Indianapolis Marketing Consulting: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy
Having the right marketing strategy in place can make or break a business. It’s an essential component of any business because it defines the business direction for how the business will attract customers and grow over time. And today’s strength of marketing centers around everything digital—from sending email marketing campaigns to posting on social media. Yet, there’s a difference between tactical marketing and having a clear direction, plan and path for marketing initiatives and execution. Many small- and medium-sized Indianapolis companies overlook the importance of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Without a high-level strategy it’s hard for a business to develop powerful brand experiences through digital communications.
A 2019 survey from Outbound Engine found that 50% of the small and medium business (SMB) owners did not have a marketing plan that year, and 25% were unsure of how they were going to grow their business.
Marketing consultants and marketing agencies can be a great resource for SMBs looking to create and implement an overall strategic plan, including a digital marketing strategy, that will help grow their business and generate more leads.
Indianapolis Marketing Firm
Successful business owners understand the importance of a well done marketing plan and the power it has over lead generation and attracting new customers. Working with an Indianapolis-based agency, small businesses can formulate a clear digital marketing strategy that includes:
In today’s digital world, marketing technology and techniques are constantly changing. Learning, understanding, and keeping up with changes in digital marketing trends can be time-consuming. Trying to navigate and execute successful digital strategy without the help of a marketing agency could negatively impact your business.
How marketing firms help SMBs
A marketing agency, such as Tomato Fish Marketing in Indianapolis, helps businesses evaluate, engage, and execute effective sales and digital marketing foundations that drive positive change and develop creative solutions for business challenges.
Build and create strategic marketing plans. For effective strategic planning and building a successful plan, it’s important for a marketing agency to spend time to fully understand marketing goals, potential customers, existing customers, competitors, the timeline, and any key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be tracked to determine the success of the digital marketing plan.
Support business goals and objectives. The different aspects of the marketing plan must align with the overall business goals and objectives so that what’s measured ties directly to the overall business KPIs. A marketing firm understands that there’s value in being able to make quick informed decisions based on marketing data. With the help of a HubSpot partner, such as Tomato Fish Marketing, SMBs have an advantage of working with a team of experts to build search engine marketing and inbound marketing campaigns.
Increase sales and revenue. Effective online marketing means higher lead conversions and more lead conversions mean increased sales and revenue opportunities. Marketing consultants will help you build a customized digital strategy and will identify marketing tactics, such as search engine marketing, content marketing and social media marketing that will convert potential customers to meet your specific goals around increasing sales and revenue. Gartner claims that businesses usually experience more than 20 touches with a prospect before the prospect becomes a qualified lead for sales. That requires a lot of content that many small businesses just don’t have time to produce.
Improve your brand identity. A company’s brand is very important for marketing. It’s more than just a logo. Your brand identity will drive everything from how your Web design, to the tone of voice used for social media marketing or the greeting someone hears when dialing the business phone number. It’s your entire values, beliefs, mission, and goals all wrapped up in one design. A marketing consultant can make sure that your brand is aligned with all pieces of the business.
Criteria to consider when evaluating a marketing firm
Trust and Credibility
As marketing is constantly evolving, it’s only natural that your business strategies will evolve as well and based on result metrics may need to be adjusted in the middle of a marketing campaign. Will you have faith in the marketing agency to stay on top of things while keeping you informed of changes or opportunities? Can you rely on them if something goes wrong?
Trusted and credible marketing consultants have a strong and reputable social presence, and they understand the importance of staying updated on trends. Do your research and look at their company blog, testimonials on their website, and ask for case studies or references who can provide client feedback. Ask about their own email marketing or their social media marketing. What platforms do they use? How often do they send emails or post on social media?
Finding a full-service marketing agency that works well within your corporate culture is important for a good relationship. Do their values and goals resonate with your business’ values and goals? Have they worked with other clients in the same industry as yours? Observe the personalities of the marketing team to see if they are easy to work with and complement the personalities at your company. It’s also a good idea to consider how long the company has been in business. Partnering with a marketing agency who has been in business for more than a decade, not only provides stability and assurance that they won’t leave you stranded, but also lends to their ability to provide results.
