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What is Marketing Strategy?

One component of Business Strategy
Be small, think big, act huge: sustainability
Have a Missi...
Mission Statement

Vision Statement


A Mission statement talks about HOW you will
get to where you want to be. Def...
Profitable growth through superior customer service,
innovation, quality and commitment.

Ameren's mission is to generate ...
By creating value for our customers, we create value
for our shareholders. We use our expertise to create
What is Marketing Strategy?



Does every action move you along?

The 4Ps

Contain Tactics
Operate within the Strategy
Develop a Basic Marketing Strategy

Can be short
Must answer strategic questions

Common mistakes
A story
What is it?
Why is it important?
The power of having a USP
How to guarantee a good brand
QA & Break!

Bigger = better?
Audiences, Markets, Segments
Research and Measuring

Are you ready?
You can fail at success
If you can’t measure it…
Traditional Marketing

What is it?
Pros & Cons
What About Experiential?
Digital Marketing

Why Bother?
(Potential) Strategic Components
Pick your Digital Battles
Day One
Day 2
Digital Marketing

Do I need a Website?
What you need to consider
Website/design building blocks
Digital Marketing

SEO? SEM? Content? Adwords?
Is it all about Google?
Dealing with web traffic
Digital Marketing

What should it cost?
What platform should I choose?
What should it look like?

Extra! Extra! Read all about… what?
Managing your DM lists
DM and newsletter tools

When to, and when not to DM
Marketing automation?
A brief note on email…
QA & Break!
Social Media

Social what?
Are you ready for SM?
Some known dangers of social
Social Media

What is Social Media Marketing?
Linking social with traditional/digital
Social Media

What platforms are available
Using Social Media effectively
Social Media

Social “Netiquette”
LinkedIn is your best friend
Final Thoughts
• Branding is perception is reality.
• Be small, think big, act huge. Plan for success.
• Having a USP mean...
Day Two
Business Development and Marketing Strategy: A Short Course for Entrepreneurs
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Business Development and Marketing Strategy: A Short Course for Entrepreneurs


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These are materials I developed for a short 2 day course on the basics of business strategy and how marketing strategy fits into it, dealing with digital, traditional and new (social) media and all the nuances facing entrepreneurs today. A simple deck that some may find useful, feel free to use as you see fit, and any comments or suggestions are welcome.

A lot of it is simply based on my own experience, knowledge, and opinion, it's not meant to be a definitive guide top success (no such thing exists!).


