You develop a system for many aspects of your life that are important, that you choose or need to do on a regular basis. You develop a system for going about your day. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your business’ marketing? Like other systems, a marketing system is a group of working parts that duplicates results consistently. Many aspects of your business can be developed into a system. When you find that you’ve executed your marketing in a way that works, it makes sense to try to do the same thing again.
While a system can develop naturally, you can also take steps to create it deliberately. With marketing this is usually a good idea. There are so many ways to market yourself, you’ll never try them all. Stabs in the dark are likely to result in a lot of wasted time and resources, especially if you aren’t keep track of what’s been done.
Taking Stock of Initial information
Base your system on the information you have about what your business is and what it represents. Everything from what kind of experience you offer to who makes up your target market is included in what you gather at the beginning of building your system.
Based on what you know, you then have to speculate. Whether you’re just starting out your marketing process or trying your hundredth method, you can’t be sure what the results will be until you have them. To make the decision about which method to try, you will have your own series of steps. Perhaps you meet with specific people within your business, certain departments. You look over the previous results, consult certain sources, use particular research. Maybe you have a process of designating tasks. However you make those decisions, take note of each of the steps.
After you’ve completed the marketing method you chose to pursue, there will be feedback. This is the data you receive, and the amount that you receive is something you have some control over. You can seek out more information by looking deeper for results. What do your potential and even current customers have to share? Distributing a survey, for example, might give you even more information than just looking at the traffic on a blog you’ve begun writing. The steps in the collection of data will also vary between your business and others. Take note of your steps.
More than data, it’s about the why and how. This involves thinking critically. You have to look at how people are using what they’re using, and why certain methods work better for what you’re trying to say. It’s important to understand the aspects certain marketing methods were able to showcase, and what they weren’t. Think about whether what you wanted to showcase changed based on the results of your marketing. Taking this information can help you discover what to change next time and what to keep.
Writing Your System Down
Throughout the entire process, writing down your steps is critical to how your business functions. The more you write down, the more easily you can find information when you or your employees have questions. Writing down your system can inform when there are questions, act as a training device and keep your business organized.
You will have many more steps in your system than what has been explored here. It’s important to be in touch with your team, because there will likely be little tricks that work best for them. Maybe there will be parts that apply only to your business’ specialty. Maybe the steps in your predetermined system will shift. Keeping a written system will drastically help your marketing process, and can help you remember to be open to what works and recognize when there is a need for change.
Representing Your Brand
Everything you do represents your company and your brand. When it comes to marketing, specific channels attract specific clientele, or fail to reach them. Do the work, and if you don’t understand the trends or can’t seem to connect, find somebody who does and can. With a strong company culture, you can attract employees with the kinds of skills that will help you in this department. A strong marketing approach requires a team of creative thinkers, open to trying new things and learning about new methods of communication, of executing action and productively listening to feedback.
Just like branding, marketing is about feeling. What feeling are you delivering that your customers appreciate? How can you deliver more and increase the meaning, weight, thoughtfulness, simplicity, or delight? Go into marketing thinking about how you can make a real impact in somebody’s life. Share your humanity, connection, intimacy and the meaning that delivering a certain product gives to your company and to your customers.
If you don’t already have a system in place, make one that documents your various marketing approaches. If you already have a system, review it and make sure that it accurately represents how you market, and that following it delivers consistent, positive results. If not, take some time to better understand where you should make changes.