Ducks exude smart marketing: composed and graceful to the outside world with all their hard-work and effort kept below the water, behind the scenes. Godzilla typifies bad marketing: heavy-handed, habitual and destructive.
When you hear smart in business, it often refers to the acronym associated with setting goals. But smart marketing starts way before that. Smart marketing is a science not an art. It’s not quite as formulaic as maths or chemistry, but there are clearly defined steps to work through to give your marketing efforts a better chance of success. Smart marketing means truly understanding who you are and what you want to achieve, knowing your customers at a subconscious level, appreciating the range of competitors you face, and being objective enough to use all that insight to speak to your customers in their language.
Here are my four top tips to become more duck.
- Smart marketing means being self-aware.
It’s time to do a little self-reflection. You should know your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as that of your colleagues, if you have them. Take a few personality tests to understand what type of person you are and what makes you tick. Myers-Briggs is great for an all-round personality type and Belbin is great for team work.
This may sound obvious, but when you understand your goals, you’re better equipped to meet them. If you aren’t clear on what your goals are, define them now. That way all your marketing activities can be planned to meet those specific goals and their effectiveness can be measured appropriately.
Regarding your products and services, can you clearly and concisely describe in 30 seconds what you do, why you do it, and how the customer benefits? Are there complementary services you can offer, or do you need to reign in an excessively large range? Don’t be afraid to cull your offerings to better meet your ideal customer’s needs.
- Smart marketing understands what keeps your customers awake at night.
What are your customers’ age, gender, location, hobbies, buying habits and shopping preferences? Do other people influence their buying decision, and if so, do they need a slightly different message?
Understanding how these traits feed into your customers’ subconscious enables you to figure out what keeps them awake at night. It’s your job to position your product or service so that it solves your customers’ insomnia.
- Smart marketing recognizes different categories of competitors.
It’s important to know who you are up against so you can benchmark and see where you fit. Competitors aren’t just people that offer similar things: they are also the different options your customers can choose. For example, Green Street Marketing’s competitors fall into four categories:
- Other marketing consultants
- Internal marketing functions
- Informal marketers (like you, and other small business owners)
- Doing nothing
When you think about your categories of competitors, work out what makes you the better alternative so customers will want to buy your services instead of someone or no-one else’s.
- Smart marketing matches your USPs to your customers’ needs.
Your single purpose is to convince your customers that your products or services will solve their sleepless nights. You do that with your unique selling points (USPs). Knowing what makes you unique or better (or ideally both) than your competitors, gives you a starting point to create your marketing message(s). Your USP could be experience, a product you make, your people, a world-first…It can be anything, with the right supporting message.
If this feels a little overwhelming, get in touch with Green Street Marketing and we’ll help turn your ambitious growth plans into manageable, meaningful marketing.