The Marketing Magic Trifecta: Top 3 Marketing Tactics to Spend Your First Marketing Dollars On
We are often approached by Victoria small businesses and startups for help with growing their business. Many have been doing their own guerrilla marketing, some have worked with other companies, most have a limited budget.
These companies ask us for advice about how to spend smartly so they are positioned for growth. That is, what should they spend to get the best bang-for the-buck in the long run.
When looking back at all the proposals we've made to address this goal, the proposal we typically make is what I call the "magic trifecta"—the three pillars of a strong digital marketing strategy. These are things that are absolutely necessary to get right, especially before investing in other marketing projects. Many times the customer has already done these either on their own or from hiring a company who didn't dive in deep enough to really get to know their story and how to communicate their value. In those cases we suggest doing them again so we can really "knock 'em out of the park".
Here is our "magic trifecta": the top 3 things that small businesses should spend their money on first in order to grow their business.
1) A Rock Solid Brand
Developing a professional brand is a smart long-term investment. Because your brand affects how prospects perceive you, and is echoed in every bit of marketing you do from your website to social media to email campaigns, a rock-solid brand that positions you as a leader will pay dividends for years, especially as new competitors enter your space.
An important point to note is that branding doesn't end when a new corporate logo has been created. Branding is strengthened with every touchpoint you have with your audience. A great brand that is not reinforced consistently is a weak brand. If we stay on to work with you on future projects in a fractional marketing capacity then we will become your brand manager, ensuring that your brand is echoed in all communication with your market. If not, it's important that your branding design includes a thorough "brand bible" that helps coach you and your employees on how to develop and strengthen your brand.
Our small business branding package includes everything you'll need for your marketing campaigns.
2) Messaging Refinement
Telling your story effectively and efficiently is the most important thing you can do besides developing your brand. Your messaging builds upon your brand (and actually is reflected in it), and gives you a consistent and impactful message that can be used in your website and all outbound marketing. In developing what we call a "Messaging Box" we take a deep dive into what you do and where you want to go, and what the value is to your customers.
Often new clients have a lot of different messages which can make prospects overwhelmed, and this impacts conversion of visitors into customers. We like to simplify the story so we can lead people through an effective sales funnel quickly.
We use a framework that we've developed over the past 25 years to analyze multiple aspects of your business. It culminates in a "Messaging Box" document that lays the foundation for all communication with your target market and covers:
- Who is your target market
- What you are offering
- How does it work
- Value proposition - problem/need, value drivers, unique competitive advantages, etc.
- Competitive positioning
- Benefit/value assessment
- Company analysis (SWOT)
- Elevator pitches
- Sound bites
- and more
Your website is the foundation of all marketing efforts. One way or another, your prospects will end up on your website. This is where it's critical to convert visitors to customers. The Messaging Box and a well-designed brand helps a lot here, and layout and overall site design in fact can be just as important as the messaging—how it looks and how the information is presented can be as important as what it says...more appropriately, the words won't matter much if they aren't read or can't be found. Presentation matters on a website.
Professionally designed and built websites are fairly expensive (at least for typical small businesses under $1M in revenue). They're also expensive to operate and maintain on fast servers with full backups, firewalls, caches, and yearly plugin licenses, etc. but it's the design and updating of the site's content that is the biggest ongoing cost after the initial design/build (we normally tweak and revise the content and layout of a new site for the first year or two as our ongoing analysis suggests). We like to do a lot of A/B testing, which really helps to nail down conversion rates.
Because of this, we created a plan for buying website services that caters to small businesses that don't want to blow all or most of their budget on just a website, instead of branding, messaging and outbound marketing campaigns. It's just like your cellphone—most people don't buy the hardware in full up front, but buy a subsidized phone and pay over time with a multi-year commitment. It's much easier on cashflow. We also hate nickel-and-diming customers with a series of invoices each time we do some work.
Website-as-a-Service bundles everything related to the website into a single monthly cost, including a professional design and build, ongoing hosting, maintenance, and any number of updates or changes that are needed. The cost varies only by how many pages are part of the site, and you have to commit to at least 24 months.
It's important to note that although the Magic Trifecta is a solid foundation of your digital marketing efforts, it is not the end of the story. You need to do these thing first (and do them right) but you can't stop there. Customers need to come to your website to take in the compelling messaging that addresses their problems and take in the glorious branding that gives them confidence that you are the right company to solve them. But whether it's an SEO campaign to elevate your search engine ranking, a social media advertising campaign or marketing materials for your sales team, the Monkeys are ready to help you out!