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  • 1) Welcome to Day 1.Introductions, about each other, why is this important etc. .Background, explain why you have an understanding of this market and audience.What do you want to do afterwards; why are you here? Where will this course take you? 3/6/9 year plan?Course is interactive, so your own notes and takeaways are more important than the slides (or my voice!)
  • 2) What is Marketing Strategy? A.k.a. “THE PLAN”Marketing strategy is only 1 part of your business strategy.What is your plan? Why are you here? What are your goals? What is important to you? What does success look like?This Business Strategy should include (among others) your: operational strategy, financial strategy, growth strategy, and even your exit strategy. You should never define a marketing strategy without a business strategy, because it is only one part of what will make your business successful, or a failure – it is not the only aspect, and it is intrinsically dependent on, and supportive of other strategic actions and decisions.There are many resources available that explain how to develop a small business strategy. These should be read, or at least known. Subscribe to magazines, read case studies that apply to your goals and market, and become familiar with best practise and worst practice.This section of the course focuses on marketing as a part of the business strategy, and the tactics used to execute a marketing strategy. Elements of business strategy will mix in with marketing as a natural component, but as we move through the course, the 2 areas start to define themselves, because…Marketing strategy does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within the confines of your business, and your business is the resources it has – human, financial, geographical, social… once you grasp these and define what you can and can’t control and thus manage, the 2 areas start to become distinct. Marketing Strategy is (usually) based on Realities; Business Strategy on (expected) Probabilities.THE IMPORTANCE OF BE SMALL, THINK BIG, ACT HUGE:“Plan, imagine, start, and run your business as if it’s the next Apple/Ford/Starbucks“. This takes time, but opens you up to the realities of what it takes to be “sustainable”.Too many organizations go into a reactive mindset when difficulties or opportunities come along because they haven’t developed an effective business strategy to deal with unforeseen events. This exacerbates the problem or creates missed opportunities or loss of money, and makes you inefficient.Developing this strategic, longer-term mindset also forces you to look at your business from many angles: What if my partner leaves tomorrow? What if there’s a flood? What if there’s massive demand? What if I can’t afford my lease? What if I need to hire more people? What if someone gets injured or bitten? What if someone wants to buy into the business? A good business strategy will not answer these questions, but it will provide the framework and rules and considerations that guide you to making the best decision.So let’s talk about the concept of a Mission and Vision Statement (brand manifestos). Yes these are important. They are outputs of strategic thinking attached to tangible, task-driven statements.Most are ethereal and abstract. Rather, like most goals, they should be S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. But you don’t need to state these, just know them and have actions and strategy to make them reality.The same applies to Marketing Strategy, on a more focused level, so we will elaborate a bit on what they are and why they are still important.
  • 3) Mission StatementsA Mission statement is HOW you will achieve your Vision. A Mission statement talks about HOW you will get to where you want to be. It defines the purpose and primary objectives related to your customer needs and team values. It defines what you are here to do, while your Vision is your future hopes and dreams – but they should still be realistic enough so that if someone says “how will you achieve that” you simply say “with my mission statement”. Then if they ask further questions, you produce… your strategies!Think about:What do you do?How you do it?Why/for who you do it?What value do you bring (USP)?But… we haven’t yet answered the question – WHAT IS A MARKETING PLAN or MARKETING STRATEGY?
  • Bad and Good Mission statements shown above.
  • Bad and Good statements above – do you know who these 2 companies are? (Volvo, Google).
  • 4) What is (Marketing) Strategy?It’s how you get from Point A, to point B. The same approach used to describe basic strategy – it could be thought of as moving from “A5” to “B5” in you overall strategic quest to go from “A1 to B10”Point A is today. Point B is what we chatted about during our introduction (why are you here, what do you want to do and achieve? It is NOT your Vision – a Vision outlasts most strategies.).What tactics you will use. What decisions will you make. What people and financial resources will you employ? Will you use Facebook, twitter, or Instagram? Newspapers, radio, flyers? Will you call on big data to answer target market demographic questions, will you run surveys? Will you pay close attention to competitors? Will you develop or create a niche? It’s everything you do in your quest to get from A to B.That sounds simple but remember it means also that everything you do in your marketing life – every tweet, every invoice, phone call, memo, update, advert, interaction must somehow facilitate that move from A to B. As we go along and talk about brand you’ll see how that comes together and how important it is, but also how simple it is if you can get into the right marketing and branding mindset. SMALL, BIG, HUGE!SIDE NOTE: “Know what you need to know” to run your business properly. You are taking time to do this course to learn basic and advanced hands-on skills. However, there are others. I cannot tell you what they are. They may be computer programs, they may be accessing resources, or simply reading certain publications. But you need to be able to recognise your weaknesses or missing pieces in your skills toolbox – if you ever find yourself saying “I’m sure there’s a better way to do this” or “I wish I could do this” – find it, learn it, apply it.So that really is a marketing strategy. It defines how you will get from today, to tomorrow or next week or next year. It defines why you spend money and why you employ people. A business exists to create money, and today that has to involve a marketing effort, so your strategy defines how you will invest scarce resources – Economics 101 is still the basis of most entrepreneurial endeavours.BUT a marketing strategy can change within, or outside of business strategy. You have to be reactive to market demands and sometimes the path from A to B simply has to be shifted.AND THIS DEFINES THE IMPORTANCE OF A MARKETING STRATEGY: While it’s very easy and sometimes even seems the better option to just “get on with the business”, if you haven’t sat down and defined your marketing strategy (as part of your business strategy), you won’t know how or why you are doing what you are doing. Simple. Everything will be reactive, and based on guesswork, and unmeasured. And if it’s not measured and benchmarked, you risk repeating the same mistakes and inefficiencies over and over again.Let’s quickly have some examples – and this won’t be the first time I apply the WHY test, but let’s ask:(Student, give example of their business endeavour. Ask what their first aspect is to market it. WHY… etc. Analyse the impact, measurability, inefficiencies and so on) What will be in place before this activity? The point is to nail it down to a strategic direction that motivated the marketing activity – if not, then your activity MAY NOT BE strategic. Or, it may be completely Strategic! Run with the input.
  • 5) Are you matching your customers’ needs? Do we even know them?Think of having a marketing strategy as a recipe. You’re baking a cake, and you think you have all the ingredients… or do you? We’ve already assumed we have them!We may not know who our customer is. What their budgets are. What animals they have. Their exposure to media. We have no information, we have no recipe, we have no data.Obviously we can’t assume or expect to just “have” that information on Day 1, but the next best thing is at least to measure our results and apply then to a strategy, so that we can see what works and what doesn’t.This forms the premise of understanding our competitors, target audience, target market, and the essential ingredients that make for successful marketing. And this means RESEARCH. Research, both soft and hard, cannot be overvalued. Freakonomics: The Information Advantage – having an understanding or knowledge more than the person (competitor, customer, vendor) across from you makes you far more able to get from them what you need.EXAMPLE: Your business strategy, all rolled up, says that you will offer the most luxurious dog grooming services in BC. We’re talking bathed in milk and Cocoa Butter massages, starting price per dog is $250. You’ve invested, and you’ve made sure you can deliver. Your mission statement is clear and states how you will grow the business by never disappointing 1 single customer and run a strict VIP system for exclusivity. You Vision is to have many small branches which all match your level of passion. So where do you go with your marketing strategy…? What must it take notice of? How and who must it reach? Do you think flyers will work? What about print ads? Radio? Social media? What about club discounts, VIP programs, Groupons? Direct mail? How should your online presence appear to the world? There are dozens of options, each with tactics and options, which constitute the Marketing strategy, which all should be leading you from A to B. And they all (usually) fit into…The Marketing Mix, the “4Ps”, the basic components of a marketing strategy.
  • 6) The 4 Ps of MarketingWelcome to the 4 Ps. The 4 pillars of marketing strategy, which contain tactics we will discuss as we move forward.PRODUCT/SERVICE: What it is, it’s history, its competitors and competitive landscape (a major topic beyond scope). What makes it different - or is it? Does it even need to be? This is often where people fail; they think they know their product, and they do, but not through the eyes of a consumer, or a user, or a potential consumer, or a competitor. Take time to think along these lines. These are the foundations behind your product tactics. (Arm & Hammer baking soda for example). Unfortunately you need to remember that your product or service may be the absolute best, but still fail or flag. Then you need to ask yourself why, rather than EVER blame the marketplace.PRICE: This is actually the easiest think for many to settle on because it’s hard data. Numbers. What can you afford? What can the market afford? In some instances you won’t have flexibility, but in other instances you may have constructed your entire business around offering a price that justifies and sustains being higher or lower than the competition. Look at Kwik Cuts versus Toni & Guy. Are they really different? No, but can they justify vastly different pricing? Yes. A warning against going in high… it’s a long and painful way down. Most successful businesses I know started off too low and just picked it up. Those that went in “premier league” almost always failed, unless they had massive marketing budgets (Dre. Beats example – but even that was temporary. Apple is on the same curve, just slower.). AVOID niche costing models. They are far too difficult to manage or sustain for a startup with high volume, low cost products/services.PLACEMENT: Applies to retail space here… so seems irrelevant? Where do you offer your services? Where did you set up shop? Is it convenient? Will you do out-calls? Will you deliver/collect? Are you mobile? This also applies to the competitive landscape – who else is doing the same or similar nearby? What are the demographics and psychographics and social aspects of your chosen geographic coverage area? Does it all make sense? Does it “feel” right? More importantly, have you done the research?PROMOTION: This is the “classic” marketing component. How do you make people aware of what you do? If you imagine all your competitors on a shelf, how do you make a buyer say, “I know this one” or “I like this one” – knowing is just as important as liking, by the way. No-one ever bought an invisible brand! Promotions run on campaigns, and these campaigns can actually spread into the other 3 Ps. For example, a special on baked beans, that’s a 20c off coupon in the Burnaby Safeway has all 4 components in it – but once again that’s usually retail and high volume items. Smaller, and especially service based companies, concentrate on 1 or 2 aspects per campaign, each with a set, strategic goal. The easiest way to think of the Promotion portion are markdowns, premiums or freebies, discount packages, limited time offers, product packaging, and those temporary measures to get a product off the shelf.A warning against over-promotion – it works for only a few… (this plays back into avoiding niche pricing models).Always think of the negative side of promotion. As always, a promotion must support your strategy; your “A to B”. If it takes a step towards B, great. If you are planning on using it to carry you all the way from A to B, that’s not a promotion, that’s a strategy, and probably a bad one too! (The Brick, Visions etc. even Value Village!).Think about Groupon… Onespout etc. We will discuss these discount tactics later.So let’s look at a few examples of 4Ps playing into strategy using our elite dog service from before…PRODUCT – gets complicated…. And expensive. Supply? Shelf life? Accommodations and facilities? Tours? Special orders?PRICE – We know it’s premium, but how much is premium? What is the closest going rate (all over the country)? How much does the dog cost? What’s the local and macro economy doing?PLACEMENT – Maple Ridge vs. North Van? Think carefully about your answer. Expensive to relocate or expand too.PROMOTION – This dives into tactics we use as part of, and to support, our communications strategy, which we discuss in the next section of branding. This is what I’ve said before – specials you run, VIP or loyalty programs, handing out flyers, doing a direct mail campaign, skywriting – they are TEMPORARY and designed to create a TEMPORARY LIFT – sustaining it is not part of the promotion, your strategy should take care of that.A brief word on AWARENESS – There is such a thing as an awareness campaign, but it still should be a part of a defined, measurable campaign within the strategy. These apply more to retail CPG, but get inside buyers’ heads for a REASON! WHAT are they to become aware of exactly? What’s the point? Starting out this is important, but it’s also quite easy to do. What next? So what? Think about the message. Once again this falls into the communications and branding part of things as well. Basically don’t say “I wish everyone knew about me” – say “I wish everybody knew that I… because…. So that…. .” Awareness campaigns also are best left to big budgets.Classic example of good messaging badly done – Radio ad for Rib Restaurant in Surrey (announces restaurant right at beginning of ad, then arouses interest and desire, but does not restate the name of the restaurant, so they are forgotten and listeners don’t even know who the advertiser was – discuss others).
