In order to build your business and grow your customer base, you really need a strategic marketing plan. To make the plan effective, make sure to integrate all of your marketing efforts in one overall strategy. Ideally, each tool should play off another. Together they work hand-in-hand, to produce a better return on your investment. The goal of such a marketing plan is to move a potential client through the ten stages that transform them into a “customer for life.” Lifelong customers contribute to business growth. After all, it’s easier to build upon a solid base as opposed to one that’s eroding.
The Six Focus Areas for Strategic Marketing
- Build a Database
- Manage Your Customer Relationships
- Increase Your Web Presence
- Create a Search Engine Presence
- Engage Socially
- Create Quality Content
Build a Database
Your database is the ‘jewel’ of your business. You need to gather and manage contact data from existing customers. You should also include prospects, networking partners, influencers, and even the media. Upload this information to your CRM system. This data is the powerful tool that keeps your business ticking.
Manage Your Customer Relationships
Building customer relationships relies heavily on data collection, data manipulation, and automation. These processes are inherent in most customer relationship management systems (CRM). The CRM system is the center of the “Customer for Life” concept. The whole process automatically moves your customer along the ten key stages in their transformation.
Increase the Strategic Marketing Value of Your Website
Your most important piece of strategic marketing ‘real estate’ is your website. It needs to function smoothly and work well with search engines. The customer experience needs to be positive. Therefore, you need design easy navigation, fast loading web pages, and a mobile-friendly site. In order for the site to contribute to the strategic marketing process, it also needs to manage and track visitation.
Create a Search Engine Presence
All customers begin as leads. Search engine marketing drives interested parties to your website. SEM also targets the most desirable traffic. Increasing traffic is important, but the ultimate goal is cultivating a “customer for life.” Strategic marketing using SEM best practices narrows the field to a certain demographic. This means your advertising dollars are spent on the right people. SEM is a key tactic in any marketing program with growth objectives.
Engaging the Customer is a key ingredient in building “Customers for Life.” In order to establish a relationship with your clients, visit them where they “hang out.” Social media makes a powerful tool in the strategic marketing process. Take advantage of both the inbound and outbound nature of social marketing.
Create Quality Content
Content marketing is one of the most under-utilized and powerful tools in a strategic marketing plan. Keep in mind that both customers and search engines give value to original, informative information. Good content establishes your credibility and separates you from other companies in your industry. Content marketing is more than writing an article. You should incorporate blogs, emails, landing pages, and social posts. Use those different channels to promote yourself as an expert in your field. Keep your customers up to date on what’s happening in your industry. After all, communication with your customers is the key to keeping them.
As you build your strategic marketing plan, take into account these six focus areas and begin your marketing transformation.