In this short, Chris Edwards reveals three steps for entrepreneurs to forge an impactful marketing strategy.
We’re back with another episode of How To Shorts. In this episode, Chris dives into creating an effective marketing strategy. It’s a tricky piece of the puzzle and one that many entrepreneurs get wrong. It is not about being on all the platforms or catering to everyone, but instead focusing and honing your strategy. Chris shares the three key steps and offers helpful guides that you can use.
Once you get your marketing strategy right, sales can flow and your business can thrive. So spend some time digesting this episode and be equipped with everything you need to elevate your marketing game!
In this conversation, we learnt…
– What we’ve covered so far and the episode’s focus on marketing strategy (01:30- 2:40)
– Creating a customer avatar (02:42 – 6:35)
– Understanding the buyer’s journey (06:37 – 10:38)
– Determining your strategy – which platforms will you use (10:40)
“A customer avatar is a persona or a description of who your target customer is.”
The first step in creating your marketing strategy is to understand your target market. This is best done by creating an avatar that includes all their demographics such as age, sex, occupation and income. It should also include things like brands they love, media they read, and people they admire. You can also go deeper into their thought process like what are their fears, what keeps them up at night, what are their frustrations, what annoys them, and what are their hopes and dreams. Then, create up to four avatars and put them up in your office! Use them to inform all your choices.
“The car industry often targets men, but women are the decision makers when it comes to buying a car.”
When creating avatars, it’s important not only to understand not just the person buying the product but to think about the role different customers play in the buying process. Are they the end consumer? Are they influencing the consumer? In the car manufacturer example, they need to study both the female and male involvement in buying a family car. So they would need to have multiple avatars to understand all those involved in buying a car.
“Your buyers need to get to know you. They need to get to like you. They need to fall in love with you before they will buy from you.”
The buyer’s journey is a crucial part of the marketing strategy. It involves nurturing potential customers through different stages: awareness, consideration, evaluation, preference, purchase, and post-purchase. At the awareness stage, the goal is to make people aware of your brand. In the consideration stage, they start considering your product. Then, in the evaluation stage, they compare you to alternatives. Moving to the preference stage, they may show interest by adding items to their cart. Finally, in the purchase and post-purchase stages, you can turn customers into advocates by providing support and encouraging feedback. At each stage, you need to consider the marketing strategy to help move them to the next stage.
“Your customers need to see you seven times before they will decide to buy from you.”
In the digital age, this statistic goes up to 77 times!! So it’s super important to warm up to the buyer. One great way to do that is to potentially engage them, capture their email, and then warm them up on an email. It’s a very affordable way to get that buyer to know you, and have a liking to you so that they will buy from you.
“Definitely go fishing where there’s fish.”
The next step is to find ways to reach your audience. Whether it’s email marketing, Facebook Ads, organic content or even in-person events, you need to think about where your customer is hanging out. You should also take your own interests into consideration. Chris, for example, enjoys LinkedIn and finds it easy to engage with people there. Plus since a lot of entrepreneurs do use Linkedin, it’s a great tool for Launchpad.
Chris Edwards (01:30)
Welcome back to another short episode, where I’m gonna continue to talk about how to scale. And today’s mini episode is all about marketing strategy. So marketing strategy is a really tricky piece of the puzzle. But once you get it right, then sales flow and you have a business. So it’s definitely worth spending a whole lot of time getting it right. So just taking a step back, I have done two episodes already on firstly, how to make sure your business solves a real problem, which I think is the first part on how to scale a business and how to create a business that delivers a real need. And then I did a second episode on how do you ideate and test that concept. So this is the third in our little mini series. And this one is all about marketing. So I just want to talk about three things that I think you really need to focus on when it comes to marketing strategy.
