What’s in a marketing and sales strategy? Can it deliver ROI?
Your marketing and sales strategy is the cornerstone of driving your business. When strategy is overlooked, business opportunities are lost, differentiation is missed, targeting opportunities is less focused, market penetration does not have depth, and overall your team is taking a scattered approach. We need to get your strategy down to a fundamentally easy and understandable message that all members of the organization can buy into. We begin with the 5Ws and a H.
Who – Target Audience / Competition
There are many ways to look at our target audience, but the two most common are verticals and authority. We need to look at the vertical industries that are most in line with our services as well as those verticals that we have experience within. What are the vertical industries that are outpacing others and which of them need our expertise? We also need to look at who is the buyer of our services. Is it the CEO, COO, CIO, VP, Director or Manager and within which specific areas do they work? If your point of sale is at the manager level then CEO will be a waste of time in the early phases of the sales cycle. Target the right vertical and the right authority in order to move quickly. Identify your competition within your vertical spaces as well as overall. We need to know their differentiation and how they approach the market. The competition is not your enemy, but it does not hurt to think of them that way.
What – Services Based Approach
What service areas are we emphasizing? We can’t be everything to everyone, so don’t try. Narrow your focus in order to put maximum effort around what you do extremely well. By keeping your focus, your likelihood for success goes up dramatically. As you broaden your service areas keep in mind that you want to put the same level of effort into each area. It is quite common when building the strategy to prioritize, but the mistake is robbing from Peter to pay Paul when it comes to implementation.
When – Timing
If you look at your business empirically, you will see the peaks and valleys. Many people discount timing, but the fact is that when business typically comes, the opportunity is to get more of it. Additionally, when business does not come, it is a great time to determine why. Is summer bad for you because everyone is on vacation? Is December bad because everyone is planning for next year? Bad timing can be addressed in advance of the month, but very difficult to overcome when you are in the middle of it. Utilizing this information, schedules can be created to increase efforts appropriately driving behavior.
Where – Market segmentation
Many of our companies have expanded their efforts into territories that we have some familiarity with, but not enough knowledge. Uncovering what markets should be pursued requires understanding of the market itself as well as your position in the market. Should you take a local approach and have an office opening or should you be handling long line? It is important to understand the markets you target and you need how to define yourself for the market.
Why – Differentiation
We all have a hard time saying how great we are without worrying about how we come across. We tend to find things that are easy and very often they are not all that differentiating. We need to look hard at our companies to insure that we are relevant and different from our competition. We need to boast, in a tactful way, about our successes and be able to have our entire team know how to differentiate us.
How – Priority and Tactical
“How” is the part of the strategy where we begin to list out prioritization and schedule the tactical side of our efforts. There are many approaches to prioritizing, but simply put something has to go first and something needs to be held off. The tactics need to fit our target audience, with the services we want to focus on, in the markets we want to serve, with the differentiation to set us apart at the right time of year.
Don’t keep your strategy to yourself. Let your whole team in on it and guide them to success. If everyone moves in one direction then your efforts will return ROI and you will have built a repeatable way to drive your business.
Five Marketing Strategy Takeaways:
- Developing a strategy that is understandable and relatable by the team is imperative
- Utilize the 5Ws and a H to build your strategy
- Know your competition
- Build tactics that are tied directly to your strategy
- ROI is built from focused efforts that set you apart
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.