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:

  1. What does strategy look like?
  2. What results will I get?

These questions are difficult to answer because a strategy provides the foundation needed to execute tactics efficiently and effectively, but doesn’t actually implement or execute the tactics. Depending on your business needs, strategies 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 strategists are 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. A strategic approach will help you define a SMART goal, understand your schedule, level of commitment and current efforts. These can even take your likes and dislikes into account to customize a plan that will provide you the best chance for success. These strategies 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.

Clients that receive the most value come with specific questions, challenges or topics they want to learn about or improve upon. Whether working 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.

Working 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.

Sometimes small business owners 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. This is throwing spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks approach. It’s wasteful and messy.

Clients that haven’t put the strategy into play, even though it’s defined, won’t see the desired results. 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 to the commonly asked questions is a marketing strategist will listen to your goals and challenges, care about your success, bring your value front and center so you can improve your customers’ lives. Working with small 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 creates powerful connections through successful marketing strategies.

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. When 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.