Strategic Marketing is like Planning a Trip

Creating a marketing strategy is like planning a trip.  You have to know where you are and where you’re going before you can even BEGIN making a plan.

In my recent post Strategic Marketing Is Like Planning a Vacation, I wrote:

The first step of creating your marketing strategy is deciding where you are and where you want to ultimately be.   In this case, its as simple as you’re in NYC and you want to get to Miami.

Creating a marketing strategy CAN be just that easy.  However, creating a marketing strategy gets VERY difficult if you don’t know where you are (NYC) or where you want to go (Miami).

Notice how more more difficult planning your vacation becomes when you change the scenario above to read, “I live where it’s cold and I want to go somewhere that’s warm!”

So the first step in planning your marketing strategy is to determine where you are and where you want to be.  (Again, this SOUNDS a lot easier than it actually IS.)

Let’s go back to the “NYC to Miami” trip scenario.  In planning your trip, you have several options of how you’ll get from NYC to Miami.  You can:

  1. Walk
  2. Take the Train
  3. Take a Bus
  4. Drive yourself
  5. Take a Boat
  6. Take a Plane

So the first decision you’ll make as you plan your trip is basically one of whether you’ll make the trip by land, air or sea.

Notice how If you’re heading from NYC to Miami, then all of these are viable options.  However,  if you’re in Alaska and wanting to find warmth on the Serengeti Plain, then some of these travel arrangements are not viable options to get you where you want to be!

Internet or online marketing is just ONE way to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Using online marketing may very well be the be the fastest, quickest and easiest way for you to take your business from where it is to where you want to be but it’s not the ONLY way to travel.  If online marketing is the “taking the plane” in our trip planning analogy, then be aware that taking the plane is only faster if you can get a direct flight and unless you plan WAY ahead, it’s definitely not the the least expensive method of travel.

I’ve got a client how has recently “returned” to the fold.  While we were working together, I kept hearing all about her “business coach” who is in name her “business coach.  In practice however, he’s a Make Money Online coach.   During the last month we worked together, I kept hearing, ” But, that’s not how my business coach says I should do it!”

So when her budget got too “tight” to continue working with me, I wasn’t surprised.  However, I WAS surprised when she contacted me via email a while ago, asking for help.

Because her coach is a MMO kind of guy who specializes in making the MINOR SALE, her “business coach” is all about Squeeze Pages.

Don’t get me wrong, a squeeze page is a great marketing tool – but expecting a squeeze page to magically attract loads of traffic is just not realistic.  Using it to try to make MAJOR SALES is definitely a case of using the wrong tool for the wrong job.

If you’re selling a product that only appeals to bloggers – such as the 8 Week Power Blog Launch – then your marketing methods are going to have to be web based.

On the other hand, if you’re selling a product that appeals to people who don’t spend 8 – 10 hours a day on the web,  then you probably should expand your marketing and advertising efforts BEYOND the web.

In the client above’s case, she LOVES performing.  Her limited funds combined with her inability to grasp the difference between an email and a web page make the web a REALLY poor choice of marketing vehicle for her business.  Instead,  I suggested she begin doing free seminars in her community to promote her business.  There are plenty of people who aren’t on the web in her home town who would LOVE to take advantage of her services if only they knew she was offering them.  However, she’s been sitting at home, waiting for her website and subsequent “squeeze” pages to deliver clients to her while her savings dwindle.

Contact your local radio station or television station rep and ask for a rate card.   You might be surprised how “affordable” offline advertising can be.  (Try running a PPC campaign and you’ll see how EXPENSIVE online marketing can get!)

If your prospective customers aren’t spending all their time on the web, maybe you shouldn’t put all of your marketing and advertising eggs in that basket either!

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kathy. I couldn’t agree more. I am planning a Christmas promotion for my business that will involve either writing an article for a local newspaper, and/or being interviewed by them. I know for a fact that a lot of my potential customers don’t even know what a blog is. Most of my friends’ eyes glaze over when I mention blogging.

    Davinas last blog post..Blog Action: Pass The Change, Be The Change

  2. Kathy says

    Davina,

    A lot of people don’t know what a BLOG is, even when they’re reading one!

    Now is definitely the time to be planning a Christmas promotion! Don’t forget to contact other media outlets in addition to your local newspaper.

    My son is the kicker for his hs football team. His kicking coach contacted the local television station and they did a “piece” on his kicking school – think 3 minute advertisement for his business. However, because his business is “unusual”, the television station did a story on it!

    YOU GO GIRL!

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