Building a successful marketing strategy revolves around who, what, when, where, why and how. When you identify these elements, document them, share them with the team and hold everyone accountable to sticking to them, then you will have a successful marketing strategy that delivers the ability to generate return on investment. The best place to begin any story is at the beginning so this article will focus on “Who” – our target audience and creating a profile for each type of potential buyer.SJHM Who image

We need to identify all the attributes of who we are targeting in order to drive our target accounts, messaging, differentiation and marketing vehicles to be used to attract them. Walk around to each member of your sales team and ask them to define who they target by title, industry, geography and then ask them what types of opportunities they would be most likely to sell to their targets. Ask your sales team what are the predominant issues that their prospects/clients have with buying from them.

Many companies believe that they sell to all industries or produce a quick list of industries and the reality is that each of their markets have industries that are more likely to need their services than others. Create a tightly crafted list of high potential industries, in your given markets, to focus your attention. This list should range between three and five industries per market. Competitive information and research are factors into providing information that yields the best decisions. Who are the industries that are most likely to buy from you?

The Buyer
For years the notion of elevating your sale was out in the marketplace. Building a sound marketing strategy is not about climbing the corporate ladder all the way to the uninterested buyer. There is a time and place to elevate the sale, but identifying where you sale occurs, the majority of the time, is where opportunities are to be had. Do your sales occur with manager level contacts, director level, etc.? What departments are these buyers in and which ones consume more or less of what you sell?

Identify your potential markets. Are you working locally or through a long-line approach? Are there outlining markets that need to be included or avoided? By building a territory map, you will see your opportunities more clearly. Research provides you increasing reliability for the geographies to target in your marketing strategy. Distribute the markets between Tier 1, 2 and 3 where Tier 1 markets are your absolute greatest opportunity for success and expand from there.

Understanding why your target audience purchases from you and what they would purchase from you are at the top of the food chain of information. Take the knowledge you have from existing clients to build these kernels of truth. Do you have more success with ERP systems or working across application development? Most of our prospects and clients would tell us that they have enough vendors, but there are pockets that they can’t get the help they need. Identify the areas of opportunity between what clients have needs for and what you can offer successfully. This information is generally viewed as impossible information to get, but you already have access to the information from your existing clients, just ask them.

Key Issues
What are the reasons that your prospects and clients do want to work with you? What are the reasons that they don’t work with you? Why do they work with your competitors? The answers will revolve around the team that identifies their issues and addresses them the best. As I write this, I hear the rhetoric in this statement, but it is not. Do you currently know what issues your typical client has? Have you ever tried to identify the issues? What is your solution to those issues? I know it sounds like rhetoric, but have you sat down and tried to answer these questions? Have you talked to your clients about them? It won’t sound like rhetoric when you have done it.

Now, document the “Who” that you have just created with this information. Create a target profile for each of your target audiences. Determine how many of these targets are too many and cut from there. Here is the hard part, center your strategy around these targets and do not vary for a prolonged period of time. Hold everyone accountable to knowing who the “Who” is and minimize distractions from these audiences. You are beginning to have a strategy. Stay tuned to this blog for the next step in building your marketing strategy.S.J.Hemley Marketing

Five Marketing Strategy Takeaways:

  1. Build target profiles for each of your audience typesS.J.Hemley Marketing
  2. Identify the industries that are most likely buyers
  3. Define which buyers are the level your sale occurs
  4. Determine the locations where you can have the most success
  5. Develop and understanding of why your clients need you and their specific issues

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.