Posted on July 21, 2022 by Tricia Davis-Payne Every Business Needs a Marketing Strategy In my experience, there are two truths. You will either fail because you didn’t grow, or you will fail because you grew too fast. In both cases, not having a digital marketing strategy can be tied to the reason a business failed. A marketing strategy allows you to understand why your business exists. Intimately. A Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business Means: You have an identity, your story is documented and you live and breathe that why factor in everything you do. You are adapting your strategy with your growth to make the business efficient, enjoyable, and profitable at all turns, the expected and the unexpected. Consequences are manageable because you have a marketing strategy. While we could spend our time together diving into all the areas of a digital marketing strategy, I am going to focus mainly on the customer — your customer. Here are four tactics you can deploy right now to know and love your customer so your business can get started down the path of building your digital marketing strategy for consistent, strong growth, no matter the size, the competition, or the complications. 1. Know Your Customer My favorite response to the question, “Who is your customer?”: “Everyone, every gender, every age, every income, everything, the world is my oyster.” While you might believe this to be true, the facts are very different. The more important question is: “Who is your ideal customer?” They can be defined, and you can build a demographic profile of them. Doing so will allow you to maximize your equity and get started down the path of growing your business. Distill it down to as many fine details as possible. The work is worth the reward. Who are they, and why does your business solve their problem? There are tools to help you define some details. In Google Analytics you can see how your current website audience breaks down by gender, age and interests. That’s a start. How can you look at this more deeply after you crunch the data? Let’s look at a simple (but competitive) example: coffee. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, I guess you can keep reading. via GIPHY You might be inclined to say “all coffee drinkers are my audience” … Which coffee drinkers are your ideal coffee customers? Do you offer tables and comfortable seating with WiFi? Then work-from-home coffee drinkers might be your ideal jam. Do you offer one-person to two-person seating, or do you have large tables where a small group of three people to four people could come in and enjoy coffee all day while they meet and work? Or both? If your seating isn’t suited for work, then are you targeting groups who are visiting and talking and enjoying time together (e.g., stay-at-home parents or retirees)? Do you have a drive-thru coffee shop? And you can take it even further. Identifying your ideal customer means you are clearly defining your business, your vibe, and all the details. Now you are ready to define who is ideally matched with your offering. Think about the type of coffee you offer. Is it boujee or basic? Do you have other drinks besides coffee? Food options? Is there a vibe you are portraying through the music you’re playing or through your decor? This all helps you define that ideal customer and meet their expectations through the experience you are offering — with coffee … Do you have meeting spaces for larger groups? Places for the kids? Is this adults-only coffee? Define them, and then serve them. Know them. 2. Love Your Customer A business needs to understand how to serve its ideal customer once they have identified them. Even if you don’t have one single customer (yet) or if you have hundreds (or thousands) a month, you need to consider who they are and how your business will love them. All of them, the great ones, the good ones, and the disgruntled ones. Navigate how to approach, engage, experience, and excite them. Even the disgruntled ones. Especially the disgruntled ones. If you are offended by their experience with your business, you will learn from them. This is really important to understand. If someone had a bad experience, at worst they will never return; at best they will tell you WHY. Listen, understand, adapt and change. They still might not come back, but you won’t create a repetitive situation if you are open to being criticized and if you are open to learning and adapting. Your customers are online, some of them here and there, but mostly all day long, all day strong. And they (as we all do) love to share. This is really important to pay attention to every day. Every day. They will find your business, they will cheer it on, or slam it, and I guarantee you that not responding (to the good and the bad) will hurt your business in ways you can’t even imagine or see. Look at social reviews and comments and Google Business Profile reviews. Respond to everything. Pay attention to customers who complain to your staff or send you direct messages online. What can you learn? How can you love everyone — even the distractors? Reviews are important, but they’re not the only ways to love your customers. Are you asking them how they found you? Are you talking to them about how you could better serve them? Are you offering them some kind of reward for returning or sharing your business with others? Are you thanking them for their business? 3. Know Your Customer’s Journey How does that ideal customer find you? When they do, what is their experience like from investigation to purchase? After they purchase, what do they do next? This is the journey. And the journey starts with how they find you. Hopefully, it never ends — if you appreciate the journey and honor it by creating brand champions. Raving fans. If in person, how do they navigate that experience? Do they see your window dressing and walk in? Did they listen to Siri tell them how to get there so they could experience your food, coffee, clothing, parts, widgets, goods, or services based on reviews from your brand champions on Google or social platforms? Did they have a problem you can solve and found their way to you by chance or by intent? Did they google “coffee near me”? Did they have a great experience buying what they found, or did they leave because they couldn’t find what they came for? If they did buy, did they rave about it or complain about it? If they did either, did you interact? Did you respond? This exercise is very much a map. Map it out. How can they find you? (Or how do you want them to find you?) When they do find you, what happens next? Did your employee help them and guide them, and once they made decisions, was the purchase process easy or difficult? After they leave your website or store, do they do anything next? Take a photo and post it on social media? (Do they know how to tag you and interact with you)? Did you incentivize them to return outside of just hoping they enjoyed your product or service? Did you offer them a way to opt into your email marketing where you keep them informed and get them first-come access to the amazing things you do or the knowledge you have that they now trust? 4. Know Where to Engage with Your Customer Channels are avenues to reach your audience. Let’s assume you know your ideal customer. You love them and you know and understand their journey. Now what? How do you reach them? Is it through your Google Business Profile? Social media platforms? Paid advertising? Organic search? Email marketing? How can you reach your ideal customer? There are so many ways. Write them all down. Every single one. Then research them all. Understand which ones are going to be most valuable to your business. Doing everything at once will be exhausting and not as beneficial as if you just decided what to focus on at this moment. What can you do on your own or with your team? What will you need help with? What will it cost if you do need help? What’s your budget? You need to reach the people who have a situation where you have a solution. To be clear, if you don’t know who your people are, you are not loving them. You don’t know the journey they take, and you cannot meet them on any avenue. If you want to be effective at building business equity and growth, you need to meet them on their channel. If you are listening, loving them, and understanding their journey, they will give you the address to meet them at and they will bring all their friends with them. If you are just starting out or have limited funds, there are things you can do on your own, but it will take time. If you don’t have time, but you have a budget (even a small one) you need to invest in the channels that make the most sense based on your budget. Any marketing budget needs to produce ROI. Marketing is an investment; it provides returns. You need to engage a great digital marketing agency to help you. Webfor is here for your business. We treat your business like it’s our own. We build relationships, results, and ROI for all our clients, every single one, large and small. We have a reputation of 13+ years of service — with some clients who have been partnering with us for more than 10 years. We understand strategy and we deliver growth. With a simple form and a click of a button, you can be well on your way to getting the marketing directive you need to grow your business. Get started today. We’re ready to help you grow!