76% of marketers think that the marketing industry changed more in two years than it had in the previous fifty. From mobile and social media marketing to influencers and inbound strategies, we’ve changed the way we find, consume, and spread information in every conceivable way. That’s why our marketing process is so important.
For our marketing to be ultimately effective, we must have a thorough plan in place. We think of the SMART marketing approach.
SMART stands for:
This is just good business sense. It’s also key to showing the effectiveness of our marketing strategies to our investors and shareholders.
For a clear, detailed marketing strategy, a strategic marketing strategy removes the guesswork from broadcasting your brand’s message.
To start, let’s look at what the marketing process is.
What Is A Strategic Marketing Process?
The strategic marketing plan is the overall goals and objectives of all of your marketing activities. It’s a guidebook to keep everybody in your organization on the same page on your marketing goals. It’s also a measure of how your marketing is performing.
The marketing plan will help you:
- Determine the direction and purpose of your marketing
- Identify your business goals
- Assess your marketplace
- Your target audience
- How you’ll reach them
- How you will measure success
The strategic marketing process is how you put your marketing plan into action. The marketing process can be broken down into five steps.
The 5 Steps Of The Marketing Process
The marketing process is a set series of repeatable actions that will help you clarify and attain your goals.
The first step is to identify your company’s mission. A company’s mission statement is their reason for existing.
It’s how you plan to be profitable and stand out in the marketplace. You can’t fully put a marketing plan into practice without fully understanding who you are.
Your mission statement should answer:
- Why your company exists?
- What purpose does your business serve?
- How is your company perceived by the public?
- How does your mission statement unify your organization?
- How does your statement clarify your marketing plan?
Situation analysis is where you analyze the internal and external factors that will impact your business. It helps you to determine your strengths and shortcomings, and the challenges you will face.
Situation analysis lets you know where you stand in the marketplace. It gives you an opportunity to assess your assets, current clients, and the state of your industry.
Situation analysis is often conducted using the SWOT method: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Strengths: Helps you determine what you do well. Assess the elements that are under your control. Identify your unique value proposition (UVP).
- Weaknesses: Identify where you’re not reaching your goals. Shows you what obstacles need to be overcome. Determines areas where additional resources may be needed.
- Opportunities: Helps you to identify untapped markets. Helps you to determine your place in current marketing trends.
- Threats: Helps to prepare for external forces that could get in your way.
Now that you’ve clarified your mission statement and assessed your company objectively, it’s time to implement your marketing plan.
A marketing plan should answer three basic questions:
- How will your customers respond to your marketing efforts?
- How much will you spend on your marketing?
- How will your competition respond to your marketing plan?
The first and most essential thing to keep in mind when building your marketing process is finding your ideal customer.
Identify Your Target Audience
No company can be all things to all people, nor should they try to be. Having a product or service that would please everybody would likely be bland and forgettable. Prospering in today’s business world means finding your niche and prospering.
Creating in-depth buyer personas is integral to give your audience what they need. Companies that use buyer personas are twice as likely to meet their sales’ goals as those that don’t.
To create the best buyer personas to segment your target audience, consider:
- Geography: Different geographic regions have different values and needs. Target your marketing towards specific areas you’re hoping to reach and engage.
- Demographic: The age, gender, income, and occupation of your target audience shapes their needs and define their values. Customize your marketing for each demographic you want to reach.
- Behavior: How does your buyer persona act? When do they make decisions? At what point do they make a purchase? All of these questions will further help fine-tune your marketing efforts.
- Psychology: Defines your customer’s core beliefs and values even more thoroughly. Helps you to identify your customer’s pain points to better solve them.
Without buyer personas in place, we’re shooting in the dark with our marketing process. Targeting your audience personalizes the marketing approach to make your marketing as successful as possible. It’s also an important part of targeting local search, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital economy.
We need to set specific, measurable goals to truly know how our marketing process is performing. If you’re hoping to increase sales, set a specific goal and a time-frame you hope to achieve it.
For a marketing process to truly be effective it must focus on elements that are in your control. This will help you to know if your marketing plan is working and what areas you need to focus on.
Set A Marketing Budget
Your marketing budget should include all operating costs including cost of advertising, creating quality content, branding, public relations, and more. Your marketing budget will help you further refine your marketing goals.
We don’t always have the resources to tackle all of our marketing goals at once. Knowing the resources available for our marketing efforts will help us make those tough marketing decisions.
Decide On Your Marketing Mix
Now that your marketing plan, specific goals, budget, and buyer personas are in place, it’s time to put your marketing process into action.
