Revisiting your strategy (again)
Which way now?
The return to work after three months in lockdown… swiftly followed by the school summer holidays with uncertain childcare infrastructure. Home working is here to stay… oh no it isn’t. We can shop and go to the cinema and have a drink in the pub once more… but socially distanced and wearing a face mask.
You adjusted your marketing strategy when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. It’s likely you increased your use of digital channels and modified your messaging to be gentler, kinder, less bullish. Your focus was on taking care of the clients, projects and investors that you already had, with new business taking a back seat for a little while.
It’s time to revisit your strategy (again).
The tone has changed. People are getting back to work, albeit wearing a mask or still working from home. Projects that had been stalled are getting going again. Furloughed staff are being brought back into the workplace. Let’s go!
You’ve done some good thinking during the lockdown about your mission and vision – the purpose of your business and why you do what you do.
It’s time to reconsider your positioning, strategy and tactics.
Don’t throw away the adjustments you made during lockdown – much of that is still needed. Maintain the empathy and kindness that you brought to the fore. But give it new energy.
Take a look at your brand personality.
Is your brand the clever academic in the corner, who has groundbreaking insight and communicates best either one-to-one or one-to-thousands?
Are you the butterfly who brings joy and pleasure and knows a little about everything and everyone?
Are you the connoisseur who values attention to detail, carefully nurtured relationships and articulate confidence? In the know and up to date.
A large professional services corporation? Advisor positioning is ambitious, focused, confident (no grammatical conditionals please).
What would a person with those attributes do now to inject some energy into their social life? Apply that to your business.
And then reconsider your objectives. Last year you were probably thinking about revenue growth and profit. Then it became about simple survival. What next? Where will that revenue growth come from – and how? And don’t forget – your objectives must be SMART to be useful.
Right. You feel great. Your mission and vision are tip top. Your positioning is just right. You know what you want to achieve. Brilliant. Well done. Your work is complete and the work will roll in the door.
Sorry, no. Sadly that’s not how the marketing wizardry works (thank you Jay Sriskanthan for those words).
How will you use your magnificent positioning to deliver the things your business needs – those objectives we just thought about?
“The marketing strategy lays out target markets and the value proposition that will be offered based on an analysis of the best market opportunities.” Philip Kotler
You understand the clients you serve – their pains and needs – and the value you add. Your marketing strategy defines the tactics you’re going to use, market segments to focus on and the resources you need to deliver the strategy. Remember: you can’t be all things to all people.
Do you need to spend some money to achieve your marketing objectives? Advertising, sponsorship, paid content. Important if you to gain a foothold in a new market.
Earned presence works well in markets where you are known and want to create advocates. This is about delivering great content (be interesting!) nurturing your community.
Is repeat business your priority? Account based marketing is your tool. ABM focuses your marketing on an audience of one (or 20): known, current clients who have the power to sustain or increase a significant portion of your business. Sniper, not scattergun.
And don’t forget to consider product, price, place and promotion.
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Eleanor Roosevelt
This is where the fun begins and you decide how to use your marketing budget.
Digital is here to stay – in fact, your marketing should be digital first and everything else second. Start with your website and your email marketing list. Then social media (LinkedIn is a must).
Content is needed to fill your marketing space. Written or visual. What is it that your audience wants to hear from you (not always the thing you want to tell them)? “This is pretty” or “here’s a new idea”? And how does your audience prefer to consume that content – a long read, an infographic, podcast or video?
Events. In b2b, people buy people. Relationships make the world go round and relationships are built in person. Whether your events are real or virtual, bringing people together for conversation, connection and libation has immense power.
Endorsements. Case studies, testimonials, referrals and rewards. People like to buy something that other people have bought. This is how you create word of mouth.
Your choice of tactics has a direct link to both your strategy (what you want to achieve) and your brand personality (who you are). And your marketing person brings the voice of the client into the room – trust them.
A final word. A strategy and its plan are just that – a statement of intent. The world is changing fast. With strong foundations in place, adapting is easy.
“The only constant in life is change.” Heraclitus
Need some help adjusting your strategy or considering your tactics? The Luma team is here to help. We love a phone call.
And yes, lots of quotes this week. We’ve been reading (or listening) a lot.
Designing a logo without undergoing a thorough branding exercise is a lot like turning up for surgery without a scalpel. You're not going to get the result you need.
Savvy businesses know diversity pays off. So why do we still have so far to go?
Your choice of tone and vocabulary has an impact on your reader and will either pull them closer or push them away.