Kickstart Your 12 Month Marketing Roadmap
We know kicking off a marketing strategy for a full year can be a daunting task - no matter when in the year you are trying to start. There are dozens of things you could do; how do you start with the right actions that will give you the best ROI?
At Decoded Strategies, we’ve worked with hundreds of companies to establish clear, effective brand strategies to attract and retain more of the right type of customers. Here are 3 steps you can take right now to set your 12 Month Marketing Roadmap up for success:
Identify and refine your Ideal Customer Profile:
It’s always better to market towards the type of customer most likely to succeed with your company, long-term. It can be tempting to try to sell to anyone and everyone, but that typically leads to a leaky bucket. Instead, you need to identify what type of customer has the greatest chance of being successful with your product or service. Again, not the greatest chance of closing a sale- but the greatest chance of long-term success with your company.
This is what we call the “Ideal Customer Profile,” or ICP. In order to define your ICP, think about your existing customers who have been the most successful. Start by picking 2 or 3 existing customers, and document characteristics, attributes and details such as:
- Company size
- What products/services did they purchase from you
- What core problem did you solve for them?
- Why do you consider them successful? (Long-term retention, highest revenue, high NPS or customer happiness, etc)
And don’t just think about existing customers; think about new types of customers where you see an opportunity. You may have a few ICPs, and that’s ok. Try to stick to 2 or 3 profiles to be sure you’re able to prioritize and target your efforts towards these segments.
I am a firm believer that the more details you add to your ICP, the more targeted you can get in your approach to finding more of these types of customers. And don’t be afraid of evaluating the qualitative and quantitative aspects of your ICP. Many companies stop at company size and industry. Think about the real reasons why those customers are ideal. Maybe you just love working with them. Maybe they’re less noisy than other customers because they better understand your products or service. The more specific you get, the more you can brainstorm ways to find and target new customers who fit this profile.
Evaluate and update your brand messaging
When was the last time you took a look at your brand story? Chances are, your company has grown and shifted over the past year, which might mean your brand messaging could use a touch-up. Think about your newly developed ICPs; does your brand messaging resonate with them? Take a look at any brand stories you’ve developed and pinpoint anything that feels confusing, muddy, or not-quite-right.
At Decoded Strategies, we are practitioners of the StoryBrand methodology, which enables companies to develop clear, compelling brand stories that invite customers into a story they want to be a part of. These brand stories should serve as a foundation of any marketing efforts you launch, because you want to ensure the marketing copy and stories you’re telling across all your content is consistent.
Here’s a quick and easy test to see if you’re in need of new brand messaging:
- Poll 10-15 employees and ask them simply, “how do you describe what our company does?”
- Poll 10-15 customers and ask them the same thing.
If you’re getting different answers across the board, something’s missing. And that’s ok- now is a great time to revisit and develop your core brand story. Here’s a guide we created to provide insight into the best place to start:
Additionally, StoryBrand offers quarterly Live Workshops where you can learn the framework and build your brand messaging fueled by dedicated coaching and feedback from a certified StoryBrand facilitator (Interested in joining? Shoot us an email and we can help you reserve a seat, and, bonus, we might be your coach!).
Select the right channels, and start building content
Now that you’ve got a clear picture of your ICP and foundational brand messaging, you can start to build lead-generating content to drive customers into your funnel. BUT- don’t just start writing a bunch of blog posts. The first thing you need to do is figure out where your ICPs are congregating. What are the best content distribution channels that will deliver content to the segments you’re targeting?
Think about it this way. If a blog grows and grows but no one is there to read it, does it make an impact? Ok that’s a bad attempt at repurposing the “tree falling in the woods” analogy. But the same point stands- don’t waste your precious time and resources on building content if you don’t have a plan for how to get it in the hands of your ICP.
Content distribution will be very specific to your company, industry, ICP, and budget. It’s something you should bring your team together and think about, as this is a crucial (and often missed) step in building your lead gen strategy.
The best way to get the biggest bang for your buck, is to think about a great piece of content and ideas you think will resonate with your customers. Then write it out. Maybe as a blog post or an article, something long-form where you get out all the ideas.
Then, take that content and repurpose it to distribute across a variety of channels such as:
- Email blasts
- LinkedIn Ads or Google Smart Campaigns
- Lead Generating PDFs (free, valuable content available in exchange for an email address)
- Landing pages
- Social media content
Make sure you have a clear CTA on every piece of content, driving prospects back to your website and into your sales funnel.
And there you have it- you’re well on your way to creating an effective 12 month Marketing Roadmap that will help supercharge your marketing for the year.
Need a little help getting started? Schedule a call with us, and we can talk about how we can help guide you to create marketing strategies and brand messaging that will fuel your growth for the year.
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A Fresh Perspective
Kristin Spiotto and Annie Mosbacher are dedicated to helping promising, but stuck, tech companies implement marketing and retention strategies that lead to long-term success.
Get more customers and keep the ones you have.