When creating a marketing strategy for your brand or company it is key to always keep your target audience in mind. Who are your potential customers? Why would your products or services be beneficial for them? What are their interests? Where do they hang out?
To help you understand your customers in a better way you can create personas. By gaining a deeper understanding of their behavior, purchase intentions and digital habits we can create segmentation in our big group of customers. This offers you a better insight in how to develop a marketing strategy that is catered for your target audience and gives you the opportunity to create the right message for the right people, in the channels that would be best to gain their attention.
When creating personas there are a couple of questions we should consider that could be of importance for your marketing strategy.
- What is their occupation?
- What is their family status?
- What is education?
- What age group do they belong in?
- What are their interests?
- What social media habits do they have?
- What shopping preferences do they have?
Based on the research you conducted you can start filling out these questions and give shape to the archetypes you think your customers would fit into. This will help you in your next step when developing a customer journey.
To create these personas, we developed some handy ready-to-use templates. You can pick from a couple of characters that we created, and just fill out the information that you collected about your customers based on your research. We even filled out a couple of examples to get you on the right path!
Your customers are experiencing a certain need, a problem or are just interested in buying a certain product. And it is that need that you want to tap into as a brand, and make sure they get to know the product or service that would satisfy that need. Or maybe it goes the other way, and the customers get exposed to your product before they even experience a certain need. Both events mark the start of a customer journey, the process your customers go through before buying.
The most basic customer journey usually consists of the following steps:
- The Awareness Stage where your prospects realize they have a problem or need
- The Consideration Stage where they research ways to solve the problem
- The Buying Stage where they make the decision to buy a product or solution
As a brand, you want to make sure your brand can be found when your customers are in the consideration stage. Or you might even want to reach them before they reach the Awareness Stage. But how do we reach them in these different stages? Where will they be most likely to go look for a solution? How do we convince them to choose your product over that of the competition? And it doesn’t even stop there – because your customer’s journey isn’t finished once they bought something. How do you follow up on them? How do we ensure their satisfaction once they’ve converted?
Sounds complex? Mapping out a customer journey is a great way to visualize their buying behavior along the conversion funnel. By mapping out their problem, the mediums they use to research, the way they will interact with your website, social media or advertisement, we can predict how they move to the sales funnel.
We created a useful tool to map out your customer journey in a visual way, including personas, their research behavior, preferred channels and emotional journey that goes along with it.
Without a strategy, your business will be floating around, without a set course to follow and destination to reach. We need some direction, a clear guide that will help us achieve our goals. When we develop a business strategy we create an overview of long-term goals, our target market, our competition, financial objectives, the direction we want to head in and the threats we will be exposed to. We get to know our key-customers and how our products will help them. And we will explore the channels of distribution to reach them.
By developing a strategic plan, we align our vision and mission with our ongoing activities, marketing efforts and processes that the organization goes through. And with this in mind, we create a marketing strategy, a content strategy or an advertisement strategy.
Unsure of where to start with your strategy development? There are so many fields to consider, that will all contribute to your game plan. That’s why we created a strategy development tool, that will guide you through the most important steps to consider while setting up your business strategy
With a clear strategy in mind, we know where we are heading. But how to ensure we are still on track? Once in a while, we need to stop, breathe and have a close look at what we are doing. That’s what we call a strategic review.
Our strategy is something we developed in an earlier stage of our organization. But along the way, we can check-in to see if we’re still following up on it. By going through the different aspects of the strategy we evaluate the progress that we made, and improvements we could implement in the future. This way, we can adjust our goals, focus on new targets, make changes in our marketing approach and discover new opportunities.
A good strategic review should take place at least once every quarter. Possible topics to consider are key business objectives and key performance indicators, costs/revenue models, marketing results, customer journeys and the buying funnel, a digital audit, and a review of the operational side of your business. Have a look at our Strategic Review toolkit for a handy resource to ensure you’re not missing out on any important steps.
Your business is set and running. You conquered the first challenge and so far so good. But what now? How do you take the leap and up the ante?
Growth hacking helps you to take your business to the next level. By looking at where you are and where you want to be, we can decide strategically how to get you there. And for that we have to look at all the aspects. Does your social media campaign need an extra boost? Are you spending your ad money strategically? Are you investing in customer retention? By analyzing these topics, we zoom in on the flaws and adjust exactly those parts needed to step up your game. The result? Your company can keep growing.
