Having a solid marketing foundation allows you to create a plan that’s both strategic and effective. Evaluating where you are today will help you better understand where you need to be in order to grow your business. If you’ve read any of our blogs, you’ve heard this before and it’s not rocket science.
For many businesses, marketing efforts continue evolving and adjusting—which means that you need to periodically reassess and evaluate where you are in your marketing. Taking time to evaluate your foundation will help you build and evolve your marketing strategy.
Many small- and medium-sized Indianapolis companies overlook the importance of a holistic marketing foundation and most are completely unaware of where to start (enter the marketing consultant). A 2019 survey from Outbound Engine found that 50% of 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 help SMBs build and evaluate their marketing foundation and discover where there’s room for improvement and growth to continue moving their business forward.
A marketing consultant can help businesses connect their marketing goals to the overall business strategy by identifying marketing foundation gaps and constructing a strategic plan that will address the gaps while also supporting the different stages of the sales and marketing funnels.
Working with a marketing foundation consultant can take the burden off small businesses owners. Consultants can help business owners answer fundamental questions that help set a foundation for clear marketing strategic planning and digital strategy.
In today’s digital world, marketing technology and digital strategy techniques are constantly changing. Learning, understanding, and keeping up with changes in online marketing trends can be time-consuming. Trying to navigate and execute successful marketing plans without the help of a marketing consultant can easily send your business (and often the owner) into a tailspin of good intentions but zero outcomes.
Benefits of working with a marketing consultant
When looking for a marketing consulting partner, make sure that you find a company who will combine your goals and objectives with other parts of a robust foundation that supports inbound marketing, outbound marketing and a digital strategy that can be easily changed based on important data analysis.
Using a firm that’s based locally provides immediate access to a team that supports comprehensive marketing programs, from overseeing the strategy to the execution, which saves you time and money. Here are some additional benefits that small businesses see when using marketing consultants.
For effective strategic planning and building a successful plan, it’s important for a marketing foundation consultant 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.
- Fill in critical gaps on the marketing tea
- Provide an outside perspective
- Scalable – use them when you need them
Methods used to establish marketing foundations
Marketing consultants are focused on helping businesses evaluate, engage, and drive growth by putting in place a marketing foundation to support creative solutions for business challenges. These are the methods used to help build the foundation:
- Evaluate the business landscape
- Support business goals and objectives
- Perform a SWOT analysis
- Improve your brand identity
Why establishing a foundation is important
When you have a marketing strategy that’s built on a strong foundation, you can be confident that your day-to-day marketing decisions and activities are based on market research and guided by your company’s objectives. The marketing strategy guides decision-making and corporate policies that focus on maximizing revenue.
You wouldn’t build any structure without ensuring that the foundation is strong and can support whatever you are building.
Building a strong marketing foundation
Understanding the current landscape of your business and marketing programs with a marketing analysis will help you identify gaps in your marketing foundation and where you want or need to be to meet your goals and objectives. The different marketing areas that need to be evaluated include:
What seems simple on the surface can end up being challenging when you try to define everything. 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, areas to evaluate include what’s working, current 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.
- Target Market
Knowing your target market will help you identify marketing channels and develop communication and messaging for email marketing, content marketing, social media advertising, and other digital marketing. To help identify your potential customers, creating a buyer persona is essential. Doing this will help you segment and build your strategy around what will work best for each audience. You will be able 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 laying your foundation. These insights will allow you to track the progress of your marketing campaigns and evaluate your marketing strategy. 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 elements and tools will identify gaps in your ecosystem. There may be tools that are no longer needed or tools that may be needed to perform specific actions needed to meet marketing goals and objectives. The core elements of a solid marketing foundation include: brand, CRM, web, and email marketing.
Marketing consulting services
Our marketing consulting team, based in Indianapolis, understands how to provide cost-effective solutions and services to identify and act on opportunities to strengthen your sales and marketing. Our approach is to offer end-to-end marketing strategy evaluation with our innovative redMAP process.