If you’ve been reading our blogs regularly, you’ve likely identified your growth strategies (if not, call us and we can help you determine these!). No matter what strategy you’ve chosen, one of your goals is probably to increase the sales of your product or service. In the past, you may have relied mainly on your operational excellence to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you want to be more market-oriented, this will require using differentiation as a tool. And differentiation requires a marketing plan, competitive advantages, strategy, etc.
Once you have determined your competitive advantages, you need to communicate those to the decision-makers and decision-influencers at the companies you are – or want to be – selling to. But, how do you break through the clutter and differentiate yourself from your competitors? Chances are, you’re already spending money on marketing. If you don’t have one cohesive plan to manage all your marketing activities, you may find yourself spinning your wheels, redoing essential tasks and missing chances at new customers and sales. If this sounds familiar, you are probably not leveraging your message to maximum effect, and therefore not maximizing your sales.
A marketing plan can help you answer these questions:
- What’s unique about you? You need to determine your competitive positioning in order to make your company stand out from the rest. What is unique about your company, product or service that will break through the clutter?
- Who is the best decision-maker to see your benefit? You need to determine the best ways to reach your key decision makers and influencers. One size does not fit all. If they’re not on Facebook, for example, creating a Facebook ad campaign will not be effective.
- Who are you trying to reach? Engineers? Purchasing managers? Millenials, GenXers or Baby Boomers? You need to tailor your messaging to your audience. Different audiences respond to different marketing messages, channels, and techniques.
- What strategies and tactics will yield the best ROI? Determine how to allocate limited resources. No one has an unlimited marketing budget.
- How well does your brand communicate your competitive advantages? Remember, branding is more than a logo. It may be time to review and update your branding to ensure it will drive, and not detract from, your success.
- Are they order-takers or salespeople? A marketing plan can help galvanize your sales staff and drive buy-in, helping to ease the transition of implementing a new growth strategy.
The Ady Advantage team has research and marketing expertise geared toward the growth needs of small and medium manufacturers. We know how to brand, communicate and promote your business so that it resonates with your existing and prospective customers. We create actionable plans, including mini marketing plans, to move you towards your growth and sales goals. Whether it’s branding, a website, marketing materials, facility graphics or direct marketing campaigns, we can help you break through the clutter. Contact Janet Ady at 608-663-9218 for a free consultation to see how we might be able to help you.