If your business is due for a marketing review, or you don’t have a marketing plan then the story of The Flag, The Spy and The Resistance might be the framework you’re looking for. Some business owners know they need to advertise but don’t have the time or inclination. When the salesperson calls with a special to advertise here or there they grab it. They say ‘yes’ not because it fits the marketing plan but because they feel they should be doing something and after all it’s at a price that’s hard to pass up. Now they have to throw together some artwork, an offer and a tagline and just hope it works.
With a marketing plan that considers the whole business you look long term and measure results. Using our framework we start with the ‘Flag’ which is your brand. Like a castle if the flag is flying then we’re in business and this is where customers come to buy. First of all your strategy starts by looking at the existing business operations. Whether you are online, working from a van or a retail store there is a ‘place’ that your customers recognise as your place of business. Developing your brand so that it is consistent and recognisable is step number one. You want to make sure that the ‘Flag’ is flying so potential customers recognise your business and the service and products that you represent. Taking care of home base is an essential part of building a successful marketing strategy.
Growing a business is the goal of any successful business operator. The old saying that ‘maintaining’ is simply slowing the slide is good advice. To move your business forward we need a ‘Spy’ who will take your ‘brand message’ and put it in the right hands to infiltrate foreign soil. Like assessing the traffic going past a billboard on the motorway the Spy component of your strategy looks at print, digital and traditional marketing mediums to see what is the most cost effective solution for promotion. You don’t want to throw money away so you need the right bang for buck from the eyes and ears that will see and hear your message.
Once you have the Flag flying and the Spy is generating brand awareness don’t forget about your customer base. Like a successful war campaign the people in the Resistance movement are the secret to your success. You already know that it is cheaper to keep a customer than to generate a new one. Did you also know that the best quality of customers come from people referred by your present contacts?
Make sure your business story has a happy ending by having a key part of your marketing plan aimed at growing customers from ‘buyers’ to ‘advocates’. Giving your happy customers the resources to refer business to you could be the secret to your success. Use The Flag, The Spy and The Resistance to write the next chapter.
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