If you’re trying to market or promote a brand new business, what do you do? Where do you start?
How about starting with this article, where we will teach you how to create a marketing strategy for a new business, step by step.
Here’s a quick overview of the entire process:
- Create a customer persona
- Come up with branding guidelines and assets
- Decide on your goal(s)
- Decide on your key metrics and reporting cadence
- Decide on your marketing channels
- Create an action plan
Now for a more detailed breakdown, let’s jump right in!
Step 1: Create a customer persona
First things first: before you even start to think about your marketing plan, you’ll want to create a customer persona.
Simply put, this is a fictional profile that represents your target customer. If you have a few different segments, you’ll want to create one persona for each segment.
Now, what’s the difference between a target audience and a customer persona?
A target audience is a more generic, high-level overview of who you’re targeting, in terms of demographics.
On the other hand, a customer persona is much more in-depth. With a customer persona, you create a fictional person and flesh out their likes, dislikes, pain points, and more.
Here’s an example:
|Target audience||Customer persona|
|Men, 30s-50s, interested in running||Name: Runner Rick |
Education: College education
Location: United States
Job: Working professional
Social media platforms used: Facebook, Instagram
Likes: Running, nature, watching movies, spending time with family
How do you create a customer persona?
Most marketing teams will choose a template (there are many available online—just Google!), then fill them in based on their observations about their customers.
Obviously, if you’re running a new business and you’ve got no customers yet, you won’t be able to rely on patterns that you draw from actual customers. That’s perfectly fine—just fill in the template based on your understanding of your potential customers, and you can always revisit your customer personas further down the road and tweak them when necessary.
Now that you have your customer personas on hand, always refer back to them when thinking about your marketing strategy.
With marketing, it’s important to promote your products in a way that’s relevant to your customers. You want your website, social media, and other assets to resonate with your customers, so ensure that you know your customers well, and tailor all your communications to them!
Step 2: Come up with branding guidelines and assets
Why is branding important? Because you need to portray a consistent brand image to your customers in order to demonstrate legitimacy.
If your branding is confused and/or inconsistent, potential customers won’t know what you stand for, and it’s unlikely that they’ll purchase from you.
With this in mind, one of the first things you do when creating your marketing strategy is to come up with branding guidelines.
Since we’re talking about a new business, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Just choose one or two brand fonts and colors, then stick with those regardless of what you’re designing (be it your website, social media posts, email newsletters, etc).
If you’re going to be focusing on content marketing and creating a lot of content, you might also want to come up with an editorial guide.
This will tell your writers what tone/style to use when writing, whether they should use contractions or not, whether there are industry-specific keywords to use, etc.
Step 3: Decide on your goals
Your goals will play a pivotal role in influencing your marketing strategy.
If you’re running a startup, your main goal and priority would probably be to drive sales—this allows you to grow your revenue, and ensures that you have sufficient cashflow.
However, there are other goals that you might adopt as your secondary goals, as well, such as:
- Increase market share
- Increase website visits
- Build brand awareness
- Build followers on social media
Step 4: Decide on your key metrics and reporting cadence
Once you’re clear on your goals, your next step will be to decide on your key metrics and reporting cadence.
For key metrics, this is more or less dependent on the goal you pick. Here’s how it maps out:
- Drive sales → Monthly sales revenue
- Increase market share → % of market share
- Increase website visits → Number of unique users on website
- Build brand awareness → Branded search volume
- Build followers on social media → Number of followers
From here, figure out how you’re going to track and report your key metrics.
For example, say your goal is to increase website visits. You can use Google Analytics to track the number of unique users on your website, but you should also decide:
- How often will your team look at the metrics?
- How will you review performance over time? Will you simply rely on the Google Analytics dashboard, or will you export the data to create your own reports?
- Who is responsible for doing this?
Step 5: Decide on your marketing channels
With your goals and metrics out of the way, the next step is to decide on your marketing channels and strategies.
Here are the different marketing channels you can choose from:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Offline advertising
- Online advertising (paid ads)
- Partnership marketing
- Community building
Each channel or strategy has its pros and cons, so do some research before deciding on which channels to pick.
Step 6: Create an action plan
Once you’ve picked your strategies, all that’s left for you to do is to create an action plan.
Here, you should be breaking each strategy down into smaller steps that you and your team can work on. For example, if you want to focus on influencer marketing, you might break it down into the following steps:
- Come up with criteria for influencers to partner with (how many followers, how much engagement, etc.)
- Conduct research and come up with a list of influencers to partner with
- Decide on terms of influencer program, including: what products to gift to the influencer, whether any payment will be made to the influencer, what are the deliverables that the influencer has to work on, posting schedule, etc.
- Reach out to influencers to share details and discuss partnership
- Finalize list of influencers participating and coordinate posting schedule
- Ensure that all posts go live on time
- Get influencer to share screenshot of post insights
For each step, you should also come up with a rough timeline and assign someone for each task.
By the time you’re done, your action plan should look something like this:
|Step||Time needed||Due date||POC|
|1||Come up with criteria for influencers to partner with||3 days||4th Jan||David|
|2||Conduct research and come up with a list of influencers to partner with||3 days||9th Jan||David|
|3||Decide on terms of influencer program||5 days||16 Jan||Amelia|
A final word on creating a marketing strategy for a new business
Coming up with a marketing strategy for a new business can be daunting—especially if you’re learning marketing as you go.
A word of advice?
Make sure you’re systematic, and you cover all your bases.
For example, don’t rush straight into starting a new marketing campaign until you’ve decided what are your key metrics, how you’re going to track them, etc.
We know—this part can be tedious, but it’s also important to get right.
You won’t want to get to the point where you’re 3 months into your campaign, you’ve spent $10,000, but you’re not sure how your campaign is performing and whether you should continue or not.
So make sure you plan properly, and always track your progress! Ready to get started? Our professionally designed survey templates can help you gather the insights you need to create a powerful customer persona!