What are the most effective ways to attract customers to your product or service? This video walks through three key steps in depth: analyzing the marketing programs your competition is using, choosing a marketing mix for your business, and creating your marketing plan.
- Alright, we're ready to create a marketing plan now. So I'm really excited 'cause this is where it all comes together. Alright, the first thing I want to make sure is you ask yourself what is the most effective ways to generate leads, or to get customers. We want to create demand that's what we're doing. How are we going to to drive traffic to our website, 'cause our website is a key marketing vehicle. It's the modern day marketing collateral. We used to give out print collateral in the old days, now we just drive people to our website right. But how are we going to do that? How do we establish our brand as a leader in the marketplace? These are the things that I want you to be asking yourself, 'cause this is so important. Now, the first thing, our goal is to create an ideal marketing mix. Now what a marketing mix essentially is, it takes different programs your different marketing programs and creates a cohesive overall marketing strategy right. So each program actually gets dealt with individually like we've taught and we're going to continue to teach, that every program is unique, has to be measured uniquely, but they all start to fit together in a cohesive marketing strategy. And that's the important thing here that we want to make sure. So I want to make sure that you take into account, everything to do with that program. So questions I don't want you to ask, are how much you're going to to spend on that program? How much time and attention are you going to put into that individual program? Because as we look at these programs overall, you're going to spend more time on SEM or SEO? Maybe affiliates are really important for you. Maybe you want to go all with print advertising as you're trying to build a big brand. All of these different things have to work together. And you've got to figure out how much money am I going to spend here? What is my ideal marketing mix? That's the questions we're asking for. So here's the steps that we're going to go through to create your ideal marketing plan. The first thing, is we're going to analyze what my competition is doing. You guys already know, I always go back to the competition as our baseline. Competition gives us guidance right. They give us guidance on what's going on in the industry right now? What am I up against? And it also starts to say what's working and what's not working. All right. number two is we're going to choose our mix. We're actually going to go back to our marketing programs and we're going to say, this one, this one, this one, this one and this one, make up my strategy. And we'll even prioritize that as well. We're going to evaluate that mix on the level of importance, the prioritization, and the total budget or a percent of total budget that I'm going to be looking at for that. I want to be able, let's say I have a million dollars I'm going to spend in marketing, or 100,000, or 10,000, it doesn't matter. How am I going to divide that up and that's part of that evaluation? And then finally, we're going to create the plan. That's all we're going to do. All right let's get started now in analyzing our competition. So the first thing I want to make sure that we ask is What is my competition? What are their marketing programs? What are they doing now? what marketing programs are they using? Now, also I want to understand what they're spending. What are they spending most on and least on? You say, "Ken, wait a minute, "how am I going to figure that out?" I got to tell you there's a lot of ways that you can figure this out. Like going in and just actually looking through all the different publications, either if they're using print advertising, you can look through that, or online advertising. There are reporting sites out there that you can go to and figure out where your competition is or just start googling them, and seeing what their SEM words are. Google all the SEM words that you would use, and see if they're coming up. So you can start to say, oh they're spending a lot on SEM. They seem to be really well-covered there. Or you know what, they're nowhere SEM. Maybe that's a good place that I can go and grab them. So we can evaluate what they think is working and what they think is not working. Because this is going to actually be an indication of what works in the industry overall. And we can start to see it when we start looking at one competitor, maybe that's not enough, of course, but when we start looking at 10 or 15 competitors now we can start to see trends that are going on. This is where this competitive analysis starts to come in. One thing I like to look at is how can you be different from your competition? So go where they're not is also a good strategy. Although you have to be careful with that, because they may not have gone there because it doesn't work. So you're going to really have to assess it, but you also may have a green field opportunity to go somewhere where they're not. Alright, next we're going to use our competitive spreadsheet and we're going to go ahead and track all of our competition's activities around their marketing programs. What is your competition's marketing mix is what we're trying to get to. All right, first thing we're going to do is we're going to list out the top 10 or 15 competitors that I want to assess. If you don't have as many competitors out there, you can certainly list las, but no less than five because we really need to be able to correlate different marketing programs and get some trends about what's working and what's not working. All right, now for every one of them. I want you to list every marketing program that they're using. So if they're doing SEM, boom, click. And do the best you can in terms of assessing whether or not they're using it or not. It's sometimes it's hard, but take your best guess. Keep in mind, they might have unique programs that are not on our list right. so you might want to include those as well, or at least make note of those 'cause it's important to capture those. 