  • 7) A 5 MINUTE EXERCISE: Develop a basic marketing strategySettle on a fictitious company that is relevant.Define a simple mission and vision.Get the 4Ps in place.Align all of the above with some sample tactics (we shouldn’t really be looking at these yet – classic strategy avoids tactics for as long as possible but they make strategy decisions tangible).Place your tactics into specific marketing “tactical buckets” – e.g. Communications, retention, awareness, growth, stimulation etc. – “WHAT WILL THIS TACTIC DO FOR ME AND MY CUSTOMERS?”You now have a selection of strategic communication objectives.Check – do they align with/support our vision, mission, and business objectives?If YES, great, if NOT, why? What should change? Go back…You now have the basic working and executable components of a marketing strategy.COMMON MISTAKES (just a few):Thinking tactics before strategy!Not going back to ensure tactics support strategy (A to B).Not ensuring marketing strategy supports business strategy, mission, and vision.Making a plan too long – think realistically about your budget, timing, knowledge of market, market stability etc. to start up, 6-12 months is usually good. Too little makes you reactive and inefficient. Too long becomes too presumptuous, stagnant and wasteful.Not executing.Deviating from activities that will DEFINITELY move you from A to B (you may discover new ones or trash ineffective ones, but write these into your strategy).Concentrating on one tactical area (common when business is erratic, starts to slip out of control and off course).Not assigning resources to execute the strategy!Come up with your own… (discuss).
  • 8) Modifying a crib is like running a business… explain the story.Story background: Shortly after my daughter’s birth, I noticed my wife struggling to change her on the fancy, expensive new crib basinette. It sat too low and she had to bend over to do it. I immediately took the offending piece apart and inspected the small poles holding it in place and devised a solution to extend them. I went off to Home Depot and bought piping, collars, paint etc. to make the changes and build my “extenda-bars”. As soon as the latest baby-change happened and nap time came, I went to task making sure they fit well, had all the safety latches installed, and painted them a matching colour too. By the afternoon I was installing the raised bars, but realised it was too high, the poles needed to be slightly bent to make sure the angle was correct, and the paint was causing the pipes to stick in their slots. The next morning I got straight out of bed and (in my pajamas) removed the paint, shortened and bent the poles, and reinstalled the raised basinette and did some basic testing and checking,. However, most importantly, it was safe and my wife said it now worked great. We realised though that we had to turn the entire crib around since the raised section now covered a nice wall mural, which meant I had to make some further slight modifications to the diaper pocket brackets so that they sat in a comfortable, accessible position.So how does all this translate into running a successful business or project?Always be open to and looking for inefficiencies and problems, even when you think things are perfect and have invested time and money in them and they should (or seem) to be working fine. Always look for signs that processes or systems or your tools are failing or performing sub-par.Look outside of yourself; who else is experiencing difficulties? Are you talking to them and paying attention? Have you asked how can you help them?Act immediately. Every day you put up with sub-optimal performance from any of your investments (people, processes, systems, tools, equipment etc.) you are wasting time, energy, and money. What are you waiting for?Look at the environmental impact, limitations, and influences. Adjust your approach to take cognisance of the effects of your changes. Think about what else will need to change around your intentions.Take time to analyse and dissect the problem before jumping in. Understand the basic goals and impact. Try make it perform better than it was or could be.Don’t over-engineer, but do build a sustainable, lasting, effective solution. Sometimes, forget the frills, just get it working the way it should – but do go back to see if final tweaks are needed or if worlk can be done to make it even better (within reason!). Look at the good parts as well as the bad – migrate and improve where you can to make your solution even better.Focus on functionality first, rather than the final product. Business carries on as usual even during reform! You need to time your efforts appropriately.Test in real life situations; go back, refine, improve. Then accept and move on, but go back every now and then to make sure (not just by you, ask around) it is still the best solution.Ensure those impacted (users) are aware of what you are doing, involved, and properly handed over/supportive of the new solution.Just a fun, interesting way of entrepreneurial thinking!
  • 9) BrandingWhat is a brand? What do you think a brand is?Branding is a lifetime commitment. It’s the way you look, feel, communicate, operate. It’s your people, your policies, processes, channels. It’s your ethics, history, future, products you use and services you provide. More specifically and commonplace, it’s your logo, colours, font, name, style, layout, and other assets.It’s everything possible that acts as an intermediary between your customer and your business.WHEN do you apply branding (Question): Every second of every day…Branding cannot exist without an effective communication strategy; this is what breathes life into it and brings it to market. However, sustaining it becomes an operational AND marketing strategic effort.It is important because it creates the perception of your business in the minds of consumers.Perception is reality, and very hard to change. Takes years to form, change, influence, or establish. This is GOOD and BAD depending on how successfully and clearly you define and execute on your brand’s desired outcomes.Unique Selling Point: Why do certain houses sell? Why do certain service companies manage to create fierce loyalists? Why do people only ever eat a particular brand of cereal or shop at a certain store? By and large, the offers are the same, except for one U.S.P.The USP can be real or exist in the perception of the customer only. This is irrelevant – they both hold equal value and deserve equal attention.You may be swarmed by similar competitors but you need to find a USP – if not you offer no value beyond anyone else and will be forgotten.Can you think of USPs for some of your favourite brands, companies, or products?Guaranteeing a good brand is impossible.But guaranteeing a bad brand is easy. Keep changing it. Don’t live up to your Vision and Mission statement. Don’t promote and deliver a USP. Make your logo elaborate and unrepresentative of your company. Focus on only 1 marketing tactic, don’t listen to customers, ignore your competition…There are so many ways to destroy your own brand that it actually makes it very easy to stand out.Choose your look, feel, smell and taste… yes even these last two. How would your brand smell, taste, speak, and act?Remember/discuss: Be Small, Think Big, Act Huge! This will enforce an approach to branding, operations, strategy and everything you do that will prepare you for success and make failure “not an option”. Will your brand survive becoming global? Will it be recognisable from 10cm or 100m away? Will it be printed on cards, billboards, or hats? Will it immediately associate your offering or be symbolic? Is it GENUINE?Remember: It usually costs the same amount of time, effort and money to turn yourself into a BAD BRAND than it takes for a GOOD BRAND. But the long term costs are vastly different.
  • QA & BreakFirst Question: What if you are off to join an organisation, not start one?Apply this to your immediate area.Look for ways to improve what you can.Don’t be afraid to ask to see/discuss strategies and where you fit into them.Make changes and make yourself stand out (and ease your load!).Offer to write strategy/policy/process documents.Review materials, branding items, study the company and competition.Imagine yourself as the owner! Become invested. An invested employee is immensely valued.
  • 10) “4P Fails”In the world of marketing, there are things you can control, and things you cannot. But you should always be aware of the possibilities of what can go wrong.Discuss the above images and slides.Let’s kick off with a look at some examples… some of these speak to me personally, some are just to demonstrate uncontrollable circumstances, some are personal to me in terms of why they are just bad.Also MINI COOPER in Germany.
  • 11) Targeting – Target audiences and your target market.Target audience = everyone you reach, target market = those who you expect/want to/will purchase.Many people think they want “awareness” and to reach as many people as possible. They want everyone and their dog to walk through the door because they will service them and create a customer. Ask yourself then – who is NOT your customer?A marketing, business, or operational strategy cannot cater for everyone equally or effectively. Your actions, defined by these strategies, will favour a particular market, and this is good.Your audience may not be what you expected, or your market, but you can influence or even change it.Segmentation can be applied to your market so that you can devise communication and marketing tactics and strategies aimed at each segment. Segments can be divided into demographics, geographics, psychographics, socio-economic factors, and others depending on what matters to your business and supports your strategies and tactics. Differentiation is key knowledge. Research is the key to create benchmarks, metrics, and relaistic campaign objectives. Research itself often clearly uncovers ideas, solutions, and pathways to success that match your strategy.There are many free and paid tools. STATSCAN, PRIZM, Pcensus etc. will give you insight into broad data. However, a lot of what you are looking for will be in secondary data found online, in compiled reports, white papers, case studies, and articles.What should be your NUMBER 1 research source? No, it’s not Google. It’s your existing customers. I’d say second, your competitors and their customers. This is easy primary data – use Google etc. as secondary research tools to gain insight into your primary findings, and help you form an effective response plan (or campaign, tactics etc.).You may spend time devising these tactics but how will you know if they are effective? You need to measure results from a benchmark and comparatively as well to create marketing strategy sustainability and efficiency. Always define goals, parameters, and baselines for tactics and campaigns. Improve and repeat successes, learn from and dump your failures.Data Analytics = the “big brain” of business intelligence and data manipulation, extrapolation, analysis, modelling, predictive analytics etc.“Big Data” is a common term today, but beyond the scope of most SMEs, However, it’s not out of reach for any business. But it does depend on large volumes of data and time to analyse it in the correct manner. Usually there are people doing big data analysis and releasing findings anyway which meet your needs.For calculating basic success of campaigns, know the RFM model. Even if you distill it down into a handful of customers or a short, small campaign or geographical region, it can expose areas of success or that need work. Go in with an RFM target and see how the results compare, then adjust and create a benchmark.Don’t be scared to start your own “big data” repository. Keep as much information in an integrated system (Excel) as possible so that you can look at trends, reports, breakdowns etc. that will provide crucial insight into your business.Once again, prepare yourself for greatness. Keep records, deploy systems and processes. Imagine you want to take on a partner, or sell your business, or employ someone, or take out a bank loan, or go on Dragon’s Den? If you haven’t “acted huge”, you won’t be successful without a lot of effort.
