In this post it’s all about tactics within you marketing strategy.
You have your positioning and you have a good idea of where your competitors are playing. You know your target audience better than you know yourself. You know where your company is strong. Now it’s a matter of bringing it all together in such a way that you maximise your opportunity to meet your objectives.
This is the part in where you start working on the four Ps of the marketing mix. Many experts believe that the 4 Ps are dated, and to some extent I do agree, especially when it comes to more complex online services. However, I find that in many alternatives people are playing on semantics and that they are questioning the relevance of the traditional model for attention and to look clever rather than to address any real need in the modern marketing paradigm.
For the record, there are some thought provoking options to look at that I sometimes refer to. For instance there is Ogilvy and Mather’s 4 Es (Experience, Everyplace, Exchange and Evangelism). Then there is the Harvard Business Review’s SAVE (Solution, Access, Value, Education) and the Hult Business School’s SAVI (Solutions, Access, Value, Information & Incentive).
In my estimation many of the more intelligent alternatives to the four Ps are looking to include context to the marketing mix. While there is value in doing this, it is wise to remember that a strategy should be simple. Always look what you can take out, rather than add in.
So, I have assumed that you have taken care of your product and that you have a brand in place around which you are building your strategy. If you don’t have this, come back, we will be addressing product and brand strategy in several posts in the near future.
6. Pricing: Look at your pricing and ensure that you are realistically positioned against your competitors as well as the market’s expectations. If you are pricing yourself at a premium, make sure your positioning acknowledges this and that you have addressed how you add more value than the cheaper alternatives in the market.
Under pricing, also consider special offers that you might be thinking of promoting. Are they cheapening your brand or do they add real value? Will your customers get excited by what you are bundling or discounting?
7. Place: Look where you are selling your product and ask what that says about your brand and your positioning. What environment best suits how you want to be seen by your market, are you there? If the head of sales at Louis Vuitton starts selling his bags at Target, the amount people will be willing to spend on their bags will drop like an anchor from a plane.
8. Promotion: There a thousands of options in this sections. I have included the ones that I could think of and are most commonly used. I always tell my clients, start with your target market, where do they spend time and pay attention to what brands are saying – and then go there. So, in alphabetical order, your options for promotion are:
Ambush marketing (usually at an event)
Blimps, banners, bus sides, small format outdoor hoardings, shopping mall advertising boards and traditional billboards (all are now called ‘Out Of Home’, OOH or just Outdoor)
Blogs, Podcasts, Vlogs
Catalogs and brochures
Celebrity endorsements and brand ambassadors
Networking (yep, this is also a marketing tactic)
Online Marketing (this includes website, SEO, SEM, social media
Outside radio broadcasts
Partnerships and cross promotion: is there a business in a parallel industry with a similar target audience to your own? How can you complement one another?
Phone book ads
Radio ads/TV ads/Infomercials
Referrals (ask and incentivise existing (hopefully happy) clients to promote your services to their peers)
Seminars /Teleseminars / Webinars
Word of Mouth / Viral Marketing (you get agencies that specialise in this form of marketing that are doing some amazing work)
At this point I should mention that I tend to split out online activity from the more traditional channels. Online in itself can make up an entire strategic campaign (consider content marketing and the various facets that need to come together to make it work). It is not uncommon for me to work up separate tactics for the digital space that compliments the more traditional ATL activity within a plan. And there are cases where a digital plan might be a strategic document in itself.
My advice, work with what makes it easiest for you to understand what needs to happen, more or less in what chronological order and how you plan to convert a potential lead to a customer.
That leads me to my next point:
9. Conversions: Think about what is pushing your lead to become a customer. What breadcrumbs are they following and at what stage within all your activity can you approach them with an offer that they will consider. I try to focus on places where people have shown an openness to what a brand has to offer (note I said brand offering, not product offering – a brand offering could be a piece of interesting information or content). It is soon after that point that I look to introduce the product and request a sale.
An example would be when someone shares their details with you online in order to download a piece of content. Your ‘thank you’ page that follows that transaction is a strong piece of marketing real estate. People are open to your brand, they have decided to engage with you and if you ask them at that point to do something, the chances that they will take the next step are so much higher. On a ‘thank you’ page you might ask them to take a survey or offer them a small sample of you product. Once they have taken that second step I look to introduce the idea of a purchase.
10. Financial forecasts: At the end of the process I like to estimate the cost of each activity I have planned and then to guesstimate what % of my objectives can be attained through that activity. I group together activities that overlap with one another, i.e. online advertising that goes to a special landing page with a unique offer.
This gives me a cost in relation to my objectives and helps me prioritise what could give me the most bang for my investment. I then work my way through the activity, testing my hypothesis on each tactic. If I find a channel doesn’t deliver the way I needed it to in a given time frame, I dump it and move on or alternatively, try to integrate it with another activity to see if that will deliver better results.
This is where I like to have three alternative tactics/activities lined up. If something I thought would really deliver, doesn’t I have something to fall back on within my plan. I don’t have to go through the process again of evaluating where I can engage my target market etc. It always comes back to your objectives. If what you are doing doesn’t deliver leave it, change it or support it in some other way.
If you have any questions regarding these posts, or would like us to take a look at your strategy, give us a call. We’re happy to chat, and I promise we won’t try and ‘sell’ you; we’d prefer if you decided to buy our services.
Originally posted on Monsterful.com.au