The marketing mix is based on classic marketing principles known as the ‘4 Ps’. Identifying our product, placement, promotion, and price further identifies our UVP. This is essential for answering our customer’s pain points and problems, to help your tech business to stand out in the marketplace.
The product is what you’re selling, even if it’s a service. To begin, do some market research in your industry.
Identify who will be using your product and what they’re hoping to gain from it. This will help you decide on how you’ll present your product via branding and packaging. It also helps you to identify what’s unique about your product.
Where your product will be available to your customers will have a great impact on your marketing process. Will it be sold in retail stores? Or will it solely be available online? These questions will help tailor your marketing plan and allocate resources accordingly.
Now that you’ve identified the UVP of your product and your customer’s needs, it’s much easier to know how to promote your product. Promotion is where you tell your audience about your product and how it will meet their needs.
There’s a wide variety of ways to promote your brand, including:
- Direct marketing
- Paid search
- Social advertising
- Public relations
- Sales promotions
To better determine how you’ll promote your product, you should ask yourself what networks you’ll be focusing on. Do some market research ahead of time and find out which networks your buyer personas are most active on and put your energies there. Your buyer personas will also give you an idea of the best times to promote your brand.
The price point of your product will also have a great impact on your marketing process. It also includes special considerations like payment periods, discounts, special promotions, and how much it costs your company to produce.
Determining the price of your product will also help identify who your key competitors are, which will further help fine-tune your marketing efforts.
Implementing Your Marketing Process
Here’s the stage where your marketing efforts go out into the world. You’ll begin sending out all of your marketing materials to your direct marketing list and begin reaching out to new customers and clients.
You’ll create detailed content strategies to keep the marketing process on track and determine how you’re meeting your goals. It will also help keep you focused on your key marketing goals. This will help you to use your resources wisely.
Marketing Process For Technology Companies
Now that we have a basic understanding of what a marketing process is and does, let’s look at the specifics of creating marketing plans for tech companies.
Tech is one of the most crowded and competitive markets in the digital economy. It’s even more vital to stand out from the competition, identify our UVP, and make sure resources are being used wisely.
Some specific marketing goals for tech companies include:
- Finding decision makers on the right networks
- Optimizing your sales funnel
- Engaging with your niche or industry
- Illustrating thought leadership
- Identifying influencers
- Broadcasting your UVP
Marketing is becoming even more important than sales, especially for B2B businesses. We need to be even more focused and diligent when creating marketing plans for tech businesses.
Video marketing is one of the best tools at our disposal to help our tech companies stand out in the marketplace.
Make Video Marketing Part Of Your Marketing Process
Video marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies today, especially for tech companies. Research has found that customers want to see more video content from marketers.
It’s also one of the most effective marketing methods at our disposal. In 2015, Adobe found that 51.9% of marketers say video marketing has the highest ROI.
Not everyone has the time to read engaging long-form marketing content that would establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Almost everyone can spare a few minutes to watch an informative, entertaining video, however.
Ten Tips For Creating Great Video Content:
- Tell a story
- Create a compelling title
- Have a good hook
- Focus on the goal, not the product
- Optimize for mobile
- Include your website address in the video
- Optimize for SEO
- Work with a video marketing company
- Don’t forget a CTA!
Technology companies can sometimes seem anonymous, as we solve obscure problems and develop mysterious products that people have never seen before. Video marketing is a way to put a face to what we do. It will help your customers relate and engage with your products and services.
Delighting our audiences is one of the key goals of marketing. It’s an essential step in converting leads into sales.
Creating entertaining, funny, smart, moving video content is like delivering a 4-minute blockbuster to your audience’s inbox. They’ll be thankful for the break in the monotony of their workday and reward you with brand loyalty.
Make It Useful
Your video marketing can’t just be frivolous, however. There must be a need for your video to exist.
Call upon your buyer personas, identify their problems and pain points, and create great video around those issues. They will reward you with praise, loyalty, and becoming brand ambassadors for your tech business.
Similar to the storytelling angle of great marketing videos, testimonials are a way to show real people and how they’ve benefited from your product. Consumer trust is at an all-time low. Testimonials help us restore some of that trust.
You don’t have to be an Oscar-winning actor to create compelling video content. Infographics have been a digital marketing trend for B2B businesses for some time.
Animated infographics are simply the next evolution. Animated graphics give some life to the data-rich Infographic using bright colors and memorable music.
It also helps to make the information more engaging. This will increase the probability of your video going viral.
You should have a better understanding of what the marketing process is and how it will meet your customer’s needs. Attempting a marketing strategy without a marketing plan in place is a waste of time, energy, and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.