When it comes to the basics of marketing strategy, companies large and small tend to share three main challenges: determining where to start, creating specific definitions of success and ensuring that every project is part of the organization’s larger long-term vision.
As Managing Director at 90octane and past president of BMA Colorado, I recently sat on a Denver Startup Week panel about marketing. Most of the questions fell under the following three marketing challenges, which apply to both startups and the larger enterprise organizations that we work with at 90octane.
1) How do you know where to start?
This was the most common question, and one we hear often from clients. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when there are so many ways to market a product or service. Begin by identifying a bright spot: an insight, a piece of strong collateral, a promising product or an especially impactful aspect of the brand. Then, keep building from there. For example, when healthcare software company Trizetto Provider Solutions sought to strengthen brand awareness after a series of mergers, we learned that their old brand was known for impeccable customer service. To leverage that, we made their employees the central focus of the TPS Faces campaign.
2) What does success look like?
Before taking on any marketing effort, it’s crucial to define and agree on clear, measurable definitions of success. Those measures could include a target number of well-defined leads or a website that provides a key audience with a personalized user experience. The latter was one of our goals in a recent project with longtime client Gates Corporation, where we included a compelling, user-friendly website to promote an innovative bicycle component and generate sales.
3) What’s the long-term vision?
Don’t get too caught up in the now. While it’s important to start somewhere, you need to have a vision for where you’re going. Make sure that all of your activities ladder back into your long-term plan. It’s okay for your plan to change – and it should – but having a North Star to guide your efforts is crucial. That’s why we start at the long-term vision. We explore ways of reaching the milestones that lie on the path toward that vision and then identify short-term actions to achieve them. For example, in one campaign for a manufacturing client, we developed a plan for a broad campaign, complete with a creative concept and execution road map. As a first step, we launched one piece of it: paid media targeting one of four audiences included in the larger plan.
Don’t get too caught up in the now. While it’s important to start somewhere, you need to have a vision for where you’re going.
About the Author
Kelly creates ambitious and unique strategies to hit client business goals. She’s passionate about understanding what makes people tick and connecting clients to their top prospects.