Marketing Strengths and Weaknesses: How Does Your Program Stack Up?
So, what is your strength in marketing? It’s often the everyday challenges that keep business owners from building a strong and sustainable marketing program. Many owners of small- to medium-size businesses just don’t have enough time or resources to effectively evaluate–much less execute–a great strategic plan.
So do you know all the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing? How does your program stack up? Do you have some problems you’d like to address but don’t know how?
Well, relax. You’ve got this. You don’t need to be perfect but you do need to make sure your marketing program is working for you. Luckily there are steps you can take to get your marketing program into great shape.
Knowing Where to Start
As an SMB owner, you wear many hats. But it’s hard to be an expert in everything, so consider using a trusted resource to help. It can be one person, an agency or another type of arrangement, but having that help to plan (and execute) your marketing can take a huge load off your daily work schedule.
To get started, it’s important for you and everyone involved in creating your strategic plan to know the story behind your brand. Why did you start the business? What gap in the market did you hope to fill?
Knowing what sets you apart from the crowd will help your customers recognize you and trust you. Do you know what value or need your products or services provide that your competitors do not? This may change with time, but knowing what that value is now will help you figure out where your marketing strategy may need to go,
Identifying the Best Path Forward
Here’s a very helpful tip to get moving: Know where the gaps in your marketing foundation are and then work to fill them in. As you do so, you’ll begin to understand where you need to go and what you need to do.
Ask yourself what you do better than your competitors? This is a strength and a “superpower” that you may consider doing more of.
Do you notice a pattern of objections from your potential prospects? If you did something different, would they buy your product? Perhaps consider that this is a weakness that you can turn around into a strength. It’s great feedback and important information for you!
Understanding Your Tools
There are literally hundreds of different types of tools that you can use to connect with your audience, from social media to logos to websites. The key is that you need to correlate a direct link between your business and your customer.
So not every tool will be right for you and your business. You will need to know your customers and know how they want to get information from you.
And, of course, you’ll need to know the suite of tools available to you. Most businesses use a combination of marketing tools depending on their goals and on their specific audiences. There are a number of types of tools that you can use, including:
- Print advertising
- Digital marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Press releases (PR)
- Commercial advertising
- Customer loyalty programs
- Brand reputation management
- Event marketing
For example, if your customers are on Facebook, why wouldn’t you want to be there as well? Do your customers prefer email? Or, does a print advertising campaign make sense? There is no one correct answer, as it will depend on your unique group of customers.
Defining Your Message
Even with all the greatest tools in the world, you need to have a strong marketing message that resonates with your audience.
Hubspot defines a marketing message as “the words you use to communicate with your audience to convince them to do business with you.” In fact, it’s vital to get that message right for you to meet your business goals. It could be the difference between getting that new customer or losing them to your competitor.
Your marketing message is what will speak to your audience and, hopefully, build trust in your product or service. If you have already done your homework and established your brand identity, you will have a story that your audience can identify with.
Your brand identity should correlate closely with your marketing message. You can use your message to create an emotional connection with your customers, and show them what’s in it for them.
Take Our Quiz to See How YOUR Program Stacks Up
Are you ready to look at your marketing strengths and weaknesses? We’ve got the perfect tool for you to get a snapshot…and it’s totally free. Head on over to our Discover Redmap page and take a free 10-question quiz. We’ll send you back an assessment with a grade in each of the four pillar areas of marketing for you to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. And if you’d like to chat with us to find out a bit more about the assessment or to figure out where to go next, schedule a free 15 minute call with us or download a whitepaper to learn more about foundational marketing from the Discover Redmap page.
Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.