Foundations of Marketing

Chris Barricks

When it comes to marketing there are a lot of shiny tools to catch your attention. From Google to the rise of Facebook and social media platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, and the newest platform Clubhouse (more on that later). It’s hard not to want to jump on every train and join/grow your business with the various channels at your fingertips. The problem is you end up putting the cart before the horse. Figuratively speaking.

Before you can make marketing channels work for your business. You need to build the foundation of your brand and efforts first. Elon Musk says it best.

“Make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.” – Elon Musk

So what exactly are the trunk and big branches of Marketing? Simple.

1. Brand Voice
2. Ideal Customer
3. Marketing Strategy
4. Marketing Plan

Crafting Your Brand Voice

Before you can begin promoting your business you have to understand who your business is. And it’s not the business plan or the product or service you want to sell. It’s who your brand is.

Your brand voice is an integral part of your marketing, that if done right and consistently, will help you attract the kind of customers you are looking to serve. Not sell. Serve. Because at the end of the day, no matter what you have to offer, you aren’t selling it. You are serving a need that the customer has.

So what is your brand voice? Well, it’s a few things.

  • It’s your mission statement
  • The value proposition
  • Your Core Values
  • The tone in which you communicate

It’s your character, culture, personality, the way you communicate. In plain words, your brand voice is your personality.

Think of your brand voice this way. You as an individual, how do you want people to feel when they interact with you. What do you want to be defined as when people talk about you?

Now, do this same exercise for your brand.

Identifying your Ideal Customer

“Everyone is my customer” is a phrase we hear a lot at client’s tables. From small to big brands. And while we would all love to believe this is the truth. Unfortunately, it is just not the case.

Let’s take a look at the clothing industry as an example.

Everyone needs clothing. Right? You can’t walk into any place of business or be in public if you are wearing your birthday suit. So, technically a brand that specializes in selling clothes could say…

“Everyone is our customer”.

But that statement would be wrong. Why? Because a clothing company selling winter jackets probably won’t market to customers in warmer climates. A brand that has its clothes made in China won’t appeal to consumers who only buy American made. Graphic Tees won’t sell to someone who doesn’t like the phrase on their shirts.

You see, not everyone is your Ideal Customer. You have to hone in on who your niche is and speak to them well.

Need help finding your ideal customer? You know who to call. (That’s us, Relly, in case you didn’t know).

Understanding your Marketing Strategy

Your Brand Voice and Ideal customer are an essential part of your marketing strategy. Working on those foundations first will help you as you determine what marketing channels to choose and how to plan your content.

But before you can determine which channels and content make the most sense, you have to understand what you are aiming for.

Hint: that is your Business Goals.

We see a lot of businesses tackle their marketing without first understanding what they are trying to achieve. Which ends up looking something like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. This is not effective or efficient (and messy).

Everything you do in marketing needs to support your business goals. So while your brand voice is your why your Ideal Customer your who. Think of your marketing strategy as your ‘what’ and ‘where’. Will talk about the ‘when’ in a second.

Your marketing strategy should lay out how you strategically plan and execute efforts that drive your performance metrics.

Those can be:

  • Establish brand awareness
  • Creating brand consistency
  • Sales goals related
  • and more…

Once you identify what you are aiming for you can establish objectives that will serve as steppingstones you need in order to reach the overarching goal.

For example: Let’s say one of your business goals is to increase revenue by 25% this year. An objective that might help you get there is to grow your email newsletter list by 100 new subscribers per month or increase average online or in-store purchases from $35-$55.

Objectives and tactics are the parts of your strategy that will help you craft your plan.

A good rule of thumb when developing your marketing strategy is ensuring everything is measurable. So you can track your success. If something is not working, you need to know so your time and dollars are not wasted on activities that don’t pay off.

Building your Marketing Plan

Remember that part about ‘when’ we mentioned above. That’s your Marketing Plan. This details everything you need to do in order to successfully promote your business. The practical part of implementing your marketing strategy.

It can seem confusing, the difference between a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Plan. A lot of people get these intertwined. Think of your marketing plan as the missing link between the strategic direction of your plan and the delivery of results.

Marketing plan = the actions you will take to support your strategy.

In your plan, you should cover things like your campaigns, social media schedule, topics, and timing of your emails, blog articles, various ads, etc… Ultimately, when you will do everything that will connect your brand message to your ideal customer with content that converts to achieve your goals!

Want more in-depth support on the foundations of your marketing? Join Relly for as little as $14.99/mo and get access to on-demand courses, DIY content templates, and expert guidance to get BIG marketing results, even with a tiny budget.

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