Chris Edwards (02:42)
The first big piece of the puzzle is really understanding, who are you targeting? What is your ideal customer? And to do this, I totally recommend creating a customer avatar. So a customer avatar is persona, if you like, a description, on who your target customer is. And that avatar will include things like their age, their sex, their occupation, their income, so all the demographics, and then that avatar will also include things like brands that they love brands, they look up to media they read, and then it will also go deeper into what is the customer’s fears, what keeps them up at night? What is the customers frustrations? What annoys the customer about the current products in the marketplace? What are the customers hopes and dreams? And what role does this customer play in the buying process? Are they the end consumer? Or are they the person that influences the end consumer? Really fun fact on that – the car industry, it often targets men, but women are the decision makers when it comes to buying a car. And so it’s very interesting if you are a car manufacturer or marketer, in that you need to study both the female and male involvement in buying a car in a family purchase decision. So it’s really interesting to have a think about what role does this avatar? Are they the end user? Or are they buying it for someone else? Or are they the person that influences the decision maker. So that’s what you need to work out. And I have a really great tool sheet on the launchpad website, which is an avatar worksheet which helps step you through how to create this avatar. And what I recommend is giving your avatar a name and even actually adding a photo and sticking it up on your wall and you should have probably I’m gonna say three or four avatars that you are targeting with your marketing. So once you have a really clear avatar Have or target audience of who you’re targeting for your product, then you can actually use that for lots of things in your marketing, from audience segmentation, to tailoring your messaging to precise targeting, like you think about digital marketing, you can get really precise with your demographic information, and even your psychographics and your purchasing behaviour. You can use it for your product development, you could tweak your product to really suit their needs, or address their fears. Your marketing channels selection will also be influenced by their avatar, because you’ll know, where are they hanging out online? Are they spending all their time on LinkedIn? Or are they spending their time on tick tock very different locations for different audience types. And then lastly, you can also use it to improve your overall customer experience, because you’ll know they prefer to be contacted on email or on WhatsApp, like, you’ll get really clear on what’s going to deliver the best product for them. So that’s really the first big piece of marketing is really getting clear on who your customer is. And as I said, you might have three or four. And I totally recommend giving them a name and detailing them and sticking them up on your wall in your office. So you can think about them. And make sure that your marketing is actually addressing their concerns or their hopes or their dreams, and it’s in the right place. So it’s on the right medium with the right messaging.
Chris Edwards (06:37)
The next big piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing strategy, is really understanding your buyer’s journey. So I see this a lot, actually with people that don’t understand marketing. They think that if they’ve got a product, and they know who their target audiences, they can kind of just skip the buyers journey and go straight to sales or the purchase stage. But it doesn’t work like that, when you are trying to attract a customer, you actually really have to nurture them through this buyers journey. And the buyers journey has stages. So the first stage is, they might be completely unaware you exist. So they’re outside the awareness stage. So your first job is just to make them aware of who you are, and what you’re about. And you can do that potentially through media or email or advertising or, you know, a platform like that. And once they’re in the awareness stage, then you need to talk to them a little bit more so that they move into the consideration stage. So when they’re in a consideration stage, they’re actually considering buying your product. So they’ve become aware, and they’ve generated interest in what you’ve got to offer. And then they are in this consideration or another word is evaluation stage, they might be comparing you to alternatives. So this is where your marketing messaging might be more around a comparison chart, or it could be giving them a tick list of all the reasons why you’re a great choice or a better choice than your competitors. After consideration, then they might go into a preference stage. So maybe they’ve put your items in their cart, for example. And this stage, they will still need information and help along this journey. This is where you need to give them information if you’re an ecommerce product around potentially sizing packaging, how to use, maybe you need to provide information about how to return the item, give them comfort around if they go ahead and purchase that they understand everything they need to know about that product could be a sizing chart, for example. And then finally there they go into the purchase stage and then the post purchase stage. And this is a really important stage as well, because this is where they can become an advocate for your business. So you can still nurture them after they’ve bought from you and encourage them to talk about you or share their experience or just get back in contact with you with a feedback form for example. And this is a really great way to build brand advocacy, and get your buyers to become your promoters and to start word of mouth for example. So that’s the buyers journey.
