Every great meal consists of several components. Generally, you start with an appetizer, then move to the main dish with a couple of sides, and finish with dessert.
Marketing your business is similar to preparing that great meal. It should start with something to tantalize your audience into wanting to learn more (appetizer), followed by the “meat” of what you have to offer, with a couple of side options that complete the overall picture of your brand message. Then, the pièce de résistance — dessert — completes the entire plan, with action taken that satisfies (satiates) the client.
Not sure where to start?
First you need a great recipe (marketing strategy or plan). Then it’s important to gather the right quality ingredients, mix them together, and let them cook for a while.
Everyone has a recipe they love, but even your favorite recipe sometimes needs tweaking to make it even better. It’s the same for marketing plans and strategies. A business needs to be flexible and track/shift to what works best for your target market.
Of course, no recipe is at its best without quality ingredients. Those ingredients should include experienced people, planned processes, and physical times that are ready to be blended together for optimum results. Your people should include creative types who have both written and visual communication skills, and those who actually follow the plan and know how to tweak it to produce the right outcome. Processes in place should include a set number of touchers per day/week/month to a particular audience. The physical items should be complete or in process for these touches (i.e. website, blog, social media, brochures, direct mail, leave-behinds, etc.), and there should be a way of tracking the results of those touches and adjust them as needed.
Every good meal takes patience to prepare. Sometimes you have to let things cook all the way through in order to see the full end result. Tracking both print and online touches will help you with the overall “flavor” of what is and isn’t working. This way, you’ll know how to adjust the recipe the next time you prepare it.
Don’t stop at the appetizer
You’ve just completed the appetizer recipe, by teasing the audience’s taste buds for more information. Don’t stop there. Continue your messaging with the main course and a couple of side dishes. What exactly is the main course? It’s your primary core message, and then some (bonus information/features that become your side dishes). And, then there’s dessert. You always have room for dessert, right? Because dessert is where you draw them in for the sweet reward you offer with your great product or service that can satisfy their wants or needs.
Let’s face it. Just about everyone loves dessert. And, if prepared correctly, it’s fun. And that’s what this process is all about!