Principles of Marketing Strategy

No matter what you try, your marketing isn't working. It's hard. It's expensive. And with everything that you need to stay on top of, it's completely overwhelming. And the worst part is that you're putting a ton of time and money into this, but you're not getting the growth or the results or the sales that you need. And it kills you because others are doing it well. Others seem to have this figured out. “Why isn't it working for you? I don't know what to do next? Why can't I figure this out?” I have been there. And before you run off to try the next thing, just stop. Let's get back to basics. Let's figure this out. So you can crush those goals.

Going back to basics is taking a look at your marketing strategy. Because really, all marketing is, is connecting the right people at the right place or time to the right message with the right offer or benefits, that way they're going to think what you want them to think They're going to feel what you want them to feel, or they're going to do what you want them to do. That is it. That's all marketing is. And if your marketing isn't working, something in that chain is broken; it could be that you're targeting the wrong people. Or maybe you're in the wrong place, or it's the wrong time and you have the wrong message, or your offer just isn't connecting.

There aren't really that many steps to this, but fixing it starts with the five principles of marketing strategy, and I'm gonna break this down and keep things really really simple for you. So you can fix your marketing today.

Okay, I'm about to jump into the five principles, but real quick, I just have to stop. For a side note, old school marketing strategies focused on things like the four P's; that's product, placement, promotion, and price. Or they focus on things like specialization, what you do, or differentiation, what makes you different, or segmentation, who you are speaking to, concentrating or focusing on what works. The point is, whether it's the four P's or any of these other old school methods, they don't really work because they focus really heavily on you, your product, your features, your benefits, what you want to say, how you want to stand out, why you want to be different; they spend all of their time focusing on you, and not enough time focusing on the people that you're trying to connect with, or sell to, or work with.

You need to flip it. If you're a big corporation, if you're an international company, or you know, you're in an MBA course, spend all of your time focusing on yourself, that's fine. But if you're a small business, if you're scrappy, if you're nimble, if you want to make this work, you've spent more time focusing on your customers and your prospects. Okay, side note over, back to the principles.

1. Connect with the right people

This is all about the person that you want to connect with, the prospect, the target customer, the persona, color, whatever you want, but at the end of the day, you need to have a really clear idea of the person who would benefit most from your product or service; who is that person?

More than their age, more than their gender, or their geography. What do they care about? What do they fear? What do they desire? What is it they want to achieve? What is it that your product gives them? You have to know everything about the right person, and then even test to make sure that it connects, because your assumptions might be way off. Most companies' assumptions are way off. So your goal is to make sure that you're finding the right person. So if you have sales history, look back through every single sale over the last few years and try to analyze those people, why they came to you, what the mindset was, how the project worked, or how you sold the product because there's so much information there in terms of their motivations, their intentions, the thing that drove them into your sales process, and ultimately, that led to you getting the sale.

2. The right place

If you know your prospects, if you know who you want, you can figure out where they are. If you're targeting older people, then sure, they'll be on Facebook; if you're targeting younger men, they may not be on Facebook. If you're targeting millionaires or billionaires, then maybe they're going to be at events that millionaires and billionaires attend. If you're targeting people who work at a certain company, then maybe you want to be in a certain geography outside of their offices. It's really not that complicated.

We know who the people are. And now we can figure out where they go, what they read, what they watch. What do they love? What do they hate? Where do they go out? Where do they live? You need to figure out who you're speaking to. And then it's as simple as figuring out where they are.

3. The right time

So we got the people, we got the place, timing is everything. If you're, you know, selling engagement rings, think about it. You definitely want to be there before the people are married, right? You want to make sure that you're speaking to the right person at the right place, but also at the time of consideration. Are they looking for your product or service? Are you getting in front of them at a certain moment? Are there any correlations? You know, can we assume that just because someone is getting married and having a kid that maybe they're thinking about their future now. And so we want to talk to him about life insurance and retirement, there are lots of these kinds of little life moments, or these little places and times. Everybody seems to know that in April or May, when we get our tax returns, suddenly people go out and buy lots of things. So it's a great time to sell jet skis or big-screen televisions because people are flushed with this returned money. But in January, you know, at the end of Christmas, we've just spent all this money. Why are there so many sales? Well, there are tons of sales because everybody's run out of money now and they're getting their Visa bills.

So timing is critical, because you want people who are open to hearing your message or at the end of the day are searching for what you have to offer.

4. The right message

So now, here's the point where we can actually talk about ourselves. Every other marketing strategy starts with making yourself and your product and your feature stand out, and all of this stuff, we're on step number four, before we even start thinking about our message, and our message isn't even what we want to say, it's now what the customer or the prospect needs to hear or wants to hear.

It's not really about us. It's not our message. It's their message. It's the message that we need to use to connect with, that we have the right people, we have the right place. Think about how people in place and even time affects what you say, and let's use dating as an example.

If you are bumping into someone for the first time and you have a little friendly conversation, and you think, “I'd like that person's number”, it's a different person at a different place in a different time with a different message. Then, if you were on the 15th date, or if you are married for 20 years, you have to think about who you’re speaking to and where. Are they online or offline, or where are they in the process and the time in terms of what they're feeling and what they're thinking and how much they know, or how much they understand about you and your product? Everything else changes, including your message. So align and write your messages and craft your messages and your creative and your ads and everything about what you put out there to make sure that you're saying the right thing to the right person at the right time in the right way.

5. The right offer

At the end of the day, if the shipping isn't right, or your price isn't right or the timing isn't right, or the offer isn't right or someone else is offering a discount, all of those things that you just did will help you. It's not going to get you the sale. And so you have to have the right product or the right service packaged in the right way with timing and price and color and everything that people care about. You have to have the right offer in front of that person to get that sale.

So when most people think of marketing strategy, they think of things like, “Should we do Facebook or Instagram? Should we do corporate sponsorship, or live events, or influencer marketing?” They're thinking In terms of tactics, but what you should be focusing on for marketing strategy are these five principles. Because these five principles will dictate where you should be, what tactics you should do, how much you should spend. The five principles will tell you whether you should be on Instagram or Facebook, because that's the place, or whether you should do influencer marketing or not, because that is the message.

These five principles will show you what to do, how to do it, and how to do it well.

And guess what, if something isn't working, you now have a framework or structure to test to see where the issue is. You can test different places or different times, you can test different people or different messages or different offers. Because between these five things, you can determine the best place with the best message for the right person at the right time, and figure out that winning formula is. That is how you build a marketing campaign that will help you crush it.