Chris Edwards (09:37)
Another really lovely way to describe this is your buyers need to get to know you. They need to get to like you. They need to fall in love with you before they will buy from you. So think about that. And I suppose it’s a little bit like going on a blind date. You know you’re not gonna walk up to a blind date and go straight for the kill, you’re gonna warm them up along the way. There’s a really interesting stat that says that your customers need to see you seven times before they will decide to buy from you. And they say in the digital age, it’s something more like 77 times now, but let’s just keep it to seven. So you’ve got to warm up your buyer. And a great way to do that is to potentially engage them, capture their email, and then warm them up on an email, for example, it’s a very affordable way to kind of get that buyer to get to know you, and fall in love with you. So they will buy from you. So once you’ve worked out who your customer is, and then you’ve worked out the process, or the journey that your customer is going to go through, and what kind of information they need along the way on that journey to help them make that purchase decision, then the next big piece of the puzzle is really determining your strategy. So what I mean by that is, what are the key ways you’re going to reach out to your audience? Are you going to use email marketing, or Facebook ads, or maybe you’re going to do organic content on Instagram or LinkedIn, maybe you’re going to do in person events.
Chris Edwards (11:21)
Maybe you’re going to do trade shows, maybe you are going to do one to one sales or direct marketing. So there are a whole host of strategies out there you can choose from. And I think you need to kind of consider them all, and then work out what’s going to talk to your customer. So where is your customer hanging out? What can you do based on your abilities and your budget, and even just your personal interests. So you know, I hang out a lot on LinkedIn. And I really enjoy that platform. So it’s easy for me to understand how that platform works. And it feels enjoyable for me to engage with people there. So that’s part of our strategy with Launchpad, because it’s something that I can do easily. And then the last part of the marketing strategy is what are you trying to say to them? Are you trying to just gain awareness? Are you trying to get them to have a little bit more engagement with you like, maybe you’re wanting them to trial your product, or download an ebook. So what is your message depending on where they are in that journey, and then you kind of put those three things together. So that’s how I like to think about marketing strategy. I think you need to be very creative with your marketing to get cut through, I think it is really tough out there. And it’s only getting harder and harder. I think you’ve got to be innovative. Like I think you’ve got to think about what new platforms I can use, that aren’t busy and crowded and saturated. And yeah, most importantly, where are my customers hanging out? Like, where can I meet them? Where can I find them? Definitely go fishing, where there’s fish.
Chris Edwards (13:13)
Okay, so I hope that gives you a really good jumping off point for thinking about your marketing strategy. The other thing I would recommend is really taking stock of brands that you admire, and what they’re doing well, and use it for inspiration for your own concepts. So you know, one example for launchpad is I really love masterclass. And they do a campaign, which is a two for one campaign. And I thought that would be great for Launchpad. And so that’s a campaign that we run. And it does really, really well because it’s really a great campaign of getting people to trial and join your membership without discounting the price. So definitely keep your eyes and ears open, and keep studying what people are doing in the marketplace to get inspiration for your own ideas. I hope this little short was helpful. As I mentioned, I have a couple of downloadables on the launchpad website. One is a customer avatar worksheet. So you can jump in there and download it and fill out your form and create your avatars. And I also have an ebook that shows you the customer journey. So you can have a look at that one too. Let me know if you enjoyed this episode. Or if you have any questions, please reach out. You can reach me at [email protected] or hit me up on LinkedIn. I’m always there. Thanks so much for listening and I hope this episode inspires you to create your own good business.
Chris Edwards (14:52)
Thank you for listening to good business. Okay, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Selfishly, I created this pod Cars for my own personal growth. So I could go deep with entrepreneurs that truly inspire me. Of course, I also wanted a wider listenership to think about having impact, and our wonderful community at Launchpad, where we’re all aspiring to create better businesses together. If you have enjoyed this episode, I’d love you to leave a review, or perhaps share this podcast episode with a friend. That’s how podcast episodes get discovered. And I would love more entrepreneurs to think more deeply about their business and about creating a Heartland business with a bigger impact than just profit. And I’m sure you would too. So go ahead and post something on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook and spread the word I will be forever grateful. Thanks again for listening and I hope that you feel as inspired as I am to create your own good business.