Aligning your brand with one online marketing strategy that extends into every department of your business is much more powerful than trying one marketing idea after the next. Not only will you be able to structure all of your ad creatives and content throughout your website, but you’ll also connect the dots elsewhere on the internet, which will help drive your message home.

When planning out your strategy, it’s important to get the perspective of a potential customer. You could sit in a room and try to imagine who your ideal customer is and design a strategy around that imaginary person, but it’s much more effective if you can actually talk to your customers. Get started by mapping your typical customer’s journey, then start testing multiple campaigns and the whole time, remember to be flexible.

All About The Journey

The secret to marketing is knowing your customers as best you can. The better you can predict customer behavior and their needs, the more revenue your business will see. Mapping out a customer’s journey is essential, as it lets you identify each point where customers will have a need that you can fulfill, and each time they may have reservations about making a purchase. Then you can develop a strategy around offering help at each point.

Start with the customer’s initial problem. Why do they think they need a product or service like yours? Once they decide they need outside help from a product or service, what kind of questions will they ask when they’re doing their initial research? Once they see your brand, what will they need to know to choose your business over a competitor? Keep going until you have identified every step, all the way until they finally stop being your customer. Once you establish each point in their potential journey, you can start to create ads or content that will resonate with customers for each.

Test Multiple Campaigns

Once you’ve mapped out some possible campaigns and promotions that will target customers along each step in their customer journey, it’s time to decide which can run alongside each other simultaneously. Running a single campaign at one time is risky, as it makes you reliant on that campaign succeeding. If it starts to fail, you’ll be left scrambling to make up revenue, rather than carefully deciding on the next step.

Look at your campaign ideas and identify the audiences that you will be targeting with each. When running campaigns at the same time, it’s smart to target different audiences, that is customers at a certain stage of their customer journey, so you’re not showing them multiple ad campaigns. Running multiple campaigns will also let you test messaging and creatives at a faster rate, optimizing your strategy for the next campaign cycle.

Be Flexible

No matter how carefully you plan each campaign within your marketing strategy, you’re bound to make mistakes and put out an unsuccessful one. Being flexible and preparing backup plans, yes more than one, will help you stay on track with your larger marketing plan, rather than ditching it. If you just abandon ship without letting your strategy run it’s course, then you won’t be able to fully understand its effect.

It’s important to know the difference between a failing campaign and a long term one that just needs more time. If your revenue is falling, then you might want to make a more drastic change, but if your revenue is slowly growing then it might just be a late bloomer. As long as you have more than one campaign running at once, with some backup plans in place, you’ll be able to continue testing without solely relying on a single campaign.

How To Do This All At Once

You don’t. The secret to being an effective marketer is having enough patience. Marketing isn’t a series of campaigns or ideas that you execute so you can move on to the next one, it’s a never-ending experiment. You’re not trying to trick your customers into buying something from you with a gimmick, you’re trying to figure out their problems and planning useful messaging around them so you can better help.

Some business appear to have a horseshoe in their back pockets, somehow just coming out on top even though they don’t seem to really have a marketing strategy. This is likely because their sole focus is helping customers. The more you focus your business strategy and marketing at solving the needs and problems for your audience, the more effective your marketing will be at selling products.

Start Looking Ahead

Marketing strategies help your business so much because they can help you start to look far into the future. That way, when problems arise you’ll already be prepared to address them, whether that’s having a backup campaign in place or being able to address a customer’s problem right away. The farther you can plan into the future the better.

Take the holidays for example. Instead of starting to plan holiday promotions in October when you start seeing ads on tv, planning should be done by July, or even earlier. Just like planning an overall marketing strategy, your holiday strategy can come together by mapping a customer journey, testing multiple campaigns and staying flexible.

Get Your Team Involved

Start thinking about your marketing strategy by sitting down with your whole team, if you have one, and writing out these roadmaps and questions on a whiteboard. Getting everyone involved in your marketing strategy will create buy-in with the rest of your team and help to get everyone on the same page. The more aligned the individual members of your business are with the marketing strategy, the better you will be able to execute it.

Take one day and have some fun with it. Getting everyone together and thinking about cool new marketing campaigns can be a great team-building exercise and be the best way to get started at the same time. Write down every idea that comes up and whittle them down later. The more creative you are, the more successful your marketing strategy.

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