When we think of a company’s vision, most small business owners understand the concept. It is what you ultimately want your company to be based on your intended goals. It gives your company a clear direction in which to base all decisions, in order to keep the business on track.
Well, when it comes to marketing your small business, the same concept holds true as well. All of the parts are connected, but not the same. Without one, the whole skeleton of your business would fall apart.
Marketing Vision: Easy as 1, 2, 3
- Your business has to have a marketing vision–a clear direction in which to base all of the marketing decisions, to keep the marketing on track. And your marketing vision needs to be based on the overall goals of the business itself, connected to your business vision.
- With your marketing vision in mind, this is when your marketing strategy kicks in. This is essentially the spinal column of the business–the absolute center of your business strategy and includes everything from which products and/or services you will sell to how your customers are to feel about your products and/or services.
What are the goals for your marketing that will help you reach the vision of your business? Combine all of those marketing goals and you have your marketing strategy. For example, a marketing strategy could be as broad as creating a process in which to increase sales or create a sustainable business advantage over competitors. But, as long as you have an overarching marketing vision, you have a measuring stick in which to gauge success.
- The next element that goes into your marketing program should be the marketing tactics. Many articles and blogs that you read, and even a lot of businesses, make the mistake of confusing marketing strategy with marketing tactics. These terms are not interchangeable. Your marketing tactics are the ways in which you are going to reach the goals set forth in your marketing strategy.
Marketing For Baseball
My son plays baseball. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you probably know that I can relate about 99% of what I say to the life lessons learned because he plays baseball.
And for the sake of illustration, let’s pretend that the baseball team is a company that generates revenue. My business vision is a baseball team with the top players in the sport, that the public will feel a kinship with and want to spend money on. This is what I want my company to be–my ultimate goal, my business vision.
My marketing vision is that of a baseball team that values the fans and provides them with great experiences that they can’t get from other teams. All of my marketing decisions will be judged against this measuring stick.
Now it’s time for me to create a marketing strategy that will help me reach my marketing vision. This is the collection of all of the goals. My baseball team needs to draw crowds in order to increase ticket sales. My team needs to create an affinity with the community in order for fans to buy merchandising items. And, my team needs to feel more accessible to fans than any other team in the league. And for me to understand these things, I need to include a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threats) analysis and a definitive goal in which to gauge success.
My marketing strategy is centered around providing fans with something great, so they will then want to come see my son’s team more, therefore directly contributing to fulfilling my business vision of having the public feel a kinship with them and spending more money.
The marketing strategy would include:
- Increase attendance to all home games by 10% through increasing fan accessibility to players.
- Increase merchandising sales by 25% through specialty items.
- Etc., etc., etc…
Your marketing tactics are the what in any marketing program–the action items, the programs that will help you reach the goals. What are we going to do to increase ticket sales? What are we going to do to make fans feel special? What are we going to do to motivate fans to purchase more baseball items from my team?
For example, every X-day home game we are offering a free, special-edition baseball cap to each ticket purchaser. And, every X-day game, we will have live announcements that award prizes and merchandise to season ticket holders. Every time you come to an X-day, your name is entered into a drawing to attend a meet-and-greet with the players.
We would promote the program via social media, game announcements, mailings to list of potential ticket holders, etc.
At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves, “Does this help to create the public perception that this baseball team values the fans and provides them with great experiences? Ones they can’t get from other teams?” Do my strategy and the tactics that support my strategy actually help me to achieve my marketing vision, thereby achieving my business vision?
Does your company have a clear marketing direction in which to base all decisions, in order to reach your overall vision? If not, you could be wandering aimlessly in a marketing abyss.
To let Crossroads help you find direction and discover your marketing vision, email [email protected].
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