No strategy = no plan.
No plan = burning precious marketing dollars.
So what is missing in the equation? You guessed it: a marketing strategy.
Think of a marketing strategy like a game of chess. Sure, you could just move the pieces randomly, but in order to be competitive you need to be thinking two or three steps ahead, if not more. In other words, you need a plan of attack.
Here are a few basic tips to help you start thinking the right way.
Start by creating a marketing plan for the next 12 to 18 months.
Think of where you want your business brand to be in the next year to year and a half. This is easier said than done. It might be wise to seek outside counsel to get you properly started off.
Set a budget.
Include creative development in this budget. Think beyond just media. TIP: If you can only afford the media, then you don't have the budget for that medium. That's okay; not everyone has money to burn. That is even more of a reason to invest in a strategy so that you can maximize your marketing dollars. Don't forget about marketing assets like photography or a website.
Do research on your primary and secondary audiences.
Who is your current audience? Also, consider who your emerging audience is.
Do more research. This time, conduct a market analysis.
Who is your competition? Who is grabbing market share from you?
Put your best foot forward.
What do you do better than your competition? What separates your cleaning business from the others in town? Be honest and realistic. Maybe location is your greatest asset, or, perhaps it is your pricing.
List specific goals for the next 12 to 18 months. Include metrics.
Come up with a way to track and analyze the metrics for things such as new clients, sales, or growth. For example, do you want to increase the number of schools or medical facilities you clean? Or do you want to diversify into another sector?
What are your customer touch points?
Where does your audience interact with you? A touch point can be anything or any point where a potential customer interacts with your brand.
Define your brand.
Start with creating a brand strategy. Who are you and what do you do? Be specific. Are you a franchise or second generation BSC? Maybe you specialize in cleaning for healthcare facilities or day cleaning. Use questions like these to get you started.
Are you managing the customer's expectations?
Have you identified who your target audience is? When was the last time you asked your customer what they think about your brand? Is your website optimized for search engines? These questions can help you focus on what areas need the most work.
Create a relevant message to your audience.
Why should they chose your cleaning company versus the competition? Do you serve manufacturing or small office facilities? Without a well thought out message, you are not talking to a target consumer. Instead, you are just blasting a one-way message that is not relevant to them. It also does not educate the audience on why you might be the solution they have been craving.
Think of a brand promise.
What will you offer as a product or service? Is it low-cost day cleaning, visible metrics, or purchasing? The goal is to create lifelong clients that become brand ambassadors. You must deliver on the promise of your brand.
In keeping with the chess theme, just like how each chess piece moves in a different way, each medium you choose may require a different strategy.