The Marketing Boutique

What does it take to develop the right marketing strategy at the right time for any business? Whether you are a traditional B2B company, online business or a fitness app, your challenge is the same – making the right decision.

Deciding on a Strategy

Is there a strategy that is designed just for B2B versus retail? Is there a single strategy where no other industry can use? The short answer to these questions is – no. A marketing strategy is a road map, helping you decide which direction to take, whether it will be to enter a niche, penetrate a market, create differentiation and so on.

And, any strategy can be implemented for your business.

But, specific tactics do work beautifully for B2B, while consumer goods have other tactical planning that is better for their products!

Brief marketing plan outline for a B2B2C company!

In this post, we talk about B2B. Before you decide, include the following essential factors during your planning stage: your competition, location, product innovation, in-house resources and the technology available to you. Because a well-developed marketing plan can accomplish a lot for you in a relatively small amount of time and effort.

It stimulates thinking and can help you better use limited resources.

Customer & Competition Behaviour & Trends

Yes, your customers are online. But with the recent algorithm change from Facebook, even B2B companies can now win at Facebook Advertising. This wasn’t the case about a year ago. Also, keep track of your competitors behaviour. Are they more active with trade shows or online? Probably both, which could mean you’ll need to up your game with content marketing and SEO.

Sales Channels & Goal Setting

Lucky for B2B companies, we now have many sales channels to choose from, the big challenge is to select the right sales channels to develop. Most people dive right into tactics, investing in the how-to but that’s wrong. Start with your goals and your customer.

To reach your short-term goals, the best sales channel tactic is Google Adwords. While for your long-term goals, like brand leadership, the various tactics are Content Marketing and Email Marketing.

Consistency & Creative

As a B2B2C company, you’ll need to invest in staff because digital marketing requires consistency and original creatives. Meaning, you’ll need to pump out content on a weekly basis if not more often. And, all your creatives need to be created by your company. Sure you can use stock images, but you’ll need to change the colour, overlay them with another photo, or content. Unsure of where to start or you can’t hire more staff, just start with one social media platform and invest, invest and invest.

Budget & Measure

You’ll need to plan and budget for the holidays, seasonal activity and other significant events that may nicely fit your brand. After each campaign and quarter, measure and change the plan base on how well you are meeting the marketing goals.

Promotional Planning for B2B Companies

B2B companies are now promoting directly to the consumer. While you may still sell to another business, social media allows you to engage with the end-user – your B2B world has gotten larger, and they want to get to know you. Test promotions by following favourite retail stores. For example, during the Christmas holiday, people are more accepting of online advertising. You may want to test one out for this year! Twitter offers lots of themes you can take advantage of if it fits your brand. Do your research before you do any campaign.

Contact us today if you are unsure of where to start with your Marketing Plan, or need a review of what you’ve made – info@themarketingboutique.net


Unsure of the company direction?

We’ll help you develop your marketing plan, strategy, budget and schedule.

How does one develop brand leadership for their product or service? Leading companies usually develop brand leadership based on more than their product or service.

Working with several companies, I found that when there is a lack of vision for a company is usually the result of staying too focused on reaching a single monthly sale quota. 

This is the only important factor that the company is basing its success, what are their monthly numbers.

Of course, we do that too here at The Marketing Boutique but this is part of a larger plan, which includes company and personal goals and from time to time, we also check our path to see if we are on track, forks in the road and the path not taken vis-à-vis our vision. 

Lack of vision is boring.

When you add vision and mission, brand leadership is more than a product

The Marketing Boutique

BRAND LEADERSHIP, MAKING IT PERSONAL

  1. Stubborn:  You continue to believe that the promotional efforts you did ten years ago were better than this year without taking into account global recession, competitive growth, technological advancement (which affects the prospective client’s needs) and, of course, the changing needs of the new customer.  Change: Do a solid market review to help you measure your promotional efforts.   
  2. Stuck:  You firmly believe in the process, almost to the point that you can get stuck on terms.  You even expect everyone to learn these terms, convinced that this makes for a better running company.  But this doesn’t leave any room for brainstorming, open platform for discussion or free forum of ideas to flow in the boardroom. Change: Try to create an agile process and invite your staff to share their views.  Take advantage of the free flow of ideas and make sure you say thank you.
  3. Expand Your Network: Probably the worst of all offenders is going it alone or hiring the same-same. Look for people who have a fresh perspective. Invite like-minded companies to be part of your board.  
  4. Negativity:  To be in business is to be an optimist.  Change: Thank your staff, smile and walk away when you are negative. You will get more from your employees with a bit of honey than a gallon of vinegar.
  5. Lack of Learning:  We can all agree that continual learning and improving one’s expertise is beneficial to any business.  It is as easy as buying a book and taking an e-course like our Branded! Be the Change: Invest in your best people. 
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Strategy, everyone loves to throw around this word like they own it. The word is over-used but very few people understand what it is or how to create a marketing strategy.