Marketing Services Value and Pricing
Marketing is a financial commitment for every business. Some companies have a large budget, while others look for marketing opportunities on a smaller scale. Marketing firms should not hesitate to provide billing procedures upfront, and quotes based on specific project requests. There are different types of price structures so it’s important to find one that works within your business’ marketing budget.
No matter how reputable a marketing firm might be, it will be of no use and a waste of money if it doesn’t align a marketing strategy with your business’ goals and objectives. The marketing agency you select should provide details on the stages for building and executing a digital marketing plan.
This may seem like common sense, but make sure that a marketing agency’s focus is on delivering results and not just execution. Find out how they have adjusted other campaigns when results were not as expected. Results may not always be positive but understanding how a marketing firm reacts to negative results is as important as making sure they deliver results.
Indianapolis Marketing Strategy
Your digital strategy is part of your overall marketing plan that drives connections with prospects and converts them to customers. It’s necessary to develop this before spending any money on marketing. It will take time to do the competitive and customer research needed to create a well-developed marketing strategy. The marketing plan will provide you with answers to:
- Why you’re doing what you’re doing
- What it is you’re going to do
- Who your audience is
- How you communicate with your audience
- Who your competitors are
- How you will measure success
Why a marketing strategy is important
When you have a comprehensive strategy in place, you can be confident that your day-to-day marketing decisions and activities are based on research and guided by your company’s objectives. The marketing plan and digital strategy guides decision making and corporate policies that focus on maximizing revenue. With thorough research, a marketing plan can provide an advantage over the competition by identifying the best type of content marketing needed, or what platforms are best for social media marketing, as well as messages around the competitive pricing and market direction.
Here are some reasons why a marketing strategy is important for your business:
- It helps define the messaging for your target audience. Understanding your audience and knowing how to communicate with them increases the likelihood of selling to them.
- It prevents you from spending money in the wrong places. When you don’t have a defined digital strategy or plan, it’s easy to run a campaign based on the ‘see-if-it-works’ approach.
- A digital strategy keeps your plans and activities focused, consistent and relevant. Regardless of the marketing activity whether it’s a blog post, social media post, online ad, created content, there will be a reason and guidelines around why you’re doing it, who you’re targeting and what you expect the outcome to be.
- It sets objectives and defines your measure of success. When your marketing activity is not strategically aligned with your business objectives and goals, you won’t be able to make any business decisions and the only thing you’ll have is some data without actionable results.
- It serves as a guideline and reference point. The marketing roadmap can be used as a guide for new employees to quickly get up to speed on the target audience, competitors, marketing channels, and business messaging and tone. It can also serve as a tool to let other departments know what marketing is working on and how it aligns with their department’s goals.
Conduct a marketing analysis
Conducting a marketing analysis will help you understand the current landscape of your marketing programs and digital presence. It will show you where there are gaps in your marketing foundation and where you want or need to be to meet your goals and objectives. The different areas that you will want to evaluate include:
What seems simple on the surface can end up being challenging when you try to define everything. We’ll try to help get you started. The purpose is the reason ‘why’ behind your brand or business. Why do you exist? The mission statement is the ‘how’ for your marketing. How will you act on your purpose? The vision statement answers the ‘what’ for your brand or business. What will the end look like once the marketing objectives are complete?
SuperPowers (Strengths & Weaknesses)
Your superpowers are what makes you stand out from your competitors and if identified correctly, can help you gain a competitive advantage. To identify marketing strengths some areas to evaluate include what’s working, current marketing tools, collateral, customer feedback, and product and company reputation. Marketing weaknesses might include current challenges, things that aren’t working, content that’s missing, and negative customer feedback.
Opportunities and Threats
What are external factors that have the potential to impact your business either positively or negatively? These need to be identified and listed as opportunities or threats. Opportunities might include things like industry events, possible regulations, and online growth. Threats might include increased competition, government regulations, negative press coverage, changes in algorithms resulting in search drops.
