A Rhetorical Question
The title is, of course, a rhetorical question, but the answer I’ll give is, “Probably not.” Developing a marketing and market research strategy [a.k.a. a well thought out plan] is a critically important task for every business.
However, companies, especially small and midsized firms can easily fall into the trap of using a disproportionate amount of time and resources for strategy at the expense of implementation or other activities. A strong tactical approach can often substitute for an elaborate strategy. Some of the areas typically under valued or at least under resourced are market intelligence [which can come in many forms], market research [not necessarily large expensive studies] and targeted marketing plans and campaigns.
Strategy is a fancy word for planning your marketing approach. Keeping it simple but directive helps to move your efforts from cerebral to action. Here is a checklist of critical questions to address as part of this process.
Seven Critical Questions
1. Can you describe what your company does in 140 to 160 characters or less? This is the new “pitch” parameter.
2. What do you want most from your marketing program? Are you building personal awareness, promoting your credibility as an expert, creating a sales pipeline, maintaining a loyal following?
3. Thinking about your target market or audience, how do they use social media?
4. Now, please describe your perfect customer: What does the person or company profile look like?
5. Describe your brand, that is, what defines you what is your value proposition?
6. What market intelligence needs or questions do you have?
Would you like to know what your customers and/or prospects are thinking – get in their heads?
7. How will you measure success?
Answering these questions is a good first step toward developing your business strategy. However, as stated, sometimes you don’t need a complicated strategy. A set of well conceived tactics that fit together is a plan that can get you started. Thus, while I always tell business owners to Plan the work – I also tell them to Work the plan – nothing is written in stone!
Social Media TIP: Always Start Networking When You Don’t Need To!
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