  • 12) Launching your business/career/campaign – The basics of what to have in place.So you’re ready to launch your small business, or campaign. The two are different of course, but a small start-up business often depends on the success (or failure!) of a launch or follow-up marketing campaign, so there is relevance for both situations. We will keep this section short and to the point.Think about the negative impact/worst case scenario first. What might happen? What are the long term effects? (In a business venture vs. a campaign?)Can your assigned budget sustain the campaign effectively? (In a business venture vs. a campaign?)Do you have the processes and resources in place to handle the outcome (Positive or negative)?Does the campaign have a shelf life? Can it be repurposed? Is it unique?Have you investigated all the launch options? Is this the best one?Do you have the skills and knowledge to do this PROPERLY? If not, reconsider.Have you considered a test market or focus group?What is going on in your world that may impact, influence, or affect your plan? Is the timing right?What are your competitors doing? How might they react?Are you prepared to react? To gather data? To get out of the office? To make the calls? To give the answers? To engage online? To say Yes and No? To follow up the campaign? To accept failure or manage success?If you have not planned for or not at least thought of the above, you will “fail at success” – something that is unforgivable!If you can’t measure it…… you can’t manage it. It’s an old and annoying saying so let’s repurpose it into:“What does success look like”.This is a philosophy and question I ask any client or customer and the answers are enlightening.Knowing what success looks (and feels and tastes and smells) like, lets you imagine what steps and measures need to be taken to get from A to B.For example, knowing that success means 3 branches, a 2nd home, and a 6 figure salary, you can see that expansion, investment, stability, reputation and remuneration need to be measured on a scale that delivers success ultimately.Put something, anything in place, as a measurement of your success against strategic goals. Usually this is money, but that is a means to a bigger end – think longer term.Imagine this month’s scenario taking place every month for 12 months – are you happy where you end up? Depending on your answer, adjust your targets and define what needs to be better managed and measured.Things that get measured tend to improve. Why is Business Process Management so important these days? Because it manages almost intangible activities to improve efficiency and cut costs by making things measurable which often weren’t before (for whatever reason, there are dozens of excuses!).
  • 13) Traditional Marketing“Traditional” is just a loose term for what many call print or broadcast marketing – even this is a loose translation. Some may even consider banner ads “traditional” and prefer to draw the line between social media and all other forms of marketing, but that’s not too important. For most, “traditional” means everything offline – no internet or social media, those are digital. It focuses on the 4Ps.So what are they? There are many and this very short course will not be able to dive deep into them all or even mention them all – but use your imagination; marketing is all around you. Try classify and understand them. Here are some basic common options.Print – Magazines, journals, newspapers, digests, catalogues, phone book (paid media – not owned. Is shared with others).Outdoor – Banners, billboards, signs (owned) – TRANSIT is outdoor but usually dealt with as a separate channel.Direct Mail – Brochures, coupon packs, rebate offers, newsletters, catalogues (owned, but not very controlled).Premiums – Freebies and swag, giveaways, sweepstakes, rebates etc. (Paid, but also subjective).TV – Ads, sweeps, peeks, sponsorships (“brought to you by etc., paid).Radio – Ads, sweeps, programming, sponsoring, outside broadcasts.Others – Discuss.FACE TO FACE? Anyone think of that?Many like to claim that traditional is dying – but personally I just believe that these are the same people who hype or sell or only have worked in digital or social. Traditional is still excellent if well executed and in many ways, it’s “retro” appeal is even growing.Paid vs. Earned Media – a quick explanation.Pros and Cons of TraditionalThe pros and cons of traditional apply to any form of marketing – Is it appropriate? Will it reach the correct audience? Is the planned ROI worth it? What could go wrong? Can I create and sustain it? Can I control it?CONSTraditional is usually Paid Media, not earned, therefore…Traditional is, generally, more expensive than digital on a “per campaign” basis. Paper is expensive, so is printing and distribution. TV is incredibly pricey, and radio can also be (but not always…)Placement can be critical, there are many factors to considerOften has to be booked well in advance (production and placement lead times)“Once it’s done, it’s done…”Clutter – difficult to be heardLong term print placements cannot be altered (catalogues, Yellow Pages)Production quality and execution often falls to a 3rd party (loss of control)Feeling of invasion, force on public, unwanted perception can lead to cognitive dissonanceOne way, non reciprocal, low involvement, no feedback loopDiscuss othersPROSTangible, has a real feel, lends an air of commitment and brand dedication (old school revival idea). There is a “takeaway piece”If correctly executed can make very effective use of the media usedCan get complex messaging across (depends on media – billboard vs. Nat Geo magazine)Audience reach and segments can be assessed and targetedLongevity and pass-along rate also contribute to RFM (eyes and ears but not voices can be measured)Discuss othersSummary of Traditional MarketingIt’s the marketing most of us grew up with. It has transformed itself over the years and become a lot more daring but it still depends heavily on the creative aspect to grab attention. We expect traditional marketing to inform or entertain – these are the 2 bases of any communication, and you need to do both very often with traditional media, or just 1 very well. It depends on your awareness and strategy for the campaign or business.Some form of traditional marketing should be incorporated into your business or campaign, I believe (but not always necessary). It lends credibility and is a good way to proactively garner customers, awareness, and an audience.Most small businesses should always look at local traditional campaigns. Flyers, local print magazines and papers, signage etc. should come before or with the online effort (which is the landing strip, while traditional creates takeoff-unless you invest heavily in online ads and SEO).Traditional is “harder” than digital!What about Experiential?Discussion.EventsHandoutsFreebiesExperiencesCustomers “experience” something. Can be very expensive and pointless – your brand must be strong and your reasoning and connection sound. A call to action and intended customer response must be carefully analysed or you waste time, effort, and budget. Longer term approach, or immediate action is required to generate return on the experiential investment.Try think of some experiential examples for your own business that makes sense to you or you may consider… discuss
  • 14) Digital Marketing“Digital” can basically be seen as anything that exists online or uses email. However, the lines are becoming blurred as we try lure in consumers with crossover digital content, such as:Augmented publications.QR Codes and NFC.Layar.Many others, very often temporary or uniqueThis almost points to the fact that there are benefits and pitfalls to each type. Digital can hold and deliver (in many interactive ways) large amounts of information to an audience, but the challenge this creates is getting their attention in the first place. As mentioned, there is often a personal contact (esp. experiential) or high quality feel toward traditional marketing, so the main aim thereof may be simply to drive traffic.Once again, what are we talking about here, in this last line…?Strategy! Or more accurately, marketing strategy or campaign strategy! Every activity is tied to an expected, measurable action or result, such as drive traffic or make sales or gain followers or subscribers, or boost appeal/awareness (with the caveats of measurements of the latter).Why Bother?“If you are not online, you are invisible” is a common phrase, but what does “online” really mean? Some great marketing companies don’t even have a website, opting for a Facebook page. Some of the most influential people maintain their dominance via Twitter or content aggregation (e.g. Mashable). The idea however, is the same – online is needed for any organization, perhaps excluding a mom and pop bakery in a small town not looking to grow. The fact is, if you can gather a clear idea of what you want to achieve, what “success looks like”, you can work backwards, and reverse-engineer the steps that led you there, then identify what digital components helped those steps take place – then you have a clear understanding of why you NEED TO bother with digital – OR NOT!The point I am making is that digital CAN BE easy (really easy!), and it CAN BE an amazing marketing tool, and it CAN BE the difference between success or failure, if you can determine “why you need it”. What is it delivering? Why? Are you sure it is the cause? What led you to make the digital leap?I don’t think anyone can dispute that, given the choice to be present and available and marketed online or not, would choose to be so. So why aren’t some, or why do some do it badly? Some reasons are:Thinking it is “free” – is time free? Is hosting free? Is website dev free? What about following up on responses? Cost of sales!Overdoing it or underdoing it – you need to strike a balance of how simple/flashy/rich etc. your digital campaign will be. Strategy determines this – what happens at Point B? How does it happen?Underestimating the time investment and not building around this need – you need to build a digital strategy that is almost self sustaining, if you haven’t got the time or skills to maintain it, and vice versaPutting all your eggs into one basket (SEO, Social, email, automation etc.).Not being responsive – this is a KILLER. You are online for 2 way, responsive communications – you have to commit to that or build it out of your strategy.Not knowing your target audience, demographics etc. and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.My favourite – not working in partnership with your digital strategist, thinking it is divorced from your business operations.Footnote: To go social, or NOT to go social…Potential Digital Strategic ComponentsThis is easiest explained with a simple reversal of a business scenario. If your strategy and business model has determined, for example, that your success will be driven by repeat customers and word-of-mouth, you will have operational and infrastructure activities associated with this, such as strong CRM systems, a focus on customer service and product quality, and well trained staff. This will get you halfway there, perhaps, because they should, in theory, support your strategic goal. Operationally however, you need things in place – ensuring the CRM system is robust, and that you are gathering the correct information on customers. Then the big question (and where marketing truly kicks in) is “what to do with the information.”In this scenario you need loyalty and advocacy, so you need to be top of mind, all the time, for your product or service. It’s an excellent place to be but dangerous proposition: 1 bad experience and you’re down with the dogs, but live up to expectations, and you can charge premium prices and have a lifetime customer base.So if we put on a digital hat, we may want to look at email campaigns, loyalty programs, automated reminders, customer event triggers, personalised services, and so on. What else, why, and how?Blogs – require effort, traffic, knowledge (blogs are often digital strategy’s “black sheep”)Data acquisition – how much? What about supporting processes? Software costs? Training? One-off customers? Legal issues?VIP or discount offers – have you looked at these from a strategic investment POV, and NOT a “write-off” one? (These would go out via email, or self-hosted Groupon type of offer?)Back end infrastructure – Security? Capacity? Stability? Functionality? Or is it all just a waste of time?There are many components that you need to be aware of and can use, but at the end of the day, I apply 2 rules to those thinking of their digital or online strategy:Don’t do it because you feel you “have to” (even if you should be doing so, you NEED to understand WHY)Don’t lock yourself into 1 concept or idea of what digital “means” (know what else is out there, what works in your environment, what your customers want or oppose)If you do this, you will be able to…Pick your digital battleAnd we will keep this short and simple. Picking you battles simply means choosing what you want to do online, looking at the effort, the potential returns, the investment, the competition, the LONGER TERM impact and activity, the desired or potentially damaging outcomes, and then dropping them into your marketing and strategic mix.Once you have them 90% figured out (it will never be 100% especially on the first try), write down an operational guide for each. Once again this will further reveal the expected results and effort involved. These can be the simplest of things:Tweet twice a day (Who? When? About what? From where? Style? Original content? Measured? Etc.).1 blog post a week (see above questions).1 Facebook post daily (see above + content type?).Website Optimisation & SEM/SEO campaign (follow the “so what” methodology here).And finish all of these off with a big “WHY?” – And a simple answer! You need a call to action, and to establish that, you need…. to clearly know the desired strategic/campaign action!
  • DAY 1 CLOSE.The rest of the short course focuses on digital tools and the basics of how to implement them and the value/pitfalls of each.Questions from today?
  • Day 2.Dive into online and discuss tactics.Focus is on providing areas of thought, and a broad range of things to consider.We can’t delve into everything – it is too broad, but we can establish an understanding of what is possible (today at least), and what should be considered
