What are the building blocks of a Solid Marketing Foundation?
To build and execute effective and successful marketing campaigns, you need a solid marketing foundation to support them. What does it mean to have a solid marketing foundation? It means that you have a strong base to build the right messaging, for the right audience for your products or services, at the right time. A solid foundation allows you to create a marketing strategy that supports your sales and marketing ecosystem and can adjust to external changes.
There are four main foundational pillars that determine the strength of your marketing, including:
- Brand identity
- Online presence
- Email marketing
A word of caution though. Even if you have these components as part of your company’s marketing stack, it doesn’t mean you have a solid foundation to support the development and execution of a successful marketing strategy.
You will need to make sure that you are evaluating your entire current state to understand where you are and where you may need to make improvements. Do you know what’s working and what’s not working? Are you aware of any existing gaps in your marketing foundation? Understanding your current state will help you build a more robust roadmap. If you’re not sure how to evaluate your current marketing foundation, we will be putting out a new blog post next week to review those steps and what is involved. You can also get the basics of developing a roadmap for your small to medium-sized business (SMB) here.
So let’s get started… below are the four foundational pillars to building a solid marketing foundation and some examples of questions you can ask yourself and your team to get a good understanding of any potential gaps in your marketing ecosystem as it relates to these pillars.
Brand identity is the way your brand projects itself to others. It’s the personality of your products, the way you do business, your services, and your company culture. It combines all the elements that make up your company’s public identity, including logo design and color palette, PVM, and tag-lines. Your brand defines your business. It evokes feelings and attitudes in your customers and prospects and differentiates your company and products.
When it comes to marketing, success is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one company may not work for another, and that is especially true when it comes to branding. In order to create a successful marketing campaign, you must first evaluate your brand and determine what makes it unique. Only then can you create messaging and strategies that resonate with your target audience.
A tagline is an extremely valuable asset that is often overlooked. Your company’s tagline connects audiences to your brand through emotions, building trust and loyalty with customers and prospects. Taglines capture the essence of your business and can tell your customers so much in as little as three words. Think of these taglines “Just Do It” or “You’re In Good Hands.” You probably know exactly which company these taglines belong to. Do you have a tagline? Is it working? It may be time to get a tagline or even change your tagline.
Your visual identity helps connect with customers and prospects where words can’t. Consistent colors and graphics unite a brand’s messaging, allowing customers to communicate with the brand instantly. This area of branding also creates an emotional connection with your audience.
When evaluating your brand you can ask yourself the following:
- What is the unique story behind your business name / logo?
- How recognizable is your brand or product to your customers?
- How do you want your customers to feel about your product / service?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You may have a CRM system where you keep all of your customer information, but do you have a customer relationship management strategy? Without a CRM strategy, your CRM tool is nothing more than a pricey database.
In business today, it’s essential that you have a CRM strategy in place. Your CRM strategy defines how you will build and maintain your customer relationships with marketing and sales. A robust CRM program will help you grow your business by building stronger relationships with your customers and providing valuable insights into their behavior to improve their experience with your products or services.
Better Customer Experience
Creating a better customer experience starts with knowing your potential customers and where they are in the buyer’s journey. This information enables you to create a more personalized experience to build a stronger connection with your brand, service, or product. If you don’t know your customers, it’s time you get to know them. Improving the customer experience will drive customer loyalty and increase sales.
Crucial Customer Information
Knowing who your customers are and maintaining them is critical for all businesses. A CRM strategy enables you to collect valuable data and insight, giving you the information you need to keep your customers and improve their customer experience. CRM systems provide crucial customer information that can be used to provide valuable customer information, including product or service preferences and behavior, so businesses can tailor offers accordingly.
When evaluating your CRM and your CRM strategy you can ask yourself the following:
- How are you using your current CRM if you have one?
- Describe your sales process. What are the steps from identification of a potential customer to them buying your product or service?
- Where are you getting your leads / contacts?
Every business, regardless of size and industry, needs an online presence. Building an online marketing strategy is one of the factors in having a solid marketing foundation.
An online marketing strategy practically revolves around two main components: SEO and PPC.
- SEO refers to the process of using keyword-optimized content to attract visitors to your website.This is the best type of traffic because it’s organic traffic—website traffic without the expense.
- PPC stands for pay-per-click. That’s when a company pays for ads that appear on search engines when someone searches for a specific keyword or phrase.
There are many benefits to implementing an online marketing strategy, including driving revenue and building brand awareness. But just like all other areas of building a strong marketing foundation, building your online presence takes time. Understanding your customers, where they are online, and what keywords they’re searching for are questions you need to ask.
Here are some elements that will help you establish an effective online presence:
- Website. A website is an essential tool for doing business. It should be visible, rank high on search engines, and have an easy-to-use interface that lets people quickly find the information they need. Content on the website needs to be continuously changed and added because Google likes to see fresh content.
- Content. As we all know—content is king in marketing, so make sure your content is valuable and engaging. Generating content, though, can be challenging, especially when there’s already so much. But it’s important because it’s used to nurture leads, build a subscriber space, and generate revenue.
- Social Media. Having an online presence isn’t complete without having a social media page or account. Social media presence is significant for small businesses looking for new customers or leads.
When evaluating your online presence you can ask yourself the following:
- What are your main website goals?
- Is your product / service (what you are providing to your customer) clearly communicated on your site?
- What other tools do you have integrated into your web site (ie. email marketing, sales tools, etc)?
Email marketing is one of the most affordable forms of digital advertising, but it’s also one of the most powerful. It communicates with customers, engages with them, and builds trust. Email outreach programs have proven that email subscribers are more likely to purchase from you than those who don’t receive your emails.
Email marketing can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including:
- Lead generation. Collect contact information by offering a free trial or an incentive (such as a discount) when people sign up on your website.
- Newsletters. Send updates and announcements to subscribers on a consistent basis. Sending too few emails means “out of sight means out of mind.” Informational emails such as newsletters keep your brand relevant and
- Promotional emails. Send emails promoting new product launches, special offers, or other promotions that may be relevant to your current audience.
Email marketing strategic success depends on two key factors: automation and content.
Automating your email campaigns streamline your outbound communication so that you can continue moving your contacts through their journey. Automation allows you to “set it and forget it,” which frees up your time to focus on other efforts while marketing automation runs in the background.
Email content not only keeps your audience connected and engaged, but it also drives traffic to your website. Keeping the frequency of your content consistent creates trust and sends a message of brand reliability. Finding the time to create content can be tough, especially for small businesses like yours.
Components in place to build a strong marketing foundation are an integral piece of the puzzle for building a successful business and effective marketing campaigns. Putting that foundation in place, though, is no easy task. Numerous components need to align and work together. To find out how solid your marketing foundation is, take this short quiz to see your marketing foundation score and how each of your four core marketing foundation pillars ranks.
When evaluating your email marketing tactics you can ask yourself the following:
- What type of email campaigns are you sending and what is the sending frequency?
- What are the calls to action that you typically use?
- Are you monitoring recipient engagement and if so how are recipients connecting with you or sharing your content?
We’re Here to Help
We’d love for you to schedule a free 15-minute call with one of our experts. At TomatoFish, our goal is to help get you further along the road of creating a successful business strategy that takes you places!
Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.