Successful marketing occurs at the intersection of Content, Audience, Strategy and Execution or C.A.S.E.
Are you on the C.A.S.E for your company’s marketing efforts? By not addressing each of these components, because you’re too busy or lack resources, your business ultimately pays the price.
When the tough get going, and business gets busy, the tough might forget to market. However, when the going gets tough, and business slows down, they’ll wish they’d been marketing all along. But if you’re marketing without a plan for your brand, you may find it very tough going indeed – remember the C.A.S.E. pointers to keep you on track.
Getting on the Marketing C.A.S.E.:
Your custom content should not be a pitch for your business (that’s inherent in your publication, distribution and promotion of your content). Instead, creating custom content (blog posts, articles, whitepapers, videos) that is helpful, valuable and relevant to your customer serves to increase trust in, and build credibility for, your business.
The “voice” or style of your content is important and should be reflective of the “personality” of the business. It’s your experience, the issues you’ve solved, your opinion or “take” on an issue that tell your customer who you are and what they can expect from doing business with you. We all read content that seems like it could show up on the website of any number of businesses – it’s not personal to the business and does little to distinguish a business from its competitors.
The platform on which your content appears will also affect the content format – whether your content will show up on your website, as a blog post or in an email newsletter, as part of your social media profiles, in a SlideShare presentation or as a webcast…will dictate the types of content you create, publish and promote. As an example, are you using content that will only be suitable to work using a certain platform such as blog articles? Perhaps you’d want to use content that can be published on multiple sources, such as an explainer video or something similar that you can post on a website, blog, in an email, on your business social media accounts, etc.
Don’t waste your time creating content if you don’t know who you’re talking to. Spend the time to define your audience; create a customer profile which includes characteristics like:
- Type of business or industry
- Business size
- Wants and needs
- What media do they access or how do they get their information?
- Do they have the budget for your product or service?
- Can you connect with the buyers and decision makers?
- Would they buy from you?
Accessing customer and sales data, getting feedback from sales staff, reviewing past marketing efforts for effectiveness and interviewing customers…all are ways to determine who the ideal customer is for your business and thus who you want on the receiving end of your sales and marketing efforts.
Undertaking a marketing program without assessing your available time, money and personnel resources or before determining what it is you hope to achieve (New customers? More business from past or existing customers? Greater brand awareness?) is like taking off on a cross-country trip without a road map (or GPS). You’ll probably get lost along the way.
Identifying the ideal customer you’d like to access, how they will best be reached and the resources you have at hand, will help you evaluate which marketing channels can most effectively be utilized. You can select from a print or online advertising campaign, content marketing, social media, print collateral, podcasts or webinars, speaking engagements…the options are almost endless. In fact, you’ll probably craft a marketing mix – some combination of channels.
Once your content voice, format, topics and platform are defined, you’ve profiled your audience, developed a marketing strategy, determined a budget and timeline, and appointed in-house personnel or have outsourced the program, it’s time to execute.
The most important factor when it comes to marketing? A commitment to undertake marketing efforts on a consistent basis. Posting a blog post every week, distributing an enewsletter at least once a month, posting social media updates several times per week, running quarterly ads, delivering a presentation or webinar once a month…whatever your strategy, it is only successful when it’s consistent – both in tone and time.
Marketing is tough but having a slow business is even tougher. Make your C.A.S.E. for marketing, it’s the proven way to win business.
Need help making your C.A.S.E. for marketing? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert. She is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog. Martha has written about branding and marketing for Business Week, Business2Community, Yahoo! Small Business, LinkedIn, Technorati, BuiltinLA and Alltop.com.