'Cause they may be doing something you want to copy. Next I want you to indicate the importance of the program to the competitor. And I essentially like to do this. I like to score them an A, a B or a C, where A is it's really important. It's a really important program to that individual competitor. B, it's a mildly important, and C, it's not it's not that important. It's just a way of scoring it. However you want to do that, that's fine. But basically what you're saying is, is that this is a really important program, and I want to know those really important programs that my competitors are using to get customers. The good thing is you don't have to actually build your own spreadsheet for this. We've got one for you. We've got all the marketing programs listed out. All you need to do is fill in your competition and check, check, check, or A-B-C for each one of the programs that they're using. And what this grid is going to be able to do, it's going to be able to show you exactly the programs that are most important that are getting used most often within your competitive landscape. That's important. That's really important information because you have to decide whether you want to copy them, whether you're going to use them and that could be important, or whether you're going to go the other direction, and maybe not be contrarian and just try some things that they're not doing so you can stand out. Either way, it's really good information for you. All right, now let me give you some tips on collecting competitive information. We've gone through some of these in different learning streams, but I'm going to go ahead and go through them again for you. First of all, subscribe to every one of your competitors' mailing list. That is really important. I want to see every email that they're sending out. I want to see if they're doing thought leadership? Are they just tried to sell a product? That is incredibly important. Create a folder in your email program, where you can actually store all of these and go back over and over them, so that you can see trends as well. Follow them on social media. This is really easy, right. Their Twitter account, their Facebook account, their Instagram account, maybe Pinterest as well. Whatever they might be doing you should be following them and making sure that you understand everything that they're posting. Go to trade shows. I always used to go to trade shows, even if I wasn't exhibiting. I would go and look at my competitors, the size of their booth, where the booth is positioned. That tells me how prominent they are, how much they're spending. I remember when I used to do trade shows, I remember we used to have stairs, and there was 1000 stairs, it seemed like, that went up to the top of the convention center. We'd say market live on each one of the stairs you're going up. That's called trade show promotions. You want to see if they're doing trade show promotions and how extensive they are. How much money they're spending at that trade show? Are they sponsoring? Are they gold, silver, platinum, diamond sponsor? You need to know these things. You need to note them down. Review all industry publications for their ads, if they're doing any print ads. Maybe your competitive set doesn't do print ads. Maybe they do, we need to check that out. Make sure you understand and go to their website. Is it a good website? Does it represent their brand or they just let it, atrophy and it's not really gone anywhere and it doesn't even look very good? You want to be able to evaluate that as well. Gather up all their thought leadership information, all their programs, all their materials, whatever they're doing. You want to make sure you understand. follow them on PR as well. I always do a little Google search. You can put a Google Alert in for your main competitors and every time, they're mentioned, you get an alert. Okay they're called Google Alerts. Google it and you'll find it right, find easy to set up by the way. And then read their blog as well. All these things are important things to do. That's going to fill out the idea of what is my competition doing from a marketing perspective? So the question is what are you going to get from this? Well first of all, it's going to put everything in context for you You're going to really know what's out there, and what people are doing. But more importantly, you're going to get ideas. Steal the good things, I always do. You're borrowing them, you're not stealing them. Don't worry, all right. Quality of content. You're going to see how good their content is out there. How good their marketing programs are, and you can assess and evaluate that. You can push the guys that aren't doin' so well. They're really, they're not very good at this. Push them aside. That's good for you to know. Maybe you don't have to worry about some of the competitors, where others are doin' a great job, and you really need to focus on them, their image and their brand. This is going to help you start to understand their brand out there. Understand what customers are responding to as well. You're going to get a good sense for how much information is out there and what's working. You're going to get a good sense for that because you're going to see more money being spent in that area across all of your competitors. This is going to give you an idea of what customers are responding to. You may not know exactly but these are just some indicators of what they could be spending on. How savvy your competitors are? Like I mentioned earlier, that's important