As an entrepreneur you want to see value for every investment in your business. Value can be defined as something that is worth more than you paid. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a social media campaign, you would want that campaign to drive more than $1,000 in incremental revenue, and it’s an even higher value if it drives $1,000 in profit. As a marketing strategy consultant, the hardest questions potential clients ask are:
- What does strategy look like?
- What results will I get?
These questions are difficult to answer because I provide the foundation needed to execute tactics efficiently and effectively, but I don’t actually implement or execute the tactics. Depending on your business needs, I may help you define your brand, refine your unique value proposition, mission or vision statement, or even help you identify which social media platforms are right for your business (depending on where your customers are already), but I’m not writing social media posts, or creating fliers or anything else that a customer will see, touch, or hear about your business.
Let’s consider a common goal of improved health. I can help you define a SMART goal, understand your schedule, level of commitment and current efforts. I can even take your likes and dislikes into account to customize a plan that will provide you the best chance for success. I can give you all the tools to implement this plan, but if you don’t follow the plan, it’s highly unlikely you will achieve your goal. If you do follow the plan, step-by-step as outlined, and you don’t see results, you have a right to be frustrated because you spent money, time, and effort, and you didn’t get the expected results.
Have you ever watched construction from the beginning stage or lived through a renovation? You know the beginning is very slow, and visual progress is hard to track. At first, before ground-breaking or demolition, there are plans, permits, crews to hire, etc. Once the actual on-site project begins, time is taken to ensure a solid foundation is in place; first by clearing the site, then digging, and installing proper support and infrastructure, followed by pouring the foundation, framing and creating the facade. It seems like an eternity before interior construction begins, and that’s when people can start to truly see their home come to life. Once the interior design is complete, that’s when all the little details can cause additional delays as the minor fixes are made and the homeowner is satisfied.
If you don’t take the time to build a solid foundation, no matter how beautiful the interior may appear, the foundation will crack and cause bigger, more costly problems down the road.
My clients that receive the most value come to me with specific questions, challenges or topics they want to learn about or improve upon. Whether we work collaboratively during hourly consultation sessions, or the work is performed as a project where Marketing Mana takes the lead, the true value is recognized in the next phase of executing the strategy. Successful clients see an increase in engagement and/or conversions due to the strategy we create.
When I work with small business owners, we address the marketing challenges that are holding their business back from its full potential. We identify customer insights that impact the messaging, we match value to customer needs and pain points, we streamline marketing efforts to see greater results from more efficient processes.
When I work with resume clients, I’m not applying to jobs for my clients, they take what they’ve learned about their value in our sessions, and they pick the jobs they want, they apply for the roles, and they interview. They apply the key takeaways we’ve uncovered during our sessions. It takes work, but it’s focused work because the strategy and goals are clearly defined.
Sometimes I meet with prospective clients that are focused on the end tactic and don’t understand their message has to be refined, or they need to find their niche instead of the “everyone needs a ____” approach, or their unique value proposition isn’t specific enough. Until they are willing to take a step back and revisit the strategy (fix their foundation), they are wasting time and money with that marketing approach; I’ve heard it referred to as a throwing spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks approach. It’s wasteful and messy.
I have also had clients that haven’t put the strategy into play, even though it’s defined, and they aren’t seeing the results they desired. A strategy that sits on the shelf is as useful as no-strategy, except you know it’s there and that you need to implement it to see its value in action.
The best answer I provide to the commonly asked questions is that I listen to your goals and challenges, I care about your success, I care about bringing your value front and center so you can improve your customers’ lives. I work with business owners to identify processes, efficiencies, and provide agendas to ensure your needs are met. Strategy looks different to everyone and depends on your marketing goals. Marketing Mana is about creating powerful connections. Mana is a Hawaiian ethos where power is earned by choosing righteously. I truly care about the success of small businesses. My vision is a marketplace with less noise because business owners have a solid understanding of their customers, they create targeted messages, and their message is delivered to the right audience at the right time.
Strategy looks like value-based, relevant messaging that is customer focused, authentic to your brand, and consistent. Results depend on the execution and tactics implemented based on the strategy. I am confident if you follow the plan, you will see your business grow in time, because you are in business to help your customers and they will see that clearly in your messaging.