  • 1) Digital Marketing – Website BasicsDoYou Need a Website?Simple question. Answer? Why exactly? Try get a feel for what you want to achieve. Reminder: strategic goals. Does your reasoning match.Regardless – YES, you really should. Why? Because it’s cheap, it’s simple, and it gives you credibility. It offers another way for people to contact you. There is not other way that is cheaper or more effective at both push and pull marketing. So, YES, you do need a website, even if you are a one man casual business. Make it your personal page! However, you need to ask yourself…So, are you a web designer?Likely not. You want to run a business not build websites or worry about keeping them up to date, optimized, stable and working. All these things are great and necessary, but be honest in terms of your TIME allowed to work on your site, your BUDGET if you are outsourcing it (and outsourcing does not negate the time and effort obligations) and your personal SKILL level (or how skilled you want to be). Websites are odd things. They can encompass and eat into huge amounts of time and money, while others are set up in a day, and the “cheap and nasty” one can deliver more value than the other. So there are some things to remember when you decide to launch a site, such as:Decide how much of it you are going to do yourself? Discuss: design, budget, hosting, email setup, administrators, images. Discuss the impacts of each (there is no such thing as a 100% outsourced website). How often do you WANT to touch it? But remember you shouldn’t be ignorant. If you outsource, insist on a build/config manual at the very least, or budget for a day of trainingHow dynamic or static will your content be? Discuss: blogs, news, general content, online ordering/security, forms, secure areas etc.Think about your target demographics – age, internet access, online penetrationThink about your competitors and the market – are they online? Why or why not? What are they doing online?To sum up thus far, all you need to remember is that YES you should have an online presence, but you need to approach it as if you were buying a pet. What type do you like? How much time can you afford on it? How much money? Is it going to be a house/lap animal or a trained champion? (this speaks to your willingness to learn and spend time making the site do well, but nothing of the actual results that MAY get delivered e.g. disobedient dog!). Who can look after it when you are away. Are you ready for sleepless nights at first? Lots to consider!Let’s take a brief look at how websites work from a technical aspect – this is purely so that you have a grasp, because believe it or not, this helps when you try launch. Some of you may know this already, some will understand and others not. It’s simply the building blocks you need in place.Buying a domain (e.g. Godaddy, netfirms, hostpapa) – gives you annual ownership of the TLD. However it is NOTHING, like the rights to a strip of land you want to build a street on, a strip of land in the middle of nowehere that you will build your digital storefront on one day. All registrars are 99% the same!Setting up hosting – usually provided by domain registrar. Start off small, but is cheap. This allows traffic to flow in and around your site. It gives you space to dump your website pages onto and allows traffic to view these pages. Imagine this as “paving the street and installing a sidewalk” on the road location you have just bought. People can now drive up and down it, and look around, but there is nothing to see.Creating a website. These are the html pages. This is your store. It consists of folders, subfolders, files etc., akin to your front door, your departments, the aisles in your store and so on. A website is simply a bunch of html webpages with complex navigation and layout and interactive instructions built into them. When you build a page on a website, it becomes a huge file of code that gets decoded by the web browser to present a functional display on the user’s computer. A bunch of pages of code that work with one another.Building this code – this can be done in many ways. From scratch (?), using editors, or popular CMS systems such as Wordpress or Wix. As each gets more powerful, you need more skill. Wordpress is by far the most popular. If you have any desire to properly manage your own website in an easy to use, sustainable and stable manner, start learning a little about Wordpress. It is simple and powerful. If you want to launch very quickly with just the basics, something like Wix can suffice, but you may migrate to something more powerful later (this is OK – use it to learn from and get to market). Drupal is also a common tool in Canada, but you only really need to know 1 of these.IF YOU BUILD YOURSELF you will need to develop a basic understanding of html, formatting, image manipulation, and a LOT of patience and testing. You must also be a fantastic writer!IF YOU OUTSOURCE IT YOURSELF you will probably only need to spend a day chatting to your web designer (taking lots of notes, providing your business plan, chatting about all your strategic dreams and visions so they can create relevant content) and a bunch of photos, and spend time looking at sample sites (You need to do this either way!)Email: Discuss the basics – POP SMTP setting up, aliases, forwarding, catch-allsetc why all these are important. You should learn how to work with your email host. Rememebr this comes with your hosting plan. STOP USING STANDARD GMAIL FOR YOUR BUSINESS!Discuss: Information Architecture, next.IA – You have to build an IA. It’s “Step 0” and uncovers your web aspirations and downfalls and potential. Let’s progress through them, from a simple understanding to a point where we dig deeper and understand the rationale and thinking behind a successful website
  • 2) Website Structure BasicsImage 1 is a very simple AI structure to start. Discuss: Does everyone “get it”? OK so that’s the “nuts and bolts”, the “what” we are building. Now we need to look at how they will interact and delve into the “why” and “how”Image 2 is the same thing but more fleshed out and showing internal cross linking. This is very important – it feeds into navigation concepts, basic SEO, the overall user experience, bounce rates and so on. You need to walk through every path (minimum 4 clicks) a user may take and assess whether or not it is working the way you want it to. Good linking can make your site seem more substantial than it may be. It also uncovers missing content and orphans.Image 3 gets abstract and puts in all the final bits and pieces that question your overall website structure, experience, navigation and functionality. The main issue is “does your AI connect people to the content they are looking for?” This is the million dollar question.You do not have to even turn on a computer to build a great AI. Sketch it out, imagine it in your head. Sometimes looking beyond what the layout looks like and the content and images allows us to see whether it works or not in the first place. So do this exercise, invite a friend to help you if you must. Once you have something nailed down it is a GREAT first step to hiring a developer/consultant or building it yourself. You now have a functional skeleton, all you need to do is hang on the meat! And what’s better is you can now start classifying the content areas do see how much effort is required:Where will you need to write contentWhere will you need pictures?What pages do you want people to go to most?What will your visitor flow be?Where are gaping areas?Where will links be?Where will you host interactive or dynamic content or media? (and WHY?)Quick discussion on mobile website development, responsive design and mobile site optimisation considerations and options. Remember to check your sites on multiple browsers and mobile devices.
  • 3) SEO? SEM? CM?- Discuss each. Keynotes are:SEO is “free” but complex, changing rules, varying rates of success, can take a lot of time and analysis. It can often e an all/nothing approach, if combined with excellent content and good SEMSEM is paid – Adwords, Bing ads etc. Simpler, but costs money, and need a good understanding of your audience and their search habits. Also relies on analysis to perform. It is scaleable, and recommended even if just at the outset – after a while, if you maintain a good site and content, SEO and CM “naturally takes over” and SEM is less important, depending on your strategy and circumstances around your audience, location, competition etc.CM (Content Marketing) is the new “Inbound Marketing” buzz word. Inbound marketing is fantastic, it drives qualified customers to your site/premises. It’s the classic “bull and horns” attack strategy that Sun Tzu prescribed. It is an organic, natural way that delivers quality information, but it is NOT EASY.Social SEO – taking your brand/company and scouring it’s social presence to improve SEO rankings. Has a minor affect (currently) but this should all fall into your chosen strategy anyway. Also there are SEO principles to social content. Is gaining in popularity, and simple to understand, but the algorithms and outcomes/results are still being tested and tweaked. Facebook, LinkedIn, large SM sites are building Social SEO to attract advertisers and revenue.Let’s talk about keywords as just one aspect of successful SEO, SEM and CM and how we use them correctly for each instance.Adwords: Describe how they work, what they do (Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn as well) - Pros and cons of AdwordsBanner Ads/Partner Ads: Describe how they work (esp. their history), benefits, limitationsCookies & RTB: A quick discussion around real-time bidding and cookies – what will happen to RTB? The jury is out on that. Cookies are great for savvy marketers who accurately target mass audiences but carry with them a stigma, so be careful. A quick note around privacy laws and email/contact list fraud/spam should be discussed.Google Places/Places for Business: The interface and process is ugly but you must do it. Let’s face it, it’s pretty much a once-off thing.Let’s talk about Google’s algorithm and especially the Hummingbird update. These highlight the importance of good content. Content is only recently becoming seriously considered as the king of effective SERP, which was actually inevitable. Journalists (esp. news) are enjoying the fact that good writing skills cannot be boiled into some formula and a bunch of keywords, and content marketers are coming to the fore/rescue. However, it’s nothing more than effective, organic, well formatted and succinct writing (inverted triangle - or even trapezium!)Is it all about Google?Well, yes. Google dominates the search market. Not only that, it’s advanced algorithm and ad tools provide the best platform for launching a campaign on other platforms/portals. However, do not ignore others. Look at your target market, get some browser data from your website and online available research to see what your audience is using. Are they “Binging or Firefoxing or Chroming or Googling?” Build around this data. Get your Google setup working 99% perfect, then investigate other options.Dealing with web traffic.OK so what do you think it means to “deal with” web traffic? Discuss:The fact is, having piles of traffic is USELESS. Even what this traffic does, how they react, how they interact, the forms they fill in, time they spend, is IRRELEVANT. Why? Because you are not recording, measuring, and analysing it…. Or are you? If not, it’s just a bunch of tress falling in the forest with no-one around for miles to hear it.So how do you deal with it?First, you need analytics – Google Analytics is the default minimum here. Google Analytics gets more and more powerful along with the “Big Data” trend. Briefly explain Google’s new GA audience tracking code. The fact is it is incredibly powerful and often more than enough for most businesses to: create a framework on which to design, place, and measure success metrics and benchmarks – NOT to place to actually make the site more successful.For example:Setting conversion goals – what are they? Explain how they work and how important they are – BUT ask yourself: “So what?” Are you in the business of online conversions?Finding anomalies (e.g. peaks and dead ends). It will show them but what you do about it is up to you.Audience analysis (demographics) – due to privacy issues and dodgy info, we can never really be sure, but audience data tells us a lot – but we must choose if/how to react.Device, browser, time data etc. all should be seen as signals.All the above data, if you deep dive, should be matched and boosted by offline activity and other campaigns to try recognise successful or poor performance patterns.Analysis paralysis can easily set in. Do not go to analytics for answers until you have clearly formulated the question you are asking:Why did my last campaign do so well/badly?Why is no one downloading or viewing my content?Why is no one calling me?Why is everyone asking me questions to answers on my site?Why am I getting strange customers I never expected?Think about these questions “out loud” in a logical way first, then try let the data confirm your answers, but WARNING sometimes it will not, and you should be willing to accept that. Accurate data and proper analysis sometimes guides us down a path that feels odd or even wrong. You should not discard these options (look at AMA DLA Case study)This is just one way of “dealing with” web traffic. The underlying premise of “dealing with” web traffic implies improving traffic numbers and their experience, and you can only be sure of achieving this by knowing when, where, why they are or are not visiting and all the data that goes with it, and then REACTING. You may want to consider simple A/B testing, but this is for more advanced campaigns and usually external, but there are simple way to do it (you can even host 2 almost identical sites on similar domains and do simple A/B testing yourself! It’s almost a cheater’s way of testing, repeating campaigns, and potentially increasing traffic)
