The main reason we invest in marketing is usually to grow our business. We want more customers, more sales, more profit, more cash and maybe we want to position ourselves as being better than the competition. This is your destination.
In Part Three we chose our direction – who are our ideal clients or customers Which Direction to Choose. Now we need to think about choosing your final destination. Where do you want your business to get to?
In the second part of the series, The Diagnostic Test, we looked at where you are now, how far away are your goals from your current position? How are you going to improve turnover, profit, or cash flow? Don’t forget that old adage,
“turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is reality”.
Growing your turnover mustn’t be at the expense of profitability, you need to make sure it’s cost-efficient!
Having determined your ideal customers or clients, how are you going to make them buy or buy more from you? Your first and biggest challenge is to get noticed and then you have to hold their attention. You need to educate and build trust over a period of time (the final part of the series looks at how we can do this). Did you know, you may need to get your brand name and messages in front of your audience up to 12 times before they buy?
So, how are we going to make sure that we stand out? We’re going to look at where we stand in terms of our competitors and we’re going to look at our value proposition to make sure that we can communicate clearly to our customers and prospective customers, why they should choose us.
Whether we like it or not we all have competitors. Sometimes competition can be healthy, sometimes it can get the better of you, this is why it is important to periodically check and see what our competitors are doing.
So, what does competitor benchmarking involve?
- Identifying your competitors – those that are most similar to yourself in terms of size is usually the best option for taking advantage of immediate opportunities but you might also want to consider your indirect competition.
- Decide which metrics you’re going to measure:
– Website performance/experience
– Social media – followers/engagement/type and frequency of content
– Do they send out regular newsletters you can subscribe to?
– Do they have a blog?
– Quality of content
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses and any opportunities so that you can think about where you’re going to position your business or organisation so that you compete well.
Values are at the core of every business whether we are aware of them or not. Your value proposition is a distillation of the benefits and value that your company promises to deliver customers with your products or services. It answers the ‘why choose us’ question and positions your brand clearly in the customer’s mind.
It is important to define your value proposition for each target audience or buyer persona and it should:
- Be short and simple.
- Be believable or credible.
- State or imply a key benefit to your customer that your values deliver.
- Differentiate you from your competition.
- Resonate with your company’s personality.
With clarity on your business goals, where you stand against the competition, and a clear value proposition, the final step is to put together a strategy and plan to get you where you want to be. The last part of our series, Setting You Sat Nav, looks at this together with some tools and tactics that might help.
In the meantime, you can watch the fourth video in our series ‘Money, Money, Money, Don’t Let Your Cashflow Grind to a Halt’. And of course, if you haven’t already, you can download our Marketing MOT e-book here.
In addition to our free resources, we have also put together a workbook which can be purchased here, which will take you through the various tools and models mentioned and help you formulate your marketing plan and strategy.