Marketing is crucial for technology SMBs. However, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. These are the steps to help you create your strategic marketing plan. Did you ever play a game of cards and discover that you were missing some? It’s possible that you played with a full deck of cards if you didn’t count the cards before you started. It is possible to lose if you miss a few cards.
The Marketing Toolkit for MSPs is a member-only resource that contains more than 90 pages of content, 15 complete examples, and customizable templates.
This step-by-step guide was developed by CompTIA Education and shows solution/service providers how marketing can be used to compete in their market and grow their business in these ways:
Marketing audit
Creating customer personas
Enhance your value proposition
Setting marketing goals
The right marketing strategies
Measuring the return on marketing investment
Conducting a marketing audit
An audit is the first step in any marketing strategy. This is where you should have counted your deck of cards before you began playing. Start by reviewing your marketing assets and current efforts. This includes your website, social media accounts and printed materials. It also includes your presence at events. To get a better understanding of your current activities, gather all this information in one central spreadsheet. This will allow you to identify what’s working and what might not, and what is missing.
Creating Customer Personas
You may feel that you are ready to implement new strategies after the marketing audit is completed. You’ll need to do more research if you want to build a plan in the right way. This time, we’re talking customer-centricity. This approach allows you to focus your marketing campaigns by putting your customers’ needs and wants first. Your audience will be able to relate to you if they have customers personas. This is done by mapping out the different types of customers you have and how they interact with your business.
Strengthening Your Value Proposition
You can see your competitive advantage when you think from the perspective of your customers. What are you able to offer that other providers don’t? Are you able to offer customized solutions, customer service, pricing, expertise, or something else? Once you have identified your value proposition, you are well on your way to creating it. Your value proposition is the central part of your marketing efforts. Ask yourself, “What makes me unique?”
Marketing goals
After you have completed your audit, created your customer personas, and crafted your value proposition, it’s time for you to set some goals. Marketing goals can be compared to a service level agreement (SLA). These are your expectations to ensure you can stay focused on the results that you want. The first step is to decide what you want. Next, align your objectives with the company goals and the various stages of the sales cycle.
The Right Marketing Strategies
Marketing tactics are where rubber meets the road. They are how you will achieve the goals you have set. There are many marketing strategies available these days. But which one is right for you? Consider your budget and marketing goals. Next, consider whether your approach will be used in a wide area network or a local area network (LAN). Some tactics are broad, mostly to increase brand awareness and credibility. Some tactics are more targeted, such as when you want your audience take a specific action (e.g. register for an event or pick up the phone)
Measuring the Return on Marketing Investment
You can use performance metrics to determine which tactics are most cost-effective and which ones need to be removed from your marketing strategy. What does your return on marketing investment (ROMI), mean for your marketing strategy? Here’s a hint: If it’s below 100%, it’s time for a re-evaluation. Here’s how to calculate ROMI:
[(income from advertising – cost of goods- marketing expenses) / marketing expenses] x 100
If ROMI is less than 100 percent, the investment should be carefully scrutinized, finetuned, or removed. It’s important to track leads and online activity in order to calculate ROMI. Customer satisfaction and retention are also important.
CompTIA will help you elevate your marketing game
Marketing is a science in the digital age. Focus your research.