  • 4) Website building Basics cont.How much of what?There’s a huge variance and so many considerations – so I’m going to just throw out some known or estimated figures as an idea!Buying a domain should cost around $20/year but can go up if taken/in demandHosting on the site should not cost more than $10 per month depending on traffic and your needs. Beware of upselling! Take time to understand and know your options. Make sure email is included.Check out their control panel to make sure it offers a good suite of options for building, hosting, file management, email management, online marketing, backup services, space allocations etc. Test their online support!Overall the suggested route is to buy a few years of TLD ownership and hosting for around $300.Building a site that is simple, a few pages, a couple images, using Wordpress or similar you can get done by any decent freelance website developer for $1000 or less. Many will be happy to do a basic 4 page site for this much, provided you provide ALL THE CONTENT (which often means you may as well build it yourself! It depends on your budget). Work into the deal a set amount of changes 30/60 days after launch.Obviously for more complex things like ecommerce, security, interactive portions, intense SEM, and a SUSTAINABLE MANUAL you will pay extra.Even if you pay for a site, learn the platform. There are very simple platforms such as Wix or even some in the host’s control panel that allow even an amateur to build a functional (if very simple) site.Budget for a small SEM campaign. You can go as low as $50p/m to start if you have a small, targeted audience and bid low (pros and cons here)After launch, go to your site every day and take notes. Ask people what they think. Get opinions and ideas. Write them down then go back for a final polish. This may cost a few extra hundred dollars or at this point you may (should) have learnt to do them yourself!THE OTHER SIDE – PAID ONLINE ADVERTISING (IMAGE)Traditional paid adverts (on other sites) – big box, tall, banners etc.PPC, PPMega, PPLeadThese are fixed, set, and purchased costs. The image displays how they can perform (and cost) along various options. Should be constantly optimized and tweaked to ensure value and budget control.Which platform is best?This is more just a discussion around what CMS platforms are and the various types. Plain HTML coding or dedicated applications like Dreamweaver exist, but WordPress is probably the best bet, or even Wix. Drupal works well but not as popular, so why go Betamax when everybody else uses VHS? WordPress is free, plugins are free/cheap, immensely popular – 72million sites use it. CNN, UPS, GM, ebay, Macleans… all use Wordpress or portions of it.What should it look like? Current trends etc.That’s up to you but clean and elegant is simple is the modern trend – but what suits your messaging, branding and personality. Do a lot of online reviews, and identify what is important to you. Most of all:Keep the content short and to the point, above the foldMake it easy to navigate to find info they wantEmbed links where appropriate to encourage browsingMake the layout sustainable/timeless (avoid drastic future alterations)Make sure you love it! If not you won’t take ownership or care!Remember, you are “building a house”. You buy the land, contract out the builders, provide the materials, oversee the efforts, sign off, and ultimately want people to visit your house. You need to therefore build it as a partnership with your “construction team” and create a relationship. Be specific and able to articulate, describe, and insist on what you want (with professional guidance of course).
  • 5) Direct Mail – an overviewDirect mail (email or other) is communication that is solicited in some way, and sent directly to an expecting party. However, too often this is a missed opportunity for customised marketing messages and content. Direct mail opportunities should, wherever possible, be segmented and targeted to each recipient.Think of traditional “direct mail” – is it junk mail? No, so email direct mail campaigns also must never be junk mail. If you do not segment, customise and target during a DM campaign, it could be, or become, junk mail. Direct mail always depends on a solicited mailing list!Think about the possible slow demise of a direct campaign (more so the image of it than it’s prevalence, which seems to be increasing, but with poor quality); there are many causes and ways – incorrect solicitation of addresses to start with; content quality starts to suffer; incorrect or no targeting… all this usually stems from one key problem – a lack of foundation content or data.If you don’t have content to share, you have no news, you have no offers or repetitive content, you become noise, and junk mail!This means you need a content strategy - content strategy applies to websites as well – it’s a planned execution and delivery of branded/business content, in terms of who, what, where, how, and of course, why. Let’s quickly look at them:WHO – gets the message / is the message aimed at?WHAT – is contained in the message (think about Content marketing and all the web goodness here)WHERE – Are you geographically targeting? Particular web page? Particular mailing list subset?HOW – eMail, own website, affiliate, blog, social etc?WHY – Are you doing it for a valid reason that ties in with your overall strategy?WHEN – Monthly? Weekly? Time of day? Do you have enough content, time, energy, skill, staff to sustain it?A good content strategy can look up to 6 months in the future, but essentially it must:Be varied/broad enough to be used effectively within that time frame while remaining relevant and valuable (discuss examples)Be willing and able (and in fact support) on-demand, reactive content (discuss examples)Tie in with and support overall strategy (of course)Be measured and analysed in terms of return – not just afterwards, but before as well, to see your ROIDiscuss: Everybody has an idea of what a direct mailing campaign is, what the core aspects of it are, what it aims to achieve. Discuss Pros and ConsManaging a DM listThis really hinges around the value of a solicited list – and why they are therefore so prone to security breach, abuse, selling etc. The law must be known and followed. You can buy a valid, legal list but it’s often expensive and not valuable. Salting and seeding can protect or harm you. You have a responsibility to look after your list.Gather information at every touchpoint! Online forms, during check-ins, when paying, surveys etc. Try build it into your processes, but always get permission. An excellent way is a small competition or premium for customers.Use excel. Merge and purge. Clean out and update often. Analyse for trends. Squeeze out the goodness.DM ToolsIf going traditional, employ professional layout skills and super-target your customers (multiple cost and waste issues)Digital – Text only emails are not a campaign. Don’t do this, use an html tool. If you have more than 50 or so people (which you should) use a tool such as MailChimp. Discuss (templates, metrics, manage lists, check read/click/bounce rates etc.) and these must be analysed!) There are other options but the most popular freemium model is MailChimp and works very well. You should be able to master MailChimp in a weekend and thereafter, launch a campaign in just a few hours or even less. REMEMBER that doesn’t mean you SHOULD! …. See next slide
  • 6) When to DM and when to not DMJust because you have the tools and the list, you still don’t have a reason to send a DM campaign/newsletter out. You need to have something interesting to say (announcement, contest, congrats, news, launch, specials etc.). So where would you get this magic DM content? … in your Content Strategy! Could be called your communication strategy or plan, or anything that tracks when, why, and how you will launch DM campaigns so that you can plan quality communication in advance.Marketing AutomationDiscuss the basics of M.A.For larger, more established companies but can be relatively well priced and you should consider at least a small amount of basic marketing automation. Remember, if/when you have their attention, have a key message and try a call for action!Email EtiquetteEmail for many is as personal as a phone call. Write properly and professionally. Do not leave the office with unresponded emails and do not email after 5pm/normal office hours. Canned emails must be carefully sent. Use BCCs every time you send to more than 1 customer! Use a formal and standard greeting and signature. Assess immediately if an issue can or cannot be resolved via email but respect the fact that a customer chose to use it, so use it first to reply unless instructed otherwise. Every email is a representation of your company, you personally, your brand etc. and is permanent and shareable!Companies and people are becoming more wary of spam, phishing, email address skimming, and so on, not to mention being bombarded with email, so you need to make sure you are clear, have good subject lines, a clean mailing list, and something that grabs their attention and is not generic.
  • QA & Break
  • 7) Social Media“What is SM?”“Social” and “Media” – discuss the two concepts. So what is SM “Marketing”? It’s leveraging the people, the conversations, the content in a way that makes your messaging/product/service FIT into that conversation/social circumstance – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!List how many social channels you can think of. List what they are used of. List who you think uses them. Discuss general opinions on businesses using social media. Is it valuable? Do you agree with it? What are some good/bad examples? General discussion.Are you ready?Using SM for business and marketing takes patience, skill, testing, analysis, commitment, time, money, and even LUCK!Viral cannot be guaranteed, bought, made, procured, replicated, or even planned for (in 99.9% of cases). Even measuring it is often difficult to do or even know why you are doing it! (why? … because it can never be part of a strategy).So how to get ready? Just be aware of the above points. The drop off investment of time, money and energy an be rapid, so put a plan together and stick to it. Also, NEVER put all your eggs in the Social Media marketing basket. As well as it may work for you, you can easily miss out opportunities to augment it if you don’t look outside of the SM box occasionally. In fact, think of SM campaigns that stretch deliberately into real-world interaction.DangersThere are many, some of which are known and some which we are only finding out today. The channel is less than a decade old, and less than half that in terms of being considered a serious marketing tactic, channel, or tool. This means there are many opportunities but the risks are still being assessed and continue to evolve.However, we can discuss a few of the known ones that you should be aware of – these are common things that foil the best laid social media marketing plans – many people go out there and jump straight into social and wonder why it failed over a long term period, or encounter sudden failure due to mismanagement. Even worse, these failures can do more harm than good. We can discuss a few of the common things to be wary of DISCUSS ALL:Social media is not free. It takes time, ideas, energy, analysis, planning, a content strategy, and perhaps even a professional consultancy to run it, if you are unsure. When you assume it’s “free”, chances are you are embarking on a poorly thought-out campaign (but that doesn’t mean don’t consider it – just make sure that even if you do a small presence or campaign, do it properly and cover all the best practice bases). Using tools like Hootsuite can help manage these. Danger is: SM failing and you don’t know why, and have lost opportunities and all that effort.Social Media is not a “Fire and Forget” missile.Not measuring how your SM efforts are performing – or even worse, knowing what is good performance! Tie in your SM campaign with expected desired results and then have tools in place to ensure they are indeed working for you. If you have put any thought into your campaign or SM presence, it will have targets, goals, and some form of measurement attached to it – therefore, you will want to analyse the results and measure them against success benchmarks. This allows you to identify weak areas and strong points for next time. Some SM events are more prone to this than others – think of a simple status update vs. a SM, UGC-driven campaign – vastly different measurement and planning, but still must be done to some degree. Danger is: not knowing whether the SM campaign is even working or not.Social Media must be run by the right person. This may not be you! It may be a persona. Depending on your business, you must decide who is ultimately in charge. Must be someone who understands the brand integrity and applies it at every point in the communicationTrying to close Pandora’s Box: You need to be ready to deal with potential responses – good or bad (Thousands or zero – how do you respond?)NEVER mix your personal and business’ SM accounts. This is terrible practise. You need to come off as professional, sustainable, and not a person simply pushing out updates on behalf of a company. There is also the risk of mis-posting across accounts! This happens more often than you think. However, do remember that (especially as a smaller business) your personal capacity I closely tied to the business, so keep both very professional, screen them often, and share links between them but do not let one market the other (unless you ARE the business – will discuss a little later).Do not post one update across multiple accounts. Like DM, they have separate, unique target audiences and your messaging should suit the platform. Once again, free tools like Hootsuite can help here.Use links and multimedia wisely, and strategically, not just to drive clicks. Relevance is key. Have something to share. Be unique.Post updates during respectable hours.Do not engage troublesome people or issues on SM. Ever!Obviously: triple check then double check then check again for grammar/spelling issues. Make sure links work. Nothing that could be thought of as offensive.Security/control issues can be a concern – not so much external hacking, but disgruntled employees or customers. Be aware of who is putting out messages and who is responding.Privacy and copyright issues. Photos you take, find, share or other content must be respected in terms of their rightful owners.Overcapitalising on social. If all is going well with social, think about how you can leverage it or augment it. Don’t let it take over, you may be missing out on other opportunities. Also becoming “link/like/share-happy”. What is the value of a “Like”? No one knows!Not digging beneath the surface to make sure the channels you are using are targeted properly wrt. Demographics etc. Keep up to date with trends in SM platforms and who is reading/interacting with what. Just because you like it and are comfortable with it doesn’t mean your target audience or potential market feels the same way.MORE – There are many more, just realise that SM should be strategic, every action must be well thought out in terms of WHY you are doing it as well as WHEN, HOW, to WHO etc. This may throw fire on your SM fire – that is usually a good thing.My best advice for SM strategy is to spend as much time as possible writing the policies and setting out parameters for how you will use it, before going ahead. This grounds you in reality, sets targets, allocates resources to the SM effort, and in many ways makes sure you are aware of the risks involved and know how to react to them.
