Steve Jobs once said, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” He was talking about the importance of strategy. Every business has goals — but goals alone aren’t enough to drive your business forward. Without a sound strategy, even the hardest working teams can fall short of their ambitions. And when it comes to achieving your company’s goals, clearly defined marketing strategies are tools you can’t afford to be without.
Why Marketing Strategies Matter
The greatest, most innovative, world-changing new product will never sell if no one knows it exists. Your great idea, product, or service needs customers — and it’s your job to bring them in. That’s where marketing strategies come into play.
But there are a number of pitfalls companies must beware of when they begin developing marketing strategies. And a bad (or incomplete) marketing strategies can be more dangerous than no strategy at all.
Beware of some of the most common pitfalls when developing marketing plans:
Focusing on a new tactic (updating your website or launching a new social media campaign) rather than a new strategy
It’s important to set goals first, figure out what strategy will support those goals, and then choose tactics that fit your strategy.
Failing to set KPIs to measure the success of your strategy
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Ensure your marketing strategy includes the identification of key performance indicators so you can track and verify its impact.
Not accurately identifying your audience (or what they need)
The cornerstone of your marketing strategy must be an understanding of who you’re trying to reach and what pains they have that your offering can solve. (Developing customer personas can be a big help here.)
Strategy Developed for the Tech Industry
At Total Product Marketing, we live in the tech sector. We’ve spent years in partnership with Cloud, IT, and telecom companies of all shapes and sizes to help them develop and execute marketing strategies that help them achieve company goals and objectives.
And that experience helped us realize just how challenging marketing can be in this industry.
So we developed a proprietary methodology — the XYZABC — to help our clients develop a unique messaging framework that really helped them stand out from the crowd. It consists of six simple steps designed to help even the least experienced brand position themselves as different (and better) than their competitors.
- X – the Solution: A clear, succinct description of what you offer, uncluttered by technical jargon or marketing fluff
- Y – the Buyer: You can’t develop an effective marketing strategy if you don’t understand who your audience is
- Z – the Benefit: In short, the value you offer. The reasons why a customer would be willing to buy what you’re selling
- A – the Competition: To stand out in a crowded marketplace, you must understand who you’re differentiating from
- B – the Difference: Spell out what the difference is between you and the competition — why are you better?
- C – the Proof: Hard facts here — if you can’t demonstrate why you’re different, you’re probably not
Being able to identify these six factors gives our clients a solid base on which to build their marketing strategies.
The XYZABC in Action
Our methodology was put to the test when we were approached by PayPal last year. PayPal Solutions Engineer Jon Higby had a broad vision aimed at helping online merchants close the “mobile gap” (the difference between the number of people who visit online shops on mobile devices and those who make a purchase on those devices). But the idea was not enough. PayPal needed to refine the concept into something they could actually implement — and market.
Using our XYZABC methodology, we helped a team from PayPal Solutions, PayPal’s Partner Team, Magento, and hiConversion flesh out Higby’s initial vision — and refine it until the Mobile Optimization Initiative was born. TPM helped the group understand and define their:
- Audience: Digital payments System Integrators and their eCommerce merchants
- Purpose: To build and grow a community where members could experiment with mobile eCommerce optimization techniques, learn from collective experiences
- Goal: To provide online merchants with actionable steps toward improving mobile conversion rates
With the strategy in place, TPM and the PayPal team went to work. And in just six short weeks, we delivered not only the strategic plan, but also the website where the initiative would live and grow. The project has already attracted more than 130 merchants who have, on average, achieved a 9.3% RPV lift because of experiments developed in the community. PayPal was elated with the outcome and continues to rely on TPM for marketing strategies and support.
Need Help Developing Marketing Strategies?
At Total Product Marketing, we live and breathe tech. If you need help developing or implementing marketing strategies to help you reach audiences in the technology sector, we can help. Reach out today to discuss what we can do for you.