Strategy is not pure selling.  Strategy is not a corporate identity.  Strategy is not promotions.  All these activities are part of marketing plan that should be implemented because of a strategy.  Not because you are familiar with these tactics.

Why is strategy important?

Part of strategy development includes understanding your competitors, clients and market segment.  It is very different from ‘being in the industry for 20 years’, this is where most small companies get wrong.  It does give this individual a large network but does not give the company a marketing strategy.

To develop a strategy for a company, strategy asks, “What are the set of economics fundamental to this industry?” and “What are the trends most likely that will change the game in your industry?

These and other questions will help you define your market position, white space, competitive analysis and what your customer values.

This process to develop your strategy effectively helps you to clearly understand your market and thus, you should then be able to better manage your company, most importantly when making financial decisions and how to build your brain-trust.  Again, both factors that are related to your marketing strategy.

Why strategy will get you sales

As you can see, a solid marketing strategy will help you understand the externals that affect your business, the values that are important to your customer.  Then with this knowledge you can create a product or a service based on your customer values.

You can then align your sales team accordingly to these values.  Therefore, selling should be easier because you are offering a value that your target market wants.

How strategy will create brand position

Marketing Strategy is a process.

Using the process will help you define your customer in your market.  And, as a result it will help you design a program to either build, move your brand forward or change your brand to a set of values based on your target market.

Values will help you develop your brand promise.

This doesn’t mean that you will find a unique position in the market.  Today can be a challenge, because most companies are not unique, we are already in a pre-set market that already has competitors and with a finite amount of dollars we will need to fight for.

As a result, key questions to ask would be, “Who are we trying to reach?”  What keeps them up at night?  “What are they dissatisfied enough to do a web search?  What can we do different from our competitors?”

If you can answer these questions, you will be better ready to build a marketing strategy to help move your company forward.

How to develop a marketing strategy?

It is too long for a blog post but you should start by doing a competitive analysis.  If you are unsure what specifically you should be analyzing, start small – such as, customer service offering.  Or, you can always call us!

What is a Marketing Strategy?

Below this post, you will find a 30-second video that asks the question, What is a marketing strategy?

An important question to ask in today’s business. Many people know how to develop a newsletter, what are trade shows and get a sales team together but forget to spend time in developing a robust market analysis, competitive report and company brand vision that are the foundations to a solid plan.

Marketing Strategy Makes Decisions

A Marketing Strategy answers questions and forces you, to make decisions for your company. Yes, too many design their success based on their products. Forcing a company to become narrow minded and looking only at maximum output. More companies are basing their company’s progress on a simple understanding of marketing tactics. Taking software applications like email technologies and because of the ease in its plug and play, believe it is a strategy.

Too Many Me-Too Companies

The result is it creates too many “me-too” companies. Or new technology start-ups with substantial funding but little market research. Without a marketing strategy then – everyone is doing the same thing – like you.

Marketing Strategy Creates Competitive Advantage

Bu asking questions, like “How can we serve our customers better?” will give you the mindset of a brand leader. Instead of existing to make your numbers, your companies exist to serve a greater purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, a company needs to be profitable. A marketing strategy will push you to move away from a cost-centre mentality to a customer-centred force your clients will love and competition will have a hard time keeping pace.

Enjoy!

[Updated February 2018]

It is not business as usual anymore. With the online community, social media platforms and the sharing economy combined, your brand development includes the people that love, hate and hey, like you even if they will never buy from you! What hasn’t changed is that people still buy who they trust. That’s who they trust, not what they trust.

As a consumer, we want the brand to be relevant and connected with our lifestyle.  If Susie Homemaker says your brand is excellent and she has a large social media following, that is the best-earned media your brand can get today. Read More