It doesn’t matter whether your company has been in business for a while or just getting started, when you first decide to formalise your marketing approach, there are an overwhelming number of things to think about.
So what are the most effective tactics?
The initial role of marketing for any business is to find a tactic or channel to market with profitable economics. i.e.
- Where the cost of customer acquisition is less than the gross profit of the product or service being sold, taking into account an agreed estimate of the lifetime value of a customer
- Where the investment required is as small as possible to minimise marketing budget burn rates
- Where the activity yields results in the fastest possible time
That’s why the numbers we analyse as part of the MEP are so important. To get results quickly requires agility, speed and testing, which means direct response tactics aimed at the bottom of the funnel are usually the most effective – i.e. prospects ready to buy within the next few months.
Working through this process should produce three key results:
- an initial influx of leads to justify the spend and get the business moving
- a way to test the effectiveness of your messages and value proposition
- initial customers that can provide testimonials and insights as to why they purchased
You continue to refine, execute, measure, refine, execute, measure until you’re happy with the consistency of the results being obtained. It’s not about a single marketing shot in the dark where if you don’t hit something you then give up. You need to be prepared to invest over time and give your marketing a chance to work. The MEP ensures we also focus on your strengths rather than wasting money in areas where your capabilities aren’t as strong.
Once you find something that works the natural tendency is to keep on doing it and throw more money at it to generate even better results. However at some point you will discover that additional investment in these tactics won’t generate an equivalent return in leads – you’ve reached a natural ceiling. That doesn’t mean you stop doing them, you just need to add some additional tactics to your marketing kit bag – tactics that target prospects further up the funnel.
You’ve already honed your messages through your initial tactics, so now you can demonstrate that expertise and knowledge to a much broader prospect base. Prospects that haven’t decided to buy yet, but are in your target market just need to be educated about what you can offer and then nurtured until they are ready to buy. That’s when content marketing becomes more effective.
However this approach also means you will also have a much longer customer conversion time and less ability to measure the effectiveness per dollar spent.
To do this effectively requires different capabilities and this is where the initial work done as part of the MEP will help again. It will have already highlighted those areas that need improving if you want a larger return from your marketing investment.
The final step is to add more branding based tactics that aim to educate the broader market in general about your offering, the majority of which may not be in your target market, but these tactics have the potential to grow your market far more effectively that bottom of the funnel direct response tactics.
This whole approach is normally done over at least a 2-year period so that you can clearly measure the results you’re getting and ensure you’re getting a return on your marketing investment.