Knowing your target market will help you identify marketing channels and develop communication and messaging for marketing assets and social media posts. To help identify your target marketing, creating a buyer persona is essential. This will help you segment and target your marketing campaigns, as well as know how to predict and overcome objections from prospects.
Goals and Objectives
Establishing clear goals and objectives for the year provides clarity, purpose direction and vision when developing marketing strategy and campaigns. The marketing strategy can be used to track the progress and measure the outcome of the campaign. Examples of marketing goals and objectives include increasing brand awareness, generating high-quality leads, acquiring new customers, increasing website traffic, boosting brand engagement, or increasing revenue.
Core Marketing Stack
An analysis of the current marketing tools will identify gaps. There may be tools that are no longer needed or tools that may be needed to perform marketing initiatives needed to meet marketing goals and objectives. Tools to look at include:
- CRM Tool
- Email Platform
- Website Platform
- SEO Tools
- Content Creation Tools
- Social Media Tools
Indianapolis Marketing Consulting
Marketing consultants can help businesses connect their marketing goals to the overall business strategy by identifying marketing campaigns that will convert in the different stages of the sales funnel. It’s important to understand that a marketing consultant can be a small marketing firm that specializes in helping businesses develop a digital strategy and execute the plan.
Benefits of marketing consulting
When looking for Indianapolis-based marketing consults, make sure they offer both digital strategy planning and execution. Using a firm that does both can save you time and money. Here are some additional benefits that small businesses see when using marketing consulting firms.
Fill in critical gaps on the marketing team.
For a small business, there may only be one person doing the marketing. Marketing consultants can provide a small business with the skills needed to quickly identify and execute marketing initiatives that will successfully meet goals and objectives.
Provide an outside perspective.
It’s easy for business owners to get hyper-focused on the brand, product, service, or business. Bringing in a marketing consultants can provide a fresh new look at the customer messaging, tools and marketing programs and campaigns.
Scalable – use them when you need them.
Consulting resources are flexible. Small businesses can use them as they need them for specific campaigns or projects to promote business development and lead generation.
Marketing consulting services
Our Indianapolis-based, full-service marketing consulting firm understands how to provide cost-effective solutions to boost your sales and revenue. Working with a consulting services firm can help create successful search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and other online marketing programs quickly and efficiently. Keeping clients updated with monthly meetings and emails keeps you updated on progress, and result data for campaigns and success criteria for goals and objectives.
Marketing consulting services include:
- Creative briefs to establish your goals and vision. SMBs can use marketing consultants to help better define the company’s goals and bring their vision to life with creative briefs that outline marketing campaigns and online opportunities.
- Development of logos and taglines. Marketing consultants have a network of experts who can design logos and taglines that resonate with the target audience.
- Print and digital content that tell stories and engage audiences. Marketing consulting services that also execute on strategic goals and objectives can create content that can be used online and shared on social media.
- Development of a comprehensive sales and marketing funnel plan for building solid leads in the CRM. Your Indianapolis marketing consulting firm will take time to understand your target audience and buyer’s persona to develop content and campaigns that will convert in each stage of the sales and marketing funnel—ensuring that leads continue to flow into the CRM.
- Centralized CRM management. Proper management of your organization’s CRM is critical to marketing to the right people. If there’s incomplete information or garbage going into the CRM, marketing effectively will be challenging and could possibly be ineffective.
- Designing and building websites that generate positive user experiences with custom designs. Building a website and forgetting about it isn’t helpful in building your brand. There are many different aspects to consider when building a website. So having a custom website where content is consistently updated and changing is critical to your online success.
- SEO audits and maintenance plans to position your brand in the best location on search engines. Google is constantly changing and updating the algorithm that determines a website’s placement on search engines. Understanding SEO best practices can be challenging if it’s not a daily focus.
- Content that resonates technically with search engines and with your target audience. Google likes new content. That’s the reason to keep updating content on your website.
- A complete email marketing program that includes templates, mailing list management, content creation, campaign development and organization, and monitoring and campaign metrics evaluation.
Tomato Fish Marketing is an Indianapolis marketing and consulting firm that offers end-to-end marketing strategy evaluation with our innovative redMAP process.