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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Wharton

10 marketing actions that will make an impact on your business.

As a busy business leader, founder or CEO you haven’t got as much time as you would like to think about marketing. From my experience working for ambitious business owners and entrepreneurs in the technology sector, some guidance is needed to help demystify different elements of a marketing strategy. Here’s a checklist with 10 key components of an impactful marketing strategy for those moments when you have the opportunity to think about marketing.

10 actions to include in any impactful marketing strategy.
Marketing Checklist

1. Have a growth strategy

When developing a growth strategy you need to think about effective ways to reach new markets, increase customer acquisition and boost revenue. All marketing activity should be aiming to drive growth, whether that be through attracting new business, enhancing the customer experience or strengthening the employer brand. A successful growth strategy needs to be focused and have clear objectives which link back to the overall business goals.

Not sure where to get started with your growth strategy? I would suggest talking to your existing customers who already trust you. Talk to them about their experience working with you and what they think makes your company stand out from the crowd. It's an opportunity to find out if they're aware of your full service offering (which could open up new work streams), and offer insights into how to differentiate your brand. This will directly influence market positioning and go to market strategy.

2. Learn from your competitors

You know who your competitors are or which companies you aspire to be like. Follow their journey to see how they are achieving success. In my experience from working at multiple tech companies, your approach and tactics will be different because everyone is on their own unique path but that’s not to say that you can’t be inspired by their journey.

To get started I would suggest following the company on social media, signing up to their newsletter, taking note of what key stakeholders have to say (maybe if they guest on a podcast have a listen?), and while I’m not saying to copy their tactics, they might have applied for an award you weren’t aware of or have a cool approach to highlighting company culture you hadn’t thought of. All of this information can be used as inspiration for future marketing activity.

3. Research industry trends

One of the biggest challenges is remembering to keep the target audience top of mind and know what key industry trends will appeal to them. It’s understandable wanting to be everything to everyone when you’re so passionate about a product or service. But, you must stay laser focussed on speaking to that target audience about the latest trends and innovations in your market. In my experience, this is really hard for tech companies who offer bespoke cross industry software services and are working with large decision making stakeholder groups.

To get started I would suggest going back to your businesses ideal customer profiles and personas and make sure your marketing is targeted to them. If you haven’t got those, then spend some time thinking about who your ideal customer is. Geography, firmography and industry are really good places to start and then research the challenges or hot topics their industry is facing.

4. Marketing must be data-driven

Any metrics you put in place need to relate back to the business goals. I’ve been in many businesses where metrics aren’t tracked which makes decision making and measuring impact very difficult. For example, the sales cycle might take over 6 months so the data needs to be tracked, maybe in a CRM (or an excel sheet will do if you’re bootstrapping) so you can build a clear picture of the customer journey and decide where to dedicate more time and effort in future.

To get started with new business metrics, I would suggest putting lead source as a non negotiable piece of information in any CRM/data tracking sheet. This can then be directly linked back to specific campaigns or marketing efforts to see what is working and what might need reevaluating.

5. Best in class customer experience

Offering expectational customer experience leads to customer loyalty and advocacy. What’s better than sharing a great case study? When a customer shares it on your behalf! In my experience there has always been more of a focus on new business than existing customers, which blows my mind because data tells us that it’s easier to generate business from existing customers.

To get started, talk to your customers and demonstrate that your company values them. This could be an account manager checking in, celebrating a shared success or inviting them for a drinks reception. You know what the impact is when you feel valued and it's no different for our customers.

6. Thought leadership is vital

Thought leadership is vital because at the end of the day, people buy from people. Show off your people, their talents and the work they have produced. They are the thing that makes your company unique. In my experience there is always someone who has a lot to say in a company about an area of their work. Lean into them. Give them a platform to take some of the pressure off you to help build the brand.

To get started you only need to identify those people. Ask if you can use relevant content on the company channels or create something from scratch if you have the resources. It's great for the individual and company brand and the hope would be that this will then encourage others in the business to give it a try once they see the impact on the individual and the company.

7. Identify your brand positioning

The important question to ask is what does your company do better than anyone else. Is it the product? The people? The processes? Have you got the expertise your competitors don’t have? Are you more nimble and able to deliver faster than bigger competitors? Are value led which feeds into the DNA of your company culture?

To get started I would suggest starting a conversation with your team about what they love about their work, the company and what they think sets you apart in the market. You can use any feedback from customers (past and present) to help you determine your brand positioning and value proposition. If you have any budget to invest then I’d say this is the hardest bit for a non marketer to do so you might want to get some external help.

8. Optimise your content marketing

Your content marketing needs to be informative, educational and reflect your brand to engage your target audience. It’s your shop window for potential customers and as those customers move down the sales funnel, it will reinforce trust in the brand and whether you are the right partner for them. I’ve found throughout my career what the people love is behind the scenes content. Whether that be snapshots from a strategy meeting, wireframe teasers or a demo of some product development. These give a glimpse into your ways of working and tangible outputs.

To get started I would suggest quality not quantity. What can you talk about which your ideal customer will find information? Also, remember to optimise your content. For example, one piece of really good video content can be used in multiple social media posts, potential ad material, blog posts and website content. You can also post it more than once.

9. Marketing and lead generation

Business success relies on a healthy pipeline. Ideally you’ll have the conversion rate data so you know how many leads you need at the top of the funnel and using the lead source data you know where the most successful source for lead conversion lies. In my career I’ve worked for companies who have a 95% inbound lead model and other companies that have 95% outbound lead model and another in the middle. Both approaches have pros and cons, so determine which model works best for your business.

To get started I would iron out a lead nurturing process, and ensure it is clear where the transition of responsibility from marketing to sales lies. Within tech, the sales cycle might take place over a series of months so there needs to be a strategy to nurture the leads and ensure they get converted.

10. Bootstrapping social media marketing

You need to hang out where your customers hang out. Which channels do they engage with the most and start there. You also need to be mindful of how many channels you can realistically maintain. In my experience LinkedIn is the number one choice for the technology sector but for different industries, it might be more fruitful to be on Facebook. On LinkedIn, following specific hashtags for thought leadership inspiration, notify employees when there’s a new business post to engage with and joining groups are great features.

To get started you need a strategy. What kind of content are you going to post and when? What is the objective? Is it to build brand awareness, engage with audiences, generate leads? Whichever is the main objective will dictate what kind of content, including structure and format that you post.

Wrap up

Marketing cuts across new business, customer experience and employer brand. It is a key business function and is integral to growth so I highly recommend setting aside time each week (or day!) for marketing. You will thank me later!

Have you got so much going on in your business that you need some more support building your marketing strategy? I can provide you with the technical expertise, understanding of the industry without the commitment of hiring a full time marketer to get started.


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