It’s easy to get caught up in the planning of a whole assortment of marketing activities for your firm, such as writing up your next blog article, staying active on social media, scheduling new content pieces, and emailing and following up with leads. All these listed above are good things, but even if you spend countless hours and energy invested in them, your firm won’t be attracting the right customers or operating at its best capacity.
The key to productive and profitable operations at any business is for them to first and foremost be based on a marketing strategy plan.
Here are 5 essential components to building a clear marketing strategy plan.
1. Know Your Customers
A good marketing strategy plan helps your customers reach their respective goals. But you can’t help your customers with what they’re trying to achieve without going back to the basics and understanding who your customer is in the first place. In other words, taking the time to build out your firm’s buyer persona is key in directing your marketing efforts in the right direction, such as their age, gender, demographic, the main pain-points they’re facing, lifestyle, and even seemingly small details such as giving them a name and face to make them more tangible when planning out your marketing operations.
However, establishing a core persona for your buyer isn’t enough. While there may be numerous leads interested in your firm’s services, they’re not one in the same. More often than not, your leads will be at different points in the buyer’s journey, and will thus have different goals, be receptive to different kinds of content, and will need communications tailored to whatever stage they’re in.
2. Setting SMART Goals
It can be especially easy to get lost in the numerous marketing activities your firm is rolling out on a monthly basis without pausing to think about your firm’s goals. Take the time to define goals that you want your firm to head towards, then set clear objectives to help you achieve each goal. Whether your goals span from generating new leads to increasing social media presence, make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, otherwise known as a SMART goal.
3. Unique Value Propositions
The reality of it is that you can write as many blog articles and send as many emails out as you want, but there are hundreds of other financial service firms out there that are promising to offer the same services to your potential customers. So what is it about your specific firm that makes it unique from the rest?
When creating a value proposition, start off by asking yourself some questions:
- What products or services is your firm selling?
- Who is your target buyer?
- What does your business do well?
- What is your most important customer-focused goal?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start putting it all together into a value proposition. Identify the main problem or pain-point that your customer is facing and explain how your product or service will help solve the problem. Based on your answers to the last 2 questions, articulate what makes your business stand out from the rest and why a potential customer should choose you.
Next, a crucial component of your marketing strategy that can’t be overlooked is considering how much of a financial investment you want to make in it. Review your firm’s total yearly revenue and decide how much of it you would like to allocate on marketing efforts.
When planning your budget for the year, think back to the specific goals you set for your firm and estimate how much you will need to spend to achieve such goals. For example, if part of your marketing strategy for the upcoming year includes generating 20% more new leads and you will need to increase the amount of blog articles written to do so, you may want to consider slightly increasing your budget to accommodate for the increased commission work that your content writers will be tasked with.
To produce content on an efficient, consistent basis, your marketing team needs needs to set up a clear, defined workflow that works for everyone on the team and equips them to deliver the right outputs.
It’s worthwhile to sit the individuals on your team down in a meeting and together establish the different content types and topics your team as a whole will be producing, set specific tasks and assign them to individuals to produce content in a timely manner, decide how many resources need to go into the development of each content piece, and figure out the logistics of how feedback and approvals will be coordinated and who’s responsible for the final output.
Finding a workflow that best fits your firm’s team is a continual process. Regularly assess what things are working and what’s not, and check in with the members of your team to gain feedback on how to fine-tune your marketing strategy and operations moving forward.