I often consult with businesses that want to crack the code for effective marketing strategies. When I speak to them about what an effective marketing strategy might look like, we don’t even talk about marketing for the first half of the conversation. What we focus on first is their business strategy.
Marketing can be daunting. It’s overwhelming and can be difficult to figure out where to start when the world of digital marketing is so complicated. Everyone just wants to uncover the right strategy for their business.
Businesses often respond to this challenge by simply attempting to mimic market leaders, but this doesn’t get them anywhere because their business strategies aren’t the same as the market leaders. Industry leaders are running a completely different business than you are, so you won’t succeed when using a marketing strategy identical to the one they have in place. You need to develop a unique marketing solution that fits your business.
To come up with an effective marketing strategy, the first thing you need to do is fully understand your business strategy. That’s why I always start the conversation here.
Not only do I want to understand the usual details of your business, like industry, product and service lines, target markets, and sales force. More importantly, I want to understand where it is you want to take your company. What’s the company’s purpose and reason for being? What is your mission and vision?
I want to understand what your five-year growth plan looks like and what it means in true dollar terms. This is important because it tells me and my associates at Tulip Media Group what kind of growth you’re looking for. We also look at your past growth trajectory to identify the gap we are trying to fill with an effective marketing strategy. There are so many questions we need to ask about your business before we can even begin to formulate a marketing strategy that will work for you.
We learned this lesson well in the early stages of Tulip Media Group. We were working with a Client-Partner in the consulting industry that had initially hired us to help roll out a new assessment program. We came in, got to fully know and understand their strategic initiative, and got to work moving things forward.
The challenges started appearing very quickly when we were not able to get the support we needed from them to build this part of their business. When we tabled the discussion, we discovered that the initiative was actually less of a priority for the Client-Partner than we had originally thought. Instead, they wanted to focus on growing the consulting aspect of their business.
So, we started from ground zero and developed a new strategy for their revised initiative. The same challenge arose again: we didn’t receive the support we needed, and it appeared that they simply weren’t motivated to grow their consulting business. As a consequence, we weren’t able to build any traction because we were not in sync with our Client-Partner’s business strategy.
We went back to the drawing board again and again, and each time they changed their minds and wanted to focus on yet another initiative. It became apparent to us then that their business strategy was unclear, and because of this, it wasn’t possible to develop an effective marketing strategy for them.
Now when we agree to bring on a new Client-Partner, we require that the business has a clear strategy for growth and some proven success. In this case, we can simply add fuel to the fire. We cannot create something out of nothing, but we can achieve positive outcomes for companies that understand their business strategy and have a good sense of where they want to go.
Our Client-Partner Metalfab Fire Trucks exemplifies success in this process. When Metalfab came to us, they knew exactly what they wanted to achieve. They knew the markets they wanted to expand in and they knew what they needed to accomplish, which was to secure more opportunities to reach potential customers for their $500,000 custom fire trucks. They’d been in business for a long time with a proven record of success; they just needed help fueling their marketing and growth.
We were quickly and easily able to align with their business strategy and come up with an insightful marketing strategy that targeted fire chiefs in a very specific way. Because we were clear on where we wanted to go and what was going to take us there, we were able to develop and execute on a marketing strategy that has delivered incredible results. In fact, in 2020, despite not having access to trade shows as their primary marketing channel, Metalfab managed to engage with as many prospects as they had in previous years without skipping a beat. Not to mention accomplishing this without having to step foot in a single trade show or conference has saved them an enormous amount of time and money.
Consider these contrasting examples whenever you’re looking at your marketing. Without a clear understanding of your business strategy, you’ll be left to run in circles when it comes to developing your marketing strategy. Only when you have achieved that full understanding should you begin to develop a marketing strategy that supports growth in that direction.
If you have a clear business strategy and you’re interested in working with us to develop your marketing strategy, I invite you to book a consultation with one of our digital marketing specialists at TulipMediaGroup.com. Our growing team would be happy to speak with you and determine if our programs would be a good fit for achieving your growth goals.