There is a great saying many marketers use – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Without a plan, how do you know what you need to do, in priority order, to get there?
Most people are too busy and cannot find the time to stop, breathe, focus, and plan. Instead, they rush down any road. Unfortunately, these unplanned roads lead to mediocre results and higher costs – in time, money, stress, and frustration because without goals, nothing is efficient and you are not measuring outcomes to know if your efforts are effective.
What if you took some time to truly define your business goals, the desired timeframe to achieve them, and an investment strategy to get there?
At TREW, we begin each marketing project by first asking “What are your business goals?” This allows us to understand how best to build a marketing strategy, develop a plan of action, and define how we’ll measure results. By following this approach, you can make sure every single dollar and hour spent drives results and gets you closer to achieving your goals.
Here are some specific questions to ask:
- What do you want your business to look like exactly one year from now? Two years from now? Three years from now?
- Do you want to become more profitable?
- Do you want to double the number of customers?
- Do you want to expand your offerings to new markets? If so, which ones?
- Do you need to reposition your company for change and expansion?
- Are you trying to be acquired, and if so, by when?
- Do you need to successfully launch a key product or service?
- Do you need to generate quality leads?
Once you’ve reached internal agreement on your business goals, you’re ready to think about marketing. The marketing process can be divided into three steps:
1. Develop your marketing strategy, which includes:
- Audiences – for instance, titles, types of companies, industries, and geographic regions
- Campaigns – themes, such as product lines or application spaces, that all of your marketing activities will support
- Primary media channels – the devices you’ll use, such as technical white papers, search marketing, or events to drive awareness and demand (see the “TREW Approach” for types of media channels)
2. Define your top three marketing goals, such as:
- Build a process to generate and nurture leads
- Create a new website
- Establish foundational marketing, including company positioning, identity, and messaging
- Develop or strengthen strategic partnerships
- Grow awareness and demand for a product line or market opportunity
Define business goals and objectives first, then build your marketing plan.
3. Put dollars and owners to activities, execution, and measurement, making decisions including:
- Decide how much you will spend for tangible activities, such as launching a product, designing a new website, or placing Google pay-per-click ads
- Prioritize each activity according to the smartest, fastest, and most cost-effective ways to achieve marketing and business goals
- Assign owners and timelines to execute
- Measure results and tweak to improve after each activity
Activities chosen should tie directly back to marketing goals along the funnel, from generating awareness at the top to supporting targeting sales efforts and strengthening loyalty at the bottom.
Starting with these 3 steps will help guide you to define your marketing goals, and will reduce costly inefficiencies down the road. For more details about step 3 and how to execute your plan, you can download our free guide, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”