Whether you manage a multi-dollar company or you’re a small start-up, we all want to grow and get to that next step. In our Growth Hacking Toolkit, we give you the tools to give your organization that extra boost.
We live in a digital world. And after years of hearing how all marketing should shift online some marketers might even forget the importance of traditional marketing. But let’s not forget about the beginnings of marketing, before there was social media or Google Adwords. Let’s have a look at the traditional marketing principles and how these should be a part of every marketing mix.
In the customer journey, there are various touch points with your brand or product. Although the majority of these probably happen online, we need to consider offline touchpoints as well. These will supplement your digital marketing, but also give you the chance to find an innovative and creative way to approach your customers. And some of them might even gain importance again in the future, like ‘sales calls’ noticed a big increase after the introduction of call extensions in Google Ads.
Everything that doesn’t happen online falls under the broad term of traditional marketing. Think of event marketing, press relations, in-store promotions, printed marketing, magazine or newspaper advertising, promotional gifts etc. Need some inspiration? Have a look at our traditional marketing toolkit.
Our life takes place online. We read the news online, we check the weather on our phone, we order food through an app, we talk and joke with our friends through social media and we even find the love of our lives on the internet. And that’s the reason that your marketing should happen online, too.
Which channels to use depends on various characteristics of your customers, such as demographics, interests or device preferences. In order to reach our audience, we will have to understand their digital habits, and make sure we connect with them on the right channels. Digital marketing covers a variety of online channels including apps, emails, search ads, social media platforms, digital banners, YouTube ads, blog posts, online games, referral and online public relations.
There are many channels through which we reach our customers. And we should make use of these platforms, to get as much exposure for our brand as possible, and to ensure we reach our target audience in the channels that they hang out in. That’s why marketers post on Facebook, put an ad in the newspaper and optimize their website. This principle is called multi-channel marketing. But we believe there’s more.
We believe in omnichannel marketing. Marketing that doesn’t just reach your customers through every channel individually, but a marketing approach where everything connects. Where the focus is on the customer experience and where this experience is consistent across all touchpoint of the journey.
Customers might buy something because they clicked on your Facebook ad. But that Facebook ad was only shown because they visited your website a week earlier. And the reason they visited your website was that they saw your TV ad that day. Or they saw a video ad on YouTube. Or they clicked on a referral link. It’s no longer right to only consider the last step in the purchasing cycle, but we have to integrate all these channels and optimize them for each other.
Like mentioned before, we want our customers to have the same experience across all these touchpoints. That’s why you need to plan your campaign consistently, which can sometimes be confusing for marketers. Marketing departments often have different people responsible for every channel or even if you’re just a one-man team it might be though to not let one of your platforms fall through the cracks. That’s why we created a beautiful visually tracking tool, to get your omnichannel marketing on point!
People like to complain. About the rain, about the heat, about traffic. They love sharing their opinion and will often share it with everybody, even though nobody really asked for it. The same goes for complaints regarding your services. And even though you think they might be completely unfair or insulting, you do want to take note of these complaints.
Even more, you want to collect these complaints, manage them, learn from them and respond to them. Dealing with reviews coming in through multiple inboxes can be a tough obstacle to tackle. Who’s going to manage all inboxes and respond to all these questions and complaints? By keeping an overview in the Complaints Tracker, we developed, we give you a handy guide of how to process and deal with complaints.
With the rise of social media, websites, forums and other platforms, customers have the possibility to leave reviews in all kinds of ways. The times where you could ignore a negative comment on your Facebook page or delete a one-star review are way behind us, and it all comes down to dealing with these reviews in a customer-focused way. Customer service became present in all the channels in our marketing mix, and we should incorporate it into our customer relationship strategy.
But on the other hand, we should also give credit where credit is due. Positive reviews can be a nice little ego-boost. For your marketing team, for your developers or for your management – just to reward everyone for their hard work. And of course – keeping a good overview of the good versus the bad helps us to ensure the overall rating stays at the positive side. Why not keep all your reviews in one place, to follow up with the number of reviews you’re receiving and who has dealt with them? And luckily for you, we created such a template for you. Try out our Review Tracker to stay on top of your reviews!