  • 8) Social Media Marketing2 basic types, similar to media – paid and earned (although “True” SMM deals with paid rather than earned, and earned is often a spinoff of paid anyway)SMM could be when we launch a contest, campaign, cause etc. using social media channels. We want awareness or action of some sort, and we should be measuring it. This could be 100% free but our reach and frequency is hard to grow, secure, or guarantee. Discuss examplesThe more common way is to pay for it. Channels such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter (although not nearly as much and quite abstract) have massive repositories of user data across demographics, geographics, socio-economics, habits, preferences and so on. This is gold-level information – imagine you had, through managing and measuring all your clients from day 1, a profile or persona of your most valuable customer. Then being able to match that persona to 1,000 more people as potential customers! That is what social media marketing in many ways is all about – it’s not really about the media, it’s about who is taking in and responding to that media – where they live, how much they earn, how many kids/pets they have, and so many other things affect and group together audiences which can then be segmented to whatever your target audience or persona is.Therefore, we pay money to be affiliated or associated with these particular snippets of social mediaYouTube prerollsFacebook AdsLinkedIn AdsTwitter – this is more complex – DiscussInstagramGoogle+FoursquareTumblrBloggrOthers… discuss or just try think of moreEvery channel has a unique set of appeals and therefore unique audience. You need to choose which is most valuable to you. It’s not always Facebook!So basically, it’s simply paying for an ad to get in front of some receptive, strictly targeted eyeballs, and then hopefully creating earned media or an action from that point forward. This is not so different from traditional advertising, in fact…Billboard advertising can be compared to SMM. You look at traffic, you look at attention span, you look at demographics, you look at dayparts, you look at call to action…. Like anything else, you want to illicit a response from your audience and you strategically choose a position and message and platform that should REACH (not really ATTRACT; that’s the channel or medium’s job mostly) the most fertile audience.SMM is not scary, in fact it’s quite simple, very data driven, and less exciting than you think. Of course it can get exciting when you have a great idea or when things take off (e.g. viral content) but in most cases this is usually not a fluke, it’s been strategically planned (and probably cost a lot of money and effort too).Successful SMM hinges on an understanding of your audience and customers, not really the SM channels themselves. They are just vehicles to get your audience to “do something.”IMPORTANT: Not analysing your SM campaign will waste money or, worse, cost you a LOT of money you didn’t budget for! (Think of earlier LinkedIn example)Linking Social with TraditionalWe have discussed this before, but just to reiterate – when you are finalising a SM campaign, think about your traditional (and traditional digital) marketing strategy as well. Relying on one and not boosting it with other potential avenues is simply foolish. Always be looking for how you can pull together an integrated campaign, even if it’s a small thing that connects online to the real world. Tangible premiums (freebies, swag etc. for example) is still very effective for awareness, far more so than online. Discuss examples where they can be integrated. Reach out to the local papers. Simple flyers with a distinct, singular message. Radio appearances or sponsorships/competitions.Basically, once again don’t put all your eggs in the SM basket – or at least if you do, try help them along with some external campaign activity as well.
  • 9) What SM platform is best for me?We have touched on the popular channels, but you should be aware of the pros and cons of each. However, are they REALLY pros and cons? It depends on your target audience, marketing strategy, messaging, and many more. Therefore it’s about ensuring you choose the right one. A simple and obvious look at some of them – these are very broad observations and change often, there is plenty of more research to be done before choosing your SM channel(s). All of the below could be argued to be wrong, could change tomorrow, or be completely irrelevant. It depends on how you use them, really!YouTube prerolls – Great if you have a lot of video content to share or large amounts of information to get across quickly. Can be seen as pervasive. Facebook Ads – Excellent demographic/preference data, but resistant users and targeting is still very broadLinkedIn Ads – Professional, well targeted, but niche market and sometimes frowned upon, can be expensive (as can all SM)Twitter – Takes immense effort to target, a lot of commitment, massively diverse audience with no segmentation, but “free” and mass audience, immediate. Stigma?Instagram – Niche audience (iPhone platform and demographics), but massive growth, everybody loves pictures! (but HAVE pictures first!)Google+ - Rapid growth and penetration, but mixed feelings, late starter, indistinct market/audience, very content drivenOthers… REFER TO LINKED IMAGE and CHARTS.Using SMM EffectivelyApplying everything we have discussed up to now should give you an idea of how to effectively use SM for marketing. Here are a few other pointers and bits of information that are best practise. Many of these could be discussed alone for hours, beyond the scope of this course. The trick is to simply be aware of them and what they offer, then decide if you want to learn more or pursue them as viable options for your business.All the risks we discussed earlier? Plan for them, mitigate them, know them, avoid them.Tie your SM campaigns to your overall strategy (of course), be it your Sales, Business Development, Marketing, or overall strategy and goals – even f it’s loosely, try identify the action points in your SM efforts that move you from A to B.Pages (Facebook, LinkedIn), Channels (YouTube), and general SM Channel Branding (Twitter images etc). Know them, separate them, and use them.Employ tools (ShareThis is excellent, as is HootSuite) for daily, spur of the moment shares, but still take time – rule of thumb, never post something in less than 5 minutes! Even if 4 minutes are spent looking at it… trust me, do this!Have a backup, continuation or repeat strategy, even a small one, to deal with the reaction/impact of your SM campaign.Post stuff that is shareworthy. Not contrived, forced, time-based, boring, regurgitated, or simply of no value. Imagine your audience ranks your posts on a “point scoring” system. A good point adds 1, a bad one subtracts 1. This is actually reality. Just a few worthless posts and you’re lost from their SM radar. A few good ones and you have exponential audience reach!Watch your costs, but know your ROI. That is what truly matters, but is very difficult to measure with SMApply your brand at every touchpoint. But… does everyone remember what “brand” really means? Discuss!Stay up to date with developments in the SM world in terms of shifting demographics and user bases, new technologies that may make life easier or deliver results, and generally what is going on in the social world, andDon’t be afraid to call it quits. If SM isn’t working, ditch it. Maybe come back later. Become reactive not proactive (VERY reactive!). You are there to make your bsuiness successful, not rule social media, gathering likes, followers or clicks. These are worthless – customers are worthwhile. Never lose focus.
  • 10) Some Basic Social Media Netiquette (for business and people!)There are unwritten rules about using social media for marketing that should be well understood if you want to be respected and taken seriously (and some people don’t).Firstly, the whole premise of a social platform is intimate conversations between people with similar interests, enjoying the conversation and taking their turns to contribute and respond, with no ulterior motive or overly exerted influence – well that WAS the social media dream, until quite recently. You as a marketer still need to respect that you are in fact a “3rd party” to existing conversations. Once again that is the premise, but these days marketers are the ones trying to actually start the conversation with themselves at the centre of it. This is difficult and usually not effective.True SM etiquette means knowing your place in the conversation. You should observe, and try offer a “sideline conversation” which resonates with these conversations, not try force your way into them by claiming space in content that your audience chooses to take in. For example, just because everyone is talking about the latest film on facebook, the hashtag is soaring and everyone is making memes of it, does not mean you should find a way to shoehorn on the craze. Your social interactions need to almost be “by invitation”, or “created 100% for the benefit of others” – and if they talk about it and it takes off, then great. If not, well, move on to the next topic of conversation. Overall rule here is that it is risky and alienating to think you need to be a social media butterfly or know-all conversation bully – you are not, you are foremost a business.Naturally, foul language or offensive material should never be used, and as mentioned, never engage customers on negative issues on social media (other than redirecting them, and never make offers of compensation) and always acknowledge positive messages.Always respond within a short time frame to conversation threads, but do not draw out unnecessary praise or acknowledgment.Keep a record of prolific SM engagers for a DM campaign or in-store recognition. Reciprocate followers on Twitter or other companies.Never use LinkedIn for “light” social engagements – it is a professional domain.Some repeats – customise messages across platforms, do not overpost, spelling/grammar is 10x more important than you think it is, take 5 minutes before hitting “send”, assess the risk, imagine/judge/control any desired outcomes, and most of all… enjoy it! If you can get social right, you will likely end up with customer loyalty, with repeat visits and excellent word of mouth, and this is the best marketing you can ever have.LinkedInDiscuss:Far too underutilised by startup businesses – PROPERLY!If “You are the business” – then LinkedIn is often your online front doorOne of the only SM sites with content longevityPeople are more willing to read personal profiles than paragraphs of canned website marketing textReflects on your network, your influence, your passions and credibilityLinkedIn SEO is very effectiveLinkedIn ad campaigns can work well, depending on what you are trying to achieve for the business/yourself (can be costly)If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, you need to start one TODAY.
  • Final ThoughtsBranding is perception is reality. EVERY ACTION YOU TAKE SHOULD BE BUILDING YOUR BRAND VISIONBe small, think big, act huge. PLAN FOR SUCCESS, DOCUMENT YOUR PROCESSES, BE SUSTAINABLE, TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY!Having a USP means never justifying your existence. ALWAYS WONDER WHY YOUR NEXT CUSTOMER CHOSE YOU OVER SOMEONE ELSE. IF YOU CAN’T ANSWER THIS YOU ARE IN TROUBLE!BPM = sustainability + efficiency = success. Be measurement and process-driven. THIS CREATES A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS YOUR OWN SUCCESSYou’re not in the business of marketing, web design or SM. It just feels like it. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE GLAMOUR, YOU ARE HERE FIRST TO RUN THE BUSINESS – MARKETING IS JUST A PART OF THATEvery customer can make your business better. Figure out how. Focus inwards first. TALK TO THEM, TEST APPROACHES, LOOK AT WHAT IS AND IS NOT WORKINGSeparate business and leisure in terms of timing, style, messaging, tone, profiles. YOU MAY BE THE FACE OF THE BUSINESS, MORE SO THAN YOUR MARKETING EFFORT! BE CAREFUL AND ASTUTE.Engage in safe social. Use, converse, protect yourself, and never argue on social. AND STEP BACK OFTEN TO SEE IF IT IS SUPPORTING YOUR STRATEGY (GROWTH, REVENUE, AWARENESS ETC.)Content is all around you. Gather and package it into something you can “sell”. DON’T EXIST IN A VACUUM, BE PART OF YOUR INDUSTRY, TRY BECOME ATHOUGHT LEADER AND INFLUENCERBut know when to stop selling. NOBODY LIKES THAT!Learn the tools of the trade. Every one you plan to use, you should master and bend to your needs. BECOME OBSESSIVELY AUTODIDACTIC. IF YOU IMMEDIATELY LOOK UP WHAT THIS MEANS, YOU’RE ALREADY ON YOUR WAY… IF NOT, YOU HAVE WORK TO DO. NEVER STOP LEARNING. THERE IS ALWAYS A BETTER WAY TO DO THINGS, SO LEARN THEM.Never say “if only we could…” RATHER SAY “WE ARE GOING TO…. SO THAT WE CAN…”There is no “B”. There is only “A”. Sorry. YOUR STRATEGY PATH AND GROWTH AND LEARNING SHOULD NEVER END. WHEN IT DOES, SO WILL YOUR BUSINESS
  • Thank you
  • Transcript of "Business Development and Marketing Strategy: A Short Course for Entrepreneurs"

