In one of my previous posts, I talked about the importance of having a business plan when starting a fashion business. In this week’s post, I will discuss why a business plan needs the right marketing mix to achieve results fast.
I’ve said this before and I will repeat it again and again – a marketing plan won’t guarantee your success. Execution will. There will be instances in your business journey where you’ll have to tweak and deviate from your original roadmap to find shortcuts when opportunity presents itself. To do that, you need to choose the right marketing mix.
First and foremost, when you choose the right marketing channels to focus your attention and resources on, you are cutting out the clutter. For example, if Competitor A has a fancy Facebook page, it doesn’t automatically mean that you have to have one too. Maybe Pinterest will work better for you. Or maybe you should build a stronger email marketing system. It’s a case to case basis.
Second, I’ve noticed that after entrepreneurs have stretched themselves too thin trying to be everywhere, they get burned out and they don’t do many things well. They struggle and then they realise they have drained their marketing budget after throwing advertising money here and there without any real results.
So, how do you make sure that any of these won’t happen to you? Here are the steps you can follow to create the perfect marketing mix for your business.
Step #1: Pinpoint your target market
Target market identification is fundamental – a good marketer knows who the customers are and where to find them.
Right now, you probably have an idea who you want to sell your products to but just to make sure that you are on the right track, spend a few days on research. Speak to your best customers and find out where they spend most of their time. Are they active on Instagram? Facebook? Or Pinterest? Which online magazine are they subscribed to? Do they read fashion blogs? If yes, which ones?
By asking these questions, you will not only be able to focus on the platforms where your ideal customer hangs out but also gives you an idea what type of content she consumes.
Step #2: Understand owned and borrowed assets
Think about it, if your whole business is built on a Facebook business page, just imagine what will happen if Facebook suddenly decides to take down all of its business pages?
The reality is you have no control over third-party platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These social networks can do whatever they want with their systems and those connections that you have built and nurtured are actually theirs, not yours. So, what should you do?
In my experience, building owned assets is the priority. Think of your website, email newsletter, and blog as your foundational marketing platforms and the rest are just borrowed. Invest in high-quality website design, create a content strategy, and educate yourself how email marketing works.
Step #3 Leverage your marketing strengths
Let’s face it, if you are a growing company you can only do so much. And if hiring a full-time marketing staff is not an option yet, it’s never a bad idea to rely on your talents.
There are certain types of media that you may not be familiar with and some that you might probably good at. For example, if you are an engaging writer, add blogging as a marketing priority. However, if writing is not your strongest suit and you have an eye for photography, create an Instagram marketing strategy.
Remember, it’s good to have a mix of different platforms but it’s more important to focus on the quality of content you give to your consumers.
Step #4 Consolidate
At this point, you probably have a few things in mind to start with but how do you know if these are the right ones?
It’s easy. Take a step back and revisit your marketing objectives. What are your top 2?
Below are examples of common marketing objectives and their corresponding platforms:
- SEO visibility = Website/Blog
- Consumer education = Blog / videos
- Website traffic = Pinterest/Facebook
- Branding = Instagram
- Subscribers = Website / Email Newsletter
- Community building = Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram
With this step, you can easily identify your success metrics and monitor them by creating a simple dashboard using a spreadsheet.
Add two marketing channels (on top of your website and blog) that make sense with your top objectives and create the most valuable content possible for these channels.
Focus on creating super helpful content that your customers will love to share.
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