concerns. This not only provides valuable information but also establishes your expertise in the field.
Furthermore, Lisa underscores the importance of repurposing content. One piece of content can be transformed into various formats, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, and social media snippets, maximizing its impact and reach.
Unique Selling Points and Standing Out
Lisa delves into the concept of unique selling points (USPs) and how businesses can stand out from their competition. She stresses the importance of identifying what makes your business different, even if you operate in a seemingly saturated market. By highlighting your unique qualities, you can attract customers who resonate with your distinct approach.
Consistent Branding and Messaging
Consistency in branding and messaging is paramount. Lisa emphasizes the need for brand guidelines that ensure uniformity in logos, fonts, colors, and messaging across all channels. She explains that consistency helps establish familiarity with your audience, which can pay off when they’re ready to make a purchase decision. Consistent branding also fosters alignment within your team.
Leveraging Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Lisa discusses the significance of leveraging customer reviews and testimonials as forms of social proof. These endorsements help build trust with potential customers. She suggests using Google Business reviews, prominently displaying testimonials on your website, and even including them in your email signatures. Social proof goes a long way in reassuring prospects of your credibility and reliability.
Creating a Marketing Budget
When it comes to budgeting for marketing, Lisa advises against setting arbitrary numbers without a plan. Instead, she recommends starting with a clear marketing strategy and breaking down the budget based on your specific objectives and tactics. Some guidelines include allocating 10-15% of your revenue for marketing and adjusting this percentage based on your growth stage and goals.
Tracking and Measuring Success
Lastly, Lisa stresses the importance of tracking and measuring your marketing efforts. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals and regularly assess your progress. Lisa suggests tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot for comprehensive tracking. Adjust your strategy and tactics based on your KPIs to ensure you’re continuously improving your marketing efforts.
Continue Refining Your Strategy
“Marketing is not about tricking someone into buying your product or service; it’s about helping the right person find you and choose you when they are ready.” We hope these insights help you refine your marketing strategy and achieve success in your small business or overwhelmed marketing role. Remember, marketing is an ongoing process, so stay committed, stay consistent, and keep refining your approach based on results and feedback.