When people visit your website, is it perfectly clear what action you want them to take? To contact you? To buy from you?
Do people following you on the social web know who you are, and what your company does? Are you spread too thin…spending time on too many social networks?
Do you have your hand in too many business activities? Are you launching too many side projects? Are you confusing your potential buyers?
The reason I ask these questions is that I think many of us could use minimalist principles in our marketing: stripping away the clutter and distractions, in order to focus on what matters.
We need to simplify our message.
We need to remove the clutter from our website.
We need to be more intentional about the social networks that move the needle for our business.
Whether or not you ultimately conclude that you need to simplify your marketing, you at least should frequently ask yourself these questions.
Your basic marketing plan consists of seven key components:
1. Know your market. Is there someone who needs and is willing to buy what you sell? Sadly, too many small business people never get their head around this simple question, and thus end up meandering aimlessly, never knowing their simple, true marketing path.
2. Know your customer. Who are they? Where are they? How do they buy? Knowing who they are, where they are, and how they buy ultimately makes decision-making and tactical choices much simpler.
3. Determine your niche. You don’t fix cars. You only fix German automobiles. Much easier to target and focus on owners of German cars as opposed to everyone else (rest of the planet) who owns a vehicle. Simpler approach, simpler message, fewer tactics, less costly.
4. Your marketing message, your company story? How will you move your market to action? To buy? Problem is, most don’t know the simple answer to this question, so they throw too many noodles on the wall, hoping something sticks. And as a result, they are spreading a confusing message.
5. Your marketing tactics. How are you delivering your marketing message (social media, television ads, media buys, email marketing). Knowing precisely the tacticial options that work best for you to communicate to your niche target market, keeps things simple and easy to execute.
6. Your marketing goals. How many sales do you need to make your profit goal? Knowing this answer keeps steps one through five in better focus, knowing exactly where you are striving to go.
7. Your marketing budget. This funds your marketing program — what does it cost to execute steps one thru six… Keeping things simple on steps one through six is how you keep your marketing budgets affordable.
Is your marketing too cluttered? Are you asking the hard questions to understand this? Are you doing the necessary pruning to keep your marketing program simple? Are you subtracting the fluff from your marketing plan, so that you are focused only on what truly matters most?
This probably goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: There is too much noise in the marketplace. The more you can do to make things easier – and simpler – for your buyer to understand how you can help, and how they can buy…is a worthwhile process.
What do you think?