When approaching a marketing strategy for any business – and especially in the service industry – it’s important to understand how business operations and service delivery impact marketing efforts. Identifying and understanding how service will be delivered and the resulting customer experience will impact your company’s marketing successes before beginning the implementation process will help set the appropriate goals to measure against. So, to get started, there are a few foundational matters you’ll want to consider before diving into execution.
Every marketing strategy is different since every business is unique, but every plan should start with a set budget. Building strategies and tactics around a pre-determined budget will help your marketing team set parameters around spend for each tactic, enabling prioritization of activities. Regardless of the size of your business, you’ll want to begin with a thoroughly researched and realistic marketing budget.
Once a budget is established, but before engaging in tactics, your marketing team needs to understand your target audience – intimately. Start with evaluating your database to understand where your customer lives geographically, the types of assets or equipment you will service and the competitive landscape. For B2C service providers, you should also research whether you have more male or female clients, the age range you’ll need to appeal to, the socio-economic status of your customer base and any other key identifiers that will help you craft a sound strategy. Identifying, analyzing and/or understanding the psychographic components of your target audience is essential in positioning your business correctly in front of the right consumer at the right time.
Once your target audience is nailed down, you’ll want to focus on how you’ll position your company and how you’ll communicate that message. Will you focus on your differentiator, on a new product or service? Regardless, critical is that you communicate how you will solve a challenge that your target audience is struggling to remedy. Whatever message or messages you land on, make sure your content is developed with the consumer in mind and can break through today’s plethora of marketing noise.
Once your messaging is in place, you’ll want to work on how to best deliver that content to your target audience. You might take a multi-media approach, advertising with a mixture of branding and lead generation messages via TV, radio, print, telemarketing and digital efforts. Or, depending on your budget (there’s that key ingredient again), you may have to focus your efforts on a more finely tuned, narrowly-focused outreach. Regardless, make sure all activities are well-organized in a marketing plan that you can follow over the course of at least a six-month period.
And how do you deliver your targeted messaging in an impactful way? That’s where the creative strategy comes in. You might develop print advertisements for the service industry, write compelling thought leadership content to drive traffic to your website, or produce a direct mail campaign to reach your customers at home. Just be sure to include a “call-to-action” in every message to tell your customers exactly what to do (call, email, stop in) to bring you more business.
Marketing Rollout Begins…
Once your marketing strategy is in place – combining all the elements from above – be sure to follow a plan and implement those tactics regularly. Consistency is key in achieving successful marketing outreach among your target audience and generating leads for your business!