    1. 1. Hello there.
    2. 2. What is Marketing Strategy? One component of Business Strategy Be small, think big, act huge: sustainability Have a Mission & Vision
    3. 3. Mission Statement Vision Statement About: A Mission statement talks about HOW you will get to where you want to be. Defines the purpose and primary objectives related to your customer needs and team values A Vision statement outlines WHERE you want to be. Communicates both the purpose and values of your business Answer: It answers the question, “What do we do? What makes us different” It answers the question, “Where do we aim to be?” Time: A mission statement talks about the present leading to its future. A vision statement talks about your future. Function: It lists the broad goals for which the organization is formed. Its prime function is internal, to define the key measure or measures of the organization's success and its prime audience is the leadership team and stockholders. It lists where you see yourself some years from now. It inspires you to give your best. It shapes your understanding of why are you working here Change: Your mission statement may change, but it should still tie back to your core values, customer needs and vision. Your vision should remain intact, even if the market changes dramatically, because it speaks to what you represent, not just what you do. Developing a statement: What do we do today? For whom do we do it? What is the benefit? What do we want to do going forward? When do we want to do it? How do we want to do it? Features of an effective: Purpose and values of the organization. Who are the organization's primary "clients" (stakeholders). What are the responsibilities of the organization towards the clients? Clarity and lack of ambiguity. Paints a vivid and clear picture, not ambiguous. Describing a bright future (hope). Memorable and engaging expression. Realistic aspirations, achievable. Alignment with organizational values and culture
    4. 4. Profitable growth through superior customer service, innovation, quality and commitment. Ameren's mission is to generate electricity, deliver electricity and distribute natural gas in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally sound manner. Our vision is to be the recognized performance leader of the U.S. electric and gas utility industry. Being a performance leader means we will achieve operational excellence, industry-leading customer satisfaction and superior financial performance.
    5. 5. By creating value for our customers, we create value for our shareholders. We use our expertise to create transport-related products and services of superior quality, safety and environmental care for demanding customers in selected segments. We work with energy, passion and respect for the individual. Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
    6. 6. What is Marketing Strategy? A B How? Does every action move you along?
    7. 7. Customer: You?
    8. 8. The 4Ps Contain Tactics Operate within the Strategy
    9. 9. Develop a Basic Marketing Strategy Can be short Must answer strategic questions Common mistakes
    10. 10. A story
    11. 11. Branding What is it? Why is it important? The power of having a USP How to guarantee a good brand
    12. 12. QA & Break!
    13. 13. Lessons
    14. 14. Targeting Bigger = better? Audiences, Markets, Segments Research and Measuring
    15. 15. Launching Are you ready? You can fail at success If you can’t measure it…
    16. 16. Traditional Marketing What is it? Pros & Cons What About Experiential?
    17. 17. Digital Marketing Why Bother? (Potential) Strategic Components Pick your Digital Battles
    18. 18. Day One
    19. 19. Day 2
    20. 20. Digital Marketing Do I need a Website? What you need to consider Website/design building blocks
    21. 21. Digital Marketing SEO? SEM? Content? Adwords? Is it all about Google? Dealing with web traffic
    22. 22. Digital Marketing What should it cost? What platform should I choose? What should it look like?
    23. 23. Newsletters/DM Extra! Extra! Read all about… what? Managing your DM lists DM and newsletter tools
    24. 24. Newsletters/DM When to, and when not to DM Marketing automation? A brief note on email…
    25. 25. QA & Break!
    26. 26. Social Media Social what? Are you ready for SM? Some known dangers of social
    27. 27. Social Media What is Social Media Marketing? Linking social with traditional/digital
    28. 28. Social Media What platforms are available Using Social Media effectively
    29. 29. Social Media Social “Netiquette” LinkedIn is your best friend
    30. 30. Final Thoughts • Branding is perception is reality. • Be small, think big, act huge. Plan for success. • Having a USP means never justifying your existence. • BPM = sustainability + efficiency = success. Be measurement and process-driven. • You’re not in the business of marketing, web design or SM. It just feels like it. • Every customer can make your business better. Figure out how. Focus inwards first. • Separate business and leisure in terms of timing, style, messaging, tone, profiles. • Engage in safe social. Use, converse, protect yourself, never argue on social. • Content is all around you. Gather and package it into something you can “sell”. • But know when to stop selling. • Learn the tools of the trade. Every one you plan to use, you should master and bend to your needs. • Never say “if only we could…” • There is no “B”. There is only “A”. Sorry.
    31. 31. Day Two
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