to see how savvy, how marketing savvy are they? And then what I want you to do is create a profile of their overall marketing strategy. Now, let's move onto your marketing mix. I want you to choose your marketing mix based on what your competition's doing, based on what you know about your business, based on what you know works out there, and based on your customer. Very important, what you think your customer is going to respond to. I want you to begin to choose your marketing mix, and this is basically all you're doing, is you're selecting the programs that you think are going to be most effective to market your product or service to create demand. Remember what we're doin'. We're creating demand, that's all we're doing. We want to bring customers to us. We want to be known out there right. And they can't buy from us if they don't know us. So, I want to make sure that you review your marketing objectives first, and the reason is is because I want to make sure whatever you do, is in alignment with your marketing objectives, very important. For example let's say that you're picking marketing activities that are very brand-focused that is building a brand. In fact, when you're a new company, and you're trying to build a brand, it takes a long time to do that. But let's say that's not part of your marketing objectives in the short term. Your marketing objectives in the short term are try to get conversions, try to get customers, try to build your revenue base so you have money to build a brand. That's actually a much better strategy. But yet you don't want to pick programs that are actually focused on building a brand. That's what I mean about being consistent with your marketing objectives. Let's make sure about that. Next I want to make sure you understand the importance of the individual marketing program or activity that you're going to execute to your overall marketing strategy. Do I have to do it? Is it a must do? Is it just important or is it a nice to have. I like to separate them into three buckets. Must do, important, nice to have. And then when you start to get a sense, you'll start to understand how much money, energy and effort you should put towards that marketing program. Have an idea of the percentage of the overall marketing budget that you're going to spend on each program. This is another very important thing as you start to pick your marketing mix, because you've got to put your money where your mouth is. So where you put your money is going to be where you're going to put all your activity and energy and attention. I want to give you a couple of questions to consider now and specifically all around your customer. I want to make sure that you know your customer, because the more you know your customer, the more you're going to know what works for them. Where are they? First question is where are they? Geographically where are they located? That's going to be important. What do they turn to when they're seeking services, when they're when they wanting to get information? Do they go to publications, when they go online? Do they go to events or retail stores? Do they look for experts or thought leaders? Do they go to ask their friends? Where do they go to to get information about products or services? Who's opinion do they trust the most? Maybe it's a family member. Maybe it's friends, maybe it's just social media in general. Maybe they go to experts on YouTube or some other expert, that is at a retail location. Perhaps maybe even an associate or maybe go to a consultant. if they're in the B2B space. Where are they going for that right? What does a typical customer respond to? What are they actually responding to? So giving the example, a wealthy customer may not respond to a coupon. They might respond more to white-glove treatment or something like status, like status on an airline, where they have gold, silver, platinum whatever. That's what a wealthy customer might respond to. You need to understand that. Maybe a less wealthy customer might actually respond to that coupon and cares nothing about status. They care much more about price as an example. What does your customer expect to see from you? What do they want? What is their expectations? If you can understand their expectations about you, you're going to be much, much better and better off. Now, also, how modern is your customer? I like to think of this as if they're a millennial and, you know, millennials, don't use phones as an example, so to speak. I mean, again not to make a gross generalization. But if you're trying to use telemarketing to get a millennial, good luck, right. They're going to respond to something on their mobile device, text, email, perhaps. But an older generation, even my generation, I actually like to talk to people on the phone. I like to talk to people in person right. Very different than the millennial generation. So you're going to talk to me differently than you're going to talk to somebody maybe 20 years younger than me as well. You got to be thinking about those things as you're working through your marketing programs. Now, next step is we want to choose our program. Consider what your competition is doing, as we're choosing our program. We want to make sure we understand the competition. Consider what your customer, what they're going to respond to and considering your overall marketing objectives. Those are the three things that I want to make sure. Competition, your customer and your marketing objectives. If you focus in on those, you're going to be in really great shape.
This course was created by EntrepreneurNOW. We are please to offer this training in our library.
- Setting goals for the acquisition plan
- The role of thought leadership
- Containing sales and marketing costs
- Prioritizing acquisition programs
- Measuring the success of marketing initiatives
- Leveraging social media
- Measuring success via retention