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Three Keys to Strategic Marketing

Sep 5, 2008
When it comes to developing a marketing strategy, why is it that so many companies are in such a hurry to get momentum, to get traction from their efforts, that they forget the age old principle - accuracy first, momentum second?

Isn't that why carpenters at all skill levels know you should measure twice, cut once?

Remember that it doesn't help to be making good time, when you are headed in the wrong direction.

So, why are some companies - not you, your competitors hopefully, firing away before they have the specific target dialed in - with a clearly defined focus?

Maybe it's because business people are naturally action people and it just feels better to be doing something than simply thinking about it.

Possibly you've never thought of yourself as a strategist, the other members of your organization are too busy with the day-to-day tasks to help out, and there is no one else to confide in that you trust 100%.

And anyway, what if you spend time and energy strategizing all the "what if" scenarios you can think of only to come up with something that doesn't work?

There is a solution of course - one that costs nothing but a little effort - that can reap dramatic results for you and your organization. A solution that will change how you make major decisions in your organization from now on.

But first - here are three keys to strategic marketing.

A primary key to success is the value of your uniqueness. What is it about your organization that separates you from your competitors in your marketplace?

By the way, who are your traditional competitors? Are there any new competitors coming on the scene? What do you consider your marketing area? Did 70-80% of your new business come from a relatively small number of accounts, or a sub-niche in your market, or a single geographical area last year?

Unless you know specifically who is already buying from you, and why, you'll never be able to articulate your USP, your unique selling proposition - from the point of view of your customers.

Would it be helpful if you could organize a small group of your peers, people who understand your challenges, to discuss these and other elements of your business strategy with? People who live around the country - not nearby, so you won't be telling your business secrets or sharing your plans with a someone you're going to run into at the mall or at church.

Another key to the success of your marketing strategy and to the success of your organization in general is the caliber of your organization's recognized reputation as someone to do business with.

In this day of virtually unlimited choices of vendors it is critical that you are seen as someone people like doing business with and someone people trust to keep their word.

If you are the best kept secret in your marketplace or in your industry - if the right people don't know who you are, then your results will be less than they would be if you were a household name among your potential customers.

Your customers already know who you and to the extent they keep doing business with you are satisfied with the relationship. If they represent the "right people" to you, how can you enlist them in your efforts to spread your reputation as a reliable organization to do business with?

Perhaps your peers, those in your industry, have developed campaigns that successfully target the right people in their market? Maybe these same peers will help you focus your efforts in the right places based on what is working for them? That would put some sharp teeth into your marketing strategy, wouldn't it?

The third key is the quality of your products and support services.

It is likely that the quality of your products and support services measures up to your customers' expectations. If it didn't there would be few repeat sales and sales in general would be declining.

Your challenge is to develop the ability to consistently communicate the fact that your customers' expectations are being met to your prospects. In other words getting that message out prior to the sale is the key.

A successful strategic marketing strategy combines these elements into a seamless process that will help you focus on what you are unique at, who is the ideal prospect for it, and then recruiting your satisfied customers to tell your story to the right people in your marketplace.

For most of you this will not be a complicated process. It will take effort and you will need help.

That help can and probably should come from a group of your peers, people from your industry, who are far outside of your traditional marketing area. People whose marketing insights and experiences are directly relevant to you.

Today, free long distance service, instant online webinar services, and free Yahoo! groups can make your meetings effective without the time and money wasted getting to and from face to face meetings. These Internet tools also offer the ability to connect with the other members of your strategic marketing peer group 24/7 - so your plans can be refined continually to deal with the speed of change in business today.

You can get together in person from time to time of course - that's what your trade association meetings are for.

Using the simple techniques that I later complied into my peer group report I established and participated in several peer to peer mastermind groups.

Withe a proven strategy, a few tipe, tools, and techniques you can create your own board of advocates -
your own strategic marketing team, with a little help from your friends.
About the Author
Click here to order the peer-to-peer mastermind group workbook and receive priceless tips, tools, and strategies for creating and managing your own strategic marketing mastermind group. http://www.DIYStrategicPlanning.com

Wayne Messick http://www.WayneMessick.com
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